In Jack Finney's "Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket," how does Tom get back inside the apartment?

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carol-davis | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the story "Content's of the Dead Man's Pocket" by Jack Finney, the protagonist Tom Benecke makes a foolish decision.  Not thinking about his welfare or his wife's loss, Tom climbs out on a ledge the size of Tom's foot on the eleventh story of an apartment building. Tom is going to retrieve a paper which has project information on it that he has been working on for several weeks.

After Tom slowly edges his way to the paper caught in the corner of the building, he finally looks down.

 In the fractional moment before horror paralyzed him, as he stared between his legs at that terrible length of street far beneath him, a fragment of his mind raised his body in a spasmodic jerk to an upright position again, and his body swayed outward to the knife edge of balance, and he very nearly plunged backward and fell.

Tom  is frozen in place; however,  one of the things that crosses his mind is that if he fell, no one would know who he was.  He has no identification and a wadded up piece of paper in his pocket.  "Contents of the dead man's pockets were...

At that moment, he realizes the stupidity of his actions; he knows that he is going to have to move to get back to the window of the apartment.  He takes the first step.  Then concentrating on one foot at a time, he slowly edges his way back to the apartment window. 

Another dilemma--the window is closed.  He has to break it with his arm.  But lands inside the apartment safe and sound. 

Tom gets up, places the paper that he retrieved on the desk with a pencil on the top.  He is going to find his wife.  Just as he opens the door, the wind sucks the paper out again.  This time Tom just laughs and goes out to live his life.

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