Leap From the Balcony

Rating: G

Author: Douglas Laird

Date: February 16, 1960

Location: New York, NY

Summary: Sam Beckett leaps into the Broadway cast of The Sound of Music to prevent the murder of a little girl who was never identified and was buried in a pauper grave.

Riding up and down the cosmic roller coaster across the space-time continuum, the background noise is filled with crackling and static though sometimes one hears the rhythmic beat of a heart or the oscillations of some intergalactic sine wave. Occasionally Sam can make out a lost tune, an irritating flat melody or maybe even a portion of a long forgotten song. Maybe he can hear a few bars of music that his Swiss cheese'd mind somehow missed as he began another of his unending leaps.

His next leap he heard music. Music that began and changed in intensity as if played on a faraway radio and then the vibrations surrounded him as if exiting a very long muffled tunnel.

Suddenly the sounds of an orchestra filled Sam's ears and the musty smell of dust and stale air filled Sam's nose. He found himself holding hands with several of children all lined up in a row. Six children of varying ages to be exact stood in the left wing of a theater while other performers bowed on stage in front of a very appreciative audience. The atmosphere was electric as the cast smiled and Sam was abruptly pulled onto the stage. Sam quickly bowed with his fellow thespians and stepped back gazing out into the theater. Another set of actors ran out, took hands and bowed. Sam looked down and found himself dressed in a dark poncho and was standing in front of some nuns and men in brown shirts wearing Nazi armbands.

Sam's worry alarm went off as more actors came onto the stage and took their bows. Sam again glanced at the red armbands with the black German swastikas and muttered, "Oh BOY!"

Twice the curtain rose as the applause never seemed to end. A theater filled to capacity was in front of him as the lights shined down into his eyes causing him to squint. Sam followed the lead of the others as he always had to do this early in his leap. The curtain finally came down as everyone dropped their hands and scattered leaving Sam standing alone as the crew immediately started to tear down the set the surrounded him. As one piece of scenery passed in front of Sam he read "Act II Scene 5 The Sound of Music.

Sam shrugged not recognizing the name of the show. The stage was old, the floors creaked and the cast members were heading out ignoring him. By the clothing of the crew Sam figured this time period could be anywhere from the fifties to the early seventies. No cell phones or personal entertainment units were in sight.

Sam picked up a discarded New York Herald-Tribune that was dated 'February 12, 1960.'

"Kennedy, no Eisenhower," thought Sam trying to remember which president was in charge. "And this must be some kind of play in New York City. Possibly Broadway," Sam thought putting down the paper and then hearing a vertical mechanical sound followed by a familiar voice.

"Hey Sam. Ain't this great? New York City circa 1960. I had a very short shore leave here in '60. I can show you all the best bars and girlie shows though since you're currently a twelve year old, forget it." Al appeared wearing the most stylish suit and cravat except that the entire suit was an electric light blue.

Al continued with renewed excitement. "The city was a great place for a sailor back then before it lost the last of the glamour and glitz. Night clubs, music you can dance to, the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, to just name a few. This time period was before all the turmoil and upheaval of the sixties. Before the blackouts and riots and money problems. Come on into this office here so we can converse privately," Al motioned with his cigar pointing to a nondescript weathered door.

Between the musty smell of the theater and the smell of cigarette smoke in the curtains, Sam could almost smell his observer's ever-present cigar. One defrocked nun smiled at Sam as she puffed away. Sam nodded, stepped into what was the stage manager's office and closed the door.

"Al, what's going on here?" asked a confused Sam pointing toward the adjoining stage.

Al punched away at his handlink making a little music of his own. "I think Ziggy and I can help you out. You are Luke Stephens the male backup or rather understudy for the male children in this merry little production. You're twelve years old and from BristolConnecticut currently residing at the Richmond Hotel on 53rd Street. The regular dude is out with the Hong Kong flu. You get to do all of his 'Do-Re-Mi' stuff. The show you're in is The Sound of Music. I saw it back in '60. In fact today is February 16th 1960. You can easily do your role with a little coaching from yours truly," replied Al nodding slightly.

