Feghoot XXXIII

The Feghoot series is by Reginald Bretnor writing under the pseudonym of Grendel Briarton.

Ferdinand Feghoot was the greatest irrigation engineer in all history. He brought water to Mars by diverting icebergs from the trans-Plutonian asteroid belts. He piped fresh ammonia to the deserts of Capella XIII, where valuable crystalline music- plants grow. He almost settled the water dispute between Northern and Southern Calfunya.

But his hardest task came on Lushmeadow Acres, a small planet sold to a colony of New Amish by Good-as-Gold Gaazreeb, a Vegan promoter. The arable land lay at over 10,000 feet; the water at sea-level. “Our religion forbids us machinery,” the settlers explained. “We can afford only one more cargo from Earth. In six months, Good-as-Gold will foreclose. Save us, Ferdinand Feghoot!”

Feghoot took charge. He ordered the final cargo, and he started the colonists channelling and digging. When Gaazreeb came with his bailiffs, rivers were flowing uphill all over the planet, every field was loaded with crops, and the bank had refinanced.

“How did you do it?” screamed Gaazreeb, using every one of his voice-ducts. He pointed at the tide from the fresh-water sea, running into a river bed. “No machine! Water flows over pickles!”

“Naturally,” smiled Ferdinand Feghoot. “That was our cargo. We’ve known it for centuries on Earth. . . . Dill waters run steep.” (Ascribed to Capt. E. D. Harris)

(Copyright © 1960 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, November 1960.)

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