- Ficha técnica
- BASIL WELLS
Basil Wells, who lives in Pennsylvania, writes that he has been doing research concerning the keelboat age prior to and following the War of 1812 on the "locally famous section of portage-keelboat-rafting stream from Waterford down to Pittsburgh," turning from this to this grimmer future.
Then his hand caught an arm and he exerted his full strength. The entire arm tore away from its shoulder....
His fingers moved over the modest packet of bills the invisible rockhound had handed to him. He smiled through the eternal night that was his own personal hell. Duggan's Hades.
"Thanks, Pete," he said gratefully. "Here, have a box of Conmos."
His sensitized fingers found the cigars, handed over a box, and he heard the nervous scuff of the other's shoes.
"This eight thousand means I can see again--for a while at least. Take 'em! It's little enough."
"Look, Duggan. I get eight hundred for selling you the ticket on the breakthrough time. Keep the cigars. You need the dough."
Feet pounded, thumping into swift inaudibility along the 10th Level's yielding walkway. His fingers caressed the crisp notes that his lucky guess on the 80th Level's tunnel juncture had won for him, plus the ten dollars, that this meager business could ill afford, it had cost to join the rockhounds' pool....
But now he was free. His own man. He was released from the calculated economies of his wife. Janith knew to within a few dollars what his newsstand on the 10th Level should make. He had never been able to save the necessary thousand dollar deposit, and ten dollars an hour, that a rented super mech cost. And she would never listen to his pleas that he must see again--if only for an hour....
"Waste ten or twenty dollars for nothing," she would storm. "We have all your hospital bills to pay. I need new clothes. Your stock in the stands is too small."
What she left unspoken was the fact that she must secretly have hated his engineering career in the deep levels under Appalachia, and that she was dedicated to preventing his possible return....