He remembered scheduling the appointment to have his wisdom teeth removed. He remember the mask being lowered over his nose and mouth. He remembered the world slowly turning black.

Now, he’s just regained consciousness. He’s on a train. There’s a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. Searching his pockets, he finds a note…

  Don’t panic and don’t speak to anyone. The briefcase on your arm is filled with a payment, and it is essential that it be delivered safely. There train will come to a sudden stop at exactly 3:50:00 AM, and as soon is the payment has been received, you will be safely returned to your residence. But beware- if anyone knows anything about this affair from you, we will know. Your life is under our control.

The man on the train, we can call him Mr. X for now, takes this situation surprisingly calmly. Luckily, he is only handcuffed to the briefcase and not the handrail, so he sets the case on his lap and tries to open it. A five digit combination lock secures the case, but figures it out without trouble- 3:50:00 was the combination,  not the time of delivery. Whoever had given him the case expected the recipient to read this note and for Mr. X to not understand it. But back to the point- inside the briefcase, he found nothing: not a cent in currency, no drugs, no weapons, not even a document of some sort. What in the world could be the significance of this briefcase?

Meanwhile, about five miles down the tracks, the train would cross a long trestle bridge spanning a 100 yard wide canyon. At the bottom, there were several men at work tying explosives to the supports, once they had placed enough to collapse the bridge, the fuse was lit and the men drove away at top speed, but as the bridge fell, they sent an anonymous radio message to the train scheduling headquarters informing them of a tragedy on that very bridge.

As soon as the train engineer got the news, he pulled the emergency brake and Mr. X felt his train come to a screeching stop just as the note had predicted even though it was nowhere near 3:50 AM. Train passengers became restless and demanded to know what was going on, but X remained quiet by himself in the corner as his anesthetic continued to wear off. Then, just as suddenly as the engineer had hit the brakes, the door burst open and the men who had destroyed the bridge clamored inside with guns pointed at screaming passengers. They hurried over to Mr. X, roughly unlocked the briefcase from his arm, and opened it only to find it empty. Out of anger, one of the outlaws cocked his gun, ready to shoot X, but a whole army of police burst in just in the lick of time and along with them, the dentist who had been pulling Mr. X’s wisdom teeth. They locked the criminals in irons and then proceeded to explain what happened: These criminals were part of an infamous gang, and the police had finally found a way to capture them using this train caper, but they needed somebody to safeguard the “paymentj”. Since none of the police were brave enough to volunteer, the dentist (an undercover officer) had put some fine print onto X’s paperwork authorizing him to be part of this dangerous maneuver. Never again would X sign a document without reading every word.


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