“It’s catching,” said the pilot vehemently. “Look, kid, I know. I’ve ferried out to all the stations, I’ve seen ’em come and go. Each station has its own kind of weirdness, and you can’t keep away from it.” He chuckled self-consciously. “Maybe that’s why I’m so batty myself...Now take Madeira Station. Gay. Frou-frou.” He made a mincing motion with his fingers. “That’s Madeira. You wouldn’t know much about that...But take Balchester Aerie, take Merlin Dell, take the Starhome ”
When Jean reached the Hotel Atlantide in Metropolis she wore a black dress and black pumps which she felt made her look older and more sophisticated. Crossing the lobby she kept wary look-out for the house detective. Sometimes they nursed unkind suspicions toward unaccompanied young girls. It was best to avoid the police, keep them at a distance. When they found that she had no father, no mother, no guardian, their minds were apt to turn to some dreary government institution. On several occasions rather extreme measures to ensure her independence had been necessary.
Comment: According to foreverness the story was based on an idea of the editor. According to www.isfdb.org Station Abercrombie and Cholwell’s Chickens were revised (fix-up) as Monsters in Orbit, 1965.
Republished in Golden Girl and Other Stories, Spatterlight, 2012