The Earthman

the energy to—"

With the dispersal ray, he pushed her along the hall toward the room where she and Briggan had slept in front of the pot-bellied stove. Naturally she would try to keep him there, he thought; he didn't need much more proof of her disloyalty.

Flames from the burning wall lit the room. As they entered, Tynia screamed and fell back against Tchassen.

"The Sergeant's gone!" she gasped.

"Along with the weapons you left in here."

"Then he—he's the Earthman, Captain; you aren't!"

"You said you'd shot him."

"I fired at him. I saw him fall. I thought he was dead."

Tchassen wanted to believe her, but the husky, deep-throated appeal in her voice couldn't quite destroy the hard core of his doubt. This could be an alibi which she could have contrived for herself. She might have hidden

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