�����"How awful?"

�����"My face."

�����"You make yourself sound romantic. Is it one of those exciting scars that make a man attractive?"

�����"No. You'll see when we meet, us. That's wrong, isn't it, Jiz?' Just plain:

'When we meet.' Period."

�����"Good boy."

�����"We will meet some day, won't we, Jiz?"

�����"Soon, I hope, Gully." Jisbella's faraway voice became crisp and businesslike. "But we've got to stop hoping and get down to work. We've got to plan and prepare."

�����From the underworld, Jisbella had inherited a mass of information about Gouffre Martel. No one had ever jaunted out of the cavern hospitals, but for decades the underworld had been collecting and collating information about them. It was from this data that Jisbella had formed her quick recognition of the Whisper Line that joined them. It was on the basis of this information that she began to discuss escape.

�����"We can pull it off, Gully. Never doubt that for a minute. There must be dozens of loopholes in their security system."

�����"No one's ever found them before."

�����"No one's ever worked with a partner before. We'll pool our information and we'll make it."

�����He no longer shambled to Sanitation and back. He felt the corridor walls, noted doors, noted their texture, counted, listened, deduced, and reported. He made a note of every separate step in the Sanitation pens and reported them to Jiz. The questions he whispered to the men around him in the shower and scrub rooms had purpose. Together, Foyle and Jisbella built up a picture of the routine of Gouffre Martel and its security system.

�����One morning, on the return from Sanitation, he was stopped as he was about to step back into his cell.

�����"Stay in line, Foyle."

�����"This is North-ui i. I know where to get off by now."

�����"Keep moving."

�����"But-" He was terrified. "You're changing me?"

�����"Visitor to see you."

�����He was marched up to the end of the north corridor where it met the three other main corridors that formed the huge cross of the hospital. In the center of the cross were the administration offices, maintenance workshops, clinics, and plants. Foyle was thrust into a room, as dark as his cell. The door was shut behind him. He became aware of a faint shimmering outline in the blackness. It was no more than the ghost of an image with a blurred body and a death's head. Two black discs on the skull face were either eye sockets or infrared goggles.

�����"Good morning," said Saul Dagenham.

�����"You?" Foyle exclaimed.

�����"Me. I've got five minutes. Sit down. Chair behind you."

�����Foyle felt for the chair and sat down slowly.

�����"Enjoying yourself?" Dagenham inquired.

�����"What do you want, Dagenham?"

�����"There's been a change," Dagenham said dryly. "Last time we talked your dialogue consisted entirely of 'Go to hell.'"

�����"Go to hell, Dagenham, if it'll make you feel any better."

�����"Your repartee's improved; your speech, too. You've changed," Dagenham said. "Changed a damned sight too much and a damned sight too fast. I don't like it. What's happened to you?"

�����"I've been going to night school."

�����"You've had ten months in this night school."

�����"Ten months!" Foyle echoed in amazement. "That long?"

�����"Ten months without sight and without sound. Ten months in solitary. You ought to be broke."

�����"Oh, I'm broke, all right."

�����"You ought to be whining. I was right. You're unusual. At this rate it's going to take too long. We can't wait. I'd like to make a new offer."

�����"Make it."

�����"Ten per cent of 'Nomad's' bullion. Two million."

�����"Two million!" Foyle exclaimed. "Why didn't you offer that in the first I place?"

�����"Because I didn't know your caliber. Is it a deal?"

�����"Almost. Not yet."

�����"What else?"

�����"I get out of Gouffre Martel."


�����"And someone else, too."

�����"It can be arranged." Dagenham's voice sharpened. "Anything else?"

�����"I get access to Presteign's files."

�����"Out of the question. Are you insane? Be reasonable."

�����"His shipping files."

�����"WThat for?"

�����"A list of personnel aboard one of his ships."

�����"Oh." Dagenham's eagerness revived. "That, I can arrange. Anything else?"

�����"Then it's a deal." Dagenham was delighted. The ghostly blur of light arose from its chair. "We'll have you out in six hours. We'll start arrangements for your friend at once. It's a pity we wasted this time, but no one can figure you, Foyle."

�����"Why didn't you send in a telepath to work me over?"

�����"A telepath? Be reasonable, Foyle. There aren't ten full telepaths in all the Inner Planets. Their time is earmarked for the next ten years. We couldn't persuade one to interrupt his schedule for love or money."

�����"I apologize, Dagenham. I thought you didn't know your business."

�����"You very nearly hurt my feelings."

�����"Now I know you're just lying."

�����"You're flattering me."

�����"You could have hired a telepath. For a cut in twenty million you could:

have hired one easy."

�����"The government would never-"

�����"They don't all work for the government. No. You've got something too" hot to let a telepath get near."

�����The blur of light leaped across the room and seized Foyle. "How much~ do you know, Foyle? What are you covering? Who are you working for?'~ Dagenham's hands shook. "Christ! What a fool I've been. Of course you'r unusual. You're no common spaceman. I asked you: who are you workin for?"

�����Foyle tore Dagenham's hands away from him. "No one," he said. "N~ one, except myself."

�����"No one, eh? Including your friend in Gouffre Martel you're so eager t rescue? By God, you almost swindled me, Foyle. Tell Captain Y'ang-Yeovil I congratulate him. He's got a better staff than I thought."

�����"I never heard of any Y'ang-Yeovil."

�����"You and your colleague are going to rot here. It's no deal. You'll feste~

here. I'll have you moved to the worst cell in the hospital. I'll sink you to the bottom of Gouffre Martel. I'll- Guard, here! C-"

�����Foyle grasped Dagenham's throat, dragged him down to the floor and hammered his head on the flagstones. Dagenham squirmed once and then was still. Foyle ripped the goggles off his face and put them on. Sight returned in soft red and rose lights and shadows.

�����He was in a small reception room with a table and two chairs. Foyle stripped Dagenham's jacket off and put it on with two quick jerks that split the shoulders. Dagenham's cocked highwayman's hat lay on the table. Foyle clapped it over his head and pulled the brim down before his face.

�����On opposite walls were two doors. Foyle opened one a crack. It led out to the north corridor. He closed it, leaped across the room and tried the other. It opened onto a jaunte-proof maze. Foyle slipped through the door and entered the maze. Without a guide to lead him through the labyrinth, he was immediately lost. He began to run around the twists and turns and found himself back at the reception room. Dagenham was struggling to his knees.

�����Foyle turned back into the maze again. He ran. He came to a closed door and thrust it open. It revealed a large workshop illuminated by normal light. Two technicians working at a machine bench looked up in surprise.

�����Foyle snatched up a sledge hammer, leaped on them like a caveman, and felled them. Behind him he heard Dagenham shouting in the distance. He looked around wildly, dreading the discovery that he was trapped in a culde-sac. The workshop was L-shaped. Foyle tore around the corner, burst through the entrance of another jaunte-proof maze and was lost again. The Gouffre Martel alarm system began clattering. Foyle battered at the walls of the labyrinth with the sledge, shattered the thin plastic masking, and found himself in the infrared-lit south corridor of the women's quadrant.

�����Two women guards came up the corridor, running hard. Foyle swung the sledge and dropped them. He was near the head of the corridor. Before him stretched a long perspective of cell doors, each bearing a glowing red number. Overhead the corridor was lit by glowing red globes. Foyle stood on tiptoe and clubbed the globe above him. He hammered through the socket and smashed the current cable. The entire corridor went dark . . . even to goggles.

�����"Evens us up; all in the dark now," Foyle gasped and tore down the corridor feeling the wall as he ran and counting cell doors. Jisbella had given him an accurate word picture of the South Quadrant. He was counting his way toward South-9oo. He blundered into a figure, another guard. Foyle hacked at her once with his sledge. She shrieked and fell. The women patients began shrieking. Foyle lost count, ran on, stopped.

�����"jiz!" he bellowed.

�����He heard her voice. He encountered another guard, disposed of her, ran, located Jisbella's cell.

�����"Gully, for God's sake. . ." Her voice was muffled.

�����"Get back, girl. Back." He hammered thrice against the door with his sledge and it burst inward. He staggered in and fell against a figure.

�����"Jiz?" he gasped. "Excuse me. . . Was passing by. Though I'd drop in."

�����"Gully, in the name of-"

�����"Yeah. Hell of a way to meet, eh? Come on. Out, girl. Out!" He dragged her out of the cell. "We can't try a break through the offices. They don't like me back there. Which way to your Sanitation pens?"

�����"Gully, you're crazy."

�����"Whole quadrant's dark. I smashed the power cable. We've got half a chance. Go, girl. Go."

�����He gave her a powerful thrust and she led him down the passages to the automatic stalls of the women's Sanitation pens. While mechanical hands removed their uniforms, soaped, soaked, sprayed and disinfected them, Foyle felt for the glass pane of the medical observation window. He found it, swung the sledge and smashed it.

�����"Get in, Jiz."

�����He hurled her through the window and followed. They were both stripped, greasy with soap, slashed and bleeding. Foyle slipped and crashed through the blackness searching for the door through which the medical officers entered.

�����"Can't find the door, Jiz. Door from the clinic. I-"


�����"Be quiet, Gully."

�����A soapy hand found his mouth and clamped over it. She gripped his shoulder so hard that her fingernails pierced his skin. Through the bedlam in the caverns sounded the clatter of steps close at hand. Guards were running blindly through the Sanitation stalls. The infrared lights had not yet been


�����"They may not notice the window," Jisbella hissed. "Be quiet."

�����They crouched on the floor. Steps trampled through the pens in bewildering succession. Then they were gone.

�����"All clear, now," Jisbella whispered. "But they'll have searchlights any minute. Come on, Gully. Out."

�����"But the door to the clinic, Jiz. I thought-"

�����"There is no door. They use spiral stairs and they pull them up. They've thought of this escape too. We'll have to try the laundry lift. God knows what good it'll do us. Oh Gully, you fool! You utter fool!"

�����They climbed through the observation window back into the pens. They searched through the darkness for the lifts by which soiled uniforms were removed and fresh uniforms issued. And in the darkness the automatic hands again soaped, sprayed and disinfected them. They could find nothing.

�����The caterwauling of a siren suddenly echoed through the caverns, silencing all other sound. There came a hush as suffocating as the darkness.

�����"They're using the C-phone to track us, Gully."

�����"The what?"

�����"Geophone. It can trace a whisper through half a mile of solid rock. That's why they've sirened for silence."

�����"The laundry lift?"

�����"Can't find it."

�����"Then come on."


�����"We're running."


�����"I don't know, but I'm not getting caught flat-footed. Come on. The exercise'll do you good."

�����Again he thrust Jisbella before him and they ran, gasping and stumbling, through the blackness, down into the deepest reaches of South Quadrant. Jisbella fell twice, blundering against turns in the passages. Foyle took the lead and ran, holding the twenty-pound sledge in his hand, the handle extended before, him as an antenna. Then they crashed into a blank wall and realized they had reached the dead end of the corridor. They were boxed, trapped.

�����"What now?"

�����"Don't know. Looks like the dead end of my ideas, too. We can't go back for sure. I clobbered Dagenham in the offices. Hate that man. Looks like a poison label. You got a flash, girl?"

�����"Oh Gully . . . Gully . . ." Jisbella sobbed.

�����"Was counting on you for ideas. 'No more bombs,' you said. Wish I had one now. Could- Wait a minute." He touched the oozing wall against which they were leaning. He felt the checkerboard indentations of mortar seams. "Bulletin from C. Foyle. This isn't a natural cave wall. It's made. Brick and stone. Feel."

�����Jisbella felt the wall. "So?"

�����"Means this passage don't end here. Goes on. They blocked it off. Out of the way."

�����He shoved Jisbella up the passage, ground his hands into the floor to grit his soapy palms, and began swinging the sledge against the wall. He swung in steady rhythm, grunting and gasping. The steel sledge struck the wall with the blunt concussion of stones struck under water.

