Crime Time (Chapter One, page 1 of 7)


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I've pondered the events of those few months so often and so deeply I know if I don't at least commit the experience to paper I'll never move forward. The pure uniqueness of what we did virtually demands that there exist somewhere a record of what transpired and the terrible toll the results exerted on those of us involved. So here I am, with proverbial pen to paper, musing about the final disposition of these scratching if I should crawl my way through to completion of the task.

I'll record the facts from my personal point of view, and my observation of the reactions of the others involved, some of whom are unable to tell their own story. I'll leave judgment to the reader. What I pen about him will be pure speculation. How can any rational person hope to know what thoughts transpire in so evil a mind?

Coincidently, the starting date of our involvement is etched in my memory for an entirely different reason. It's almost ludicrous what ultimately evolved to how it began. It was the joyous weekend my future wife and I made public our marriage plans, with no one listening. We were rolling in euphoria when an old friend from my Amherst, Massachusetts childhood telephoned with an invitation to visit her family cabin in New Hampshire. There began the intimate gathering of five distinctly different individuals, and the unique results of our brief weekend cohabitation.

Betsy and I agreed as we were eager to share our news with someone. It would allow my future wife, who was from Iowa, to view a part of the country she'd never seen. It pleased me doubly; to show off my fiancée and escape the rush of August in New York.

Betsy and I met last fall while jogging in Central Park. Both of us were new to New York City, and had few or no friends. It began with a glance as we passed each other the first time, a smile the next two or three laps, and then a pretend rest stop. We chatted briefly, agreed to have coffee and have been nearly inseparable ever sense. Each of us maintains our own apartment, but when Betsy is in town, we spend most nights together.

For all you gadabouts and tourists used to driving hither and yon, a weekend trip to New England is a piece of cake. But picture Ben and Betsy, two city dwellers, neither owning a car. That's not uncommon for Big Apple young people, living on a modest income in a financially immodest city. So after a cab ride to the airport rental agency, we escaped the fumes of Manhattan on an August Friday noon and joined the city escapees heading north.

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