And then at last, the pickings--growing slimmer always--diminished to the vanishing point. Merril stood before us and gave the assembled crews their option.
"The treasure hunt is over," our captain told us, "And those who wish may withdraw now. Take your women and the space-boats and return to Mars. You have your shares, and you can live in comfort wherever you may choose. If you wish it, go now."
Some few did go, but most remained. I watched Merril's face, and saw one last plan maturing there. Then he spoke again and we all understood. One last raid ... to take Luna and command the world!