By Thorp McClusky (1906-75).
Illustration by Frank R. Paul (1884-1963; HERE).
First appearance: Science Fiction, October 1939.
Short short story (9 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"There was no possibility, now, that he would die a natural death before the landing on Earth."
If you're planning a perfect murder in deep space, don't forget how to drive . . .
~ Old Joel Rutledge:
". . . listened with the sharp-eared alertness of one who knows that death stalks
close . . ."
~ Black Thom Arnold:
"The ore he had already secured would make him—if all went well—one of the
wealthiest men in the system—"
~ Gregg Morrow and Noreen Rutledge:
"In that moment of black despondency, they simultaneously heard the faint,
distant drumming of a rocket motor in the black sky."
Comment: Evidently there's no space traffic control on Earth—risky, at best.
Further comment: If our story is to be believed, Portland will be in more competent
hands in the future.
- "His eyelids felt heavy as neutronium": ". . . a hypothetical substance composed
purely of neutrons . . . Science fiction and popular literature frequently use
the term 'neutronium' to refer to a highly dense phase of matter composed
primarily of neutrons." (Wikipedia HERE).
HERE) and a paper on mining platinum from asteroids (HERE; PDF).
HERE), he also occasionally produced fiction aimed at juveniles.