After just a few blocks, MacLeod found a busy shopping district and
he started asking questions. Questions of the street people, the
workers, proprietors of the small shops and even the shoppers
He stopped for a coffee at a sidewalk cafe and spoke with a waiter.
He paused at an open stall grocer and bought an apple. Polishing it
on the sleeve of his coat, he smiled and talked. Inquiring again
and again about his friend. No. No one had seen the researcher for
a while. A few weeks at least since anyone had seen the young man
from the University, Adam Pierson.
Then, a sign caught his eye. A dojo. But the sensei's name was what
most interested MacLeod. Kevin Darby. Darby, the same name Joe had
mentioned before. Someone Methos had suspected as being a Hunter.
MacLeod climbed the stairs of the multi-storied building. Through a
double set of doors, he entered the main floor--a huge open room.
Martial arts were being practiced in different areas, but MacLeod's
attention was drawn to a space in the middle.
A man of MacLeod's height and stature was on an exercise mat with a
young man of slight build. Mac noticed that the sensei was being
unnecessarily rough with the younger one. A teaching method with
which MacLeod had a serious problem.
"What are you doing? Not that way. No, no, no!" the 'teacher'
yelled, then he slammed the young man onto the mat so hard the
youngster lost his breath.
"Don't you think you're being a little rough on the boy?" MacLeod
asked, while moving closer to the action, trying subtlely to put
himself in the way of any further attempts by the sensei to punish
the student. . The man looked to see who had spoken so out of
turn. "No, I don't. I'm teaching him what he needs to survive the
battle. And I don't think it's any of your business," he snapped at
the intruder, then turned back to his student.
"Are you the sensei here?" MacLeod asked.
Turning back to face the interloper, he informed him, "Yes, I'm
"You were recommended to me. I'm looking for a match. Are you
interested?" MacLeod asked.
As Darby inspected MacLeod, Mac walked over to a display of practice
weapons and chose a sword.
Darby followed MacLeod's movements, his eyes lighting up as the dark
haired stranger chose his weapon.
MacLeod held the sword in his left hand as he took his coat off and
laid it to the side. Then stepping out of his shoes, he walked onto
the mat as Darby watched in silence. When MacLeod gestured for
Darby to join him, the sensei nodded, stepped over to the display on
the wall, chose a sword, then joined MacLeod in the center of the
They saluted each other, then Darby struck first. The martial arts
teacher was aggressive in his attack. MacLeod had started the match
with the sword in his left hand but now used both. Darby was good.
Mac stayed busy just parrying the thrusts of his opponent, but he
wasn't allowing Darby any insight into who he was fighting, he was
just playing along.
MacLeod soon called a halt to the match, concedeing to the other man
and commenting on the sensei's skill with the sword.
"I train hard," Darby explained. "You never know when a sword will
be your most useful weapon."
MacLeod returned the sword to the rack on the wall, then turned to
speak again to Darby, but Darby was already speaking with another
man. The other man was facing Darby, turned away from MacLeod, and
Mac was too far away to eavesdrop on their conversation. He put on
his coat, slipped on his shoes, then walked toward the two of them.
"Kevin, we have Dawson, we picked him up outside of Pierson's condo.
And I think MacLeod may be around here somewhere," Tim McCarthy
McCarthy glanced back over his shoulder to find MacLeod walking
Kevin started to say something but the look on McCarthy's face as he
turned back to speak stopped him cold.
"What?" Kevin asked.
McCarthy leaned close to Darby and whispered, "That's Duncan
"It can't be," Kevin argued, "this guy's inept with the sword.
MacLeod's suppose to be a master swordsman."
"I tell you, it's him," insisted McCarthy.
MacLeod came up to the two men. McCarthy backed away then turned and
exited quickly through the front door. Ignoring McCarthy's swift
departure, MacLeod turned to Kevin and bowed slightly. "Thank you
for the match, it was enlightening."
"Enlightening?" Kevin repeated, stunned over the possibilty that
this may be the Immortal, Duncan MacLeod.
"Yes," MacLeod answered. "It seems I have become somewhat
"Don't leave just yet. I'm taking a break. Care to have a drink
"I'm afraid I can't. I'm looking for a friend of mine. Adam
Pierson. Do you know him?" MacLeod asked, looking directly at
Kevin Darby stiffened, then forced a smile. "No. I don't believe I
MacLeod shrugged, then walked away from the sensei and out of the
A car was parked at the mouth of the alley that ran along the side of
the dojo building. The occupants, McCarthy and three others,
watched as MacLeod came out the front door and crossed the street.
MacLeod went around a corner as the black sedan started to roll.