Skolnik Page 7
     Harry liked the outdoor life. He had a great crew and liked to hang out with them more than being at home. His wife was a nag. The boys didn't need him anymore. He'd set them straight fast enough and they had become God-fearing young men who never failed to call him sir. He liked hunting and fishing and killing things. He liked the way the deer dropped when he caught them between the eyes. He figured he could survive in the wilderness if it ever came to that and could see a day when the forces of good would be arrayed against the forces of evil and people like himself might have to take to the forests. They'd talked it over in the crew and swore they'd stick together.
     People went about their business but they were thinking about the contest all the time. Previous winners appeared on television and shared their experiences with the viewing audience. Some endorsed products and some delivered learned opinions sitting around big tables from

morning till night. Whenever you saw someone on television you could be pretty sure he had won unless it was someone talking about what not winning was like. Some of those who didn't win went to jail but sometimes someone who won went to jail too. That was odd. People really couldn't understand it. Not even the President understood it. He said as much answering a reporter's question before flying home for a short vacation.
     When John got out of the Navy he'd been full of hope. He thought he'd find the right woman and a good job and be set for life but it hadn't worked out. He'd bummed around for a few years, moving out to Chicago and then going down to New Orleans by way of Louisville and ending up in Miami where he'd worked for a while doing maintenance in a beachfront hotel until he got into a fight and they fired him. Then to New York where he'd signed up with the merchant marine as a utilityman and shipped out on an oil tanker running raw petroleum to the West