The Colors of Space (Chapter 6, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 6

"I liked your father. I admired him. He took a long chance, and it
killed him. I could have stopped him, I should have stopped him, but how
could I? Where did I have the right to stop him, after what I did
to--" he stopped, almost in mid-word, as if a switch had been turned.

But Bart was not listening. He swung away, striding to the wall as if he
would kick it in, striking it with his two clenched fists, his whole
being in revolt. Dad, oh, Dad! I kept going, I thought at the end of it
you'd be here and it would all be over. But here I am at the end of it
all, and you're not here, you won't ever be here again.

Dimly, he knew when Raynor Three rose and left him alone. He leaned his
head on his clenched fists, and cried.

After a long time he raised his head and blew his nose, his face setting
itself in new, hard, unaccustomed lines, slowly coming to terms with the
hard, painful reality. His father was dead. His dangerous,
dead-in-earnest game of escape had no happy ending of reunion with his
father. They couldn't sit together and laugh about how scared he had
been. His father was dead, and he, Bart, was alone and in danger. His
face looked very grim indeed, and years older than he was.

After a long time Raynor Three opened the door quietly. "Come and have
something to eat, Bart."

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