The Project Gutenberg EBook of Acid Bath, by Vaseleos Garson

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: Acid Bath

Author: Vaseleos Garson

Illustrator: Herman Vestal

Release Date: June 19, 2009 [EBook #29159]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at



The starways' Lone Watcher had expected some odd developments in his singular, nerve-fraught job on the asteroid. But nothing like the weird twenty-one-day liquid test devised by the invading Steel-Blues.

Jon Karyl was bolting in a new baffle plate on the stationary rocket engine. It was a tedious job and took all his concentration. So he wasn't paying too much attention to what was going on in other parts of the little asteroid.

He didn't see the peculiar blue space ship, its rockets throttled down, as it drifted to land only a few hundred yards away from his plastic igloo.

Nor did he see the half-dozen steel-blue creatures slide out of the peculiar vessel's airlock.

It was only as he crawled out of the depths of the rocket power plant that he realized something was wrong.

By then it was almost too late. The six blue figures were only fifty feet away, approaching him at a lope.

Jon Karyl took one look and went bounding over the asteroid's rocky slopes in fifty-foot bounds.

When you're a Lone Watcher, and strangers catch you unawares, you don't stand still. You move fast. It's the Watcher's first rule. Stay alive. An Earthship may depend upon your life.

As he fled, Jon Karyl cursed softly under his breath. The automatic alarm should have shrilled out a warning.

Then he saved as much of his breath as he could as some sort of power wave tore up the rocky sward to his left. He twisted and zig-zagged in his flight, trying to get out of sight of the strangers.

Once hidden from their eyes, he could cut back and head for the underground entrance to the service station.

He glanced back finally.

Two of the steel-blue creatures were jack-rabbiting after him, and rapidly closing the distance.

Jon Karyl unsheathed the stubray pistol at his side, turned the oxygen dial up for greater exertion, increased the gravity pull in his space-suit boots as he neared the ravine he'd been racing for.

The oxygen was just taking hold when he hit the lip of the ravine and began sprinting through its man-high bush-strewn course.

The power ray from behind ripped out great gobs of the sheltering bushes. But running naturally, bent close to the bottom of the ravine, Jon Karyl dodged the bare spots. The oxygen made the tremendous exertion easy for his lungs as he sped down the dim trail, hidden from the two steel-blue stalkers.

He'd eluded them, temporarily at least, Jon Karyl decided when he finally edged off the dim trail and watched for movement along the route behind him.

He stood up, finally, pushed aside the leafy overhang of a bush and looked for landmarks along the edge of the ravine.

He found one, a stubby bush, shaped like a Maltese cross, clinging to the lip of the ravine. The hidden entrance to the service station wasn't far off.

His pistol held ready, he moved quietly on down the ravine until the old water course made an abrupt hairpin turn.

Instead of following around the sharp bend, Jon Karyl moved straight ahead through the overhanging bushes until he came to a dense thicket. Dropping to his hands and knees he worked his way under the edge of the thicket into a hollowed-out space in the center.

There, just ahead of him, was the lock leading into the service station. Slipping a key out of a leg pouch on the space suit, he jabbed it into the center of the lock, opening the lever housing.

He pulled strongly on the lever. With a hiss of escaping air, the lock swung open. Jon Karyl darted inside, the door closing softly behind.

At the end of the long tunnel he stepped to the televisor which was fixed on the area surrounding the station.

Jon Karyl saw none of the steel-blue creatures. But he saw their ship. It squatted like a smashed-down kid's top, its lock shut tight.

He tuned the televisor to its widest range and finally spotted one of the Steel-Blues. He was looking into the stationary rocket engine.

As Karyl watched, a second Steel-Blue came crawling out of the ship.

The two Steel-Blues moved toward the center of the televisor range. They're coming toward the station, Karyl thought grimly.

Karyl examined the two creatures. They were of the steel-blue color from the crown of their egg-shaped heads to the tips of their walking appendages.

They were about the height of Karyl—six feet. But where he tapered from broad shoulders to flat hips, they were straight up and down. They had no legs, just appendages, many-jointed that stretched and shrank independent of the other, but keeping the cylindrical body with its four pairs of tentacles on a level balance.

