You didn't tell us it was her birthday.
I hope he likes us all.
Let us examine our prison and see what it is like.
What's going to become of us now?
Let us hear the rest.
I just don't think it's a good idea for us to be out here alone.
He worries about all of us, you know.
I don't think they're with us any more.
Would you slow down before you kill us both?
He wants us to do everything he says without question.
Let us wait until evening.
No, Pete spotted them afore they saw us, so we got away.
If you change your mind, you know where to find us then.
Nonsense, you're not putting us out, but you're more than welcome to use the phone... and please call me Sarah.
Yes, I am, but please don't let us do like that....
He's a big horse, but I couldn't make him carry the two of us in that terrain.
Why don't we go out for supper tonight - just us and the kids?
We were delighted when Brandon called and told us he was bringing a friend.
"Then let us mount and ride," said the king.
There are not many left of us old friends!
It shows us at our best and at our cruelest.
You all have been so nice to us, and we've enjoyed our stay.
Going that way will put us further away from Ashley, but it will give us two advantages.
So tell us, how is your life in Arkansas?
"Let us call the neighbors together and have a grand wolf hunt to- morrow," said Putnam.
The rest of us will be along soon.
What is your sorcery good for if it cannot tell us the truth?
Let us consider for a moment what most of the trouble and anxiety which I have referred to is about, and how much it is necessary that we be troubled, or at least careful.
None of us would win a beauty contest, would we?
We only know that yesterday came a Rain of Stones upon us, which did much damage and injured some of our people.
Gentlemen, let us act!
Did you really think you had us fooled?
A little, why don't we go in and I'll make us some coffee?
That's a nice thought, but the rest of us aren't willing to let it stand that way.
None of us has the time to do that—but in the future, with my system, wisdom will operate at processor speeds.
"Tell us," said Al Mansour to the gardener, "tell us how you came to find that bag."
Let us see your arts, and the sorceries you are able to perform.
In the end, our fundamental challenge is to become better individuals, and technology offers little help on that front; it is up to each one of us to solve that for ourselves.
Dr. Bell went with us himself to the electrical building, and showed us some of the historical telephones.
"I think that before discussing these questions," Pierre continued, "we should ask the Emperor--most respectfully ask His Majesty--to let us know the number of our troops and the position in which our army and our forces now are, and then..."
Diablo. He's Yancey's method of relieving stress and getting away from us women once in a while.
I let our stupid house rules stand between us for a long time, but I was the one who finally broke them.
They won't expect us to go that way, and we can move around in the lava field without leaving tracks.
This will take us most of the way.
Let us walk up, and see where the doors lead to.
My father was most loving and indulgent, devoted to his home, seldom leaving us, except in the hunting season.
"I wonder if God is punishing us," she mused.
"We will all arise, every one of us will go, for our father the Tsar!" he shouted, rolling his bloodshot eyes.
As for us, Count, we get along on our pay.
"Come to us, oh, Gwig!" called the man, in a loud voice.
"Now let us go back to the city," suggested the Wizard.
You would set all Russia against you and every one of us would feel ashamed to wear the uniform.
They don't scare us much.
They allowed us to grind the spices, pick over the raisins and lick the stirring spoons.
The thick wood is not just at our door, nor the pond, but somewhat is always clearing, familiar and worn by us, appropriated and fenced in some way, and reclaimed from Nature.
Very possibly the theater of war will move so near to us that...
I can see plenty of nice gardens and fields down below us, at the edge of this city.
The Emperor has deigned to summon us and the merchants.
And do you know, Daddy, the day before yesterday we ran at them and, my word, they didn't let us get near before they just threw down their muskets and went on their knees.
Mother usually knows what she is about, but she made a mistake this time; for you are sure to escape us unless you come too near, and you probably won't do that.
"That is not a fair question to ask us," declared another dragonette.
No, if one of us has to get snowed in up here, I'd rather it was me.
"What are you going to do with us?" asked Zeb.
It's no place for us, Zeb.
"Let us go and have supper," he said with a sigh, going to the door.
Let us all be a happy family and love one another.
They have no weapons to hurt us with.
They haven't defeated us yet, and Jim is worth a whole army.
"Tell us, dear, what do the creatures look like?" she asked, addressing her pet.
