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 You probably will. What I'm suggesting is that you look for another commodity
to trade, something more internationally marketable, something your brothers
and sisters in Christ need and will be unable to get when the mark of the
beast is ushered in.
Laslos appeared deep in thought. He nodded.  And I have another idea, he
said.  I
will build my lignite business and sell it before they quit buying from me 
 Great idea!
 It happens all the time, Buck. You make yourself so indispensable to your
biggest client that it only makes sense that they buy you out.
 And who is your biggest client?
Laslos sat back and smiled sadly, but Buck detected a gleam in his eye.  The
Global
Community, he said.
TWENTY
Rayford ran into Floyd Charles angrily slamming stuff around.  Which vehicle
can
I use? Floyd asked.
 Makes no difference, Doc, Rayford said.  Rover's running fine. I'm taking
Ken's
Suburban to T tomorrow. See if his little church group can use it. It's
rightfully his anyway.
 I'll take Buck's.
 Where you going?
 I've got to get some oxygen, Ray. I don't want to be caught off guard without
O
2
when I need it. And I don't want Chloe as stressed as I am.
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 That bad? Should I be worried?
 Nah! It's not Chloe as much as Hattie now. She thinks she's better, so she
wants to get up and get out. Well, she can't without help, and I'm not going
to help her. She has made a turn for the better, but she's underweight, and
her vitals are average. But, like you say, she doesn't report to us.
 You want me to talk to her? Maybe I can shame her into doing what you say,
after all we've done for her.
 If you think it'll do any good.
 Where you getting O , Kenosha?
2
 I don't dare show my face there again. I called Leah at Arthur Young. She's
got a couple of tanks for me.
 You know who you can check in on over there? Hattie's young Ernie.
 No kidding?
 T told me Ernie and his friend Bo were being treated there.
Buck was ill by the time Abdullah landed at Heathrow. Cramped, nauseated,
exhausted, tense" was a mess. All he wanted was to get home to Chloe.
he
Heathrow was a shell of what it had been before World War 3 and the great
earthquake. But Carpathia had poured money into it and made it high-tech and
efficient, if not as big as it had been. With the waning population, nothing
needed to be as big as before.
Heathrow tower flatly rejected Abdullah's announced sequences. He seemed
frustrated but didn't rebel. Buck wondered what he did before becoming a
believer.
Maybe he'd been a terrorist.
Abdullah seemed cognizant of Buck's wish to keep moving. He returned from
refueling with two cellophane-wrapped cheese sandwiches that looked as if
they'd been sitting for days. He offered one to Buck, who refused only because
he was queasy. Abdullah must have assumed Buck was in too great a hurry to
eat, because as soon as the deliberate ground control officer cleared him for
takeoff, they were streaking toward Greenland.
Buck felt as if he were running a sprint that would never end. He assumed that
at some point he could try to relax, but the jet seemed always on the verge of
exploding or crashing. When his phone chirped in his pocket, Buck went through
all sorts of vain gyrations to get in a position where he could reach it.
Abdullah noticed and asked if anything was wrong.  Need an emergency landing?
he asked.
 No! Buck hollered, sensing the hope in Abdullah's question. Apparently a
normal race from Jordan to America wasn't enough of a thrill for Abdullah. But
where does one execute an emergency landing between London and Greenland?
Surely he would have had to turn back to London, but Abdullah seemed more
likely to find an aircraft carrier.
When they finally reached Greenland for the final refueling, Buck extricated
himself from his seat and learned that his caller had been Dr. Charles. He
called him back.
 I can't really talk to you right now, Buck, sorry. I'm picking up supplies at
a hospital.
 Well, give me a hint, Doc. Everything OK there?
 Let's just say I hope you're on schedule.
 That doesn't sound good. Chloe OK?
 We all need you here, Buck.
 Spill it, Doc. Is she OK?
 Buck, let me get free for a minute here so we can talk.
 Please!
Buck heard Floyd asking someone named Leah if she would excuse him.  All
right, Buck. Are you on schedule?
 I'm surprised I'm not ahead of schedule, but yes, we're looking at a 10:00
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P.M.
arrival.
 That late?
 You're scaring me, Doc.
 The truth is, Buck, I've been misleading Chloe and Rayford today. The fetal
heartbeat has been dropping for a few days, and it's at the alarming stage.
 Meaning?
 I'm putting Chloe on oxygen as soon as I get back there. I wanted to do it
hours ago, but I ran into a snag at the hospital. I dropped in on somebody
Rayford knows who was recuperating here. He sounded real interested in hearing
about the judgments and what they meant, and I wound up spending way too much
time with him. Hattie's been talking to his younger friend, who's apparently
already been released.
Buck stood in the cold wind and hollered into the phone.  Doc, I haven't a
clue what you're talking about. I'm sorry to be rude, but get to the point.
Why did you think it necessary to mislead Chloe and Ray when they're right
there and can deal with the problem, but you drop it on me in the middle of [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]