This further chapter in the adventures of Jan Darzek and the Galactic Synthesis Council (see The Darkening Universe, 1975) also resurrects an idea treated by Biggle as a short story twenty years ago. The scene is the planet of Kamm, populated by a pre-industrial human civilization with two oddities: the natives are all stone-deaf, and they maintain a singularly cruel religion designed to propitiate a mythical ""Winged Beast"" of dreadful powers. There is indeed a Darwinian relationship between these two facts and the inexplicable rumors of the Kammians' possessing a death-ray weapon. If you don't immediately discern it, it's because Biggle has done a nice job of suspenseful camouflage; he also has a lot of fun setting up his silent planet from the point of view (or ear) of troubleshooter Darzek. Not really memorable, but ingenious and pleasant.