Sonia Jelly

Victor Korovkin

Translated by Google

Chapter 11

- Teri, and what feelings you experienced during the flight?

- Well ... different ...

- Probably when you fly over the earth, feeling overwhelmed with your soul ...

- Yes, yes, the soul flies straight ...

- And the wind whistles?

- And the wind whistling in my head ...

- Do you mean that we forget about everything, and while some are particularly fast flying?

- Yes, fast ...

"Not too talkative that Terry" - languidly said to myself, Frank. He lay on the couch in front of the TV on, and as he himself seemed quietly faded from the lack of action. He could not say how long he was lying, and when someone turned on the TV, why this program, and not another. TV as it existed in the world is strictly parallel to where there was a sofa with Frank. Only too unprofessional interview annoyingly did not allow to fall into a stupor. Some Teri flew to the local flying club in a balloon, and shared his impressions. It is clear that Terry was not the initiator of the dialogue, and therefore all responsibility for the wretchedness heard could safely entrust the correspondent. For Frank it was obvious. He was again forgotten.

- And you did not happen to you anything unusual during the flight?

- And how! When I bent down, well, how would look down ...

- To enjoy the opening at the bottom of the picture?

- Yeah, enjoy ...

- Well?

- Well, my cap fell down.

- What bad luck!

- Did you just noticed ...

- Teri, that in recent years began to appear from the balloon, not pilots, and as you travel on the balloons, these romantics, that at the height of six thousand three hundred and twenty feet, they paid attention to the strange period of time. They argue that the time is greatly accelerated. What could you say about this?

- I?

- Yes. Could you comment on these observations?

Frank almost visualize a possible answer Teri. To avoid additional stress, he quickly covered his ears. After some time, Terry was replaced by a group of other brave men that on the background of large balloons something vying told, and it seems that these stories themselves resulted in excitement. Their faces clearly expressed optimism to see that Frank was just unbearable. Not opening the ears, he turned to the other side. "Why me?" - Relentlessly repeating to himself. He lay there and thought, lay thinking. When as a result of his hesitation, he came to the conclusion that he just does not think in the state memory came a strange number - six thousand three hundred and twenty. Not being able to understand or remember its origins, Frank dozed off, but this dream was neither strong nor healthy.

He dreamed how he approached his house. It was a gloomy evening. It was getting dark, but from afar, Frank noticed a human figure, to perform suspicious movement near his house. They concluded that the owner of this figure moved to the facade of the house to the left and the right, from time to time crouching and standing up. In his hands he had some long object, which he then held horizontally, vertically set. A strange man often looked around, which indicated that he knew that doing something reprehensible. Frank had the same opinion. With some trepidation very quietly crept up to a stranger, Frank. He had already did not move, but stood quietly facing the house, head down and concentrated on looking at long object in his hands. Frank looked over his shoulder. Long the subject turned out to be a ruler. Frank sighed with some relief. He sighed, as it turned out, loud enough so that the stranger turned sharply. Frank immediately recognized William Nightingale. I learned at William's face was distorted with fear. It is unlikely that a neighbor was afraid of being seen this strange occupation. There was something else. Frank was about to find out what is the cause of unrest William as he pointed a shaking finger at the line. Frank had already guessed that William was engaged in some measurements, but I could not understand how their results so it has affected. However, Frank looked at the lineup. In its place a series of smooth black divisions interrupted by one red. Next to him in large numbers was written the number of six thousand three hundred and twenty. Frank flinched and looked at William. What he saw made him chilled. Face neighbor strangely deformed. Deformation occurs continuously and accompanied by an unpleasant crunch. Finally, a person has acquired horribly ugly features. Frank tried to rush to flee the house, but could not - his legs would not obey him. Meanwhile, William continued to face change. Terrible scars gradually smoothed, stains began to fade. After a certain period of time began to feel that a person begins to return to normal human mind. However, this is not William was the face, and someone else. Numbness prevented Frank quickly realized someone was like a new person. Everything that happens has been a nightmare, and Frank screamed wildly.

He has not opened his eyes, but realized that was already awake. His fingers were still in my ears, as if to protect it from speech balloonist. Freeing ears from captivity, Frank heard the pleasant symphonic music coming from the TV speakers. Rapid breathing gradually slowed from the experience. Frank got up from the couch, walked over to the sideboard and poured himself a glass of water. His mouth was dry, and the life-giving moisture penetrating into the body of Frank, brought some peace. All the while, he looked at the TV screen, where it attracted the attention of the first violin bow. It is very much like a ruler, he had seen in a dream ... The ringing of the crashed glass fell from his hand, meant that Frank recalled the "new face" of William. It was the face of Terry. "What's the connection?" - Frank thought. - "Never mind." He bent down to collect large pieces of the broken glass and in this position remembered one more detail: "Six thousand three hundred and twenty - the same altitude balloon in feet! The height at which, according to an interview with Terry, time just flies. Is not that what I need right now? "Overshadowing new idea after a while, Frank straightened. His eyes stopped on the phone. Inquire about flying club room and typing it, Frank waited for an answer. Hooters stopped, he heard some hissing sound, and through it the human voice.

- Good afternoon. I would like to know, can I make a flight in a balloon?

- Do you have the right to operate the machine? - Said a male voice.

- No. So, I can not fly?

- Why not? Can. But according to the rules, only the instructor, that is with me. Hehe.

- Excuse me, what's your name? - Frank perked up and decided to immediately establish personal contact.

- Harry. Harry Gordon. And you?

- Frank Bailey.

- I want to warn you, Mr. Bailey, you will have to go through pre-flight briefing. Only then you will be able to fly. In any case, it is much cheaper and faster than the preparation for the solo flight. Hehe.

Frank thought that maybe it's worth it. Although, if only because the alternatives he currently had.

- I agree. Last question, Mr. Gordon.

- Just call me Harry. Hehe.

- Harry, we will contact you to climb to a height of six thousand three hundred and twenty feet?

- Of course! Just what such precision? You know the mountain close to such a height?

The answer is somewhat embarrassed Frank, but the decision had already been taken.

- Harry, I leave.

- Welcome! But Mr. Bailey, I have to warn you that you are dressed warmly. There's altitude is very cold, the wind can blow. To have fun and not easy, it is necessary to dress warmly. If you are wearing a very warm, and the pleasure you get, and, God forbid, ill. Hehe.

- Thanks for the warning. I'll be.

"Today, now," - Frank fever. - "Do not back down, I have to beat this attack. Where are my ski suit? There will be cold. " Several years ago, Mike and Helen persuaded him to go skiing in Austria, and then he thoroughly prepared. In terms of equipment, of course, because he could not ride at all, and often fell. But alpine tan Frank was extremely pleased. But all these memories of carefree past by today's standards are now more likely cause a painful emotional experience.

Frank decided to wear a suit now, that in the future not to waste time dressing up. Gathered, he once again looked around, it makes a man going on a long journey. Sighing deeply, strongly Frank went outside. On his shoulder he carried a large bag, which put a few blankets in case the suit is not enough effective. Downloading the bag in the trunk, he saw the corner of his eye Nightingale. "I'm HOMO up, he had envied me" - Frank was angry at his neighbor for his nocturnal adventures with a ruler. I must say that even the Austrian Alps ski suit Frank found too warm and volume due to the abundance it down. It is not surprising that the figure has shocked the imagination of Frank William. Sam Frank about it did not guess, but if I knew then would have reacted to this with a pronounced disdain. He concentrated sat behind the wheel and went to the flying club.

The rate was very high. The money was to be spent on the flight were the last. So Frank did not even try to think about the consequences that may come to him in the event that the planned events will end in failure. It was a reckless move, but Frank defended his lack of other options.

