Robert Grandon was suddenly transported to the mysterious and perilous planet of Venus...
Robert Ellsmore Grandon stifled a yawn with difficulty as the curtain went down on the first act of Don Giovanni and wondered what was the matter. It wasn't that opera bored him, or that tonight's performance was inferior; in fact, what he had been able to give his attention to struck him as being among the best performances he had seen. But something was distracting him, something he could not put his finger on; and the effort to keep his attention on the music and the performers was tiring him. Perhaps it was just one of those days, he thought.
He was tired of life at twenty-four, he decided--tired and disillusioned and somehow trapped. After his spell of military service, he'd broken away from family obligations and expectations to join revolutionaries in Cuba. The struggle there had seemed important, worth risking his neck for; but he'd seen, much earlier than some others, that the new regime was just a change of masters. He'd gotten out while getting out was easy and returned to take up the career in insurance administration that his uncle wanted him to take--the uncle who had paid his college expenses. Now, Robert and Vincent Grandon would prepare for the position that. Uncle Arthur would be leaving in a few years. It would be a good career for both young men; for while only one could step into Arthur Grandon's shoes, the second spot would be no less desirable.
Very likely, with full effort, he could make the top--but his cousin had the extra measure of devotion to the business that Robert Grandon simply couldn't bring. Robert Ellsmore Grandon yearned for action, adventure, romance--something that seemed to be gone in this world of the Twentieth Century.
He made his way to the bar thinking that he'd chuck it all in a moment for a chance to think and act for himself, for a chance to accomplish something worthwhile according to his own lights. Yes--insurance was worthwhile, he thought as he sat at the bar and beckoned to Louis, but not worth his while.
Louis looked his way, nodded, and started to mix a gibson for him. The bartender had a curious grin on his face as he set the glass down. "Did you get the message, Mr. Grandon?"
Robert Grandon blinked. "What message?"
"Didn't you see the papers today?"