The following is a story of gay fiction. If you are offended by the subject matter or are too young, please exit now. See Chapter One for Copyright information.

John Tucker,


Chapter Eighteen

Sunday 10 AM, The ‘Eagle’s nest’ in Ron and Matt’s home

“Let’s go out on the deck guys,” Ron offered to Matt, Carl and Nathan after they had stepped off the elevator into Ron’s ‘hideaway’.

Nathan opened the French doors leading to the balcony deck, holding them open while the others passed through. Taking seats around a glass table, Ron began.

“Men,” he said to the two youths, “Matt and I are here at your request. Before we get to the subject at-hand, I’d like to offer that if you have any problems or concerns, we’re here for you. I hope you have discovered by now that we’re not judgmental and we’re not going to throw you out just because you do something you think we won’t like. Everyone makes mistakes, and young guys like you make more than most because you want to get a taste of the world. We expect that. We may not like it, but we know it will happen because we’ve each made our own share. Now, Carl you said you’d like to talk about gay sex. What would you like to know? We’ll answer as honestly as we can.”

“Do you and Matt have sex?” Carl asked brazenly. “Sometimes you don’t act like you’re in love.”

“Yes, we do,” Matt answered with a smile, “and we’re very much in love. We consider our sex life to be very private and don’t discuss it with anyone else. We don’t need to brag or complain to others. It’s a matter of sharing. For us, and I hope someday for you, having sex is making love. It’s a way of giving our bodies to each other in the most intimate way as an expression of our love for each other.”

“Don’t you ever want to have sex with other guys?” Nathan asked.

“No we don’t,” Matt replied. “It’s not that we don’t find other guys attractive and are never tempted, but now that we’ve given ourselves to each other we have no desire to play the field. Our love for each other is no different than the love of a straight man for a woman. At some point, you find a person with whom you want to spend your life. Sex is only one part of the equation, and not even the most important part. When you can say to yourself, ‘I’d rather be with this person, than be anywhere else’, and you feel that way all the time, then you probably have found your mate. Understand what I said though, I didn’t say, ‘I’d rather be having sex with this person’. Being in the same house, being in the same room, sharing a smile, sharing the gifts of each other’s labor, touching each other, sharing conversation, joking around, doing things together; all of these things bring joy to those in love.”

“What if the love isn’t given equally between two persons?” Nathan asked.

“That’s the hard part of being in love. Love is giving, not asking anything in return. If two people are in love they both are giving, so both are receiving. People, even those in love, will often take advantage of their partner unfairly. That’s because we never learned to give. We are brought up to be selfish. We also don’t communicate well and can say things that hurt our partner. Sometimes it’s accidental, sometimes, if we are hurt ourselves, it’s on purpose, and most times it’s just stupidity, not realizing how words or even the tone of voice can damage a relationship.”

“Gosh, it sounds pretty tough,” Carl responded.

“In some ways it is,” Ron admitted. “Even the best relationship takes work. It means being constantly supportive, not critical of your partner. For example, in a typical household, the man often takes out the garbage. If he’s not good about doing it, then the woman will say, ‘You never take out the garbage!’ That’s VERY damaging. First it’s being critical, not supportive. It’s like saying, ‘you don’t love me or you’d take out the garbage.’ Because that’s implied, the next time he doesn’t take out the garbage, they both see it as a failure in their relationship.”

“Yeah, but if she wants the garbage taken out, and she takes it out, I’ll bet he’d let her, and he’ll let her do it forever.”

“That’s very true, and very observant. The proper way to handle the situation is to be supportive and positive. For example, she might say at breakfast on garbage day, ‘Hon, I’m so glad you’re here to help me. You don’t realize how scary it is for me to get up on a ladder, or how difficult it is to move heavy things. I swear sometimes the garbage is so heavy that I can’t handle it if you’ve had to rush off.’ There may be better ways to do it, but you can see that in the example, the wife is appealing to the guys masculinity.”

