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Project Phoenix is a prototype car. Its inventor claims it is safe enough to put casualty insurers out of business. He loads the prototype onto a flatcar for delivery to Boston; the train will not stop between loading and delivery, so the car cannot be hijacked. The train arrives in Boston, and the flatcar with its cargo is gone, somehow removed from a train that never slowed below 40mph! And there are no sidings between the two points. Banacek has to figure out how one might make a flatcar vanish or his employer will have to pay off a $5,000,000 insurance policy.
Joe Thaddonhurst: Well, I thought you were going to talk to the engineer and the brakeman, and the...
Banacek: I don't have to talk to anybody. You did your investigating for me. I forgot to say thanks, didn't I? Thanks.
Banacek: What are you doing?
Felix: I'm learning karate.
Banacek: Sitting down?
Felix: Do I detect a note of irony in your voice/
Banacek: I took combat judo in the Marine Corps, but as I remember, they didn't issue us any easy chairs.
Banacek: "Read the whole library my son, but the cheese will still smell after four days." That's an old Polish proverb.
Felix: Really? Well, maybe it just takes an old Pole to understand it.
Jay Drury: How was the lady engineer?
Banacek: Electrical, but not civil.