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FANTASTIC UNIVERSE

SEPTEMBER 1959

Vol. 11, No. 5

David C. Knight, a New York editor, will he remembered for his lovely THE AMAZING MRS. MIMMS (FU, August 1958) and his earlier THE LOVE OF FRANK NINETEEN (FU, Dec. 1957). As he has previously written, and proves here, — "you can have gimmicks and human interest too!"

Beanpeas in the Afternoon

by ... David C. Knight

Mark Grindle was one of the
Colony Chaplains. It wasn't
in his nature to suppress any
truth, no matter how painful.

FROM a green knoll of the system's fourth planet Schofield watched his wife picking beanpeas in the valley below. He and Grindle paused and let the warm radiation from 61 Cygni strike their backs. It was just past noon and the double sun had shrunk both their shadows to twin blobs at their feet.

Despite the shock of Grindle's news, Schofield could still thrill to Tavia's movements. They were fresh, alive, utterly youthful; the movements of a contented woman of twenty-eight. Like others of the Colony who had married Suspension Volunteers, Schofield preferred to think of his wife's age in terms of Active Span.

He preferred not to think of it in terms of Total Span.

As they had done aboard ship, the colony of star-migrants had continued to use the Julian calendar, although the practice now was to describe the year as Arrival plus the number of years on their new home. In two weeks it would be New Year's, January 1st, Arrival-plus-Five and he and Tavia would be celebrating their second wedding anniversary.

At times Schofield himself found it difficult to believe that Tavia's age was officially 330, Total Span. Stop and figure it out, he used to tell himself. Tavia's Pre-Suspension age was twenty-six plus ...

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