Second Variety

“I had always thought so.”

“Why didn’t you destroy him sooner?” he wanted to know.

“You held me back.” Tasso crossed to the fire to look into the metal cup. “Coffee. It’ll be ready to drink in awhile.”

She came back and sat down beside him. Presently she opened her pistol and began to disassemble the firing mechanism, studying it intently.

“This is a beautiful gun,” Tasso said, half-aloud. “The construction is superb.”

“What about them? The claws.”

“The concussion from the bomb put most of them out of action. They’re delicate. Highly organized, I suppose.”

“The Davids, too?”

“Yes.”

“How did you happen to have a bomb like that?”

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