�����"They're coming," Jiz said. "I hear them."

�����The blunt blows took on a crumbling, crushing overtone. There was a whisper, then a steady pebble-fall of loose mortar. Foyle redoubled his efforts. Suddenly there was a crash and a gush of icy air blew in their faces.

�����"Through," Foyle muttered.

�����He attacked the edges of the hole pierced through the wall with ferocity. Bricks, stones, and old mortar flew. Foyle stopped and called Jisbella.

�����"Try it."

�����He dropped the sledge, seized her, and held her up to the chest-high opening. She cried out in pain as she tried to wriggle past the sharp edges. Foyle pressed her relentlessly until she got her shoulders and then her hips through. He let go of her legs and heard her fall on the other side.

�����Foyle pulled himself up and tore himself through the jagged breach in the wall. He felt Jisbella's hands hying to break his fall as he crashed down in a mass of loose brick and mortar. They were both through into the icy

blackness of the unoccupied caverns of Couffre Martel . . . miles of unexplored grottos and caves.

�����"By God, we'll make it yet," Foyle mumbled.

�����"I don't know if there's a way out, Gully." Jisbella was shaking with cold. "Maybe this is all cul-de-sac, walled off from the hospital."

�����"There has to be a way out."

�����"I don't know if we can find it."

�����"We've got to find it. Let's go, girl."

�����They blundered forward in the darkness. Foyle tore the useless set of goggles from his eyes. They crashed against ledges, corners, low ceilings; they fell down slopes and steep steps. They climbed over a razor-back ridge to a level plain and their feet shot from under them. Both fell heavily to a glassy floor. Foyle felt it and touched it with his tongue.

�����"Ice," he muttered. "Good sign. We're in an ice cavern, Jiz. Underground glacier."

�����They arose shakily, straddling their legs and worked their way across the ice that had been forming in the Gouffre Martel abyss for millenia. They climbed into a forest of stone saplings that were stalagmites and stalactites thrusting up from the jagged floor and down from the ceilings. The vibrations of every step loosened the huge stalactites; ponderous stone spears thundered down from overhead. At the edge of the forest, Foyle stopped, reached out and tugged. There was a clear metallic ring. He took Jisbella's hand and placed the long tapering cone of a stalagmite in it.

�����"Cane," he grunted. "Use it like a blind man."

�����He broke off another and they went tapping, feeling, stumbling through the darkness. There was no sound but the gallop of panic. . - their gasping breath and racing hearts, the taps of their stone canes, the multitudinous drip of water, the distant rushing of the underground river beneath Gouffre Martel.

�����"Not that way, girl," Foyle nudged her shoulder. "More to the left."

�����"Have you the faintest notion where we're headed, Gully?"

�����"Down, Jiz. Follow any slope that leads down."

�����"You've got an idea?"

�����"Yeah. Surprise, surprise! Brains instead of bombs."

�����"Brains instead of-" Jisbella shrieked with hysterical laughter. "You exploded into South Quadrant w-with a sledge hammer and th-that's your idea of b-brains instead of b-b-b--" She brayed and hooted beyond all control until Foyle grasped her and shook her.

�����"Shut up, Jiz. If they're tracking us by C-phone they could hear you from Mars."

�����"S-sorry, Gully. Sorry. I . . ." She took a breath. "Why down?"

�����"The river, the one we hear all the time. It must be near. It probably melts off the glacier back there."

�����"The river?"

�����"The only sure way out. It must break out of the mountain somewhere. 'W'e'll swim."

�����"Gully, you're insane!"

�����"V/hat's a matter, you? You can't swim?"

�����"I can swim, but-"

�����"Then we've got to try. Got to, Jiz. Come on."

�����The rush of the river grew louder as their strength began to fail. Jisbella pulled to a halt at last, gasping.

�����"Gully, I've got to rest."

�����"Too cold. Keep moving."

�����"I can't."

�����"Keep moving." He felt for her arm.

�����"Get your hands off me," she cried furiously. In an instant she was all spitfire. He released her in amazement.

�����"What's the i~natter with you? Keep your head, Jiz, I'm depending on you."

�����"For what? I told you we had to plan . . . work out an escape . . . and now you've trapped us into this."

�����"I was trapped myself. Dagenham was going to change my cell. No more Whisper Line for us. I had to, Jiz - . . and we're out, aren't we?"

�����"Out where? Lost in Gouffre Martel. Looking for a damned river to drown in. You're a fool, Gully, and I'm an idiot for letting you trap me into this. Damn you! Damn you! You pull everything down to your imbecile level and you've pulled me down too. Run. Fight. Punch. That's all you know. Beat. Break. Blast. Destroy- Gully!"

�����Jisbella screamed. There was a clatter of loose stone in the darkness, and her scream faded down and away to a heavy splash. Foyle heard the thrash of her body in water. He leaped forward, shouted: "Jiz!" and staggered over the edge of a precipice.

�����He fell and struck the water flat with a stunning impact. The icy river enclosed him, and he could not tell where the surface was. He struggled, suffocated, felt the swift current drag him against the chill slime of rocks, and then was borne bubbling to the surface. He coughed and shouted. He heard Jisbella answer, her voice faint and muffled by the roaring torrent. He swam with the current, trying to overtake her.

�����He shouted and heard her answering voice growing fainter and fainter. The roaring grew louder, and abruptly he was shot down the hissing sheet of a waterfall. He plunged to the bottom of a deep pool and struggled once more to the surface. The whirling current entangled him with a cold body bracing itself against a smooth rock wall.

�����"Gully! Thank God!"

�����They clung together for a moment while the water tore at them.

�����"Gully . . ." Jisbella coughed. "It goes through here."

�����"The river?"


�����He squirmed past her, bracing himself against the wall, and felt the mouth of an underwater tunnel. The current was sucking them into it.

�����"Hold on," Foyle gasped. He explored to the left and the right. The walls of the pool were smooth, without handhold.

�����"We can't climb out. Have to go through."

�����"There's no air, Gully. No surface."

�����"Couldn't be forever. We'll hold our breath."

"It could be longer than we can hold our breath." "Have to gamble."

"I can't do it."

"You must. No other way. Pump your lungs. Hold on to me."

�����They supported each other in the water, gasping for breath, filling their lungs. Foyle nudged Jisbella toward the underwater tunnel. "You go first. I'll be right behind. . . . Help you if you get into trouble."

�����"Trouble!" Jisbella cried in a shaking voice. She submerged and permitted the current to suck her into the tunnel mouth. Foyle followed. The fierce waters drew them down, down, down, caroming from side to side of a tunnel that had been worn glass-smooth. Foyle swam close behind Jisbella, feeling her thrashing legs beat his head and shoulders.

�����They shot through the tunnel until their lungs burst and their blind eyes started. Then there was a roaring again and a surface, and they could breathe. The glassy tunnel sides were replaced by jagged rocks. Foyle caught Jisbella's leg and seized a stone projection at the side of the river.

�����"Got to climb out here," he shouted.


�����"Got to climb out. You hear that roaring up ahead? Cataracts. Rapids. Be torn to pieces. Out, Jiz."

�����She was too weak to climb out of the water. He thrust her body up onto the rocks and followed. They lay on the dripping stones, too exhausted to speak. At last Foyle got wearily to his feet.

�����"Have to keep on," he sail. "Follow the river. Ready?"

�����She could not answer; she could not protest. He pulled her up and they went stumbling through the darkness, trying to follow the bank of the torrent. The boulders they traversed were gigantic, standing like dolmens, heaped, jumbled, scattered into a labyrinth. They staggered and twisted through them and lost the river. They could hear it in the darkness; they could not get back to it. They could get nowhere.

�����"Lost . . ." Foyle grunted in disgust. "We're lost again. Really lost this time. What are we going to do?"

�����Jisbella began to cry. She made helpless yet furious sounds. Foyle lurched to a stop and sat down, drawing her down with him.

�����"Maybe you're right, girl," he said wearily. "Maybe I am a damned fool. I got us trapped into this no-jaunte jam, and we're licked."

�����She didn't answer.

�����"So much for brainwork. Hell of an education you gave me." He hesitated. "You think we ought to try backtracking to the hospital?"

�����"We'll never make it."

�����"Guess not. Was just practicing m'brain. Should we start a racket? Make a noise so they can track us by G-phone?"

�����"They'd never hear us - . . Never find us in time."

�����"We could make enough noise. You could knock me around a little. Be a pleasure for both of us."

�����"Shut up."

�����"What a mess!" He sagged back, cushioning his head on a tuft of soft grass. "At least I had a chance aboard 'Nomad.' There was food and I could see where I was trying to go. I could-" He broke off and sat bolt upright. "Jiz!"

�����"Don't talk so much."

�����He felt the ground under him and clawed up sods of earth and tufts of grass. He thrust them into her face.

�����"Smell this," he laughed. "Taste it. It's grass, Jiz. Earth and grass. We must be out of Gouffre Martel."


�����"It's night outside. Pitch-black. Overcast. We came out of the caves and never knew it. We're out, Jiz! We made it."

�����They leaped to their feet, peering, listening, sniffing. The night was impenetrable, but they heard the soft sigh of night winds, and the sweet scent of green growing things came to their nostrils. Far in the distance a dog barked.

�����"My God, Gully," Jisbella whispered incredulously. "You're right. We're out of Gouffre Martel. All we have to do is wait for dawn."

�����She laughed. She flung her arms about him and kissed him, and he returned the embrace. They babbled excitedly. They sank down on the soft grass again, weary, but unable to rest, eager, impatient, all life before them.

�����"Hello, Gully, darling Gully. Hello Gully, after all this time."

�����"Hello, Jiz."

�����"I told you we'd meet some day. . . some day soon. I told you, darling. And this is the day."

�����"The night."

�����"The night, so it is. But no more murmuring in the night along the Whisper Line. No more night for us, Gully, dear."

�����Suddenly they became aware that they were nude, lying close, no longer separated. Jisbella fell silent but did not move. He clasped her, almost angrily, and enveloped her with a desire that was no less than hers.

�����When dawn came, he saw that she was lovely: long and lean with smoky red hair and a generous mouth.

�����But when dawn came, she saw his face.


HARLEY BAKER, M.D., had a small general practice in Montana-Oregon which was legitimate and barely paid for the diesel oil he consumed each weekend participating in the rallies for vintage tractors which were the vogue in Sahara. His real income was earned in his Freak Factory in Trenton to which

Baker jaunted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night. There, for enormous fees and no questions asked, Baker created monstrosities for the entertainment business and refashioned skin, muscle, and bone for the underworld.

�����Looking like a male midwife, Baker sat on the cool veranda of his Spokane mansion listening to Jiz McQueen finish the story of her escape.

�����"Once we hit the open country outside Gouffre Martel it was easy. We found a shooting lodge, broke in, and got some clothes. There were guns there too. . . lovely old steel things for killing with explosives. We took them and sold them to some locals. Then we bought rides to the nearest jaunte stage we had memorized."



�����"Traveled by night, eh?"


�����"Do anything about Foyle's face?"

�����"We tried makeup but that didn't work. The damned tattooing showed through. Then I bought a dark skin-surrogate and sprayed it on."

�����"Did that do it?"

�����"No," Jiz said angrily. "You have to keep your face quiet or else the surrogate cracks and peels. Foyle couldn't control himself. He never can. It was hell."

�����"Where is he now?"

�����"Sam Quatt's got him in tow."

�����"I thought Sam retired from the rackets."

�����"He did," Jisbella said grimly, "But he owes me a favor. He's minding Foyle. They're circulating on the jaunte to stay ahead of the cops."

�����"Interesting," Baker murmured. "Haven't seen a tattoo case in all my life. Thought it was a dead art. I'd like to add him to my collection. You know I collect curios, Jiz?"

�����"Everybody knows that zoo of yours in Trenton, Baker. It's ghastly."

