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Hunter Patrol by John Joseph McGuire;Henry Beam Piper
page 2 of 45 (04%)
followed it down to the valley that would lead toward the front--the
thinly-held section of the Communist lines, and the UN lines beyond,
where fresh troops were waiting to jump from their holes and begin the

There was something wrong about this ravine, though. At first, it was
only a vague presentiment, growing stronger as he followed the dry gully
down to the valley below. Something he had smelled, or heard, or seen,
without conscious recognition. Then, in the dry sand where the ravine
debouched into the valley, he saw faint tank-tracks--only one pair.
There was something wrong about the vines that mantled one side of the
ravine, too....

An instant later, he was diving to the right, breaking his fall with the
butt of his auto-carbine, rolling rapidly toward the cover of a rock,
and as he did so, the thinking part of his mind recognized what was
wrong. The tank-tracks had ended against the vine-grown side of the
ravine, what he had smelled had been lubricating oil and petrol, and the
leaves on some of the vines hung upside down.

Almost at once, from behind the vines, a tank's machine guns snarled at
him, clipping the place where he had been standing, then shifting to
rage against the sheltering rock. With a sudden motor-roar, the muzzle
of a long tank-gun pushed out through the vines, and then the low body
of a tank with a red star on the turret came rumbling out of the
camouflaged bay. The machine guns kept him pinned behind the rock; the
tank swerved ever so slightly so that its wide left tread was aimed
directly at him, then picked up speed. Aren't even going to waste a
shell on me, he thought.

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