Having all the necessary documents in the office Flying Club, Frank eagerly asked what to do next. "You will Harry Gordon," - replied the girl. - "He said that you and he have agreed to fly together." She also added that the same shall instruct Harry Gordon Frank, and only then possible to go sailing. Harry she says can be found near the green ball. Even at the entrance to the flying club, Frank noticed a few colorful balloons. Unknowingly, he suggested that they inflated some gas and sealed tightly, making the balls acquire a wonderful property to soar. What was surprising, Frank, when he, considering the closest to him a red ball, found a large hole near the basket. "How can it fly?" - Frank shivered. - "After all, all the gas will inevitably leave the ball through the hole." Consider a hole in detail prevented a strange thing, because for some reason, which spewed flames. Being unable to explain this structure, Frank decided not to bother, especially because the ball is clearly aspired upwards, and for the fact that he is still not in the sky, we should not blame the rope that was tied to a balloon monumental base.

Green Ball, Harry Gordon was on everyone else, and Frank obsessed flight tried to set off a run to him, but the bag with blankets is not allowed to show a good result. Finally he was able to turn to the person doing something in the basket.

- Mr. Gordon?

- Yes, I am. And you, I suppose, Mr. Bailey ... Just call me Harry. Long treatment in crews are not accepted.

- Thank you, Harry. My name is Frank.

Psychological contact, the importance of which for the crew members outstanding expeditions Frank was aware, was installed. Harry was in the form of forty-five. For the passion with which even during a conversation with Frank, Harry continued to make some action near the basket, you can judge his all-consuming enthusiasm. Finally, pausing all things, Harry looked around Frank.

- It is good that you are dressed warmly. There's altitude is very cold, the wind can blow. To have fun and not easy to dress warmly. Otherwise, you and the pleasure you get and, God forbid, ill. Hehe. And what's with you?

He pointed to the bag. Honestly, Frank was not sure that was right, taking her with him. This uncertainty stemmed from the size of the basket, he was able to see for the first time.

- There's a blanket in case of bad weather ...

Harry's face temporarily took the Mona Lisa's face. Harry had not immediately decided how it should treat this statement of its patronized.

- Frank, let's proceed as follows. Now you go up in the basket and try to find a place for your bags. In any case, we should start with a briefing exploring the basket, where you will spend an unforgettable time in flight.

Frank acquiesced, although his consent no one asked. The ball is at a height from the ground, and Frank took some effort, given its volume suit to climb into the basket itself and tighten after bag. Skillful Teachers welcome Harry was aimed, according to which Frank himself had to establish itself in the idea that if two people do not place the bag in the basket. More specifically, the bag has no place in the basket. Frank was ready to recognize the validity of this statement, when he matured the decision to hang the bag on the outside, the benefit of the rope was there in the basket. But he must be sure to hang the bag will be safe, and will not fall on anyone's head. To this end, Frank decided to tie a new knot, which he found on the edge of the basket. However, at the very moment when the node is yielded, Frank felt a feeling familiar to him in high-altitude high-speed elevator. This was followed by a cry of Harry. "Harry is not going well" - Frank thought, and looked out of the basket. Frank unlike Harry, who responded to the incident wild scream was not able to publish at least some sound. He was just speechless by what he saw - Harry rapidly diminished in size, and with it removed and the land. This meant that Frank takes off. And take off alone, without an instructor, and even without instructions! Now there was no doubt that the node that he unleashed, just kept the ball. From this discovery, there was no benefit, and Frank, which by that time returned and speech and hearing, tried to catch at least something of what Harry shouted at the bottom, is converted into a point. It is useless. From the sounds that are now left with Frank, we can mention only the wind whistling and humming machine from which the flame was beaten out. Frank legs buckled and he dropped to wretched bag.

It is not necessary to argue that the situation in which turned out to Frank, quite rare, and Frank, who do not have experience in extreme situations, was very depressed. Depression gradually replaced the despair that bound him in the first minutes after the decision to hang the bag. Time passed, and Frank decided to relieve numbness and orient in space. To this end, he carefully sat up and looked out of the basket. Something similar, he saw through the window of the plane. But the power of feeling it did not go to any comparison with its current state. The ball rose high enough already, and gaze Frank offers a magnificent panorama. Very clearly I guessed Liverpool as a set of closely packed regular geometric shapes. He was surrounded by a homogeneous color land interspersed with scattered settlements. Just under a Frank saw the mouth of Maisy. "What a beauty", - he told to himself. - "I will use what he saw in his new novel." What to write the novel in the basket of the balloon stays invisible, Frank did not know. Yes, it is this, in fact, I did not think subconsciously believing that now, at least a few minutes later, he falls to the ground, coming home, arranged in the cabinet and lock their indelible impressions from this trip.

At that moment a gust of wind shook the ball, and the design without being monolithic, creaked. Trying to determine the direction of the sound source, Frank began to inspect the aircraft, so inadvertently save them from having to walk. Finally broke his gaze beyond the space occupied by the basket, slings and the shell, and headed much further into the sky. It was huge, and that the worst seemed endless, which in turn indicative of the absence of any certainty, any security. Under the influence of this idea, aggravated heady fresh air, Frank suddenly dizzy. Instinctively, he recoiled from the edge of the basket, which on this swing like a pendulum. Losing his balance, he fell to the bottom Frank next to his bag and reliability cupped her hands.

"Why is beneath me was the mouth of Maisy? After flying club is at the opposite end of town. So I, like Maisy, moving beyond sushi. " Frank realized that he carries into the ocean. Frank was at the limit of psychological stress, and the thought of death in the ocean have not had it any significant additional effect. "The logical outcome of my stupid life. Humanity will notice a slight loss. What will he want from me? It's nothing. Perhaps the novel? What other novel? If you believe the calendar, I had not yet written ... And Jessica forget about me. Sure, Harry Gordon report on the incident, but tomorrow it no one knows.Go in English - that's what it means. " Frank, gently holding the edge of the basket, rose again and looked around. On the one hand he saw the receding shore, the remaining space is occupied by the sea surface.

Frank did not immediately realize what had happened next. From the depths of his robe came a familiar sound. "Phone!" - Frank dawned. With great difficulty, he dug up the phone in one of the inner pockets. Call was Helen.

- Helen! Helen! It's good that you called!

- Frank, why do not you at work? David is looking for you, he is furious. Has something happened?

- Helen, look ... terrible happened! I shall be in the ocean ... I think I would die ...

- Who carries you into the ocean? I do not understand.

- Hot Air Balloon ...

- What do you got there?

- Then tell ... Uh ... then will not ... Listen ... I wanted to explore the phenomenon occurring at an altitude of six thousand three hundred and twenty feet ... and write a report ... David went up strong wind , plucked the ball with a leash ... I'm all alone ... Now I bear the ocean ... I lost ...

- Frank, everything you said is true?

- True, Helen - forced Frank, not the name of the report referring to David and strong wind who broke the rope.

- What a mess! I immediately inform the emergency services. But, perhaps, you will be able to put the ball in .... SOCA ... I'm sure ... David ...

- Helen! Repeat where to plant and how to do it?

- The ...

- Helen! Helen ...

Frank realized that the connection is lost because of the great distance from civilization. "Now I'm alone, and maybe I do not destined to see one of their own kind, and the end, I found among the bloodthirsty sharks." Frank sat on his bag and tried to imagine what might have meant Helen, speaking of planting. He looked up and realized one simple thing - the ball flies until it blows the flames. Otherwise, why is it necessary? What is to be expected if the flame goes out for some reason? Option two - decline or fall. But trying to find the right answer to this question until the water beneath it was too early. Moreover, in this situation should be interested Frank to the combustion process is not stopped as long as possible, at least until such time as the ground does not seem. "Ireland!" - Frank dawned. - "Helen meant Ireland." Frank relieved at heart at the thought that all is not lost, and he decided tirelessly observe what is happening below. And at the bottom, nothing happened - Frank could see only the sea surface, which even at that height he could not be confused with the mainland.