"Then we're all right," said the girl, "for if the dragon went the other way she can't poss'bly get to us now."
In addition, how food affects us unquestionably has a lot to do with genetic factors, and because everyone has a different genetic makeup, different foods affect each of us differently.
Hopefully, they don't see us either.
But don't let us worry over such things, Zeb; we can't help ourselves just now, you know, and I've always been told it's foolish to borrow trouble.
"By the way," said the man with the star, looking steadily at the Sorcerer, "you told us yesterday that there would not be a second Rain of Stones.
Frequently we came upon impassable thickets which forced us to take a round about way.
There is actually no place in this village for a work of fine art, if any had come down to us, to stand, for our lives, our houses and streets, furnish no proper pedestal for it.
We consider ourselves very beautiful in appearance, for mother has told us so, and she knows.
"We KNOW that He loves us," He says.
For Christ's sake think of us! cried his wife, referring to the rumors of war and the enemy.
"They've brought us all to ruin... the brigands!" he repeated, and descended the porch steps.
"If the Wizard was here," said one of the piglets, sobbing bitterly, "he would not see us suffer so."
Many large and fierce bears roam in the Valley of Voe, and when they can catch any of us they eat us up; but as they cannot see us, we seldom get caught.
"That is true," agreed the Wizard, "and as the river seems to be flowing in the direction of the Pyramid Mountain it will be the easiest way for us to travel."
"They are probably keeping us for some ceremony," the Wizard answered, reflectively; "but there is no doubt they intend to kill us as dead as possible in a short time."
"But how would it help us to be able to fly?" questioned the girl.
But come, my children; let us explore the mountain and discover which way we must go in order to escape from this cavern, which is getting to be almost as hot as a bake-oven.
"Then we must wait for half an hour," she continued; "but it won't take long, after that, to carry us all to the Emerald City."
He sends soldiers among us to take away our liberty.
"Draw the curtain aside and show us the picture," he said.
"Look at the flowers carefully," said the queen, "and let us have your answer."
"Why did you tell us where to find it?" he asked.
Give us a few days to learn what sort of laws you will make for us, and then we will say whether we can submit to them or not.
I refer to history extensively in these pages because I believe historical people are exactly like us, only in different circumstances.
Three centuries later, it became a hereditary right and came with a daily ration of two pounds of bread ("Hey, you don't expect us to cook the free grain, do you?") and occasionally included meat, olive oil, and salt.
For computations, we developed processes that required us to perform many intermediate, error-prone steps to achieve an answer.
Father took us to see steamboat.
We thought everything was arranged: but we found Monday that Mrs. Elliott would not be willing to let us invite more than fifty people, because Mrs. Howe's house is quite small.
Funny makes us laugh.
The cause of the destruction of the French army in 1812 is clear to us now.
There will be one from each of us to the other, and then a couple for the children from Santa.
If something happens to the rest of us, I want you to ride as fast as you can to Ashley.
Is it necessary to have someone say words over us, when we already know what we want?
"None of us has had breakfast," said the boy; "and in a time of danger like this it's foolish to talk about eating."
"Ours gives us kisses," said Charlot.
In short, it tells us everything about ourselves.
Prince Andrew again interrupted him, let us talk business.
Let us talk about you, he added after a silence, smiling at his reassuring thoughts.
"So do come and dine with us!" he said.
Schubert, the colonel of the Pavlograd Hussars, is dining with us today.
They've brought us to utter ruin!
The Spartans said to one another, Let us throw this fellow into the rocky chasm.
"Now, Princess," exclaimed the Wizard, "those of your advisors who wished to throw us into the Garden of Clinging Vines must step within this circle of light.
"Why, they are driving us toward the Black Pit, into which they threatened to cast us," replied the kitten.
"They walled us up in a mountain," continued the Wizard; "but we found there was a tunnel through to this side, so we came here.
The dama-fruit is the most delicious thing that grows, and when it makes us invisible the bears cannot find us to eat us up.
"Permit me to say," returned the dragonette, "that you are rather impolite to call us names, knowing that we cannot resent your insults.
Will you kindly tell us which way your mother went to get on top the earth?
