CHAPTER THIRTEEN- A visit to Crutchfield-On-The-Internet.
Ray found Crutchfield's web site address he had written down from his previous excursions. This would simplify matters immensely. Type it in, sit back and wait. With luck, he wouldn't have to wait long. Of course, the seconds drag on like hours when you're sitting there, watching that stupid little hour-glass icon spin. And spin and spin and spin. Sure, it's nice to know that your computer's doing something. But doing what? And for how much longer? Ray was already antsy from the evening's food and excitement. That was not the best way to start a night of tedious surfing. Should have had de-caf, Ray. At long last- really less than half a minute- The Arthur S. Crutchfield home page came into view. A classy green marble background with formal-looking gold serif capital letters. Ray felt he needed a tie. He was underdressed for the occasion. He popped a fresh blank disk into Drive A and started reading the screen:
ARTHUR SMITH CRUTCHFIELD
CLIMBERS IN LONDON
1938 TO PRESENT.
Below that rather ominous heading were several options for reading, including one map of London during the war and a current map of the surrounding suburbs, ostensibly showing how to get to Mister Crutchfield's house. The listing, which Ray Meadows traditionally would read in the order of their listing on this cover page, looked a bit like this:
1. About this web site.
2. A. S. C., pre-war biography.
3. A.S.C., publication & hospitalization.
4. A.S.C., role in war/life in London 1939-47.
5. A.S.C., first sightings & identifying.
6. A.S.C., present day.
7. Climbers, clinical summation.
8. In Search of Sanity- the book.
9. London sightings map, 1940-1946.
10. London & suburbs, present day.
Ray scanned the list, anxious to go through it all, but his old work habits held firm. Start with number one, Ray. Go through them one at a time, in order. Be meticulous. First: The save. Ray copied this title page to disk, then clicked on "1. About this web site.". These pages are usually short, no more than a single screen. This shouldn't take long. And he would have to admit: He did want to know who was doing this if it wasn't Crutchfield himself. The new page scrolled itself onto the screen and Ray began to read:
This A.S.C. web site is maintained by A.S.C. Supporters, U.S.A. on behalf of
Arthur Smith Crutchfield of Grangehill, London, England. All contents
copyright A.S.C.S., all rights reserved. No part of this site may be distributed
in any form without the express written consent of this owner. For
further information regarding contents and/or reprinting, contact yadda,
yadda, yadda . . . .
Ray thought he was finished with this page before he was done reading. He clicked on the save to copy it to the disk. As the little work window came up, it blocked out something that caught his eye. When the save was done, and the window was gone, he read the end of that paragraph again. Contact George Lawrence. George Lawrence? Too close to be a coincidence. Had to be related. Gilbert's brother? Had to be. Ray put this question in writing on the pad of paper next to the keyboard. Stuff to figure out later. Sounds like a little sibling rivalry here. Onward. What's next? Back on the first home page, Ray scanned the list. "2. A.S.C., pre-war biography". Ok, it's time for Arthur Crutchfield, the Early Years. That's as good a place as any to start. Alphabetical and chronological to boot. Move that cursor, click the mouse. Watch that stupid hour glass spin. This time, the new file took a bit longer to come up. More information takes more time. Lots of information takes lots of time. This one took almost a minute to come up on screen, a combination of the file size and a busy Saturday night on the 'Net. Ray was about ready to head downstairs for something to drink when the screen flashed and changed. The file started to scroll up and Ray started reading:
"Arthur Smith Crutchfield, named for his maternal Grandfather Arthur Johnathan Smith, was born on April 7th, 1928 in Charring Cross Hospital, near his parents home in Lambeth outside London. His father, Peter Crutchfield, worked as a secretary for the Foreign Service, rising to the position of senior office manager before the war. There is some small question about his true position in that office, since he