Tom Beneck could do nothing more than watch as the paper, containing four months of work, slipped out of the open window and into the night, stuck to the building wall not 15 feet from his window by a strong wind.
He threw on an old tweed jacket from the closet, and set out to retrieve the paper from its place stuck on the outside building wall, not daring to look down the many feet separating him from the harsh ground.
Unfortunately for him, he did look down. As he felt the strength in his body falter, he knew he had to do something. Desperate, he took out some crumpled papers from his tweed jacket. 'The contents of the dead man's pockets', he thought. Using a match, he tried to signal his neighbors with a burning paper to no avail. His only option for survival was to climb back to his window.
And he fell.
He grabbed for the windowsill. His hands slipped.
He knew he had little strength left. And when the window closed from his grasp of desperation, all seemed lost. There was no way to open it from the outside. He estimated he could punch the glass once before an untimely demise. With a shout of his wife's name, Clare, he drove his fist back.
And straight through the glass.
Once inside, Tom Benecke wasted not a moment. Removing the precious yellow paper from his pocket, he placed it on the table, whisking off his coat and snatching a newer coat and hat. He knew that he had to see Clare, after coming so close to never seeing her again. And as he left the apartment, he had enough time to see the yellow paper fly back out the window.