For, if we told you truly, you might escape us altogether; and if we told you an untruth we would be naughty and deserve to be punished.
The mother dragon may come down and catch us here.
After you went up in a balloon, and escaped us, I got back to Kansas by means of a pair of magical silver shoes.
"Do you mean that Princess Ozma will see this cave in her enchanted picture, and see all of us here, and what we are doing?" demanded Zeb.
"Take us, too!" cried the nine tiny piglets, all in one breath.
Let us be ready, for we may be sent for any minute.
"He shall amuse us with his tricks tomorrow," said the Princess.
So let us cease this talk of skull crushing and converse upon more pleasant subjects.
So don't let us keep it waiting a single minute.
"Come, Ozma," she said, anxiously; "let us go ourselves to search for the piglet."
"But why didn't you tell us at first?" she asked.
He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
He makes us pay taxes and gives us nothing in return.
"Let us go and ask him," said the stranger.
"Come with us," they said, "and we will teach you that the king's soldiers are not to be trifled with."
So, let us go on with the work that is before us.
And people say that fortune comes to us in our sleep.
"I saw two hundred of them in the village below us," said one of his officers.
"Why didn't you come to us before?" he asked.
"Well, then," said the caliph, "why did you not return it to us at once?"
We post pictures, the progress of our relationship, and people can follow our "us" page.
The choices we make to test options never before contemplated will tell us all kinds of new things about ourselves.
Think about it this way: All the technology accumulated from the dawn of time to today has given us a certain amount of processing power.
It will make us all profoundly wise, wiser than the wisest person who has ever lived.
Before we take that further, let's consider something the Internet has taught us about ourselves.
These tell us something about ourselves we didn't know before.
Well, that tells us something new about ourselves—in fact, a lot of things: the kinds of information we want to share, the kinds of information we want to consume, and the immediacy with which we want it all to occur.
More precisely, we will probably teach machines to teach themselves how to process it for us and surface findings to us.
Up until now, we have thought of the Internet as a place to store information, and we have depended upon search engines to help us find it.
No human could ever do this, for in these purely computational matters, machines are vastly superior to us, and always will be.
That brings us back to the need to share data—and to our online example with Amazon, and our offline example with our salesperson.
The idea was that it would be great to make machines that behaved like us and, through that, we could harness their abilities.
Perhaps we all have such remarkable abilities but are impaired in a way—maybe the rest of us have a disease to which these savants are immune.
So where does that leave us in our quest to end disease?
Let us put the bar there.
Today, it is hard for us to imagine what that time was like.
This goal is within our grasp—and with the vaccine presently priced at about thirty cents a child, shame on us for not ending polio once and for all.
Smallpox has been with us for thousands of years.
We are most horrified by that which strikes closest to us and reminds us of our own mortality.
The factors that enable us to solve for and eliminate disease are getting better all the time, like wind at our back, pushing us forward.
And then we come to Greece, the home of Hippocrates, the "Father of Modern Medicine," who left us not just the oath that bears his name but also a corpus of roughly sixty medical texts based on his teaching.
Certainly some of the medical practices of the ancient world, such as bloodletting and the use of leeches, seem to us at least misguided and at worst, barbaric.
The 1960s brought us hip replacement, the artificial heart, a liver transplant, and a lung transplant.
The 1990s brought us a hepatitis A vaccine and artificial muscles.
The same happenchance brought us the learning that children in schools with fluorescent lights get fewer cavities than those in schools with incandescent lighting.
This method will allow us to treat the entire world as a controlled experiment in retrospect.
A record of all human activity, with anonymity safeguards in place, will allow us all to become part of the solution by putting our minds to work on the problems of the world.
Metallurgy gives us steel with which we can fashion either swords or plowshares.
Technology allowed us to peer deeper into the mysteries of the miniscule.
Better microscopes gave us more information, more ways to unlock the secrets of life.
Those differences are part of what makes us unique.
How will all of this help us end disease?
First: It will help us understand why certain people get certain genetic diseases.
This will likely not ever be perfect, but any insight it can offer us is a gain.
Economically, we understand the world around us in terms of scarcity.
The notion of scarcity is so ingrained in us and so permeates the world today, it is difficult to imagine a world without it.
