Alternate orbits (Ace double) by A. Bertram Chandler

By A. Bertram Chandler

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He thought. But he’d better not make a habit of this sort of thing. Now Sonya Winneck’s bows were being pulled downriver against the countercurrent, her stem still only a few feet from the stringer, the stern swinging in easily. “Stop her,” Grimes ordered. She was alongside now, with the very gentlest of impacts, and the leading hand of the mooring gang was shouting up that she was in position. Grimes filled and lit his pipe. “Make fast fore and aft,” he said. “That’ll do the wheel. ” And then, “Mr.

Mphm,” grunted Grimes. So it was ebb all over the river. He made up his mind. “Tell the Chief and Second Officers it will be starboard side to. Tell Mr. ” He came to starboard, lined the ship’s head up on the up river end of the wharf. With his mouth whistle he blew one short, sharp blast. The chain cable of the port anchor rattled out through the pipe, the grip of the flukes in the mud acted as a brake. Sonya Winneck was still making way, but with the ebb against her and the drag of the anchor she was almost stopped.

But what, when and where? At last he grunted, “You know where to find me if you want me. Good night, Mr. ” Back in his quarters his uneasiness persisted. He told So-nya that he would sleep on the settee in his day cabin, so as to be more readily available in the event of any emergency. She did not argue with him; she, too, felt a growing tension in the air. It could have been that she was sensitive to his moods but, she told him, she didn’t think so. ” He laughed. “A tropical revolving storm is not wicked, my dear.

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