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´╗┐Title: Black Eyes and the Daily Grind
Author: Marlowe, Stephen, 1928-2008
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Black Eyes and the Daily Grind" ***

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[Illustration: _When Black Eyes needed a nap--everybody slept!_]


 BLACK EYES _and the_
             DAILY GRIND

        By MILTON LESSER


 _The little house pet from Venus didn't
 like New York, so New York had to change._


He liked the flat cracking sound of the gun. He liked the way it slapped
back against his shoulder when he fired. Somehow it did not seem a part
of the dank, steaming Venusian jungle. Probably, he realized with a
smile, it was the only old-fashioned recoil rifle on the entire planet.
As if anyone else would want to use one of those old bone-cracking
relics today! But they all failed to realize it made sport much more
interesting.

"I haven't seen anything for a while," his wife said. She had a young,
pretty face and a strong young body. If you have money these days, you
could really keep a thirty-five-year-old woman looking trim.

Not on Venus, of course. Venus was an outpost, a frontier, a hot, wet,
evil-smelling place that beckoned only the big-game hunter. He said,
"That's true. Yesterday we could bag them one after the other, as fast
as I could fire this contraption. Today, if there's anything bigger than
a mouse, it's hiding in a hole somewhere. You know what I think, Lindy?"

"What?"

"I think there's a reason for it. A lot of the early Venusian hunters
said there were days like this. An area filled with big lizards and cats
and everything else the day before suddenly seems to clear out, for no
reason. It doesn't make sense."

"Why not? Why couldn't they all just decide to make tracks for someplace
else on the same day?"

He slapped at an insect that was buzzing around his right ear, then
mopped his sweating brow with a handkerchief. His name was Judd Whitney,
and people said he had a lot of money. Now he laughed, patting his
wife's trim shoulder under the white tunic. "No, Lindy. It just doesn't
work that way. Not on Earth and not on Venus, either. You think there's
a pied-piper or something which calls all the animals away?"

"Maybe. I don't know much about those things."

"No. I don't think they went anyplace. They're just quiet. They didn't
come out of their holes or hovels or down from the trees. But why?"

"Well, let's forget it. Let's go back to camp. We can try again
tomor--look! Look, there's something!"

Judd followed her pointing finger with his eyes. Half-hidden by the
creepers and vines clinging to an old tree-stump, something was watching
them. It wasn't very big and it seemed in no hurry to get away.

"What is it?" Lindy wanted to know.

"Don't know. Never saw anything like it before. Venus is still an
unknown frontier; the books only name a couple dozen of the biggest
animals. But hell, Lindy, that's not _game_. I don't think it weighs
five pounds."

"It's cute, and it has a lovely skin."

Judd couldn't argue with that. Squatting on its haunches, the creature
was about twenty inches tall. It had a pointed snout and two thin, long
ears. Its eyes were very big and very round and quite black. They looked
something like the eyes of an Earthian tarsier, but the tarsier were
bloody little beasts. The skin was short and stiff and was a kind of
silvery white. Under the sheen, however, it seemed to glow. A diamond is
colorless, Judd thought, but when you see it under light a whole rainbow
of colors sparkle deep within it. This creature's skin was like that,
Judd decided.

"If we could get enough of them," Lindy was saying, "I'd have the most
unusual coat! Do you think we could find enough, Judd?"

"I doubt it. Never saw anything like it before, never heard of anything
like it. You'd need fifty of 'em, anyway. Let's forget about it--too
small to shoot, anyway."

"No, Judd. I want it."

"Well, I'm not going to stalk a five-pound--hey, wait a minute! I taught
you how to use this rifle, so why don't you bag it?"

Lindy grinned. "That's a fine idea. I was a little scared of some of
those big lizards and cats and everything, but now I'm going to take you
up on it. Here, give me your gun."

Judd removed the leather thong from his shoulder and handed the weapon
to her. She looked at it a little uncertainly, then took the clip of
shells which Judd offered and slammed it into the chamber. The little
creature sat unmoving.

"Isn't it peculiar that it doesn't run away, Judd?"

"Sure is. Nothing formidable about that animal, so unless it has a
hidden poison somewhere, just about anything in this swamp could do it
in. To survive it would have to be fast as hell and it would have to
keep running all the time. Beats me, Lindy."

"Well, I'm going to get myself one pelt toward that coat, anyway. Watch,
Judd: is this the way?" She lifted the rifle to her shoulder and
squinted down the sights toward the shining creature.