So they threw their sabots, a kind of clog shoe, into the machinery to break it—an act that gave us the word sabotage.
Nanotechnology will give us metals that don't bend, or bend and yet remember their original shape.
That brings us back to the thousandfold increase in wealth, which the world will soon experience.
But I expect that technology and free enterprise will take us across a threshold where things formerly regarded as scarce will not be so any more.
But as we grew up, reality set in that market forces did not allow those activities to pay enough to support us, so at some point we all figured out we had to "earn a living."
And that meant, for too many of us, ditching what we loved to do and doing the work of a machine.
I base that expectation in part on the fact that today, many of us already live in more comfort than the richest king in the world did two hundred years ago.
Trade and the division of labor have given us vast amounts of wealth.
Technology has made us ever more productive.
By taking this "Absolutely no GMOs" stance they completely remove themselves from the debate and as such have no voice in the discussion about what direction to take GM: what are safe testing practices, what factors will we optimize for, and the whole host of questions that face us on this, the eve of a momentous leap forward.
The issues are difficult because fundamentally none of us knows the ultimate effects.
But in the meantime, hunger will stay with us even in the world of plenty.
As they died, they shouted, 'Communist Party, Chairman Mao, save us.'
What would we have the centuries to come to say about us: That we were so eager to maximize our position of power and wealth that we turned a blind eye to injustice?
The only thing that separates us from that world is this thing called civilization.
Then war can become obsolete, as foreign to us as slavery and public hangings.
By declaring a pretty broad range of things worth killing and dying for, we say that each of those is more precious to us than human life.
Tell us about your... clinic.
Actually, everything belongs to both of us, but I was the one who had the lifelong dream of a horse ranch.
"She could stay with us," Katie interjected.
You take care of yourself and come visit us sometime.
I can't imagine why he didn't tell us his friend was a pretty girl.
Now get on in the house and give us some privacy.
They're not going to kick us out.
If one of us has to leave, I'll go.
Now both of you get in here before we make a scene that gets us all thrown out.
It will serve no purpose to get us both killed on the way up there.
I'll find out, anyway, but you could save us both some time if you tell me now.
He's going to be ridin' with us to Ashley.
They'd bring her back and beg us to hold her while they ran.
When she signed on, she said none of us have to do her work.
He left us kids to fend for ourselves and now he thinks he can come back and pick up where he left off.
You're holding us up.
We're close enough, and our camp sight will give us a little protection from the coming storm.
The water wasn't much more than a drip and it took us a long time to fill the canteens.
"How long will you be with us?" he asked.
It almost got us that time, Dorothy.
Then we may be sure that he will never trouble us again.
Let us have a good old song that will help to keep us warm.
But our dear mother waits on us herself.
And that leads us to a critical question: Who decides what we will make the Internet do?
All of us, through the choices we make.
The problem for us was always that it is easier to get a car running than it is to fix the brakes.
Of course I did not know what it was all about, but I enjoyed the pleasant odours that filled the house and the tidbits that were given to Martha Washington and me to keep us quiet.
When we arrived in Baltimore, Dr. Chisholm received us kindly: but he could do nothing.
I was keenly surprised and disappointed years later to learn of their acts of persecution that make us tingle with shame, even while we glory in the courage and energy that gave us our "Country Beautiful."
But during the night the fury of the wind increased to such a degree that it thrilled us with a vague terror.
Would not it be lovely if Mrs. Pratt could meet us there?
Mr. Anagnos wrote in the report of the Perkins Institution, dated November 27, 1888: At my urgent request, Helen, accompanied by her mother and her teacher, came to the North in the last week of May, and spent several months with us as our guests....
Indeed, the Tophetic weather has reduced us all to a semi-liquid state.
The anemone, the wild violet, the hepatica, and the funny little curled-up ferns all peeped out at us from beneath the brown leaves.
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
Howard was no doubt an exceedingly kind and worthy man in his way, and has his reward; but, comparatively speaking, what are a hundred Howards to us, if their philanthropy do not help us in our best estate, when we are most worthy to be helped?
Let us go ourselves.
"Encouraging us to get along quicker," said another uneasily.
Let us attack them!
And who then would give us the Vladimir medal and ribbon?
