Corpses is Corpses
A college prank becomes a matter of grim reality when Professor
Harry Dinwoodie suddenly digs up a dead body!
PROFESSOR Dinwoodie found the body just a few minutes before Martha
called him to dinner. He was spading things up a bit behind the garage,
in preparation for an early planting of string beans and limas, when he
felt the spade catch onto something heavier than plain black earth.
He eased the prongs of the spade under the buried object, and then
used the tool as a crowbar, prying down on the handle until the hidden
obstruction rose, Phoenix-like, from the enveloping dirt.
“Well, bless my birthmark!”
The professor stared down dazedly at a bare human foot. It was a
large foot, extremely dirty, and the professor retreated from it in
shocked repugnance. He leaned his frail weight on his spade and stood
trembling like a plate of jello in an express train diner.
“B-bless my—birthmark! How in the name of—”
“Harry—Oo-hoo, Harry-y-y!” Martha's voice carried plainly from the
kitchen step. “Dinner's ready.”
“C-coming,” the professor croaked weakly. “Coming, dear.”
He thanked his blessed stars that the garage lay between the garden
plot and the house. If poor, excitable Martha had ever laid eyes on
that shocking thing— The professor sent a quick furtive glance at his
neighbors' houses, then rapidly spaded fresh earth onto that accusing
He propped the spade against the garage, and walked dazedly in to his
dinner, wondering how in the name of sin a corpse had come to be buried
in his garden plot. He was still shaking like a stage- struck
schoolgirl, and there was a tight, lost feeling in the pit of his
He shook his head angrily and tried to get a grip on himself. Never
do to let Martha see what a state he was in. Until he'd thought this
weird business through, he must get a grip on himself.
“Why, good heavens, Harry!” Martha was staring at him through the
screened kitchen window. The professor hadn't realized it. “What's
wrong? You're pale as a daisy.”
“I'm all right, Martha.” A corpse. How the deuce had the fool thing
got there? And what in Hades was he to do with it?
Some of the first brutal shock of this thing had sifted away now, and
he found he could think much more clearly. As head of the Physics
Department here at State, he was used to being treated with a good deal
of respect by most folks. He supposed his mind was a cut or two above
average. But he was a babe in the wood when it came to tackling this
sort of problem.
A corpse. In his garden! “Harry! What is it?” Martha was wiping plump
red hands on her checkered apron, her pleasant round face pinching with
concern. “You're sick. Now, don't you deny it!”
“I'm all right. Don't imagine things, Martha. I—I've just been
thinking out a problem for the mid-term quiz I'm giving my classes
tomorrow. You know how it affects me, sometimes, when I concentrate too
hard on a certain problem— Come now, let's see what sort of
delectables you've concocted for dinner.”
HE ATE what was placed before him in silence, and having laid down a
smokescreen to hide his real burden from Martha, he returned to his
personal problem in earnest.
The proper thing to do, in the circumstances, was to march straight
to the phone and call the police. But he couldn't do that. Martha was
as high-strung as a whole yardful of hens. Her heart was far from
strong. If the police came rampaging into her house with their clumping
big feet and started to grill her and the professor himself, as they
surely would, in view of what the professor's spade had unearthed out
there in the garden, poor Martha would go to pieces completely.
On the other hand, it was his duty, the professor supposed, to advise
the police somehow about what had happened. Corpses usually mean
murder, and to conceal that body any longer than necessary would be
helping the killer, whoever he might be.
The professor hit on a plan of action while Martha was clattering
about in the kitchen, washing the dinner dishes.
“Going to spade a bit more of the garden,” he told her, and sauntered
out toward the garage.
It was quite dark already, and luckily the garden was surrounded by
tall hedges, so he could work in comparative safety. He found an old
pair of work gloves, and gingerly scraped dirt away from the buried
corpse. The thing to do was to transport the awesome thing somewhere.
Let the police find it, identify it, but not connect it with him. That
way, they could start tracking down the murderer, without scaring the
daylights out of poor Martha.
He finally unearthed that foot, which was all he had seen of the
corpse so far. He got a good grasp of it with both gloved hands, and
tugged mightily on it.
The professor was a small man who seldom exercised. The corpse was
heavy, and the surrounding earth clung to it. It didn't budge, no
matter how the professor puffed and strained at it.
“Could I—uh—give you a hand there, Professor?”
