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Chapter 46

Hari Seldon stared blankly at Raindrop Forty-Three. There was a perceptible moment in which he did not know what she was talking about. He had forgotten he was wearing a skincap.
Then he put his hand to his head and, for the first time, consciously felt the skincap he was wearing. It was smooth, but he felt the tiny resilience of the hair beneath. Not much. His hair, after all, was fine and without much body. He said, still feeling it, "Why?"
She said, "Because I want you to. Because thats the condition if you want to see the Book."
He said, "Well, if you really want me to." His hand probed for the edge, so that he could peel it off.
But she said, "No, let me do it. Ill do it." She was looking at him hungrily.
Seldon dropped his hands to his lap. "Go ahead, then."
The Sister rose quickly and sat down next to him on the cot. Slowly, carefully, she detached the skincap from his head just in front of his ear. Again she licked her lips and she was panting as she loosened the skincap about his forehead and turned it up. Then it came away and was gone and Seldons hair, released, seemed to stir a bit in glad freedom.
He said, troubled, "Keeping my hair under the skincap has probably made my scalp sweat. If so, my hair will be rather damp."
He raised his hand, as though to check the matter, but she caught it and held it back. "I want to do that," she said. "Its part of the condition." Her fingers, slowly and hesitantly, touched his hair and then withdrew. She touched it again and, very gently, stroked it. "Its dry," she said. "It feels ... good."
"Have you ever felt cephalic hair before?"
"Only on children sometimes. This ... is different." She was stroking again.
"In what way?" Seldon, even amid his embarrassment, found it possible to be curious.
"I cant say. Its just ... ............
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