“How does that happen with two gay partners?” Nathan asked.

“It depends on the guys. Unfortunately, people often play games with each other, trying to manipulate their partner. I can promise you that those relationships are doomed to failure unless the two partners can overcome the problem. The easiest part of a relationship is having sex. It’s also the most fun, but it’s not the most satisfying. The best part of the relationship is the relationship. It’s being partners as you face the challenges of life; it’s talking and sharing the happenings of the day. One of the hardest things to do is to find solutions to irritating things that each partner does that the other doesn’t like. If you approach the problem with love, the problem will diminish. It might not go away totally, but if you love each other, you’ll find a way to keep the problem in the ‘unimportant’ category, so that it doesn’t become a wedge, splitting up the partnership. The most important thing is that each partner has to want to please their partner. Even when it’s hard, you can’t give up that desire to please each other.”

“What if neither partner wants to take out the garbage?” Carl asked.

“Life is full of many unpleasant things that have to be done,” Ron answered. “First is the acceptance of the fact that no one is ‘too good’ or ‘too important’ to take out the garbage. If neither wants to take it out, the best way is for both to take it out together. It demonstrates each person’s desire to please the other person. It’s the same for other unpleasant tasks. That is not to say that the unpleasant work can’t be split up, but the person not doing the task needs to show appreciation to the person performing that task. Not everyone has the same skills. Perhaps one person hates to cook so they might agree that he will clean up after eating. That is just an example. The jobs of cooking and cleaning belong to them both, but they choose to relieve their partner of something their partner finds unpleasant, that they don’t. I’m not saying that what we’re talking about in the examples will work for everyone. That’s why the partners need to talk. If it isn’t working out, then they need to talk again and change things again. It’s just that both need to realize that all the jobs, pleasant or unpleasant, belong to both of them. That’s why they are partners. Finally, I’d like to say that sex should never be used as a bargaining chip. It is a sure way to break up a relationship. For example, if you say to your partner, ‘you take out the garbage, and then I’ll have sex with you,’….WRONG! Instead you might say, ‘Lets take out the garbage, then we’ll have time to have some fun in the bedroom.’ Do you see the difference?”

“Yes. I do,” Nathan said.

“I do too,” added Carl, “I just never thought it would be so complicated.”

“It’s not too difficult, if you love each other,” Matt offered. “Sharing with a partner both the good and bad parts of life is one of the most rewarding things you can do.”

“What else is as rewarding?” Nathan asked.

“Only one thing comes to mind at the moment,” Matt responded. “It’s raising kids.”

“I thought we were going to talk about sex,” Carl commented.

“We still are,” Ron said. “I just wanted you to understand how sex fits into the picture of a loving relationship and that it’s not the only or best reward.”

“I’m not sure I’m ready for a relationship,” Nathan revealed. “I just know that I love to have sex.”

“We’d never tell you that you can’t have sex,” Matt said. “Not that telling you that would do any good anyway. It’s just that we expect you to behave with a sense of responsibility.”

“Like what?” Nathan asked.

“For instance, here at home we expect you to not parade around naked. There are younger guys around, as well as the household staff. We would expect that the private things you do of a sexual nature be kept private. No one needs a blow-by-blow description of how you get your rocks off. We expect you to practice safe sex.”

“We already do that,” Carl blurted out.

“Well… he means… uh….” Nathan stammered.

“You needn’t explain,” Ron interrupted. “Nathan, you and I have already had this discussion, and I have trust in you.”

“Uh, thanks Ron,” Nathan said with relief.

“My guess, Carl, is that Nathan has full knowledge of the mechanics of what I’d call vanilla sex. He may even have knowledge of kinky sex. We’re not advocates of kink, but don’t condemn those that choose to practice it, as long it doesn’t cause bodily or mental harm.”

“What is kink?” Carl asked.

“It’s like pissing on each other, or having a foot fetish or S and M.” Nathan responded.

“What’s S and M?”

