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By Stanislaw Lem

A tender officer at Scotland backyard is assigned to enquire a perplexing and eerie case of missing-and it appears resurrected-bodies. to resolve the secret, Lt. Gregory consults medical, philosophical, and theological specialists, who provide him with a number of theories and clues.

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He began to yearn for the moment when the creaking would stop; sometimes he had to wait an hour or two to get some peace. Moreover, Mrs. Fenshawe was usually accompanied by two black cats, which to all appearances she took care of, and Gregory, for no apparent reason, couldn't stand either of them. At least a dozen times he told himself that none of this was any of his business, and in fact if it hadn't been for Mr. Fenshawe he would have been able to ignore everything that went on outside his room.

He was speeding through the deserted streets at nearly seventy miles per hour, his siren howling. Gregory found the thermos, drained a full cup in one gulp, and passed it on to the others. The siren wailed in the night. This was the kind of ride Gregory loved. The headlights swept around the turns. It was gray everywhere, except for the white snow in the street. " Gregory asked. No one answered. "The report came in from the local station," said Calls after a moment. "It seems that the guy on duty at the cemetery was pulled out from under a car by one of our motorcycle patrols.

Staring blankly at the row of accidental faces sitting opposite him, Gregory again reviewed the meeting with Sheppard. There was more to it than he yet understood, he felt, but he'd only be able to figure out its real meaning if he concentrated. Gradually he became aware of an uneasy feeling circulating in his consciousness, and finally it formed itself into words: "There's trouble. Something terrible and irreversible happened this evening. . " As if cut off by some outside force, this line of thought suddenly came to a dead end.

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