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By A. C. Crispin

The team of the Desiree used to be unprepared. The Simiu have been unexpected...
Earth's first touch with an alien race turns to catastrophe while a pleasant stumble upon erupts into inexplicable violence and the specter of interstellar battle.
But traditional individuals--Mahree Burroughs, a regular girl with a present for friendship, and Dhurrrkk', a male Simiu with boundless curiosity--have solid a bond of knowing that bridges their many modifications.
Along with a reluctant Robert Gable, marvelous younger ship's health professional, they make an miraculous trip around the stars, to hunt the way to keep the way forward for either species!

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Charcoal he could make and a bellows was simply an animal skin and some branches. Whittle a nozzle. Any damfool who couldn't own a wheel with all that at his disposal deserved to lift and carry. He had ten thousand trees, didn't he? Finland didn't have a damn thing but trees. Yet Finland was the finest little country in the world. " If Finland was still there- Wherever the world was- Maybe the girls would like a Finnish bath. Down where they could plunge in afterwards and squeal and feel good. " Grace might like it.

Barbara and I had some after you went to sleep, Duke. There was some left. I never saw it again. " "Oh! I did, while we were bailing. Busted. " Hugh went to the medicines drawer, got a bottle with a broken seal. "Count these Seconal capsules. " "Karen had one at bedtime, one later; Joe had one. Neither Barbara nor I had any, nor Grace. " His father began to count as Duke pushed them aside. "Ninety-one," Duke announced. " Hugh put the capsules back. " "What do we do, Dad? Stomach pump? " "Slow down, Duke.

The only other precaution he took was for them to keep guns by them-all but his wife. Grace Farnham "couldn't stand guns," and resented having to eat with guns in sight. But she ate with good appetite. Duke had built a fire and they were blessed with hot coffee, hot canned beef, hot peas, hot canned sweet potatoes, and canned fruit salad-and cigarettes with no worry about air or fire. "That was lovely," Grace admitted. "Hubert dear? Do you know what it would take to make it just perfect? " "What, dear?

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