The last thing Bob expected on returning to Wolfcrow was the news of Professor Sampler being arrested.
Arrested on charges of sedition – trying to mix the world of analog and digital – batting for both sides. Traitor. They were calling for his head. “But they won’t like what’s in it,” Professor Sampler was quoted as saying.
This had been happening for a few years now. Digitown, and its new technology, was too close for comfort. “Nobody will be spared,” the Mayor proclaimed. Half of Wolfcrow thought nobody guilty would be spared, while the other half thought nobody innocent will be spared justice. Either way, everyone knew nobody will be spared.
“You will never visit Digitown again, Bob. Promise me!” It was Mom.
“Don’t think I didn’t know where you were that night. I can’t have my son involved in all this. That shameful Professor has put all kinds of weird ideas into your head. I hope Grandma Moon talked some sense into you, after what happened to her and dad.”
When she turned around, there was no one there. Bob had left.
His head was steaming. Why did they arrest the innocent Professor? He was only talking sense!
The notes! He’ll have to hide the notes. Luckily, Ma hadn’t found them. He buried them in his diary. What is it to be, he asked himself? Cathy or no Cathy?
Of course, Cathy. There was never any doubt. Soon after lunch Bob took the bus to Digitown.
Maybe he hadn’t noticed it earlier, but there were signs on the roadside from both anti-Wolfcrow and anti-Digitown groups. Things were even more serious than it looked.
“They should just burn them down,” one passenger muttered.
Bob hadn’t thought about the problem of identity. Would they know he was an Analog? Did he have to act in a certain way to avoid scrutiny? For a few minutes he studied people at the bus stop. They looked normal. Or was it a facade?
Silly, he thought. Of course they’re normal. This is as good as it gets.
He rang her doorbell. It was answered by Teddy, her father. Bob suddenly wished he were back in his room in Wolfcrow. He knew Teddy had a shotgun he wasn’t afraid to use. An Analog would be a prize possession in these parts.
“What do you want?”
Things were going to get a whole lot worse for Bob.