"The Howling Bounders."
By Jack Vance (1916-2013).
Illustration by Virgil Finlay (1914-71; HERE).
Magnus Ridolph No. 5.
First appearance: Startling Stories, March 1949.
Reprints page (HERE).
Short story (10 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"How did you kill them? They're like iron."
The prospect of realizing a handsome profit on his investment leads Magnus Ridolph, always hard up for money, to purchase a ticholama plantation on Naos VI; at first it looks like a good business move, but then comes the growing realization that he has been the victim of a swindle, not to mention the very real threat of the murderous Howling Bounders. However, anyone hoping to get away with scamming him is foredoomed to underestimate the formid-able intellect of Magnus Ridolph . . .
~ Gerald Blantham:
"When he saw Magnus Ridolph, he shaped his features into a frame of grave solicitude."
"Them the Howling Bounders. Very bad. Kill you, kill me. Kill everything."
~ Captain Solinksy of the T.C.I.:
"Hope you succeed. No one ever has before."
~ Magnus Ridolph:
"Is it my end, then, to be fired like a piece of crockery in a kiln? No. I shall undoubtedly suffocate first."
- Our four previous postings about Magnus Ridolph are (HERE), (HERE), (HERE), and (HERE).