It’s unclear (right now, to me) if this is part of some other draft of 2666 or just tangentially related, but it sure reads like an excerpt from a later section of the novel. Note that it is translated by Chris Andrews and not Natasha Wimmer.
William Burns, from Ventura, California, told this story to my friend Pancho Monge, a policeman in Santa Teresa, Sonora, who passed it on to me. According to Monge, the North American was a laid-back guy who never lost his cool, a description that seems to be at odds with the following account of the events. In Burns’s own words:
It was a dreary time in my life. I was going through a rough patch at work. I was supremely bored, though up till then I’d always been immune to boredom.