"Yeah, that's the way. Only relax. Relax. Shoulder's so tense you're
liable to dislocate it with the kick. There--that's better."

Now Lindy's finger was wrapped around the trigger and she remembered
Judd had told her to squeeze it, not to pull it. If you pulled the
trigger you jerked the rifle and spoiled your aim. You had to squeeze it
slowly....

The animal seemed politely interested.

Suddenly, a delicious languor stole over Lindy. It possessed her all at
once and she had no idea where it came from. Her legs had been stiff and
tired from the all-morning trek through the swamp, but now they felt
fine. Her whole body was suffused in a warm, satisfied glow of
well-being. And laziness. It was an utterly new sensation and she could
even feel it tingling at the roots of her hair. She sighed and lowered
the rifle.

"I don't want to shoot it," she said.

"You just told me you did."

"I know, but I changed my mind. What's the matter, can't I change my
mind?"

"Of course you can change your mind. But I thought you wanted a coat of
those things."

"Yes, I suppose I do. But I don't want to shoot it, that's all."

Judd snorted. "I think you have a streak of softness someplace in that
pretty head of yours!"

"Maybe. I don't know. But I'd still like the pelt. Funny, isn't it?"

"Okay, okay! But don't ask to use the gun again." Judd snatched it from
her hands. "If you don't want to shoot it, then I will. Maybe we can
make you a pair of gloves or something from the pelt."

And Judd pointed his ancient rifle at the little animal preparing to
snap off a quick shot. It would be a cinch at this distance. Even Lindy
wouldn't have missed, if she hadn't changed her mind.

Judd yawned. He'd failed to realize he was so tired. Not an aching kind
of tiredness, but the kind that makes you feel good all over. He yawned
again and lowered the rifle. "Changed my mind," he said. "I don't want
to shoot it, either. What say we head back for camp?"

Lindy gripped his hand impulsively. "All right, Judd--but I had a
brainstorm! I want it for a pet!"

"A pet?"

"Yes. I think it would be the cutest thing. Everyone would look and
wonder and I'll adore it!"

"We don't know anything about it. Maybe Earth would be too cold, or too
dry, or maybe we don't have anything it can eat. There are liable to be
a hundred different strains of bacteria that can kill it."

"I said I want it for a pet. See? Look at it! We can call it Black
Eyes."

"Black Eyes--" Judd groaned.

"Yes, Black Eyes. If you don't do this one thing for me, Judd--"

"Okay--okay. But I'm not going to do anything. You want it, you take
it."

Lindy frowned, looked at him crossly, then sloshed across the swamp
toward Black Eyes. The creature waited on its stump until she came quite
close, and then, with a playful little bound, it hopped onto her
shoulder, still squatting on its haunches. Lindy squealed excitedly and
began to stroke its silvery fur.

       *       *       *       *       *

A month later, they returned to Earth. Judd and Lindy and Black Eyes.
The hunting trip had been a success--Judd's trophies were on their way
home on a slow freighter, and he'd have some fine heads and skins for
his study-room. Even Black Eyes had been no trouble at all. It ate
scraps from their table, forever sitting on its haunches and staring at
them with its big black eyes. Judd thought it would make one helluva
lousy pet, but he didn't tell Lindy. Trouble was, it never did anything.
It merely sat still, or occasionally it would bounce down to the floor
and mince along on its hind-legs for a scrap of food. It never uttered a
sound. It did not frolic and it did not gambol. Most of the time it
could have been carved from stone. But Lindy was happy and Judd said
nothing.

They had a little trouble with the customs officials. This because
nothing unknown could be brought to Earth without a thorough
examination.

At the customs office, a bespectacled official stared at Black Eyes,
scratching his head. "Never seen one like that before."

"Neither have I," Judd admitted.

"Well, I'll look in the book." The man did, but there are no thorough
tomes on Venusian fauna. "Not here."

"I could have told you."

"Well, we'll have to quarantine it and study it. That means you and your
wife go into quarantine, too. It could have something that's catching."

"Absurd!" Lindy cried.

"Sorry, lady. I only work here."

"You and your bright ideas," Judd told his wife acidly. "We may be
quarantined a month until they satisfy themselves about Black Eyes."

The customs official shrugged his bony shoulders, and Judd removed a
twenty-credit note from his pocket and handed it to the man. "Will this
change your mind?"

