The Street That Wasnt There

Clifford Donald Simak
The Street That Wasn't There,

Clifford Donald Simak and Carl Richard Jacobi This eBook is for the
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Title: The Street That Wasn't There
Author: Clifford Donald Simak Carl Richard Jacobi
Release Date: August 2, 2007 [EBook #22218]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Greg Weeks, Sankar Viswanathan, and the Online
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Transcriber's Note:
This etext was produced from Comet, July 1941. Extensive research
did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this

publication was renewed.

The Street That
Wasn't There

* * * * *

Mr. Jonathon Chambers left his house on Maple Street at exactly seven
o'clock in the evening and set out on the daily walk he had taken, at the
same time, come rain or snow, for twenty solid years.
The walk never varied. He paced two blocks down Maple Street,
stopped at the Red Star confectionery to buy a Rose Trofero perfecto,
then walked to the end of the fourth block on Maple. There he turned
right on Lexington, followed Lexington to Oak, down Oak and so by
way of Lincoln back to Maple again and to his home.
He didn't walk fast. He took his time. He always returned to his front
door at exactly 7:45. No one ever stopped to talk with him. Even the
man at the Red Star confectionery, where he bought his cigar, remained
silent while the purchase was being made. Mr. Chambers merely
tapped on the glass top of the counter with a coin, the man reached in
and brought forth the box, and Mr. Chambers took his cigar. That was
For people long ago had gathered that Mr. Chambers desired to be left
alone. The newer generation of townsfolk called it eccentricity. Certain
uncouth persons had a different word for it. The oldsters remembered
that this queer looking individual with his black silk muffler, rosewood

cane and bowler hat once had been a professor at State University.
A professor of metaphysics, they seemed to recall, or some such
outlandish subject. At any rate a furore of some sort was connected
with his name ... at the time an academic scandal. He had written a
book, and he had taught the subject matter of that volume to his classes.
What that subject matter was, had long been forgotten, but whatever it
was had been considered sufficiently revolutionary to cost Mr.
Chambers his post at the university.
A silver moon shone over the chimney tops and a chill, impish October
wind was rustling the dead leaves when Mr. Chambers started out at
seven o'clock.
It was a good night, he told himself, smelling the clean, crisp air of
autumn and the faint pungence of distant wood smoke.
He walked unhurriedly, swinging his cane a bit less jauntily than
twenty years ago. He tucked the muffler more securely under the rusty
old topcoat and pulled his bowler hat more firmly on his head.
He noticed that the street light at the corner of Maple and Jefferson was
out and he grumbled a little to himself when he was forced to step off
the walk to circle a boarded-off section of newly-laid concrete work
before the driveway of 816.
It seemed that he reached the corner of Lexington and Maple just a bit
too quickly, but he told himself that this couldn't be. For he never did
that. For twenty years, since the year following his expulsion from the
university, he had lived by the clock.
The same thing, at the same time, day after day. He had not deliberately
set upon such a life of routine. A bachelor, living alone with sufficient
money to supply his humble needs, the timed existence had grown on
him gradually.
So he turned on Lexington and back on Oak. The dog at the corner of
Oak and Jefferson was waiting for him once again and came out

snarling and growling, snapping at his heels. But Mr. Chambers
pretended not to notice and the beast gave up the chase.
A radio was blaring down the street and faint wisps of what it was
blurting floated to Mr. Chambers.
"... still taking place ... Empire State building disappeared ... thin air ...
famed scientist, Dr. Edmund Harcourt...."
The wind whipped the muted words away and Mr. Chambers grumbled
to himself. Another one of those fantastic radio dramas, probably. He
remembered one from many years before,
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