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Wanderer of Infinity   By: (1893-1968)

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This etext was produced from Astounding Stories March 1933. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

Wanderer of Infinity

By Harl Vincent

[Sidenote: In the uncharted realms of infra dimensional space Bert meets a pathetic figure The Wanderer.]

Lenville! Bert Redmond had never heard of the place until he received Joan's letter. But here it was, a tiny straggling village cuddled amongst the Ramapo hills of lower New York State, only a few miles from Tuxedo. There was a prim, white painted church, a general store with the inevitable gasoline pump at the curb, and a dozen or so of weatherbeaten frame houses. That was all. It was a typical, dusty cross roads hamlet of the vintage of thirty years before, utterly isolated and apart from the rushing life of the broad concrete highway so short a distance away.

Bert stopped his ancient and battered flivver at the corner where a group of overalled loungers was gathered. Its asthmatic motor died with a despairing cough as he cut the ignition.

"Anyone tell me where to find the Carmody place?" he sang out.

No one answered, and for a moment there was no movement amongst his listeners. Then one of the loungers, an old man with a stubble of gray beard, drew near and regarded him through thick spectacles.

"You ain't aimin' to go up there alone, be you?" the old fellow asked in a thin cracked voice.

"Certainly. Why?" Bert caught a peculiar gleam in the watery old eyes that were enlarged so enormously by the thick lenses. It was fear of the supernatural that lurked there, stark terror, almost.

"Don't you go up to the Carmody place, young feller. They's queer doin's in the big house, is why. Blue lights at night, an' noises inside an' an' cracklin' like thunder overhead "

"Aw shet up, Gramp!" Another of the idlers, a youngster with chubby features, and downy of lip and chin, sauntered over from the group, interrupting the old man's discourse. "Don't listen to him," he said to Bert. "He's cracked a mite been seein' things. The big house is up yonder on the hill. See, with the red chimbley showin' through the trees. They's a windin' road down here a piece."

Bert followed the pointing finger with suddenly anxious gaze. It was not an inviting spot, that tangle of second growth timber and underbrush that hid the big house on the lonely hillside; it might conceal almost anything. And Joan Parker was there!

The one called Gramp was screeching invectives at the grinning bystanders. "You passel o' young idjits!" he stormed. "I seen it, I tell you. An' an' heard things, too, The devil hisself is up there an' his imps. We'd oughtn't to let this feller go...."

[Illustration: He attacked it in vain with his fists. ]

Bert waited to hear no more. Unreasoning fear came to him that something was very much amiss up there at the big house, and he started the flivver with a thunderous barrage of its exhaust.

The words of Joan's note were vivid in his mind: "Come to me, Bert, at the Carmody place in Lenville. Believe me, I need you." Only that, but it had been sufficient to bring young Redmond across three states to this measly town that wasn't even on the road maps.

Bert yanked the bouncing car into the winding road that led up the hill, and thought grimly of the quarrel with Joan two years before. He had told her then, arrogantly, that she'd need him some day. But now that his words had proved true the fact brought him no consolation nor the slightest elation. Joan was there in this lonely spot, and she did need him. That was enough.

He ran nervous fingers through his already tousled mop of sandy hair a habit he had when disturbed and nearly wrecked the car on a gray boulder that encroached on one of the two ruts which, together, had been termed a road... Continue reading book >>




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