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Ernest bombingway.

To: Jim Freeman, Unabomber task force From: Special Agent Thomas Mohnal Re: We found the enclosed document in the suspect's cabin. It seems to be an excerpt from some sort of quasi-autobiographical novel. Please have it catalogued and analyzed by the psychological profiling unit. There's also a "To Do" list that may prove useful.

FOR WHOM THE BOMB TOLLS

The cabin was in a forest at the end of a dirt road, and from his front door he could see the ponderosa pine trees and larches, hundreds of feet high, and it was good. The snow started falling, dry and powdery, and it covered the trees and the road and the land in whiteness. Tall and thin, Theodore Kingman was a rugged mountain man who had a sunburned face and calloused hands, and he started to hunt the big game. He knew from the freshness of their tracks that the rabbits were near, but he had to look closely to see them because the rabbits were white and not so easy to see in the snow. He took the .22 rifle lying next to the door of the little brown wooden house and walked back and forth underneath the bare trees towering over him. After a few hours of this, he got very hungry. Then he heard a noise behind his cabin, and he turned to see a rabbit move between two pine trees. He lifted his gun and shot the animal, and there was red blood on the white snow. Theodore Kingman was now ready to eat lunch. He stayed alone in the woods and usually did not need other people around him. They did not understand him anyway because he had gone to Harvard and read Paul Goodman in the original English. He was a genius who could have won a Nobel Prize like the great Einstein, but he chose to live five miles outside of a small town in Montana at the foot of a mountain. It was very far from the big cities where Theodore Kingman once lived as a brilliant math professor whose work could only be understood by two other experts, both of them dead. His cabin had no electricity and no running water, but in the forest there were also no traffic jams that took freedom away from the walking man and no factories that destroyed the environment. A man could be free to live in nature, especially if his mother sent him checks every few months. But nature could not survive if the industrial technological system continued to destroy it. Theodore Kingman had to fight the system if there were going to be any places left where it was clear and cold and dry, and the snow was white and powdery, and the hunting was good. He knew he must build bombs.

He cooked the rabbit and, after the meal, returned to making an explosive device that would help spark a revolution against industrial society, or at least make the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather." He took a copper pipe and attached a metal plate to one end with a manual drill that made his hand ache. His mind was clear and focused as he worked, thinking only of demolition and the Ben-Gay his hand. Soon the bomb would be ready. He planned to mail it to an executive who was planning a gold-mining operation that would poison the clear water of the Blackfoot River and the big trout that swam upstream.

Becky Garcia, he thought, would be impressed. She was the president of the Save Our Streams organization that was fighting to stop the gold mine. He wanted to help her win the battle against the greedy owners and to show her his extensive collection of triggering devices.

She worked at the little grocery store in town and she had hair that was dark like rich soil, and she sometimes smiled at him when he came in to buy flour and dry goods. He knew she craved him but he tried to keep his mind on the bombs. Now he rode into town on his bicycle that did not pollute the air like the automobiles. She stood near the cash register when he entered, and she had tawny brown skin and high cheekbones and eyes that saw clearly into his. "Salud, Teodoro," she said, but she was not smiling.

"What is wrong, little one?"

"The court has given permission for the mining company to start tearing up the earth. We cannot stop them."

"Do not be afraid," he said. "I know how to build bombs that will kill your enemies. Come back to my house and I will show you."

"You can stop them, Teodoro?" she said, smiling through her tears. Later, back at the cabin, she looked at the jars of potassium chloride and zinc and silver oxide on his shelves and asked him, "What are these for?" "They are for you," he said. "When I mix them together in a way that is good and true they become a chemical that makes a big bang." Soon he held her tight next to him and kissed her and felt her trembling in his arms. "Did you feel the earth move?" she said afterwards.

"Yes," he said. "The bomb in my backyard is very powerful."

Things to Do This Month - April 1995

1. Call Mort Janklow's agency again on "For Whom The Bomb Tolls" manuscript. Question for him: Would more sex scenes help? Question for me: If he doesn't accept it, should I add him to my "mailing list"?

2. Play up Oklahoma bombing angle in queries to editors.

3. Mail letter bomb to forestry lobbyist or other enemy of the environment.

4. Make death threat to George Plimpton at Paris Review to speed up response time on my short story.

5. Send out film treatment of novel, call CAA and ICM on getting it routed to the right people. Some casting possibilities: Tommy Lee Jones as Theodore Kingman (or is Peter Fonda still available?); Sandra Bullock or Rosie Perez as Becky Garcia. Dennis Hopper to direct? Insist on having casting veto power in exchange for movie rights: can't have Hopper, John Malkovich, or Bruce Dern playing the character as some sort of madman.

6. Finish technology manifesto, contact N.Y. Times and Washington Post about publishing it. New demand: publish the anti-technology manifesto, and I'll never kill again. Fallback position: publish an 800-word op-ed piece, and I'll only maim people.

7. Call Mom, ask for loan.

8. Call brother, remind him that he is an evil tool of the techno-industrial empire.

9. Call Great Expectations Video Dating Service, set up appointment.

10. Fix septic tank.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:satire on writing of the Unabomber
Author:Levine, Art
Publication:Washington Monthly
Date:Jul 1, 1996
Words:1116
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