"I should say not! You can't bribe me, Mr. Whitney! You can't--" The man
yawned, stretched languidly, smiled. "No, sir, you can keep your money,
Mr. Whitney. Guess we don't have to examine your pet after all. Mighty
cute little feller. Well, have fun with it. Come on, move along now."
And, as they were departing with Black Eyes, still not believing their
ears: "Darn this weather! Makes a man so lazy...."

It was after the affair at the customs office, that Black Eyes uttered
its first sound. City life hasn't changed much in the last fifty years.
Jet-cars still streak around the circumferential highways, their
whistles blaring. Factories still belch smoke and steam, although the
new atomic power plants have lessened that to a certain extent. Crowds
still throng the streets, noisy, hurrying, ill-mannered. It's one of
those things that can't be helped. A city has to live, and it has to
make noise.

But it seemed to frighten Lindy's new pet. It stared through the jet-car
window on the way from the spaceport to the Whitneys' suburban home, its
black eyes welling with tears.

"Look!" Judd exclaimed. "Black Eyes can cry!"

"A crying pet, Judd. I knew there would be something unusual about Black
Eyes, I just knew it!"

The tears in the big black eyes overflowed and tumbled out, rolling down
Black Eyes' silvery cheeks. And then Black Eyes whimpered. It was only a
brief whimper, but both Judd and Lindy heard it, and even the driver
turned around for a moment and stared at the animal.

The driver stopped the jet. He yawned and rested his head comfortably on
the cushioned seat. He went quietly to sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

A man named Merrywinkle owned the Merrywinkle Shipping Service. That, in
itself, was not unusual. But at precisely the moment that Black Eyes
unleashed its mild whimper, Mr. Merrywinkle--uptown and five miles
away--called an emergency conference of the board of directors and
declared:

"Gentlemen, we have all been working too hard, and I, for one, am going
to take a vacation. I don't know when I'll be back, but it won't be
before six months."

"But C.M.," someone protested. "There's the Parker deal and the Gilette
contract and a dozen other things. You're needed!"

Mr. Merrywinkle shook his bald head. "What's more, you're all taking
vacations, with pay. Six months, each of you. We're closing down
Merrywinkle Shipping for half a year. Give the competition a break, eh?"

"But C.M.! We're about ready to squeeze out Chambers Parcel Co.! They'll
get back on their feet in six months."

"Never mind. Notify all departments of the shut-down, effective
immediately. Vacations for all."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Who shut off the assembly belt?" the foreman asked mildly. He was not a
mild man and he usually stormed and ranted at the slightest provocation.
This was at Clewson Jetcraft, and you couldn't produce a single
jet-plane without the assembly belt, naturally.

A plump little man said, "I did."

"But why?" the foreman asked him, smiling blandly.

"I don't know. I just did."

The foreman was still smiling. "I don't blame you."

Two days later, Clewson Jetcraft had to lay off all its help. They put
ads in all the papers seeking new personnel but no one showed up.
Clewson was forced to shut down.

       *       *       *       *       *

The crack Boston to New York pneumo-tube commuter's special pulled to a
bone-jarring stop immediately outside the New York station. Some angry
commuters pried open the conductor's cab, and found the man snoozing
quite contentedly. They awakened him, but he refused to drive the train
any further. All the commuters had to leave the pneumo-train and edge
their way along three miles of catwalk to the station. No one was very
happy about it, but the feeling of well-being which came over them all
nipped any possible protest in the bud.

       *       *       *       *       *

Black Eyes whimpered again when Judd and Lindy reached home but after
that it was quiet. It just sat on its haunches near the window and
stared out at the city.

The quiet city.

Nothing moved in the streets. Nothing stirred. People remained at home
watching local video or the new space-video from Mars. At first it was a
good joke, and the newspapers could have had a field day with it, had
the newspapers remained in circulation. After four days, however, they
suspended publication. On the fifth day, there was a shortage of food in
the city, great stores of it spoiling in the warehouses. Heat and light
failed after a week, and the fire department ignored all alarms a day
later.

But everything did not stop. School teachers still taught their classes;
clerks still sold whatever goods were left on local shelves. Librarians
were still at their desks.

Conservatives said it was a liberal plot to undermine capital and demand
higher wages; liberals said big business could afford the temporary
layoff and wanted to squeeze out the small businessman and labor unions.

Scientists pondered and city officials made speeches over video.

