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smiling. Michael saw that this was the high point of Vaughan’s life. “Hope they’re black,” Vaughan said. Michael opened his mouth to try again, knowing it was futile, and Vaughan said, “Got my hands full just now. Don’t make me come over there and tape your mouth shut. We got to fi nish up here and be on our way.” The “we” brought a moment of irrational hope. Was Vaughan planning to take Michael with him? At least out of range of the explosion? 336 lewis shiner Vaughan hooked up the last of the alligator clips and began to set the clock. “You got the time?” he said. “No, never mind, I guess you can’t get to your watch at the moment.” Vaughan seemed like the jovial host of a successful lawn party. “The time at the tone is two fi fty-nine. Ding!” Red digits fl ickered on the clock face and resolved to 2:59. “Let’s have our little surprise at, oh, say, 3:13.” He punched in the alarm time, then twisted the function dial to alarm. He set the clock down gently, facing outward, then turned to Michael and grabbed him under the armpits.
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