The professor jumped back and away from the voice as if the speaker
had snapped a whip in front of his face. In the filmy glow of dusk, he
could make out a tall, clean-cut young fellow, dressed in the unmatched
trousers and coat combinations that most State students affected.
“Where'd you come from, young fellow?” Hurriedly, the professor
started to heap earth atop the bare leg on which he'd been busily
“Don't bother to try to conceal that thing from me, Professor.” The
student had a pleasant, even voice, but he seemed to be feeling sad
about something. “I know what you've got there.”
“Yes. A corpse.” The young man's voice was strangely matter-of-fact,
considering his subject.
“Now, look, young man,” the professor said quickly. “I know this
looks rather—uh— compromising, from your standpoint. But—” He
groaned, and wiped the back of a sweating hand across a hot forehead.
“What's your name, son?”
“Jack, sir. Jack Davis.”
“Well, then, Jack. As I say, this looks bad, but it's easily
explained,” the professor went on pleadingly.
“Oh, I know all about it, sir,” Jack Davis announced, somewhat
shamefacedly. He waved a long arm toward the thing at the professor's
feet. “That's Harvey Stoneman, sir. I—uh—I helped put him there.”
The professor gasped.
“Stoneman! Good grief! Why, you young rascallion, do you mean to
stand there blandly and admit you've murdered one of the most brilliant
men on the faculty?”
“Oh, it's not really Professor Stoneman, sir,” Jack Davis cut in
hurriedly, in that same guilty voice. “We just tacked that name on this
sti—on this body, up at the dissection lab. That's where we study
The professor's quick mind began to unravel the mystery now.
“You're a medical student, Davis. This was one of the corpses you
were working on up in the laboratory. I'm beginning to see, now. And
you called this one Harvey Stoneman, hey? I'd heard you fellows have
that cute trick of naming the specimen bodies you work on up there.
Naming them for faculty members of whom you're not particularly fond.”
“That's right, sir,” Jack Davis mumbled. The professor asked an
irrelevant question. “What'd you have against Stoneman?”
“He marks too hard. Doesn't give his students a break. Everybody
can't be as brilliant as he is. But he seems to think so.”
The professor smiled thinly. He had heard that about Stoneman. Of
course, he didn't hand up passing grades on a silver platter himself,
but he wasn't quite as rough on the students as Stoneman was.
He began to feel more in control of this situation. He took Jack
Davis firmly by the elbow.
“Come into the garage, young man,” he said crisply. “I think you've
got some things to explain.”
“Y-yes, sir.” Jack Davis' voice sounded pretty miserable, and for
It didn't take the professor long to pump the whole story out of him.
IT APPEARED that some weeks before, the driver of the truck which
hauled in the corpses for State's huge medical lab had trundled up to
the doors with an extra body. He had made deliveries at several other
small schools already that day, and the instructor in charge at one of
the medical plants had refused to accept delivery of the three corpses
he had ordered. He had taken only two off the driver's hands, which
left the man with one dead body he did not know what to do with.
Unless he could get rid of it, he was in for a sixty-mile trip back
to the city, and as he had a date with a waitress here in town, he was
eager to have State College relieve him of his extra “cargo.”
“Corpses is corpses,” he had told Jack Davis and some of the other
third-year med students whom bumbling, absent-minded old Dr. Prentice
had placed in full charge of the lab that morning. “Far as I'm
concerned,” the driver had told them, “I could be deliverin' packages
for a department store, or bootleg coal, or anything else you wanta
mention. I got a corpse to spare, and you fellas can save me a whole
heap of trouble, if you want to. How about it? Could you take an extra
one this trip?”
Jack Davis and his classroom cronies, being red-blooded young men,
and as fond of a grisly prank as tradition would make all medical
students, had put their mischievous young heads together, and decided
that this was a golden opportunity for them.
They had rigged up a set of papers in receipt of the corpse, making
it appear that the college had acquired the body. They had paid for it
out of their own pockets, however. The receipt they prepared for the
corpse satisfied the driver, who went away happy. Actually, however, a
clique of five young students had acquired a corpse of their own, and
there was little chance of doddering, misty-eyed Dr. Prentice
discovering what kind of skullduggery the boys had been up to.
At this point, the professor broke into young Davis' story.
“Young rascals! So you named him Harvey Stoneman, hey?” A thought
came to him. “Sa-ay, you don't have any corpses down there named Harry
Dinwoodie, do you?”