Bring us nice news of a victory by the Archduke Karl or Ferdinand (one archduke's as good as another, as you know) and even if it is only over a fire brigade of Bonaparte's, that will be another story and we'll fire off some cannon!
The nobility don't gwudge theah lives--evewy one of us will go and bwing in more wecwuits, and the sov'weign" (that was the way he referred to the Emperor) "need only say the word and we'll all die fo' him!" added the orator with animation.
God's will be done to us all!
What... what they have brought us to!
I've been getting the feeling she is trying to break us up.
What else has happened to make you think she is trying to break us up?
I'm saying their lives will be complicated enough without us adding problems to it.
It came from us.
I don't want her to wake up in a strange room and not be able to find us.
Thank you for inviting us.
We all knew about his family, but the way he acted, it was as if he wanted to hide them from us.
He thinks you are better than us.
She thinks Alex is abandoning us.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all wish everyone would like us.
But you don't believe us.
You've always taken care of us.
It's wandering around in circles and it's not at all afraid of us.
I told you there was nothing going on between us.
It works for us.
She has great understanding of us.
Sit down and have breakfast with us.
I want the closeness of having them live with us.
I don't want things to be professional – not for you here and not between us.
It's our home and you're more than a sitter or maid to all of us.
It hasn't been easy - for either of us.
We couldn't afford an apartment right now - even with the two of us.
We can't expect them to make an exception for us.
At the funeral, you didn't even set with us.
Sweetheart, let's not let this come between us.
Don't pay any attention to him, Fritz, he's just tryin' to scare us.
It might be the last trip for all of us.
They've got mules to eat now, why would they want to follow us?
But if they don't want our food, why would they follow us?
If they did, they'll be looking for us.
Will they follow us?
Don't let it come between us.
Meet us in town this afternoon.
Whatever their reasons, they treated us well.
Eventually they even set us free.
I never would have believed he would run off and leave us like that.
I thought he loved us.
Do you think you could scare us up a warm snack?
Between the two of us we ought to be able to carry them down to that room.
No. You'll eat with us.
You eat with us.
When Dad died, he left this Ranch to his wife and stepson and his fortune went to the rest of us kids.
If you decide you want to go, you can leave with us tomorrow morning.
Then I wondered if you were putting on a show for her to prove nothing was going on between us.
It happens to all of us now and then.
But what we do with our time after work is strictly between the two of us.
Remember when Claudette interrupted us in the kitchen?
I thought you were upset because Mary caught us together.
I knew I had ruined everything between us.
We'll hear him the same as when he's in here, but he won't be disturbed by us when we talk.
The pure uniqueness of what we did virtually demands that there exist somewhere a record of what transpired and the terrible toll the results exerted on those of us involved.
Both of us were new to New York City, and had few or no friends.
Each of us maintains our own apartment, but when Betsy is in town, we spend most nights together.
Jane, our GPS, as Betsy named her, didn't let us down and we found our friend's cabin at the end of a dusty road, hungry for dinner after a six hour drive.
She led us into a large room, dominated by a pot belly stove.
"I hope you don't mind mice," Quinn said with a smile as he showed us a small room behind the kitchen.
Martha smiled at us.
Think of us like sister and brother.
His mother pushed him off on us because he stayed up here in New Hampshire because he stayed here a couple of summers growing and she thought visiting might jar something loose.
Oblivious as we were at the time, this meeting of the five of us was the beginning of a relationship that fused our lives together in a way we never would have imagined.
Only he, unknown to any of us, was as yet absent from our lives.
He smiled and joined us for a glass.
Quinn lit the large stove to stave off the cold as rain pounded the metal roof above us.
Betsy and Martha, now practically best friends, conspired together against the rest of us until they owned most of the board.
The rest of us were spiraling toward bankruptcy when Howie turned to Martha.
It was easy for us to recognize Martha's pain with the subject.
A roll of the dice changed the lives of all of us and hundreds of others forever.
Several minutes stretched into ten or more with neither of us closing our eyes.
Martha called after us.
While the rest of us breathed a sigh of relief, Howie remained uncomfortable.
He picked at his food while the rest of us wolfed down stacks of pancakes and melt in your mouth sausage, the finest breakfast I'd eaten in years.
I'd wait for him come to us.
