He provided his janitorial services for several

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Unformatted text preview: b was a rather basic incendiary device that, if detonated, would have quickly engulfed our printing room. There the fire would have been energized by various chemicals and no less than 110 gallons of printer's ink, and would have raced quickly through the front offices. After a few minutes, with no sprinkler system and no alarms, who knows how much of the upper two floors could have been saved. Probably not much. It was very likely that the fire, if properly detonated in the early hours of Thursday morning, would've burned most of the four buildings in our row. It was discovered sitting ominously, still intact, next to a pile of old papers in the printing room, by the village idiot. Or, I should say, one of the village idiots. Clanton had more than its share. His name was Piston, and he, like the building and the ancient press and the untouched libraries upstairs and down, came with the deal. Piston was not an official employee of theTimes, but he nonetheless showed up every Friday to collect his $50 in cash. No checks. For this fee he sometimes swept the floors and occasionally rearranged the dirt on the front windows, and he hauled out the trash when someone complained. He kept no hours, came and went as he pleased, didn't believe in knocking on doors when meetings were in progress, liked to use our phones and drink our coffee, and though he at first looked rather sinister eyes wide apart and covered with thick glasses, oversized trucker's cap pulled down low, scraggly beard, hideous buck teeth—he was harmless. He provided his janitorial services for several businesses around the square, and somehow survived. No one knew where he lived, or with whom, or how he got about town. The less we knew about Piston, the better. Piston was in early Thursday morning—he'd had a key for decades—and said that he first heard something ticking. Upon closer examination he noticed three, five-gallon plastic cans laced together with a wooden box sitting on the floor next to them. The ticking sou...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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