To Choke An Ocean Jesse Franklin Bone

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To Choke An Ocean  by  Jesse Franklin Bone

To Choke An Ocean by Jesse Franklin Bone
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Gourmets all agree that nothing can beat oysters on the half-shell--not even the armed might of the Terran Confederation!ExcerptNice that you dropped in, the man in the detention room said. I never expected a visit from the Consul General. ItMoreGourmets all agree that nothing can beat oysters on the half-shell--not even the armed might of the Terran Confederation!ExcerptNice that you dropped in, the man in the detention room said. I never expected a visit from the Consul General.

It makes me feel important.The Confederation takes an interest in all of its citizens welfare, Lanceford said. You are important! Incidentally, how is it going?Not too bad. They treat me all right. But these natives sure are tough on visitors. Ive never been checked so thoroughly in all my life--and now this thirty day quarantine! Why, youd think I was carrying the plague instead of a sample case!The chubby little commercial traveler probably had a right to complain, Lanceford thought. After all, a Niobian quarantine station isnt the pleasantest sort of environment.

Its not meant to be comfortable, physical discomfort being as good a way as any to discourage casual visitors. The ones who have fortitude enough to stand the entry regulations can get in, but tourists seldom visit Niobe. However, the planets expanding economy offered a fertile field for salesmen, and men of that stripe would endure far worse hardships than a port of entry in pursuit of the Almighty Credit.Now this fellow, George Perkins, was a typical salesman. And despite his soft exterior there was a good hard core inside.Lanceford looked him over and decided that he would last.

You came here of your own free will, didnt you? he asked.If you call a company directive free will, Perkins answered. I wouldnt come here for a vacation, if thats what you mean. But the commercial opportunities cant be ignored.I suppose not, but you can hardly blame the Niobians for being suspicious of strangers. Perhaps theres no harm in you. But they have a right to be sure- theyve been burned before. Lanceford uncoiled his lean gray length from the chair and walked over to the broad armorglas window.

He stared out at the gloomy view of Niobes rainswept polar landscape. You know, he continued, you might call this Customs Service a natural consequence of uninvestigated visitors. He brooded over the grayness outside. A polar view was depressing--scrubby vegetation, dank grassland, the eternal Niobian rain. He felt sorry for Perkins. Thirty days in this place would be sheer torture.It must have been quite some disturbance to result in this. Perkins waved his hand at the barren room.

Sounds like you know something about it.I do. In a way you might say that I was responsible for it.Would you mind telling me?



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