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Galaxy SCIENCE FICTION JANUARY, 1955

BRKNK'S BOUNTY

By JERRY SOHL

From a feature writer to feature
attraction—now there's a real
booze-to-riches success story!

I NEVER thought I'd like circus life, but a year of it has changed me. It's in my blood now and I suppose I'll never give it up—even if they'd let me.

This job is better than anything 1 could get in the newspaper racket. I work all summer, it's true, but I get the winter off, though some of the offers for winter work are mighty tempting. Maybe if I hadn't been kicked off the paper, I'd be city editor now, knocking my brains out. Who knows? But maybe I'd just be a rewrite man, or in the slot, writing heads, or copyreading. But the thought of newspaper work after all this appalls me.

Trlk, the Sybillian, should be thanked for the whole thing, I suppose, though it would be a grudging thank-you I'd give him, considering all the trouble he caused. Still . . .

I first saw him on a July morning at the beginning of the vacation schedule, when four of us on the local side were trying to do five people's work.

My first inkling anything was wrong came when I returned from the courthouse beat and stuck a sheet of paper in the typewriter to write the probate court notes. I struck the keys. They wouldn't go all the way down. I opened the cover plate, looked in to see what was wrong. I saw nothing, so I tried again. Oscar Phipps, the city editor, was giving me the eye. I figured maybe he was pulling a trick on me. But then I knew he hadn't. He wasn't the type.

THE back space, tabular, mar gin release, shift and shift lock worked perfectly. But the keys only went down a short way before they stopped. All except one key. The cap D.

I hit the D. It worked fine the first time, but not the second. I tried all the keys again. This time only the i worked. Now I had Di. I went ahead testing. Pretty soon I had

Dimly 

Then came a space. A few letters more and it was

Dimly drouse the dreary droves 

Phipps had one eyebrow raised. I lifted the cover plate again. Quickly.

There I saw a fuzzy thing. It whisked out of sight. I snapped the plate down and held it down. The party I had been on the night before hadn't been that good and I had had at least three hours' sleep.

I tried typing again. I got n...

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