Jack Davis sighed limply. But he was an honest sort. He didn't try to
falsify around that direct question.
“Yes, we do, sir. He's a—a Filipino, Professor.”
“Filipino!” exploded the professor. “What in thunder! What've they
got against me?”
“Same thing they have against Professor Stoneman, sir. You mark too
hard. You flunked two of our best football players last fall. We'd've
won the league title if you hadn't done that.”
“Those two men were absolute imbeciles,” exploded the professor. He
couldn't help grinning wryly. And he'd been so smug about Stoneman!
“They couldn't possibly have finished the year out. It was the merciful
thing to prevent them from wasting their time any longer as college
“The—the students thought you could've carried them along a bit,
sir. At least, till the end of the football season.”
“You thought so too, eh, Davis?”
Despite himself, the professor liked this youngster. The boy was one
hundred percent honest.
“Go on with your story.”
“That's how we decided to plant the—to plant Professor Stoneman in
your garden, sir. We were— well, to be honest, we were all a bit under
the weather the night we brought him out here. It was a fool trick, I
know, and it's bothered me, plenty. Because I'd heard your wife isn't
too well. And then, I knew you'd soon be spading up your new garden.
The others would never forgive me if I removed the body. But I've been
watching your place, thinking when the time came, if it looked like you
were going to do anything drastic, or get in serious trouble about it,
“Or phone the police?” the professor said grimly.
“It's lucky I didn't, eh, Davis? Planning to be a doctor in a few
years more, aren't you?”
“We—we all are, Professor.”
“What did you young idiots expect I'd do when I discovered”—the
professor chuckled despite his attempt to maintain a dignified
sterness—“when I discovered Harvey Stoneman out there in the garden?”
“I don't know, sir. Maybe get rattled. Lose your nerve and leave
college, or—or something.”
“And quit meddling with your precious footballers. Is that it?”
“We—were not quite sober, Professor.”
“All right. All right.”
Harry Dinwoodie was not so old he couldn't remember certain
regrettable escapades from his own days as a student.
Of course, he had not done anything quite so drastic as this buried
corpse stunt, but he might have, had the opportunity been presented.
IN THE circumstances, he could not feel too harshly disposed toward
young Davis. The boy had at least shown enough sense to worry about the
consequences of the stunt, and he had been painstakingly honest. The
professor couldn't help liking the youngster. It would be a terrible
thing, he thought, if the poor kid was expelled from college because of
his part in the fiasco.
“Just what do you propose that we do with our dead friend now, young
man?” the professor asked. “I appreciate the change of heart that
brought you down here this evening. However, the corpse is still
definitely your responsibility, as I look at it. You'll have to get rid
Jack Davis looked self-consciously upward.
“Can't take him back to the lab, sir. He's a bit the worse for wear,
after his stay underground. Doctor Prentice may be doddery and almost
blind, but he'd be sure to notice a—er—a body in that condition.”
“I was thinking. That driver who sold him to us five in the first
place—he's in town permanently now, sir. He married that waitress he's
been going with, and they've taken a small house in the suburbs. But he
still hauls corpses, and there's a chance he'd take this one back. I
mean, he could get rid of it the same way he passed it on us, and turn
himself a tidy profit.
The professor felt a small stir of excitement run up his backbone.
The plan didn't sound quite legal to him, but it was an idea. He felt a
trifle devilish, just at the moment. This evening's excitement had
toned him up more than any tonic could have.
“What's the fellow's name?”
“Mart Stevens. I think he has a phone, sir. I—I could phone him, if
you think best.”
“Do that, young man. Go out the back way, so my wife won't see you.
There's a pay phone at the drugstore, two blocks down on your right.
I'll wait here for you. We can use my car, if it turns out this Stevens
fellow wants to do business.”
Jack Davis was gaping at him. “Gosh, you're all right, sir.” He
walked out quickly. “Be right back,” he promised.
The professor sat on the running board of his black sedan for some
moments. He was being quite foolhardy, getting embroiled in this
business. But the excitement was like whisky within him. And perhaps he
had been getting a bit crusty in his attitude toward the students.
There was really no good reason why he couldn't have passed those
football men till the end of the season. Tonight he would change at
least one student's opinion of him. He thought a bit, then walked
quickly into the house.
“Martha, I'll be out in the garage cleaning things up, in case anyone
phones. And I may drive over to Harvey Stoneman's later on, to get that
reference book he promised to lend me.”