�����"I picked up a genuine fraternal cyst last month," Baker began enthusiastically.

�����"I don't want to hear about it," Jiz snapped. "And I don't want Foyle in your zoo. Can you get the muck off his face? Clean it up? He says they were stymied at General Hospital."

�����"They haven't had my experience, dear. Hmm. I seem to remember reading something once . . . somewhere - . . Now where did I-? Wait a minute." Baker stood up and disappeared with a faint pop. Jisbella paced the veranda furiously until he reappeared twenty minutes later with a tattered book in his hands and a triumphant expression on his face.

�����"Got it," Baker said. "Saw it in the Caltech stacks three years ago. You may admire my memory."

�����"To hell with your memory. What about his face?"

�����"It can be done." Baker flipped the fragile pages and meditated. "Yes, it can be done. Indigotin disulphonic acid. I may have to synthesize the acid but. . ." Baker closed the text and nodded emphatically. "I can do it. Only

it seems a pity to tamper with that face if it's as unique as you describe."

�����"Will you get off your hobby," Jisbella exclaimed in exasperation. "We're hot, understand? The first that ever broke out of Gouffre Martel. The cops won't rest until they've got us back. This is extra-special for them."


�����"How long d'you think we can stay out of Gouffro Martel with Foyle running around with that tattooed face?"

�����"What are you so angry about?"

�����"I'm not angry. I'm explaining."

�����"He'd be happy in the zoo," Baker said persuasively. "And he'd be under cover there. I'd put him in the room next to the cyclops girl-"

�����"The zoo is out. That's definite."

�����"All right, dear. But why are you worried about Foyle being recaptured? It won't have anything to do with you."

�����"Why should you worry about me worrying? I'm asking you to do a job. I'm paying for the job."

�����"It'll be expensive, dear, and I'm fond of you. I'm hying to save you money."

�����"No you're not."

�����"Then I'm curious."

�����"Then let's say I'm grateful. He helped me; now I'm helping him." Baker smiled cynically. "Then let's help him by giving him a brand new face."

�����"I thought so. You want his face cleaned up because you're interested in his face."

�����"Damn you, Baker, will you do the job or not?"

�����"It'll cost five thousand."

�����"Break that down."

�����"A thousand to synthesize the acid. Three thousand for the surgery. And one thousand for-"

�����"Your curiosity?"

�����"No, dear." Baker smiled again. "A thousand for the anesthetist."

�����"Why anesthesia?"

�����Baker reopened the ancient text. "It looks like a painful operation. You know how they tattoo? They take a needle, dip it in dye, and hammer it into the skin. To bleach that dye out I'll have to go over his face with a needle, pore by pore, and hammer in the indigotin disulphonic. It'll hurt."

�����Jisbella's eyes flashed. "Can you do it without the dope?"

�����"I can, dear, but Foyle-"

�����"To hell with Foyle. I'm paying four thousand. No dope, Baker. Let Foyle suffer."

�����"Jiz! You don't know what you're letting him in for."

�����"I know. Let him suffer." She laughed so furiously that she startled Baker. "Let his face make him suffer too."

�����Baker's Freak Factory occupied a round brick threestory building that had once been the roundhouse in a suburban railway yard before jaunting ended

the need for suburban railroads. The ancient ivy-covered roundhouse was alongside the Trenton rocket pits, and the rear windows looked out on the mouths of the pits thrusting their anti-gray beams upward, and Baker's patients could amuse themselves watching the spaceships riding silently up and down the beams, their portholes blazing, recognition signals blinking, their hulls rippling with St. Elmo's fire as the atmosphere carried off the electrostatic charges built up in outer space.

�����The basement floor of the factory contained Baker's zoo of anatomical curiosities, natural freaks and monsters bought, and/or abducted. Baker, like the rest of his world, was passionately devoted to these creatures and spent long hours with them, drinking in the spectacle of their distortions the way other men saturated themselves with the beauty of art. The middle floor of the roundhouse contained bedrooms for post-operative patients, laboratories, staff rooms, and kitchens. The top floor contained the operating theaters.

�����In one of the latter, a small room usually used for retinal experiments, Baker was at work on Foyle's face. Under a harsh battery of lamps, he bent over the operating table working meticulously with a small steel hammer and a platinum needle. Baker was following the pattern of the old tattooing on Foyle's face, searching out each minute scar in the skin, and driving the needle into it. Foyle's head was gripped in a clamp, but his body was unstrapped. His muscles writhed at each tap of the hammer, but he never moved his body. He gripped the sides of the operating table.

�����"Control," he said through his teeth. "You wanted me to learn control, Jiz. I'm practicing." He winced.

�����"Don't move," Baker ordered.

�����"I'm playing it for laughs."

�����"You're doing all right, son," Sam Quatt said, looking sick. He glanced sidelong at Jisbella's furious face. "What do you say, Jiz?"

�����"He's learning."

�����Baker continued dipping and hammering the needle.

�����"Listen, Sam," Foyle mumbled, barely audible. "Jiz told me you own a private ship. Crime pays, huh?"

�����"Yeah. Crime pays. I got a little four-man job. Twin-jet. Kind they call a Saturn Weekender."

�����"Why Saturn Weekender?"

�����"Because a weekend on Saturn would last ninety days. She can carry food and fuel for three months."

�����"Just right for me," Foyle muttered. He writhed and controlled himself. "Sam, I want to rent your ship."

�����"What for?"

�����"Something hot."


�����"Then it's not for me, son. I've lost my nerve. Jaunting the circuit with you, one step ahead of the cops, showed me that. I've retired for keeps. All I want is peace."

�����"I'll pay fifty thousand. Don't you want fifty thousand? You could spend Sundays counting it."

�����The needle hammered remorselessly. Foyle's body was twitching at each impact.

�����"I already got fifty thousand. I got ten times that in cash in a bank in Vienna." Quatt reached into his pocket and took out a ring of glittering radioactive keys. "Here's the key for the bank. This is the key to my place in Joburg. Twenty rooms; twenty acres. This here's the key to my Weekender in Montauk. You ain't temptin' me, son. I quit while I was ahead. I'm jaunting back to Joburg and live happy for the rest of my life."

�����"Let me have the Weekender. You can sit safe in Joburg and collect."

�����"Collect when?"

�����"When I get back."

�����"You want my ship on trust and a promise to pay?"

�����"A guarantee."

�����Quatt snorted. "What guarantee?"

�����"It's a salvage job in the asteroids. Ship named 'Nomad.'"

�����"What's on the 'Nomad'? What makes the salvage pay off?"

�����"I don't know."

�����"You're lying."

�����"I don't know," Foyle mumbled stubbornly. "But there has to be something valuable. Ask Jiz."

�����"Listen," Quatt said, "I'm going to teach you something. We do business legitimate, see? We don't slash and scalp. We don't hold out. I know what's on your mind. You got something juicy but you don't want to cut anybody else in on it. That's why you're begging for favors . .

�����Foyle writhed under the needle, but, still gripped in the vice of his possession, was forced to repeat: "I don't know, Sam. Ask Jiz."

�����"If you've got an honest deal, make an honest proposition," Quatt said angrily. "Don't come prowling around like a damned tattooed tiger figuring how to pounce. We're the only friends you got. Don't try to slash and scalp-."

�����Quatt was interrupted by a cry torn from Foyle's lips.

�����"Don't move," Baker said in an abstracted voice. "When you twitch your face I can't control the needle." He looked hard and long at Jisbella. Her lips trembled. Suddenly she opened her purse and took out two ~r 500 banknotes. She dropped them alongside the beaker of acid.

�����"We'll wait outside," she said.

�����She fainted in the hall. Quatt dragged her to a chair, and found a nurse who revived her with aromatic ammonia. She began to cry so violently that Quatt was frightened. He dismissed the nurse and hovered until the sobbing subsided.

�����"What the hell has been going on?" he demanded. "What was that money supposed to mean?"

�����"It was blood money."

�����"For what?"

�����"I don't want to talk about it."

�����"Are you all right?"

�����"Anything I can do?"

�����There was a long pause. Then Jisbella asked in a weary voice: "Are you going to make that deal with Gully?"

�����"Me? No. It sounds like a thousand-to-one shot."

�����"There has to be something valuable on the 'Nomad.' Otherwise Dagenham wouldn't have hounded Gully."

�����"I'm still not interested. What about you?"

�����"Me? Not interested either. I don't want any part of Gully Foyle again."

�����After another pause, Quatt asked: "Can I go home now?"

�����"You've had a rough time, haven't you, Sam?"

�����"I think I died about a thousand times nurse-maidin' that tiger around the circuit."

�����"I'm sorry, Sam."

�����"I had it coming to me after what I did to you when you were copped in Memphis."

�����"Running out on me was only natural, Sam."

�����"We always do what's natural, only sometimes we shouldn't do it."

�����"I know, Sam. I know."

�����"And you spend the rest of your life trying to make up for it. I figure I'm lucky, Jiz. I was able to square it tonight. Can I go home now?"

�����"Back to Joburg and the happy life?"


�����"Don't leave me alone, yet, Sam. I'm ashamed of myself."

�����"What for?"-

�����"Cruelty to dumb animals."

�����"What's that supposed to mean?"

�����"Never mind. Hang around a little. Tell me about the happy life. What's so happy about it?"

�����"Well," Quatt said reflectively. "It's having everything you wanted when you were a kid. If you can have everything at fifty that you wanted when you were fifteen, you're happy. Now when I was fifteen . . ." And Quart went on and on describing the symbols, ambitions, and frustrations of his boyhood which he was now satisfying until Baker came out of the operating theater.

�����"Finished?" Jisbella asked eagerly.

�����"Finished. After I put him under I was able to work faster. They're bandaging his face now. He'll be out in a few minutes."



�����"How long before the bandages come off?"

�����"Six or seven days."

�����"His face'll be clean?"

�����"I thought you weren't interested in his face, dear. It ought to be clean.

I don't think I missed a spot of pigment. You may admire my skill, Jisbella also my sagacity. I'm going to back Foyle's salvage trip."

�����"What?" Quatt laughed. "You taking a thousand-to-one gamble, Baker? I thought you were smart."

�����"I am. The pain was too much for him and he talked under the anesthesia. There's twenty million in platinum bullion aboard the 'Nomad.'"

�����"Twent~' million!" Sam Quatt's face darkened and he turned on Jisbella. But she was furious too.

�����"Don't look at me, Sam. I didn't know. He held out on me too. Swore he never knew why Dagenham was hounding him."

�����"It was Dagenham who told him," Baker said. "He let that slip too."

�����"I'll kill him," Jisbella said. "I'll tear him apart with my own two hands and you won't find anything inside his carcass but black rot. He'll be a curio for your zoo, Baker; I wish to God I'd let you have him!"

�����The door of the operating theater opened and two orderlies wheeled out a trolley on which Foyle lay, twitching slightly. His entire head was one white globe of bandage.

�����"Is he conscious?" Quatt asked Baker.

�����"I'll handle this," Jisbella burst out. "I'll talk to the son of a- Foyle!" Foyle answered faintly through the mask of bandage. As Jisbella drew a furious breath for her onslaught, one wall of the hospital disappeared and there was a clap of thunder that knocked them to their feet. The entire building rocked from repeated explosions, and through the gaps in the walls uniformed men began jaunting in from the streets outside, like rooks swooping into the gut of a battlefield.

�����"Raid!" Baker shouted. "Raid!"

�����"Christ Jesus!" Quatt shook.

�����The uniformed men were swarming all over the building, shouting:

"Foyle! Foyle! Foyle! Foyle!" Baker disappeared with a pop. The attendants jaunted too, deserting the trolley on which Foyle waved his arms and legs feebly, making faint sounds.

�����"It's a goddamn raid!" Quatt shook Jisbella. "Go, girl! Go!"

�����"We can't leave Foyle!" Jisbella cried.

