The Project Gutenberg eBook of Through time and space with Benedict Breadfruit

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Through time and space with Benedict Breadfruit

Author: Randall Garrett

Release date: November 28, 2023 [eBook #72249]

Language: English

Original publication: New York, NY: Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, 1962

Credits: Greg Weeks, Mary Meehan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit


[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from
Amazing Stories March, April, May, June, July,
August, September, October 1962.
Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that
the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: I

On the ancient planet of Phogiu II, the natives were in a terrible tizzy. Their local god—a huge, intelligent lichen which covered a fifth of the habitable surface of Phogiu II, was dying. Naturally, they sent for Benedict Breadfruit. He took one look at the lichen and said: "It is obvious that the fungi part of this intelligent symbiotic organism is in good health. The other part, however—"

He gave it a shot of vitamins and a chlorophyll pill. The Great Lichen immediately spruced up and began delivering its deep pronunciamentos with the proper punctilio.

"What was wrong with it?" asked one of the natives.

"Nothing serious," said Benedict Breadfruit. "All it needed was an algae buttress."


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: II

The accepted method for removing space lice from the hull of a ship was by sandblasting, but the boys around the space docks noticed that Benedict Breadfruit's shiny hull was not pitted either by space lice or by sandblasting. Breadfruit used hydrogen cyanide to remove the pests, but he had never told anyone about it.

"Come, Breadfruit," said one of the spaceport officials, "tell us how you remove your burden of pediculous pests!"

Breadfruit gestured at his HCN generator. "I gas 'em off."


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: III

"Father," said Benedict Breadfruit's son, Benedict II, "look at that robot over there! How can a machine in such horribly battered condition move about?"

Benedict Breadfruit looked sorrowfully at his offspring. "Haven't you ever seen junk amble, Junior?"


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: IV

"But what will they do with the robot when it becomes too decrepit to move?" persisted the boy.

Breadfruit pointed to a large vat of bubbling acid in the public square. "They'll throw him in the pool, yonder, son."


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: V

On the planet Tenta I, plants of the melon and related families were so rare that the king himself had issued a royal fiat to protect them. Not knowing this, Benedict Breadfruit's young son started to pick a pumpkin. Fortunately, his father stopped him in time.

"But why can't I pick a pumpkin, father?" asked the child.

"It would be a violation of the Gourd Edict, son."


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: VI

"On the planet Toupher VI," said Benedict Breadfruit in his address to the members of the Institute for Twenty-First Century Studies, a group specializing in ancient history, "the natives keep time by means of cords which have knots tied along their length at precisely measured intervals. Since the material from which these cords are made is remarkably even in its rate of burning, it is possible to tell the exact hour by noticing how many knots have been burned after one end has been lit."

"What is this remarkable contraption called?" asked one of the members.

"Whay, naturally," said Benedict Breadfruit in his best British accent, "it would be a knot clock."


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: VII

The Black Beast of Betelgeuse, although horrible in aspect, was really a very pleasant fellow when you got to know him, as Benedict Breadfruit did. But because of his alienness he was forbidden to go to Earth by a Galactic Space Lines regulation forbidding tickets to be sold to "horrible monsters".

"It's an unfair law," said the Black Beast. "You're a man of some importance, Benedict; couldn't you do something about it?"

Breadfruit nodded. "I believe I can get the reg anulled, Bete Noir."


Through Time and Space With Benedict Breadfruit: VIII

The peculiar religio-sexual practices of the inhabitants of Hoogaht VIIII are known throughout the Galaxy. One day a group of Hoogahtu called upon Benedict Breadfruit.

"We are," said their spokesman, "planning to build an old-fashioned Earth-type house for our group. The living quarters for the males and females will be on the first and second floors. The Temple of Love, as we call it, will occupy the top floor, just under the roof. Knowing your abilities with language, we would like for you to give us a name for our Temple."

"Orgiastic top floor, eh?" asked Breadfruit.

"That's right."

"A hot-pants attic, as it were?" said Breadfruit.

"If you insist, yes," said the spokesman.

"A libidinous area just under the roof, one might say."

"That's what we said," agreed the Hoogahtu.

"In other words, a lewd loft?" persisted Breadfruit.

"Most emphatically," said the Hoogahtu spokesman.

Benedict Breadfruit shook his head, baffled for the first time in his life. "Gee, fellas, I just can't think of a damn thing."


Editor's Note: In this final episode of Benedict Breadfruit the author's name is revealed.