The Devil's Asteroid
"I wanted him for a prisoner!" growled Parr.
"What good would that do?" flung back Shanklin roughly. "The ship's what we wanted. It's gone. You bungled, Parr."
Parr was about to reply with the obvious charge that Shanklin's own hesitancy had done much to cause the failure, when Sadau spoke:
"This young lady--miss, are you an exile? Because," and he spoke in the same fashion that he had once employed to Parr, "then you're our new chief. The latest comer commands."
"Why--why--" stammered the girl.
"Wait a minute," interposed Parr again. "Let's take stock of ourselves. Haldocott and Jeffords killed--and a couple of others--"
Shanklin barked at him. "You don't give orders any more. We've got a new chief, and you're just one of the rabble, like me." He made a heavily gallant bow toward the latest arrival. "May I ask your name, lady?"
"I'm Varina Pemberton," she said. "But what's the meaning of all this?"
Shanklin and Sadau began