Sam shook his head no as the expression on his face went totally blank.

Al slapped his face. "Boy, can't you remember anything Mickey Rooney? I never liked all this saccharin sweet stuff, but I'm your 'Mr. Know-It-All.' Ziggy and I will get you through this one two three and one two three and," remarked Al tapping his foot in time to his beat. "To be more specific, you're currently playing the son Kurt von Trapp."

"Where am I trapped?" asked Sam.

Al threw his hands out in frustration. "Jeez Louise! Not where, who! Look Olivier this is Rodgers and Hammerstein, not Abbot and Costello. Or was that Groucho and Chico with all the questions? Vy a duck? Vy not a chicken?" asked Al mimicking Chico shrugging his shoulders. He looked disgusted and then added. "Never mind. This is definitely Broadway and not Vaudeville."

"We need to get to Vod-a-ville. Where's that?" asked Sam Beckett scratching his head.

"Sam, another geography question? This is going to be one of those leaps. OK there, Bob Hope. The Sound of Music! Nuns and children and everyone going over the mountains? The real reason you're here is that this musical comedy is going to turn into a murder mystery fast," explained Al while checking out his handlink.

"Murder?" asked Sam swallowing hard.

Al plunked and plinked again. "Not yours. Now for the crime of the week. Tomorrow night while the bright lights of Broadway go black…"

"I remember this one. It hits the whole East Coast," replied Sam trying to sound positive. He still remembered quite a bit, but like a puzzle thrown across the floor he could never quite assemble it into the correct order.

Al broke in, "No, that one was in '65. This blackout is localized to the west side of Manhattan. The cast goes on with the show and when the lights come back on a body shows up near the stage door.

Let's see. A young adolescent girl, blonde hair, blue eyes. She gets a lot of press being labeled Broadway Jane, but no one comes to claim her. She is still resting in WoodlawnCemetery. Damn shame. Well, you are here to prevent that. Eighty-seven per cent according to Ziggy. Them the odds. For now go take off your makeup and change into your civvies. A car will be waiting outside to take you home. You're in room 234. End of report," Al concluded with lighting up a fresh stogie.

"But how do we help this little girl?" asked Sam.

"I'll see what else Ziggy can dig up. Not much to go on, kid. Now run off and play Ronny Howard. Remember, you're an actor, an artist. I've gotta go pick up one of the grandkids. We will get this one figured out. Later, Sam," Al said stepping into that great bright white light.

Sam shielded his eyes as the exit disappeared. Working with the death of children was always hard on him. Children always represented the promise of the future and when their lives are cut short that promise also vanished. Sam sighed. He only wished he knew if he had any of his own.

Exiting the stage manager's office Sam caught the eye of an older gentleman who was moving around some antique furniture. He looked at Sam a bit disapprovingly.

"Catching a smoke, kid?" he asked. "You're too young. Them things ain't good for you, you know."

"No, just using the phone," lied Sam smiling sheepishly. This man dishing out advice reminded Sam more of someone's grandfather rather than a theatrical furniture mover.

The gentleman put down the chair and sat on it. "Ima taking you at your word, Luke. Whew. Tar nation it's hot in here. I ain't the man I used to be. Been here since before the Great War. Bernhardt, Barrymore, Cohan. I've seen them all. And now you come along, kid. Them's pretty big shoes to fill."

"Still kind of new to this," admitted Sam scratching the back of his neck.

"Sure, sure. But you'll catch on. They wouldn't have ya up here if you couldna do it. Even Jolson was nervous on openin' night. Go home and get some rest. Another show tomorra night," he said patting Sam's back. "Louie Amboise will take care of you, kid."

"Then you're my friend?" asked Sam as his ears perked up.

