By Edmond Hamilton
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Extra resources for Fugitives of the Stars
It seemed to half float in the air and half walk on four or five long tentacles that grew from its lower hemisphere. The fifth one was curled up holding a bundle. There was no head, no visible eyes, no face. Just a big round furry ball that talked. " Yso shrank back a bit by Horne's shoulder, but after a moment she said firmly, “We're glad to meet you, Chell. We've known for a long time that the Vellae brought in slaves from other worlds, but you're the first one we've actually spoken to. ” He put down his bundle and tactfully drew back a little way.
For a few minutes there was only the enclosed and magnified sound of people moving and breathing in a tunnel. Then the noise of running water became louder and louder, and there was another noise mixed with it-a shrill high whistling. The cone-shaped fliers were close at hand. " Ewan gave it to him, saying, “It isn't much. Our guns are better. " The daylight got brighter and the tunnel ended in a long slantwise flattish cave, quite obviously made by water erosion in the days when the stream had been higher and mightier in its bed.
And after a time there was a fleck of light. They went toward it and it grew into a gleam from some lantern, left out purposely for a cautious guide. Horne caught the glint of a narrow stream and the moist smell of it on the air. Then he was set on his feet in sparse grass and the lantern glow was directly ahead of him, beyond a narrow door of stone. A figure was standing in front of the door, a sharp black silhouette against the light. "This is Fife,” said Chell. ” His voice was high and piping, with a sly mocking note in it.
Fugitives of the Stars by Edmond Hamilton