The Novels

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island? Study economics?
Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.(On hold.)
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

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Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 130 -- No Contact

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here:]
(The story starts here:

In the previous chapter, Bobbie and Karel began exploring the island:

Maybe you're wondering, at this point, why Wycliffe didn't put out a general call of distress on his radio. I am, too. But he didn't. People forget important things sometimes when they are under stress, or too focused on trying to make what they are doing succeed.

Anyway, we are pretty sure he didn't know that part of his penance would be watching over the two people he had kidnapped from the other side of the veil. So we can be pretty sure that wasn't a motivation, if he deliberately failed to make that distress call.

But I think we are wondering what Zedidiah did after Wycliffe radioed him during his trip from the uncharted island to the cache island, and why Wycliffe couldn't raise him on the radio. Let's find out.

"Wye calling Zed, are you there?"

"Zed here. How's the flight?"

"We had some engine problems and put down on the cache island. Our passengers explored the island a little while I checked the engine out and decided they want to camp out."

"Camp out? And I'm supposed to believe you did not have engine problems on purpose?"

"Wellll, ..."

"Yes, well. What are they going to do for food?"

"I packed them enough for three days."

"Hmm. Next time, I'm not going to be satisfied with just, 'I'll bring them back safe and sound.' Other preparations?"

"The tent in the emergency supplies is not a five star hotel, but I think it'll do."

"Where are they now?"

"Hiking while I work on tuning the engine."

"Make sure the engine is running well enough to get home immediately when they say they've had enough fun. Otherwise, we could be put in jail for kidnapping and who knows what else."

"Of course."

"I should let their professor know."

"Good idea."



"I don't think camping is an approved activity for them."

"With chaperone."

"You're crazy."


"Well, then, be a good chaperone. If you're not back tomorrow, I'll spend your money to get someone to fly me out there to get them."

"I'll check back in tomorrow. Out."

"Out." He put the mike back on its hook. "But not over. What does he think he's doing? Going camping on the spur of the moment would be just out of character for those two. A picnic, sure. That would have been great. Coming back here and calling their professor and then going camping with some one to keep them out of trouble, maybe. This is not going to fly."

Zedidiah fussed around the desk, putting things away that didn't need to be put away and then getting them back out again.

"And Wye usually doesn't push things. Maybe they did accept his suggestion. Deity knows they need a vacation, and we know they atually enjoy each other's company."

Half satisfying himself with that, he went to the Western Union office. After sending the telegram, he took care of some other business and went home.

When he came back to the office the next morning, he tried calling Wycliffe on the radio, getting no response. As usual, he left the radio on, half listening to the sporadic chatter, occasionally trying to contact Wycliffe, wondering what anyone would have made of yesterday's conversation.

But Wycliffe didn't radio in, as we know.

Around ten, a messenger from the Western Union office brought him a telegram from Professor MacVittie.


So Zedidiah tried once more to raise Wycliffe on the radio, and went to the Western Union office to make the international call. When he walked in the door, the clerk looked up from his console and said, "Your professor asked me to re-connect as soon as you came in. I think he's not happy." And he re-initiated the waiting connection.

"I'm sure. I wish Wycliffe had consulted with me more on this one."

"Professor MacVittie? He's here." And he handed him the phone.

"Zedidiah here, Professor."

"What's going on?"

"Yesterday, Wycliffe called to tell me that he had been able to persuade Karel and Bobbie to stop for camping on an island where we cache fuel and supplies. That's about it."

"Wycliffe is staying with them?"

"He said he would be."

"Have you heard from them today?"

"Not yet."

"I'm responsible for their physical and moral safety."

"We are aware of that."

"I'll book a flight for as soon as I can. Let me know if the situation changes or you get any news. You can reverse the charges."

"Will do."

On the way back to the office, he stopped at the local equivalent of a Coast Guard and asked for help checking on Wycliffe. The staff took down the island name and asked about the circumstances and promised to ask with ships and planes that might be in the area.

Back at the office, he tried the radio again, then went out looking for pilots who weren't busy.

Unfortunately, none of the other pilots who regularly worked out of that airport were available that day.

So he had to wait.

On the next day, there were storm warnings, and he telegraphed the professor to let him know. Pilots were tethering their planes. Nobody was going anywhere. Zedidiah felt helpless as the storm approached, but there really wasn't much he could do.

He spent most of the day and all of the night in the office, listening to the radio and periodically calling out a warning on it just in case. The storm passed by the main island about midnight, drenching everything in torrential rains, but the sky was clear in the morning.

Finally, about ten in the morning, he was able to get one of the other pilots, a friend named Matt, to take him to the cache island. The flight path turned out to be following the path of the storm, but the winds had died down by the time they arrived. Circling the island, they found no signs of the airplane, nor of anyone camping. On landing, they found the cache undisturbed in the cave where they kept it, along with Matt's and two other pilots' caches. None of the other caches showed any signs of being disturbed recently, either.

Zedidiah asked Matt to circle low over the sea around the island, and, on the tenth pass, about fifty miles out from the island, by pure luck, they caught sight of Wycliffe and Zedidiah's plane under the water. Matt radioed the location to the coast guard, and they went back to the island and set down.

Zedidiah suggested they refuel from his and Wycliffe's cache, but Matt said Zed and Wye would need it. So they left the cache in place and waited for the coast guard ship.

So, what are Bobbie and Karel doing on their second day on the island?

The table of contents can be found here:

[JMR20160614: The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here:]

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