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

‘Maureen to you, old dear. I called to say that I am moving. Now is the hour if you want to bid on it. Do you still want it? '

‘I can use it. Do you have a price in mind? '

‘Yes, certainly. Just twice what you are willing to pay. '

‘Well, that's a good start. Now we can dicker. '

‘Just a moment. George, I need another house, a smaller one. Three bedrooms, within walking distance of Southwest High. Got something like that? '

‘Probably. Or across the line and close to Shawnee Mission High. Want to swap? '

‘No, I'm planning to skin you on the deal. I want to lease by the year, automatic renewal unless notice given, ninety days. '

‘All right. Pick you up tomorrow morning? Ten o'clock? I want to look over your parcel, point out to - you its shortcomings and beat your price down. '

‘Ten o'clock, it is. Thank you, George. '

‘Always a pleasure, Maureen. '

Donald said, ‘Dallas phones are all tanks now. How come KC still uses flatties? Why don't they modernise? '

I answered, ‘Money. Donald, any question that starts out "Why don't they - " the answer is always "Money". But in this case I can offer more details. The Dallas try-out turns out not to be cost-effective and the 3-D tanks will be phased out. For the full story see the Wall Street journal. The back issues for the past quarter are stacked in the library. It's a six-part series, front page. '

Tm sorry I brought it up. They can use smoke signals for all of me. '

‘Be glad you brought it up and make use of the opportunity I offered you. Donald, if you intend to cope with the jungle out there, you need to make the Wall Street journal and similar publications such as The Economist your favourite comic books. ' I added, ‘Ice-cream and cake? '

I put Priscilla into Susan's room, and Donald into the room Patrick had had, just beyond my bath. We went to bed early. About midnight I woke up, then got up to pee, not bothering with a light, as there was moonlight streaming in. I was about to flush the pot when I heard an unmistakable rhythmic sound - bed squeaks. Suddenly I was goose-flesh all over.

Priss and Donnie had left here almost as babies, two and four years old; they probably didn't realise that this old house was about as well soundproofed as a tent. Oh, dear! Those poor children.

I kept very quiet. The rhythm speeded up. Then I heard Priscilla start to keen and Donald to grunt. Shortly the squeaks stopped and they both sighed. I heard Priscilla say, ‘I needed that. Thanks, Donnie. '

I was proud of her. But it was time for me to hurry - much as I hated to, I must catch them in. the act. Or I couldn't help them.

Seconds later I tapped on Donald's door. ‘Darlings? May I come in? '