“All right,” his wife's unperturbed voice called from the second
The professor rubbed his thin hands and chuckled softly as he went
out to wait for the return of young Davis. Old stick-in-the-mud, was
he? He was apparently as good at intrigue as the next man. He smiled at
the pleasure he had felt in the few simple mistruths he had fabricated
to keep Martha from worrying about him.
Davis came back promptly.
“He says it's all right, sir. We're to bring it right over. He'll
keep it in the cellar tonight, and haul it away in the truck tomorrow.”
“Fine—fine.” The professor grinned. “I'll get the car out, young
man. You get the body. I—uh— you're a bit more experienced handling
cadavers than I.”
Davis had the corpse waiting when the professor backed out of the
garage. The garage lights were out, and the auto's lights were not
turned on, so they worked in safe darkness. The professor rummaged
about for an old Army blanket, and handed it to the youngster.
“Here. Put this on top of him. Hate to have someone peep in the back
of this car and see what we're carrying.”
It was only a fifteen-minute drive to Mart Stevens' place. Stevens
was a burly, thick-necked man with a bulbous red nose, and small eyes.
He was waiting on his porch as the professor drove up.
He waved the professor into the lane, and came over to stare in the
“Hi-yuh,” Jack Davis said. “This is Professor Dinwoodie, Stevens.
“Hunh?” Stevens' small eyes glittered. “You didn't say there was
anyone else in on this deal, young feller.”
“The professor's okay,” Jack said. Stevens still looked suspicious.
“I assure you I am not here to make trouble, my good fellow,”
Dinwoodie said. “It's just rather a shame to have such a rather
pointless prank end in tragedy for the five young men who are involved
in it. Davis hit on a plan that seemed to solve the mixup, and I lent
my car to it. So you need have no qualms about me.”
“Yeah? Maybe.” Stevens had a flashlight. He opened the rear door of
the sedan, lifted the blanket that covered the body, and shone the beam
of the torch in the dead face.
“Sa-ay, lissen! What in the Sam Hill you two tryin' to put over on
“What?” The professor turned, steeling himself, and stared weirdly at
the shapeless mass that had once been a human face. The stay
underground had swollen the cadaver's features out of all recognition.
“We're not putting anything over on you,” Davis said. “What's the
“This ain't him!“
“It looks like the same one.”
“Listen, fella”—Stevens was emphatic—“I know corpses, see? That's
my business. This ain't the corpse you young fellas bought off me. I'd
swear to that on a stack of Bibles. Head's too big, for one thing. The
nose is hooked, an' that other one had a pug nose. Don't you try to
tell me about corpses!”
The professor was speechless.
“Well, I guess you could have something,” he heard young Davis saying
“Bless my birthmark!” the professor stammered. “Then what can it
mean? That someone changed corpses, dug up the first one and buried a
fresh one out there in my garden?” He turned a bit snappishly toward
young Davis. “I think you'll hesitate before trying another practical
joke, young man. Someone must have seen you young idiots planting that
corpse in my garden. They've turned the circumstance to advantage
against us. What a convenient thing for whoever murdered this poor
fellow! Some killer simply switched corpses. and got rid of the
original one that Stevens delivered to your laboratory.”
“But why, sir?”
“I don't know,” the professor replied. “Maybe just to confound the
police and avert suspicion. Maybe in the hope that this body, the body
of a murdered man, would be accepted as the body of an experimental
corpse when it was finally discovered, and taken back to the lab to be
hacked out of all recognition by you students, or perhaps cremated. At
any rate, it leaves us in a pretty spot, as I don't have to tell you,
Jack Davis looked sick.
“Are you sure this isn't the one?” he said wistfully, to Mart
Stevens shook his head grimly.
“I know corpses,” he repeated. “It ain't him, that's all. I don't
know just what you two are up to, but I know well enough the deal's
off. I wouldn't touch that stiff with a ten-foot stick. So get it outa
here. And fast.”
“You needn't get so excited about it,” the professor said huffily.
“Lissen, pop, my business is truckin' corpses, see? I'm used to 'em,
unner-stand? Only the kind I'm used to is the ones that died natural.
This here one prob'ly didn't. That kind, I don't mess with. Now get it
outa here, before I get sore and call the cops on ya.”
