Fifteen miles to your destination, Frank drove fast enough, despite the wet roadway after a long night of rain. Today, Frank was very collected. Being always honest with himself, he acknowledged that today this discipline was given to him with difficulty.
Driving the car, Frank tried to concentrate on the upcoming interview. He attached considerable importance to the possibility of continuing the work in the editorial - it promised him a tactical break. After what happened yesterday, in the perception of the credibility of David Frank became indisputable. Previously, with all its positive qualities, David Campbell remained for Frank just a journalist. How naive and arrogant was Frank, believing that he is a cut above chief editor, on the sole ground that David did not put on display their abilities, aptitudes and preferences. For Frank, and maybe for other employees, David remained only a friendly administrator.
David yesterday quoted Dostoevsky, a fact that made Frank look at another colleague. Experience David is not limited to his professional activities, they were broader and deeper, and in the issues that were so close to Frank. Frank mentally apologized to his boss.
Thoughts were interrupted by a traffic sign, heralding the entry to Upton-by-Chester New York. Meet ought Miss Wesley, an expert on mammals. She had to go to the main entrance. Coming out of the car, waiting for Miss Frank Wesley began to study the ads are invited to a guided tour. The fact that he had, in a sense, it should be a guided tour. To the shame of his acquaintance with Frank wildlife James Thurber story was limited to "The Unicorn in the Garden." This brilliant miniature, I must confess, though, Frank has given little in terms of understanding the laws of nature. But admit it to Miss Wesley would be short-sighted. This position Frank and decided to stick to during the interview.
- Mr. Bailey?
Since the neighborhood hardly anyone knew of Frank's voice had to belong to Miss Wesley. Turning around, Frank realized at once that Miss Wesley, a great expert in their field. And when she spoke, it became clear that she was also enthusiastic promotion of knowledge about nature.
- I am very glad that the press starts to cover not only the issues of coexistence of man and nature, and, more importantly, the question of the existence of man as part of nature. It is time to realize that the lack of agreement between man and nature in the face of other wildlife species lead to extremely negative consequences for the individual. Whence could it arise salutary consent? The answer will be, and paradoxically, the banal and at the same time - saving agreement will arise from knowledge. And who does not like the media to sow the seed of enlightenment in such imperfect human souls. I think ... no, I'm absolutely convinced that the only person ... that is, the press ... the men of science ... all the animals ... the joint efforts ...
The phrase somehow not completed, or rather, did not develop, and it was quite a shame, because, apparently, Miss Wesley has yet to start accession. Extremely noble desire to eliminate hitch Frank said cautiously:
- Miss Wesley, your view of the essence of the problem, not hide, striking novelty and unusual approach ...
- So you do it?
Everything indicates that Ms. Wesley was extremely flattered.
- Sure. I think therefore recommend publish a series of articles with the objective presentation of your point of view on the most burning issues of science.
- Oh, that would be fine ... Not for me ... for all mankind ... the strategic goal ...
- Totally I agree with you, but now I propose to solve the tactical problem. As you know, I got the assignment to write about a hippopotamus cub. Could we have a little touch on this subject?
- Mr. Bailey, I am very pleased to talk to you - we understand each other perfectly. We were just approaching the cage, where we lived a family of hippos. So common hippopotamus, it also Hippopotamus amphibius - large herbivores belonging to the family of cloven-hoofed animals. The body length of an adult male to fifteen feet. Are you interested in Young? The female hippo brings a baby ...
- Here I am interested in the details of which are known only to specialists of such level as you. How often young Hippo born striped?
After these words, Miss Wesley slowed gait so that virtually stopped. Frank, on the contrary, continued to move by inertia. When he noticed the incipient turnaround in the conversation, the distance between them is enough to make Miss Wesley was able to easily smerit Frank's eyes.
- Tell me, Mr. Bailey, you're the specialist department of your editorial?
Something told Frank about possible problems with the interview.
- Y-yes - he confirmed Frank, and to Miss Wesley confidence strengthened even more, he added: - I can imagine.
To ask what is the reason of her doubts, Frank did not, so as not to attract too much attention to it. He just took a pause. Apparently having verified with some inner guide, Miss Wesley drew level with Frank and mused:
- I think I realized that could cause confusion. Striped born kabanyata. Boars also artiodactyl mammals, though more modest compared with the size of hippos. Who saw adult boars, can hardly believe that these striped pigs are their offspring ...