Where their eyes would have been was an elliptical-shaped lens, covering half the egg-head, with its converging ends curving around the sides of the head.

Robots! Jon gauged immediately. But where were their masters?

The Steel-Blues moved out of the range of the televisor. A minute later Jon heard a pounding from the station upstairs.

He chuckled. They were like the wolf of pre-atomic days who huffed and puffed to blow the house down.

The outer shell of the station was formed from stelrylite, the toughest metal in the solar system. With the self-sealing lock of the same resistant material, a mere pounding was nothing.

Jon thought he'd have a look-see anyway. He went up the steel ladder leading to the station's power plant and the televisor that could look into every room within the station.

He heaved a slight sigh when he reached the power room, for right at his hand were weapons to blast the ship from the asteroid.

Jon adjusted one televisor to take in the lock to the station. His teeth suddenly clamped down on his lower lip.

Those Steel-Blues were pounding holes into the stelrylite with round-headed metal clubs. But it was impossible. Stelrylite didn't break up that easily.

Jon leaped to a row of studs, lining up the revolving turret which capped the station so that its thin fin pointed at the squat ship of the invaders.

Then he went to the atomic cannon's firing buttons.

He pressed first the yellow, then the blue button. Finally the red one.

The thin fin—the cannon's sight—split in half as the turret opened and the coiled nose of the cannon protruded. There was a soundless flash. Then a sharp crack.

Jon was dumbfounded when he saw the bolt ricochet off the ship. This was no ship of the solar system. There was nothing that could withstand even the slight jolt of power given by the station cannon on any of the Sun's worlds. But what was this? A piece of the ship had changed. A bubble of metal, like a huge drop of blue wax, dripped off the vessel and struck the rocket of the asteroid. It steamed and ran in rivulets.

He pressed the red button again.

Then abruptly he was on the floor of the power room, his legs strangely cut out from under him. He tried to move them. They lay flaccid. His arms seemed all right and tried to lever himself to an upright position.

Damn it, he seemed as if he were paralyzed from the waist down. But it couldn't happen that suddenly.

He turned his head.

A Steel-Blue stood facing him. A forked tentacle held a square black box.

Jon could read nothing in that metallic face. He said, voice muffled by the confines of the plastic helmet, "Who are you?"

"I am"—there was a rising inflection in the answer—"a Steel-Blue."

There were no lips on the Steel-Blue's face to move. "That is what I have named you," Jon Karyl said. "But what are you?"

"A robot," came the immediate answer. Jon was quite sure then that the Steel-Blue was telepathic. "Yes," the Steel-Blue answered. "We talk in the language of the mind. Come!" he said peremptorily, motioning with the square black box.

The paralysis left Karyl's legs. He followed the Steel-Blue, aware that the lens he'd seen on the creature's face had a counterpart on the back of the egg-head.

Eyes in the back of his head, Jon thought. That's quite an innovation. "Thank you," Steel-Blue said.

There wasn't much fear in Jon Karyl's mind. Psychiatrists had proved that when he had applied for this high-paying but man-killing job as a Lone Watcher on the Solar System's starways.

He had little fear now, only curiosity. These Steel-Blues didn't seem inimical. They could have snuffed out my life very simply. Perhaps they and Solarians can be friends.

Steel-Blue chuckled.

Jon followed him through the sundered lock of the station. Karyl stopped for a moment to examine the wreckage of the lock. It had been punched full of holes as if it had been some soft cheese instead of a metal which Earthmen had spent nearly a century perfecting.

"We appreciate your compliment," Steel-Blue said. "But that metal also is found on our world. It's probably the softest and most malleable we have. We were surprised you—earthmen, is it?—use it as protective metal."

"Why are you in this system?" Jon asked, hardly expecting an answer.

It came anyway. "For the same reason you Earthmen are reaching out farther into your system. We need living room. You have strategically placed planets for our use. We will use them."

Jon sighed. For 400 years scientists had been preaching preparedness as Earth flung her ships into the reaches of the solar system, taking the first long step toward the conquest of space.

