I went out and stopped the dryer and took out the second load, still wet. It was terribly hot. I looked inside the drum using a flashlight and found that the missing washcloths were stuck to the side of the drum, and had burn marks on them. I don't know what has gone wrong, but it is clearly major. I don't know if attempting to get it repaired will be worthwhile. It's a very old dryer. But it is clearly a fire hazard, so I'll have to stop using it. Most likely it will have to be replaced, just as the washing machine had to be replaced late last year. It's going to cost a bundle. Again.
Anyway, at least I have something other than weather to write about for once. I wish it was something else, though.