Page:Avon Fantasy Reader 10.djvu/109

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Storm Warning

by Donald A. Wollheim

The story of "Storm Warning" grew directly out of the great impression that G. R. Stewart's remarkable book "Storm" made upon the writer. Constantly your editor has been impressed with the sparsity of our actual knowledge of the world—the things we think we know best so often turn out to be scarcely more than isolated fragments of a great knowledge, our sciences mere segments of other sciences. Biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, all seem to interlock, and the more we know the more we realize how tenuous our grip on universal understanding is. "Storm" impressed the writer with this observation on even that most prosaic of topics, the weather. And "Storm Warning" was the result.

We had no indication of the odd business that was going to happen. The boys at the Weather Bureau still think they had all the fun. They think that being out in it wasn't as good as sitting in the station watching it all come about. Only there are some things they'll never understand about the weather, some things I think Ed and I alone will know. We were in the middle of it all.

We were riding out of Rock Springs at sunrise on a three day leave but the Chief Meteorologist had asked us to take the night shift until then. It was just as well, for the Bureau was on the edge of the desert and we had our duffle and horses tethered outside. The meteor fall of two days before came as a marvelous excuse to go out into the badlands of the Great Divide Basin. I've always liked to ride out in the glorious, wide, empty Wyoming land and any excuse to spend three days out there was good.

Free also from the routine and monotony of the Weather Bureau as well. Of course I like the work, but still the open air and the open spaces must be bred in the blood of all of us born and raised out there in the West. I know it's tame and civilized today but even so, to jog along with a haphazard sort of prospector's aim was really fine.

Aim was of course to try and locate fragments of the big meteor that landed out there two nights before. Lots of people had seen it, myself for one, because I happened to be out on the roof taking readings. There had

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