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The ordeal of colonel jo.., p.3
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       The Ordeal of Colonel Johns, p.3

           George H. Smith
 
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exit.

  "Oh my," MacCulloch moaned, "I was afraid that this whole thing was amistake."

  Colonel Johns had taken only two steps toward the door when he seemedto stagger. MacCulloch leaped to his side and caught him by the arm.There was an uproar in the auditorium as the Colonel faded slightlyand the professor hurried him down the steps toward the Reintegrator.

  "I'm afraid the Colonel isn't going to be with us much longer," theprofessor explained.

  Thank goodness, Decker thought, I don't believe the poor man couldhave stood it much longer.

  "I'm afraid the reintegration time of Colonel Johns is running out andhe must return to his own time," the professor went on.

  The grim-faced Colonel said nothing as MacCulloch led him up to themachine.

  "Goodbye, great-great-great-great-grandfather," Mrs. Johns-Hayescalled from the platform. "It has been so nice having you with us."

  "Goodbye, Rebecca," the Colonel said as he began to fade away.

  "Give my regards to great-great-great-great-grandmother."

  The figure in the dirty, faded blue uniform was gone but Decker andMacCulloch heard him mutter just before he disappeared altogether, "Iwill, if I ever see her again!"

  MacCulloch turned to stare at the platform and Decker turned to followhis gaze. A sudden dizziness overcame them both and there was a slighthaze about the auditorium. When it cleared, the podium was empty. Mrs.Johns-Hayes was gone as if she had never been.

  "My God!," the professor gasped. "I was afraid something like thismight happen. He must have married the other girl."

  "I suppose," Decker said quietly, "that we should consider ourselveslucky that he didn't decide to go back to Pennsylvania." His voicebroke off and he wondered what he had been saying. He looked up at thespeakers' platform trying to remember why he should think it strangethat it was draped in Union Jacks and that Lady Appleby-Simpkin shouldbe saying, "And now, my dears, I know that all of you, as LoyalDaughters of the British Empire will be happy to know...."

  ... THE END

  * * * * *

 
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