Second Variety

Tasso drank the rest. Time passed. The clouds of ash moved across the dark sky above them. Hendricks rested, his mind blank. After awhile he became aware that Tasso was standing over him, gazing down at him.

“What is it?” he murmured.

“Do you feel any better?”

“Some.”

“You know, Major, if I hadn’t dragged you away they would have got you. You would be dead. Like Rudi.”

“I know.”

“Do you want to know why I brought you out? I could have left you. I could have left you there.”

“Why did you bring me out?”

“Because we have to get away from here.” Tasso stirred the fire with a stick, peering calmly down into it. “No human being can live here. When their reinforcements come we won’t have a chance. I’ve pondered about it while you were unconscious. We

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