Publication date: May 2011
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One of the spectacular exploits of Hawk Carse, greatest of space adventurers. Excerpt Hawk Carse came to the frontiers of space when Saturn was the frontier planet, which was years before the swift Patrol ships brought Earth's law and order to those vast regions. A casual glance at his slender figure made it seem impossible that he was to rise to be the greatest adventurer in space, that his name was to carry such deadly connotation in later years. But on closer inspection, a number of little things became evident: the steadiness of his light gray eyes; the marvelously strong-fingered hands; the wiry build of his splendidly proportioned body. Summing these things up and adding the brilliant resourcefulness of the man, the complete ignorance of fear, one could perhaps understand why even his blood enemy, the impassive Ku Sui, a man otherwise devoid of every human trait, could not face Carse unmoved in his moments of cold fury. His name, we know, enters most histories of the period 2117-2148 A. D., for he has at last been recognized as the one who probably did most--unofficially, and not with the authority of the Earth Government--to shape the raw frontiers of space, to push them outward and to lay the foundations of the present tremendous commerce between Earth, Vulcan, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter. But, little of his fascinating character may be gleaned from the dry words of history; and it is Hawk Carse the adventurer, he of the spitting ray-gun and the phenomenal draw, of the reckless space ship maneuverings, of the queer bangs of flaxen hair that from a certain year hid his forehead, of the score of blood feuds and the one great feud that jarred nations in its final terrible settling--it is with that man we are concerned here. A number of his exploits never recorded are still among the favorite yarns spun by lonely outlanders in the scattered trading posts of the planets, and among them is that of his final encounter with Judd the Kite. It shows typically the cold deadliness, the prompt repaying of a blood debt, the nerveless daring that were the outstanding qualities of this almost legendary figure. It began one crisp, early morning on Iapetus, and it ended on Iapetus, with the streaks of ray-guns searing the air; and it explains why there are two square mounds of soil on Iapetus, eighth satellite of Saturn.