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Highways in Hiding   By: (1911-1981)

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Copyright 1956 by George O. Smith Highways in Hiding is based upon material originally copyrighted by Greenleaf Publishing Co., 1955.

All rights reserved

Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 56 10457 Printed in the U.S.A. Cover painting by Roy G. Krenkel


[Transcriber's note: This is a rule 6 clearance. PG has not been able to find a U.S. copyright renewal.]

For my drinking uncle DON and, of course MARIAN

Historical Note

In the founding days of Rhine Institute the need arose for a new punctuation mark which would indicate on the printed page that the passage was of mental origin, just as the familiar quotation marks indicate that the words between them were of verbal origin. Accordingly, the symbol was chosen, primarily because it appears on every typewriter.

Up to the present time, the use of the symbol to indicate directed mental communication has been restricted to technical papers, term theses, and scholarly treatises by professors, scholars, and students of telepathy.

Here, for the first time in any popular work, the symbol is used to signify that the passage between the marks was mental communication.

Steve Cornell, M. Ing.


Macklin said, "Please put that weapon down, Mr. Cornell. Let's not add attempted murder to your other crimes."

"Don't force me to it, then," I told him.

But I knew I couldn't do it. I hated them all. I wanted the whole Highways in Hiding rolled up like an old discarded carpet, with every Mekstrom on Earth rolled up in it. But I couldn't pull the trigger. The survivors would have enough savvy to clean up the mess before our bodies got cold, and the Highways crowd would be doing business at the same old stand. Without, I might add, the minor nuisance that people call Steve Cornell.

What I really wanted was to find Catherine.

And then it came to me that what I really wanted second of all was to possess a body of Mekstrom Flesh, to be a physical superman....


I came up out of the blackness just enough to know that I was no longer pinned down by a couple of tons of wrecked automobile. I floated on soft sheets with only a light blanket over me.

I hurt all over like a hundred and sixty pounds of boil. My right arm was numb and my left thigh was aching. Breathing felt like being stabbed with rapiers and the skin of my face felt stretched tight. There was a bandage over my eyes and the place was as quiet as the grave. But I knew that I was not in any grave because my nose was working just barely well enough to register the unmistakable pungent odor that only goes with hospitals.

I tried my sense of perception, but like any delicate and critical sense, perception was one of the first to go. I could not dig out beyond a few inches. I could sense the bed and the white sheets and that was all.

Some brave soul had hauled me out of that crack up before the fuel tank went up in the fire. I hope that whoever he was, he'd had enough sense to haul Catherine out of the mess first. The thought of living without Catherine was too dark to bear, and so I just let the blackness close down over me again because it cut out all pain, both physical and mental.

The next time I awoke there was light and a pleasant male voice saying, "Steve Cornell. Steve, can you hear me?"

I tried to answer but no sound came out. Not even a hoarse croak.

The voice went on, "Don't try to talk, Steve. Just think it."

Catherine? I thought sharply, because most medicos are telepath, not perceptive.

"Catherine is all right," he replied.

Can I see her?

"Lord no!" he said quickly. "You'd scare her half to death the way you look right now."

How bad off am I?

"You're a mess, Steve. Broken ribs, compound fracture of the left tibia, broken humerus. Scars, mars, abrasions, some flashburn and post accident shock... Continue reading book >>

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