The Earthman

Tynia took Briggan's arm. "The sedan won't run, Sergeant. Surely you aren't saying we have to walk—"

"It's interesting, isn't it, that the car stopped right here—in front of a place where it would be so convenient for us to spend the night?"

"What do you mean, Briggan?"

"I wasn't doing the driving, Tynia."

A hard knot of anger exploded in Tchassen's mind, but he held his temper. It was easier to ignore Briggan than to answer his suspicion. In a tone that concealed his feelings, the Captain said, "Let me show you what I saw them do in the demonstration, Sergeant." He slid out of the sedan. With numb fingers, he opened the firing box of the portable heat ray and took out one of the two thermal coils. Breaking the seal, he began to unwind the thin thread of wire.

"We have our own alarm system right here," he explained, trying to convey more enthusiasm than he

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