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thud of the evening paper against the front door. For a moment, it
startled him, then, when he had realized what it was, he was half out of
the chair... He paused there momentarily, then sank back into his seat.
He _couldn't_ go out there and get the paper - if the neighbors saw him
picking it up ... He sat there, waiting for Beth to come home, the
suspense digging into his guts with ragged teeth. Had they found the
plane? Were they onto him? Who were those two men? How did they know
where to find him? Why were they looking for him?
He drank damned near the whole pot of coffee and watched the hands of
the electric clock move with agonizing slowness. Finally, at five forty,
Beth drove up to the house and came through the door. Nick leaped from
"The paper!" He snatched it from her hands and began tearing it open.
Damn newsboys for folding them!
"Nick! Aren't you going to kiss me?"
"Huh? Oh." He kissed her briefly, fleetingly, and returned to the paper.
The crash was on page one.
WRECKAGE OF PRIVATE AIRCRAFT FOUND
Everett, Pa. The smouldering wreckage of what was apparently a
private plane was found late yesterday evening in the heavily wooded
area north of the city by a young Boy Scout looking for a campsite.
Benjamin Talbot, aged 13, after locating the mangled aircraft,
promptly called local police who dispatched Detective Lieutenant
Nolan Brice, Everett Rescue Squad and FAA investigator Arron P.
Dickson to examine the wreckage.
"It's the most unusual crash site I've ever seen," FAA investigator
Dickson told local newsmen. "There's no evidence of wings or tail
assembly. The fuselage is also of a strange design."
Detective Lieutenant Brice, after checking with the airport tower at
Everett, and with CAP officials, informed newsmen that no private
aircraft had been reported in trouble, or even over the particular
area in which the craft was found. "Of course," Lieutenant Brice
added, "one plane may have gone unnoticed. This is highly unlikely,
but we cannot overlook the possibility. What is puzzling, to me, is
that the aircraft has not been identified and there have been no
"The Civil Air Patrol," Mr. Dickson commented, "has been most
cooperative and are now engaged in an air search of the area, while
rescue squads work in the mountains."
Mr. Dickson went on to state that the mystery crash will be
thoroughly investigated by authorities in an effort to determine the
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