�����"Wake up, girl! Go!"

�����"We can't run out on him."

�����Jisbella seized the trolley and ran it down the corridor. Quatt pounded alongside her. The roaring in the hospital grew louder: "Foyle! Foyle! Foyle!"

�����"Leave him, for God's sake!" Quart urged. "Let them have him."

�����"It's a lobo for us, girl, if they get us."

�����"We can't run out on him."

�����They skidded around a corner into a shrieking mob of post-operative patients, bird men with fluttering wings, mermaids dragging themselves along the floor like seals, hermaphrodites, giants, pygmies, two-headed twins, centaurs, and a mewling sphinx. They clawed at Jisbella and Quatt in terror.

�����"Get him off the trolley," Jisbella yelled.

�����Quail yanked Foyle off the trolley. Foyle came to his feet and sagged. Jisbella took his arm, and between them Sam and Jiz hauled him through a door into a ward filled with Baker's temporal freaks . . - subjects with accelerated time sense, darting about the ward with the lightning rapidity of humming birds and emitting piercing batlike squeals.

�����"Jaunte him out, Sam."

�����"After the way he tried to cross and scalp us?"

�����"We can't run out on him, Sam. You ought to know that by now. Jaunte him out. Caister's place!"

�����Jisbella helped Quatt haul Foyle to his shoulder. The temporal freaks seemed to fill the ward with shrieking streaks. The ward doors burst open. A dozen bolts from pneumatic guns whined through the ward, dropping the temporal patients in their gyrations. Quatt was slammed back against a wall, dropping Foyle. A black and blue bruise appeared on his temple.

�����"Get to hell out of here," Quatt roared. "I'm done."


�����"I'm done. Can't jaunte. Go, girl!"

�����Trying to shake off the concussion that prevented him from jaunting, Quatt straightened and charged forward, meeting the uniformed men who poured into the ward. Jisbella took Foyle's arm and dragged him out the back of the ward, through a pantry, a clinic, a laundry supply, and down flights of ancient stairs that buckled and threw up clouds of termite dust.

�����They came into a victual cellar. Baker's zoo had broken out of their cells in the chaos and were raiding the cellar like bees glutting themselves with honey in an attacked hive. A Cyclops girl was cramming her mouth with handfuls of butter scooped from a tub. Her single eye above the bridge of her nose leered at them.

�����Jisbella dragged Foyle through the victual cellar, found a bolted wooden door and kicked it open. They stumbled down a flight of crumbling steps and found themselves in what once had been a coal cellar. The concussions and roarings overhead sounded deeper and hollow. A chute slot on one side of the cellar was barred with an iron door held by iron clamps. Jisbella placed Foyle's hands on the clamps. Together they opened them and climbed out of the cellar through the coal chute.

�����They were outside the Freak Factory, huddled against the rear wall. Before them were the Trenton rocket pits, and as they gasped for breath, Jiz saw a freighter come sliding down an anti-gray beam into a waiting pit. Its portholes blazed and its recognition signals blinked like a lurid neon sign, illuminating the back wall of the hospital.

�����A figure leaped from the roof of the hospital. It was Sam Quart, attempting a desperate flight. He sailed out into space, arms and legs flailing, trying to reach the up-thrusting anti-gray beam of the nearest pit which might catch him in midflight and cushion his fall. His aim was perfect. Seventy feet above ground he dropped squarely into the shaft of the beam. It was not in operation. He fell and was smashed on the edge of the pit.

�����Jisbella sobbed. Still automatically retaining her grip on Foyle's arm, she ran across the seamed concrete to Sam Quatt's body. There she let go of

Foyle and touched Quail's head tenderly. Her fingers were stained with blood. Foyle tore at the bandage before his eyes, working eye holes through the gauze. He muttered to himself, listening to Jisbella weep and hearing the shouts behind him from Baker's factory. His hands fumbled at Quatt's body, then' he arose and tried to pull Jisbella up.

�����"Got to go," he croaked. "Got to get out. They've seen us."

�����Jisbella never moved. Foyle mustered all his strength and pulled her upright.

�����"Times Square," he muttered. "Jaunte, Jiz!"

�����Uniformed figures appeared around them. Foyle shook Jisbella's arm and jaunted to Times Square where masses of jaunters on the gigantic stage stared in amazement at the huge man with the white bandaged globe for a head. The stage was the size of two football fields. Foyle stared around dimly through the bandages. There was no sign of Jisbella but she might be anywhere. He lifted his voice to a shout.

�����"Montauk, Jiz! Montauk! The Folly Stage!"

�����Foyle jaunted with a last thrust of energy and a prayer. An icy nor'easter was blowing in from Block Island and sweeping brittle ice crystals across the stage on the site of a medieval ruin known as Fisher's folly. There was another figure on the stage. Foyle tottered to it through the wind and the snow. It was Jisbella, looking frozen and lost.

�����"Thank God," Foyle muttered. "Thank God. Where does Sam keep his Weekender?" He shook Jisbella's elbow. "Where does Sam keep his Weekender?"

�����"Sam's dead."

�����"Where does he keep that Saturn Weekender?"

�����"He's retired, Sam is. He's not scared any more."

�����"Where's the ship, Jiz?"

�����"In the yards down at the lighthouse."

�����"Come on."


�����"To Sam's ship." Foyle thrust his big hand before Jisbella's eyes; a bunch of radiant keys lay in his palm. "I took his keys. Come on."

�����"He gave them to you?"

�����"I took them off his body."

�����"Ghoul!" She began to laugh. "Liar . . . Lecher . . . Tiger . . . Ghoul. The walking cancer. . - Gully Foyle."

�����Nevertheless she followed him through the snowstorm to Montauk Light.

�����To three acrobats wearing powdered wigs, four flamboyant women carrying pythons, a child with golden curls and a cynical mouth, a professional duellist in medieval armor, and a man wearing a hollow glass leg in which goldfish swam, Saul Dagenham said: "All right, the operation's finished. Call the rest off and tell them to report back to Courier headquarters."

�����The side show jaunted and disappeared. Regis Sheffield rubbed his eyes and asked: "What was that lunacy supposed to be, Dagenham?"

�����"Disturbs your legal mind, eh? That was part of the cast of our FFCC operation. Fun, fantasy, confusion, and catastrophe." Dagenham turned to Presteign and smiled his death's-head smile. "I'll return your fee if you like, Presteign."

�����"You're not quitting?"

�����"No, I'm enjoying myself. I'll work for nothing. I've never tangled with a man of Foyle's caliber before. He's unique."

�����"How?" Sheffield demanded.

�����"I arranged for him to escape from Goufire Martel. He escaped, all right, but not my way. I tried to keep him out of police hands with confusion and catastrophe. He ducked the police, but not my way . . . his own way. I tried to keep him out of Central Intelligence's hands with fun and fantasy. He stayed clear . . . again his own way. I tried to detour him into a ship so he could make his try for 'Nomad.' He wouldn't detour, but he got his ship. He's on his way out now."

�����"You're following?"

�����"Naturally." Dagenham hesitated. "But what was he doing in Baker's factory?"

�����"Plastic surgery?" Sheffield suggested. "A new face?"

�����"Not possible. Baker's good, but he can't do a plastic that quick. It was minor surgery. Foyle was on his feet with his head bandaged."

�����"The tattoo," Presteign said.

�����Dagenham nodded and the smile left his lips. "That's what's worrying me. You realize, Presteign, that if Baker removed the tattooing we'll never recognize Foyle?"

�����"My dear Dagenham, his face won't be changed."

�����"We've never seen his face . . . only the mask."

�����"I haven't met the man at all," Sheffield said. "What's the mask like?"

�����"Like a tiger. I was with Foyle for two long sessions. I ought to know his face by heart, but I don't. All I know is the tattooing."

�����"Ridiculous," Sheffield said bluntly.

�����"No. Foyle has to be seen to be believed. However, it doesn't matter. He'll lead us out to 'Nomad.' He'll lead us to your bullion and PyrE~ Presteign. I'm almost sorry it's all over. Or nearly. As I said, I've been enjoying myself. He really is unique."


THE SATURN WEEKENDER was built like a pleasure yacht; it was ample fo~ four, spacious for two, but not spacious enough for Foyle and Jiz McQueei~ Foyle slept in the main cabin; Jiz kept to herself in the stateroom.

�����On the seventh day out, Jisbella spoke to Foyle for the second time: "Let~ get those bandages off, Ghoul."

�����Foyle left the galley where he was sullenly heating coffee, and kicked ba~

to the bathroom. He floated in after Jisbella and wedged himself into the alcove before the washbasin mirror. Jisbella braced herself on the basin, opened an ether capsule and began soaking and stripping the bandage off with hard, hating .hands. The strips of gauze peeled slowly. Foyle was in agony of suspense.

"D'you think Baker did the job?" he asked. No answer.

"Could he have missed anywhere?" The stripping continued.

"It stopped hurting two days ago." No answer.

"For God's sake, Jiz! Is it still war between us?"

�����Jisbella's hands stopped. She looked at Foyle's bandaged face with hatred. "What do you think?"

�����"I asked you."

"The answer is yes." "Why?"

"You'll never understand."

"Make me understand." "Shut up."

"If it's war, why'd you come with me?"

"To get what's coming to Sam and me." "Money?"

"Shut up."

"You didn't have to. You could have trusted me."

�����"Trusted you? You?" Jisbella laughed without mirth and recommenced the peeling. Foyle struck her hands away.

�����"I'll do it myself."

�����She lashed him across his bandaged face. "You'll do what I tell you. Be still, Ghoul!"

�����She continued unwinding the bandage. A strip came away revealing Foyle's eyes. They stared at Jisbella, dark and brooding. The eyelids were clean; the bridge of the nose was clean. A strip came away from Foyle's chin. It was blue-black. Foyle, watching intently in the mirror, gasped.

�����"He missed the chin!" he exclaimed. "Baker goofed-"

�����"Shut up," Jiz answered shortly. "That's beard."

�����The innermost strips came away quickly, revealing cheeks, mouth, and brow. The brow was clean. The cheeks under the eyes were clean. The rest was covered with a blue-black seven day beard.

�����"Shave," Jiz commanded.

�����Foyle ran water, soaked his face, rubbed in shave ointment, and washed the beard off. Then he leaned close to the mirror and inspected himself, Unaware that Jisbella's head was close to his as she too stared into the mirror. Not a mark of tattooing remained. Both sighed.

�����"It's clean," Foyle said. "Clean. He did the job." Suddenly he leaned further forward and inspected himself more closely. His face looked new to

him, as new as it looked to Jisbella. "I'm changed. I don't remember looking like this. Did he do surgery on me too?"

�����"No," Jisbella said. "What's inside you changed it. That's the ghoul you're seeing, along with the liar and the cheat."

�����"For God's sake! Lay off. Let me alone!"

�����"Ghoul," Jisbella repeated, staring at Foyle's face with glowing eyes. "Liar. Cheat."

�����He took her shoulders and shoved her out into the companionway. She went sailing down into the main lounge, caught a guide bar and spun herse~ around. "Ghoul!" she cried. "Liar! Cheat! Ghoul! Lecher! Beast!"

�����Foyle pursued her, seized her again and shook her violently. Her red hair burst out of the clip that gathered it at the nape of her neck and floated out like a mermaid's tresses. The burning expression on her face transformed Foyle's anger into passion. He enveloped her and buried his new face in her breast.

�����"Lecher," Jiz murmured. "Animal . . ."

�����"Oh, Jiz . .

�����"The light," Jisbella whispered. Foyle reached out blindly toward the wall switches and pressed buttons, and the Saturn Weekender drove on toward the asteroids with darkened portholes.

�����They floated together in the cabin, drowsing, murmuring, touching tenderly for hours.

�����"Poor Gully," Jisbella whispered. "Poor darling Gully . . ."