Betsy was in the kitchen, baking scones for a mid-morning snack, while the rest of us were lounging around the main room vetoing each other's suggestions.
The characters were as tangible as all of us standing in this room.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
"Thank goodness," Quinn said with a sigh Betsy harbored more interest in the subject than the rest of us.
"Wouldn't you want the answers to those questions?" she asked all of us.
I wasn't sure that bit of philosophy got us anywhere.
"Oh, Howie," Martha said, "you don't have to go to that much trouble just to convince us."
You have to promise whatever happens, it stays with us five of us.
Three of us sat around the table while Quinn continued to read in a corner rocker.
He looked at each of us in turn.
The four of us retreated to the first floor, amid a rain of questions while he remained upstairs.
Howie kept us in suspense until we assumed our seats around the table.
None of us admitted to the possibility that the visions were real visits to the past.
How many times have any of us been involved in an event remotely exciting?
The meat was meant for outdoor grilling, but the rain kept us inside.
Quinn joined us briefly for dinner.
None of us felt the excitement of the afternoon.
The Red Sox were in town to take on the Yankees, a revered experience for us died hard fans.
Promise this will be between us.
Neither of us mentioned the subject since we left New Hampshire.
Even if Brockville proved to be all he described, what would that tell us?
I guess I'd try to convince Quinn to let us use his stuff.
Whatever happens, it's not going beyond the five of us.
The trip took us out of the District on the Maryland side as we headed west through picturesque rolling hills and farm lands.
Our GPS guided us up and down and around and around for the next hour and a half.
With his hands to his face, he burst into tears, shocking us.
A red brick municipal building stood at the far end of the street ahead of us.
Betsy called to her and she stopped and smiled as Betsy introduced us as interested tourists.
The woman introduced herself as Annie Mae Wilkie and informed us she was the treasurer of Brockville, in addition to holding several other positions.
She was eager to answer our questions and invited us into the building.
"Did you have kin from here?" she asked as she unlocked the building and guided us into a large office that smelled of cigars and dust.
Little conversation took place as each of us kept our thoughts to ourselves.
You're the only one of us who is his longtime friend.
Our work concerns electrostatic forces; force fields that surround us everywhere.
We assumed Howie would beg for the five of us to be in attendance.
Everyone was tired so after perfunctory greetings over a single glass of wine for those of us drinking, we retreated to our sleeping quarters.
We all climbed the stairs as Quinn greeted us.
"That was fast," he said, the only one of us not expressing jubilation.
"Tell us where you were," Betsy begged, hardly able to contain herself as she turned on her tape recorder.
Quinn joined us, looking more interested than earlier.
"Humor us, darling," she said.
Howie remained silent during verbal our exchange, looking form one of us to the other, content to let us orchestrate the production.
When I rose and asked if we were ready to begin another session, he was eager to join us on our trek to the basement.
Martha brewed coffee for us and hot chocolate for Howie.
Howie jumped on Betsy, startling us.
He didn't convey his conclusions to us.
None of us would admit it out loud, but each harbored the same thought.
Howie continued to look to us for direction while remaining adamant we exclude so much as mention of what we were doing to anyone outside our group.
Howie, ever hyper about the security of our endeavors, forbid our even discussing any interim results by phone, thereby leaving us in the dark.
Howie was due within the hour so only Quinn and Martha met us at the door.
The four of us gathered in the Le Blanc living room as soon as greetings were exchanged.
He insists you two be with us before we move forward.
There are tests I could conduct that would give us direction and maybe some answers but he refuses to even discuss them.
Martha looked at it longingly while the three of us emptied one in no time with Quinn doening the lion's share.
She looked at her husband, the most closed minded among us, when she spoke.
"Tell us what you want us to do," Betsy said.
Just don't tell us how you do it.
Howie directed the four of us to go someplace nearby, inside or outside, and not divulge the location.
In spite of the lateness of the hour, the rest of us were far too hyper for sleep.
Howie was as excited as us once we could transport him more precisely.
He wouldn't let us do any sort of test like what he just proposed until you guys arrived.
When Howie is unable to verify what we do perhaps he'll let us investigate what's causing his mind to create these fantasies.
Our visions continued to keep us awake long into the night.
