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Chapter 45

Raindrop Forty-Three stared at Seldon, wild-eyed and breathing heavily. "I cant stay here," she said.
Seldon looked about. "No one is bothering us. Even the Brother from whom we got the dainties said nothing about us. He seemed to take us as a perfectly normal pair."
"Thats because there is nothing unusual about us--when the light is dim, when you keep your voice low so the tribesman accent is less noticeable, and when I seem calm. But now--" Her voice was growing hoarse.
"What of now?"
"I am nervous and tense. I am ... in a perspiration."
"Who is to notice? Relax. Calm down."
"I cant relax here. I cant calm down while I may be noticed."
"Where are we to go, then?"
"There are little sheds for resting. I have worked here. I know about them."
She was walking rapidly now and Seldon followed. Up a small ramp, which he would not have noticed in the twilight without her, there was a line of doors, well spread apart.
"The one at the end," she muttered. "If its free."
It was unoccupied. A small glowing rectangle said NOT IN USE and the door was ajar.
Raindrop Forty-Three looked about rapidly, motioned Seldon in, then stepped inside herself. She closed the door and, as she did so, a small ceiling light brightened the interior.
Seldon said, "Is there any way the sign on the door can indicate this shed is in use?"
"That happened automatically when the door closed and the light went on," said the Sister.
Seldon could feel air softly circulating with a small sighing sound, but where on Trantor was that ever-present sound and feel not apparent? The room was not large, but it had a cot with a firm, efficient mattress, and what were obviously clean sheets. There was a chair and table, a small refrigerator, and something that looked like an enclosed hot plate, probably a tiny food-heater.
Raindrop Forty-Three sat down on the chair, sitting stiffly upright, visibly attempting to force herself into relaxation.
Seldon, uncertain as to what he ought to do, remained standing till she gestured--a bit impatiently--for him to sit on the cot. He did so.
Raindrop Forty-Three said softly, as though talking to herself, "If it is ever known that I have been here with a man--even if only a tribesman--I shall indeed be an outcast."
Seldon rose quickly. "Then lets not stay here."
"Sit down. I cant go out when Im in this mood. Youve been asking about religion. What are you after?"
It seemed to Seldon that she had changed completely. Gone was the passivity, the subservience. There was none of the shyness, the backwardness in the presence of a male. She was glaring at him through narrowed eyes.
"I told you. Knowledge. Im a scholar. It is my profession and my desire to know, I want to understand people in particular, so I want to learn history. For many worlds, the ancient historical records--the truly ancient historical records--have decayed into myths and legends, often becoming part of a set of religious beliefs or of supernaturalism. But if Mycogen does not have a religion, then--"
"I said we have history."
Seldon said, "Twice youve said you have history. How old?"
"It goes back twenty thousand years."
"Truly? Let us speak frankly. Is it real history ............
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