There are other races somewhere, they argued. As strong and smart as man, many of them so transcending man in mental and inventive power that we must be prepared to strike the minute danger shows.

Now here was the answer to the scientists' warning. Invasion by extra-terrestrials.

"What did you say?" asked Steel-Blue. "I couldn't understand."

"Just thinking to myself," Jon answered. It was a welcome surprise. Apparently his thoughts had to be directed outward, rather than inward, in order for the Steel-Blues to read it.

He followed the Steel-Blue into the gaping lock of the invaders' space ship wondering how he could warn Earth. The Space Patrol cruiser was due in for refueling at his service station in 21 days. But by that time he probably would be mouldering in the rocky dust of the asteroid.

It was pitch dark within the ship but the Steel-Blue seemed to have no trouble at all maneuvering through the maze of corridors. Jon followed him, attached to one tentacle.

Finally Jon and his guide entered a circular room, bright with light streaming from a glass-like, bulging skylight. They apparently were near topside of the vessel.

A Steel-Blue, more massive than his guide and with four more pair of tentacles, including two short ones that grew from the top of its head, spoke out.

"This is the violator?" Jon's Steel-Blue nodded.

"You know the penalty? Carry it out."

"He also is an inhabitant of this system," Jon's guide added.

"Examine him first, then give him the death."

Jon Karyl shrugged as he was led from the lighted room through more corridors. If it got too bad he still had the stubray pistol.

Anyway, he was curious. He'd taken on the lonely, nerve-wracking job of service station attendant just to see what it offered.

Here was a part of it, and it was certainly something new.

"This is the examination room," his Steel-Blue said, almost contemptuously.

A green effulgence surrounded him.

There was a hiss. Simultaneously, as the tiny microphone on the outside of his suit picked up the hiss, he felt a chill go through his body. Then it seemed as if a half dozen hands were inside him, examining his internal organs. His stomach contracted. He felt a squeeze on his heart. His lungs tickled.

There were several more queer motions inside his body.

Then another Steel-Blue voice said:

"He is a soft-metal creature, made up of metals that melt at a very low temperature. He also contains a liquid whose makeup I cannot ascertain by ray-probe. Bring him back when the torture is done."

Jon Karyl grinned a trifle wryly. What kind of torture could this be?

Would it last 21 days? He glanced at the chronometer on his wrist.

Jon's Steel-Blue led him out of the alien ship and halted expectantly just outside the ship's lock.

Jon Karyl waited, too. He thought of the stubray pistol holstered at his hip. Shoot my way out? It'd be fun while it lasted. But he toted up the disadvantages.

He either would have to find a hiding place on the asteroid, and if the Steel-Blues wanted him bad enough they could tear the whole place to pieces, or somehow get aboard the little life ship hidden in the service station.

In that he would be just a sitting duck.

He shrugged off the slight temptation to use the pistol. He was still curious.

And he was interested in staying alive as long as possible. There was a remote chance he might warn the SP ship. Unconsciously, he glanced toward his belt to see the little power pack which, if under ideal conditions, could finger out fifty thousand miles into space.

If he could somehow stay alive the 21 days he might be able to warn the patrol. He couldn't do it by attempting to flee, for his life would be snuffed out immediately.

The Steel-Blue said quietly:

"It might be ironical to let you warn that SP ship you keep thinking about. But we know your weapon now. Already our ship is equipped with a force field designed especially to deflect your atomic guns."

Jon Karyl covered up his thoughts quickly. They can delve deeper than the surface of the mind. Or wasn't I keeping a leash on my thoughts?

The Steel-Blue chuckled. "You get—absent-minded, is it?—every once in a while."

Just then four other Steel-Blues appeared lugging great sheets of plastic and various other equipment.

They dumped their loads and began unbundling them.

Working swiftly, they built a plastic igloo, smaller than the living room in the larger service station igloo. They ranged instruments inside—one of them Jon Karyl recognized as an air pump from within the station—and they laid out a pallet.

When they were done Jon saw a miniature reproduction of the service station, lacking only the cannon cap and fin, and with clear plastic walls instead of the opaqueness of the other.

