Mistakenly imprisoned for espionage behind the Iron Curtain, Paul assumes his cell mate is there to spy on him. But the man thinks the same about Paul, and tells his intriguing story.
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Chronology of Events
Monday, September 5
Dr. Lewis was fascinated that I knew so much about his obscure research, and when the medical examination was complete, I told him that I'd also come with a request from the Garms Clinic to join in their research.
He frowned, then said that he'd already had dealings with the organization some while back. But he brightened when I mentioned that Dr. Walker had stepped down, and that the clinic was now aligned with the de Martignac Foundation, a name he knew from Armand's philanthropy to Johns Hopkins.
Though admitting that he couldn't imagine anything dislodging him from this beautiful estate on the Gulf, he is clearly interested in the aim of consolidating research around the world and the substantial funding that was now available.
I'm thinking that it might be nice to have a relaxing drive around the area before going to the test track at Malaga, and have worked out a little trip on the map.
Paul sees a doctor in the southern United States, and decides to drive back to the north.
en route to Malaga
Tuesday - Saturday, September 6 - 10
If I were trying to expand the time available, then the last week - in a negative way - was like a month.
I'd made a good inroad on my drive north, and stopped in a small town for gas. That's where it all started - a casual remark to a sheriff's deputy to go easy on some kids whose heads he was banging together at the service station.
He took me in for “interfering with an arresting officer.” I'd thought it little more than a joke, the deputy's own way of showing an outsider who was boss in the place.
But to my shock, without getting even a phone call, I was arrested and thrown in jail, my cell mate a man named Julian Bonner, who told me a chilling story of local business and politics.
He stated that one of the town councillors had been siphoning off false expenses for projects awarded to his construction companies, and Julian's father, accountant for the firms, felt honor-bound to expose the fraud.
Instead, he was accused of being the one embezzling funds, and had been thrown in this very jail.
Last week Edward Bonner was then shot, “trying to escape,” but Julian said that he saw his father just before he died from the wounds, and learned that the escape had been a frame up to silence the accountant permanently.
In a frenzy, Julian had gone to the home of the councillor, and began shooting at the house, slightly injuring the man's son, and winding up arrested for attempted murder.
Apparently, corruption amongst politicians and the law is rife around here, and the Mayor is blackmailing the lot. The story wasn't quite finished when the deputy came in with a truncheon, and began beating Julian.
Of course, I tried to stop him, but he turned and said that he'd say that I'd done the beating, which would mean a hefty prison sentence resulting from the felony.
He was so violent, I couldn't let this stop me, but the deputy suddenly heard a noise out front, and quickly left.
While I hadn't expected to sleep after that, was surprised to find myself in deep slumber very quickly. But my dreams were lurid and tormented.
First, there was one where I'd been captured by Soviet intelligence, put in a cell and tortured. I started screaming, and Julian came over and woke me up, asking if I were all right.
But I fell quickly into another imprisonment nightmare - in some gulag where Julian was my cell mate, in for attempted murder after his father was shot “escaping” from prison, convicted of black marketeering.
We managed to escape in a boxcar, but in the dream Julian then confessed it was all true about trying to kill the real black marketeer and his family, and he was going to complete the job, now that we were out.
I overcame him, and turned both of us in at a nearby farmhouse, but instead of going back to prison, I was dragged before the torturer who told me that, since I was dying, no one in the West would want to exchange a Soviet spy for me.
Julian woke me at that point, saying that he was frightened. He thought he'd heard a plot being hatched in the office next to the cells, and that they were planning to kill him, and say that I did it.
They'd all left to establish alibis, and Julian said the only thing was to escape when we had the chance. A young deputy was alone on duty, and it took little to create a ruse that made escape easy.
Julian said that it was imperative that he get a hold of the blackmail material the Mayor kept on everyone, and it made sense, especially in the case of the crooked lawmen who'd arrested and threatened me.
