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Title: The Devil’s Asteroid Author: Manly Wade Wellman Release Date: September 8, 2007 [EBook #22538] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DEVIL’S ASTEROID *** Produced by Greg Weeks, Graeme Mackreth and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at Transcriber’s note. This etext was produced from Comet July 1941.
Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
copyright on this publication was renewed. DEVIL’S ASTEROID by MANLY WADE WELLMAN [Illustration: _The Rock Bred Evolution in Reverse_] It was not very large, as asteroids go, but about it clung a silvery mist of atmosphere.
Deeper flashes through the mist betokened water, and green patches hinted of rich vegetation.
The space-patroller circled the little world knowledgeably, like a wasp buzzing around an apple.
In the control room, by the forward ports, the Martian skipper addressed his Terrestrial companion. -I wissh you joy of yourr new home,- he purred.
Like many Martians, he was braced upright on his lower tentacles by hoops and buckles around his bladdery body, so that he had roughly a human form, over which lay a strange loose armor of light plates.
In the breathing hole of his petal-tufted skull was lodged an artificial voice-box that achieved words.
-I rregrret--- Fitzhugh Parr glowered back.
He was tall, even for a man of Earth, and his long-jawed young face darkened with wrath.
-Regret nothing,- he snapped.
-You’re jolly glad to drop me on this little hell.- -Hell?- repeated the Martian reproachfully.
-But it iss a ssplendid miniaturre worrld--ninet...

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