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The Keeper

H. Beam Piper

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It must have been some kind of trick-blow. That or else the slim stranger was stronger than he looked.

"Hold your miserable tongue!" he told Vahr, who was getting to his feet. "We're guests of Raud the Keeper, and we'll not have him insulted in his own house by a cur like you!"

The man with red hair turned. "I am ashamed. We should not have brought this into your house; we should have left it outside." He spoke the Northland language well, "It will honor us to share your food, Keeper."

"Yes, and see here," the younger man said, "we didn't know you'd be alone. Let us help you. Dranigo's a fine cook, and I'm not bad, myself."

He started to protest, then let them have their way. After all, a guest's women helped the woman of the house, and as there was no woman in Keeper's House, it was not unfitting for them to help him.

"Your friend's name is Dranigo?" he asked. "I'm sorry, but I didn't catch yours."

"I don't wonder. . . Read More

Community Reviews

quite interesting

2019 grade B

A novelette about the far future. The start wasn't really SciFi and could have lead anywhere. It changed slowly eliminating options as it went. By the end the situation is fully obvious.

The story is mostly single character social SciFi in what initially appears to be a primitive society

A nice short sci-fi story.

A good short story about the fate of the Crown of England after 300 centuries of the boom and bust cycle of humanity in the galaxy. The Keeper of the Crown is already old, and almost destitute, when the crown's rediscovery causes its worth to be known to unscrupulous men. Consequently, it is stolen