would spread its wings, and Oswald’s course would change. Little changes at first, maybe, but as the Bruce Springsteen song tells us, from small things, baby, big things one day come. They might be good changes, ones that would save the man who was now the junior senator from Massachusetts. But I didn’t believe that. Because the past is obdurate. In 1962, according to one of Al’s scribbled marginal notes, Kennedy was going to be in Houston, at Rice University, making a speech about going to the moon. Open auditorium, no bullet-pr’f podium, Al had written. Houston was less than three hundred miles from Dallas. What if Oswald decided to shoot the president there? Or suppose Oswald was exactly what he claimed to be, a patsy? What if I scared him out of Dallas and back to New Orleans and Kennedy still died, the victim of some crazy Mafia or CIA plot? Would I have courage enough to go back through the rabbit-hole and start all over? Save the Dunning family again? Save Carolyn Poulin again? I had already given nearly two years to this mission. Would I be willing to invest five more, with the outcome as uncertain as ever? Better not to have to find out. Better to make sure.