Jack Davis was getting red in the face. “Come, boy,” the professor
said softly. “Settle down, now. We're in rather a tight spot. No time
to be losing your self-control. We've got to think.”
He nodded obliquely toward Mart Stevens, and kicked the sedan's
“Good day to you. Stevens.” He backed out of the lane and got the car
going swiftly down the street.
“You seemed to doubt Stevens' story back there, Jack. The corpse did
appear to be the same you bought from Stevens. Is that right?”
“Y-yes, sir. Of course, it's all out of shape, so I could be wrong.”
“Think, Jack. Hard, now. Did the one you bought have a hooked nose,
or as Stevens says, a pug nose? Get it right now. It's important.”
“Why, a hooked nose. I'm practically certain.” The professor slammed
on the brakes.
“Wh-what's wrong, sir?”
“Can you drive, son?”
The professor was getting out of the car. “Drive to the nearest phone
and tell the police to come out to Stevens' place quickly. Hurry, boy.
The boy gaped at him, then did as ordered. The professor was already
out of earshot, racing back in the way he had come, toward Mart
He had seen or heard no signs of a watchdog at the place, so he
approached the house with more speed than caution. Besides, if his
hunch was correct, Mr. Mart Stevens would be too busy preparing for an
abrupt departure to bother looking out for intruders. He was. The
professor could see signs of hectic excitement within the small house.
STEVENS and a dumpy blond woman, undoubtedly his wife, were rushing
wildly from one room to another in an attempt to gather the belongings
they meant to take with them. The professor stood under a half-opened
window and shamelessly eavesdropped.
“Forget that kitchen stuff!” Stevens was rasping. “All we need is the
dough, and a change of clothes.”
“Don't you tell me what I'm to take, Mart Stevens!” the blond woman
snapped back angrily at Stevens. She was plainly a vixen. “You had
everything fixed. You had the perfect murder. Telling me you'd got rid
of the corpse where nobody'd ever think to look for it! And now two men
drive up to the house and try to give it back to you! Perfect murder!
You'll probably burn for it. For a few measly thousands!”
“You better shut up, baby. I'm tellin' ya. How was I to know those
crazy kids was gonna plant that stiff somewheres?”
“How was you to know—how was you to know. Just don't try to run
everything your own way from now on, that's all. I should've married
“Ah—shuddup an' pack. We gotta roll, sister. Maybe I scared them two
into keeping their traps shut awhile, and maybe I didn't. We may get a
flying start on the bulls, an' we may get a visit here any minute. So
pick out what you want an' let's get goin'!”
The professor drew a sharp breath through his teeth. It was clear
enough now. Stevens had killed a man for several thousands of dollars,
and had conceived the plan of planting his victim in the medical lab,
where police in search of a missing person wouldn't think to search.
The plan had blown up in the murderer's face when Jack Davis had tried
to return the body.
Stevens had agreed to young Davis' proposal over the phone, merely as
a play for time. Then he'd sworn there'd been a switch of the corpses,
so as to scare Davis and the professor into a frightened silence. That,
Stevens hoped, would give him time to get miles away.
He had another thing coming. The professor was too old a man, and
much too frail to stand up to the man and his wife in a physical
affray, but there were other ways to prevent the two from leaving
before the police arrived.
He made a beeline toward the Stevens' garage. It was not locked and
he plunged recklessly into the pitch-dark interior. If he could just
have a minute or two alone with that car, maybe his lifelong study of
physics would not go unused in this situation.
He had thought to sever a couple of wires under the dashboard, but
the car door was locked. And to compound the bad luck, it had one of
those special hoods that was released from the driver's seat. So he
couldn't even get at the engine. He swore, and backed up against some
tin drums standing by the garage wall. One of them sloshed merrily as
he stumbled against it. He leaned down, removed the cap, and sniffed.
Gasoline. The professor grinned in the darkness, and probed about
till his hands encountered a rag. He soaked the rag thoroughly, then
hung it over the end of the auto's bumper. He poured a bit more of the
acrid stuff on the cement floor, just under the car's rear bumper.
He was turning toward the garage door for a hasty exit, when he heard
“Snap it up, baby,” he heard Stevens rasping. “One extra second now
is worth a year in the Big House, I keep tryin' to tell ya.”
“You! You've told me enough already. If I'd had any sense, I'd—”
“You'd've married Joe Miller. I heard it the first time. An' it ain't
funny. Come on.”
