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A Mixture of Genius by Arnold Castle

I'll have to repeat all the facts to Senator Duran


gentlemen, you're welcome to stay if you wish," the Attorney General told them. "I'll have to repeat all the facts to Senator Duran, of course."

"I'd better be off," Ambly said. "Perhaps I'll see you at the Governor's tonight?"

"Not me, I'm afraid," Loeffler told him. "The DA and I have a little problem to work out together. I'll call you both tomorrow about the press release."

"We can't wait too long," said Duff. "Rumors can be a lot worse than the truth. Especially about something like this. In fact, I don't see the point in waiting at all."

"Tomorrow, Bob. Tomorrow," Loeffler promised. "Noon at the latest."

His heavy smile faded as the two visitors closed the door behind them. With an unthrottled groan, he lowered himself into the chair and turned his dark gaze upon the senator.

"They think _they_ have troubles," he said.

"And you think _I_ have," Duran returned, seating himself.

"I know _you_ do. Unfortunately I happen to share them to some extent."

He paused to relight the stub of a cigar, then went on.

"It's a crazy world we live in, Vance. Things change. Sometimes it's hard for us adults to keep up with it. The kids seem to, though."

style="text-align: justify;">Duran tried to appear suavely bored with the other's musings. But in spite of himself he could sense his gaze becoming intently expectant. Whatever connection there might be between himself, Ambly, and Duff completely eluded him. And that elusive connection had aroused his curiosity.

"Yeah, they keep up with things, all right," Loeffler went on. "And sometimes they get some pretty big ideas."

He halted, puffed thoughtfully, then barked:

"Remember Mel Skinner's lodge out on that island in Wakataoga Lake? Big Spanish-style place. Built it for that wife of his he brought back from Chile or somewhere."

"Yes, I remember it. Molly and I spent a weekend there a couple of years ago. Why?" the senator asked, realizing more than ever how much he disliked Sigmund Loeffler. "What are you getting at?"

"Well, the next time you go you'd better take along some sleeping bags," said Loeffler. "Because the house isn't there anymore."

"Okay," Duran said, strangely anxious. "Let's forget the riddles and get down to business. What happened to Mel Skinner's hacienda?"

The Attorney General stared at his guest for a moment, before remarking harshly:

"It got blown up."

"A bomb, you mean?" Duran asked.

"Oh, no, no--nothing so crude as that. This was a guided missile. With a warhead."

The senator was thinking fast now, but still the pattern eluded him.

"Not an act of war, surely?" he remarked.

"More like an act of revolution," Loeffler told him. "Because the agents behind it were _kids_. Kids from our state, our city. Kids from decent homes, educated families. Bright kids. Happy kids. Kids with every opportunity. _Kids who ought to know better--_"

"Hold it, Loeffler!" Duran interrupted, rising from the chair to place both hands on the edge of the desk. "Just one question--was anyone killed or injured?"

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