By Damon Knight

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All right. And a hunnerd wot? Balloons? Wy dint you say so? Dont all holler by same time. Wait half a minute, can’t you . . seventeen sconces, I got det. Shettup! You got to wait. You got to wait. I can’t do every damn ting by same time . ” Dick bellowed. The old man’s face only turned more sour. He listened unwillingly, fidgeting, while Dick gave his order; he scrawled symbols on his pad, then made as if to turn to the next impatient slob. “Now, Fossum,” said Dick, moving closer. Reluctantly, the old man went shuffling back along the aisle, moving in a flickering pool of cold light that followed him as he went.

But as the heir, Dick shared the duties of a host. “Hello, Cash,” he said, putting out his hand. ” They shook hands stiffly, and let go with enthusiasm. ” Dick asked. ” “No thanks, I’ve been,” Cashel said, too promptly. His expression showed, an instant later, that he wished he had taken the excuse to leave. “I’m a little thirsty,” he added hopefully. Shackled by courtesy, Dick could only say, “Champagne? Tokay? ” and put out an arm to snag a passing waiter. ” he went on, as Cashel hesitated. “Port?

A tile fell off the roof and slid down the exposed side of the Lincoln. The dust cloud rose. The wheels spun quietly to a halt. The cavalcade stopped, a little at a time. The round man turned his full attention back to Ewing and Platt. He did it deliberately, as if massive gears were turning somewhere inside him. He blinked, shifted the cigar butt in his mouth, and spoke. ” Ewing thought he had seen a face at the bedroom window. He said unwillingly, “Nobody uses this road. It doesn’t go anywhere, except a ranch around the other side.

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