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The Wedge
written by "Fyfe, Horace Brown, 1918-1997"
...ed an expression of simple-minded anticipation as he ambled over to the nearest one. The door was round, about four feet in diameter, and set in a flattened part of the wall with its lower edge tangent with the floor. Rods about two inches thick projected a hand's breadth at four, eight, and twelve o'clock. The markings around them suggested that each could be rotated to three different positions. Barnsley squatted on his heels to study these. Noting that all the rods were set at the position he had learned to think of as “one,” he reached out to touch the door. It felt slightly warm, so he allowed his fingertips to slide over the upper handle. A tentative tug produced no movement of the door. “That's it, though,” he mumbled quietly. “Well, now to do our little act with the others!” He moved to the second door, where all the rods were [Page 52] set at “two.” Here he fell to manipulating the rod handles, pausing now and then to shove hopefully against the door. Some twenty minutes later, he tried the same routine at the third door. Eventually, he returned to his starting point and rotated the rods there at random for a few minutes. Having, apparently by accident, arranged them in a sequence of one-two-three, he contrived to lean against the door at the crucial instant. As it gave beneath his weight, he grabbed the two lower handles and pushed until the door rose to a horizontal position level with its hinged top. It settled there with a loud click. Barnsley stooped to crawl through into an arched passage of the same pearly plastic. He straightened up and walked along for about twenty feet, flashing a white-toothed grin through his beard while muttering curses behind it. Presently, he arrived at a small, round bay, to be confronted by three more doors. “Bet there's a dozen of you three-eyed clods peeping at me,” he growled....

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