New PDF release: Ahead of Time

By Henry Kuttner

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His neck ached from staring up at the tall man. He moved a little, and a bullet shrieked through the still, hot air and dug with a vicious splash into a nearby cactus. The stranger smoothed the blue feathers on his head. "First I will finish talking with you. " Miguel demanded, rolling over and sitting up cautiously behind the rock. "It is as I thought. " "I know your name because I can read your mind a little. " "Your mother was a dog," Miguel said. The stranger’s nostrils pinched together slightly, but he ignored the remark.

I slipped the protective glove from my right hand and called a servant I knew I could trust. (He is a criminal; I protect him. ) He bandaged my unharmed right hand and I told him what to say to the other servants. I knew the word would reach Nelda quickly, in the harem, and I knew that Griswold would hear within an hour. I fed my anger. All day, in the gymnasium I practiced with my trainers, machete and pistol in my left hand only. I made it seem that I was approaching the berserker stage, the killing madness that overcomes us when we feel we have failed too greatly.

I am one of the greatest Hunters in New York. But a man must be cunning. He must lay traps and snares a long way in advance, and not only in Central Park. He must keep his spies active and his lines of contact taut in every mansion in the city. He must know who is powerful and who is not worth taking. What good would it do to win against a Hunter with only a dozen heads in his hall? I have hundreds. Until yesterday, I stood ahead of every man in my age group. Until yesterday I was the envy of all I knew, the idol of the populi, the acknowledged master of half New York.

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Ahead of Time by Henry Kuttner

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