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Davis • Epic
Petersen was blind in one eye, had two replaced hips, and was twice divorced.
His job was to solve a gold mine robbery case in the Peruvian Andes. He would
need some help.
"I'm circling the drain now," he says. "But I'm not going down quietly. It's gonna be suicide by Al Qaeda. There'll be a hail of bullets."
In the fading light, Roy flips through pictures from better days. There aren't many: a marine buddy drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette with a good-looking woman ("He's dead now"), another of a marine in dress blues ("Dead too"), and then a photo of a woman: dark lipstick, silver earrings, skin the color of mahogany. She's wearing a suit with a blue turtleneck and her fists are balled. She looks like she could do some damage in a fight.
"Maria," he says.
He's quiet for a moment.
"Everything would have been different if Peru had worked out," he says finally, staring at the photo. "I would have been in high clover."
Romig • New York Times Magazine
captive parade elephants in Kerala, India and the "two men battling over their
A week after I met Venkitachalam, I took a train to Kerala's capital to meet Kumar in his ministerial office. His assistant had told me that I might have to wait: the minister's schedule was hard to foretell. His aides waited with me, none of them busy, it seemed, with anything but drinking coffee. Four hours later, the minister finally swept into the room, and the aides leapt to their feet. Kumar has dark, curly hair, a macho mustache and a weakness for loud shirts; he was wearing a shiny purple number covered with paisleys. I was surprised at how soft-spoken he was. A half-dozen of his staff members sat opposite us, laughing whenever their boss cracked a joke.
When I asked him why there's such a fondness for elephants in Kerala, a dreamy look fell over his eyes: it's because they're like the sea, he said, always moving and endlessly alluring. But when I mentioned Venkitachalam, his soft speech turned sharp. "This Venkitachalam, he never gave a banana to an elephant," he said. "If you love an elephant, you can send a complaint, but first you should feed the elephant. This fellow hasn't even fed one banana." (In response, Venkitachalam told me that bananas aren't a suitable food for an elephant - they might cause constipation.)
Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images