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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Lew Stone: window washer with a jet pack

Lew Stone adjusted the sticky valve on his rocket pack and soared up to the next tier of windows. Oh, he hadn't given up his career in science, even though it hadn't quite started yet: but ever since Gwen had found out where her uncle's rocket went Lew had been working three additional jobs so that he could pay for the rocket's replacement. Today, being Friday, was window washing day. He'd had no idea that his story could backfire on him like this. Speaking of backfires, in fact... there went that valve, again. He smacked it.

A note sounded on his wrist pad, and Lew juggled his squeegee and bucket so that he could answer. The face of the Clockwork Book came into focus. "Oh." Lew sighed. "It's you."

"I see that you are busy," the Book said. "Therefore my proposition will be brief."

"That's not gonna happen, buster." Lew spat, unfortunately in the direction of a window he'd already washed. "I'm still working off my last deal with you."

The Book did not seem surprised. "This will give you an opportunity to discharge your debt to Miss Hopkins in a single afternoon. Are you certain that you are not interested?"

Lew looked upward at the ninety-seven rows of windows overhead. Al was on another face of the building, he knew, so his supervisor wasn't supervising him for the moment. "Talk to me," he groaned.

"Can you see the street signs below you, on the corner?" the Book asked him. "All I ask is that you rotate each of them ninety degrees clockwise."

It sounds so harmless, Lew thought. "That seems simple enough. And what are you offering?"

Over his televideo link Lew could hear the sound of distant steel pages turning. "I believe that you would be interested in the location of Hiram Garf's Near-Perfect Transmutational Array of Barely Lethal Aurum Emitters," the Book said. "It has a substantial resale value."

Lew was already rocketing toward the street. "Talk to you later," he said, and signed of

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