"Something," one of them observed, "has hit our city. Work that requires
anything above a modicum of sound has become impossible; in regards to
such work people have become lazy. No one can offer any valid
suggestions concerning the malady. It merely exists. However, if a stop
is not put to it--and soon--our fair city will disintegrate. Something
is making us lazy, and that laziness can spell doom, being a compulsive
lack of desire to create any noise or disturbance. If anyone believes he
has the solution, he should contact the Department of Science at once.
If you can't use the video-phone, come in person. But come! Every hour
which passes adds to the city's woes."

Nothing but scatter-brained ideas for a week, none of them worth
consideration. Then the bespectacled customs official who had bypassed
quarantine for Black Eyes, got in touch with the authorities. He had
always been a conscientious man--except for that one lapse. Maybe the
queer little beast had nothing to do with this crisis. But then again,
the customs official had never before--or since--had that strange
feeling of lassitude. Could there be some connection?

A staff of experts on extra-terrestrial fauna was dispatched to the
Whitney residence, although, indeed, the chairman of the Department of
Science secretly considered the whole idea ridiculous.

The staff of experts introduced themselves. Then, ignoring the protests
of Lindy, went to work on Black Eyes. At first Judd thought the animal
would object, but apparently it did not. While conditions all about them
in the city worsened, the experts spent three days studying Black Eyes.

They found nothing out of the ordinary.

Black Eyes merely stared back at them, and but for an accident, they
would have departed without a lead. On the third day, a huge mongrel dog
which belonged to the Whitneys' next-door neighbors somehow slipped its
leash. It was a fierce and ugly animal, and it was known to attack
anything smaller than itself. It jumped the fence and landed in Judd
Whitney's yard. A few loping bounds took it through an open window,
ground level. Inside, it spied Black Eyes and made for the creature at
once, howling furiously.

Black Eyes didn't budge.

And the mongrel changed its mind! The slavering tongue withdrew inside
the chops, the howling stopped. The mongrel lay down on the floor and
whined. Presently it lost all interest, got to its feet, and left as it
had come.

Other animals were brought to the Whitney home. Cats. Dogs. A lion from
the city zoo, starved for two days and brought in a special mobile cage
by its keeper. Black Eyes was thrust into the cage and the lion gave
forth with a hideous yowling. Soon it stopped, rolled over, and slept.

       *       *       *       *       *

The scientists correlated their reports, returned with them to the
Whitney house. The leader, whose name was Jamison, said: "As closely as
we can tell, Black Eyes is the culprit."

"What?" Lindy demanded.

"Yes, Mrs. Whitney. Your pet, Black Eyes."

"Oh, I don't believe it!"

But Judd said, "Go ahead, Dr. Jamison. I'm listening."

"Well, how does an animal--any animal--protect itself?"

"Why, in any number of ways. If it has claws or a strong jaw and long
teeth, it can fight. If it is fleet of foot, it can run. If it is big
and has a tough hide, most other animals can't hurt it anyway. Umm-mm,
doesn't that about cover it?"

"You left out protective coloration, defensive odors, and things like
that. Actually, those are most important from our point of view, for
Black Eyes' ability is a further ramification of that sort of thing.
Your pet is not fast. It isn't strong. It can't change color and it has
no offensive odor to chase off predatory enemies. It has no armor. In
short, can you think of a more helpless creature to put down in those
Venusian swamps?"

After Judd had shaken his head, Dr. Jamison continued: "Very well, Black
Eyes should not be able to survive on Venus--and yet, obviously the
creature did. We can assume there are more of the breed, too. Anyway,
Black Eyes survives. And I'll tell you why.

"Black Eyes has a very uncommon ability to sense danger when it
approaches. And sensing danger, Black Eyes can thwart it. Your creature
sends out certain emanations--I won't pretend to know what they
are--which stamp aggression out of any predatory creatures. Neither of
you could fire upon it--right?"

"Umm-mm, that's true," Judd said.

Lindy nodded.

"Well, that's one half of it. There's so much about life we don't
understand. Black Eyes uses energy of an unknown intensity, and the
result maintains Black Eyes' life. Now, although that is the case, your
animal did not live a comfortable life in the Venusian swamp. Because no
animal would attack it, it could not be harmed. Still, from what you
tell me about that swamp ...

"Anyhow, Black Eyes was glad to come away with you, and everything went
well until you landed in New York. The noises, the clattering, the
continual bustle of a great city--all this frightened the creature. It
was being attacked--or, at least that's what it must have figured.
Result: it struck back the only way it knew how. Have you ever heard
about sub-sonic sound-waves, Mr. Whitney, waves of sound so low that our
ears cannot pick them up--waves of sound which can nevertheless stir our
emotions? Such things exist, and, as a working hypothesis, I would say
Black Eyes' strange powers rest along those lines. The whole city is
idle because Black Eyes is afraid!"

