It was a balmy summer evening in 1923. I had just secured my degree from the University of Missouri, and had moved into a stately brick home in St. Louis. One of my first orders of business was to look up Dr. Leonard Forbes. He had been finishing his PhD in Chemistry while I was working on my bachelor's. We worked at the same lab on campus, and had become good friends. However, with my new position keeping me busy, I hadn't had the time or energy to meet with him. But, that evening, I received a letter from a Ms. Winn, who identified herself as Forbes's housekeeper. She asked me to come to the house at once. The handwriting was sloppy, almost frantic. As soon as I read the letter, I grabbed my hat and walking stick and headed over. I called a taxi and gave the address which was included in the letter. To my surprise, the driver brought me to a large mansion at the edge of Forest Park. It was no secret that my friend had money. He had, in fact, bought me the fine walking stick I was carrying. But the extent of his wealth was a surprise to me. I tipped the driver and he drove off to find another fare. "Mr. Mills," an older lady called out to me before I had even turned back toward the house. "Yes," I called back. I approached the front door and continued, "You must be Ms. Winn." "I am," she said. She gave me a courteous, and very brief, smile. She was obviously distressed. "Please," she said standing aside, "come in." I stepped into the foyer. As expected for a house of this grandeur, it was well appointed. A grandfather clock ticked away the seconds, and a vase of fresh flowers scented the air. "I'm so glad you're here," Ms. Winn said. "Is anything wrong? Is Dr. Forbes ill?" "No. Not ill," she said. "He's missing." "Missing? For how long?" "It's only been a day. But he's very much a creature of habit, and he would never just disappear without telling me." I looked through the open doorways into the parlor and dinning room. Both were still and empty. Then I looked back to Ms. Winn. I must admit, I wasn't sure what to do. Ms. Winn supplied the starting point. "Perhaps you should check his study. It's the last place I saw him." "Alright," I agreed. She lead me up the stairs. She was now rubbing her hands together nervously. The study was in a corner room at the end of the upstairs hallway. There was quite an impressive setup inside. Two tables had been pushed together to make a workbench, atop which sat beakers, flasks, tubing, and every other piece of chemistry equipment that makes a full wet lab. He even had gas lines installed to fuel his Bunsen burners. It also had the comforts of home: a couple armchairs, a bookshelf, and a small sofa had been pushed up against the wall. There was even an old wardrobe. I spent some time looking over his lab. There were many notes and papers, but all pertaining to his research. There was nothing to indicate where he had gone, or that he was planning to go anywhere. I did have one question that was burning in my mind, though. "Ms. Winn," I asked. "Have you contacted Dr. Forbes's brother about this." "No." "His sister? His colleagues?" "No." "Well, I'm just a little confused. Why did you contact me of all people?" "Because, he always said that you were the best..." she stopped dead, then continued, "friend he ever worked with." A silence hung in the air. Just when I was about to question her further, she said, "Coffee?" "Please." She swept from the room. I continued looking around. I went across the hall to his bedroom. Everything was still there. The same was true for the toiletries in his bathroom. When I was coming back into the hallway, Ms. Winn was emerging from the study. "I put your coffee in there," she said. "I'll be back up shortly." I thanked her, and she disappeared downstairs. I took another brief tour of the study. I tried opening the wardrobe, but it was locked. I sighed, completely unsure what to do. Perhaps we should involve the police, I thought, or at least Leonard's brother. Leonard could very well be at his brother's house for all I know. I picked up the coffee mug Ms. Winn had left and took a long sip. My eyes snapped open and I took a sharp intake of breath. Had I been asleep? I was still standing in Leonard's home laboratory. The coffee was no longer in my hand. I looked down at the table and saw two coffee mugs. The house was completely quiet. I moved towards the door and let out a mighty yawn. Perhaps I was more tired than I knew, I thought. Tired enough to fall asleep while standing? I poked my head out into the hallway. Ms. Winn was still downstairs, apparently. I yawned again. By the time I had walked to the head of the stairs, I felt like I hadn't slept the previous night. Fearing that I may be coming over sick, I carefully made my way down the stairs and into the foyer. I looked back to where I assumed the kitchen was and called for Ms. Winn. "Mr. Mills," came Ms. Winn's voice in reply. But from where it came, I couldn't say. It seemed to be coming from everywhere all at once. I was about to call to her again when the front door blew open. A strong wind filled the house, blowing leaves and pages from a newspaper into the house. I staggered to the door. Before I slammed it closed, I looked outside and gasped. The sky was lit with an orange light, and swirls of indigo clouds spiraled around a central point high above. How could I have not known that this tornado was blowing outside, I thought. "Mr. Mills," Ms. Winn called out. Her voice sounded distressed; panicked. "Ms. Winn," I called back. "Where are you." But even as I called out to her – even as the tornado was pelting me with it mighty wind – a fatigue came over me like I've never felt. It was as if I hadn't slept for days. There, in the middle of the foyer, as the wind whipped my hair and clothes into a frenzy, I fell to the floor. My eyes closed, and I fell into a deep sleep.