�����"Not poor," he said. "Rich . . . soon."

�����"Yes, rich and empty. You've got nothing inside you, Gully dear . Nothing but hatred and revenge."

�����"It's enough."

�����"Enough for now. But later?"

�����"Later? That depends."

�����"It depends on your inside, Gully; what you get hold of."

�����"No. My future depends on what I get rid of."

�����"Gully. . . why did you hold out on me in Gouffre Martel? Why didn't you tell me you knew there was a fortune aboard 'Nomad'?"

�����"I couldn't."

�����"Didn't you trust me?"

�����"It wasn't that. I couldn't help myself. That's what's inside me . . - what I have to get rid of."

�����"Control again, eh Gully? You're driven."

�����"Yes, I'm driven. I can't learn control, Jiz. I want to, but I can't."

�����"Do you try?"

�����"I do. God knows, I do. But then something happens, and-"

�����"And then you pounce like a tiger."

�����"If I could carry you in my pocket, Jiz . . . to warn me . . . stick a pin in me. -

�����"Nobody can do it for you, Gully. You have to learn yourself."

�����He digested that for a long moment. Then he spoke hesitantly: "Jiz . about the money . . . ?"

"To hell' with the money." "Can I hold you to that?" "Oh, Gully."

�����"Not that I. . . that I'm trying to hold out on you. If it wasn't for 'Vorga,' I'd give you all you wanted. All! I'll give you every cent left over when I'm finished. But I'm scared, Jiz. 'Vorga' is tough - . . what with Presteign and Dagenham and that lawyer, Sheffield. I've got to hold on to every cent, Jiz. I'm afraid if I let you take one credit, that could make the difference between 'Vorga' and I."

�����"Me." He waited. "Well?"

�����"You're all possessed," she said wearily. "Not just a part of you, but all of you."

�����"Yes, Gully. All of you. It's just your skin making love to me. The rest is feeding on 'Vorga.'"

�����At that moment the radar alarm in the forward control cabin burst upon them, unwelcome and warning.

�����"Destination zero," Foyle muttered, no longer relaxed, once more possessed. He shot forward into the control cabin.

�����So he returned to the freak planetoid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the Sargasso planet manufactured of rock and wreckage and the spoils of space disaster salvaged by The Scientific People. He returned to the home of Joseph and his People who had tattooed NOMAD across his face and scientifically mated him to the girl named Moira.

�����Foyle overran the asteroid with the sudden fury of a Vandal raid. He came blasting out of space, braked with a spume of flame from the forward jets, and kicked the Weekender into a tight spin around the junkheap. They whirled around, passing the blackened ports, the big hatch from which Joseph and his Scientific People emerged to collect the drifting debris of space, the new crater Foyle had torn out of the side of the asteroid in his first plunge back to Terra. They whipped past the giant patchwork windows of the asteroid greenhouse and saw hundreds of faces peering out at them, tiny white dots mottled with tattooing.

�����"So I didn't murder them," Foyle grunted. "They've pulled back into the asteroid . . . Probably living deep inside while they get the rest repaired."

�����"Will you help them, Gully?"


�����"You did the damage."

�����"To hell with them. I've got my own problems. But it's a relief. They won't be bothering us."

�����He circled the asteroid once more and brought the Weekender down in the mouth of the new crater.

�����"We'll work from here," he said. "Get into a suit, Jiz. Let's go! Let's go!"

�����He drove her, mad with impatience; he drove himself. They corked up in their spacesuits, left the Weekender, and went sprawling through the debris in the crater into the bleak bowels of the asteroid. It was like squirming through the crawling tunnels of giant worm-holes. Foyle switched on his micro-wave suit set and spoke to Jiz.

�����"Be easy to get lost in here. Stay with me. Stay close."

�����"Where are we going, Gully?"

�����"After 'Nomad.' I remember they were cementing her into the asteroid when I left. Don't remember where. Have to find her."

�����The passages were airless, and their progress was soundless, but the vibrations carried through metal and rock. They paused once for breath alongside the pitted hull of an ancient warship. As they leaned against it they felt the vibrations of signals from within, a rhythmic knocking.

�����Foyle smiled grimly. "That's Joseph and The Scientific People inside," he said. "Requesting a few words. I'll give 'em an evasive answer." He pounded twice on the hull. "And now a personal message for my wife." His face darkened. He smote the hull angrily and turned away. "Come on. Let's go."

�����But as they continued the search, the signals followed them. It became apparent that the outer periphery of the asteroid had been abandoned; the tribe had withdrawn to the center. Then, far down a shaft wrought of beaten aluminum, a hatch opened, light blazed forth, and Joseph appeared in an ancient spacesuit fashioned of glass cloth. He stood in the clumsy sack, his devil face staring, his hands clutched in supplication, his devil mouth making motions.

�����Foyle stared at the old man, took a step toward him, and then stopped, fists clenched, throat working as fury arose within him. And Jisabella, looking at Foyle, cried out in horror. The old tattooing had returned to his face, blood red against the pallor of the skin, scarlet instead of black, truly a tiger mask in color as well as design.

�����"Gully!" she cried. "My God! Your face!"

�����Foyle ignored her and stood glaring at Joseph while the old man made beseeching gestures, motioned to them to enter the interior of the asteroid, and then disappeared. Only then did Foyle turn to Jisbella and ask: "What? What did you say?"

�����Through the clear globe of the helmet she could see his face distinctly. And as the rage within Foyle died away, Jisbella saw the blood-red tattooing fade and disappear.

�����"Did you see that joker?" Foyle demanded. "That was Joseph. Did you see him begging and pleading after what he did to me - . . ? What did you say?"

�����"Your face, Gully. I know what's happened to your face."

�����"What are you talking about?"

�����"You wanted something that would control you, Gully. Well, you've got it. Your face. It-" Jisbella began to laugh hysterically. "You'll have to learn control now, Gully. You'll never be able to give way to emotion . .

any emotion . . - because-"

�����But he was staring past her and suddenly he shot up the aluminum shaft with a yell. He jerked to a stop before an open door and began to whoop in triumph. The door opened into a tool locker, four by four by nine. There were shelves in the locker and a jumble of old provisions and discarded containers. It was Foyle's coffin aboard the "Nomad."

�����Joseph and his people had succeeded in sealing the wreck into their asteroid before the holocaust of Foyle's escape had rendered further work impossible. The interior of the ship was virtually untouched. Foyle took Jisbella's arm and dragged her on a quick tour of the ship and finally to the purser's locker where Foyle tore at the windrows of wreckage and debris until he disclosed a massive steel face, blank and impenetrable.

�����"We've got a choice," he panted. "Either we tear the safe out of the hull and carry it back to Terra where we can work on it, or we open it here. I vote for here. Maybe Dagenham was lying. All depends on what tools Sam has in the Weekender anyway. Come back to the ship, Jiz."

�����He never noticed her silence and preoccupation until they were back aboard the Weekender and he had finished his urgent search for tools.

�����"Nothing!" he exclaimed impatiently. "There isn't a hammer or a drill aboard. Nothing but gadgets for opening bottles and rations."

�����Jisbella didn't answer. She never took her eyes off his face.

�����"Why are you staring at me like that?" Foyle demanded.

�����"I'm fascinated," Jisbella answered slowly.

�����"By what?"

�����"I'm going to show you something, Gully."


�����"How much I despise you."

�����Jisbella slapped him thrice. Stung by the blows, Foyle started up furiously. Jisbella picked up a hand mirror and held it before him.

�����"Look at yourself, Gully," she said quietly. "Look at your face."

�����He looked. He saw the old tattoo marks flaming blood-red under the skin, turning his face into a scarlet and white tiger mask. He was so chilled by the appalling spectacle that his rage died at once, and simultaneously the mask disappeared.

�����"My God . . ." he whispered. "Oh my God . . ."

�����"I had to make you lose your temper to show you," Jisbella said.

�����"What's it mean, Jiz? Did Baker goof the job?"

�����"I don't think so. I think you've got scars under the skin, Gully. . . from the original tattooing and then from the bleaching. Needle scars. They don't show normally, but they do show, blood red, when your emotions take over and your heart begins pumping blood. . . when you're furious or frightened or passionate or possessed . . . Do you understand?"

�����He shook his head, still staring at his face, touching it in bewilderment. "You said you wished you could carry me in your pocket to stick pins in you when you lose control. You've got something better than that, Gully, or worse, poor darling. You've got your face."

�����"No!" he said. "No!"

�����"You can't ever lose control, Gully. You'll never be able to drink too

much, eat too much, love too much, hate too much . . . You'll have to hold yourself with an iron grip."

�����"No!" he insisted desperately. "It can be fixed. Baker can do it, or somebody else. I can't walk around afraid to feel anything because it'll turn me into a freak!"

�����"I don't think this can be fixed, Gully."

�����"Skin-graft . -

�����"No. The scars are too deep for graft. You'll never get rid of this stigmata, Gully. You'll have to learn to live with it."

�����Foyle flung the mirror from him in sudden rage, and again the blood-red mask flared up under his skin. He lunged out of the main cabin to the main hatch where he pulled his spacesuit down and began to squirm into it.

�����"Gully! Where are you going? What are you going to do?"

�����"Get tools," he shouted. "Tools for the safe."


�����"In the asteroid. They've got dozens of warehouses stuffed with tools from wrecked ships. There have to be drills there, everything I need. Don't come with me. There may be trouble. How is my God damned face now? Showing it? By Christ, I hope there is trouble!"

�����He corked his suit and went into the asteroid. He found a hatch separating the habited core from the outer void. He banged on the door. He waited and banged again and continued the imperious summons until at last the hatch was opened. Arms reached out and yanked him in, and the hatch was closed behind him. It had no air lock.

�����He blinked in the light and scowled at Joseph and his innocent people gathering before him, their faces hideously decorated. And he knew that his own face must be flaming red and white for he saw Joseph start, and he saw the devil mouth shape the syllables: NOMAD.

�����Foyle strode through the crowd, scattering them brutally. He smashed Joseph with a backhand blow from his mailed fist. He searched through the inhabited corridors, recognizing them dimly, and he came at last to the chamber, half natural cave, half antique hull, where the tools were stored.

�����He rooted and ferreted, gathering up drills, diamond bits, acids, thermites, crystallants, dynamite jellies, fuses. In the gently revolving asteroid the gross weight of the equipment was reduced to less than a hundred pounds. He lumped it into a mass, roughly bound it together with cable, and started out of the store-cave.

�����Joseph and his Scientific People were waiting for him, like fleas waiting for a wolf. They darted at him and he battered through them, harried, delighted, savage. The armor of his spacesuit protected him from their attacks and he went down the passages searching for a hatch that would lead out into the void.

�����Jisbella's voice came to him, tinny on the earphones and agitated: "Gully, can you hear me? This is Jiz. Gully, listen to me."

�����"Go ahead."

�����"Another ship came up two minutes ago. It's drifting on the other side of the asteroid."


�����"It's marked with yellow and black colors, like a hornet."

�����"Dagenham's colors!"

�����"Then we've been followed."

�����"What else? Dagenham's probably had a fix on me ever since we busted out of Gouffre Martel. I was a fool not to think of it. We've got to work fast, Jiz. Cork up in a suit and meet me aboard 'Nomad.' The purser's room. Go, girl."

�����"But Gully - . ."

�����"Sign off. They may be monitoring our waveband. Go!"

�����He drove through the asteroid, reached a barrel hatch, broke through the guard before it, smashed it open and went into the void of the outer passages. The Scientific People were too desperate getting the hatch closed to stop him. But he knew they would follow him; they were raging.

�����He hauled the bulk of his equipment through twists and turns to the wreck of the "Nomad." Jisbella was waiting for him in the purser's room. She made a move to turn on her micro-wave set and Foyle stopped her. He placed his helmet against hers and shouted: "No shortwave. They'll be monitoring and they'll locate us by D/F. You can hear me like this, can't you?"

