Astounding Stories, August, 1931 by Various

Astounding Stories, August, 1931 by Various

Author:Various [Various]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Science fiction -- Periodicals, Science fiction, American -- Periodicals
Published: 2010-06-28T00:00:00+00:00

* * *

arth was thinking of many things as he scrambled back wearily from his refuge to the trail. He was cursing the unwanted publicity which prying reporters had given his work in Detroit, and which had led him to lease the lonely island and build a laboratory in the wilderness. Had it not been for that publicity, he would never have needed an assistant, and the vision of fame would never have come to delude Hagendorff and turn his thoughts towards murder.

His position seemed a horrible delirium from which he must presently awake. Naked, dwarfed by each ordinary forest weed, unarmed, and trembling from the wind-sharpened night, he hardly knew which way to turn. His body was blotched with blood and mud, and under it the ragged gashes made by glass and bush stung painfully; he was hungry and stiff and tired and miserable. He remembered Hagendorff's threat of capturing him in ten minutes, and forced a smile to his face.

"Looks kind of bad," he muttered, using his voice in an attempt to dispel some of the lonely grip of the night, "but we'll keep moving, anyway! He's coming back soon. Let's see: I'd better make for the stream. It'll be hard for him to follow my tracks through that. And then...."

Then—what? The island was small. He realized he could not stand many hours of exposure. Inevitably—But he turned his mind from the future and its seeming hopelessness, and concentrated on the immediate need, which was to hide himself. Forcing the pace, he struck off on a shambling trot down the dim trail, on into the deepening, sinister shadows towards the island's lone stream.


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