The first shock was the unknown, and Frank a few adapted to living in the area where he was, thanks to Terry and William Nightingale. Oh, he was angry at them! This William is sitting at home, it is warm and cozy, and poor Frank for his mercy is now freezing knows where. As promised Harry Frank really started to get cold, even though he has long pulled the hood over his head and wore gloves. Head wind does its dirty work, taking the ball into the unknown, painfully burned cold face. It became clear that continuously monitor does not work, and Frank again went down on his bag. Shopping was not suitable for long flights. This finding did not find any elements of the facilities, except for a small hole in the bottom, which Frank found acceptable at first. However, more urgent was the problem of hunger, which he had already felt. Frank remembered that in addition to blankets put the pizza in the bag, and was going to eat it now the whole, despite the fact that the flight could have been longer than expected and therefore the rations ought to spend more efficiently.

Trying to bite off a piece of the first was unsuccessful on because the pizza was cold and as such are not subject to consumption. Looked enticing idea to climb closer to the fire and warm up food, but Frank decided to do it as a last resort, reasonably believing that no matter how uncomfortable refuge was no basket in it in any case better than the outside.

In the meantime dusk. Peering out, Frank discovered that because of the impending darkness, he is no longer able to distinguish land from the sea. This meant that a period of uncertainty forced to be delayed until the morning, but would not extinguished the flame. Suddenly came the state of indifference to the environment, supported by superhuman fatigue caused by weathered, persuaded him to get ideas for the night. Careful not to disturb the balance baskets, Frank pulled out of the basket and built a makeshift blanket sleeping bag. Also cautiously penetrated into it, leaving a small slit for the nose, which is already having a hard time, as the air was sparse. Surprisingly, the inconvenience did not prevent Frank sleep instantly. This partly contributed to a uniform air flow, so that the ball had not experienced turbulence. Only occasionally creaking straps holding the basket, but these sounds were lulling rather than annoying. As it has become customary, Frank dreamed Terry and William Nightingale. The first campaigned to make regular passenger transatlantic flights, and as for William, he became the hero of chronicles incidents being detained during the night adventures with a long line than belated frightened passers-by. Frank so much tired and perenervnichal that story, seen in a dream, not at all moved by it, and the dream is true, less meaningful, lasted until dawn, which comes at an altitude much earlier than on the ground. However, he was not awakened by the sunlight, and the force fluctuations basket.

Getting out of his "lair", Frank discovered that he was in a strong cloudiness, but such that it was difficult to even see the outline of the ball. To see where it flies, and speech did not go. Frank was disappointed. He hoped to see the bottom of the earth waking up, presumably to Ireland and start taking some action to reduce. What it should be action, he had no idea, but it is assumed that each flying up on their own in a balloon reasonably expects to land and, therefore, subject to available some means. In the absence of the team on the descent search for such funds was irrelevant.

Frank also frightening inability to orient in space. This refers to its vertical component, to put it simply, the height. Indirect signs - cold and thin air spoke in favor of the high altitude. The flame of the burner was almost the same intensity as that of last night, and it suggests that the supply of gas in the tank is far from exhausted, and Frank still have some time to think about their next steps. "I wonder how Harry was going to decide that we have reached a height of six thousand three hundred and twenty feet? I do not see any device. Perhaps he just messed around with them down when I reached into the basket, God damn it. And how do I have to check that for which I have set out on an adventure? ". Frank looked at his watch, they were showing the early morning. The second hand rotates in a usual pace, without any acceleration. "Either I have not reached that magical heights, or they are simply lying" - Frank thought, and for some reason added aloud: "Cursed be the day when I saw this interview." Who is lying, he did not specify the reason for the lack of other interested parties.

Frank still looked in the surrounding haze, trying to observe at least some clearance, and while holding it in his hand frozen pizza. Another attempt to bite even a small piece of pizza ended without result. Realizing that assistance in this matter await nowhere, Frank continued strength twirl pizzas in hopes somehow to approach her. Unfortunately, one unfortunate movement undermined the last opportunity for Frank breakfast. Clumsy from the cold fingers dropped the pizza, which immediately disappeared from sight. Frank sadly accompanied look frustrated breakfast, wondering who will get it - or whale shark. The list of candidates was limited knowledge regarding the Frank inhabitants of the North Atlantic. At that moment, when Frank had not expected to watch the feeding of our younger brothers sea, Clear suddenly stopped, and Frank eyes appeared a majestic ocean. Frank was preparing to enjoy this spectacle, both in front of, directly ahead of the ball, he noticed the ground. It was a wooded shore line that loses far horizon on the left and the right, which was a clear indication that the ball did not miss, and inevitably will over the land.

"I am saved!" - exclaimed Frank. He knew, he believed that the world has not just hear about it. And this a sign from above, the wooded banks finally convinced him that he was not mistaken. The procedure descent Frank began with a study of the burner, the need for which is now eliminated. With some attempts he found the item, and looks like a valve. Desire Frank hurry to set foot on solid ground was so great, and the judgment in connection with the look is so low that the movement of the valve was too harsh. Sharp so that the flame, sneezing, extinguished. Now, even if Frank knew how to ignite the burner again, it was no longer possible, since he had no matches or lighters. In addition, Frank did not know how to ignite the burner. Painfully biting her lip, balloonist made ??a very simple, but far in its consequences conclusion - more on this flight from him nothing depended.

Contrary to expectations, the ball did not fall like a stone, and continued to level off in the direction of the shore, which was chained think Frank. This went on for a long time - whether airspeed was low, or the atmosphere distorts the real proportions of the space - but the ball crossed the coastline just half an hour from the time a happy discovery. "Helen was right - I had to reach Ireland. You could even say that while everything is going according to plan. But it bothers me that the damn ball is not going to decrease. If the reduction is delayed, I can slip through the island ... And then I'll be finished. " It took a lot of time until Frank found that he could distinguish the individual plant specimens. But before he was delighted as his attention was attracted by the sound of popping the top. That was over his head, a ball under any circumstances call was impossible. Shapeless shell slammed by the action of the air flow caused by, it became clear, stable fall.

Before meeting with the land has remained second. Under the influence of hard to explain rush, Frank managed to gather their blankets and gently put them in a bag, and then sat down on the bag and thought, "Come what may." At this very moment basket touched the treetops, and breaking branches miserably continued movement through the crown. Stop there was about thirty feet from the ground, thanks to a dense thicket. There was silence.Frank at the first push of a dumped bag, but he managed to catch her ??and hugged her tightly. Now, he continued to be in an embrace with a bag, enjoying the peace. Gradually, the joy of salvation was supplanted by the idea of how to get to his home with empty pockets - hitchhiking across the sea do not swim over.

Frank looked out. Shopping is really stuck in the branches, and to overcome the last thirty feet to finally set foot on the ground. First he threw a bag out of the basket. Bag hlyupnulas without any damage to itself. Frank is another matter - a fall from such a height could be quite painful. Finding solutions Frank continuously rotating head, when suddenly his eyes focused on the man who stood silently near the bag. All anything, but one piece garment man confused Frank. It is a hat - it was made ??up of a large number of feathers. For a while Frank still looked at the stranger, trying to remember who he reminds him. That, in turn, patiently looked at Frank, apparently waiting for the go down. Frank had never met with the Indians, but read the book as a child Cooper suggested that before him was a real Indian. The gun, which is held in the right hand man, also testified in favor of this version. Frank knees trembled, but not the type of gun, and from the investigation of previous hypotheses about the origin of feathers. Simple reasoning of residence Indians suddenly pushed him to believe that he flew to America. The words of the Indians did not allow Frank to formulate their attitude to this discovery.

- Come down, O backsliding SMIC - quietly murmured Indian. - I'm tired of waiting for you.

- I'm sorry, but I will not keep you. You can go about their business.

- Do not be so cocky, Treacherous SMIC.

