Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

‘Come in, Nance! ' Briney called out.

‘Come in, dear, ' I echoed.

She came in and I thought how lovely she looked. She was freshly shaved that morning, in preparation for a swap that Nancy and Jonathan had asked for - Jonathan into my bed, Nancy into, Theodore's. Theodore had hesitated - afraid of hurting my feelings - but I had insisted, knowing what a treat our Nancy would be for Theodore (and Theodore for Nancy! )

(And Jonathan for Maureen; I was flattered enormously that Jonathan had suggested it. )

Father had taken the rest of my zoo to the Al G. Barnes Circus, playing in Independence - all but Ethel, too young for the circus, too young to notice; I had her crib in my bathroom, safe and in earshot.

That playful swap had gore beautifully and made me think even more highly of my prospective son-in-law. About three o'clock we four, Nancy and Theodore, Jonathan and I, had gathered in ‘Smith Field', my big bed, mostly to chat. As Briney often said, ‘You can't do it all the time, but there is no limit to how much you can talk about it. '

We four were still lounging in Smith Field, talking and necking, when Brian telephoned - he had just arrived in town, on leave. I told him to hurry home and cued him in family code as to what he could expect. Nancy understood the coded message and looked wide-eyed but said nothing.

Thirty-odd minutes later she closed her eyes and opened her thighs and for the first time received her father - then opened her eyes and looked at Jonathan and me, and grinned. I grinned back at her; Jonathan was too busy to look.

What this world needs is more loving, sweaty and friendly and unashamed.

Then the children had gore downstairs; Nancy had sensed that I wanted time alone with my two men. She took the telephone with her, long cord and all. Now she stood by the bed and smiled at us.

‘Did you hear the phone ring? It was Grandpa. He said to tell you that the zoo wagon will arrive - that's your car, Ted-Lazarus darling - will arrive at exactly six-oh-five p. .. o Jonathan is bathing and I warned him not to use all the hot water. He left. his clothes up here; I'll take them down to him, then I'll bathe and dress up here. Ted-Lazarus dear, where are your clothes? '

‘In the sewing-room. I'll be right down. '

‘Cancel that, ' Brian said. ‘Nance, fetch Ted's clothes when you come up, that's my sweet girl. Ted, in this family we spit in their eyes and tell'em to go to hell. You don't need to dress until we do, after the doorbell rings: A husband is all the chaperone a wife needs, and I don't explain to my children why we choose to have a guest upstairs. As for mon beau père, he knows the score and is our shut-eye sentry. If Carol guesses, she won't talk. Thanks, Nancy. '

‘Pas de quoi, mon cher père. Papa! Is it true that Ted doesn't have to go back tonight? '

‘Ted goes back with me, Sunday night. Special duty, assigned to me - and I sold him, body and soul, to your mother, who may kill him by then -‘

‘Oh, no! ' Both my daughter and I said it.

‘Or not, but shell try. Now get along, darling, and ser that door to latch as you close it. '

Nancy did so; my husband turned to me. ‘Flame Top, it is now five-forty. Can you figure out a way to entertain Ted and me for the next twenty-five minutes? '

I took a deep breath. I'll try. '