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The Helpful Hand of God   By: (1915-1980)

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Analog Science Fact & Fiction December 1961. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

the helpful hand of


... Can be very helpful indeed. But of course, it's long been known that God helps those who wisely help themselves....



(From "Vogarian Revised Encyclopedia":

SAINTS: Golden Saints, properly, Yellow Saints, a term of contempt applied by the Vogarian State Press to members of the Church Of The Golden Rule because of their opposition to the war then being planned against Alkoria. See CHURCHES.

CHURCH, GOLDEN RULE, OF THE: A group of reactionary fanatics who resisted State control and advocated social chaos through "Individual Freedom." They were liquidated in the Unity Purge but for two thousand of the more able bodied, who were sentenced to the moon mines of Belen Nine. The prison ship never arrived there and it is assumed that the condemned Saints somehow overpowered the guards and escaped to some remote section of the galaxy.)

Kane had observed Commander Y'Nor's bird of prey profile with detached interest as Y'Nor jerked his head around to glare again at the chronometer on the farther wall of the cruiser's command room.

"What's keeping Dalon?" Y'Nor demanded, transferring his glare to Kane. "Did you assure him that I have all day to waste?"

"He should be here any minute, sir," Kane answered.

"I didn't find the Saints, after others had failed for sixty years, to then sit and wait. The situation on Vogar was already very critical when we left." Y'Nor scowled at the chronometer again. "Every hour we waste waiting here will delay our return to Vogar by an hour I presume you realize that?

"It does sound like a logical theory," Kane agreed.

Y'Nor's face darkened dangerously. "You will "

Quick, hard heeled footsteps sounded in the corridor outside. The guard officer, Dalon, stepped through the doorway and saluted; his eyes like ice under his pale brows and his uniform seeming to bristle with weapons.

"The native is here, sir," he said to Y'Nor.

He turned, and made a commanding gesture. The leader of the Saints appeared; the man whose resistance Y'Nor would have to break.

A frail, white bearded old man, scuffed uncertainly into the room in straw sandals, his faded blue eyes peering nearsightedly toward Y'Nor.

"Go to the commander's desk," Dalon ordered in his metallic tones.

The old man obeyed and stopped before Y'Nor's desk, his hands clasped together as though to hide their trembling.

"You are Brenn," Y'Nor said, "and you hold, I believe, the impressive titles of Chief Executive of the Council Of Provinces and Supreme Elder of the Churches Of The Golden Rule?"

"Yes, sir." There was a faint quaver in old Brenn's voice. "I welcome you to our world, sir, and offer you our friendship."

"I understand you can produce Elusium X fuel?"

"Yes, sir. Our Dr. Larue told me the process is within our ability. We " He hesitated. "We know you haven't enough fuel to return to Vogar."

Y'Nor stiffened in his chair. "What makes you think that?"

"It requires a great deal of fuel to get through the Whirlpool star cluster and even sixty years ago, the Elusium ores of Vogar were almost exhausted."

Y'Nor smiled thinly. "That reminds me you would be one of the Saints who murdered their guards and stole a ship to get here."

"We killed no guards, sir. In fact, all of them eventually joined our church."

"Where is the ship?"

"We had to cut it up for our start in mechanization."

"I presume you know you will pay for it?"

"It was taking us to our deaths in the radium mines but we will pay whatever you ask."

"The first installment will be one thousand units of fuel, to be produced with the greatest speed possible... Continue reading book >>

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