“It stands for Sadism and Masochism,” Ron answered.

“Yeah,” Nathan explained, “It’s like when guys tie each other up, and whip each other and stuff like that.”

“Why would anyone want to do that?” Carl asked.

“It gives the participants a feeling of power or conversely, helplessness. Some people get off on that kind of stuff,” Nathan said.

“Have you ever done it?” Carl asked Nathan.

“Nah, I always told my tricks that I was not into that shit, though some offered me a lot of money to do it. I just wasn’t going to be tied up and be completely at some stranger’s mercy.”

“That brings up another subject. There is only one cardinal rule that we insist on,” Matt stated. “It’s that you never force yourself sexually on anyone who is unwilling or in a state where their judgment is impaired.”

Carl blushed, thinking of his experience in Utah.

“Yeah, it can be a big mistake,” Carl admitted.

“I think it would be a good idea for the two of you to discuss sex practices, then if there is something you don’t understand, come back and we’ll talk some more. If there are any specific questions you have we could answer them now, or catch us later as the questions come up.”

“I still have a couple of questions,” Carl replied.

“Ask away, Ron suggested.

“First, why do some guys have skin around the head of their dicks and some don’t?”

“Circumcision is a historical Jewish rite that they believe was ordained by God.” Ron answered. “It was a sign that the ancient Hebrews were God’s children. The removal of the skin on the end of the penis has become a custom extending beyond people who are Jewish, particularly in the United States. In Europe, a much smaller percentage of males are circumcised than here.”

“Okay,” Carl said in understanding, “My next question is; why are some guys’ dicks so much bigger when soft than others.”

Matt laughed. “Aside from the fact that we are all different to some degree, I’d say that’s because there are two kinds of dicks. They have been called ‘growers’ and ‘showers’.”

The boys giggled.

“For some reason, many dicks when soft appear quite small, but grow much, much larger when aroused. They are the ones called the ‘growers’. Other penises are fairly large when flaccid. They normally don’t grow nearly as much when hard, and often are even smaller than many ‘growers’. Because they remain relatively large when soft and present a visible ‘package’, many gays call them ‘showers’. The reason that there is a difference is really unknown to me. It’s just interesting to note that the size of a guy’s penis when soft has no fixed relationship to how large it will be when hard.”

“I have one last question,” Carl said. “Is it sinful to whack-off? The reason I ask is that in my church, it was taught that it was sinful to ‘spill your seed’.”

Ron scratched his head before he replied.

“The only reference in the bible to that subject was where God commanded one of the characters in the Old Testament to produce children and was angry when the character masturbated. I’ll have to do a little research, quite frankly, as I’ve forgotten the character. Nevertheless, we don’t consider it a sin, but I doubt that either Matt or I have done it ourselves since becoming partners. Neither one of us would be angry if the other wanted to or felt a need, but fortunately that’s not the case. I would certainly consider it preferable to forcing your attention where it’s not wanted, just to relieve your need.”

“I guess that’s all I have to ask right now,” Carl concluded.

“Feel free to talk with us again if you have more questions,” offered Matt.

“Yeah, we will,” Nathan interjected. “We’ll talk some and write down any questions we have for the next time.”

“That’s fine, guys,” agreed Ron. “It’s a nice day; you should go outside and enjoy it.”

“Oh, Ron?” Carl asked. “What about driving?”

“I’ll help you with that,” Matt suggested. “Ron will be out of town next week, so we can work on getting you guys licensed then.”

“Thanks Matt,” they both said practically in unison. “See ya later.”

“Bye guys. Have a good day,” said Matt before Ron added his goodbyes.

Once the boys had disappeared into the elevator, Ron turned to Matt.

“That was a bit different than I expected,” he said.

“Yes, we didn’t talk as much about sex as about love,” Matt recounted.

“I hope I didn’t overdo it,” Ron said, “it’s just that our relationship is so much more than the sex. Not that the sex isn’t the best I’ve experienced, it’s just that I’m so happy with you and that our relationship means everything to me.”

