By Fred Saberhagen
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Extra resources for A Century of Progress
Norlund pulled into an empty space—there were a lot to choose from, and no parking meters. Slowly he disengaged his fingers from the wheel—his hands were cramped from the way he had been gripping it. He turned off the ignition. No one in nineteen thirty-three appeared to be taking any notice of his arrival. On the side of the street that he was facing from his driver's seat, two of the stores were empty, and their for rent signs appeared to have been up for a considerable time. The next thing that caught Norlund's eye was the small movie theater halfway down the block from where he'd parked.
He manhandled the pan over to the white enameled sink, and poured it out. The lady's nervous chatter thanked him, and informed him that some day she wanted an electric refrigerator, or maybe a gas model like one of those new Electroluxes. Norlund put the drain pan back under the icebox. Then from the cold radiator he picked up a piece of cardboard about a foot square. An advertisement was printed in the middle of it, and at each edge was a two-digit number in large bold numerals. Each number appeared upright when its edge was up.
Jerry's eyes popped wide open, even before, it seemed to him, his brain had had time to fully understand the words. In a moment he had completely forgotten his sweaty hike, his blistered feet. During the couple of seconds before he could answer, the old man glanced his way again, continuing the process of sizing him up. " "Hell no, I wouldn't kid about a thing like a job. It starts right now. Thing is, my regular partner's not available. " "Hell yes, I'll take a job. " Even as Jerry spoke an idea struck him, and he glanced back at the racks of radio equipment.