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Brknk's Bounty   By: (1913-2002)

Brknk's Bounty by Gerald Allan Sohl

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction January 1955. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.




Illustrated by KOSSIN

From a feature writer to feature attraction now there's a real booze to riches success story!

I never thought I'd like circus life, but a year of it has changed me. It's in my blood now and I suppose I'll never give it up even if they'd let me.

This job is better than anything I could get in the newspaper racket. I work all summer, it's true, but I get the winter off, though some of the offers for winter work are mighty tempting. Maybe if I hadn't been kicked off the paper, I'd be city editor now, knocking my brains out. Who knows? But maybe I'd just be a rewrite man, or in the slot, writing heads, or copyreading. But the thought of newspaper work after all this appalls me.

Trlk, the Sybillian, should be thanked for the whole thing, I suppose, though it would be a grudging thank you I'd give him, considering all the trouble he caused. Still....

I first saw him on a July morning at the beginning of the vacation schedule, when four of us on the local side were trying to do five people's work.

My first inkling anything was wrong came when I returned from the courthouse beat and stuck a sheet of paper in the typewriter to write the probate court notes.

I struck the keys. They wouldn't go all the way down. I opened the cover plate, looked in to see what was wrong. I saw nothing, so I tried again. Oscar Phipps, the city editor, was giving me the eye. I figured maybe he was pulling a trick on me. But then I knew he hadn't. He wasn't the type.

The back space, tabular, margin release, shift and shift lock worked perfectly. But the keys only went down a short way before they stopped. All except one key. The cap D .

I hit the D . It worked fine the first time, but not the second. I tried all the keys again. This time only the i worked. Now I had Di . I went ahead testing. Pretty soon I had


Then came a space. A few letters more and it was

Dimly drouse the dreary droves

Phipps had one eyebrow raised. I lifted the cover plate again. Quickly.

There I saw a fuzzy thing. It whisked out of sight. I snapped the plate down and held it down. The party I had been on the night before hadn't been that good and I had had at least three hours' sleep.

I tried typing again. I got nothing until I started a new line. Then out came

Primly prides the privy prose

I banged up the plate, saw a blur of something slinking down between the type bar levers again. Whatever it was, it managed to squeeze itself out of sight in a most amazing way.

"Hey!" I said. "I know you're down there. What's the big idea?"

Fuzzy squeezed his head up from the levers. The head looked like that of a mouse, but it had teeth like a chipmunk and bright little black beads for eyes. They looked right at me.

"You go right ahead," he said in a shrill voice. "This is going to be a great poem. Did you get all that alliteration there in those two lines?"

"Listen, will you get out of there? I've got work to do!"

"Yes, I think I've hit it at last. It was that four stress iambic that did it. It was iambic, wasn't it?"

"Go away," I said miserably.

Fuzzy pulled the rest of himself out of the bars and stood on hind feet. He crossed his forepaws in front of him, vibrated his long, furry tail, and said defiantly, "No."

"Look," I pleaded, "I'm not Don Marquis and you're not Archie and I have work to do. Now will you please get out of this typewriter?"

His tiny ears swiveled upward... Continue reading book >>

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