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CHAPTER 1 To anyone who glanced casually inside the detention room the young man sitting there did not seem very formidable. In height he might have been a little above average, but not enough to make him noticeable. His brown hair was cropped conservatively; his unlined boy's face was not one to be remembered—unless one was observant enough to note those light-gray eyes and catch a chilling, measuring expression showing now and then for... more...

The Tantrums of Ned Land I HAVE NO IDEA how long this slumber lasted; but it must have been a good while, since we were completely over our exhaustion. I was the first one to wake up. My companions weren't yet stirring and still lay in their corners like inanimate objects. I had barely gotten up from my passably hard mattress when I felt my mind clear, my brain go on the alert. So I began a careful reexamination of our cell. Nothing had... more...

Two miles west of the village of Laketon there lived an aged recluse who was known only as Old Crompton. As far back as the villagers could remember he had visited the town regularly twice a month, each time tottering his lonely way homeward with a load of provisions. He appeared to be well supplied with funds, but purchased sparingly as became a miserly hermit. And so vicious was his tongue that few cared to converse with him, even the young... more...

The Captain peered into the eyepiece of the telescope. He adjusted the focus quickly. "It was an atomic fission we saw, all right," he said presently. He sighed and pushed the eyepiece away. "Any of you who wants to look may do so. But it's not a pretty sight." "Let me look," Tance the archeologist said. He bent down to look, squinting. "Good Lord!" He leaped violently back, knocking against Dorle, the Chief Navigator. "Why did we come all... more...

obert Thorpe reached languidly for a cigarette and, with lazy fingers, extracted a lighter from his pocket. "Be a sport," he repeated to the gray haired man across the table. "Be a sport, Admiral, and send me across on a destroyer. Never been on a destroyer except in port. It ... would be a new experience ... enjoy it a lot...." In the palm-shaded veranda of this club-house in Manila, Admiral Struthers, U. S. N., regarded with undisguised... more...


llan Randall stared at the man before him. "And that's why you sent for me, Milton?" he finally asked. There was a moment's silence, in which Randall's eyes moved as though uncomprehendingly from the face of Milton to those of the two men beside him. The four sat together at the end of a roughly furnished and electric-lit living-room, and in that momentary silence there came in to them from the outside night the distant pounding of the Atlantic... more...

 hope, Carnes," said Dr. Bird, "that we get good fishing." "Good fishing? Will you please tell me what you are talking about?" "I am talking about fishing, old dear. Have you seen the evening paper?" "No. What's that got to do with it?" Dr. Bird tossed across the table a copy of the Washington Post folded so as to bring uppermost an item on page three. Carnes saw his picture staring at him from the center of the page. "What the... more...

his news," said Cliff Hynes, pointing to the newspaper, "means the end of homo Americanus." Out of the Antarctic it came—a wall of viscid, grey, half-human jelly, absorbing and destroying all life that it encountered. The newspaper in question was the hour-sheet of the International Broadcast Association, just delivered by pneumatic tube at the laboratory. It was stamped 1961, Month 13, Day 7, Horometer 3, and the headlines on the front... more...

here was no use hiding from the truth. Somebody had blundered—a fatal blunder—and they were going to pay for it! Mark Forepaugh kicked the pile of hydrogen cylinders. Only a moment ago he had broken the seals—the mendacious seals that certified to the world that the flasks were fully charged. And the flasks were empty! The supply of this precious power gas, which in an emergency should have been sufficient for six years, simply... more...

The Ability to communicate ideas from one individual to another," said a professor of sociology to his class, "is the principal distinction between human beings and their brute forbears. The increase and refinement of this ability to communicate is an index of the degree of civilization of a people. The more civilized a people, the more perfect their ability to communicate, especially under difficulties and in emergencies." The delivery of his... more...