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Stop Look and Dig   By: (1911-1981)

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Stop Look and Dig

by George O. Smith

Edition 1, (November 29, 2006)




The enlightened days of mental telepathy and ESP should have made the world a better place, But the minute the Rhine Institute opened up, all the crooks decided it was time to go collegiate!

Someone behind me in the dark was toting a needle ray. The impression came through so strong that I could almost read the filed off serial number of the thing, but the guy himself I couldn't dig at all. I stopped to look back but the only sign of life I could see was the fast flick of taxicab lights as they crossed an intersection about a half mile back. I stepped into a doorway so that I could think and stay out of the line of fire at the same time.

The impression of the needle ray did not get any stronger, and that tipped me off. The bird was following me. He was no peace loving citizen because honest men do not cart weapons with the serial numbers filed off. Therefore the character tailing me was a hot papa with a burner charge labelled "Steve Hammond" in his needler.

I concentrated, but the only impression I could get would have specified ninety eight men out of a hundred anywhere. He was shorter than my six feet two and lighter than my one ninety. I could guess that he was better looking. I'd had my features arranged by a blocked drop kick the year before the National Football League ruled the Rhine Institute out because of our use of mentals and perceptives. I gave up trying I wanted details and not an overall picture of a hotbird carrying a burner.

I wondered if I could make a run for it.

I let my sense of perception dig the street ahead, casing every bump and irregularity. I passed places where I could zig out to take cover in front of telephone poles, and other places where I could zag in to take cover beyond front steps and the like. I let my perception run up the block and by the time I got to the end of my range, I knew that block just as well as if I'd made a practise run in the daytime.

At this point I got a shock. The hot papa was coming up the sidewalk hell bent for destruction. He was a mental sensitive, and he had been following my thoughts while my sense of perception made its trial run up the street. He was running like the devil to catch up with my mind and burn it down per schedule. It must have come as quite a shock to him when he realized that while the mind he was reading was running like hell up the street, the hard old body was standing in the doorway waiting for him.

I dove out of my hiding place as he came close. I wanted to tackle him hard and ask some pointed questions. He saw me as I saw him skidding to an unbalanced stop, and there was the dull glint of metal in his right hand. His needle ray came swinging up and I went for my armpit. I found time to curse my own stupidity for not having hardware in my own fist at the moment. But then I had my rod in my fist. I felt the hot scorch of the needle going off just over my shoulder, and then came the godawful racket of my ancient forty five. The big slug caught him high in the belly and tossed him back. It folded him over and dropped him in the gutter while the echoes of my cannon were still racketing back and forth up and down the quiet street.

I had just enough time to dig his wallet, pockets, and billfold before the whole neighborhood was up and out. Sirens howled in the distance and from above I could hear the thin wail of a jetcopter. Someone opened a window and called: "What's going on out there? Cut it out!"


"Tea party," I called back. "Go invite the cops, Tommy."

The window slammed down again. He didn't have to invite the law. It arrived in three ground cruisers and two jetcopter emergency squads that came closing in like a collapsing balloon.

The leader of the squadron was a Lieutenant Williamson whom I'd never met before... Continue reading book >>

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