ed the door. Nellie was a Martian, a century-plant, and nobody knew whether it was he or she or whether it made any difference, but they called it “she” and they called it “Nellie.”
Grant went in. Nellie’s leaves rustled and that queer whispery voice came from her. “Do you want a cot?”
“I’ll have a room this time,” said Grant. “How much?”
“A buck,” said Nellie’s leaves. “Pay now.”
She collected. He took his diving-suit to the room. He didn’t like the smell of cabbage and garlic, and the fumes of chlorine were so strong he nearly choked. A Saturnian must be pickling insects somewhere up on the second floor. He sat down. He was starved but he didn’t want to go outside until he had a chance to figure things out. He thought maybe the first thing to do was to see Netse.
From the sounds he thought the two girls across the hall were getting ready to go out. He lay down on the bed to rest.
At ten o’clock they left, jabbering. It was good to hear Earth-people talk, even if it