Crime Time (Chapter Five, page 1 of 7)

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We resumed the same stations as earlier except Martha joined Betsy outside the lab room door. They looked like two seated sentinels guarding the castle gate.

Howie showed no signs of the anxiety he displayed on round one but his eagerness kept him awake. I could easily tell from his breathing patterns sleep was illusive. Finally, after a half hour of tossing and turning he gave up. Martha, a come-lately convert to our experiment, offered to fix Howie a hot chocolate in hopes it would induce a snooze. The two women went below to prepare the cocoa, leaving Howie and me in the darkened lab.

"What do you think, Ben? Am I seeing a real place?"

"As fascinating as that would be, I have to say no. Personally, I don't buy into the paranormal. However, you're obviously experiencing something bizarre. I'm as curious as you to find out what it is."

The hot chocolate did its job, but not until well after five o'clock. Once Howie succumbed to slumber, his sleep was anything but peaceful. His thrashing was the signal he was in the throes of dream. He twisted, turned and moved his arms constantly, a determined look painted on his face.

True to my assignment, I recorded movements and time until Quinn's voice from below broke the silence.

"Three minutes," he yelled. Howie woke with a start. He rubbed his eyes and a smile broke across his face. I opened the door to the questioning looks of the ladies. His look radiated success.

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