Each of us could find separate areas to be alone but remain close to each other.
None of us divulged what we did.
I don't know who among us was the most nervous.
Just tell us what to do.
Betsy turned on a tape recorder as Howie reclined on the bed, turning away from us.
In retrospect, it was a miracle none of us fainted.
Howie continued to tell all of us exactly what we did, relating our deeds and writings with absolute perfection.
It took him only a few minutes in between each pronouncement to locate us.
"Thank god Howie pledged us to secrecy," I said.
I'm sorry I involved you but we're in this together; the five of us.
I mean this stays with the five of us.
The rest of us followed and we could hear Howie retching in the bathroom.
What we heard shocked us as Howie began to speak.
We have an out of state rental car and no one could possibly recognize either of us.
Martha cried and laughed and hugged each of us, one by one.
The rest of us looked to Howie, all of us wondering what roads we'd travel forward.
Martha looked at each of us.
Howie, you, Quinn and Martha worked together without us.
We're putting all of us at risk.
The least we should do is come up with a fool proof way of giving a tip that can't be traced back to us!
Don't forget the Burton boy is alive because of us.
Then Howie stunned us.
By the time we reached our apartment, both of us were exhausted wrecks.
Our need for secrecy, all five of us, extended far beyond personal culpability.
We agreed there'd be no more sessions unless all five of us were together.
Here we were, caught up in the euphoria of our accomplishments, like a group of dissimilar workers sharing a winning power ball ticket, and thinking that success made us friends for ever.
Four dissimilar individuals, tied to a damaged being known only to one of us who at one time hated him for the loss of her friend.
He named a figure that surprised us by being far less than we'd guessed.
However, my wife was far and away the most intelligent of the five of us and understood our success depended on strong leadership.
When not with us, he was on his own, with no companion but his troubled mind.
The case was only hours old when Betsy spotted it giving us hope for the boy's recovery and the perpetrator's arrest.
The news was devastating to all of us.
If we can show them it's in their best interests to work with us and let us keep our privacy we're far better off.
If he can get us better and timelier information and direct us to the best place to call in our tips, we're miles ahead.
How do we stop him from tracking us down?
First off; we can't have you or anyone near you making any attempt to find out anything about us.
You'll get tips from us and follow up on them the same as any tips.
What exactly do you want from us?
A lot of jurisdictions aren't in a hurry to get us involved.
You're not going vigilante on us are you?
If we could convince him to give you free rein to helping us with him remaining totally in the dark, we'd both have what we want.
Perhaps, Daniel Brennan could get out of the kitchen but the five of us would be left sitting on the stove.
We were picked up by Martha and arrived just as Quinn and who'd ferried Howie pulled in behind us.
Let's see what Brennan can do for us.
I told him I had no idea how you accomplished what you did but you were a crystal ball of an asset to us.
He agreed to keep our conversation limited to the two of us and is willing to listen to you.
Tell Brennan he has carte blanch to give us everything within reason we might need.
Four of us, sans Martha, shared a bottle of bourbon with Quinn drinking two for each of ours.
We were provided with a database that allowed us to identify various vehicles.
There was helpful information for us to improve observation techniques.
Brennan offered to pay us but we collectively agreed to not become wards of the government.
Did you tell him about us?
He's been on the up and up with us to date.
What could possibly be more important to us than saving lives?
You don't know anything about us.
You must want more from us; at least knowledge of whom we are and what exactly we do and how we do it.
You've asking nothing of us?
How can you trust us?
Personally, the thought we might work together in one location, absent the hectic schedule presently exhausting us, made me giddy and set my mind a-tumble with possibilities.
We never-the-less decided to postpone discussion until the following day when, as Martha said, we had a night of rumination and our wits about us.
Our nervous quintet settled in, ordered wine for the drinkers and waited for one of us to start the conversation.
This Cooms guy said he'd fix us up any place we wanted, didn't he?
We've skated around saying nothing since Ben played us Mr. Cooms' conversation.
I, for one, would like to find a secure place in a medium size town, with all of us living nearby.
There's this God-given gift hanging up there like a paper moon that only the five of us can make happen.
The way we're operating is killing us.
I have the least rewarding job of any of us so my desires are directed to family and this mind boggling venture Howie is taking us on.
