By Andre Norton
Publication through Norton, Andre
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But now he turned back, though it was plain he came reluctantly. Together they raised Foskatt, though their handling must have been a torment, for he let out a small mewling cry at their touch. Then he was silent as they somehow got him through the broken door, raised him to the back of the boxlike thing. It had more than one of those jutting arms, all of them quiet now. And it was among their roots that they settled their burden. How the thing had arrived they could not determine, for they could see no legs.
His chest rose and fell as if he slept, rested comfortably without pain or dreams. His wounded leg was no longer bloody, the fur matted with clots. A scar had begun to form over the slash. Furtig, knowing how it might have gone had Foskatt lain so in the caves, how many died from lesser wounds in spite of the best tending their clanspeople could give them, drew a long breath. It was but one more of the wonders he had been shown, yet to him, because he could best appreciate the results, it was one of the most awesome.
Three sides, the scrape of his claws told him, were walls. His whiskers, abristle on his upper lip, fanned out above his eyes, gave him an additional report on space as they were intended to. The fourth wall was an opening like the mouth of a tunnel. But Furtig, remembering his error at the door above, made no quick effort to try it. When he did advance, it was on all fours, testing each step with a wide swing of hand ahead, listening for the sound of the metal claw tips to reassure him about the footing.