A.E. Van Vogt
Grayson removed the irons from the other's wrists and
he said sharply.
The young man on the cot did not stir.
deliberately kicked the man. "Damn you, Hart, listen to me! I'm
you - just in case I don't come back "
John Hart neither opened his eyes nor showed
blow he had received. He lay inert
was that he was limp, not rigid. There was almost no color in his
His black hair was damp and stringy.
Grayson said earnestly, "Hart, I'm going out
Remember, he left four days ago, intending only
When there was no response, the older man started to turn
he hesitated and said, "Hart, if I don't come back, you must realize where
we are, This is a new planet, understand. We've never
Our ship was wrecked, and the three of us came down
what we need is fuel. That's what Malkins went out to look
I'm going out to look for Malkins."
The figure on the cot remained blank. And Grayson walked
out the door and off toward the hills. He had no particular hope.
Three men were down on a planet God-only-knew-where - and one ofthose
man was violently insane.
As he walked along, he glanced around him in
mountains misted by blue haze. It was still a littie odd
had landed Malkins and he had had the distinct impression that
coming down onto a barren world without atmosphere and without life.
A soft breeze touched his cheeks. The scent of
air. He saw birds flitting among the trees, and once he heard a song
was startingly like that of a meadow lark.
He walked all day and saw no sign
habitation to indicate that the planet had intelligent life.
dusk he heard a woman calling his name.
Grayson turned with a start, and it