Lone Star Planet

H. Beam Piper
Lone Star Planet, by

Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire This eBook is for the use
of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
Title: Lone Star Planet
Author: Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
Release Date: December 16, 2006 [EBook #20121]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Greg Weeks, Malcolm Farmer, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

Transcriber's Note: This etext was prepared from a 1979 reprint of the
1958 original. There is no evidence that the copyright on this
publication was renewed. Obvious typesetting errors in the source text
have been corrected

Lone Star Planet
ace books
A Division of Charter Communications Inc.
360 Park Avenue South
New York, New York 10010
Copyright © 1958 by Ace Books, Inc.
Originally published as A PLANET FOR TEXANS
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any
form or by any means, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a
review, without permission in writing from the publisher.
All characters in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
This Ace Printing: April 1979
Printed in U.S.A.

They started giving me the business as soon as I came through the door
into the Secretary's outer office.
There was Ethel K'wang-Li, the Secretary's receptionist, at her desk.
There was Courtlant Staynes, the assistant secretary to the
Undersecretary for Economic Penetration, and Norman Gazarin, from
Protocol, and Toby Lawder, from Humanoid Peoples' Affairs, and
Raoul Chavier, and Hans Mannteufel, and Olga Reznik.
It was a wonder there weren't more of them watching the condemned
man's march to the gibbet: the word that the Secretary had called me in
must have gotten all over the Department since the offices had opened.
"Ah, Mr. Machiavelli, I presume," Ethel kicked off.
"Machiavelli, Junior." Olga picked up the ball. "At least, that's the way
he signs it."
"God's gift to the Consular Service, and the Consular Service's gift to
Policy Planning," Gazarin added.
"Take it easy, folks. These Hooligan Diplomats would as soon shoot
you as look at you," Mannteufel warned.
"Be sure and tell the Secretary that your friends all want important
posts in the Galactic Empire." Olga again.
"Well, I'm glad some of you could read it," I fired back. "Maybe even a
few of you understood what it was all about."
"Don't worry, Silk," Gazarin told me. "Secretary Ghopal understands
what it was all about. All too well, you'll find."
A buzzer sounded gently on Ethel K'wang-Li's desk. She snatched up
the handphone and whispered into it. A deathly silence filled the room
while she listened, whispered some more, then hung it up.

They were all staring at me.
"Secretary Ghopal is ready to see Mr. Stephen Silk," she said. "This
way, please."
As I started across the room, Staynes began drumming on the top of the
desk with his fingers, the slow reiterated rhythm to which a man
marches to a military execution.
"A cigarette?" Lawder inquired tonelessly. "A glass of rum?"
There were three men in the Secretary of State's private office. Ghopal
Singh, the Secretary, dark-faced, gray-haired, slender and elegant,
meeting me halfway to his desk. Another slender man, in black, with a
silver-threaded, black neck-scarf: Rudolf Klüng, the Secretary of the
Department of Aggression.
And a huge, gross-bodied man with a fat baby-face and opaque black
When I saw him, I really began to get frightened.
The fat man was Natalenko, the Security Coördinator.
"Good morning, Mister Silk," Secretary Ghopal greeted me, his hand
extended. "Gentlemen, Mr. Stephen Silk, about whom we were
speaking. This way, Mr. Silk, if you please."
There was a low coffee-table at the rear of the office, and four easy
chairs around it. On the round brass table-top were cups and saucers, a
coffee urn, cigarettes--and a copy of the current issue of the Galactic
Statesmen's Journal, open at an article entitled Probable Future
Courses of Solar League Diplomacy, by somebody who had signed
himself Machiavelli, Jr.
I was beginning to wish that the pseudonymous Machiavelli, Jr. had
never been born, or, at least, had stayed on Theta Virgo IV and been a
wineberry planter as his father had wanted him to be.

As I sat down and accepted a cup of coffee, I avoided looking at the
periodical. They were probably going to hang it around my neck before
they shoved
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