"Sure, sure," Louie nodded. "WE go way back. Must be three months!" he chuckled. "Anything you eva need I'll get for you. All ya need ta do is ask."

Sam lead leaned real close to him. "There is something real important. It could be a matter of life or death," Sam said whispering to him.

Louie put his hand on his chest, "If'n it's that important to you then it's important to me."

Sam already liked this guy and his helpful friendly manner. Not unlike himself. "Tomorrow night could you keep the stage door open and when I'm on stage keep an eye out for any disturbances? This is very important, Mr. Amboise."

"Consider it done. Lookin' for a friendly female friend? I understand. I was your age once. Teddy was president," he chuckled. "And I'll hear none of this Mister Amboise. Louie is good 'nuf for me. Always has been. Always will be, kid."

"Thanks," Sam said smiling as if a weight was lifted from his shoulders. "Good night, Louie," he said while trying to find his dressing room.

Too early for most of the theater employees and thespians, Sam arrived at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater just after nine. New York City was still friendly enough that a streetwise twelve-year-old was allowed to take his own taxicab. Checking out the alley that ran over to 47th Street, Sam found nothing unusual though the nighttime lights would make the street much more spooky and foreboding. The stage door entrance was always unlocked and the regulars kept an eye on it, except of course when all the lights were out.

Sam checked up on Louie and made sure the theater had plenty of flashlights. And that again agreed to watch the back alley.

By lunchtime backstage had become very busy as things were moved about and tested to determine that everything was just right for that night's performance.

Sam was feeling low wondering if he could pull off this plan. He had to save someone from somewhere who met an untimely end. Could he really accomplish his leap by remote control? That question spun around and around his head giving him an awful headache.

"Afternoon, Sam," announced Al as he stepped through the Imaging Chamber door. "As of right now you are pretty much in sync with us as far as the greetings go."

"Come again," asked Sam.

"It's both morning here in New Mexico and there in the Big Apple. Um, off thirty-seven minutes to be exact. So today's the day. About another seven hours," answered Al while giving Sam an unwanted countdown.

"I just don't think we can save the little girl. Maybe I could slip away," suggested Sam while trying not to look too suspicious looking away from Sam.

Al shook his head, "No one else who can play your part, Victor Hugo. You're THE understudy. Besides you can't get this guy fired. Let's see. He keeps acting and becomes big on 1980's night soap operas playing these sleazy love interests. . Today he's the president of the children's acting union. Helps preadolescent thespians throughout the country."

"Any further information on the little girl or her death, Al," asked an anxious Sam.

Al checked his handlink. "Come Ziggy, get me something. Come on, you oversized adding machine. No not much. Just an autopsy summary. She was undernourished and died of a broken neck. She had apparently also been beaten and abused too. Nothing that could help the authorities or any of our own people identifies the poor girl. Sorry, Sam," said Al pocketing his handlink. "I wish I could give you more to go on."

"Then I'm doomed," Sam muttered dropping onto a prop bench with his head in his hands. "What am I going to do?"

A woman in a long white robe, short blonde hair and a thin face sat next to him. "You look like a young man with a problem," she said putting her arm around him.

"Um, that's the star of the play, Mary Martin. Kind of a legend around the Broadway lights," whispered Al who really couldn't be heard by those in Sam's time sphere.

Sam smiled at the woman who was treating him in a rather motherly fashion. "You can tell, huh? Well, life is tough. You have all this responsibility and wonder if you can ever get everything done. Life or leaping is more trouble than I ever dreamed of," admitted Sam.

Miss Martin patted Sam on the back. "Big thoughts for someone so young. Pick up that chin and carry on! I remember another young lad who had his own share of dreams..."

She sang a quick little ditty from Sam.

"I have a place where dreams are born,
And time is never planned.
It's not on any chart,
You must find it with your heart.
Never Never Land."

Al waved his hand at her in disbelief. "That's a big help!"

