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imagine the terrified crew-members who had probably been knocked flat
by the wash from the scout ships.
Danson had fainted.
Ahead of him was a heavy cloud cover. He streaked for it, with his four
buddies in hot pursuit. He hit the cloud cover and began dodging
recklessly through it, changing his course constantly to throw his
pursuers off. He burst out on the far side of the bank of clouds and
couldn't see the other four ships. He streaked for the cabin in the
mountain country of Pennsylvania, with Danson still out.
Lors throttled back and hovered over the cabin. It was deserted. In the
sunlight, it looked like a child's toy house in a miniature clearing. He
settled the ship in another small clearing, in the woods beyond the
house and shut off the engines. He threw back the canopy and removed the
belt from around Danson.
He slung the Terran over his shoulder and headed for the cabin. Still
nothing moved about the place. Lors breathed a sigh of relief. All he
had to do now, was dump Danson and get out. Nick could tell his wife
everything and get things straightened out. Brice could be reported as
missing in the woods and the wrecked scout ship could be covered up by
the men in Washington.
He eased his way into the house and flopped Danson's unconscious body on
the couch. He had started to pull off Danson's borrowed uniform when he
heard the footstep. He whirled about!
She stood there for a moment and stared at the two of them, and he could
see from her face that she was not sure which one was her husband. Lors
came to his feet and looked at her, not quite sure what to say or do.
"Don't explain, Lors," she told him. Her voice was as calm and as
unruffled as though she found men from outer space in the cabin every
"I brought him back," Lors began and felt silly. He wondered vaguely how
she had known about him and his being a spaceman.
She came into the room and up to where he stood, her eyes boring into
his. "Why did you bring him back? You could have come back by yourself
and continued the whole thing."
The realization of her words dawned upon him slowly and he blinked. "You
_know_ about me? How..."
"I'll tell you later. Why did you bring him back?"
"You want him, don't you? It couldn't work out. Any fool can see that."
He reached out and gripped her shoulders firmly. "It wasn't supposed to
happen this way, Beth. It was all supposed to go like clockwork; we
never figured on the scout ship being wrecked, and I never figured on
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