The Gold Rolex Day Date still kept perfect time, but that would be expected. It was water resistant to a depth far greater than the shallows at the raw end of the small lake. And it had been engineered to run on the faintest of movements; the gentle lapping of the water through the rushes was more than enough to engage the self-winding mechanism.

The clothes, of course, had not fared as well as the wristwatch. The press was gone from the trousers, and here and there tiny bits of milky fleshy protruded where the wool had been abraded by the barky texture of the water reeds. The shirt was now a putrid green, mossed and dirtied by the muck at the shore. And the leather of his shoes had puckered and blistered, but even the finest of leathers, no matter how well oiled, are not meant to withstand submersion.

That part of his face closest to the bullet hole was gone, nibbled away in tiny bites by the sunny fish and microscopic urchins that worked the shore of the small lake.

Every once in a while, a boat buzzed at the other end of the lake, crossing from one of the larger lakes to the next, rippling the still water finally to the shallows where the man lay, face down.

And still the wristwatch ticked, keeping time.