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but pixies, as Marge said, had some power to compensate for their size. She
flew in, then excreted a small bit of a shiny, powdery substance, and the
dumb-
waiter rose slowly, just enough to allow for a gap beneath.
The shaft proved to go all the way to the basement,
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ods%203%20-%20Vengeance%20of%20the%20Danc.txt although Gimlet was in no mood
to experiment more than she had to. The doors to the dumbwaiter were all shut,
of course, but since at least one had to have been opened in order to raise
the little car to its blocking position on the third floor, she managed to
find one, right at ground level, that slid back a bit with what little weight
she could put on it. She decided to risk leaving it open for a quick getaway.
The gap was small enough that it probably wouldn't be noticed anyway, and the
place was drafty as it was.
Methodically, she began to explore the house.
Joe had spent some time going over the information and drawings McMahon had
provided; but as the time wore on, he just settled back, listening to a
country station on the radio, and began to snooze.
Suddenly he awoke with a start as both doors to the van were jerked open with
force. He started to make a move, but the two men, one at each door, had
pretty large guns.
"Just step out of the van and make no funny moves,"
the one closest to him warned. Both were dressed in dark business suits soaked
through from the rain, but both also had on yellow shirts and yellow ties.
He did as instructed. "All right, boys. What's this all about? I have about
twenty bucks you're welcome to but, other than that and the van, there's not
much here."
The other man slid into the van and picked up the drawings and diagrams,
looked them over, then stuck them in his suit coat.
"Don't be funny," the first man said. "We're not rob-
bers, and I think you know it. Now, where's your lady friend?"
218
VENGEANCE OF THE DANCING GODS
JACK L. CHALKER
219
Joe gestured in the direction of the pounding surf. "Out there. She had a
sudden urge for a swim."
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The man struck him hard. "Don't be funny, I said!
What do you take us for, anyway?"
"I take you for the Baron's men. I take you for what he calls his Elders. A
little out of your jurisdiction, aren't you?"
"Aw, skip it," said the other. "She's a cripple and won't be hard to find.
Even if we don't, what's she gonna do
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file:///F|/rah/Jack%20L.%20Chalker/Chalker,%20Jack%20L%20-%20The%20Dancing%20G
ods%203%20-%20Vengeance%20of%20the%20Danc.txt on her own out hereT'
Being covered by the other one, the first was cocky, and stuck his pistol
almost up Joe's nose. "Listen, smart guy. We ask, you answer. If we like your
answer, you might live through this. If we don't, you're gonna be pretty
sore."
"I've been pretty sore before, but asking questions is free."
They didn't like his attitude, but they were here on business first. Joe
longed for his old, perfect body now, which could have disarmed and made
mincemeat out of both of them in a series of moves, but he decided not to risk
anything until he also found out a little.
"Okay, big guy why were you pressing that bubble-
brain back there?"
"We wanted good directions to the beach and some pineapple."
The man hit him again. The other said, "You have a lot of plans about the
castle here. What were you trying to do?"
"Find out all I could about your happy little heaven."
That was better. "Why?" the first one asked. "Who are you working for?"
Joe thought fast. "The Sierra Club," he told them.
That brought both of them up short. "The Sierra Club?"
"Your boss made a deal to get the land and keep it out of the hands of the
government. Now he's moving in hordes of people, generators, lots of [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]