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BRANDON was looking at the Milky Way. Through his canopy, he could see it trailing across the black velvet of space like a white bridal veil. Below his SC9B scout-ship stretched the red dust deserts of Sirius Three illuminated by the thin light of two ice moons. He looked at the Milky Way. [p21]He looked at it as a man looks at a flickering fireplace and thinks of other things. He thought of the sun,... more...

I.—The Great Big Man By Owen JohnsonTHE noon bell was about to ring, the one glorious spring note of that inexorable "Gym" bell that ruled the school with its iron tongue. For at noon, on the first liberating stroke, the long winter term died and the Easter vacation became a fact.Inside Memorial Hall the impatient classes stirred nervously, counting off the minutes, sitting gingerly on the... more...

THE WRECK I was apprenticed to the Sea when I was twelve years old, and I have encountered a great deal of rough weather, both literal and metaphorical.  It has always been my opinion since I first possessed such a thing as an opinion, that the man who knows only one subject is next tiresome to the man who knows no subject.  Therefore, in the course of my life I have taught myself whatever I could,... more...

THE HUNGRY STONES My kinsman and myself were returning to Calcutta from our Puja trip when we met the man in a train. From his dress and bearing we took him at first for an up-country Mahomedan, but we were puzzled as we heard him talk. He discoursed upon all subjects so confidently that you might think the Disposer of All Things consulted him at all times in all that He did. Hitherto we had been... more...

A short, square chunk of a man walked into a shipping office on the East Side, and inquired for the Manager of the Line. He had kindly blue eyes, a stub nose, and a mouth that shut to like a rat-trap, and stayed shut. Under his chin hung a pair of half-moon whiskers which framed his weather-beaten face as a spike collar frames a dog's. "You don't want to send this vessel to sea... more...

Hansen was sitting at the control board in the single building on Communications Relay Station 43.4SC, when the emergency light flashed on for the first time in two hundred years. With textbook-recommended swiftness, he located the position of the ship sending the call, identified the ship and the name of its captain, and made contact. “This is Hansen on 43.4SC. Put me through to Captain Fromer.”... more...

Chapter 1 It was in 1590—winter. Austria was far away from the world, and asleep; it was still the Middle Ages in Austria, and promised to remain so forever. Some even set it away back centuries upon centuries and said that by the mental and spiritual clock it was still the Age of Belief in Austria. But they meant it as a compliment, not a slur, and it was so taken, and we were all proud of it. I... more...

My friend Hammond is a bachelor, and lives in chambers in New York. Whenever we meet on my occasional visits to the city, he insists on my spending the night with him. On one of these occasions we had been at the opera during the evening, and had witnessed an ovation to a beautiful and famous singer. We had been stirred by the enthusiasm of the audience, and on our walk home fell to discussing a theme... more...

THE BRISTOL BOWL MY cousin Sarah and me had only one aunt between us, and that was my Aunt Maria, who lived in the little cottage up by the church. Now my aunt had a tidy little bit of money laid by, which she couldn't in reason expect to carry with her when her time came to go, wherever it was she might go to, and a houseful of furniture, old-fashioned, but strong and good still. So of course... more...

Balmy Spring—weeks later than we expected and months later than we longed for her—comes at last to revive the moss on the roof and walls of our old mansion. She peeps brightly into my study-window, inviting me to throw it open and create a summer atmosphere by the intermixture of her genial breath with the black and cheerless comfort of the stove. As the casement ascends, forth into infinite... more...

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