In his exploration of Mars, of Venus, of the Jovian moons, Judd Whitney
had seen enough of extra-terrestrial life to know that virtually
anything was possible, and Black Eyes would be no exception to that
rule.

"What do you propose to do?" Judd demanded.

"Do? Why, we'll have to kill your creature, naturally. You can set a
value on it and we will meet it, but Black Eyes must die."

"No!" Lindy cried. "You can't be sure, you're only guessing, and it
isn't fair!"

"My dear woman, don't you realize this is a serious situation? The
city's people will starve in time. No one can even bring food in because
the trucks make too much noise! As an alternative, we could evacuate,
but is your pet more valuable than the life of a great city?"

"N-no...."

"Then, please! Listen to reason!"

"Kill it," Judd said. "Go ahead."

Dr. Jamison withdrew from his pocket a small blasting pistol used by the
Department of Domestic Animals for elimination of injured creatures. He
advanced on Black Eyes, who sat on its haunches in the center of the
room, surveying the scientist.

Dr. Jamison put his blaster away. "I can't," he said. "I don't want to."

Judd smiled. "I know it. No one--no _thing_--can kill Black Eyes. You
said so yourself. It was a waste of time to try it. In that case--"

"In that case," Dr. Jamison finished for him, "we're helpless. There
isn't a man--or an animal--on Earth that will destroy this thing. Wait
a minute--does it sleep, Mr. Whitney?"

"I don't think so. At least, I never saw it sleep. And your team of
scientists, did they report anything?"

"No. As far as they could see, the creature never slept. We can't catch
it unawares."

"Could you anesthetize it?"

"How? It can sense danger, and long before you could do that, it would
stop you. It's only made one mistake, Mr. Whitney: it believes the
noises of the city represent a danger. And that's only a negative
mistake. Noise won't hurt Black Eyes, of course. It simply makes the
animal unnecessarily cautious. But we cannot anesthetize it any more
than we can kill it."

"I could take it back to Venus."

"Could you? Could you? I hadn't thought of that."

Judd shook his head. "I can't."

"What do you mean you can't?"

"It won't let me. Somehow it can sense our thoughts when we think
something it doesn't want. I can't take it to Venus! No man could,
because it doesn't want to go."

"My dear Mr. Whitney--do you mean to say you believe it can _think_?"

"Uh-uh. Didn't say that. It can sense our thoughts, and that's something
else again."

Dr. Jamison threw his hands up over his head in a dramatic gesture.
"It's hopeless," he said.

       *       *       *       *       *

Things grew worse. New York crawled along to a standstill. People began
to move from the city. In trickles, at first, but the trickles became
torrents, as New York's ten million people began to depart for saner
places. It might take months--it might even take years, but the exodus
had begun. Nothing could stop it. Because of a harmless little beast
with the eyes of a tarsier, the life of a great city was coming to an
end.

Word spread. Scientists all over the world studied reports on Black
Eyes. No one had any ideas. Everyone was stumped. Black Eyes had no
particular desire to go outside. Black Eyes merely remained in the
Whitney house, contemplating nothing in particular, and stopping
everything.

Dr. Jamison, however, was a persistent man. Judd got a letter from him
one day, and the following afternoon he kept his appointment with the
scientist.

"It's good to get out," Judd said, after a three hour walk to the
Department of Science Building. "I can go crazy just staring at that
thing."

"I have it, Whitney."

"You have what? Not the way to destroy Black Eyes? I don't believe it!"

"It's true. Consider. Everyone in the world does not yet know of your
pet, correct?"

"I suppose there are a few people who don't--"

"There are many. Among them, are the crew of a jet-bomber which has been
on maneuvers in Egypt. We have arranged everything."

"Yes? How?"

"At noon tomorrow, the bomber will appear over your home with one of
the ancient, high-explosive missiles. Your neighbors will be removed
from the vicinity, and, precisely at twelve-o-three in the afternoon,
the bomb will be dropped. Your home will be destroyed. Black Eyes will
be destroyed with it."

Judd looked uncomfortable. "I dunno," he said. "Sounds too easy."

