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Little Fuzzy

IX
Jack Holloway saw Little Fuzzy eying the pipe he had laid in the ashtray, and picked it
up, putting it in his mouth. Little Fuzzy looked reproachfully at him and started to get
down onto the floor. Pappy Jack was mean; didn’t he think a Fuzzy might want to smoke
a pipe, too? Well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt him. He picked Little Fuzzy up and set him
back on his lap, offering the pipestem. Little Fuzzy took a puff. He didn’t cough over it;
evidently he had learned how to avoid inhaling.
“They scheduled the Kellogg trial first,” Gus Brannhard was saying, “and there wasn’t
any way I could stop that. You see what the idea is? They’ll try him first, with Leslie
Coombes running both the prosecution and the defense, and if they can get him acquitted,
it’ll prejudice the sapience evidence we introduce in your trial.”
Mamma Fuzzy made another try at intercepting the drink he was hoisting, but he
frustrated that. Baby had stopped trying to sit on his head, and was playing peek-a-boo
from behind his whiskers.
“First,” he continued, “they’ll exclude every bit of evidence about the Fuzzies that they
can. That won’t be much, but there’ll be a fight to get any of it in. What they can’t
exclude, they’ll attack. They’ll attack credibility. Of course, with veridication, they can’t
claim anybody’s lying, but they can claim self-deception. You make a statement you
believe, true or false, and the veridicator’ll back you up on it. They’ll attack
qualifications on expert testimony. They’ll quibble about statements of fact and
statements of opinion. And what they can’t exclude or attack, they’ll accept, and then
deny that it’s proof of sapience.
“What the hell do they want for proof of sapience?” Gerd demanded. “Nuclear energy
and contragravity and hyperdrive?”
“They will have a nice, neat, pedantic definition of sapience, tailored especially to
exclude the Fuzzies, and they will present it in court and try to get it accepted, and it’s up
to us to guess in advance what that will be, and have a refutation of it ready, and also a
definition of our own.”
“Their definition will have to include Khooghras. Gerd, do the Khooghras bury their
dead?”
“Hell, no; they eat them. But you have to give them this, they cook them first.”
“Look, we won’t get anywhere arguing about what Fuzzies do and Khooghras don’t do,”
Rainsford said. “We’ll have to get a definition of sapience. Remember what Ruth said
Saturday night?”
 
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