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Blessed Are the Meek
written by "Freas, Kelly, 1922-2005"
...ks home. He sighed and glanced over the diggings. The rammed earth walls were nearly obliterated by now. Nothing lost, he reflected. It's all on tape and they're no different from a thousand others at any rate. Griffin opened a door in the transparent bubble from which Albañez was operating the diggers. "Anything?" he inquired. "Nothing so far," Albañez reported. "What's the score on this job? I missed the briefing." "How'd you make out on III, by the way?" "Same old stuff, pottery shards and the usual junk. See it once and you've seen it all." "Well," Griffin began, "it looks like the same thing here again. We've pretty well covered this system and you know how it is. Rammed earth walls here and there, pottery shards, flint, bronze and iron artifacts and that's it. They got to the iron age on every planet and then blooey." "Artifacts all made for humanoid hands I suppose. I wonder if they were close enough to have crossbred with humans." "I couldn't say," Griffin observed dryly. "From the looks of Old Pruneface I doubt if we'll ever find a human female with sufficiently detached attitude to find out." "Who's Pruneface?" "He came ambling down out of the hills this morning and walked into camp." "You mean you've actually found a live humanoid?" "There's got to be a first time for everything." Griffin opened the door and started climbing the hill toward Kung Su and Pruneface. "Well, have you gotten beyond the 'me, Charlie' stage yet?" Griffin inquired at breakfast two days later. Kung Su gave an inscrutable East Los Angeles smile. "As a matter of fact, I'm a little farther along. Joe is amazingly coöperative." "Joe?" "Spell it Chou if you want to be exotic. It's still pronounced Joe and that's his name. The language is monosyll...

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