A Matter of Importance by Murray Leinster

By Murray Leinster

"Nobody ever observed the message-torp. It wasn't to be anticipated. It got here in on a direction that prolonged backward to someplace close to the Rift—where there was once Huks—and for a truly, very good distance it had traveled as in basic terms message-torps do go back and forth. It hopped part a light-year in overdrive, and got here again to normality lengthy adequate for its photocells to examine the star-filled universe all approximately. Then it hopped one other part light-year, and so forth. For an extended, very long time it traveled during this jerky fashion."

A compelling brief tale by way of Murray Leinster.

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Lukashka wondered. ” “But I know,” Lukashka smiled. ” I asked in surprise. ” “How? Easy,” he said. ” “It’s because of the truth,” he said. “The truth! Eh, you’re like all the others,” I waved my hand. “Everybody says you’ve got to tell the truth and nothing’ll come to you. Truth doesn’t burn, doesn’t sting, but . “But it depends which kind of truth,” Lukashka laughed. “There’re two, you know. One’s poor, carries a bag; the other’s rich, has a trunk. ” I thought of the flour and the beating mother gave me.

Those ahead moved on, those behind stared indifferently at their companion as he was struggling to raise the wheel of the quarter-ton barrow back onto the plank. Another few minutes, and I decided to try my luck. Assum­ ing as nonchalant an expression as I could muster, I approached the plank on which the workers were coming down with empty carts. ” I cheerfully exclaimed. The response was quite unexpected. The first man—a grey­ haired. vigorous old-timer, with pants tucked up above his knees, boasting a tanned, sinewy body—went by without deign­ ing to give me a look.

There’s a little business I have . . I’d like you to write an appeal for me. Please do me a favor, I’ll return it somehow. All I’ve got now is a ten-kopeck bit, but I can repay you with potatoes or somethin’. ” “W hat’s it all about? ” I asked. “You see,” he began in a plaintive voice. “They took me off relief. They gave me all the time but now they refuse. ” “For my son . . my son’d been took to war. It’s the second month already that there’s no news from him. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead.

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