After these words, Frank went deep in thought, while continuing to mechanically move the cage is not the hippos, not pigs. "A strange phenomenon - a" blue stocking ". Naturally enough it can be considered for the times of Elizabeth Montagu. Not so much a natural as understandable. While it is more reminiscent of a fashionable trend or a new way of life, cultivated by people with certain active position, rather than one-sided compensation for failures in life. With regard to the reality of modern explanation probably is in the psychological plane. Overly strict upbringing, false priorities exaggerated own shortcomings - all combined with a particular life situation closes the shell around the individual. What caused such an orientation Miss Wesley? But it is an interesting person, and not without appeal. Even her glasses are perceived only as an attribute of the notorious image of which can be seen very pretty natural principle. " Coming to the habitat of the future heroes of reportage, Frank had treated Miss Wesley with unusual warmth.
- Here we are, - said Miss Wesley, unaware of the transformation looks at her companion, and that a comparative analysis of the discussed species, which she dedicated to the entire segment of the path up to the cage, past Frank consciousness. I must say that if Frank would not be doing at this time of psychoanalysis, he could learn from the story of Miss Wesley is really a lot of interesting things.
- Yes, but ...
- You want to say that no one can see. I told you that hippos are heat-loving animals. Do you remember which countries the typical spread range I called? Remember?
- Yes, of course - Frank answered quickly and confidently, so as not to offend Miss Wesley.
- Fine. Then think about how bad would feel these kind of creation at our latitude on a rainy December day. Do you not feel sorry for them? No pity?
- F-pity - remarked Frank, and was surprised to find that the mind has come into Humane Society.
- That is why, to ensure hippos usual habitat in an unfavorable seasonal period, they are transferred into a warm pavilion, where we are with you and going.
Warm pavilion was the way not only for the hippos, but for Frank, had time to stiffen in light clothing, which once again proved the community of all life on the planet.
- That's our couple - proudly announced Miss Wesley.
Miss Wesley was accurate - gaze Frank brought it two fat, but rather comely creatures who, apparently, were going to take a bath. It was a very nice scene. However, Frank hoped for more in the literal sense of the word, namely, the third member of the family, for which he actually came here.
- But I do not see any kind of successor ... - unusual timidly remarked Frank.
- And this is not surprising. All in good time. We expect the addition of this illustrious family about a month. Must draw your attention, Mr. Bailey, that the reproduction of hippos in captivity is quite rare. Therefore, we can safely say that the living conditions of pets in our zoo is very close to natural. We are very proud of this.
"After a month ... That's right! All right! I should have seen it coming. The ride itself was meaningless here. No, I had to come here immediately after the conversation with David, and I have found that a zebra in the form of a hippopotamus. " Observing the degree of immersion of two powerful bodies in the water, sad, Frank tried to grasp at straws:
- Miss Wesley, is it conceivable that live in your zoo and other behemoths?
- You want to ask, is it possible that I do not know about all the mammals living in our zoo?
Sponges Miss Wesley slightly swelled. The question was put by an edge. Suspect Miss Wesley ignorance of all individuals living in a zoo in her care, she meant to put an unforgivable offense. It was obvious and Frank tried to correct the situation:
- Not at all. I apologize if I clumsily formulated his question. I actually wanted to learn ... learn ... the feed ration for hippos.
Hearing mention of the favorite subject, Miss Wesley thawed, writing off a strange question on the working style of the journalist, and proceeded to the presentation. Frank also took out a notebook and began to write a speech, knowing what is involved in futility.
Farewell was warm. Frank was effusive in his thanks and Miss Wesley Frank recalled the promise to publish the material based on its views on the relationship between man and nature. Returning to the door, Frank never met any visitor - not the season.
"How do I report back in the wording of this empty trip?" - Lamented Frank got into the car. - "Maybe he will be a month striped, but in the sense that now, when David is waiting for me a sensation."
The return trip took a little longer - said the lack of discipline as a result of his failure befell. All the way Frank was given more than what he had heard on the radio, rather than understanding their situation. This was not because he wanted to hear something important, but rather because of the desire to oust the head of all that there does not fit or fit with great difficulty.
Stopping in front of the editors and gathered all his notes, old publications seized from the house, as well as promotional materials, which it generously supplied the Miss Wesley, Frank entered the building. On the right floor, he met David, who spoke first:
- Frank, come to me. I have to make conversation with you.
- I was just up to you and going, David.
- So much the better - in the voice of David felt a certain dryness, even less understandable, given yesterday's generally favorable end of their conversation.
