Gunner Quinn is a part-time agent for the CIA.
He would never think of himself as such. Roberto Quinn, aka Gunner, likes to think he is a professional jazz musician, a trumpet player. He has earned a living at it many times and truly enjoys it but he knows he will never reach any appreciable success for he is good - only good. At times he can make an almost decent living at it and sometimes it just helps keep the bar tab from getting too high.
For real money, albeit never very much, he has been known to do a bit of smuggling. He has handled a variety of items across borders surreptitiously but he specializes, he likes to think, in rare antiquities from the various ancient civilizations of Central and South America. Many of the things he has moved have been real and many have been impressive fakes but Quinn is smart enough, well enough read, and savvy enough to know the difference. If the people do the buying do not, it is not his problem.
Quinn has been described as a hedonist by more than one person and he would not argue. He likes his pleasures, whether they are in a bottle or a tight blouse, and he is clever and glib enough to get more than his share of both. Unlike others, he is never disrespectful or cruel, ever, but when it is time to move on, he does. Sometimes, it is the person in the tight blouse who 'suggests' the move.
He got his nickname of Gunner while serving as a Gunner's Mate in the Navy during WWII. He learned to take apart and put back together a wide assortment of armament and in the troubles that he has found since the War, that talent has been handy. When he and a couple of shipmates saw their ship blown out from under them and ended up on a supposedly deserted island in the South Pacific, he got a taste of hardship and learned the hard way that sometimes the sounds of bumps in the night really need listening to.
The stories take place in the early to mid 50s with Quinn being a willing expat in Mexico and Central America because that is where drinks are cheaper, the women lustier, and the goods-to-be-smuggled exist. He is friends with a motorcycle gang and rides with them places but it is for companionship, not hooliganism. He knows he is too old to be a rebel without a cause.
Quinn has no desire to be a pawn for the CIA. He just likes to get out of trouble and they are sometimes there to assist. Unfortunately for Quinn, the trouble he gets into with the Agency to get out of other trouble is usually far more dangerous than the first.