Copyright 1956 by Carl L. Biemiller

Illustrated by Kathleen Voute

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Chapter Ten

Ever since the flying saucer had arrived with its starboy guest, Mr. Murphy, and upon occasion Mr. Jenks too, had been sending reports about Remo to Mr. Kimber in Washington. Mr. Murphy wrote down everything about Remo that he knew or guessed at. He reported what Remo ate and whether he liked it or not. He told what Remo did with Johnny as far as he knew. He told about Remo’s reaction to the daily studies and the classroom work both boys did and he compared the two boys and their development.

Mr. Kimber read these reports each day and he studied them. It is important to know everything possible about flying saucers and visitors from outer space, even if such visitors come in friendship. Mr. Kimber, Mr. Murphy, and Johnny’s father believed that Remo and Arcon, his father, were friends.

They couldn’t very well believe anything else. The flying saucers hadn’t hurt a human being as far as they knew. Further, there didn’t seem to be any way a human being could harm a flying saucer. And that was where more trouble existed.

Mr. Kimber had people giving him orders too. They didn’t know Remo and they didn’t know Arcon, and sometimes they were a bit lacking in patience and faith. They only knew that it didn’t seem right that earth should have visitors when nobody on earth seemed to be able to visit other worlds. One or two of these men thought of Remo as an invader, a highly possible source of danger. They wanted Remo brought to Washington and placed under lock and key and given tests. They said quiet sensibly, “It doesn’t matter what happens to a boy if we can stop anything happening to our world.”

They just didn’t believe that nothing was going to happen, and they kept a wary view on the general area of the Jenks farm and its environs.

Not that Remo and Johnny knew anything about that. They stayed busy. They visited Mr. Applegate,. They sat on his pigpen fence, and really talked something more than adult-boy talk, about the science laboratory for school and what it could teach. Mr. Applegate was thoughtful about it.

Mr. Applegate was rapidly reaching a decision to really give in to his curiosity and go ask the Jenks about the whole lot of queer experiences he had sensed most of the summer, all of them somehow tied directly to Johnny Jenks and his friend Remo. But being the sort of man he was, he just couldn’t bring himself to hurry about minding somebody else’s business. Not exactly. It was just that somehow at the sundown of Mr. Applegate’s life the two boys seemed suddenly to be part of his own business too.

Then one morning the driveway at the Jenks filled with cars, and when Johnny and Remo got back to the house for lunch after spending an hour catching frogs in the creek, there was company. Johnny’s dad was home from the city. Mr. Kimber was there and so were Colonel Wingate and Dr. Thompson. Mr. Murphy waited until the boys ate soup and sandwiches and milk, and then he asked them if they’d come into the living room and talk.

It was exactly like the first meeting, thought Johnny, but everybody looked more serious and sort of anxious too. Mr. Murphy came right to the point.

“Remo,” he said, “When we first met you, remember…you said that you couldn’t really tell us anything about your home and your space ship because your memories about those things, most of them anyway, had been erased. Is that right?”

“Yes sir,” answered Remo.

Mr. Kimber interrupted. “Do you recall that Mr. Murphy told you that some of us wanted to give you an examination ?”

Remo was silent.

“Well, son,” continued Mr. Kimber, soft-spoken and kindly, “we’d lie you to visit Washington and live there for a while without Johnny and the Jenks…”

“Oh no,” cried Johnny, looking at his father. “Arcon said Remo was to stay with us…”

George Jenks’ face was stern. “He did say that, Johnny, and I agreed to it.” He turned to Mr. Kimber. “I’m against this move, sir. It won’t help anything and it might do a great deal of harm.”

“Under the circumstances, Jenks,” interrupted Colonel Wingate, “there isn’t anything you can do about it. The boy’s leaving here for a time. It’s an order…”

“You have my resignation then,” said Johnny’s father.

“Easy everybody,” whispered Mr. Murphy.

“Maybe we can work out something so that Johnny can be with Remo.”

“I’m afraid that won’t be possible,” said Dr. Thompson. “We’d want Remo under hospital observation.”

“Taking a chance on helping him to remember something that he can’t,” snapped George Jenks. “Risking much more than you know. The boy’s a guest, not a prisoner…”

Mr. Kimber drummed on a table with nervous fingers. His alert face grew sad. He was a kind man and a worried one. He was also a man who would have been the first to admit that all he could do was his best and at the time he didn’t know what the best was. “Remo,” he said softly, “I think you know that we don’t want t hurt you in any way…”

“I know,” Remo answered bravely. “could I go get my clothes packed now?”

“Ahhraagh!” Mr. Murphy cleared his throat.

Remo turned and left the room.

Johnny’s father came over to Johnny and put an arm over his shoulder. “Steady there, Tiger,” he said. Johnny hardly knew it was there. There was a message taking shape in his head. Remo was telling him something. The impression was strong and clear with a clarity built by long practice with the space-a-tron and the warmth and affection between him and Remo.

“I’m not going with them,” Remo told him. “I’ll meet you in the tree cave. Come as quickly as you can.”

“All right, “ thought Johnny as hard as he could. There was a long quiet in the room. It was broken by the colonel. “What’s keeping the boy?” he snorted impatiently.

“Oh give him a chance,” said Mr. Murphy sharply. “He’s disturbed. So am I.”

“You needn’t be,” whispered Johnny. He looked up at his father. “What?” asked Mr. Jenks. “What?” asked Mr. Murphy. He galloped out of the room and charged the flight of stairs to the upper floors like a bounding, gangling scarecrow. They could hear his voice a moment later. “He’s gone!”

Mr. Kimber, the colonel, and the doctor automatically strode for the hallway in response to Mr. Murphy’s yell. Not Johnny’s father. He swatted Johnny lightly across the back. “Scoot!” he said softly.

Johnny ducked through the back way out of the living room, through the dining room, and out to the side terrace. He bounded across the driveway and, using the barn as a screen for his flight, he ran down the pasture headed for the fringe of woods and the tree cave where he and Remo had spent so many hours.

As he ran his eyes blurred with tears. He didn’t know how, but he knew for sure that Remo’s visit to earth was coming to a swift end.

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five
Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Eleven
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