Kinton had stepped forward six or eight paces, irritated despite his anxiety at the way birken persisted in drifting before him.
Would birken listen if he tried reasoning, he asked himself.
He turned again to birken, who still retreated toward the ship.
birken showed no more change of expression than if the other had commented on the weather.
Meanwhile, birken seemed eager to learn all Kinton could tell him about the planet, Tepokt.
Long before the buildings of Kinton's institute came into view, they received a radio message about birken.
Kinton, without exactly seeing each, was aware of the general lines of flight diverging gradually to bracket the figure of birken.
By the time his passengers had alighted, however, birken had drawn level with them, about fifty feet away.
He decided that birken had not come close enough for that, and wondered if he was afraid of his own impending action.
He gestured silently, and the constable trotted across the intervening ground to bend over birken.