The ceremonious protocol of the Yills was impressive, colorful--and, in the long run, deadly!
ay and ate heartily.
Retief leaned back, grateful for the lull in the music. The last of the dishes were whisked away, and more glasses filled. The exhausted entertainers stopped to pick up the thick square coins the diners threw.
Retief sighed. It had been a rare feast.
"Retief," Magnan said in the comparative quiet, "what were you saying about dog food as the music came up?"
Retief looked at him. "Haven't you noticed the pattern, Mr. Magnan? The series of deliberate affronts?"
"Deliberate affronts! Just a minute, Retief. They're uncouth, yes, crowding into doorways and that sort of thing...." He looked at Retief uncertainly.
"They herded us into a baggage warehouse at the terminal. Then they hauled us here in a garbage truck----"
"Only symbolic, of course. They ushered us in the tradesman's entrance, and assigned us cubicles in the servants' wing. Then we were seated with the coolie class sweepers at the bottom of the table.
Typical Laumer tale of galactic derring-do,, shallow but entertaining.
Disagreement over protocol results in very interesting negotiations between representatives from Earth and Yill. Highly recommended.
Ah ... diplomacy. Is it always what it seems? This is a rollicking romp of fun and short as well.