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The Lieutenant

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Kowalski and Fraser send him a postcard from Canada. Snow and pine trees, a mountain in the distance, and Kowalski's scrawl on the back: Not exactly Chicago but I like it. How's the 2-7? Bet your ulcers are better since we're gone.

Harding leaves it in the in-tray for a while, then sticks it on the corkboard by his desk. Some days, midafternoon when the coffee's worn off and his ulcers (not better) are starting up, he looks at it, thinks about cold clean air and quiet, about early retirement, a cabin somewhere.

And then he goes back to work.