Sam smiled, "You mean Peter Pan."

"I should know him," Miss Martin replied with a little twinkle in her eye. "He never lost his spark."

Al interjected, "She WAS him. More of this saccharin garbage!"

Sam looked at her thinking how rose-colored that view of life was. "Yea, well, I try and look at the work world and think happy thoughts – though never land isn't exactly me," admitted Sam Beckett.

"My dear, it's in all of us," she said taking Sam's chin. "Don't ever lose that. Oh my gosh, got to run. See you on stage 'Kurt'" she said winking at him.

Al waited until she had left. "Forget about that drivel. You don't fly off from place to place spreading goodwill and fairy dust," gaffed Al. "This is real life and I'm here to keep you grounded and on track. You better keep checking with Louie again to watch the alley! Otherwise that girl's life is very short lived."

"You never know, Al. You just never know," replied Sam as he reported to his dressing room.

Much later after a quick dinner with several members of the cast, Sam was killing some time in his shared dressing room. Al walked through the wall appearing unannounced.

"OK, it's now 1900 hours. Water is seeping into the electrical junction box over on Tenth Avenue and the lights are about to go out all over Broadway. Ziggy, help me out. OK. The deed is done. Give me about another twelve seconds," Al said looking up at the lights.

The old light bulb in the ceramic shade flashed twice and then Sam was plunged into darkness except for Al burning brightly beside him.

"Bingo! Now go check out the backdoor, um… stage door," Al said "But be carefree out there. No one can see anything and they might panic."

Sam wandered around bumping into some people feeling his way around the theater. A couple of flashlights shot through the darkness as Sam made his way toward the eerie outside light coming through the door. He found Louie standing nearby.

"Ner to worry, Luke ma boy. I don't know how ya know, but you got me attention. I will stand watch," he said giving Sam a knowing smile.

"That's great," exclaimed Sam who shook his hand and then joined an assemblage of actors and staff around an eerie flickering gas lantern.

"We'll have to cancel. Too close to show time," exclaimed the stage manager. "Too dangerous to try and put on a show under these blackout conditions."

"Not on your life!" a handsome young man with slicked back hair said with a slight Prussian accent.

"Theodore is right. Jumped in Miss Martin Not trying to be clique, but all those people are already in the theater waiting for a performance. And they did pay to see the show. Let's ask them," she said cheerfully.

"No we should cancel!" again piped in the stage manager.

"I disagree," exclaimed the actor named Theodore.

"No. We should cancel just for tonight," said Sam who agreed with the stage manager, but everyone just ignored the young boy that Sam had leaped into.

"Not until we ask the audience. I don't think Maria would want them to be let down,"" she said as she headed for the stage.

Miss Mary Martin stepped onto stage holding nothing but a flashlight. There was some delayed applause for the audience recognized her at first.

She nodded her head and stood there until the noise died down.

"Can you see me? Hello? So nice that all you fine people could be here. Unfortunately tonight electricity is at a premium. We can perform for you, but without the usual sets and props. Is that satisfactory?" she asked the audience.

Immediately the audience applauded.

She bowed her head and announced, "Very well then. Give us a minute and we will bring you the story of Maria and her Captain."

Sam was handed a flashlight as were the other actors and musicians. It was a good thing Sam had them stock up. Sam was ushered off to the side and a production assistant kept all the actors together so no one would be lost in the darkness. The orchestra struck up the overture and then Miss Martin walked out onto the empty stage with a flashlight shining on her face.

"My day in the hills
Has come to an end, I know.
A star has come out
To tell me it's time to go.
But deep in the dark green shadows..."

"Darker than you will never know," thought Sam.

The only bright spot was Al shining in his bright white navy uniform standing by the door trying to help Sam out.

"Louie is on guard and I am on watch. Eight bells and all is well, Einstein," Al said waving to his friend. Watching was not such a bad job when he could also concentrate on his favourite cigar.

