The men who did dangerous work had a special kind of insurance policy. But when somebody wanted to collect on that policy, the claims investigator suddenly became a member of ... THE RISK PROFESSION
the entry lock. I pushed open the door and went on in.
The waiting room was cozy and surprisingly large, large enough to comfortably hold the six maroon leather sofas scattered here and there on the pale green carpet, flanked by bronze ashtray stands. There were only six prospectors here at the moment, chatting together in two groups of three, and they all looked alike. Grizzled, ageless, watery-eyed, their clothing clean but baggy. I passed them and went on to the desk at the far end, behind which sat a young man in official gray, slowly turning the crank of a microfilm reader.
He looked up at my approach. I flashed my company identification and asked to speak to the manager. He went away, came back, and ushered me into an office which managed to be Spartan and sumptuous at the same time. The walls had been plastic-painted in textured brown, the iron floor had been lushly carpeted in gray, and the desk had been covered with a simulated wood coating.
The manager--a man named Teaking--went
A pretty good story of an insurance adjuster who finds a few too many coincidences in a claimant's story of his partner's death. But rather than being set in the 1930s where James M. Cain set his story, the investigator and the suspect are stuck in a dome on the side of an asteroid.
Nice plot and characterizations, and the story is convoluted enough that I figured out the answers a few paragraphs before the investigator did.