I have just returned from a visit to my doctor, who tells me my health is excellent. I am young, and, with any luck at all, I shall live to a ripe old age indeed, for my family on both sides is noted for longevity.
Briefly, I propose to vanish.
Sooner or later, Professor Barnhouse must die. But long before then I shall be ready. So, to the saber-rattlers of today--and even, I hope, of tomorrow--I say: Be advised. Barnhouse will die. But not the Barnhouse Effect.
Last night, I tried once more to follow the oblique instructions on the scrap of paper. I took the professor's dice, and then, with the last, nightmarish sentence flitting through my mind, I rolled fifty consecutive sevens.
Death had spared Arnold Soby--as it had also deprived him--of the academic wife who gave teas to freshmen, saw that the wall flowers at the parties were watered, and played cards in the foyer while the seniors danced. He was not, however, that Bachelor of the Arts who had never sunk his teeth into the apple. No, Soby knew the bitter-sweet taste, and the lingering smell of life. That it had proved gratifying was implied in the way a little of it proved sufficient for a lifetime. He did not cultivate romantic affairs among the campus wives who were ripe for cultivation, or use his vacations to dig for buried treasure in the sands of Acapulco or Martha's Vineyard. Not that this didn't cost him something. He was considered more than reasonably safe. When the Foreign Affairs Club planned its trip to the UN it was inevitable that the girls would ask Soby, who had no interest in the subject, to be their chaperone. He was safe, acceptable, and he was also good fun. He would see that they were taken