Chincharrero (Fragment)

Clark Ashton Smith

On planet two, a dozen members of the dominant race, self-termed the Tzaksas, had annexed themselves to a mobile feasting-table. By a convenient dispensation of nature, the table provided the feast without need of dishes or other utensils. Being in {... } motion it offered ever-changing scenic perspectives as it wandered on six legs through a lush landscape seething with the fauna and flora of a world in its prime.

"Praised be the Great Tzaksa," observes one of the feasters, as if uttering a mid-{...} grace. Since the [male] speaker's vocal organs formed no part of his mouth or throat, the act of ingestion was not interrupted by his pious reference to the deity of the race. He continued in {a} tone of satisfaction.

"The etheric vibrations of the vessel from planet three are rapidly growing stronger. It should land here in two more days, if not a little sooner. Let us prepare to welcome these venturesome voyagers, who will open for us the route to other spheres. Our world is indeed a rich and generous one, but statistics warn us that our resources are not inexhaustible."

"These mammalian bipeds are an imperialistic breed," said another feaster. "They are hostile and destructive even to their own kind. What will they be toward us?"

Without ceasing his comestation a third banqueter raised his blood-colored head, radiating a bland reassurance to all his commensals. "History has proved our unique power to conciliate enmity {... } and turn the depredator to an amicable host. Do we not live on the most advantageous terms with the ^savages^ [savage serpents] who were formerly the lords of planet two? What, then, have we to fear from the newcomers? We have only to establish personal contact. The rest will follow. Victory will be easy—but not bloodless."

"But not bloodless," echoed all the others.

^xxx^ xxx was added by Smith.
[xxx] xxx was deleted by Smith.

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Printed on: January 16, 2019