'How in hell's name would the Earth police spot us so quickly after our arrival?' she muttered.

'I don't think it's the police,' Joan Thorn said, her black eyes still smiling casually. “Stop at the next corner, and we'll see who passes us.'

At the corner gleamed a luminous red sign, “THE CLUB OF WEARY SPACEMEN.' In and out of the vibration-joint, thus benevolently named, were streaming dozens of the motley throng that jammed the blue-lit street. Reedy-looking red Martians, squat and surly Jovians, hard-bitten Earthwomen-sailors from all the eight inhabited worlds, spewed up by the great spaceport nearby. There were many naval officers and women, too—a few in the crimson of Mars, the green of Venus and blue of Mercury, but most of them in the gray uniform of the Earth Navy.

Joan Thorn and her two comrades paused on the corner as though debating whether or not to enter the vibration-joint. Inwardly, Thorn was tautly alert to everyone who passed in the shuffling throngs. Every moment, her sense of peril grew greater. She was now certain that they were being watched from close at hand.

Sua Av suddenly grinned. 'Look at that, Joan. It's a new one.'

The Venusian nodded her bald head toward the corner of the chromaloy building, which was plastered with advertisements and official notices. Among them was a bright new poster.


'Reward of one million dollars offered by the Earth Police for any information leading to the arrest of the outlaws known as the Three Planeteers.'

Sua Av's green eyes gleamed with droll humor in her froglike face.

'They've raised the price on us, Joan. We ought to feel flattered.'

Gunda Welk was reading the rest of the notice in a low, rumbling voice.

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