Frank followed him. In the study, David proceeded directly to his desk, leaned back in his chair and turned his attention to Frank, who was about to talk about his trip to the zoo. David, however, had to start the first:
- I asked you to come to know what's happening to you. Kindly explain what happened to your alarm clock? I'm not going to talk in riddles, and will continue to direct. You're late, Frank, and I was surprised. Really for many years in the editorial did not you learned two simple things. First, operation starts in accordance with these rules. Second, the discipline is paramount. If you're writing a novel, it's good. But if you write a novel in the workplace, it is bad. I'll be glad if you explain the situation to me.
With some variations present a monologue David coincided with yesterday. However, Frank was clear to David, so boldly began:
- I went to the zoo, where the interviewed head of the department of mammals. That information booklets as evidence.
- Great! I'm willing to believe that you were in the zoo ... - nervously rubbing his temples, hoarsely forced David. - But what the hell were you doing during work hours?
The last phrase was said above tone that made Frank hurt respond:
- You yourself had sent me there. You need was a sensation on the newborn striped hippo.
David whispered helplessly:
- Go on, please ... And how's your sensation?
- In that the whole problem. Firstly, the hippo was not born yet, and secondly, science is not known births striped hippos.
By and large, Frank had nothing to add to what was said. More precisely, it only formulated the problem, but stopped because he did not know how to solve it. David, too, was silent, but his silence, there are indications, was of a different nature. Among these features are the following: David poured a glass of mineral water and made a few convulsive gulps, he drummed his fingers on the table, his eyes wandered around the room absently. All these features together showed that the state of David's somewhat different from the usual. But these were only the outward signs of discomfort, and what was the reason, he could only say, David. And he did it after a while. There is no doubt that he did it, as the situation permits, as far as the correct form.
- Frank ... Any child knows that there are only striped zebras and tigers.
"And the little kabanyata" - mentally added Frank.
- Do you think I'm so out of his mind, so I could say that? Where did raise questions about hippos? Of course! You decided that this was crazy, and David finally changed the profile of our publication.
Then Frank was fit to grab the head. He was gone. Disappeared because he could not get used to the absurdity around him, to live according to these new rules, every day to check with artificial calendar, considering that two Sundays in a row - the phenomenon in order. Of course, how could David know now ninth in December that say yesterday ninth day of January? From this thought the blood rushed to the ears of Frank. When a reddened Frank David decided that he greatly regretted the incident, but because some softened
- Yesterday I asked you to prepare their views on the coverage of the state visit of the delegation from Tobago. What can you say about this?
David clever! He told Frank out of the situation. Frank glanced at the sheaf of papers, which he took out of the house - there lay what is now just said David, and decided to play the role.
- Tobago? I have everything ready. I am ready to bring the materials.
Frank rushed to the department to sort the pile of his papers, which he carried all day. At the entrance he collided with John Forrester.
- Hello, Frank. Something was late you are.
Frank with a certain force focused on John. Feeling that he was not fully ignored, John did not stop:
- Do you think the euro will rise or fall?
- Of course - confidently said Frank and flopped paper on his desk.
When he found what he was looking for, could only thank providence that made it in time to save their own experience rather than throw them away as an indication of the passed life stage. Once again reviewing written and grunting with pleasure on the Q-established, Frank went back to the main.
- I am happy with your job, I do not have a single remark.
"But the first time was" - Frank recalled.
- So what were you saying about animals?
- Look, David ... I think that any phenomenon requires some protezhirovanii to prolong the life of the phenomenon ... Wait, forget what I just said. Listen ... The direction of our publications to be wider ... Do you understand? We can attract more readers if we do not get hung up on a traditional theme. After all, right?
- Similar thoughts have visited me. Do you have any specific suggestions?
- While one.
Here Frank explained how he sees the column of the animal world. "News coverage from remote wilderness areas, scientists comments about the customs and habits of the animal world, tips on caring for pets, mass reader reviews and much more," - has not stinted on the paint, Frank.
- I will consider your proposal - quite seriously said David. Frank was happy that he kept his word given to Miss Wesley. The working day is over, the work was "done", and Frank said goodbye to colleagues, went to the door.
He needed to meet with Jessica. All the way to her agency, he was trying to decide on further action. How does he explain his long absence? What kind of perspective he could promise her? Jessica Frank decided to wait in the car, which was put so that it was possible to observe the output of the agency. "I'll tell her the truth. She should understand. She's the only one who can understand me.We have no secrets from each other. After all, we have decided to get married. " At this moment he saw Jessica on the porch of the agency, and jumped out of the car, he rushed to her. They kissed, and then looked at each other for some time adoring eyes.
