He watched her read the letter, but her expression did not cloud; on the contrary, it brightened.
"Were you? That's kind of you, indeed!"
The sight of the Barracks gave the men's steps a new swing and spring. After three weeks of sleeping in safety-suits; of breathing, sweating, drinking, eating and excreting through germ-barrier valves and tubing, the prospect of stripping off the plastic battle-dress was seductive. Inside that eight stories of windowless, doorless stone were gardens where the troopers could walk barefoot on the grass, pools whose water could splash their naked skin. In the Barracks were the three hundred Service Company women who made the big stone box home to their three thousand men.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
were proposed as to the nature of plants, their organisation or mutual relations; the only point of interest was the knowledge of individual forms and of their medicinal virtues.
A freak who ultimately lost all reason and was confined in a private asylum used to sit at the same desk that I did when, many years ago, I was a shipping clerk in Manchester. This man, whose name was not, but should have been, Bundle, had considerable private means, but some obscure need of his nature drove him to discipline himself by working eight hours a day for three pounds a week. The three pounds was nothing to him, but the eight hours a day meant everything. He was a conscientious worker, but I think I have already indicated that his intelligence was not robust. He had no delusion; he merely possessed a misdirected sense of duty.
This was rather strange pleasantry, under the circumstances. But there are certain persons whose existence is so out of parallel with the larger laws in the midst of which it is moving, that life becomes to them as death and death as life.
towns, students, I learned, have had to go back several centuries before Christ to the time when the Greeks and the Phœnicians were contending for the possession of the island. At that time the original population took refuge in these mountain fastnesses, and through all the changes since, these towns, with, perhaps, some remnants of the race that originally inhabited the island, have remained.
"Diplomats and other liars require good memories," said Retief. "But as you point out, small wisdom to small minds. I'm here to effect a settlement of certain differences between yourself and the planetary authorities. I have here a Note, which I'm conveying on behalf of the Sector Under-Secretary. With your permission, I'll read it."详情 ➢
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