Later while Sam was on stage with the rest of the children singing the "Do-Re-Mi" song he tried to stay quiet until his part. He didn't want to stand out. Though he always enjoyed his singing, to his own ear he wasn't blending in well with the high voices of the rest of the von Trapp children.

Al was standing next to Louie who was sitting watching the alley and watching the stage door since he couldn't see anything in the darkness of the theatre except for the tiny flashlights scurrying back and forth across the floor.

With no one else to talk to he started a rather one-sided conversation with Louie. "…And after twenty years of marriage I finally got my second trip here. Here to the city with my wife I might add. She is still someone who like you could appreciate. Anyway back in the mid-eighties Beth and I ditched the kids and came here to check on Dean Martin who playing was at the Winter Garden and as one Italian to another he could still ... What was that?" asked Al hearing something coming from the alley.

Louie too looked up too to the sound coming from through the stage door. He saw nothing from where he was sitting and went back to staring out into the darkness.

"Hey, Louie. Can't you go check out? Oh, I guess this takes the Navy to get the job done," Al complained immediately walking through the wall.

Inside someone called out in the theatre. "Louie! Give us a hand. We have to shove everything back!"

Louie looked up, looked sadly at the door and then toward Sam who was still on stage. He shook his head and walked into the darkness left leaving on empty chair.

Outside Al only found some partiers enjoying each others company and taking a shortcut through the alley while stumbling around in the dark. They grabbed onto each other and then stumbled out of the alley.

"Just a bunch of… Hey! Where did you go?' asked Al. "Come back here you overpaid stevedore!" he screamed and then said to himself, "As if he can hear a holograph. Oh boy! And Sam is still on stage. He is the only one who can help me. But I gotta stay near the door and look for the little girl. This is a most revolting predicament!"

Al paced back and forth through the darkness and out into the semi-lit alley. He had no clue as to the exact time the evil deed was to be done.

"Can somebody up there help me? I'm only an observer here, physically. The emotional part is still in me, Mr. Time in charge of all things," Al reminded him.

Al again heard footsteps walking down the alley. He stuck his head through the wall. Something was happening out it the darkness in the direction toward 46th Street. He heard the scream of a young girl.

"I'm coming!" Al yelled. "SAM! Get over here," he cried out loud and then ran down the alley.

Al came upon a large man in a dark coat that was already holding the body of the girl. Her head was turned at an unnatural angle.

"You sick bastard!" Al yelled at him.

He looked around and then ran down the alley right through Al Calavicci.

Al jogged behind him as the murderer threw the girl's body into the dark theater and then he nonchalantly walked away.

Now Al wished he could go in three directions after him, but instead he just looked on at the crumbled body saying something to ease the little girl's soul.

Al called out again to Sam who reached him just as the lights come back on.

On the floor was an eleven-year-old blonde girl with a white and pasty complexion. She wore in a yellow baby doll dress with the initials "TJ" on her shoulder that looked too young for her.

"Why?" asked Sam as he pounded the doorframe. "I came here to help, but you won't let me do it. And now she IS dead!"

The assistant director started to shoo everyone way. "Everyone please move over there. This is NOT a sideshow attraction. Louie get the piece of canvass off that furniture. We need to cover up the poor little thing. What a waste!"

Louie covered up her body and then looked over at Sam. "How didya know? I'm ne'r going to forgive myself."

Sam replied, "I think it was too late even watching the alley. I SHOULD have been out there. I COULD have saved her! Rest in peace whoever you are."

"Don't beat yourself up over her death, Sam. There wasn't much to go on. And I wasn't much help either," explained Al as he stared at the person beneath the canvass.

Al pulled out his handlink and started making inquires with Ziggy. "The big question now is how to get you to move on," he said reluctantly as the theater was filled with a bright blue light.

Sam had leaped.