Frank did not know who the minimum wage, but the first part of the appeal is not very reminiscent of a compliment. Not wishing, however, to aggravate the situation, and the preponderance over the edge of the basket, Frank hung on his hands. It then sat for a while and not finding another solution, he said goodbye to the basket and opened his fingers forever. Bag once again rescued, to cushion the fall. Getting up and otryahnuvshis, Frank appeared before an Indian.

- Come on, - said the Indian.

- Excuse me, but how do you know in what side of me?

- There is one road.

- And where is it?

- to the leader. You'll have to answer, Treacherous SMIC.

Injun stepped aside, letting him know that Frank was the first. Frank shouldered the bag and moved in the direction of the Indian. When they disagreed on the path, Frank drew attention to the lack of a clear swarthiness Facial Indian.

The path took about an hour, and Frank procedures tired, dragging a bag through a fairly dense thickets. All the way, no one said a word. In the last section of the journey times I had to cross the clearing, which have, as a rule, several traditional Native American dwellings, but no Indian has not caught the eye. "Rest" - Frank thought. Finally, they reached the target path - clearing with only one tepee. Before him, he sat cross-legged Indian with even more feathers. He smoked a pipe, and seemed not even noticed had come up. Meanwhile, accompanying Frank introduced himself:

- Leader, another treacherous SMIC violated our possession.

The chief looked from handset to Frank, though he felt that he was not completely disconnected from the subject of his previous thought, as his eyes were clouded.

- Good Morning Leader - kindly said Frank.

In the view of the leader appeared meaningful and he finally spoke:

- This allows you Treacherous minimum wage argue that a good morning?

- First of all, making a transatlantic flight, this morning I safely reached the goal - Frank began cheerfully.

- What are you, O backsliding minimum wage? You mean to say that you can fly like a bird?

Frank paused. He is somewhat used to the idea that he was in an Indian tribe, but the last question made ??him think that all he knows about the life of Indians. "We must be careful," - he demanded of himself.

- You're right, Chief. Fly like a bird man can not.

- Well, what do you understand that cheating is bad, - The chief nodded approvingly. - Now tell me the truth, how and why violated our possession.

Frank was in the greatest difficulty. He had to explain his presence here in terms understandable to the Leader. How to do it delicately, he had no idea. Do not think of anything clever, he began to improvise.

- Yesterday, on the way home ... I was attacked by an eagle ... great eagle ... He grabbed me, and so we flew all day ... And then he left me, and I fell on your possession ...

- Sounds believable. I know this eagle. You can not trust him. And things like your got here? - The leader asked, pointing to the bag that Frank is still held on the shoulder.

- And ... the second eagle snatched the bag ...

- Well, I do. What are you talking about the Atlantic Ocean? But enough.

Frank took a deep breath. Writing that the eagle carried it in one day across the ocean, it was funny, and Frank would not have dared to do so. Therefore, the fact that the leader of the hushed clarify details, arranged by Frank in handy.

- Now, can you tell us about his last wish.

This turn of Frank did not expect, because a visible effort said:

- Chief, I would ask you to be expressed more clearly. What do you mean?

- Treacherous minimum wage, you broke our possessions. For this, according to our laws you must be punished. What's there to understand?

- But ... it's an eagle to blame ...

- Forget the Eagle. Have the courage to answer for their actions. Are you ready to say about his last wish?

- I have to think. Give me time. I'm tired of the way, I need to rest. After that I can say about his desire.

Frank really had the time to understand what is happening. Naturally, he did not expect such a "hospitality." After all, as he had reason to believe that hard times are long gone.

- Good. You can have a rest until tomorrow. Warrior Spirit, take it.

Having said that, Chief again plunged into his thoughts. The audience was over. Warrior Spirit, Indian, discovered the balloon, Frank nodded direction. At this time, I did not have long to go. On the next clearing was a single lodge. Warrior Spirit, pushing the curtains, ordered to enter. Frank came in, after which the curtain dropped, and Frank was alone. Inside, it was empty. Frank dropped his bag and he slowly sank to her. "And what if the run?" - Frank dawned. On all fours, he crept up very quietly to the door and looked out. Shielding all a yield barred Warrior Spirit. Frank backpedaled and returned to the bag. He really needed to relax - nervous stress of the last day of his much shattered, both physically and mentally. Judging by the words of the Leader, he had left a day, and Frank decided to use some part of the day to recuperate, without which the chances for exemption was not at all. He spread a blanket on the ground, put his head under the other, lay down and immediately fell asleep.

He had no dream, and it is happy, because he just rested his head and did not score any nonsense. In this regard, he recalled another dream involving William Nightingale, armed with a ruler. Through this dream he had, and soon, to tell about his last wish. Judging by the hands on the clock, it was evening. Frank lay there, trying to concentrate.

"So, what do we have? And we have very nasty situation - I was captured. To whom? Indians, of which are known to live in America. It turns out that I'm a single night in a balloon flew from England to America! So it's true! It is true that time flies up there soon! That's good, but what is the practical result? I'm in America without a penny in his pocket a cent ... ... In addition to the captivity. "

Frank dozed again, and then returned to an active construction of the action plan. He decided to check again whether there is an opportunity to escape. However, no matter where he tried to find a gap in their new home, there was always near the Spirit Warrior. "This version is too straightforward to be reliable," - rejected a plan to escape, Frank. The most promising he believed exigeant last wish. Act will have on the circumstances, but Frank thought he could put the Chiefs in a deadlock. Encouraged by the fact that it landed safely in this desperate flight, Frank did not admit the possibility of failure in tomorrow's intellectual duel, and hoped for a successful outcome. Other entertainment in the home was not, and when he finally got dark, Frank went back to sleep.

As Frank and imagined he was awakened by the Spirit of a Warrior. He repeated several times aloud the words "Arise, O backsliding minimum wage." I had to get up. Realizing that it is waiting for Chief, Frank thought about the bag. On the one hand, it is not just helped him. On the other hand, to escape from the bag if you have to, not out. In addition, under the most unfavorable outcome, it is unlikely he had need. Thus, Frank left the scene the night light.

- Good morning, Warrior Spirit! - He greeted his bodyguard.

- That's what decides the leader.

- Yes, I think ...

The chief was sitting there in the same position and with the same expression on his face in thought, yesterday.

- And what is so concerned about the leaders? - Frank asked the Warrior Spirit.

- Grunfeld defense.

Frank did not understand what was said, but did not ask again.

- Chief, I brought treacherous minimum wage.

The leader turned tired eyes to the invisible object of reflection on Frank. After some time, during which Frank was trying to create a psychological portrait of an opponent, he uttered:

- Well, how rested and treacherous minimum wage?

- Thank you, Chief, I am also glad to see you.

- You must be willing to ask for his last wish.

- Yes, Chief. I would like to be home. I still have a long journey. Can I go on the road right now, so as not to waste time?

- You can, - said Leader, did not surprise Frank audacity. - If you win from me.

A puzzled Frank. He could not imagine that in which play an Indian chief, and was in great doubt that he will be able to win this unknown man. In any case, he asked:

- And what if I go once, not playing?

- I do not advise.

- Why?

- Previous Treacherous SMIC also decided to leave immediately.

- Well,?

- For some time after that coyotes in the county have been very good.

- Why?

- Because they were full.

Frank agreed and shivered.

- I like you the minimum wage.

- Why?

- Because I do not do anything stupid.

Start encouraging.

- In what play? - Frank asked.

- Now you'll know. Sit down in front of me at a distance of three and a half feet.

Frank mentally measured the distance and got put in the manner of the Leader, crossed his legs. The day was sunny and warm costume getting hot. Frank unzipped to the waist, and prepared to fight. Meanwhile, there was a Warrior Spirit, carrying in front of a chess board with pieces apart.

- What is it? - Frank escaped.

- Chess - solemnly declared leader. - It's a game where you win by force of mind.

- What if I lose? - Frank excited not a joke.

- It is just possible, but in your best interest to win the minimum wage.