“I feel the same, Babe,” agreed Matt.

“You know I’ll miss you next week when I’m in the East. We haven’t had much play time lately, what with you in the hospital.”

“I know Babe. Perhaps we could excuse ourselves early tonight after we take our guests home and spend a little ‘quality time’ in bed.”

“Quantity won’t hurt either,” Ron suggested with a leer.

                        *                      *                      *

Ron and Matt saw Dan and Tyler at the table as they entered the breakfast room from the family room.

“Where are the kids?” Matt asked.

“Mary told all the boys that they could eat whenever they wanted. Most of them took sandwiches, chips and drinks out to the pool area. All the boys have taken their lunches except for Tommy and Benny. I think they’re still in the game room.”

“I’ll go get them,” Ron suggested. “If we all eat right away then Mary can leave and get on with her day.”

Ron turned to walk to the game room, while Matt went into the kitchen to prepare Mary for more lunch customers. Both men returned quickly and took seats at the table with the other pair of adults. Within minutes Mary brought in a tray heaped with sandwiches and side items.

“Here are the sandwiches,” Mary stated, setting down the tray. “Parker will be in soon with plastic plates and utensils that you can just throw away when you’re done. If you would, just put whatever is left of the sandwiches in the walk-in refrigerator unless you think the kids would want them for dinner. Oh and please make sure the tray is covered with plastic wrap.”

“Yes, Mom,” Ron winked. “Have a nice afternoon, and don’t come in tomorrow until after lunch. You need some time by yourselves.”

“That would be nice,” agreed Mary. “Parker and I may go to the park for a picnic.”

“Take some of this food with you then,” Ron suggested. “The boys have almost all eaten and the four of us are not going to eat 20 sandwiches.”

“That’s kind of you,” Mary responded. “Thanks, we will. It will allow us to get going earlier.”

Parker entered bringing additional food, drink and the promised dinnerware. Mary took a tray that he’d brought for use by Tommy and Benny and placed four sandwiches on it as well as the side treats. She then retreated to the kitchen, followed by her husband, Parker.

A couple of minutes later Parker re-entered the breakfast room with the tray sans sandwiches. Placing it on the table, he said goodbye, then turned to join Mary to leave for their afternoon picnic.

The door to the breakfast room from the family room again opened. Tommy and Benny entered.

“Uh,” Benny said timidly, “I guess we’re supposed to come in here for our sandwiches.”

“Sure, come on in boys,” Dan said in greeting. “Help yourself to the sandwiches, chips, milk and whatever else you want. You can fix yourselves a tray for the game room or pool deck where the other boys are, or you’re welcome to join us here.

“I think we’ll go back to the game room,” Benny said. “We’re having fun in there and getting to know each other.”

“Yeah,” Tommy agreed.

“If that’s what they want ‘Tip’, maybe we could fix up the tray so they have everything.

“Who’s ‘Tip’?” Tommy asked quietly.

“It’s Dan’s new nickname,” Ron answered, then proceeded to tell the boys about General/President Tyler, and how “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” came about.

“Uh, Mr. Ron?” said Tommy in a shy voice.

“What Tommy?” Ron asked with a smile.

“Uh, I guess I shouldn’t correct my elders, but you have it wrong.”

“What do I have wrong?”

“Um about General Tyler and all that.”

“I do?” Ron asked in surprise.

“Yes sir, it’s like this,” he began, turning toward the men as if to give a speech.

“The battle of Tippecanoe was fought by General William Henry Harrison, not General Tyler, for which General Harrison received the nickname “Old Tippecanoe.” When Harrison ran for President, Tyler was his running mate, therefore the campaign slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler too.”

“Harrison and Tyler won the election of 1840.” Tommy continued. “Shortly after Harrison was inaugurated, he became ill and died, serving as President for only one month. Tyler then became the first Vice-President to become President through the death of the incumbent.”