His Steel-Blue said: "We have reproduced the atmosphere of your station so that you be watched while you undergo the torture under the normal conditions of your life."

"What is this torture?" Jon Karyl asked.

The answer was almost caressing: "It is a liquid we use to dissolve metals. It causes joints to harden if even so much as a drop remains on it long. It eats away the metal, leaving a scaly residue which crumbles eventually into dust.

"We will dilute it with a harmless liquid for you since No. 1 does not wish you to die instantly.

"Enter your"—the Steel-Blue hesitated—"mausoleum. You die in your own atmosphere. However, we took the liberty of purifying it. There were dangerous elements in it."

Jon walked into the little igloo. The Steel-Blues sealed the lock, fingered dials and switches on the outside. Jon's space suit deflated. Pressure was building up in the igloo.

He took a sample of the air, found that it was good, although quite rich in oxygen compared with what he'd been using in the service station and in his suit.

With a sigh of relief he took off his helmet and gulped huge draughts of the air.

He sat down on the pallet and waited for the torture to begin.

The Steel Blues crowded about the igloo, staring at him through elliptical eyes.

Apparently, they too, were waiting for the torture to begin.

Jon thought the excess of oxygen was making him light-headed.

He stared at a cylinder which was beginning to sprout tentacles from the circle. He rubbed his eyes and looked again. An opening, like the adjustable eye-piece of a spacescope, was appearing in the center of the cylinder.

A square, glass-like tumbler sat in the opening disclosed in the four-foot cylinder that had sprouted tentacles. It contained a yellowish liquid.

One of the tentacles reached into the opening and clasped the glass. The opening closed and the cylinder, propelled by locomotor appendages, moved toward Jon.

He didn't like the looks of the liquid in the tumbler. It looked like an acid of some sort. He raised to his feet.

He unsheathed the stubray gun and prepared to blast the cylinder.

The cylinder moved so fast Jon felt his eyes jump in his head. He brought the stubray gun up—but he was helpless. The pistol kept on going up. With a deft movement, one of the tentacles had speared it from his hand and was holding it out of his reach.

Jon kicked at the glass in the cylinder's hand. But he was too slow. Two tentacles gripped the kicking leg. Another struck him in the chest, knocking him to the pallet. The same tentacle, assisted by a new one, pinioned his shoulders.

Four tentacles held him supine. The cylinder lifted a glass-like cap from the tumbler of liquid.

Lying there helplessly, Jon was remembering an old fairy tale he'd read as a kid. Something about a fellow named Socrates who was given a cup of hemlock to drink. It was the finis for Socrates. But the old hero had been nonchalant and calm about the whole thing.

With a sigh, Jon Karyl, who was curious unto death, relaxed and said, "All right, bub, you don't have to force-feed me. I'll take it like a man."

The cylinder apparently understood him, for it handed him the tumbler. It even reholstered his stubray pistol.

Jon brought the glass of liquid under his nose. The fumes of the liquid were pungent. It brought tears to his eyes.

He looked at the cylinder, then at the Steel-Blues crowding around the plastic igloo. He waved the glass at the audience.

"To Earth, ever triumphant," he toasted. Then he drained the glass at a gulp.

Its taste was bitter, and he felt hot prickles jab at his scalp. It was like eating very hot peppers. His eyes filled with tears. He coughed as the stuff went down.

But he was still alive, he thought in amazement. He'd drunk the hemlock and was still alive.

The reaction set in quickly. He hadn't known until then how tense he'd been. Now with the torture ordeal over, he relaxed. He laid down on the pallet and went to sleep.

There was one lone Steel-Blue watching him when he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up.

He vanished almost instantly. He, or another like him, returned immediately accompanied by a half-dozen others, including the multi-tentacled creature known as No. 1.

One said,

"You are alive." The thought registered amazement. "When you lost consciousness, we thought you had"—there was a hesitation—"as you say, died."

"No," Jon Karyl said. "I didn't die. I was just plain dead-beat so I went to sleep." The Steel-Blues apparently didn't understand.

