The thin man, Drew, broke in angrily. "He's not full grown yet. Just fourteen, isn't he? How can you be sure what he'll be like later? He'll be a problem. They've always been problems."
They were afraid. That was what was the matter with them. Walden sighed. "Tell them what you've been studying, Eric," he said aloud.
For a minute Eric was too tongue-tied to answer. He stood motionless, waiting for them to laugh at him.
"Go on. Tell them."
"I've been reading about the old race," Eric said. "All about the stars. About the people who went off in the starships and explored our whole galaxy."
"What's a galaxy?" the thin man said. Walden could perceive that he really didn't know.
Eric's fear lessened. These men weren't laughing at him. They weren't being just polite, either. They were interested. He smiled at them, shyly, and told them about the books and the wonderful, strange tales of the past that the books told. The men