Tommy continued his recitation:

“As President, Tyler angered some of the national political leaders by vetoing bills they favored. They tried to limit his authority, but he successfully established the precedent that a Vice-President who becomes President through the death of the incumbent is indeed fully President.”

“Wow! Ron remarked. “Is there more?”

“Yes sir,” Tommy replied, then continued:

“The death of Harrison was believed to have been the result of a curse cast by Tecumseh, the leader of the Indians defeated by Harrison. Supposedly the curse was against all ‘white fathers’ who would be elected in years ending in zero. Curse or not, the situation prevailed for over a century, with the death of Lincoln who was first elected in 1860, McKinley elected in 1900, Harding in 1920, Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 and Kennedy in 1960. The curse was finally lifted with Reagan,” Tommy concluded.

Ron laughed.

“I’m not sure that some people, especially Democrats, would agree that Reagan was really alive while in office anyway, especially during his last term,” Ron quipped, revealing the reason for his laughter.

The adults in the room all giggled and guffawed at the ‘funny’, while the two boys just looked at them strangely.

When the laughter died down, Ron looked again at Tommy and shook his head in wonder.

“Tommy, that was very impressive,” he complimented the youth. “How did you learn all of that?”

“Oh, it was nothing,” Tommy replied. “I like history and like to read about our country.”

“Nevertheless,” Ron responded, “you must have studied pretty hard to remember all those facts.”

“Nah, I just read that stuff and remember it,” Tommy said modestly. “It’s easy. I just don’t do math very well. I mean I remember all the stuff, I just don’t know what to do with it. Most of the time I just play dumb at school, so the other kids won’t dislike me or pick on me. That doesn’t seem to be working very well at the moment,” he admitted.

“Does your mother know that you’re so bright?” Matt asked.

“Pretty much so. She’s the one who suggested that I hide the fact that learning is easy for me, like I told you. My teachers know though, so it’s kinda hard to hide. I really think that’s why I got beat up. Sure they called me queer names and all that, but I never did anything with anybody, so I think it was just an excuse because I do well in school.”

“That’s very possible,” Ron agreed. “Kids can be cruel, and in every school you find bullies. The only way they can get self-esteem is to pick on smaller kids. They certainly can’t get it for their own intellect or efforts.”

“Can we go now?” Tommy asked holding up a small tray with his and Benny’s sandwiches.

“Sure guys,” Ron permitted. “Sorry to keep you from your lunch. Eat well and there’s more here if you want it. Have fun.”

“Thanks Ron,” Benny said as he headed out the door toward the game room.

“Yeah, thanks sir,” Tommy said trailing behind, his arms burdened with luncheon fare.

“Amazing!” Tyler said in wonder.

“Yeah, I guess I learned something today,” Ron admitted with a grin. “Never get your facts mixed up and never underestimate a kid!”

“I didn’t get hitched to ya, ‘cause you were a history whiz,” Matt said, giving Ron a kiss on the cheek.

“I guess the nickname ‘Tip’ is out!”

“Not on your life,” countered Dan. “Whenever I’m called that I wanna remember how the great Ron was showed up by a kid!”

“I guess I deserve that,” Ron said, his own grin matching those of the other adults.

                         *                      *                      *

 In the mountains of Colorado

It was dark and cold. Tom Stanley shivered as his mind began to work.

‘Where am I?’ was his first thought, followed by the pain of a raging headache.

He began to move his body even before his eyes opened. He tried to raise his right arm to touch his head only to have the handcuffs that encircled his wrist jerk the movement to an abrupt halt. His eyes opened, but no light appeared. He began to panic. It was as if the lights of the whole world had gone out. He sat back in his chair to ponder his circumstances.