- You did not say yesterday that you were going to meet me - Jessica asked, but it was evident that she was pleased.
- I wanted to surprise you - found Frank. - Let's go quickly to the car, and then it's cold - you just.
USADA Jessica Frank took his seat, started the engine and turned off the radio, that nothing prevented the conversation. Seeing as thriftily Frank owns the cabin, Jessica could not help but wonder what kind of a car.
- This is my car, I bought it.
Jessica looked around appreciatively. Something she tells us that the machine was quite expensive, which is why it is considered inappropriate joke Frank. Anticipating further questions, Frank tried to explain:
- I got the money for the extra edition.
- At night?
- I do not understand.
- Last night, you still do not have a car, but today it is. When you had to pay? It turns out that night. Or do you hide it carefully from me?
Frank guessed that Jessica was offended. There comes a time when all should have told. Otherwise the consequences could not be brighter.
- Now we will come to me. You get comfortable. I'll make some coffee and tell you everything, everything.
Jessica did not immediately, but agreed. She does not watch the road, and wondered about the newly discovered facts. She loved Frank, and therefore sympathetic to the fact that Frank was in a sense is a big kid that require a specific approach in their relations with her. She wished him success in his work and was ready to help him in everything. Frank was grateful to her for everything, and she felt that way. He also has always been attentive and sincere with it. That is why it was so surprised the latest news. "It's just a joke, and soon everything will fall into place," - she concluded in the absence of the other versions.
At this point, Frank stopped the car, ran around him, opened the door and gallantly gave Jessica's hand. Jessica did not recognize the place where Frank had brought her, and was about to ask for clarification, both from a passing elderly man heard a strange greeting:
- Hello. I'm guessing that you are our new neighbors ...
- That's right - interrupted Frank, now did not want to waste time on William Nightingale.
- Then let's get acquainted. My name is ...
- William Nightingale.
- But how do you know ...
- William Nightingale name on everyone's lips.
- Who are you?
- I - Frank Bailey, a famous writer. And this is my future wife, Jessica. Unfortunately, we are in a hurry. Say hello to Mrs. Nightingale.
With that, Frank opened the door of the house and passed forward Jessica, which all saw and heard impressed.
- Frank, you is not it?
- You called my future wife. You still have never ever called me ... You make me an offer?
Frank remembered perfectly that this issue has already been discussed, and on his proposal, he even got Jessica agreed, but, caught by surprise, he eagerly replied:
- Yes, dear, it is today I would like to ask for your hand. Do you agree?
- Yes, - said quietly, Jessica, and they hugged each other.
But at this fine evening she wanted to find out everything until the end.
- And who is this person that you just mentioned?
- neighbor. I think he's crazy.
- Neighbor? Whose neighbor?
- Jessica ... - Frank took her hand - a long time, we will stand at the entrance? Come into the living room and sit down on the sofa. I am now.
While Frank was absent, Jessica professional look to a first approximation assessed value of the home, where she is currently. The total amount has not left her indifferent, and she went to look for Frank to find him in the kitchen, trying to cook something. Tear him away from this inefficient class, Jessica firm voice asked:
- Tell me, where are we? Whose house is this?
- This is my house.
- Yours? - Jessica exclaimed. - Yes, you know how much does it cost?
- How can I not know if I bought it.
- Oh, Frank, you svedesh me crazy. It is a hoax? The draw?
- Jessica, dear, calm down. I said that the publisher has paid me for additional copies. I bought a house, where we will live with you.
- But why did not you say this before? You're hiding something ...
Jessica was ready to cry with resentment. Frank was in a quandary. On the one hand, he could not refuse Jessica explained. On the other hand, he is aware that this explanation is meaningless, because tomorrow she will remember nothing of what he said today. He even feared that the actual content of his explanations will be interpreted as a mockery Jessica, too unconventional it should be.
- Well, - he decided. - Just let your word that you will not be crying and calm down. Let's go into the living room. I light the fire, and then you're trembling.
Frank put his arm around Jessica and brought into the living room, where it once sat her down in a chair next to the fireplace, which fussed for a while. Then he sat down beside her feet on the floor, taking her hand in his. As soon as the warm air circulated around the room, shaking Jessica slowly passed. Frank felt that it was time to start.
- Jessica, you should know that I love you very much. You are under no circumstances should not doubt it.
Frank thought that such entry must be configured to trust Jessica way, but achieved the opposite effect. Hearing this, Jessica again alert.
- I got into a mess ...
