Anniversary Excerpt: TIme Travel, anyone?

My re-published book, Compassion, released on this date last year. It's a story about John Dillinger, time travel, reincarnation, and second chances ....

Setup: Will Taupert and Theo have been sent back in time to 1934, to spy on John Dillinger. Theo is a shapeshifting cat, acting as Will’s Companion for the History Patrol. In this scene, she’s reported back to him that she talked to Marcos Darby, the man they’ve come to capture.

She scrambled out of his way as Will lunged for the dresser. He pushed clothes impatiently aside and pulled out his foldable computer.

Did you charge it? Theo asked suspiciously. Will was notorious for forgetting to put the solar-cell in the sunlight.

“Of course.” He put the device on his desk and unfolded the flexible pad. Words sprang to life on the wall in front of the desk. “Let’s see…Darby…” He activated voice mode. “Family history, Marcos Darby.” He pulled out the desk chair and sat down, staring intently at the computer screen.

“Marcos Darby, born 2217 in…”

Will hastily turned down the volume as the voice droned on, “…New Florida. Father, Nobles Conner. Mother, Mathilde Darby.”

“Great-great grandparents and preceding ancestors,” Will interrupted. “Display family genealogy.”


Names began appearing on the wall in front of Will, superimposed on a tree-like structure.

Theo jumped lithely onto Will’s knee, barely pausing as she made another leap to the desk. What are we looking for? she asked, peering at the text.

“I’m not sure,” he murmured, eyes darting from one side to the other as the names spread further and further apart on the wall. “I think our tourist might have a reason for being here and—there.”


Will touched a name on the wall. The computer said, “Carter Baum. Born, 1904. Died, 1934 in…”

“That’s it.” Names continued scrolling down the wall. “Stop history,” Will said.

That’s what? Theo stretched, reaching up to tap a name on the wall. That?

“Carter Baum. Marcos Darby is related to Carter Baum. He’s the FBI agent who was killed by Dillinger.”

“Stop history,” the computer confirmed.

Will nodded. “Yes. He’s trying to stop history.”

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