Mayfield, a small town, was immobilized by panic when Earth moved into the atmosphere of the tail of a comet. Mob rule threatened as all transportation ceased because of adverse reactions on metals. Granny Wicks, a half demented old sooth-sayer, prophesized doom for the town, frightening the superstitious. As transportation ceased nation-wide, food shortages developed. The greedy acted characteristically. Refugees poured into Mayfield. The mayor reinforced military rule, erected barriers against the hungry. The minister succored the homeless while mob rule prevailed in neighboring communities. Only a few--among them Dr. Maddox, chemistry professor at the state agricultural college, and his son Ken, a student, --kept their heads to seek constructive counter-measures and an ultimate answer to the baffling cause of the new phenomena. This is well-done science fiction illustrating community action in crisis. Timely and with an appropriate overtone of terror.