Responding to a report of a shooting on the Santa Fe Trail, police find the gunman, Hiram Conley, dressed in a ragged Civil War–era Union uniform and armed with a musket. Conley’s wounded victim, Tyler Willis, cries, (3z(BDon’t kill him! He’s too old to die,(3y (Bjust before the police shoot Conley in self-defense. The autopsy bears out Willis’s cryptic assessment. The body has mummified overnight and bears other traces indicating that Conley was born long before his claimed birth year of 1940. After the corpse and the ME who studied it disappear, the matter comes to the attention of Ethan Warner and Nicola Lopez, bail bondsmen recruited by the Defense Intelligence Agency to investigate.