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By Edmond Hamilton

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Its way lay down a parsec-long avenue of clear space between the filamentaries and the drift. The squadron changed formation as it went, the mighty cruisers closing in around the transports. Far ahead, darting at speeds no cruiser could reach so swiftly, the tiny scouts flung right and left toward the two radar-blind regions. The visual screens in the radar-room came on. By means of pick-up and relay chains, what was seen by the scouts of Grenard and Nearing came through. "Nothing yet,” said Grenard's voice.

They're being held up in the western pass villages tonight. " "I've heard of them, but I've never seen one,” Birrel said. "They're very old, and a bit foolish, but they're fun,” she promised. He had indeed heard of the Varn festivals that the Vegan folk of the high mountain villages held and had held for centuries, but somehow Lyllin had never wanted to go to them. He had had the feeling that because these folk-festivals were vestigial survivals from the old, wild past of her people, she did not want him to see them.

In every cruiser, the men were at battle-stations. In the transports, they wouldn't even know there was any danger. Birrel wondered what Lyllin was doing, what she was thinking, right now, right this moment. "Nothing yet,” said Grenard's voice. "You know,” said Garstang, “both these regions are well inside Lyra space. " "I told you,” said Birrel. “The pace is stepping up. " And they went on. The filamentaries marched past on one side and the dark drift on the other, and the big ships of the Fifth never slackened, but there was still a long way to go before they would reach wide-open space again.

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