Matt Barnes wore a brimmed hat and long leathery overcoat. He was thin. His eyes were weary. He was a frazzled man. He didn’t smile. In fact, his demeanor deadened the room.

In a moment, my dream of seeing a world-traveler deflated.

Where was the brawny man with the grit of a cowboy and the chiseled face of a model in an adventure film? I was expecting a go-anywhere, do-anything guy who could be pictured on the billboard in Times Square selling Jeeps with the Rocky Mountains in the background.

Instead of hiking Siberian glaciers with great antlered reindeer, he looked like he would have trouble keeping up with me on my walk to school.

His shoulders drooped. Dark-rimmed glasses were perched slightly crooked on his narrow nose. His eyebrows were bushy and he had a scruffy beard.

He looked more like an old man burdened by hardships than a pioneer sailing the seven seas.

Doesn’t an electrifying life of world-travel make a man mighty enough to lift a car above his head? Maybe not, but that’s exactly what made Matt Barnes more mysterious than anything else.

Find out more about Matt Barnes. Read short stories about his adventures

in the Sahara Desert and in the rain forests.

A novel about Matt Barnes will tell you more about this man of mystery.

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