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The Beasts in the Void   By: (1916-1977)

The Beasts in the Void by Paul W. Fairman

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Imagination April 1956. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

The Beasts In The Void


Paul W. Fairman

Illustrated by W. E. Terry

Holloway was used to big game hunters and their expeditions to other worlds. But this trip was sheer madness a space ship stalking among

The examiner looked doubtful and said, "But Mr. Holloway, regulations require that I read your log before I take verbal testimony."

Holloway's face was drawn and ravaged. His bloodshot eyes sat in black pits. They were trained on the Examiner but looked through him rather than at him.

Holloway said, "But, I must talk! I've got to tell you about it. I have to keep talking."

"But "

Holloway's words tumbled out. "It started in the control cabin there in deep space. When Mrs. Kelvey came in. She was the blonde one. I turned around and she said, 'Captain, there's a great big tiger in the companionway.'"

The desperate Holloway, fearful of being stopped or running out of words, went into minute detail. "She made the statement as a pouting complaint, almost casually. Then, before I could speak, she realized what she'd said and her face changed. A kind of horrified double take. ' A tiger? In the companionway of a space ship? ' This last was an incredulous question she asked herself. Then she fainted. I looked outside. I thought I saw something blurred and indistinct but it vanished quickly if it was really there at all. The companionway was empty. No tiger. No animal of any kind "

The Examiner, holding up a hand of protest, looked like a man directing traffic. "Please, Mr. Holloway please. We must remember regulations."

Holloway's eyes closed for a moment but he resolutely forced them open as though afraid of something.

The scene was Holloway's two room suite in the Space Port Hotel. There were three men present Holloway, skipper of the Space King , John Mason, Port Resident, and Merle Kennedy, Section Examiner for the Space Authority people. Kennedy regarded Holloway with frank concern. Good heavens the man was a complete mess. Looked ready to collapse. Kennedy turned to Mason. "This can be postponed, you know."

Mason was regarding Holloway also. Strange, he thought; Holloway had left in a fanfare of publicity. Now it appeared his return would be even more dramatic. Maybe Holloway was that kind of a chap; the kind things just happened to.

He was quite young though he certainly didn't look it now. He'd been known as a playboy ever since his father struck it big in Venusian oil. But good looking, personable, he had worn the label well. He'd been good copy because the public regarded him with patronizing affection. To them, he'd been a nice kid having fun; not a young wastrel wasting his father's money.

Naturally he would pick a glamour girl to play the romantic feminine role and Melody Hayden had filled the bill perfectly. Together, they had enchanted the public. Princess and Prince Charming stuff. Then tragedy. Disaster in a rocketing sports car; Melody's coffin sealed before the funeral; young Holloway coming off without a scratch. Melody's death was a bombshell and everyone asked. What will he do now? expecting of course, something sensational.

He didn't let them down. Dramatically, he announced a completely new life. He bought a space ship and foreswore his old ways. He had quite a reputation as a big game hunter. He'd stalked the vicious Plutonian ice bears and lain in Venusian swamps waiting for the ten ton lizards to rise out of the slime. He had knocked over the wiliest of animals, a telepathic Uranian mountain wolf and had dropped in flight a Martian radar bat, a feat duplicated by only three other marksmen of record... Continue reading book >>

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