Page:Weird Tales volume 36 number 01.djvu/19

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33
WHERE ARE YOU, MR. BIGGS?

from there. Then, after the danger had been averted, he deliberately cast off from the Saturn, tossed himself away from us, a living sacrifice to the mathematical gods, that we might be safe."

Todd said, "Our mass, for a moment, was infinite—but when he, however briefly, broke clear, it became less than infinite, giving us a chance to cut the motors—"

"That's right."

Hanson's eyes were round and wild and fearful.

"But then—where is he! We've got to turn around right away. Find him! We can't go back without—"

I shook my head.

"It's no use, Skipper. He may be in this universe, infinitely small, traveling at infinite speed; he may be in some other universe undreamed by man. He may be living, he may be dead. But wherever he is—he is gone forever from the ken of man. Lancelot Biggs is—dead. So far as man is concerned, he is dead."

Dick Todd said something then. His words were not clear. They were choked, and he didn't finish the quotation. But I caught the first part.

"'Greater love hath no man'," he said. And the skipper coughed, and his eyes were red, and he turned away broken, aged man.

"Amen," he said. "Amen!"

So—Lancelot Biggs is gone. Dead, perhaps. Or in another existence, undreamed, unrecognised, by we who spin our fiery trails along the spaceways. And it is a strange, strange thing that he, who of all men looked least like a spaceman, should have lived and died the greatest of them all.

Tomorrow or the next day I must tell Diane. Hanson will not do it because he can't.

He dares not face her when she hears. And I, myself, would sell my soul to be free of that sad duty. But I was Lancelot Biggs' best friend, and this is the least last thing I can do in his memory.

There is nothing else to say. He is gone. Will I ever see him again? That gangling frame, that easy, fluent grin—lost in the nameless depths of the crypts of space. There seems nothing else to say except—good-by.

And so I say it to the stars. The far-flung stars amongst which, somewhere, is the finest man I ever knew.

Is it good-by, Mr. Biggs?

Or is it only "au revoir"?

Skull resting on a leather-bound book, with smoke rising from the eye sockets, and rats running behind it.