"Good it is that you live. The torture will continue," spoke No. 1 before loping away.

The cylinder business began again. This time, Jon drank the bitter liquid slowly, trying to figure out what it was. It had a familiar, tantalizing taste but he couldn't quite put a taste-finger on it.

His belly said he was hungry. He glanced at his chronometer. Only 20 days left before the SP ship arrived.

Would this torture—he chuckled—last until then? But he was growing more and more conscious that his belly was screaming for hunger. The liquid had taken the edge off his thirst.

It was on the fifth day of his torture that Jon Karyl decided that he was going to get something to eat or perish in the attempt.

The cylinder sat passively in its niche in the circle. A dozen Steel-Blues were watching as Jon put on his helmet and unsheathed his stubray.

They merely watched as he pressed the stubray's firing stud. Invisible rays licked out of the bulbous muzzle of the pistol. The plastic splintered.

Jon was out of his goldfish bowl and striding toward his own igloo adjacent to the service station when a Steel-Blue accosted him.

"Out of my way," grunted Jon, waving the stubray. "I'm hungry."

"I'm the first Steel-Blue you met," said the creature who barred his way. "Go back to your torture."

"But I'm so hungry I'll chew off one of your tentacles and eat it without seasoning."

"Eat?" The Steel-Blue sounded puzzled.

"I want to refuel. I've got to have food to keep my engine going."

Steel-Blue chuckled. "So the hemlock, as you call it, is beginning to affect you at last? Back to the torture room."

"Like R-dust," Jon growled. He pressed the firing stud on the stubray gun. One of Steel-Blue's tentacles broke off and fell to the rocky sward.

Steel-Blue jerked out the box he'd used once before. A tentacle danced over it.

Abruptly Jon found himself standing on a pinnacle of rock. Steel-Blue had cut a swath around him 15 feet deep and five feet wide.

"Back to the room," Steel-Blue commanded.

Jon resheathed the stubray pistol, shrugged non-committally and leaped the trench. He walked slowly back and reentered the torture chamber.

The Steel-Blues rapidly repaired the damage he'd done.

As he watched them, Jon was still curious, but he was getting mad underneath at the cold egoism of the Steel-Blues.

By the shimmering clouds of Earth, by her green fields, and dark forests, he'd stay alive to warn the SP ship.

Yes, he'd stay alive till then. And send the story of the Steel-Blues' corrosive acid to it. Then hundreds of Earth's ships could equip themselves with spray guns and squirt citric acid and watch the Steel-Blues fade away.

It sounded almost silly to Jon Karyl. The fruit acid of Earth to repel these invaders—it doesn't sound possible. That couldn't be the answer.

Citric acid wasn't the answer, Jon Karyl discovered a week later.

The Steel-Blue who had captured him in the power room of the service station came in to examine him.

"You're still holding out, I see," he observed after poking Jon in every sensitive part of his body.

"I'll suggest to No. 1 that we increase the power of the—ah—hemlock. How do you feel?"

Between the rich oxygen and the dizziness of hunger, Jon was a bit delirious. But he answered honestly enough: "My guts feel as if they're chewing each other up. My bones ache. My joints creak. I can't coordinate I'm so hungry."

"That is the hemlock," Steel-Blue said.

It was when he quaffed the new and stronger draught that Jon knew that his hope that it was citric acid was squelched.

The acid taste was weaker which meant that the citric acid was the diluting liquid. It was the liquid he couldn't taste beneath the tang of the citric acid that was the corrosive acid.

On the fourteenth day, Jon was so weak he didn't feel much like moving around. He let the cylinder feed him the hemlock.

No. 1 came again to see him, and went away chuckling, "Decrease the dilution. This Earthman at last is beginning to suffer."

Staying alive had now become a fetish with Jon.

On the sixteenth day, the Earthman realized that the Steel-Blues also were waiting for the SP ship.

The extra-terrestrials had repaired the blue ship where the service station atomic ray had struck. And they were doing a little target practice with plastic bubbles only a few miles above the asteroid.

When his chronometer clocked off the beginning of the twenty-first day, Jon received a tumbler of the hemlock from the hands of No. 1 himself.