- God, I should have known right away ...
- No, no. You do not understand me. I did not do anything wrong. Well, I'll tell you like it is. My business went up the hill as you remember ... Yes, yes, I know you do not remember, or rather, you still do not remember ...
- Frank, are you sure you're okay? - Jessica looked at him with growing concern.
- I understand that everything does not sound very plausible. You listen. When I had money, I'm thinking about our future, I decided to buy a house. And he bought. This very. By the way, you yourself recommended it to me.
- Frank - Jessica pleaded. - The first time I see this house.
- That's right.But a week ago, that is, six months ago, when I had the money, you yourself chose him. Then just happened ... I mean, the time has gone backwards. For me. For others, I see no such problems. And I with each new day retreat into the past for exactly a month. Here, for example, tomorrow will be November 9 ...
- All that's enough. I will not stand. If this is your new story, I accept my congratulations - it is original.
It was obvious that Jessica was angry, and Frank was excruciatingly painful to realize that. He decided to correct the situation:
- But do not worry. I will meet with his agent. Again, I'll publish a novel. I now temporarily returned to the editors to be able to pay current expenses ...
Here Frank stopped. He suddenly remembered that he had left in the wording of all their achievements - the pile of papers, which is so handy way today, and on which he placed his hopes for the future. Tomorrow it all will be gone, and Frank will be continuous friction with David Campbell. A glance at the clock showed that all is not lost, but for this we must immediately go to the editorial board, which in turn meant that he had to leave Jessica alone. Frank's heart was breaking.
- Honey, something unexpected happened. I forgot my materials at the office. If I do not pick them up today, they will be gone.
The logic of the last sentence struck Jessica finally.
- It's just what I told you. Tomorrow will not be! I quickly.Wait for me here and will not go away.
He kissed her on the cheek and Jessica ran out of the house to his car. At the end of the street at full speed, he breathed in the fresh breeze of an elderly couple strolling.
- This is our crazy neighbor.
- Yes.He claims that he world-famous writer.
- Just think!
Even if Frank has witnessed this dialogue, it would not have been able to express their opinions. His head had only one thought - to have time before the closing of the editorial board and catch Jessica home. His car raced in Liverpool as soon as the rules allow, and sometimes even faster. "It is foolish to succeed". He's talking about Jessica. "I had to prepare to gather his thoughts. What does she think of me? I thought I got in touch with the idiot. Partially so. I do not want to idealize themselves. But in such a situation, even a brilliant genius has come for an idiot. "
Frank did not even ran, he flew into the office. The department was empty, but it no one wanted. Eyes focused on his desk. On it lay a stack of paper saving. Frank grabbed her tightly and pressed to her chest, thinking that the harder he holds it, the less will be powerfully over her time in an absurd sense of the word. "And now back. And as soon as possible. " Jumping into the corridor, Frank nose to nose collided with David.
- Something you today delayed.
- worked out plans for the future.
- Useful thing. And what is the volume you talking about? - David did not let up.
- I decided to work a little bit at home.
Frank lied recklessly and hated at this moment everything, because I was forced to lie.
- David, I'm sorry, I was waiting for a car.
- Come on, come on. Look, do not overexert. Till tomorrow.
Frank wanted to add that tomorrow is Saturday, but at the last moment changed his mind. Already on the other side of the Maisy he remembered this dialogue and tried to imagine the reaction of David, when he said that for the Monday following Saturday. Represented by Frank nervously shivered. The high speed of movement made ??it impossible to think, and Frank at the time of shut down.
- You say it a world-famous writer?
- That's what he says. By the way, he passed on to you greetings.
- That there should be!
Screeching brakes drowned last exclamation. Frank broke into the house, stopped at the threshold of the living room and was sitting on the floor in the midst of the newly imported papers.
- Jessica - he called plaintively.
Silence.Just heard a slight crackling of the fireplace. Frank beat the willies. He crawled to the fire, watching the room with a different point. "Without all Jessica has no meaning." With that thought, he pulled out his phone, found her name and press Call. No one answered. In order to fire is not extinguished, he threw in a new cake. Looking from the burgeoning flames on discarded paper for which he left Jessica alone, Frank screamed wildly. Then he jumped up, grabbed a few sheets and was about to throw in the fire, suddenly went limp again sank to the floor and wept. It did not last long. Taking out a bottle of vodka from the bar, Frank returned to the pile of papers and sitting on them, wincing and hiccuping, drinking a good half of the contents of the container. Staring blankly at the fire, he began to expect an effect that soon followed.