“He’s mad,” said Ryger explosively, staring at the door as though Villiers were still standing before it.
“Is he?” said Talliaferro thoughtfully. “I suppose he is, in a way. He hates us for irrational reasons. And, then, not even to scan his paper as a precaution —”
Talliaferro fingered his own small scanner as he said that. It was just a neutrally colored, undistinguished cylinder, somewhat thicker and somewhat shorter than an ordinary pencil. In recent years, it had become the hallmark of the scientist, much as the stethescope was that of the physician and the micro-computer that of the statistician. The scanner was worn in a jacket pocket, or clipped to a sleeve, or slipped behind the ear, or swung at the end of a string.
Talliaferro sometimes, in his more philosophical moments, wondered how it was in the days when research men had to make laborious notes of the literature or file away full-sized reprints. How unwieldy!