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.I agreed to spend an hour at this, and we will, and then you’re going home.Right, Doctor?”No answer came from Corday, who had his hands in his coat pockets, and was gazing fixedly ahead, as if he were lost in his own thoughts.Joe did not repeat the question.There had been moments during the ride when mentally he swore at himself for being taken in by Judy’s hysterics and Corday’s strange act, and came very close to turning the car around at once.These moments were followed by others in which he nursed the feeling, hardly suitable for a cop but inextinguishable anyway, that weird things in the field of ESP did sometimes happen.His own mother and father had testified to mutual experiences.And the rational part of his mind suggested that the best way to cure Judy of this dream-idea might be to let her see that there was nothing in it.And, again, to get a kidnapping victim back, any effort at all was worth a try.They were approaching a highway intersection.“What do I do here?” he asked his guide.“Turn left,” Judy ordered.Give her credit, she was always decisive in giving directions.“We’re very close now.Another mile should do it.”“Left it is,” Joe agreed.He could just picture himself talking to the sheriff’s office on the phone: Yessir, we know where the boy is now.His teenage sister saw it in a dream, and sure enough.The new highway ran ahead of him almost straight, and almost empty.The sun, after almost breaking through the clouds a little earlier, had been smothered again in thick gray masses from which it did not seem likely to emerge again today.Although theoretically it was still daylight, Joe had already flicked his headlights on.The last housing developments had now fallen behind.To right and left the road was bordered by snowy farm fields, brown hedgerows, patches of woods, wire farm fences.A narrow highway bridge came leaping up to bear the Volkswagen over a still narrower stream, a country creek that twisted its way in a frozen course to right and left.For just a moment the engine stuttered—“Here!” The word burst out of Judy in a shriek.Joe looked wildly around for some impending accident.He braked, avoiding a skid in the freezing slush by fancy footwork on the pedals.Judy’s fingers were biting like claws at his shoulder.“That next drive on our left,” she agonized.“Take that, he’s in a house back there.”Joe had brought the small car to a complete stop on the shoulder of the highway.Now he eased it forward.Looking ahead on the left, he could now see that there was a driveway, a small unpaved road, a something, and he turned into it, between patches of hedgerow.A rural mailbox planted beside the highway was capped with snow, making any name that it might bear invisible.Trackless snow also covered the narrow lane or drive.But the surface beneath was evidently solid and level, for going was not difficult.Almost at the start the drive turned, taking them out of sight of the highway among wintry thickets and small trees.It ran straight for fifty yards or so, then turned again, at the same time topping a small rise of ground.Just before reaching this second turn, Joe eased the Rabbit to a stop.Directly ahead there had just come into his view the upper portion of one end of what he would later learn was a sprawling, white brick, ranch-style house.Now, squinting into the dusk, he thought he could make out cedar roof-shingles under a partial covering of snow.Oddly, Joe felt almost cheated.He looked at the calm, unreadable face beside him for several seconds before he spoke.“I don’t know what this game is, mister.”Corday’s thin lips parted, this time not in a smile.“It is a very serious game indeed.And I assure you that you and I are playing it on the same side.” Peering toward the house, the old man added, as if to himself: “The sun has not yet set.”“What’s that got to do with anything?”Judy said in a tight voice: “Do something, please, Joe.You’re a policeman.My brother is in there.”Joe looked at them both [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]