John of the Hawks was a proud, young man, proud of his people, proud of his heritage, and proud of his ability to count coup on his clann's traditional enemies. He knew what was right and what was wrong - the four great books had laid down the way things had to be.
Which is why the uncouth ways of the clannless drifters from space outraged him so. Not only did these peddlers know nothing of the finesse of proper combat, they knew nothing of the respect due to such things as the coup stick, the right way to capture a wife, and the sanctity of the clann's elders.
Worse still, they had some idiotic notion that that cheap silvery metal so commonly used for plumbing and horse-bits, known as platinum, was somehow of special merit.
Well, one could excuse an outrage or two on the grounds of ignorance, but there came a time when any good clannsman, such as John certainly was, must decide to teach these barbarians from space a lesson!
Mack Reynolds (1917-1983)
Dallas McCord ('Mack') Reynolds was born in California in 1917. His father was the Socialist Labor Party Presidential Candidate on two occasions, and Reynolds' life and work were deeply affected by his political upbringing. After early careers in newspapers and computing, Reynolds returned from the Second World War and began to write science fiction. Based in Mexico but travelling widely in his role as Travel Editor for a men's magazine, he started slowly but surely to sell his work. Mack Reynolds wrote the first Star Trek novel, Mission to Horatius, and was once voted Most popular SF Author by the readers of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine. He died in 1983.