We went to the Mayor's house, and got up to the window where we could see the red sofa cushion Julian said held the blackmail material, but before we could make another move, we heard people coming, and headed in the direction of the highway.
I told Julian to forget the blackmail material, and concentrate on getting out of the state, but he had something else he wanted to do, to dig up some papers that would exonerate his father.
But what he dug up was a gun, saying that he was sorry, but he had to kill the councillor an his family before leaving town.
Such an uncanny repeat of what I had dreamed.
It wasn't difficult to overcome the man, and I got him bound down before making a call to Molly, and giving her the plan I hoped would get me permanently free.
Then I headed back to the fire house, hoping that I was dealing with the more honorable people in town. Julian was taken away to a higher security jail, and I found myself back in the cell alone.
A lawyer came to see me in the morning, but it made me feel only the slightest bit safer. He said the charges against me would enable them to put me away for up to 15 years, but all I was thinking about was the next 15 weeks. Surely, I don't have a lot more than that left.
After the lawyer departed, things stayed pretty quiet, and I slept on and off all day, constantly tormented by nightmares.
In one the deputy came into my cell, and started beating me up. It was so real, and I used all my martial arts skills to overcome the assault, then attacked him so savagely that he needed hospitalisation.
In this dream, when I ran into the office to call a doctor, I was accused of trying to escape and told I'd serve 15 years for the new crime.
Stayed awake most of the night, still fearing for my life - what remained of it, but also trying to avoid the awful dreams. I kept wondering if Molly would come, and if she had written everything down properly.
The lawyer visited again the following day, and after he left, I dreamed that he got bail, and I cut out and flew back to San Francisco, only to be kidnapped by the deputy, and driven back across the country, blindfolded, bound and gagged.
The nightmare went on and on and was terrorizing. On the third day I kept dreaming different versions of my plan to get out of here. These dreams were less traumatic, even triumphal.
In one, Molly pulled a sting on the very deputy who'd arrested me, bribing him, then flying him to California where he was arrested for kidnapping me.
In another I tricked the Sheriff into releasing me in order to get his deputy freed on a kidnapping charge. How cool and suave I felt. I'd rightly taken the dream as a good omen.
All the while, in hopes, but unbeknownst to me, Molly arrived with Gin Bradley, having announced to the Governor that one of her father's companies was considering locating in the town.
The red carpet was laid out for Gin and her “sister” Molly to inspect facilities and meet local officials. In the evening, decked out in all her jewels and furs, Molly had completely overcome the Mayor and seduced him.
Slipping him a Mickey, she nabbed the cushion full of revelations from his study, and hotfooted it out of town with Gin who delivered the black material to the Attorney General.
From the opposite party as the crowd in the town, he ordered State Troopers to burst into the jail, arresting the Sheriff and all his deputies, springing me after taking my statement.
I connected with the girls in the Capitol to give them a massive hug, and made sure that Molly wouldn't breathe a word of what happened to Kate.
She replied that Kate was in Paris with Armand, and I made some remark about that being understandable. We have managed everything without Molly catching on to the fact we've been back together for over a year.
No wonder I feared that she wouldn't carry my plan out right. But she came through with flying colors. Hoping now that the pill I'm going to take will give me a dreamless sleep!
11 - 21 September 1966 ("The Naked Half Truth")
Paul is hassled by a local sheriff's deputy who arrests him on a phony charge.
His real experiences and dreams blend together in a frightening way, with beatings, corruption and escape haunting both.
In dreams Paul finds himself accused of being a spy, and is tortured and thrown into prison awaiting trial.
His cell mate tells the story of how he landed in prison, trying to redress an injustice to his murdered father, and convinces Paul to escape with him.
Paul's trust is betrayed, and he returns the man to the authorities.
In the end the sister of Paul's fiancee, Molly Pierce, comes to Paul's aid, tricks the authorities in the town, and he is freed.