Norm Venner's fancy was pretty well fixed on thoughts of electronic calculators—until the invention started making passes at the inventor!
d at curves. Deriving them by the old methods was just too much horse-work for any joke. And it didn't have to be a joke, either. The joke might be just the cover for a more sinister activity--bosh! If that were the case, why call attention to it with funny-business?
But what hurt was the girl's being mixed up in it. He could take a rib from Charley, for instance, but the girl was practically a stranger--unfortunately. Women could be cruel, as his mother had often warned him. He thought of his mother's last year in the hospital and winced. She had sacrificed so much for him; and yet, was it really better to be a free bachelor than an old family man like Charley? There wasn't anything the matter with Alice that he could see. Charley loved her; that was plain.
Tonight should solve the thing, once and for all. He left the plant, speaking to everyone he met as he usually did. Then he sneaked back in, with the guard's help, and hid in his own office with the lights out.
His phone rang
Norm built his analog computer to do everything he could, faster. Could the damn thing be flirting with him, or is it some kind of joke?
A very mild mystery, nothing too special.