Frank had known that chess defeat by force of mind, but, whether at his strength of mind was not enough, or his rivals This force was in excess, but generally lost Frank. Of course, he knew the rules, even knew how to checkmate in four moves, however, provided that the opponent that craved. But no major party has not ended in favor of Frank. Frank looked at the leader, but his tired and inscrutable face says nothing about the power of his mind in relation to chess. To clarify the situation, Frank said:

- And if I win?

- Warrior Spirit carries you a safe path.

- You can believe, Chief?

Chief choked. Apparently, distrust greatly hurt him.

- Word of a gentleman ... I mean the word Leader. However, as I said, you can not play.

- I'm sorry, Chief. Stupidity said. I agree.

- That's right. I want to warn you that I always play black.

- Whatever you say, Chief.

- Your turn.

Frank himself realized this and was like e2-e4, not knowing that mankind has come up with a great variety of other openings. The leader of thought.

By the end of the first twenty minutes of the position pieces on the board and has not changed, and Frank asked:

- We play for a while?

The chief did not answer, apparently lost in deep thought process. Frank turned a questioning glance at the Warrior Spirit standing behind the Leader. Curiosity was not idle - Frank was hoping for success off the safe path before dark. But the Warrior Spirit shook his head, and Frank could only wait. Ten minutes later, Chief signaled Warrior Spirit, who handed him a book he was holding in his left hand from the beginning of the party. Right he was still clutching the gun. At the time of the transfer, Frank had read the title of the book - "Grunfeld defense." Frank's heart skipped a beat, but he still had to remain in the dark about the development strategy of the Party, as the move was for the Leader. The sun was at its zenith when, putting aside the book with a sigh, Leader moved a pawn. Frank decided it was not in his ability to get to the core idea of the Leader, and tried to force his famous attack by moving his bishop. The leader, thoroughly examine the following chapter of the book, pushed a pawn forward. "He wants to spend the second queen" - Frank was horrified, but the choice was not, and he gave the queen. Frank fears intensified when without the aid of books Chieftain just half an hour continued to move a pawn. Frank panicked and wanted to give up, but finally decided to checkmate.

Chief oddly gasped and said, "Mate." Frank jumped with excitement, but he realized that it was improper, immediately he sat down, gazing at the Leader. Chief intently studied the book. This process lasted for about forty minutes, but Frank did not dare to interrupt him. And only when the leaders closed the book, Frank asked cautiously:

- Chief, it looks like it mate. What do you think?

- I have to admit it.

- Warrior Spirit leads me on a safe path?

- wire.

Frank jumped up again, ready to go into the unknown, but the leader stopped him.

- The leader keeps his word. You can go. But I have a business proposal, which I hope will interest you.

- What is the proposal? - Frank asked by inertia rather than with the intention of anything to discuss.

- We play the game with you of the five parties. Regardless of the outcome of the match you holds Warrior Spirit. But for every game you won I pay you two thousand. Think and answer right now.

The conditions were fantastic. "If I win the five parties, I make ten thousand dollars. That is more than enough to buy a plane ticket to Manchester. " The last point was decisive for the consent. However, some details required clarification.

- Chief, I'm right in thinking that one game out of five we have already played?

- I understand you, the minimum wage - the leader and quietly took out a wad of bills. Counting the required amount, he handed the money to Frank. The amount really amounted to two thousand, but not dollars and pounds. Any other evidence was unnecessary.

- I figure I place, Chief?

- No, we start tomorrow morning. Warrior Spirit will wake you. In the meantime, go, I have to analyze to play a game.

The return home was delayed for a day, but the prospect of earning money that he now needs, drew inexorably.

- Until tomorrow, Chief.

Frank got up and went to his temporary home. Just before reaching the goal, Frank noticed that he came alone, without an escort. This fact was perceived them very positively. Yet the feeling of unreality did not leave with him Frank. Some unknown force moved him to the continuation of a walk, and he plunged again into the thicket toward the spot where he had seen a few Indian dwellings. Memory did not disappoint, and Frank soon came to a clearing, he and Warrior Spirit passed yesterday. Complete silence reigned, one of the representatives of the tribe to be seen. Frank went to a nearby home and made ??a gesture, which in his view had to mean that he is knocking at the door. No one responded. Frank looked inside. This lodge was as empty as is, where he spent the previous night. Suspicions that all the lodges are empty, also confirmed. Frank was not alone and he rushed with all haste to his home, that is where it stayed bag. It was getting dark, and Frank fell several times on the run, stumbling over mounds that were difficult to distinguish in the twilight. Before entering the apartment assigned to him, he was faced with a Warrior Spirit. Fallen leaves, adhering to the suit as a result of falls, it was necessary to somehow explain and Frank blurted out

- I'm here ... it slipped ... ...

Warrior Spirit nodded and set out instructions Leader:

- The chief ordered me to give you roast suckling pig and drink. The leader also ordered to guard your sleep, the minimum wage.

- Thank you, it's very kind of him. Goodnight Warrior Spirit.

fierce hunger, who immediately woke him at the mention of food, helped to deal with a pig in a few minutes. Be drunk after drinking "a drink", Frank began to prepare for bedtime. He settled back in its stowed position. The thought that home comfort him in the near future can not see, Frank sighed drawl. Then, the content of the active substance in the "drink" giving him a different way, so to speak, philosophically, to look at many circumstances. Frank was seriously pondered. He was not understood by the following things. Where is the rest of the Indians? Where the leader took the money that is going to make a mess for a whim? Where did the leader of pounds? Where did these Indians tan? There were some oddities that during the Frank said, but could not remember them now. Tormented with these issues, Frank soon fell asleep.

The next morning, the match continued. Frank was afraid of a dirty trick - it seemed too unrealistic conditions announced by the organizer of the match. If we start from the principle that no one part with their money just like that, you have to believe that the leader is hoping to win. It follows that a loss in the first game of the Leader was a way to force Frank to play another. This cunning leader of apparently realized that Frank needs money, and caught him on it. And according to this it is necessary to expect from the leader of a qualitatively new game, which means that Frank will have hard times.

When Frank reached already familiar to him clearing pieces on the board have already been placed. The chief smoking a pipe and reading "Grunfeld Defense" on one of the last pages. Morning frosts are not felt over the fire, blaze nearby.

- Thank you for dinner, Chief - Frank said, taking his seat.

- Walk, - he said the leader.

Frank made ??his proven course. The leader also completely changed the strategy - he launched an attack a pawn on the opposite flank with respect to the last game. He walked this time almost lightning speed, leaving himself at the thought of not more than half an hour on the course, and has been consistent in the ongoing line, moving a pawn on and on. Frank did not analyze the previous game, not studying "Grunfeld defense" and therefore went monotonous, boring, and the fourth course checkmated. Without any clues from the leader of the winner I got two thousand pounds, and handed them to Frank.

In the remaining three games at all surprised Chief Frank variety of means. He skillfully maneuvered by moving the extreme left foot, the extreme right. And in the final game, he even made ??a knight's move. Frank was shaking, pale, but always put the mat on the fourth turn. By evening, the match was over. Chief Frank paid off, closed the book and lit in deep thought, looking at the smoldering fire.

- Chief, before I go, can I ask you a question?

- Ask, the minimum wage - without turning his head, remarked former rival.

- Why Warrior Spirit will not keep you company at the board? Admit that you it will be much cheaper.

The chief did not answer immediately. When went out of his pipe, he turned to Frank and said,

- You know, the minimum wage, the Spirit Warrior bad plays chess. And I, in order to maintain your level, you need a worthy opponent.

Frank said he was like no one understands Leader thanked for their hospitality and invited to pay a return visit and asked how soon the Warrior Spirit can show him a safe path.

- Now.

Charges were short. Finally, Frank was moved so that the Leader has presented his blankets with a bag. The leader in turn touched so much that he tried to give Frank "Grunfeld defense." Bustles farewell Frank did not even remember, what excuse he could give up the book.

