"You push them?" demanded Jan incredulously.
"No. You've seen pictures of the pump-cars that once were used on terrestrial railroads? Ours are powered like that, but we cannot operate them when the Venerian wind is blowing. By the time I diagnosed the Venus Shadow in Diego, the wind was coming up, and we had no way to get him to Oostpoort."
"Mmm," grunted Jan. He shifted uncomfortably and looked at the pair in the corner. The blonde head was bent over the boy protectingly, and over his mother's shoulder Diego's black eyes returned Jan's glance.
"If the disease has just started, the boy could wait for the next Earth ship, couldn't he?" asked Jan.
"I said I had just diagnosed it, not that it had just started, señor," corrected Sanchez. "As you know, the trip to Earth takes 145 days and it can be started only when the two pl