Hosking slams the copter down. In the wreckage Arfons lies in the cockpit, his face streaming blood. The canopy has been torn away, and, groaning, he is trying to unfasten his shoulder straps.
A strong chromoly steel bar is twisted across Art's chest, pinning him into the wreckage. Hosking grabs it with both hands and, with one giant heave, pulls it away and bends it straight into the air. The rest of the crew comes spinning up. "Someone handed me an ax," Hosking says, "and I chopped the bar away at the weld. Then I reached in and got my hands under Art's shoulders, and they felt mushy, like both his collarbones was busted. Smoke was coming up from the wreckage, and he kept putting both hands up to his face."
Firestone Public Relations Man Jim Cook, who has gone white with shock, helps carry the stretcher to the ambulance plane and climbs in. He is sure Arfons is dead. "What do you think?" Cook asks the doctor.
From under the mummylike wrapping of blankets Arfons speaks: "I think I'm all right," Then: "Will you call June and tell her I'm O.K.? She didn't want me to go fast."
Cook, stunned, says, "Uhh, yes."
"How's the car?" Arfons asks. "Can she be repaired? Bend her up pretty bad, did it?"
"Tell you the truth," says Cook, "I didn't even look at it. But I guess it's pretty well shot."
The Monster is a ruin. Everything is broken. Sections of the body have peeled away grotesquely. Iron intestines and wires are spilled out. Along the salt flats behind it the Monster has painted fresh streaks of red and green paint and a path of umber. Bits of wreckage are strewn in a two-mile line. The steering wheel, an airplane type, is wrenched upside down.
With the ambulance plane gone, everybody looking at the wreckage knows Art Arfons has to be dead. But in Salt Lake City, in the police ambulance, he lies in the stretcher and says, "Now, listen, you guys. Don't drive this thing too fast to the hospital. We don't want to get into an accident."
"He coulda had the record," says Joe Petrali, back at the flats, with nobody now to show his little slip of paper to. "He would have stepped her up just a little on the return run and he coulda had it."