The vision of the flight from Denver slowly seeped into his consciousness. At first all had been calm, just another regular shuttle for the small business jet that Metro hired for the routine flight. 15 minutes into the flight, the co-pilot had come to the cockpit door and reported to the Metro officer who was seated next to, but across the small aisle from his prisoner. The plane had experienced low power shortly after take-off, but the copilot assured the officer that they anticipated no problems, and planned to return to Denver to have the problem analyzed and repaired before attempting the flight again. What the pilot failed to tell the officer was that their radio and certain other electricity-activated controls had ceased to function concurrent with the power failure. As the co-pilot turned to step back into the cockpit, the noise of the engines’ thrust suddenly stopped, leaving only the whistling of the wind as it rushed past the fuselage. Lunging forward when this happened, the copilot crashed into the cockpit’s dash panel, tripping several switches. Tom had heard shouting and swearing as the plane banked to the left throwing the copilot onto the Pilot’s lap. The nose of the aircraft swung around until it was pointing downward into the snow-covered mountains.

With great effort the co-pilot climbed off of the pilot, and flung himself into his seat as the pilot wrestled with the controls of the plummeting aircraft. The co-pilot buckled himself in, quickly checking the control panels and flicking switches that had been moved, then began the procedure to restart the engines. The captain had managed to pull out of the downward plunge as the plane swooped down a long, narrow valley covered with snow.

“We’re going to crash,” the pilot yelled as he prepared to set the plane down in a wheels-up landing on the soft fresh snow.

“We’re getting power,” the copilot shouted as the plane settled toward the earth. Once the power plants ignited, the co-pilot shoved both throttles to the wall. The small executive jet leveled off just scant feet above the snow and when the airspeed increased sufficiently began to slowly climb.

The pilot looked around as he pulled back on the yoke. The narrow canyon left no room to bank and circle for a climbing turn and the end of the canyon loomed forbiddingly in front of them.

“It’s going to be close,” the pilot announced. “Come on, Baby!”

“Steer toward that ledge, the copilot shouted, pointing, “There’s more room!”

The pilot banked the small craft toward the ledge aiming at a narrow gap between the approaching peaks beyond. Just as the plane crossed the edge of this upper plain, the engines again failed.

“Oh fuck!!” the pilot screamed in frustration. “Hit the ignition!”

The copilot frantically tried to restart the engines as the plane quickly slowed. The pilot had no choice but to lower the nose to avoid a stall and again look for a landing site.

“It’s too late!” the pilot announced with a shriek “Hang on!”

Needing every inch of the top of the ledge to stop, the pilot pushed the nose down, extended the flaps and lowered the wheels, allowing the drag to reduce the airspeed.

“When I tell you, retract the gear,” the pilot ordered as the plane again plunged downward.

The gear was just down and locked when the pilot yelled, “Raise the gear!”

Pulling back on the handles, the co-pilot watched the gear indicator as the plane settled onto the white plain. The wheels locked in their wells, but the small wheel well doors had not yet closed when the aircraft struck the earth. The doors disintegrated with the first bounce and the plane landed again hard, plowing a furrow as it skidded and twisted, the wings alternately skimming small snow banks. The pilot saw that there was not enough room to stop before hitting the rock cliff in front of them. Seeing a crevice in the rock the pilot jammed the left rudder to the floor, hoping that they had enough airspeed to make the slight turn. The plane made the small correction before the pilot lost all control and the aircraft plunged into the opening at 50 miles an hour, losing its wings in the process.

Though Tom Stanley did not have a ‘box seat’ to the drama of the crash, the screaming and shouting of the pilot and co-pilot left little doubt as to the probable outcome. The Metro officer, Sergeant Sunderson, realizing the danger to the prisoner shackled in a crash, pulled the keys to the cuffs from his pocket, and unlocked the nearest arm and leg restraints of the prisoner before the plane struck. Jamming the key back into his pocket on the first bounce of the aircraft, Sunderson bent over and grabbed his legs before the craft struck again beginning the slide toward its doom.

