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By Pat Frank

The vintage apocalyptic novel that shocked the realm.

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Example text

Also, she was the wife of Luther "Bubba" Offenhaus, Chief Tail-Twister of the Lions Club, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Deputy Director of Civil Defense for the whole county. He owned the most prosperous business in town, the Offenhaus Mortuary, and a twin real estate development, Repose-in-Peace Park. Alice lifted the menu. It fluttered. She set it down quickly and said, "Yes, again. " "You should eat more, Alice," Florence said, noticing how white and pinched her friend's face looked.

The present house had been built by his son-in-law, the first Marcus Bragg, a native of Philadelphia and a lawyer eventually sent to the Senate. The captain's walk had been added for the aging Lieutenant Peyton, so that with his brass spyglass he could observe what happened at the junction of rivers. Now the Bragg holdings had dwindled to thirty-six acres, but thirty were planted in prime citrus-navels, mandarins, Valencias, and Temples - all tended and sold in season by the county co-operative.

It was true that Florence Wechek, the manager, gossiped. Yet she judiciously classified the personal intelligence that flowed under her plump fingers, and maintained a prudent censorship over her tongue. The scandalous and the embarrassing she excised from her conversation. Sprightly, trivial, and harmless items she passed on to friends, thus enhancing her status and relieving the tedium of spinsterhood. If your sister was in trouble, and wired for money, the secret was safe with Florence Wechek.

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