Had to go for a long time, and only by the end of the second hour Warrior Spirit announced that ownership of the tribe over, and then what Frank has to go alone. It was quite dark, and Frank asked in what direction Warrior Spirit encourages him to move.

- Do you see light? There's a hotel. More I do not know here.

- Thank you.Warrior Spirit, I would like to ask you one last question.

- Ask.

- Who is the minimum wage?

- It's you.

The clarity is not added, but there was no one to ask again - Indian like a fairy tale disappeared into the undergrowth. Frank felt his pocket - did not disappear in the same manner, and money? The money was in place, and that was the main proof of the reality of the world around him. In this case, Frank had to get to the hotel, whose light loomed in the distance, to spend the night there, to inquire how to get to the nearest international airport and ... go home.

The darkness, mud and the roads were not the conditions that contributed to the quick and pleasant walk. Partly because Frank does not suit very much like the clothes worn in these areas, partly because this is the suit was badly stained, the appearance of Frank when he finally got to the hotel in itself testified that a traveler needs in a shelter. So it was strange to hear the phrase, uttered from behind the counter:

- What do you want?

Frank turned in the direction of the sound source. Behind the counter, he saw a woman more likely. Why "probably"? Because tall, short typical men's haircut, masculine facial features might mislead any unsophisticated observer. Anyone, but not Frank. This type was known to him. This form, as a rule, women-owned, not gained their fortune due to some underlying causes. The most unpleasant thing is that often a woman's internal problem becomes a problem of others. Deprived of the ability to perceive himself only half a weak pair, it would be natural in normal circumstances, a woman subconsciously begins to finish building itself before the full set of acquiring some of the most typical features of both men's character and appearance.

- What do you want? - Asked at the bar.

- Can I sleep with you, Mrs ...

- Katsko.

- Can I spend the night with you, Mrs. Katsko?

- Can. Who are you?

- My name is Frank Bailey, I'm a reporter from England.

- It is plausible - said Mrs. Katsko, casting a look of Frank.

- Yes, you probably will not believe it, but I just flew across the Atlantic Ocean.

- How did you guess that I did not I believe? Whatever.Money that you have? Money in advance.

- Of course. How much should I?

- One hundred.

- One hundred ?! - Frank thought misheard

- Sto.

- Excuse me, I would just like to spend the night.

- Well, if you can find another hotel ...

- Well, Mrs. Katsko.

Frank knew who he was dealing, and did not argue. He counted out the required amount and giving the money, he added:

- Please note that this is a hundred pounds instead of a hundred dollars.

- Of course, one hundred dollars would not be enough.

Wanting to stop the unpleasant communication, Frank asked:

- How can I find my number?

- My daughter is holding.

Young Mrs. copy Katsko, appeared from behind Frank motioned to follow her. Upstairs, they stopped at one of the two doors. The daughter of Mrs. Katsko pushed open the door and silently left. With difficulty groped switch, Frank turned on the light. Primitive bed cluttered room. Cluttered, because the size of the room was slightly larger than the bed, and not because the bed was too big, but because the room was too small. Frank decided to look into the next room. If it is greater than, and in addition free, Frank must request it from the hostess with the strange name. Knocking and waiting for an answer, Frank pushed the door open. This room was even smaller, and its only decoration was the toilet. "I hope, even though it is included in the service," - Frank sighed and returned to his room. For the first time in recent days, Frank had the opportunity to sleep in a human bed, which he did immediately.

After going down and down in the morning, despite the discontented, and even evil face Mrs. Katsko, inquired about breakfast.

- My daughter will cook you a continental breakfast.

- I'm sorry, you said "continental"?

- I began to doubt that you British journalist, so if you do not know what a "continental breakfast."

- I'm well familiar with this concept, but I did not think that it is used in the United States.

- I'm not interested in your delusion. If you are going to have breakfast, the money in advance.

- I thought it was part of the service ...

- You should not have thought so. The dress will be?

- What?

- One hundred.

- Thanks, but I lost my appetite. Allow me the last question?

- Try this.

- How do I get to the nearest airport? I need to fly to Manchester. There is a city in England.

- Really?

- What exactly?

- There is a town in England?

- Yes, and quite large.

Mrs. Katsko again glared at Frank eyes and said:

- If you pay me a hundred pounds, I'll call you doctor. I know a psychiatrist.

"What is it disgusting," - Frank thought. He slowly turned and, without saying a word, went into the street. After a few steps, I looked around to see Frank at the hotel where he spent the night. A small two-story building for a long time did not know the repair, uneven fixed sign "Hotel Lone Panther", standing in the middle of the autumn mud, it is nothing but sadness is not brought back. In the window he saw the daughter of Mrs. Katsko. "Clone" - his lips utter a. - "Hurry away from this place."

bumpy road on which he came out, must be kept somewhere. It was still early morning, and in any case, Frank hoped to reach civilization today. He went away far enough, when out of the depths of his costume came the melody of the phone. "Roaming!" - Frank guessed. - I forgot about this possibility. " It was Helen.

- Frank, I finally got through to you! How are you?Mike and I do not find a place. Telephoned all the services - they know nothing about you. Lord, well, speak well.

- Helen, I'm all right. I'm in America.

- Something about ?!

- Well, yes. I'm too late pulled the emergency brake. Nothing wrong.Now I get to the airport. Give Jessica not to miss. I'll be back soon.

- Jessica? What Jessica?

Phone propikal and silent - the indicator shows a full charge of the battery. We could return to the hotel for a hundred pounds to charge the phone. "No way!" - Determined to Frank and continued on his way. - "I hope I never have to see her again."

The road to a place gained a solid coating, which gives hope for a quick meeting with the locals. Frank thought so vain, as it was still almost four hours, and the road continued to wind all in mountainous and deserted area. Once Frank even went to the shore of a lake. Here he really liked, and he was ready to stop being a rest immensely tired, but the desire to get home quickly overpowered. "They know how to keep the Americans in the order of nature. And this is something their spaces. There adjusted balance of natural and human. By the way, it is very surprising as they may stick to his speech mannerisms peculiar to the British. I used to think that American English has gone somewhat different ways of development. And then there was no misunderstanding. " Frank certainly had in mind the Indian and Mrs. Katsko. As to Mrs. Katsko wordless daughter, then that it seems to be of the opinion had. I had to once again shiver at the memory of the mistress of the hotel, but showed the bend structure to dispel bad memories. Approached, Frank found himself standing in front of the tavern "Green Rooster."

The appearance of Frank caught the attention of visitors. It happened in the first place because of his costume. The local residents, apparently, rarely skied, could not unambiguously perceive overly warm and uncomfortable in everyday life attire. Frank also pretended not to notice the eyes fixed on him, and sat down at a free table.

- What'll you have? - The waitress asked him, politely greeting previously.

Frank poked his finger in the menu, then thoughtful.

- What else?

- Yes, probably. Do you have vodka?

- Of course.

As long as Frank expected ordered, he looked around the room. "Stylized in the English style. It should be recognized that quite successfully. " Visitors were few - three, obviously regulars sat at a table in the corner by the window. They are about something animatedly talking, occasionally glancing at Frank.

Before you start to eat, Frank poured a clear liquid in bringing champagne glass, found it very original. Raising his glass, he mentally said a toast to the success of the discovery of America, once again looked in the direction of the company in a corner and drank the contents in one gulp as compelling as it turns out in Russian. A pleasant warmth spread through his body, and Frank started the meal, remembering a bad word to Mrs. Katsko, lishivshuyu his breakfast.

Fairly hungry, Frank for a long time could not get enough. From time to time he interrupted meal to mutter another toast. Frank ordered vodka to use it for "anesthesia soul." This expression he once invented himself and was extremely proud of it. But whether there was an overdose, whether manifested side effects, but Frank had fallen into a state of tearful samosostradaniya. He felt sorry for himself, deprived of well-deserved success. He felt sorry for Jessica devoid Frank. He somehow felt sorry for sitting at a table in the corner. Saying a toast to all the suffering, and this time it somehow happened by itself aloud, Frank noticed him sat a stranger.