Back in the present, still unable to see, Tom began to grope around to his left, at last feeling the warm body of his captor. Unfastening his seatbelt, the prisoner, his right arm still shackled to the arm of his seat, lowered his left armrest and moved off the seat into the aisle. Pushing the torso of the Metro officer to the left, Tom reached into the pocket of the officer and finding the key to the handcuffs, extracted it and unlocked the cuffs confining his right wrist and leg

While searching for the key, Tom had noticed a small butane lighter in the officer’s pocket, which he also extracted and laid it on his empty seat while he released his bonds. Now, picking up the lighter, he flicked it. He felt the heat from the flame on the hand holding the lighter, but saw no light. He placed his left hand over the lighter and felt the distinct heat rising from the small device. Almost dropping the lighter in shock, he placed it again on the seat and felt his head with his hands. A large knot was above his eyes and examining it, he felt the stickiness of blood at the wound, then his fingers traced down his face where the blood had run from the gash, leaving a trail of dried blood. The realization of his condition left him sitting on the aisle floor of the aircraft in a daze, his discovery made unmistakable by the throbbing of his head. He was blind.

Searching his mind for a solution to the seemingly hopeless condition in which he found himself, he again realized that he was very cold. He decided that his first action had to be to get warm. Remembering what appeared to be a small closet toward the front of the plane near the minuscule galley, he crawled on his hands and knees forward toward the cockpit. Quickly reaching the small projecting wall across from the entry hatch, he felt around with his hands until he found the latch to the closet. It unlatched easily but the door itself was stuck in the racked opening, causing him to have to jerk the flimsy latch violently until he could get his fingers on a portion of the door that was clear of the frame. Bracing himself, he wrenched the door open then felt around inside. Within he found two heavy long coats, two raincoats, four small light blankets and 4 small pillows.

Standing, he put on the long coat, finding with satisfaction, a pair of fur-lined gloves in a pocket. Slipping on one, and putting the other back in his pocket, he used his naked hand to retrieve the other coat and the blankets. Holding them in the arm of the gloved hand, he used his free hand to work his way back to his place, dumping the load on the seat.

He had been thinking fast. He knew that his chance of survival in the cold and snow of the mountains was narrow even if he had been sighted, and nearly zero as a blinded person. His best chance was to hope for the survival of either one of the crew or his guard. With that in mind, he again reached for his companion, noting that his body was still warm. Pulling the officer upright in his seat, the former prisoner pressed the button on the seat, laying it back to a nearly prone position. Tom then took the coat, and covered the officer, tucking it around him the best he was able. He then took two blankets and wrapped one around the officer’s head, leaving an opening in the front for breathing, and crossing the ends over the officer’s chest. He then wrapped the second blanket around the policeman’s legs, overlapping the bottom of the coat.

Deciding that providing warmth to the officer was all he could do for the moment, he again headed for the front of the plane, hoping to find one or more of the crew. As he moved slowly past the galley his foot struck snow. Probing forward with his foot, he felt the snow quickly deepen. Grabbing the hatch handle with his left hand he leaned forward, extending his ungloved hand. He quickly discovered that the cockpit was either buried in snow, or gone. The entire passageway was blocked with the cold wet substance.

Accepting that the pilots were undoubtedly dead, either by impact or by freezing, he turned to the galley and began to look for food. In the small under-counter refrigerator he discovered several overturned containers that undoubtedly contained water or soft drinks. He also found littered around in the small box, several plastic wrapped square packages, which he was sure were sandwiches. ‘Well at least,’ he thought, ‘I won’t starve right away.’ He took a sandwich, unwrapped it and quickly consumed it. Grabbing a soft drink he closed the refrigerator door not wanting to stumble into it later.

Returning to his seat, He opened and drank the soft drink and contemplated his next action. By the time he had finished the drink he decided that the best course of action for now was to sleep. His head still pounded and he hoped that rest would lessen the pain, and also perhaps give his companion time to recover consciousness.

Extracting the glove for his bare hand from his pocket and putting it on, then wrapping himself in the manner he had the officer, he tilted the seat back as far as it would go, before falling into a fitful slumber.

                         *            *            *            *            *