- Ficha técnica
- BASIL WELLS
The rules of a duel between gentlemen are quite different from the rules of war between nations. Is it because gentlemen do not fight wars, or is it that men in war cease to be gentlemen?
The bullet slapped rotted leaves and dirt into Gram Treb's eyes. He wormed backward to the bole of a small tree.
"Missed!" he shouted. He used English, the second tongue of them both. "Throw away your carbine and use rocks."
"You tasted it anyhow," Harl Neilson's shrill young voice cried. "How was the sample?"
"That leaves you two cartridges," taunted Treb. "Or is it only one?"
The sixth sense that had brought him safely through two of these bloody war duels here in space made him fling his body to the left. He rolled over once and lay huddled in a shallow depression. He knew all the tiny hollows and ridges--they were his insurance on this mile-wide island high above Earth.
Something thudded into the tree roots behind him. He hugged the ground, body flattened. His breath eased raggedly outward, and caught. The waiting--the seconds that became hours! If the grenade rolled after him, down the slope into his shelter, he was finished.
There was nothing he could do. His palms oozed sweat....
The grenade exploded. It was like a fist slammed against his skull. He was numbed for a long instant. Then he checked.
Unharmed. The depression had saved his neck this time. He wanted to shout at Neilson, tell him he was down to a lone grenade, but that was poor strategy. Now he must withdraw, make Neilson think him injured or dead, and trap him in turn.