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Return from Luna
by D. S. Halacy, Jr.


p.6 There was bitter irony in thanking a man for kicking the props out from under him!

p.13 He was a lean, crew-cut flier turned scientist who must have starred on the football field in college, Rob thought. You could spot an athlete from his stride and movements.

p.14 But wouldn't it be wonderful if all our efforts could be directed towards benefits and not destruction?

p.29 "Door coming open!" said the voice in the speaker, and slowly the entryway slid back, revealing the surface of the moon. Rob caught his breath at the sight--like silvery beach sand in the illumination of the moon low in the horizon, he thought, and then caught himself. Not the moon, the Earth! He gaped like an infant at a sight he was seeing for the first time in his eighteen years--Mother Earth riding in the lunar sky, a huge blue-green ball swathed in filmy white.

p.30-31 Jumping on the moon, Rob knew, was the mark of the newcomer. But he didn't let that stop him. With a mighty vertical push-off, he vaulted higher than Munson's head in a leap that brought a cry of pleased surprise from him. So what if you couldn't walk easily? You could leap as if you were wearing seven-league boots! He came down with jolt that surprised him until he remembered something Carpenter had told him. Although weight is slow, inertia is still with you on the moon. If you jump with all your might you land as hard as you would when jumping with all your might on Earth. So it wasn't as dreamy as he had expected, at least not the landing part of it. But that didn't stop him from leaping again like an intoxicated pogo stick. And when he looked back, there was Professor Munson right behind him!
     The two of them met the welcoming committee halfway between the base and the newly arrived craft. The man in the lead stuck out a hand in greeting and his smile was broad.
     "You must be Professor Munson," he said. "And don't feel apologetic, we're all frustrated ballet dancers at heart, I believe."

p.50 On the wall of Rob's cubbyhole was a calendar left there by the previous resident--a graduate student named Shaw. Penciled circles marked off each day, a total of more than three hundred days, Rob found when he counted. There was something else he noticed too. The first sixty circles were put up all at once, as though he man had only started counting the days after two months on the moon. By asking a few guarded questions, Rob found that most of the other people he met were doing the same thing. Men grew homesick for Earth, which hung so temptingly in the sky, and its great distance only added to its appeal. Rob could see the blue of the ocean, the veil of clouds, and even the brown and green of the landmasses themselves. "That's North America," he caught himself saying, when he had learned to gauge the rotation of Earth. Somewhere in there was Denver, and home and parents.
     From Dr. Huggins, the astronomer, he learned how popular the twenty-inch telescope in the lunar observatory was. There was actually a waiting list for a few minutes' glance at hometowns when they were visible. Huggins arranged for Rob to squint through the eyepiece and look at Denver. It seemed so close that when he drew away from the telescope it was a shock to see Earth shrink again to a balloon in the sky.

p.62 the sword of Damocles?

p.68 Earth hung high over the mountains and he stared at it longingly, not believing that the devastation they had heard about could really have occurred. The planet looked the same as always, a huge ball of blue and green and brown, swathed in the constant wrapping of cloud. But you could look at an apple that was rotten inside, or a living thing riddled with cancer cells, and not know it. From his vantage point a quarter million miles away he would never have suspected, just as an astronomer might view a distant star not knowing that it had exploded years before and was no more.

p.130 Rob had planned to skip a meal as penance for his mistakes but he was so exhausted by the afternoon's work that he ended up eating a can of hash. It was delicious, proving the old adage about hunger being the best sauce.

p.138 Alphonsus and Ptolemaeus craters on the moon