�����She nodded.

�����"All right. We've got maybe an hour before Dagenham locates us. We've got maybe an hour before Joseph and his mob come after us. We're in a hell of a jam. We've got to work fast."

�����She nodded again.

�����"No time to open the safe and transport the bullion."

�����"If it's there."

�����"Dagenham's here, isn't he? That's proof it's there. We'll have to cut the whole safe out of the 'Nomad' and get it into the Weekender. Then we blast."


�����"Just listen to me and do what I say. Go back to the Weekender. Empty it out. Jettison everything we don't need . . . all supplies except emergency rations."


�����"Because I don't know how many tons this safe weighs, and the ship may not be able to handle it when we come back to gravity. We've got to make allowances in advance. It'll mean a tough trip back but it's worth it. Strip the ship. Fast! Go, girl. Go!"

�����He pushed her away and without another glance in her direction, attacked the safe. It was built into the structural steel of the hull, a massive steel ball some four feet in diameter. It was welded to the strakes and ribs of the "Nomad" at twelve different spots. Foyle attacked each weld in turn with acids, drills, thermite, and refrigerants. He was operating on the theory of structural strain . . . to heat, freeze, and etch the steel until its crystalline structure was distorted and its physical strength destroyed. He was fatiguing the metal.

�����Jisbella returned and he realized that forty-five minutes had passed. He was dripping and shaking but the globe of the safe hung free of the hull with a dozen rough knobs protruding from its surface. Foyle motioned urgently to Jisbella and she strained her weight against the safe with him. They could not budge its mass together. As they sank back in exhaustion and despair, a quick shadow eclipsed the sunlight pouring through the rents in the "Nomad" hull. They stared up. A spaceship was circling the asteroid less than a quarter of a mile off.

�����Foyle placed his helmet against Jisbella's. "Dagenham," he gasped. "Looking for us. Probably got a crew down here combing for us too. Soon as they talk to Joseph they'll be here."

�����"Oh Gully. -

�����"We've still got a chance. Maybe they won't spot Sam's Weekender until they've made a couple of revolutions. It's hidden in that crater. Maybe we can get the safe aboard in the meantime."

�����"How, Gully?"

�����"I don't know, damn it! I don't know." He pounded his fists together in frustration. "I'm finished."

�����"Couldn't we blast it out?"

�����"Blast . . . ? What, bombs instead of brains? Is this Mental McQueen speaking?"

�����"Listen. Blast it with something explosive. That would act like a rocket jet . . . give it a thrust."

�����"Yes, I've got that. But then what? How do we get it into the ship, girl? Can't keep blasting. Haven't got time."

�����"No, we bring the ship to the safe."


�����"Blast the safe straight out into space. Then bring the ship around and let the safe sail right into the main hatch. Like catching a ball in your hat. See?"

�����He saw. "By God, Jiz, we can do it." Foyle leaped to the pile of equipment and began sorting out sticks of dynamite gelatine, fuses and caps.

�����"We'll have to use the short-wave. One of us stays with the safe; one of us pilots the ship. Man with the safe talks the man with the ship into position. Right?"

�����"Right. You'd better pilot, Gully. I'll do the talking."

�����He nodded, fixing explosive to the face of the safe, attaching caps and fuses. Then he placed his helmet against hers. "Vacuum fuses, Jiz. Timed for two minutes. When I give the word by short-wave, just pull off the fuse i heads and get the hell out of the way. Right?"


�����"Stay with the safe. Once you've talked it into the ship, come right after it. Don't wait for anything. It's going to be close."

�����He thumped her shoulder and returned to the Weekender. He left the outer hatch open, and the inner door of the airlock as well. The ship's air emptied out immediately. Airless and stripped by Jisbella, it looked dismal and forlorn.

�����Foyle went directly to the controls, sat down and switched on his microwave set. "Stand by," he muttered. "I'm coming out now."

�����He ignited the jets, blew the laterals for three seconds and then the forwards. The Weekender lifted easily, shaking debris from her back and sides like a whale surfacing. As she slid up and back, Foyle called: "Dynamite, Jiz! Now!"

�����There was no blast; there was no flash. A new crater opened in the asteroid below him and a flower of rubble sprang upward, rapidly outdistancing a dull steel ball that followed leisurely, turning in a weary spin.

�����"Ease off." Jisbella's voice came cold and competent over the earphones. "You're backing too fast. And incidentally, trouble's arrived."

�����He braked with the rear jets, looking down in alarm. The surface of the asteroid was covered with a swarm of hornets. They were Dagenham's crew in yellow and black banded spacesuits. They were buzzing around a single figure in white that dodged and spun and eluded them. It was Jisbella.

�����"Steady as you go," Jiz said quietly, although he could hear how hard she was breathing. "Ease off a little more. . - Roll a quarter turn."

�����He obeyed her almost automatically, still watching the struggle below. The flank of the Weekender cut off any view of the trajectory of the safe as it approached him, but he could still see Jisabella and Dagenham's men. She ignited her suit rocket . . . he could see the tiny spurt of flame shoot out from her back . . . and came sailing up from the surface of the asteroid. A score of flames burst out from the backs of Dagenham's men as they followed. Half a dozen dropped the pursuit of Jisbella and came up after the Weekender.

�����"It's going to be close, Gully," Jisbella was gasping now, but her voice was still steady. "Dagenham's ship came down on the other side, but they've probably signaled him by now and he'll be on his way. Hold your position, Gully. About ten seconds now. . ."

�����The hornets closed in and engulfed the tiny white suit.

�����"Foyle! Can you hear me? Foyle!" Dagenham's voice came in fuzzily and finally cleared. "This is Dagenham calling on your band. Come in, Foyle!"

�����"Jiz! Jiz! Can you get clear of them?"

�����"Hold your position, Gully. . . There she goes! It's a hole in one, son!" A crushing shock racked the Weekender as the safe, moving slowly but massively, rammed into themain hatch. At the same moment the white suited figure broke out of the cluster of yellow wasps. It came rocketing up to the Weekender, hotly pursued.

�����"Come on, Jiz! Come on!" Foyle howled. "Come, girl! Come!"

�����As Jisbella disappeared from sight behind the flank of the Weekender, Foyle set controls and prepared for top acceleration.

�����"Foyle! Will you answer me? This is Dagenham speaking."

�����"To hell with you, Dagenham," Foyle shouted. "Give me the word when you're aboard, Jiz, and hold on."

�����"I can't make it, Gully."

�����"Come on, girl!"

�����"I can't get aboard. The safe's blocking the hatch. It's wedged in halfway..,"


�����"There's no way in, I tell you," she cried in despair. "I'm blocked out." He stared around wildly. Dagenham's men were boarding the hull of the Weekender with the menacing purpose of professional raiders. Dagenham's ship was lifting over the brief horizon of the asteroid on a dead course for him. His head began to spin.

�����"Foyle, you're finished. You and the girl. But I'll offer a deal. . ."

�����"Gully, help me. Do something, Gully. I'm lost!"

�����"Vorga," he said in a strangled voice. He closed his eyes and tripped the controls. The tail jets roared. The Weekender shook and shuddered forward. It broke free of Dagenham's boarders, of Jisbella, of warnings and pleas. It pressed Foyle back into the pilot's chair with the blackout of ioG acceleration, an acceleration that was less pressing, less painful, less treacherous than the passion that drove him.

�����And as he passed from sight there rose up on his face the blood-red stigmata of his possession.


With a heart of furious fancies

Whereof I am commander,

With a burning spear and a horse of air,

To the wilderness I wander.

With a knight of ghosts and shadows

I summoned am to tourney,

Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end- Me thinks it is no journey.



THE OLD YEAR SOURED as pestilence poisoned the planets. The war gained momentum and grew from a distant affair of romantic raids and skirmishes in space to a holocaust in the making. It became evident that the last of the World Wars was done and the first of the Solar Wars had begun.

�����The belligerents slowly massed men and materiel for the havoc. The Outer Satellites introduced universal conscription, and the Inner Planets

perforce followed suit. Industries, trades, sciences, skills, and professions were drafted; regulations and oppressions followed. The armies and navies requisitioned and commanded.

�����Commerce obeyed, for this war (like all wars) was the shooting phase of a commercial struggle. But populations rebelled, and draft-jaunting and labor-jaunting became critical problems. Spy scares and invasion scares spread. The hysterical became informers and lynchers. An ominous foreboding paralyzed every home from Baffin Island to the Falklands. The dying year was enlivened only by the advent of the Four Mile Circus.

�����This was the popular nickname for the grotesque entourage of Geoffrey Fourmyle of Ceres, a wealthy young buffoon from the largest of the asteroids. Fourmyle of Ceres was enormously rich; he was also enormously amusing. He was the classic nouveau riche of all time. His entourage was a cross between a country circus and the comic court of a Bulgarian kinglet, as witness this typical arrival in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

�����Early in the morning a lawyer, wearing the stovepipe hat of a legal clan, appeared with a list of camp sites in his hand and a small fortune in his pocket. He settled on a four-acre meadow facing Lake Michigan and rented it for an exorbitant fee. He was followed by a gang of surveyors from the Mason & Dixon clan. In twenty minutes the surveyors had laid out a camp site and the word had spread that the Four Mile Circus was arriving. Locals from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota came to watch the fun.

�����Twenty roustabouts jaunted in, each carrying a tent pack on his back. There was a mighty overture of bawled orders, shouts, curses, and the tortured scream of compressed air. Twenty giant tents ballooned upward, their lac and latex surfaces gleaming as they dried in the winter sun. The spectators cheered.

�����A six-motor helicopter drifted down and hovered over a giant trampoline. Its belly opened and a cascade of furnishings came down. Servants, valets, chefs, and waiters jaunted in. They furnished and decorated the tents. The kitchens began smoking and the odor of frying, broiling, and baking pervaded the camp. Fourmyle's private police were already on duty, patrolling the four acres, keeping the huge crowd of spectators back.

�����Then, by plane, by car, by bus, by truck, by bike and by jaunte came Fourmyle's entourage. Librarians and books, scientists and laboratories, philosophers, poets, athletes. Racks of swords and sabres were set up, and judo mats and a boxing ring. A fifty-foot pool was sunk in the ground and filled by pump from the lake. An interesting altercation arose between two beefy athletes as to whether the pool should be warmed for swimming or frozen for skating.

�����Musicians, actors, jugglers, and acrobats arrived. The uproar became deafening. A crew of mechanics melted a greasepit and began revving up Fourmyle's collection of vintage diesel harvesters. Last of all came the camp followers: wives, daughters, mistresses, whores, beggars, chiselers, and grafters. By midmorning the roar of the circus could be heard for four miles, hence the nickname.

�����At noon, Fourmyle of Ceres arrived with a display of conspictious trans

portation so outlandish that it had been known to make seven-year melancholics laugh. A giant amphibian thrummed up from the south and landed on the lake. An LST barge emerged from the plane and droned across the water to the shore. Its forward wall banged down into a drawbridge and out came a twentieth century staff car. Wonder piled on wonder for the delighted spectators, for the staff car drove a matter of twenty yards to the center of camp and then stopped.

�����"What can possibly come next? Bike?"

�����"No, roller skates."

�����"He'll come out on a pogo stick."

�����Fourmyle capped their wildest speculations. The muzzle of a circus cannon thrust up from the staff car. There was the bang of a black-powder explosion and Fourmyle of Ceres was shot out of the cannon in a graceful arc to the very door of his tent where he was caught in a net by four valets. The applause that greeted him could be heard for six miles. Fourmyle climbed onto his valets' shoulders and motioned for silence.

