By Hal Clement
WADE DALTON used to be HAVING a truly undesirable DAY His five-year-old had by accident set the kitchen on hearth. His daughter was once surly, as ordinary. the child hadn't been fed but. And his mother-aka "The Childminder"-had eloped...with a rip-off artist. may well it get any worse? became out it can. as the annoyingly attractive daughter of acknowledged rip-off artist was once now on the door, batting her doe eyes at him and offering that she be his transitority nanny whereas anticipating the newlyweds' go back. may well he belief her to be lower than his roof? might he belief himself along with her less than his roof?
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Dondragmer would have appreciated being able to watch the same screen but could only wait for a relayed verbal report from Reffel or a delayed but direct one from Kervenser. Actually, Reffel did not bother to relay. The ten-minute flights produced no information demanding speedy delivery. What it amounted to, as Dondragmer reported to the human audience, was that the Kwembly was in a valley some fifteen miles wide, with walls of bare rock quite steep by Dhrawn’s standards. The pilots estimated the slope at twenty to thirty degrees.
Besides, maybe they did have something of value. "Your friend Takoorch did tell us about the water and wind, among a good many other things," Benj’s voice announced. "It’s good to have you back, Beetch. I haven’t heard anything from the labs, but it seems to me from what you’ve said about the way you’re tipped and the rate the water’s been dropping, and from what I can judge from the cruiser model I have here, that another sixty or seventy hours should leave you dry That’s if the water keeps dropping at the same rate, of course.
As you know the Kwembly's observers had been reporting nearly constant temperature since the fog cleared-no radiational cooling, if anything a very slight warming trend. Barometric readings have been rising very slowly at that place ever since the machine was stranded; readings before that time are meaningless because of the uncertain change in elevation. The temperatures have been well below freezing points of either pure water below the freezing points of either pure water or pure ammonia, but rather above that of the ammonia monohydrate-water eutectic.