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I. We are about to relate a story of mingled fact and fancy. The facts are borrowed from the Russian author, Petjerski; the fancy is our own. Our task will chiefly be to soften the outlines of incidents almost too sharp and rugged for literary use, to supply them with the necessary coloring and sentiment, and to give a coherent and proportioned shape to the irregular fragments of an old chronicle. We know something, from other sources, of the... more...

BILL THE BLOODHOUND There's a divinity that shapes our ends. Consider the case of HenryPifield Rice, detective. I must explain Henry early, to avoid disappointment. If I simply said he was a detective, and let it go at that, I should be obtaining the reader's interest under false pretences. He was really only a sort of detective, a species of sleuth. At Stafford's International Investigation Bureau, in the Strand, where he was employed, they... more...

nterplanetary flight having been perfected, the planets and moons of the Sol system having been colonized, Man turned his attention to the stars. And ran into a stone wall. After three decades of trying, scientists reluctantly concluded that a faster-than-light drive was an impossibility, at least within the realm of any known theory of the Universe. They gave up. But a government does not give up so easily, especially a unified government... more...

ELIZA'S HUSBAND "Suppose," I said to one of the junior clerks at our office the other day, "you were asked to describe yourself in a few words, could you do it?" His answer that he could describe me in two was no answer at all. Also the two words were not a description, and were so offensive that I did not continue the conversation. I believe there are but few people who could give you an accurate description of themselves. Often in the train... more...

DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my... more...


"Attention, Inner-Flight ship! Attention! You are ordered to land at the Control Station on Deimos for inspection. Attention! You are to land at once!" The metallic rasp of the speaker echoed through the corridors of the great ship. The passengers glanced at each other uneasily, murmuring and peering out the port windows at the small speck below, the dot of rock that was the Martian checkpoint, Deimos. "What's up?" an anxious passenger asked... more...

The least that Findlayson, of the Public Works Department, expected was a C.I.E.; he dreamed of a C.S.I. Indeed, his friends told him that he deserved more. For three years he had endured heat and cold, disappointment, discomfort, danger, and disease, with responsibility almost to top-heavy for one pair of shoulders; and day by day, through that time, the great Kashi Bridge over the Ganges had grown under his charge. Now, in less than three... more...

WHEN GOD LAUGHS (with compliments to Harry Cowell) "The gods, the gods are stronger; timeFalls down before them, all men's kneesBow, all men's prayers and sorrows climbLike incense toward them; yea, for theseAre gods, Felise." Carquinez had relaxed finally. He stole a glance at the rattling windows, looked upward at the beamed roof, and listened for a moment to the savage roar of the south-easter as it caught the bungalow in its bellowing jaws.... more...

Destroying the spirit of the enemy is the goal of war and the aliens had the best way! They never did discover whose fault it was. Fannia pointed out that if Donnaught had had the brains of an ox, as well as the build, he would have remembered to check the tanks. Donnaught, although twice as big as him, wasn't quite as fast with an insult. He intimated, after a little thought, that Fannia's nose might have obstructed his reading of the fuel... more...

JIMMY'S BIG BROTHER FROM CALIFORNIA As night crept up from the valley that stormy afternoon, Sawyer's Ledge was at first quite blotted out by wind and rain, but presently reappeared in little nebulous star-like points along the mountain side, as the straggling cabins of the settlement were one by one lit up by the miners returning from tunnel and claim. These stars were of varying brilliancy that evening, two notably so—one that eventually... more...