Page:Avon Fantasy Reader 10.djvu/110

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

been a brilliant streak of blue-white across the northern sky and a sharp flash way off like an explosion. I understand that folks in Superior claim to have felt a jolt as if something big had smashed up out there in the trackless dust and dunes between Mud Lake, Morrow Creek, and the town. That's quite a lot of empty territory and Ed and I had about as much chance of finding the meteor as a needle in the haystack. But it was a swell excuse.

"Cold Front coming down from Saskatchewan," the Chief said as he came in and looked over our charts. We were getting ready to leave. "Unusual for this time of year."

I nodded, unworried. We had the mountains between us and any cold wave from that direction. We wouldn't freeze at night even if the cold got down as far as Casper, which would be highly unlikely. The Chief was bending low over the map tracing out the various lows and highs. He frowned a bit when he came to a new little low I had traced in from the first reports of that day.

"An unreported low turning up just off Washington State. That's really odd. Since when are storms originating so close?"

"Coming east too and growing according to Seattle's wire," said Ed. The Chief sat down and stared at the map.

"I don't like it, it's all out of whack," he said. Then he stood up and held out his hand to me.

"Well, goodbye, boys and have a good time. If you find that meteor, bring me back a chunk too."

"Sure will," I said and we shook hands and yelled at the other boys and went out.

The first rays of the sun were just coming up as we left. Outwards we jogged easily, the town and civilization fell behind rapidly and we went on into the golden glow of the Sweetwater basin.

We made good time that day though we didn't hurry. We kept up a nice steady trot, resting now and then. We didn't talk much for we were too busy just breathing in the clean open air and enjoying the sensation of freedom. An occasional desert toad or the flash of a disturbed snake were the only signs of life we saw and the multiform shapes of the cactus and sage our only garden. It was enough.

Towards evening at the bureau, the Chief first noted the slight growth of the Southern Warm Front. A report from Utah set him buzzing. The Cold Front had now reached the borders of Wyoming and was still moving on. The baby storm that was born where it had no right to be born was still growing and now occupied a large area over Oregon and Idaho. The Chief was heard to remark that the conjunction of things seemed to place south west Wyoming as a possible center of lots of wild weather. He started worrying a bit about the two of us.

We didn't worry. We didn't have any real indications but our weather men's senses acted aright. We felt a sort of odd expectancy in the air as we