The text below replaces the last two full paragraphs on page 77 of Robots and Magic.
Hermes waited patiently until the guard was out of sight and slipped rapidly toward the cell, mounting over the bottom brace and through the bars. The scientist did not see him as he trotted under the bunk and found a convenient hiding place near the man’s legs. At the moment, Brugh was considering the pleasant prospect of attaching all police to Bertha and bombarding them with neutrons until their flesh turned to anything but protoplasm.
Hermes tapped a relatively huge leg and spoke softly. “Dr. Brugh, if you’ll look down here, please—” He held up the bottle, the cap already unscrewed.
Brugh lowered his eyes and blinked; from the angle of his sight, only a pint bottle of whiskey, raising itself from the floor, could be seen. But he was in a mood to accept miracles without question, and he reached instinctively. Ordinarily he wasn’t a drinking man, but the person who won’t drink on occasion has a special place reserved for him in heaven—well removed from all other saints.
As the bottle was lowered again, Hermes reached for it and drained a few drops, while Brugh stared at him. “Well?” the god asked finally.
The alcohol was leaving the scientist’s stomach rapidly, as it does when no food interferes, and making for his head; the mellowing effect Hermes had hoped for was beginning. “That’s my voice you’re using,” Brugh observed mildly.
“It should be; I learned the language from you. You made me, you know.” He waited for a second. “Well, do you believe in me now?”
Brugh grunted. “Hermes, eh? So I wasn’t imagining things back in the lab. What happened to you?” A suspicious look crossed his face. “Has Hodges been tinkering again?”
As briefly as he could, the little god summarized events and explained himself, climbing up on the cot as he did so, and squatting down against the physicist’s side, out of sight from the door. The other chuckled sourly as he finished.
“So while Hodges was fooling around with amoebas and flesh, I made super-life, only I didn’t know it, eh?” There was no longer doubt in his mind, but that might have been due to the whiskey. The reason for more than one conversion to a new religious belief lies hidden in the mysterious soothing effect of ethanol in the form of whiskey and rum. “Well, glad to know you. What happens now?”
“I promised your daughter I’d take you home to the mistress.” But now that he was here, he wasn’t so sure. There were more men around than he liked. “We’ll have to make plans.”
Brugh reflected thoughtfully. “That might not be so good. They’d come after me again, and I’d have less chance to prove my innocence.”
Hermes was surprised. “You’re innocent? I thought you’d murdered Hodges.” After all, it was a reasonable supposition, based on the state of the physicist’s mind the day before. “What happened?”
“No, I haven’t murdered him—yet.” Brugh’s smile promised unpleasant things at the first chance. “It’s still a nice idea, after this trick, though. It all started with the key.”
“Maybe I’d better take it from your head,” Hermes decided. “That way I’ll be less apt to miss things, and more sure to get things straight.”