- Hello.

- Hi, - he said Frank, note that the table in the corner and the two remained seated both look at Frank.

"And where is the third? Probably gone home ... As I also want to go home ... ".

- Dude, I see you have a problem.

- Problems? What kind of problems. A problem ... Yes, problems. What?

- Dude, I'd like to help you.

Frank is not without effort focused on the stranger his eyes and tried to see if he was not joking.

- What's your name?

- Paul.

- And I am Frank. Heard? Sorry.Frank Bailey. Heard?

- Nah. And what are you famous for?

- The list will be long. Try to remember. Firstly, I have a famous writer. Secondly, I have crossed the Atlantic in a balloon in just one day.

- Frank, my friend, I once too drunk, so it seemed to me that I was a diver.

- Well?

- All done. I was caught in the Dervent Water even in shallow water.

- This is another case ... But I think you wanted to help me. Then join. - Frank pointed to the bottle.

- Nah - looking at the label, Paul frowned.

- So, you do not want to help me.

- Well, just for you - internally agreed Paul and drank vodka, clearly calculating its features.

- You're a real friend, - stated Frank when Paul finished coughing. - A few days ago, I launched a balloon from England. At an altitude of six thousand three hundred and twenty feet, I discovered an amazing stream that and helped me to fly to America for the day. Imagine, if so the balloon can fly from here to Liverpool for a day, then I believe the aircraft will fly to Liverpool ... well ... about ten minutes. You understand me?

- No, I do not understand.The aircraft will fly in any case, from here to Liverpool for ten minutes, unless he decide to fly to Paris. What discovery, buddy?

The conversation was interrupted by shouts from the table in the corner. Sitting there pointed to the TV. Frank turned back to the TV, and saw themselves on the screen and heard the following: "According to reports, Frank Bailey is now in the United States. As we reported in "Flash Chronicle" to one of its employees failed to contact Frank Bailey on a mobile phone. Frank Bailey reported that he sent to the closest airport to fly to Manchester or London. Unfortunately, the relationship suddenly interrupted. We remind you that the correspondent of "Flash Chronicle" Frank Bailey disappeared four days ago, flying in a balloon. In one version of the flight was carried out on the instructions of the editorial board. However, this was denied by the editor in chief David Campbell. It seems more likely version of the unauthorized takeoff. We are watching the development of events.Stay with us. "

- You said you were a famous writer, and they called your correspondent ...

- They do not know that I'm a writer. This is my problem ...

- Speak.

- The fact that I left four days ago.

- Oh.

- And in fact, four months have passed in the opposite direction.

- My friend, Frank, focus.

- Uh ... can not you help me ...

- Will. Let's go to my place. You take a cold shower. I've been close to breed rabbits.

- Rabbits? - Frank winced.

- Yes, clever, you know, Zverkov.

- No, thank you, I have to rush home.

Frank proposed settlement, to get the money, but then effaced.

- Excuse me, - he said to the waitress. - I forgot to warn you that I only have British pounds. Do you accept British pounds?

- No doubt.

- In this case, no change is necessary - was inspired Frank and held out the money.

- Thank you, sir. Come again.

Coming together with Paul on the street, Frank turned to a new friend:

- I shall be very grateful to you, if you will prompt, how do I get to the airport.

- Well, that you need in Manchester. Now we will go on the road and asked for it to fellow travelers. Keswick, Penrith, Lancaster, Manchester and there and soon. But where to go then?

- to Manchester.

- Why fly from Manchester to Manchester ?!

- Because I have in Birkenhead.

- Frank, I beg you. Focus. Why do you need the airport? You go directly to your Birkenhead.

The last words of Paul Frank acted on so much that he began to sober up rapidly.

- Paul - hesitant voice began, Frank - do not be afraid to disappoint me. I am strong, and this stand. Tell me the truth.I'm now in England?

Not ready for such an eventuality, Paul also said uncertainly:

- You're in the Lake District. You know about this? It is in the north of England.

- So I'm in England! Oh my God!

Frank is now understood everything. I twist the ball over the sea, and then he brought back. No rapid passage of time, no America! All the suffering of the last days in vain! Four months gone ...

- Are you okay? You said that you're strong.

- Yeah, man, I'm fine. Do not worry.

"So that's why all around the British - both nature and people. But what about the Indians? They do not live in England. "

- Paul, tell me, out in the side - and he showed there, where not so long ago came - there I saw a tribe of Indians ... Indians live there?

- Frank, you're probably not the first day already drink ... What Indians in England?

"Indeed, what the Indians in England ... And what about the money? After all, they are real. " He reached into his pocket and made ??sure that the money was in place. This fact could not be explained, even keg drunk.

- There still is "Lonely Hotel Panther."

- Yes, there is. We prefer to bypass this place party. His mistress - real ... as if it mildly ...

- Enough is enough ...

- I knew right away, Frank, you're an intelligent man.

Out on the road, friends stopped some trucks. Sex in my own way agreed with the driver, explaining that his best friend, and a few well-known writer of sorts, and that it needs to be brought in Birkenhead. But Birkenhead was on the side of the driver's plans, and Liverpool had to appoint as the end point of travel. Frank warmly said goodbye to Paul as if they were united by a long term, after which Paul helped to hoist himself into the cockpit. Later, Frank repeatedly tried to remember at least some part of this journey, but always failed. He came to life when a truck drove up to the flying club. Headache, but oddly enough hops completely passed. Frank reached into his pocket to pay, but the driver stopped him.

- No, Mr. Bailey. Quite what I was rescued by the famous writer at a difficult moment for him. It was interesting to talk with you all the way, very close to me your views on life. I totally agree that we should rethink our attitude to our younger brothers.

Frank had ceased to wonder what else. He thanked again and went to look for his car parked here in the bad day. The way to Birkenhead done without any incidents. Approaching Frank noticed the house Nightingale guardian of order, and talked with William. Seeing Frank, William Nightingale began to show him. Police went to Frank and outlined the essence.

- I beg your pardon, sir. We received a signal that this house four days ago been robbed. We are investigating all the circumstances of this case. I ask you to introduce yourself.

Message about the robbery threw Frank into shock.

- Frank Bailey. I live here.

- Very good. Let's go into the house, we need your application with a list of the missing property.

Frank on cotton legs went around the house, but no signs of robbery were found. Everything was in place.

- Excuse me, but if I could find the source of the signal?

- Your neighbor said that he had witnessed how a man took away from your home a big bag full of, he assumed things. His face he could not see, but claims that the man was wearing a warm tracksuit ...

Police stopped as finally drew attention to the clothes of Frank.

- I have my own version - a sigh of relief, Frank.

- I listen to you carefully.

- Four days ago, I went on a trip in a balloon. To stay warm, and in the air, I assure you, very cold, I dressed appropriately. Also, I took a flight and other warm things packed in a bag, which, apparently, and saw this ... my neighbor.

- That explains everything. Thank you, sir. Sorry to trouble you.Jobs like that.

- It's okay. I'll take you.

When they went out, Frank again saw William Nightingale, which all take place vividly interested in.

- All right, Mr. Nightingale, Mr. Bailey nothing is missing - reassured William policeman.

- Ah, Mr. Bailey! Let me introduce myself - I am your neighbor.

- Very nice, Mr. Nightingale. How's your wife? How are Mrs. Owen, Mrs. Hilton? - Frank decided to play along.

- Oh, you are well aware and very kind. We were very lucky with the neighbors ...

- mutual.

The exchange of courtesies, he was interrupted by the police, who had previously managed to talk with the leadership of the phone.