�����"Friends, Romans, Countrymen," Fourmyle began earnestly. "Lend me your ears, Shakespeare. i 564-1616. Damn!" Four white doves shook themselves out of Fourmyle's sleeves and fluttered away. He regarded them with astonishment, then continued. "Friends, greetings, salutations, bon jour, bon ton, bon vivant, bon voyage, bon- What the hell?" Fourmyle's pockets caught fire and rocketed forth Roman Candles. He tried to put himself out. Streamers and confetti burst from him. "Friends - . . Shut up! I'll get this speech straight. Quiet! Friends-!" Fourmyle looked down at himself in dismay. His clothes were melting away, revealing lurid scarlet underwear. "Kleinmann!" he bellowed furiously. "Kleinmann! 'What's happened to your goddamned hypno-training?"

�����A hairy head thrust out of a tent. "You stoodied for dis sbeech last night, Fourmyle?"

�����"Damn right. For two hours I stoodied. Never took my head out of the hypno-oven. Kleinmann on Prestidigitation."

�����"No, no, no!" the hairy man bawled. "How many times must I tell you? Prestidigitation is not sbeechmaking. Is magic. Dumbkopf! You hail the wrong hypnosis taken!"

�����The scarlet underwear began melting. Fourmyle toppled from the shoulders of his shaking valets and disappeared within his tent. There was a roar of laughter and cheering and the Four Mile Circus ripped into high gear. The kitchens sizzled and smoked. There was a perpetuity of eating and drinking. The music never stopped. The vaudeville never ,ceased.

�����Inside his tent, Fourmyle changed his clothes, changed his mind, changed again, undressed again, kicked his valets, and called for his tailor in a bastard tongue of French, Mayfair, and affectation. Halfway into a new suit, he recollected he had neglected to bathe. He slapped his tailor, ordered ten gallons of scent to be decanted into the pool, and was stricken with poetic inspiration. He summoned his resident poet.

�����"Take this down," Fourmyle commanded. "La TOz est mort, les- Wait. What rhymes to moon?"

�����"June," his poet suggested. "Croon, soon, dune, loon, noon, rune, tune, boon. . ."

�����"I forgot my experiment!" Fourmyle exclaimed. "Dr. Bohun! Dr. Bohun!" Half-naked, he rushed pell-mell into the laboratory where he blew himself and Dr. Bohun, his resident chemist, halfway across the tent. As the chemist attempted to raise himself from the floor he found himself seized in a most painful and embarrassing strangle hold.

�����"Nogouchi!" Fourmyle shouted. "Hi! Nogouchi! I just invented a new judo hold."

�����Fourmyle stood up, lifted the suffocating chemist and jaunted to the judo mat where the little Japanese inspected the hold and shook his head.

�����"No, please." He hissed politely. "Hfffff. Pressure on windpipe are not perpetually lethal. Hfffff. I show you, please." He seized the dazed chemist, whirled him and deposited him on the mat in a position of perpetual selfstrangulation. "You observe, please, Fourmyle?"

�����But Fourmyle was in the library bludgeoning his librarian over the head with Bloch's "Des Sexual Leben" (eight pounds, nine ounces) because that unhappy man could produce no text on the manufacture of perpetual motion machines. He rushed to his physics laboratory where he destroyed an expensive chronometer to experiment with cog wheels, jaunted to the bandstand where he seized a baton and led the orchestra into confusion, put on skates and fell into the scented swimming pool, was hauled out, swearing fulminously at the lack of ice, and was heard to express a desire for solitude.

�����"I wish to commute with myself," Fourmyle said, kicking his valets in all directions. He was snoring before the last of them limped to the door and closed it behind him.

�����The snoring stopped and Foyle arose. "That ought to hold them for today," he muttered, and went into his dressing room. He stood before a mirror, took a deep breath and held it, meanwhile watching his face. At the expiration of one minute it was still untainted. He continued to hold his breath, maintaining rigid control over pulse and muscle, mastering the strain with iron calm. At two minutes and twenty seconds the stigmata appeared, blood-red. Foyle let out his breath. The tiger mask faded.

�����"Better," he murmured. "Much better. The old fakir was right, Yoga is the answer. Control. Pulse, breath, bowels, brains."

�����He stripped and examined his body. He was in magnificent condition, but his skin still showed delicate silver seams in a network from neck to ankles. It looked as though someone had carved an outline of the nervous system into Foyle's flesh. The silver seams were the scars of an operation that had not yet faded.

�����That operation had cost Foyle a 4r zoo,ooo bribe to the chief surgeon of the Mars Commando Brigade and had transformed him into an extraordinary fighting machine. Every nerve plexus had been rewired, miscroscopic transistors and transformers had been buried in muscle and bone, a minute platinum outlet showed at the base of his spine. To this Foyle affixed a power-pack the size of a pea and switched it on. His body began an internal electronic vibration that was almost mechanical.

�����"More machine than man," he thought. He dressed, rejected the extravagant apparel of Fourmyle of Ceres for the anonymous black coverall of action.

�����He jaunted to Robin Wednesbury's apartment in the lonely building amidst the Wisconsin pines. It was the real reason for the advent of the Four Mile Circus in Green Bay. He jaunted and arrived in darkness and empty space and immediately plummeted down. "Wrong coordinates!" he thought. "Misjaunted?" The broken end of a rafter dealt him a bruising blow and he landed heavily on a shattered floor upon the putrefying remains of a corpse.

�����Foyle leaped up in calm revulsion. He pressed hard with his tongue against his right upper first molar. The operation that had transformed half his body into an electronic machine, had located the control switchboard in his teeth. Foyle pressed a tooth with his tongue and the peripheral cells of his retina were excited into emitting a soft light. He looked down two pale beams at the corpse of a man.

�����The corpse lay in the apartment below Robin Wednesbury's flat. It was gutted. Foyle looked up. Above him was a ten-foot hole where the floor of Robin's living room had been. The entire building stank of fire, smoke, and rot.

�����"Jacked," Foyle said softly. "This place has been jacked. What happened?" The jaunting age had crystallized the hoboes, tramps, and vagabonds of the world into a new class. They followed the night from east to west, always in darkness, always in search of loot, the leavings of disaster, carrion. If earthquake shattered a warehouse, they were jacking it the following night. If fire opened a house or explosion split the defenses of a shop, they jaunted in and scavenged. They called themselves Jack-jaunters. They were jackals.

�����Foyle climbed up through the- wreckage to the corridor on the floor above. The Jack-jaunters had a camp there. A whole calf roasted before a fire which sparked up to the sky through a rent in the roof. There were a dozen men and three women around the fire, rough, dangerous, jabbering in the Cockney rhyming slang of the jackals. They were dressed in mismatched clothes and drinking potato beer from champagne glasses.

�����An ominous growl of anger and terror met Foyle's appearance as the big man in black came up through the rubble, his intent eyes emitting pale beams of light. Calmly, he strode through the rising mob to the entrance of Robin Wednesbury's flat. His iron control gave him an air of detachment.

�����"If she's dead," he thought, "I'm finished. I've got to use her. But if she's dead . . ."

�����Robin's apartment was gutted like the rest of the building. The living room was an oval of floor around the jagged hole in the center. Foyle searched for a body. Two men and a woman were in the bed in the bedroom. The men cursed. The woman shrieked at the apparition. The men hurled themselves at Foyle. He backed a step and pressed his tongue against his upper incisors. Neural circuits buzzed and every sense and response in his body was accelerated by a factor of five.

�����The effect was an instantaneous reduction of the external world to ex

treme slow motion. Sound became a deep garble. Color shifted down the spectrum to the red. The two assailants seemed to float toward him with dreamlike languor. To the rest of the world Foyle became a blur of action. He side-stepped the blow inching toward him, walked around the man, raised him and threw him toward the crater in the living room. He threw the second man after the first jackal. To Foyle's accelerated senses their bodies seemed to drift slowly, still in mid-stride, fists inching forward, open mouths emitting heavy clotted sounds.

�����Foyle whipped to the woman cowering in the bed.

�����"Wsthrabdy?" the blur asked.

�����The woman shrieked.

�����Foyle pressed his upper incisors again, cutting off the acceleration. The external world shook itself out of slow motion back to normal. Sound and color leaped up the spectrum and the two jackals disappeared through the crater and crashed into the apartment below.

�����"Was there a body?" Foyle repeated gently. "A Negro girl?" The woman was unintelligible. He took her by the hair and shook her, then hurled her through the crater in the living room floor.

�����His search for a clue to Robin's fate was interrupted by the mob from the hall. They carried torches and makeshift weapons. The Jack-jaunters were not professional killers. They only worried defenseless prey to death. "Don't bother me," Foyle warned quietly, ferreting intently through closets and under overturned furniture.

�����They edged closer, goaded by a ruffian in a mink suit and a tricornered hat, and inspired by the curses percolating up from the floor below. The man in the tricorne threw a torch at Foyle. It burned him. Foyle accelerated again and the Jack-jaunters were transformed into-living statues. Foyle picked up half a chair and calmly clubbed the slow-motion figures. They remained upright. He thrust the man in the tricorne down on the floor and knelt on him. Then he decelerated.

�����Again the external world came to life. The jackals dropped in their tracks, pole-axed. The man in the tricorne hat and mink suit roared.

�����"Was there a body in here?" Foyle asked. "Negro girl. Very tall. Very beautiful."

�����The man writhed and attempted to gouge Foyle's eyes.

�����"You keep track of bodies," Foyle said gently. "Some of you Jacks like dead girls better than live ones. Did you find her body in here?"

�����Receiving no satisfactory answer, he picked up a torch and set fire to the mink suit. He followed the Jack-jaunter into the living room and watched him with detached interest. The man howled, toppled over the edge of the crater and flamed down into the darkness below.

�����"Was there a body?" Foyle called down quietly. He shook his head at the answer. "Not very deft," he murmured. "I've got to learn how to extract information. Dagenham could teach me a thing or two."

�����He switched off his electronic system and jaunted.

�����He appeared in Green Bay, smelling so abominably of singed hair and scorched skin that he entered the local Presteign shop (jewels, perfumes,

cosmetics, ionics & surrogates) to buy a deodorant. But the local Mr. Presto had evidently witnessed the arrival of the Four Mile Circus and recognized him. Foyle at once awoke from his detached intensity and became the outlandish Fourmyle of Ceres. He downed and cavorted, bought a twelve-ounce flagon of Euge No. ~ at ~r ioo the ounce, dabbed himself delicately and tossed the bottle into the street to the edification and delight of Mr. Presto.

�����The record clerk at the County Record Office was unaware of Foyle's identity and was obdurate and uncompromising.

�����"No, Sir. County Records Are Not Viewed Without Proper Court Order For Sufficient Cause. That Must Be Final."

�����Foyle examined him keenly and without rancor. "Asthenic type," he decided. "Slender, long-boned, no strength. Epileptoid character. Self-centered, pedantic, single-minded, shallow. Not bribable; too repressed and straitlaced. But repression's the chink in his armor."

�����An hour later six followers from the Four Mile Circus waylaid the record clerk. They were of the female persuasion and richly endowed with vice. Two hours later, the record clerk, dazed by flesh and the devil, delivered up his information. The apartment building had been opened to Jack-jaunting by a gas explosion two weeks earlier. All tenants had been forced to move. Robin Wednesbury was in protective confinement in Mercy Hospital near the Iron Mountain Proving Grounds.

�����"Protective confinement?" Foyle wondered. "What for? What's she done?"

�����It took thirty minutes to organize a Christmas party in the Four Mile Circus. It was made up of musicians, singers, actors, and rabble who knew the Iron Mountain co-ordinates. Led by their chief buffoon, they jaunted up with music, fireworks, firewater, and gifts. They paraded through the town spreading largess and laughter. They blundered into the radar field of the Proving Ground protection system and were driven out with laughter. Founnyle of Ceres, dressed as Santa Claus, scattering bank notes from a huge sack over his shoulder and, leaping in agony as the induction field of the protection system burned his bottom, made an entrancing spectacle. They burst into Mercy Hospital, following Santa Claus who roared and cavorted with the detached calm of a solemn elephant. He kissed the nurses, made drunk the attendants, pestered the patients with gifts, littered the corridors with money, and abruptly disappeared when the happy rioting reached such heights that the police had to be called. Much later it was discovered that a patient had disappeared too, despite the fact that she had been under sedation and was incapable of jaunting. As a matter of fact she departed from the hospital inside Santa's sack.