Quickly the tingles and disorientation stopped as Sam felt his heart pounding and his legs pumping. He was running through the dark streets of some unknown city. In most cases Sam felt he should keep doing what his leapee had last been doing so he took off faster hoping that there was nothing deadly ahead of him in the darkness.

A faint light here, a faint glance there told him he was running through allies away from something calling from back in the darkness. All Sam knew that behind him was danger and in front of him was … who knows?

Crossing another street Sam stopped momentarily after stumbling over the curve. A car drove by and in a flash Sam saw his reflection in a store window. He was a young girl. The same young girl in the yellow dress with the initials on her shoulder that had met her fate in the back of the Lunt-Fontaine Theater.

"Come back here, sweetie," called out the disembodied voice. "Sugar, no one's going to hurt you."

Sam knew otherwise, if this was the same night. He took off again now running for his life. His kid size shoes were hard to run in and the dress was just too breezy around his legs. Crossing another street a bright flash appeared in front of him.

"Not this way Sam. She got murdered in that alley. Head that way. This guy with knife and Ziggy says it's too hard to try and defend yourself in the dark. Head that way toward Times Square!" shouted the worried Admiral Calavicci.

Sam nods and heads off as Al checks his handlink. "Jezz, she still dies?" He punched his handlink and then disappeared.

Reaching Times Square, traffic was at a stand still. No traffic lights, but still in the low glare of the headlights the night was at least brighter.

Sam stop to catch his breath as some people looked at him and then went about their business. Sam could still hear someone running toward him, so he dashed between some stalled cars and into the intersection. Tall building surrounded him as all of the Times Square advertising sign were out.

A half a block down across the intersection Sam saw a policeman in his dark blue uniform trying to handle the traffic mess. He was waving his hands wildly trying to direct the flow and shouting at the top of his lungs.

Sam ran up to him. "Hey, you gotta help me. Some crazy man is stalking me," Sam pleaded with him as Al popped in next to the two of them.

The policeman glanced at Sam momentarily. "It's too dangerous to be out here little girl! Now back to the curb," he shouted barely even acknowledging her presence.

Al took a good puff and then added. "Sam. Ziggy still gives you a better than fifty-fifty chance of still being killed. Keep it up, but think less Jodie Foster and more Little Orphan Annie," said Al waving his arms widely. "You're supposed to be this sweet little girl."

Sam sighed and went into a little girl act. He started to tug at his overcoat.

"Please Mister Policeman. Please. A big scary man is chasing m!. Please you have to help me," pleaded Sam. He grabbed his overcoat with two hands and nearly pulled him over.

"I thought I told you to get back on the curb!" the officer said very irritated and then took a good long look at Sam. He saw a very rumbled girl in a dirty dress that looked very tired and had obviously been running.

"Well. Are you all right?" he asked taking her arms and staring into Sam's eyes.

"No, some guy, a big man is chasing me. And I'm so scared!" Sam said trying to be convincing.

"Clancy, take over. I have to check this out," the officer called to another policeman who looked perturbed, but took over the extra duty. He took Sam's hand and led him from the busy Times Square intersection.

Around the corner the policeman picked Sam up and set him on a newsstand counter. "You're a big girl," he said grunting at Sam's adult weight. "Now what going on here, precious? Start with your name."

Sam looked over to Al who shrugged and then showed Sam an empty handlink display.

Sam swallowed. "Annie," he said quietly.

"Fine, Annie. Now tell me what happened," he said pushing his hat back and trying to get Sam to smile.

"This man is chasing me," said Sam.

"Who is chasing you?" he replied.

Al put up his hands and Sam just shook his head. "I don't know. I just remembering running," Sam said. When all else failed Sam gave them the truth or a fair approximation of the truth.

"From what? From who? Where do you live Annie? Here in the city?" he asked wondering if this child was slow.

Sam nodded gently as a large man with a mustache in a dark overcoat stepped up behind them.

