An experienced horse-trader, bargain-haggler, and general swapper has a very special talent for turning two headaches into one aspirin pill....
y how we valued her. Do you have any idea, Judge, of how old that crock is?"
"Let's not go into that just yet," suggested Mayne.
"As to the fuel," said Melin, "I am willing, as a gesture of good will, to stick my company's neck out--and mine with it, you may be sure--and honor a full claim."
"Even though he used about half the fuel getting here?" asked Mayne.
"We'll ignore that. We admit that he is out of fuel, and we want to--"
"You want to give me a moon and take a star," said Voorhis.
"Just a minute!" Mayne held up his hand. "That's the ship and the fuel. What about the cargo?"
"Why, as to that, Judge, we do not admit that it is lost. It is right over there, easily accessible. We consider it more the job of the Space Force to restore rightful possession than it is the responsibility of the company to reimburse Captain Voorhis for the inflated value he sets upon it."
"I begin to see," murmured Mayne. "You can't stick each other, so you're out to slip <
Brief and ingenious, therefore worth a read.
A trade ship lands on a planet of sentient reptilians whose priest tells them it is a gift from their god, so they confiscate it and begin turning it into a temple. An interstellar arbitrator lands on the planet to mediate an agreement for the ship between the owner, the natives, and the insurance company.
The story is okay.