THE NIGHT OF MAY 5
A week after Stewart's visit, Simon Johnson received a long-distance telephone call at his garage from Boda asking if the Overland was ready. Johnson told him it was. Boda said he would pick it up next day. Next day he did not appear. Another week passed, and Johnson began to worry about his bill. He asked Stewart if he could sell the car for what was owing on it. Stewart told him to wait.
On the evening of May 5 Johnson had felt out of sorts and gone to bed early. At a little after nine o'clock his wife, Ruth, was sitting in the front bedroom of their one-story wooden house on North Elm Street, a quarter of a mile from the garage, when she heard a knock at the front door. Going to the vestibule, she asked who it was. A voice replied that it was Mike Boda and that he had come for his car. From the bedroom Johnson recognized the foreign voice. As his wife came back, he whispered to her to go next door and telephone. She nodded, then said loudly enough to be heard outside: "Mr. Boda is here for his car. While you're getting up I'll go over for the milk."
As she opened the front door and stepped outside she found herself caught in a beam of light. At first she could make out nothing beyond the whiteness, then she saw Boda vaguely outlined against a telephone pole ten feet away. As her eyes grew more used to the glare, she noticed two strangers walking toward her from across the railroad bridge thirty feet south of the house. She could hear them talking-- in Italian, she thought. The glare caught them. They looked foreign. One was wearing a derby and an overcoat. The other, who wore a felt hat, Ruth Johnson remembered afterward because of his drooping mustache. Boda called out something to them and then walked toward her.