The Colors of Space (Chapter 2, page 2 of 9)


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Chapter 2

The fat man took a deep breath or two, said, "Just a minute, Son," and
turned around. "You want something?"

The tallest of the Lhari--the old one, whom Bart had seen on the
escalator--looked long and hard at him. When they spoke Universal, their
voices were sibilant, but not nearly so inhuman.

"Could we trrrouble you to sssshow us your paperrrssss?"

"Certainly." Nonchalantly, the fat man dug them out and handed them
over. Bart saw his father's name printed across the top.

The Lhari gestured to a Mentorian interpreter: "What colorrr isss thisss
man's hairrr?"

The Mentorian said in the Lhari language, "His hair is gray." He used
the Universal word; there were, of course, no words for colors in the
Lhari speech.

"The man we sssseek has hair of red," said the Lhari. "And he isss
tall, not fat."

"The boy is tall and with red hair," the Mentorian volunteered, and
the old Lhari made a gesture of disdain.

"This boy is twenty years younger than the man whose description came to
us. Why did they not give us a picture or at least a name?" He turned to
the other Lhari and said in their own shrill speech, "I suspected this
man because he was alone. And I had seen this boy on the upper mezzanine
and spoken with him. We watched him, knowing sooner or later the father
would seek him. Ask him." He gestured and the Mentorian said, "Who is
this man, you?"

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