- Mr. Bailey, I just reported to you safely back. We had information that a hurricane blew your ball into the Atlantic. You were really in America?

- Well ... at least I was in a tribe of Indians. Very, very polite people. They love to play chess. By the way, you do not know whether the Indians living in the UK, for example, in the Lake District?

- I'm afraid I do not have data about this. Sorry, I have to come back.

- The Indians live in America - William interjected.

After leaving the police, William wanted to say another compliment to Frank, but changed his mind at the sight of his expressive eyes.

Back at the house, Frank plopped down in a chair. He was very tired, but he was happy to be back safe and sound. Now a secure, Frank realized that he was on the verge of death. Frank looked around the room. If the wind blew the ball into the ocean, no longer would have to contemplate the almost become home wall. And would not have to be fried in the ski suit. "It may well be that I look funny in this summer dress" - Frank thought, considering that traveling four days, had to be in June. Such a conclusion did Frank mechanically - counting daily last month he has already entered into a habit, and one could even think that the habit he has lived all his life. "Not very warm now in June", - said Frank and began pulling off themselves hateful suit. Left without winter clothing, Frank felt the deepest satisfaction. "This ridiculous William took me for a thief. He thinks that the robbers for greater significance committed choose to wear ski suits. Well, for them to pay attention to such alert it. Poor police four days catching phantom. " Frank sighed, then moved to the couch.

He was lying with his eyes closed, intending to go to sleep, and maybe this would be the day, and ended, but suddenly pripomnennaya phrase uttered by the police literally threw Frank couch. "He said that my house four days ago been robbed. What did he mean by that? "- Frank snapped. He walked around the room excitedly, and the more he moved, the more came to the conclusion that the police had in mind exactly what to say. It remained to take only a small mental effort to make a judgment about what is not today June 9, as though it might seem at first glance, but on September 12.

Frank grabbed his head. "It helped! Thank you, God, for the wonderful air flow at an altitude of six thousand three hundred and twenty feet! It helped!I am saved! I saved. " Frank could not recover. His deliverance from the terrible delusion, and he believed and did not believe at the same time. He needed confirmation of his hypothesis, but a disorderly run of his thoughts are not allowed to stay at the perfect proof. "I just need to know what day it is," - he finally realized. Frank dialed Jessica.

- Frank, I have changed my mind every - sobbing, said Jessica.

- What's the matter, dear? - Frank was worried. He could not understand how someone could be upset about something, whereas he, Frank, was in a state of bliss.

- Why are you silent all this time? I've heard this about you ... Why did not you warn me that the flight in a balloon? And if the ball dropped into the ocean? And you thought of me? What would be then with me if your own life you care about?

clearly felt that Jessica is upset and hurt, and Frank felt remorse. Part of Frank circumstances justified himself, without exaggeration, to corner him. But Jessica did not know the motives of his past deeds, and to tell her they were not possible. Frank was sure of it, bearing in mind the failure has already occurred frank conversation. The reason is that to explain a normal person, that time can go backwards beyond the power of anyone. That's why Frank was forced to write Jessica plausible fiction. Just to bring to the ordinary human mind monstrously distorted reality. That's all.And there is no malice. Lies in the name of peace, in the hope that all this will ever end. But even now, when at the end of the tunnel seemed to light, so as not to hurt Jessica Frank was doomed to lie again. Before you speak, he closed his eyes, not to see his reflection in the mirror hung opposite.

- Jessica, events moved very fast ... I just did not have time to tell you ... I've had a job ...

- Frank, what task? I called to the editor - no one sent you on this mission.

- Did you call the editors? - Frustration reached Frank.

How many times he told himself that for such discussion is necessary to prepare carefully.

- Yes, but I had to think and do when heard everywhere that your ball carries in the ocean, and no one knew what it all It can result. So why do you fly? There must be a reasonable explanation.

- Jessica, it was ... another job. Yes, more. It was a job ... the party.

- Oh, Frank, what other games? You joined some party?

- Yes, Jessica. I've been thinking ... Yes, I have my own beliefs. You see, in the life of every person there may come a time when he was beginning to realize that ... that just does not make sense to have a belief. Yes, that's right, not just to have beliefs and act decisively act!

Having said this, Frank opened his eyes and looked in the mirror. Ears its reflection cast a bright red. "Shame" - mentally agreed Frank.

- Frank - crestfallen beginning Jessica - beliefs about what is it? This may somehow affect our relationship with you? Be sincere to the end.

The situation was critical. If the time is now going forward, this discussion has left in memory of Jessica. It was necessary to urgently rectify the situation, for which Frank closed his eyes again.

- Honey, everything is perfect! I mean my beliefs about caring attitude to nature. So I joined the "Party for the Animals, living away from home." Here.

- Frank, I will not ask who these animals are living outside the home. Just tell me how you were a balloon.

- Then everything is simple! I got the job count the number of games penguins at the North Pole.

- And many penguins you see?

- Do not believe me, but I had lost count ...

- Look, Frank, I know that penguins at the North Pole is not live.

- Yes?

- Yes.

"Why I did not ask about this Miss Wesley?" - Frank thought and decided to take a last attempt to appease Jessica.

- A party in which I am now a full member, just studying and protecting the animals that live away from home, that is, from the usual places. Penguins can swim at the North Pole in the first got the ice ...

Frank did not finish the thought, because in the tube short beeps were heard. Still believing that the culprit was a loss of communication, Frank redial.

- Frank - Jessica said - I want you to seriously think about their behavior.

Talking again broke off and, apparently, this time permanently. "She was offended." Frank glanced in the mirror at her now finally reflected his hateful and slowly sank into a chair. He only wanted to know what day it is, but I got spat. Frank is not interested, when his life went downhill, he was more occupied with the question, when will it all end, and whether it is going to end. To get closer to a solution, he called Mike. With Mike, you can talk openly, and Frank had the opportunity to see this.

- Mike, what day? - Bypassing the introduction, I asked Frank.

- Oh! Hi, Frank. Are you already at home?I admire your courage! I'd have not decided on that ...

- Mike, what day? - Frank did not let up.

- What do you mean?The twelfth of September. What are you, disoriented in time?

Frank dry mouth, but he courageously coped with.

- Mike, I repeat once again - for me this is important - a little breath, I asked Frank.

- Strange you some today. The twelfth of September.

- Thanks, Mike. You are a true friend. Can I call you tomorrow? I'm in a hurry.

- Well, if you hurry - hesitantly agreed Mike.

Throwing up, Frank furiously tore a homemade calendar hanging on the wall in front of him and recalls black stripe in his life, and then, remembering that such calendars are hanging around the house frantically rushed to retrieve them. As with the past was over, Frank included fast music and started dancing like mad, from time to time to meet eyes with his reflection in the mirror. At one point, Frank seemed that the sound is too weak, and his movements are too slow, and he immediately corrected the situation, as later regretted, because uncontrolled movement of the feet, he wiped stereo on the floor. The silence, heralded the end of the concert, and the need to make a plan of rehabilitation for the recent past can rightfully be called a disease whose end does not mean adapting to the world, as evidenced by the conversation was with Jessica.

Rehabilitation Frank began with what went on the bathroom to brush up after a long journey in which he was unable even to shave. Soak in the tub and splash in the light of recent positive changes in life has been a real pleasure from what Frank incessantly humming something based on "Yesterday" the Beatles.

The feeling of physical freshness after the shower combined with the peace of mind of Frank set up a lyrical mood, but stereo stubbornly refused to play not only the blues but also everything else. "This is a sign from above that means the end of an idle pastime," - coolly remarked Frank. - "It is time to start working." Started by Frank coincided with a cup of coffee. It was sipping coffee, Frank set himself the task tomorrow to go to Robert Melvilu with the manuscript of his novel. "I must pass this way again. Everything will be fine. "

The phrase "everything will be fine," Frank repeated many times during sleep, and it must be admitted that his hopes for a favorable outcome had a solid foundation.