Jonathan told her not to touch the switches, but it was cold and lonely and isolated...

Mariana had been living in the big villa and hating the tall pine trees around it for what seemed like an eternity when she found the secret panel in the master control panel of the house.

The secret panel was simply a narrow blank of aluminum—she'd thought of it as room for more switches if they ever needed any, perish the thought! — between the air-conditioning controls and the gravity controls. Above the switches for the three dimensional TV but below those for the robot butler and maids.

Jonathan had told her not to fool with the master control panel while he was in the city, because she would wreck anything electrical, so when the secret panel came loose under her aimlessly questing fingers and fell to the solid rock floor of the patio with a musical twing her first reaction was fear.

Then she saw it was only a small blank oblong of sheet aluminum that had fallen and that in the space it had covered was a column of six little switches. Only the top one was identified. Tiny glowing letters beside it spelled trees and it was on.

When Jonathan got home from the city that evening she gathered her courage and told him about it. He was neither particularly angry nor impressed.

"Of course there's a switch for the trees," he informed her deflatingly, motioning the robot butler to cut his steak.

Genre: Science Fiction

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Used availability for Fritz Leiber's Mariana

Kindle Editions

May 2011 : USA Kindle edition

Title: Mariana
Author(s): Fritz Leiber
Publisher: eStar Books
Availability: Amazon