“Gone Fishing,” James H. Schmitz, 1961 — Barney Card, occasional conman and financier, discovers that a secret organization has developed a teleporter. McAllen, a genial old scientist who is working on the teleporter project for the organization, is instructed to kill the snoopy Card, but the kind, old man isn’t capable of murder. He tries to reach out to Card, but Card simply pities the old man as an easy mark. With no other option, McAllen gives Card some free advice on the spiritual benefits of fishing and then transports Card to another planet, where Card will be stranded until the planet’s orbit permits teleportation once again. McAllen leaves Card with provisions, shelter, and his beloved fishing manuals.
Five years later, teleportation is again possible, and the secret organization, fearful and curious, anxiously awaits restoration of contact with Card. Will he be vengeful? Is he dead? However, when contact is finally restored via a viewscreen, it seems that McAllen’s gambit has paid off. They find evidence that Card is alive, but the room is empty. The screen’s gaze is trained on the note: “Gone fishing.”
Comments: Read in Five-Odd. Online text at Project Gutenberg.
Author: Wikipedia: “James Henry Schmitz (October 15, 1911–April 18, 1981) was an American science fiction (SF) writer born in Hamburg, Germany of American parents…Schmitz is best known as a writer of ‘space opera’, and for strong female characters (such as Telzey Amberdon and Trigger Argee) who didn’t conform to the damsel in distress stereotype typical of science fiction during the time he was writing.”