"Evening, officer. I see you found my little lost girl," he said with a big smile. He tried to reach for Sam who pulled away.

Al looked frightened, "Ziggy says that there's a seventy per cent chance that he's your murderer."

"You know this little girl?" the policeman asked.

"You think I'd know my own daughter Thelma Jane. She's named after my great-aunt from Poughkeepsie," he replied still trying to put his arm around Sam.

Sam started to shake his head.

"She's says her name is Annie," the officer replied

The intruder put his hands on his hips and gave Sam a pitiful look. "Still telling stories my dear? Her imagination always gets her into trouble. It was one of those misunderstandings that made her runaway from me," he told the policeman.

"SO you ran away from home?" he asked Sam. "You shouldn't worry your father like that!"

"He's not my father," insisted Sam.

"That's for sure according to Ziggy," interject Al while reading off his handlink.

"How would your dear departed mother feel about you denying her own flesh and blood? Kid's these days!" the large man with the mustache said to the officer.

Sam didn't think he could outrun these two adult men especially with the New York City Police Department helping them.

"Shame on you. Show some respect to your father, Miss Margaret. Now I want you to go home with your father and no more of these shenanigans, little lady," the officer said wagging his finger at Sam.

"He not my father! He's been chasing me and he HAS a knife," Sam said loudly causing others to look on.

The big man's hand shot to his chest to where the knife was hidden. He quickly putted it back at his side trying to disguise his mistaken motion.

"Here now. What do we have here?" asked the officer grabbing his wrist and pulling out the instrument.

The officer flipped open the blade and looked at it as light shone off the blade. "Pretty nasty thing. Domestic dispute or not. We're going down to station to sort this out. Smells fishy to me. Now what's you're name?" he asked him as they headed to police headquarters.

Later Sam found himself sitting up on the Sergeant's desk trying to look like he was enjoying his quickly melting ice cream cone. The background noise never ceased in the ancient precinct house. Everyone ignored the little girl a.k.a. Sam who could relax since her assailant was now locked in a holding cell waiting for transfer to the Tombs on Riker's Island.

Al stood beside Sam and gave him Ziggy's latest update on his leap. "Turns out that this nozzle, Charles McNaughton, is a major bookie over on 11th Avenue. Not a federal case, but kidnapping a little girl is. He kept her confined for six years, molesting her and dressing her up trying to keep her looking like Shirley Temple. That's why you've got the kindergarten outfit on. Once they put him under the lights, he sang like a bird and end up going up the river for thirty years," explained Al sounding more like Edgar G. Robinson.

"How come they never identified her?' asked Sam quietly looking down at his messy cone.

Al beeped and twirped making all kinds of musical notes. "The girl. Her real name is Rebecca Masterson and was born in BuffaloNew York. She disappeared six years ago. Missing children information was not commonly shared between police jurisdictions back then. You know, no age progression artists, no milk cartons, and no national runaway network. You must have first leaped into Luke Stephens so you could identify this missing girl. According to Ziggy she was just listed as missing and presumed dead in Buffalo. Now she gets returned to her rightful parents, grows up and becomes a psychologist helping juvenile crime victims. Today she is she alive and well in HoustonTexas. She never married. She probably never trusted a man after her horrible experience with McNaughton."

Sam shook his head. "That's a shame."

"Hey the good news is that she is not in that grave in WoodlawnCemetery. Someone else must occupy it. The burial never happened," said Al happily.

"It's in never-never land," Sam said as a light went off inside his head.

"Huh?" asked Al pulling out his cigar.

"I get it. Don't you see? We change things so they never ever happened. Never no never. I am like Peter Pan flying around the cosmos fixing thing and never growing old," said Sam.

Sam shook his head, "If you say so. He was really a trouble maker as I recall."

"We could call Quantum Leap Project Never-never land. We change history and certain bad things never-never happened. Just like leap..." said Sam as he vanished again heading to the second star to the right and straight on to another adventure.