The Earthman

commander; and had flirted outrageously with other post officers. She may have done it simply because she was bored; on the other hand, it could have been a deliberate attempt to create friction—exactly the sort of thing an Earth woman might try to do. Perhaps she was a native. When Tchassen was given the security assignment, he hadn't checked into her background; it didn't seem necessary. He realized suddenly that Tynia was the only witness against Drein. Because of what she had said, Tchassen had killed the Corporal. Tynia's hysteria had set the stage for murder.

As the sedan climbed higher into the pass, it moved more slowly. The motor coughed and wheezed; once or twice it seemed ready to stop altogether. When they reached the summit, the tenuous crescent of a new moon emerged above the pines. In the pale glow of light, Tchassen saw that the highway was covered with a treacherous sheet of ice.

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