If it's too impossibly difficult to track down and recapture an escaped criminal ... there's a worse thing one might do....
"Uh, very good, Mr. Ormond." He consulted the card again. "That'll be fourteen hundred and eleven credits." He beamed. "We included a case of Ruykeser's Concentrate, compliments of the management." He handed a circular to Tee. "This is a list of our ports and facilities on other planets. Our accommodations are the finest, and we carry a complete line of parts." He smiled professionally.
"What about my key?" asked Tee, pulling out his wallet.
"Uh, let's see, number thirty-seven." The clerk started for a numbered board hanging on the wall. He never got there.
Tee whipped a stun-gun from inside his jacket and waved it at the clerk's back. It caught him in mid-stride, and unbalanced, he crashed heavily to the floor. Tee glanced briefly down as he stepped over the paralyzed form, avoiding the accusing eyes, and snatched the magnetic key off the hook. He forced himself to walk calmly across the field toward the hangar that housed the Starduster.
A uniformed guard stopped him at
Interesting variation on the prison escape story. Tee escapes the inescapable prison planet used by every world. Finding and extraditing him is impossible--too large a galaxy with too many planets where his crime might not even be against the law. So the prison administrator does the only thing he can--send out the dog.
It's hard to understand Tee's urgency until the end. The future promises to be very hard on criminals. Four and a half stars.
What a horrible and pointless story. The author had such a good idea, and ruined it at the end.
You can run, but you can't hide.
Typical for its era, this is one of a very few stories by the late Lou Tabakow, whose claim to fame is a 1955 Hugo Award for Best Unpublished Story -- for a tale that made the cover of Other Worlds but was never printed. Tabakow was best known in science-fiction circles as a bon vivant and the longtime leading light of the Cincinnati Fantasy Group. Founded in the 1930s, the club still hosts Midwestcon, one of the oldest SF conventions extant, each June.