"It is the hemlock," he chuckled, "undiluted. Drink it and your torture is over. You will die before your SP ship is destroyed.

"We have played with you long enough. Today we begin to toy with your SP ship. Drink up, Earthman, drink to enslavement."

Weak though he was Jon lunged to his feet, spilling the tumbler of liquid. It ran cool along the plastic arm of his space suit. He changed his mind about throwing the contents on No. 1.

With a smile he set the glass at his lips and drank. Then he laughed at No. 1.

"The SP ship will turn your ship into jelly."

No. 1 swept out, chuckling. "Boast if you will, Earthman, it's your last chance."

There was an exultation in Jon's heart that deadened the hunger and washed away the nausea.

At last he knew what the hemlock was.

He sat on the pallet adjusting the little power-pack radio. The SP ship should now be within range of the set. The space patrol was notorious for its accuracy in keeping to schedule. Seconds counted like years. They had to be on the nose, or it meant disaster or death.

He sent out the call letters.

"AX to SP-101 ... AX to SP-101 ... AX to SP-101 ..."

Three times he sent the call, then began sending his message, hoping that his signal was reaching the ship. He couldn't know if they answered. Though the power pack could get out a message over a vast distance, it could not pick up messages even when backed by an SP ship's power unless the ship was only a few hundred miles away.

The power pack was strictly a distress signal.

He didn't know how long he'd been sending, nor how many times his weary voice had repeated the short but desperate message.

He kept watching the heavens and hoping.

Abruptly he knew the SP ship was coming, for the blue ship of the Steel-Blues was rising silently from the asteroid.

Up and up it rose, then flames flickered in a circle about its curious shape. The ship disappeared, suddenly accelerating.

Jon Karyl strained his eyes.

Finally he looked away from the heavens to the two Steel-Blues who stood negligently outside the goldfish bowl.

Once more, Jon used the stubray pistol. He marched out of the plastic igloo and ran toward the service station.

He didn't know how weak he was until he stumbled and fell only a few feet from his prison.

The Steel-Blues just watched him.

He crawled on, around the circular pit in the sward of the asteroid where one Steel-Blue had shown him the power of his weapon.

He'd been crawling through a nightmare for years when the quiet voice penetrated his dulled mind.

"Take it easy, Karyl. You're among friends."

He pried open his eyes with his will. He saw the blue and gold of a space guard's uniform. He sighed and drifted into unconsciousness.

He was still weak days later when Capt. Ron Small of SP-101 said,

"Yes, Karyl, it's ironical. They fed you what they thought was sure death, and it's the only thing that kept you going long enough to warn us."

"I was dumb for a long time," Karyl said. "I thought that it was the acid, almost to the very last. But when I drank that last glass, I knew they didn't have a chance.

"They were metal monsters. No wonder they feared that liquid. It would rust their joints, short their wiring, and kill them. No wonder they stared when I kept alive after drinking enough to completely annihilate a half-dozen of them.

"But what happened when you met the ship?"

The space captain grinned.

"Not much. Our crew was busy creating a hollow shell filled with water to be shot out of a rocket tube converted into a projectile thrower.

"These Steel-Blues, as you call them, put traction beams on us and started tugging us toward the asteroid. We tried a couple of atomic shots but when they just glanced off, we gave up.

"They weren't expecting the shell of water. When it hit that blue ship, you could almost see it oxidize before your eyes.

"I guess they knew what was wrong right away. They let go the traction beams and tried to get away. They forgot about the force field, so we just poured atomic fire into the weakening ship. It just melted away."

Jon Karyl got up from the divan where he'd been lying. "They thought I was a metal creature, too. But where do you suppose they came from?"

The captain shrugged. "Who knows?"

Jon set two glasses on the table.

"Have a drink of the best damn water in the solar system?" He asked Capt. Small.

"Don't mind if I do."

The water twinkled in the two glasses, winking as if it knew just what it had done.

Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Planet Stories July 1952. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Acid Bath, by Vaseleos Garson


***** This file should be named 29159-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

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

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations.  To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.