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Noble Redman   By: (1916-1986)

Noble Redman by Jesse F. Bone

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Amazing Science Fiction Stories July 1960. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

It was a big joke on all concerned. When you look back, the whole thing really began because his father had a sense of humor. Oh, the name fit all right, but can you imagine naming your son....

NOBLE REDMAN

By J. F. BONE

ILLUSTRATED by GRAYAM

A pair of words I heartily detest are noble and redman , particularly when they occur together. Some of my egghead friends from the Hub tell me that I shouldn't, since they're merely an ancient colloquialism used to describe a race of aborigines on the American land mass.

The American land mass? Where? Why on Earth, of course where would ancestors come from? Yes I know it's not nice to mention that word. It's an obscenity. No one likes to be reminded that his ancestors came from there. It's like calling a man a son of a sloat. But it's the truth. Our ancestors came from Earth and nothing we can do is going to change it. And despite the fact that we're the rulers of a good sized segment of the galaxy, we're nothing but transplanted Earthmen.

I suppose I'm no better than most of the citizens you find along the peripheral strips of Martian dome cities. But I might have been if it hadn't been for Noble Redman. No not the noble redman just Noble Redman. It's a name, not a description, although as a description his surname could apply, since he was red. His skin was red, his hair was red, his eyes had reddish flecks in their irises, and their whites were red like they were inflamed. Even his teeth had a reddish tinge. Damndest guy I ever saw. Redman was descriptive enough but Noble! Ha! that character had all the nobility of a Sand Nan .

I met him in Marsport. I was fairly well heeled, having just finished guiding a couple of Centaurian tourists through the ruins of K'nar. They didn't believe me when I told them to watch out for Sand Nans. Claimed that there were no such things. They were kinda violent about it. Superstition they said. So when the Nan heaved itself up out of the sand, they weren't ready at all. They froze long enough for it to get in two shots with its stingers. They were paralyzed of course, but I wasn't, and a Nan isn't quick enough to hit a running target. So I was out of range when the Nan turned its attention to the Centaurians and started to feed. I took a few pictures of the Nan finishing off the second tourist the female one. It wasn't very pretty, but you learn to keep a camera handy when you're a guide. It gets you out of all sorts of legal complications later. The real bad thing about it was that the woman must have gotten stuck with an unripe stinger because she didn't go quietly like her mate. She kept screaming right up to the end. I felt bad about it, but there wasn't anything I could do. You don't argue with a Nan without a blaster, and the Park Service doesn't allow weapons in Galactic Parks.

Despite the fact that I had our conversation on tape and pictures to prove what happened, the Park cops took a dim view of the whole affair. They cancelled my license, but what the hell I wasn't cut out for a guide. So when I got back to Marsport, I put in a claim for my fee, and since their money had gone into the Nan with them, the Claims Court allowed that I had the right to garnishee the deceaseds' personal property, which I did. So I was richer by one Starflite class yacht, a couple of hundred ounces of industrial gold, and a lot of personal effects which I sold to Abe Feldstein for a hundred and fifty munits.

Abe wasn't very generous, but what's a Martian to do with Centaurian gear? Nothing those midgets use is adaptable to us... Continue reading book >>




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