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59.

Hari sat in silence as the judges entered. Boon stood beside him, but Gaal Dornick was not in the chamber. Boon looked uncomfortable. Hari had not slept much the night before. He wanted to squirm in his chair and find a more comfortable position, but froze as Linge Chen entered. The Chief Commissioner took the highest dais and stared solemnly into space.

Sky, I hate that man, Hari thought.

The advocate for the Commission of Public Safety entered and approached the judges.

Today was scheduled as an opportunity for the Commission for General Security to interview Professor Seldon, he said. But the new Commissioners apparently have more important things to do, and have requested a postponement. Is it the wish of the Commissioner judges to grant this postponement?

Linge Chen regarded the courtroom through heavy-lidded, almost sleepy eyes, then nodded. Hari thought he detected a small curve in the Chief Commissioners lips.

Shall we then proceed with the trial to its final phase, or recess and continue the proceedings at a later date?

Hari sat up with a grunt. Boon laid a hand on his arm.

Linge Chen looked up at the ceiling. Recess, he murmured, and looked down again.

We shall recess until such time as the judges believe it is expedient to resume, the advocate said.

Hari seemed to feel himself deflating. He shook his head and glared at the Chief Commissioner, but Chen was contemplating some higher sphere of being, with a satisfaction that Hari found doubly infuriating.

In the hallway to his chambers, Hari shouted at Boon. They will never be done with me! They have no decency!

Boon simply lifted his hands, helpless, and the guards returned Hari to his cell.


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