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One-Way Ticket to Nowhere   By: (1915-1946)

One-Way Ticket to Nowhere by Leroy Yerxa

First Page:



[Transcriber Note: This etext was produced from Amazing Stories December 1942. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: Like a ghost in the night a whole Mono train vanished. And it was up to Jeff Blake to find out where it had gone...]

[Illustration: Blake forced the hatch up with all his strength. A few seconds delay would mean disaster]

"Jeff Blake!" Holly O'Toole's knotted hand reached out and grasped the right hand of the passenger descending from the rocket transport. "This is a hell of a night to come home, when a man's been away as long as you have."

Jeff Blake laughed, and swung down to his side to stand on the wind and rain swept dock. He towered above O'Toole, lanky and smooth skinned. His face was tanned a deep brown from space travel and little wrinkles curled out from the corners of his mouth. Wrinkles that indicated a willing smile. There was a cheerful warmth of sincerity in his voice.

"Weather doesn't seem to bother me much any more. I've been in and out of a lot of it. This rain isn't much compared to those space turn overs we've had around moon the last few weeks."

They walked together toward the lighted office. Once inside, Holly O'Toole tossed his coat across the warm elector rad heater and turned admiring eyes on Jeff Blake's tall frame.

"They sure made a man of you in space service," he said. "The last time you left Hope you were a half baked kid with a yen for a ray gun."

O'Toole sat back comfortably as Blake removed his jacket and threw it over the heater. Blake was hard, and yet as Holly watched him, there seemed to be a touch of softness in his eyes that hadn't been there when Blake was a kid. A little more of Wade Blake, maybe. When two men were born identical twins, they were bound together in a lot of odd little ways.

The faintest suggestion of a bitter smile started across Jeff Blake's young face. Then he relaxed, sat down. Lighting a cigarette he sucked deeply and let the smoke drift from his lips.

"The last time I saw you, O'Toole, you were a little red headed Irishman who stirred up more trouble than my brother and I could get out of in a month. What is it now?"

Holly O'Toole's dark face grew concerned. At once Blake knew his trip would be interesting. Knew that the trouble he had been expecting was close at hand.

"It's your brother, Wade," O'Toole went on. "Wade's in hot water again, and he's in over his head."

That same sardonic smile flitted across Blake's face, and faded immediately. O'Toole was under a terrific strain. The man was only forty five, yet the once brilliant battle flag of red hair had grown thin in spots. His eyes, once clear and snapping, were a washed out blue.

"Go on," Blake said kindly. "When I got your message it wasn't easy to drop everything and come. I expected something like this."

O'Toole stared at him, hating to say what he knew he had to.

"Wade is planning to marry Dauna Ferrell."

"Dauna?" Blake was plainly puzzled. "Why, Dauna was a tow headed brat when I left Earth. But if Wade wants her, why not?"

O'Toole shook his head a little impatiently.

"It isn't that he wants her," he said. "I can't explain everything now. Let's just say that Wade is giving up every chance he'll ever have of owning the 'Hope to Horn' line. He's stirring up trouble between Dauna and her father and making a dangerous ass of himself in the bargain."

Blake flicked the long ash from his cigarette.

"He must be a busy man," he admitted. "But where do I fit into this puzzle?"

Holly O'Toole was plainly bewildered.

"I wish I knew," he admitted. "I can't handle every angle alone, and if some changes don't come in a hurry, Wade, Dauna and Walter Ferrell will lose everything they have, including their sanity. You're the only man who can pound any brains into Wade's head... Continue reading book >>

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