By Andre Norton
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Extra info for Dark Piper
He had not mentioned any return of the refugee-ship people, but he might be taking precautions against surprise. However, I was also certain he would not have brought the children here had he believed there was any real danger. Only, what is danger? We were to learn the degrees of that without warning Once below, Lugard switched on a beamer to reveal the road for us. Caves acted as cold traps in winter. Air settled to the lowest levels there to leave unending frost upon rock surfaces. Lugard was searching for an ice cave, and our path grew colder as we drew away from the entrance We had gone only a few paces in when Lugard shot the beamer ray toward the roof.
There were supplies frozen in. But we had to close it off in a hurry. ” Lugard nodded. “Yes—men talk. Rumor got out. So your father decided to make as innocuous a tale as he could. We admitted a find and said it was sealed pending the arrival of offworld experts. Then we really sealed the whole section. ” “But if conditions now off-world are so bad—” “Why do I want to go treasure hunting? Well, I have all the time in the world now, Vere. And I have no occupation. There is this equipment waiting to be used, and curiosity is nibbling at me, biting pretty sharply at times.
We can’t leave him here, and we can’t wait forever. There has to be something—perhaps a better cart. ” We pulled Lugard a few inches at a time over to the wall. As gently as I could, I unsealed his stained tunic and took out a folded piece of plasta-mat. The lines on it caught fire from our lamps, and I saw it was drawn with cor-ink for use in limited light. But the branching passages on it were many, and it took me a moment’s study to locate the tunnel that held us. Once I had traced that from our entrance point, I could see the path ahead running reasonably straight.
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