By Jack Vance
The target of the project from Earth: to prevent the ruthless Barjarnum of Beaujolais from increasing his empire at the tremendous Planet...and hinder the area from falling below this tyrant's domination. Then sabotage forces the craft to crash land, and the survivors face an epic 40,000-mile trek around the risky panorama. A SF landmark. "One of the best writers the technology fiction box has ever known."--Poul Anderson. "Vividly compelling...Vance on the most sensible of his form."--Damon Knight.
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Take your meat,” he said to Heinzelman. ” Heinzelman had regained whatever composure he had lost. “I’ve seen those electrical clubs before. The Bajarnum of Beaujolais brings them down from the sky. But they kill no more certainly than our lances. ” Glystra turned to Morwatz. ” Morwatz stood back, jerked his arm up and down. ” Heinzelman nodded, half-smiling. ” The Great Slope was a shadow behind the western haze; the steppe spread as wide as an ocean, carpeted with blue-green bracken except where black-green furze filled the deeper hollows.
The Beaujolains had crossed the twilight; now the gypsy chanting came to a halt, and only the deep bellow of the horn sounded. Detail was blurred in the evening; Glystra could see men falling, then a convulsive Beaujolain charge which plunged into the gypsies like a knife. The battle was lost in the dusk. 8 A Matter of Vitamins Glystra tried to break loose the knots on Pianza’s wrists, without success. His fingers were like sausages, without sensation. He was suddenly weak, lax; his brain felt inert.
Glystra took a small cup from one of the packs, gave it to Morwatz. ” There was a whoop of approval and a keg was broached. ” Pianza shook his head. “Just children. Very little emotional control. ” “Liquor or not, we can’t relax. You and Cloyville take the first four hours, Bishop, Ketch and I will take the next four. ” He went to change the bandage on Corbus’ neck but found Nancy there before him. The Beaujolains, singing now, built a fire, and heaping on quantities of the branches from the rick, breathed in the aromatic smoke.