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It was his impulse to fire, the moment a flitting figure appeared, gone the next instant like a shadow, but remembering Ross's caution and their terrible need he restrained himself although his finger already lay caressingly on the trigger. Around him the rifles had begun to crack.

"Zahur " Loketh breathed in Ross's ear, his pointed finger indicating the speaker. Ross longed vainly for the ability to ask questions, a chance to know what was in progress. That the meeting of the two Hawaikan factions was important he did not doubt. There was an interval of silence after the castle lord finished speaking. To the Terran this spun on and on and he sensed the mounting tension.

Ross's unbecoming gowns and careless coiffures. But the girl's passion for clothes, amounting almost to a complete "reversion to type," had at once relieved and alarmed her. "If I can strike a balance for her," she had said to herself in a certain midnight musing, "I shall do very well." As yet, however, Isabel had failed to "balance."

But the rope was now gone from his throat, and his arms were free. This time when he brought up hard against an obstruction he was not followed. Ross's conscious mind that portion of him that was Rossa, the trader was content to lie there, to yield to the lethargy born of the frigid world about him. But the subconscious Ross Murdock of the Project prodded at him.

"Now hear this...." The voice transmitted through that grill was metallic, but its rasp held overtones of Kelgarries' voice. Ross's lips tightened. He had explored every inch of the walls and knew that there was no trace of the door which had admitted him.

There have been no signs of a war party coming or leaving." "Then what?" demanded Ross. "Lightning for one thing and we'd better hope it was that. Or " Ashe's blue eyes were very cold and bleak, as cold and bleak as the countryside about them. "Or ?" Ross dared to prompt him. "Or we have made contact with the Reds in the wrong way!" Ross's hand instinctively went to the dagger at his belt.

"The big one the Reds have been looting " "Ship?" echoed McNeil. "And where did you get that rig?" In the bright light it was easy to see Ross's alien dress. McNeil fingered the elastic material wonderingly. "From the ship," Ross returned impatiently. "But if the ship people are attacking, I don't think they will notice any difference between us and the Reds...."

He knew that it marked a trace and he pushed on, hunting a second cut and then a third. Convinced that these would lead him into the unknown territory, Ross's desire to explore overcame the grafted superstitions of his briefing. There were other signs that this was an often-traveled route: a spring cleared of leaves and walled with stone, a couple of steps cut in the turf on a steep slope.

"Father's and Miss Ross's and all the dif'rent school teachers', and all in the Sunday-school library. I've read The Lamplighter, and Scottish Chiefs, and Ivanhoe, and The Heir of Redclyffe, and Cora, the Doctor's Wife, and David Copperfield, and The Gold of Chickaree, and Plutarch's Lives, and Thaddeus of Warsaw, and Pilgrim's Progress, and lots more. What have you read?"

A friend of Miss Ross." Lady Pen turned and looked hard at him. "Oh dear, yes; she's rather a pal of mine. I knew her long before I met her at the Ross's. Why, I knew her when she was companion at the Trents, poor little devil." "Did she have a bad time there? Weren't they nice to her?" "At first they were nice enough, but afterwards it was rotten. Clever little thing she is, but poor as a rat.

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