"And keeping us safe," Betsy added.
The way Mr. Cooms cautioned us hit home with me.
I'm not sure anyone else in our group was in shape to drive home after our champagne celebration of the scary new life each of us agreed to embrace.
"It was bound to happen," I said as I passed the Boston paper to the others as they joined us.
"Mr. Cooms hit the nail squarely when he cautioned us to be careful," my wife said.
Are we certain the tips this woman cited can't be traced back to us?
I don't see how these calls could be tagged back to us.
That's where the three of us grew up.
All five of us would be employed in various capacities at very generous salaries.
Each of us received a six figure hiring bonus.
An overseas bank account in the company name contained a balance of one million dollars as startup funds for us to secure quarters for the enterprise.
Each of us nervously cut ties with our past by giving notice, making moving plans and advising our few friends and relatives.
The house was far too large for us with five bedrooms and three baths but Betsy had plans!
Howie surprised us all by buying a fairly large home north west of town on the Old Walpole Road.
Mortgages for all of us were quickly processed through a private bank owned by one of Merrill Cooms' entities.
To ask Brennan directly might lead to us so I made up a story we were checking old cases to see if someone released from prison might have returned to this type of crime.
Each of us took turns thanking Merrill Cooms personally on the phone although he insisted it was unnecessary.
He now knew there were five of us although no other information was conveyed to him.
As each of us spent five full days a week together, we agreed to go our own ways on weekends, establishing an outside life.
Each of us was relieving our daily pressure with other interests.
Together we let a dog choose us at the local humane society.
"He confessed," Brennan told us later.
Brennan thanked us for the name and said he'd try to run down his whereabouts.
So was Merrill Cooms who told us his investment was paltry compared to getting, as he called him, "that monster Cummings."
However, none of us uncrossed our fingers.
No eyes can ever see us together!
I see on the internet another one of us was caught!
In truth, the raw information funneled to us was transmitted as received after passing through our office.
While we were free to play with it, nothing was required of us.
Hundreds of printed reports covered our premises like a winter blizzard making us look as busy as a toy store at Christmas.
The four of us unanimously disagreed.
While none of us opted for involvement, Howie's insistence was the first time he hadn't acted like a tethered toddler.
Betsy offered as the five of us brainstormed.
New local acquaintances never questioned us about work and we displayed no interest in anything pertaining to crime or mayhem.
No one had learned to duplicate his settings nor did any of us want to be so educated.
I was surprised the FBI didn't press us on some of these more prominent cases.
If pressure was applied to Daniel Brennan, it was never passed on to us.
He'll own up to us in his own time.
You're going to tell us Howie isn't a virgin anymore, aren't you?
One of us chatted with Merrill Cooms weekly, simply keeping in touch with our benefactor.
While Merrill Cooms knew there were five of us and had spoken to each, we'd never identified which one of us held the gift.
I so informed Mr. Cooms and between us, a patient doctor relationship was arranged for Howie.
Later the same day, he informed all of us he was getting needed help, as he put it.
I'd love to put this behind us but it takes time.
Keep on top of it for us, will you?
Our credibility is important to us.
It was difficult for all of us to maintain attention as Howie watched the child sleep.
"I never did know how he got in the house he moved so silently," Howie told us later.
The license plate was from Missouri and Howie managed to recite the numbers to us together with a detailed description of the car, an older Buick.
He too was excited with Howie's success and promised to keep us informed.
"Maybe we'll get lucky," Brennan said, but none of us believed it.
However, we feared no threat from either, nor did we feel they wished to identify us.
The downside of setting up identities was that someone would learn more detail about us than we'd previously released.
If one of us is identified as being part of what we're doing, we're all in trouble.
He gave us access to a web site on which to submit our information.
If one of us is threatened, we can't give up the others if we don't know where they went.
No handshake for Julie; she gave each of us a robust hug.
She looked at each of us in turn.
She turned to us.
In his absence, Julie surprised us once more by thanking us for referring Howie to a psychiatrist.
Howie's one of us!
Granted, he's been secretive about Julie but the fact he brought her here to meet us shows he's opening up.
None of us believed it was.
Would he surmise you're as limited by the dark as the rest of us earthlings?
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.