Two men looked around, as tourists do, but repeatedly checked their watches against the large flashing sign on the New York Times building. Theodore Reinsen, businessman, thought they must be on leave. The men stopped beside him, glanced quickly at their watches, and then nodded and grinned at him. The taller of the two asked him, in the clipped accent of the British, if this was Times Square. He suppressed a smile at such a touristy question and said that it was. The three men fell into conversation together as they meandered along the shining streets
Finally, Reinsen the businessman asked if they had someplace to be, but they said they were free for the evening. He promptly invited them to have dinner as his guests with him at the Harvard Club, at 27 West 44th Street and the RAF pilots accepted with alacrity. The three men dined at the Harvard Club, where they dined leisurely and chatted late into the evening. The RAF pilots were good company and told many stories, although they glossed over their experiences in the war. They continued to check their watches frequently throughout the night, but he decided it was just a nervous habit they had picked up somewhere – possibly in the air force.
Five minutes to midnight, both men took one final glance at their watches and got up from their seats. They thanked the Harvard man for a memorable evening and started for the door. Then the tall pilot turned back and told their host that they had always wanted to visit Times Square, but never had the opportunity. It was strange, the pilot added, that they had to wait until after they were dead – killed in action when their planes were shot down the night before over Berlin – to fulfill this dream.
The Harvard man stiffened, his eyes widening incredulously The phantom RAF pilot smiled sardonically at him, nodded, and joined his friend in the doorway/ They once again thanked Reinsen for his hospitality Then the pilots vanished before the astonished man’s eyes, just at the stroke of twelve midnight.