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One more piece of the puzzle, and the technology anticipated, even feared, would be born. If he’d calculated correctly, and Walter was meticulous about calculations, the day’s mail should contain the gem he’d saved and scraped for. Every tip, handout, or penny literally scraped from the gutter had gone into a jar, and last week he’d exchanged the sum for a cashier’s check and placed the order. If this final trial didn’t work, he’d lose everything he’d slaved over. His ideas were running out, his home was about to be razed, and what made the urgency even more crucial, he sensed “they” were about to discover his hiding place.
Flipping the wall calendar over his workbench, Walter circled a date two weeks hence. That would give him sufficient time to install the final part, to test, and make note of his achievement. Perhaps even enjoy it himself before he turned it over to the one who would carry it to the world, who could safely deliver the technology where it would do the most good. It was time to plan the handoff.
The sun’s rays pouring from a high window warmed and loosened Walter’s back muscles. The glint on the shaft of metal, as thick as a Cuban cigar, the length of a number two pencil, gave him more than a few moments of pride he’d not felt since the birth of his long-lost son.
He held the eyepiece up and sighted, spinning the dial. It caught and stuck in place. He wrapped it once again in the cloth, gently rested the device between the jaws of the vise and slowly cranked it shut, stopping at precisely the point where the Kaleidoscope would be held firmly in place, but not harmed by the firm grip. He filed and sprayed, working over the delicate prize until the dial spun like butter and the magnificent colors fell into place.
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