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“Like a military academy,” said Arthur, “bits of me keep on passing out.”
Ford stared at him blankly in the darkness.
“If I asked you where the hell we were,” said Arthur weakly, “would I regret it?”
Ford stood up. “We're safe,” he said.
“Oh good,” said Arthur.
Splattered in his rear mirror a couple of seconds later was the reflection of the hitch-hiker, drenched by the roadside.
For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night.
At least it made up for having been finally overtaken by that Porsche he had been diligently blocking for the last twenty miles.
And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKeena was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.
“We're in a small galley cabin,” said Ford, “in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.”
“Ah,” said Arthur, “this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.”
Ford struck another match to help him search for a light switch. Monstrous shadows leaped and loomed again. Arthur struggled to his feet and hugged himself apprehensively. Hideous alien shapes seemed to throng about him, the air was thick with musty smells which sidled into his lungs without identifying themselves, and a low irritating hum kept his brain from focusing.
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