�����Foyle jaunted with her over his shoulder to the hospital grounds. There, in a quiet grove of pines under a frosty sky, he helped her out of the sack. She wore severe white hospital pajamas and was beautiful. He removed his own costume, watching the girl intently, waiting to see if she would recognize him and remember him.

�����She was alarmed and confused; her telesending was like heat lightning:

"My God! Who is he? What's happened? The music. The uproar. Why kidnapped in a sack? Drunks slurring on trombones. 'Yes, Virginia, there is

a Santa Claus.' Adeste Fidelis. What's he want from me? Who is he?"

�����"I'm Fourmyle of Ceres," Foyle said.

�����"What? Who? Fourmyle of-? Yes, of course. The buffoon. The bourgeois gentilhomme. Vulgarity. Imbecility. Obscenity. The Four Mile Circus. My God! Am I telesending? Can you hear me?"

�����"I hear you, Miss Wednesbury," Foyle said quietly.

�����"What have you done? Why? What do you want with me? I-"

�����"I want you to look at me."

�����"Bon jour, Madame. Into my sack, Madame. Ecco! Look at me. I'm looking," Robin said, trying to control the jangle of her thoughts. She gazed up into his face without recognition. "It's a face. I've seen so many like it. The faces of men, oh God! The features of masculinity. Everyman in rut. Will God never save us from brute desire?"

�����"My rutting season's over, Miss Wednesbury."

�����"I'm sorry you heard that. I'm terrified, naturally. I- You know me?"

�����"I know you."

�����"We've met before?" She scrutinized him closely, but still without recognition. Deep down inside Foyle there was a surge of triumph. If this woman of all women failed to remember him he was safe, provided he kept blood and brains and face under control.

�����"We've never met," he said. "I've heard of you. I want something from you. That's why we're here; to talk about it. If you don't like my offer you can go back to the hospital."

�����"You want something? But I've got nothing. . . nothing. Nothing's left but shame and- Oh God! Why did the suicide fail? Why couldn't I-"

�����"So that's it?" Foyle interrupted softly. "You tried to commit suicide, eh? That accounts for the gas explosion that opened the building. . . And your protective confinement. Attempted suicide. Why weren't you hurt in the explosion?"

�����"So many were hurt. So many died. But I didn't. I'm unlucky, I suppose. I've been unlucky all my life."

�����"Why suicide?"

�����"I'm tired. I'm finished. I've lost everything . . . I'm on the army gray list - . . suspected, watched, reported. No job. No family. No- Why suicide? Dear God, what else but suicide?"

�����"You can work for me."

�����"I can . . . What did you say?"

�����"I want you to work for me, Miss Wednesbury."

�����She burst into hysterical laughter. "For you? Another camp follower in the Circus? Work for you, Fourmyle?"

�����"You've got sex on the brain," he said gently. "I'm not looking for tarts. They look for me, as a rule."

�����"I'm sorry. I'm obsessed by the brute who destroyed me. I- I'll try to make sense." Robin calmed herself. "Let me understand you. You've taken me out of the hospital to offer me a job. You've heard of me. That means you want something special. My specialty is telesending."

�����"And charm."


�����"I want to buy your charm, Miss Wednesbury."

�����"I don't understand."

�����"Why," Foyle said mildly. "It ought to be simple for you. I'm the buffoon. I'm vulgarity, imbecility, obscenity. That's got to stop. I want you to be my social secretary."

�����"You expect me to believe that? You could hire a hundred social secretaries

�����-����a thousand, with your money. You expect me to believe that I'm the only one for you? That you had to kidnap me from protective confinement to get me?"

�����Foyle nodded. "That's right, there are thousands, but only one that can telesend."

�����"What's that got to do with it?"

�����"You're going to be the ventriloquist; I'm going to be your dummy. I don't know the upper classes; you do. They have their own talk, their own jokes, their own manners. If a man wants to be accepted by them he's got to talk their language. I can't, but you can. You'll talk for me, through my mouth . . ."

�����"But you could learn."

�����"No. It would take too long. And charm can't be learned. I want to buy your charm, Miss Wednesbury. Now, about salary. I'll pay you a thousand a month."

�����Her eyes widened. "You're very generous, Fourmyle."

�����"I'll clean up this suicide charge for you."

�����"You're very kind."

�����"And I'll guarantee to get you off the army gray list. You'll be back on the white list by the time you finish working for me. You can start with a clean slate and a bonus. You can start living again."

�����Robin's lips trembled and then she began to cry. She sobbed and shook and Foyle had to steady her. "Well," he asked. "Will you do it?"

�����She nodded. "You're so kind . . . It's . . . I'm not used to kindness any more."

�����The dull concussion of a distant explosion made Foyle stiffen. "Christ!" he exclaimed in sudden panic. "Another Blue Jaunte. I-"

�����"No," Robin said. "I don't know what blue jaunte is, but that's the Proving Ground. They-" She looked up at Foyle's face and screamed. The unexpected shock of the explosion and the vivid chain of associations had wrenched loose his iron control. The blood-red scars of tattooing showed under his skin. She stared at him in horror, still screaming.

�����He touched his face once, then leaped forward and gagged her. Once again he had hold of himself.

�����"It shows, eh?" he murmured with a ghastly smile. "Lost my grip for a minute. Thought I was back in Gouffre Martel listening to a Blue Jaunte. Yes, I'm Foyle. The brute who destroyed you. You had to know, sooner or later, but I'd hoped it would be later, I'm Foyle, back again. Will you be quiet and listen to me?"

�����She shook her head frantically, trying to struggle out of his grasp. With

detached calm he punched her jaw. Robin sagged. Foyle picked her up, wrapped her in his coat and held her in his arms, waiting for consciousness to return. When he saw her eyelids flutter he spoke again.

�����"Don't move or you'll be sick. Maybe I didn't pull that punch enough."

�����"Brute . . . Beast - . ."

�����"I could do this the wrong way," he said. "I could blackmail you. I know your mother and sisters are on Callisto, that you're classed as an alien belligerent by association. That puts you on the black list, ipso facto. Is that right? Ipso facto. 'By the very fact.' Latin. You can't trust hypno-learning. I could point out that all I have to do is send anonymous information to Central Intelligence and you wouldn't be just suspect any more. They'd be ripping information out of you inside twelve hours. - ."

�����He felt her shudder. "But I'm not going to do it that way. I'm going to tell you the truth because I want to turn you into a partner. Your mother's in the Inner Planets. She's in the Inner Planets," he repeated. "She may be on Terra."

�����"Safe?" she whispered.

�����"I don't know."

�����"Put me down."

�����"You're cold."

�����"Put me down."

�����He set her on her feet.

�����"You destroyed me once," she said in choked tones. "Are you trying to destroy me again?"

�����"No. Will you listen?"

�����She nodded.

�����"I was lost in space. I was dead and rotting for six months. A ship came up that could have saved me. It passed me by. It let me die. A ship named 'Vorga.' 'Vorga-T:i339.' Does that mean anything to you?"

�����"Jiz McQueen-a friend of mine who's dead now-once told me to find out why I was left to rot. That would be the answer to who gave the order. So I started buying information about 'Vorga.' Any information."

�����"What's that to do with my mother?"

�����"Just listen. Information was tough to buy. The 'Vorga' records were removed from the Bo'ness & Uig files. I managed to locate three names .

three out of a standard crew of four officers and twelve men. Nobody knew anything or nobody would talk. And I found this." Foyle took a silver locket from his pocket and handed it to Robin. "It was pawned by some spaceman off the 'Vorga.' That's all I could find out."

�����Robin uttered a cry and opened the locket with trembling fingers. Inside was her picture and the pictures of two other girls. As the locket was opened, the 3D photos smiled and whispered: "Love from Robin, Mama . . - Love from Holly, Mama . . . Love from Wendy, Mama . -

�����"It is my mother's," Robin wept. "It . . . She . . . For pity's sake, where is she? What happened?"

�����"I don't know," Foyle said steadily. "But I can guess. I think your mother got out of that concentration camp . . . one way or another."

�����"And my sisters too. She'd never leave them."

�����"Maybe your sisters too. I think 'Vorga' was running refugees out of Callisto. Your family paid with money and jewelry to get aboard and be taken to the Inner Planets. That's how a spaceman off the 'Vorga' came to pawn this locket."

�����"Then where are they?"

�����"I don't know. Maybe they were dumped on Mars or Venus. Most probably they were sold to a labor camp on the Moon, which is why they haven't been able to get in touch with you. I don't know where they are, but 'Vorga' can tell us."

�����"Are you lying? Tricking me?"

�����"Is that locket a lie? I'm telling the truth . . . all the truth I know. I want to find out why they left me to die, and who gave the order. The man who gave the order will know where your mother and sisters are. He'll tell you . . . before I kill him. He'll have plenty of time. He'll be a long time dying."

�����Robin looked at him in horror. The passion that gripped him was making his face once again show the scarlet stigmata. He looked like a tiger closing in for the kill.

�����"I've got a fortune to spend . . . never mind how I got it. I've got three months to finish the job. I've learned enough maths to compute the probabilities. Three months is the outside before they figure that Fourmyle of Ceres is Gully Foyle. Ninety days. From New Year's to All Fools. Will you join me?"

�����"You?" Robin cried with loathing. "Join you?"

�����"All this Four Mile Circus is camouflage. Nobody ever suspects a clown. But I've been studying, learning, preparing for the finish. All I need now is you,"


�����"I don't know where the hunt is going to lead me . . . society or slums. I've got to be prepared for both. The slums I can handle alone. I haven't forgotten the gutter, but I need you for society. Will you come in with me?"

�����"You're hurting me." Robin wrenched her arm out of Foyle's grasp. "Sorry. I lose control when I think about 'Vorga.' Will you help me find 'Vorga' and your family?"

�����"I hate you," Robin burst out. "I despise you. You're rotten. You destroy everything you touch. Someday I'll pay you back."

�����"But we work together from New Year's to All Fools?"

�����"We work together."


ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, Geoffrey Fourmyle of Ceres made his onslaught on society. He appeared first in Canberra at the Government House ball, half an hour before midnight. This was a highly formal affair, bursting with color and pageantry, for it was the custom at formals for society to wear the evening dress that had been fashionable the year its clan was founded or its trademark patented.

�����Thus, the Morses (Telephone and Telegraph) wore nineteenth century frock coats and their women wore Victorian hoop skirts. The Skodas (Powder & Guns) harked back to the late eighteenth century, wearing Regency tights and crinolines. The daring Peenemundes (Rockets & Reactors), dating from the 1920's, wore tuxedos, and their women unashamedly revealed legs, arms, and necks in the d�llet�f antique Worth and Mainbocher gowns.

�����Fourmyle of Ceres appeared in evening clothes, very modern and very black, relieved only by a white sunburst on his shoulder, the trademark of the Ceres clan. With him was Robin Wednesbury in a glittering white gown, her slender waist tight in whalebone, the bustle of the gown accentuating her long, straight back and graceful step.

�����The black and white contrast was so arresting that an orderly was sent to check the sunburst trademark in the Almanac of Peerages and Patents. He returned with the news that it was of the Ceres Mining Company, organized m 2250 for the exploitation of the mineral resources of Ceres, Pallos, and Vesta. The resources had never manifested themselves and the House of Ceres had gone into eclipse but had never become extinct. Apparently it was now being revived.

�����"Fourmyle? The clown?"

�����"Yes. The Four Mile Circus. Everybody's talking about him."

�����"Is that the same man?"

The Stars My Destination