The door opened. The professor retreated against the back wall. It
was pitch dark, but any minute Stevens would be reaching for a light
Just before the lights flashed up, the professor managed to conceal
himself from view behind the car's radiator. Stevens slammed into the
car hastily and failed to see him. But the woman was sniffing.
“Mart, I smell gas.”
“Forget it. Come on.”
“No! I do smell gas!”
“You hear me, sister. Get in here—if you're goin'.”
“Don't think I wouldn't turn down the invitation if—Mart!”
She had seen the professor. “What is it?”
“Company, Mart. There—between the end of the garage and the
The professor groaned. He could see the car tilt as Mart got out from
the driver's seat to stand on the running board and peer down at him.
“So you hadda get smart, pop. You hadda mess in.” Mart Stevens
reached a hand to a shoulder holster and drew forth a snub-nosed
“It's that professor, baby. Get in the car an' gun up the engine.”
“Mart, don't! What for?”
“Get smart, baby. I'm gonna sign my name on this guy.”
“Mart, please! No more killing!”
“You hear me?” Mart swung furiously on her. “Gun that motor!” He kept
the gun on the professor, smiling. “That kid's prob'ly callin' the cops
right now, pop. You hadda be smart, didn't ya? They'll fry me anyhow,
but you're goin' out with me!”
The professor was too frightened to say anything. Even if he'd been
able to talk, it would have been of little use, for the blond had
stepped on the starter now, and the motor was coughing.
The professor supposed his time had come. He thought of Martha, and
he tried to cry out, ask for mercy, for her sake. But he couldn't make
the words come. His only hope was that that gas- drenched rag on the
muffler would catch fire promptly, that the fumes from the gas on the
floor would explode in time to beat Mart's trigger finger, and still
not blow them all to their graves.
The motor coughed jerkily a couple of times, then died. “Choke it!”
growled Stevens. “Choke it!”
The blond woman was nervous. She made it catch on her next try. The
professor heard the steady throb, the muted coughing, then the blasting
roar as she stepped hard on the accelerator. He saw Stevens pressing
the gun's trigger, and he jerked back, hands up to his eyes. He waited
for the bullet. And then it came! But not the bullet. The explosion. It
was a lucky thing he had put his hands to his face. As it was, the car
was still between him and the brunt of the explosion's impact. He felt
flame sear his legs, over his high-button shoes, and he was flung
bodily against the garage wall. Something dropped off a shelf in back
of him, hit him a clubbing blow on top of the head, and it was as if an
electric switch had blinked off awareness. . . .
The police brought him to, in the Stevens' kitchen. Stevens and his
blond woman were there too. Stevens was a bloody mess of raw burns from
head to toe, but the blond was just badly shaken.
“Any missing persons reported hereabouts in the past few months,
Officer?” the professor said.
“Yeah. Travelin' man from Dubuque who was carryin' three thousand
bucks disappeared somewhere on the highway last March. You figure that
stiff in your car could be him?”
“I do,” the professor said firmly. He looked at the stunned Mart
Stevens. “Why not admit it, man? The fingerprints on that corpse will
“Aw right, so it's him.” Stevens looked venomous. “If those fool kids
hadn't been so funny, nobody woulda known.”
The professor thought fast. “You're wrong in blaming that group of
students, Stevens,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I rigged up that
whole story we told you. I happened to stroll through the anatomy lab
one afternoon, and noticed a series of suspicious bruises on the
corpse. I talked to young Davis here, learned the strange circumstances
by which the college had obtained that particular dead man, and decided
to try to smoke you out of your hole. You fell into the little trap
“Y-you mean”—Stevens was scowling—“that corpse wasn't never
“No. We made it look that way, to back up our story.” The professor
lied gamely, and shot a swift glance at Jack Davis. The kid was
grinning at him hopefully. “So we knew you were our man when you swore
there'd been a switch of corpses.”
That final lie broke down Stevens' defenses completely. The police
got a complete confession from him.
Jack Davis moved to the professor's side. “Gosh, thanks, sir,” he
whispered gratefully. “Guess that clears us up at the lab. And—I've
learned a lesson.”
The professor shrugged. “It's all right, son. No use spoiling your
whole career over a fool stunt like that.”
Maybe now, he thought, the students wouldn't take him for such an old
fuddy-duddy. He turned toward the door. Better not keep Martha waiting
for him. When he was out alone nights for more than an hour, she always