(Previously published as The Midas Rush)
All Tresky Buffrum wants is a taste of adventure and freedom before resigning himself to the simple life of a shepherd. What he gets instead is a mysterious wife, determined to remain chaste, who leads him to the Midas Crater where some of the planet’s intelligent natives have been transformed into gold.
Everyone on the caravan to the crater has an ulterior motive—except Tresky, who just wants to love his wife. Spies are everywhere. An Offworlder major goes mad and shoots people . . . at random, or so it seems. A grim policewoman becomes attracted to Tresky while she struggles to capture the mad sniper.
And watching every detail of this bizarre procession across the desert is an old, mute alien. Virtrillica seeks some rationale—or even an excuse—for her people to spare humanity from a war of extinction.
Can Tresky and his odd allies defeat the interplanetary conspirators who seek to destroy the Midas Crater and its sinister yet glorious secrets? And will he find happiness with his mysterious wife?