"Too easy? I doubt if the animal will ever sense what is going on--not
when the crew of the bomber doesn't know, either. They'll consider it a
mighty peculiar order, to destroy one harmless, rather large and rather
elaborate suburban home. But they'll do it. See you tomorrow, Whitney,
after this mess is behind us."

"Yeah," Judd said. "Yeah." But somehow, the scientist had failed to
instill any of his confidence in Judd.

       *       *       *       *       *

With Lindy, he left home at eleven the following morning, after making a
thorough list of all their properties which the City had promised to
duplicate. Judd did not look at Black Eyes as he left, and the animal
remained where it was, seated on its haunches under the dining room
table, nibbling crumbs. Judd could almost feel the big round eyes boring
a pair of twin holes in his back, and he dared not turn around to face
them....

They were a mile away at eleven forty-five, making their way through the
nearly deserted streets. Judd stopped walking. He looked at Lindy. Lindy
looked at him.

"They're going to destroy it," he said.

"I know."

"Do you want them to?"

"I--I--"

Judd knew that something had to be done with Black Eyes. He didn't like
the little beast, and, anyway, that had nothing to do with it. Black
Eyes was a menace. And yet, something whispered in Judd's ear, _Don't
let them, don't let them ..._ It wasn't Judd and it wasn't Judd's
subconscious. It was Black Eyes, and he knew it. But he couldn't do a
thing about it--

"I'm going to stay right here and let them bomb the place," he said
aloud. But as he spoke, he was running back the way he had come.

Fifteen minutes.

He sprinted part of the time, then rested, then sprinted again. He was
somewhat on the beefy side and he could not run fast, but he made it.
Just.

He heard the jet streaking through the sky overhead, looked up once and
saw it circling. Two blocks from his house he was met by a policeman.
The entire area had been roped off, and the officer shook his head when
Judd tried to get through.

"But I live there!"

"Can't help it, Mister. Orders is orders."

Judd hit him. Judd didn't want to, but nevertheless, he grunted with
satisfaction when he felt the blow to be a good one, catching the stocky
officer on the point of his chin and tumbling him over backwards. Then
Judd was ducking under the rope and running.

He reached his house, plummeted in through the front door. He found
Black Eyes under the kitchen table, squatting on its haunches. He
scooped the animal up, ran outside. Then he was running again, and
before he reached the barrier, something rocked him. A loud series of
explosions ripped through his brain, and instinctively--Black Eyes'
instincts, not his--he folded his arms over the animal, protecting it.
Something shuddered and began to fall behind him, and debris scattered
in all directions. Something struck Judd's head and he felt the ground
slapping up crazily at his face--

He was as good as new a few days later.

And so was Black Eyes.

"I have it," Judd said to his nurse.

"You have what, sir?"

"It's so simple, so ridiculously simple, maybe that's why no one ever
thought of it. Get me Dr. Jamison!"

Jamison came a few moments later, breathless. "Well?"

"I have the solution."

"You ... do?" Not much hope in the answer. Dr. Jamison was a tired,
defeated man.

"Sure. Black Eyes doesn't like the city. Fine. Take him out. I can't
take him to Venus. He doesn't like Venus and he won't go. No one can
take him anyplace he doesn't want to go, just as no one can hurt him in
any way. But he doesn't like the city. It's too noisy. All right: have
someone take him far from the city, far far away--where there's no noise
at all. Someplace out in the sticks where it won't matter much if Black
Eyes puts a stop to any disturbing noises."

"Who will take him? You, Mr. Whitney?"

Judd shook his head. "That's your job, not mine. I've given you the
answer. Now use it."

Lindy had arrived, and Lindy said: "Judd, you're right. That _is_ the
answer. And you're wonderful--"

No one volunteered to spend his life in exile with Black Eyes, but then
Dr. Jamison pointed out that while no one knew the creature's life-span,
it certainly couldn't be expected to match man's. Just a few years and
the beast would die, and ... Dr. Jamison's arguments were so logical
that he convinced himself. He took Black Eyes with him into the Canadian
Northwoods, and there they live.

       *       *       *       *       *

Judd was right--almost.

This was the obvious answer which escaped everyone.

But scientists continued their examinations of Black Eyes, and they
discovered something. Black Eyes' fears had not been for herself alone.
She is going to have babies. The estimate is for thirty-five little
tarsier-eyed creatures. No doctor in the world will be able to do
anything but deliver the litter.


THE END



Transcriber's Note:

    This etext was produced from _If Worlds of Science Fiction_ March
    1952. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
    copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and
    typographical errors have been corrected without note.





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