Planet Smashers — A science fiction novel by Ray Cummings.
If that midnight air-liner was not stopped, Venus would never see another dawn.
At the boathouse there seemed still to be some small boats available. I clung to the flushed and laughing Dianne, trying to fend off the plucking youths who were pelting her with blossoms as we pressed forward. Now, as the midnight hour was approaching, the festival was at its height….
From an island pavilion just across from us a group of young girls came running. Their cloaks fell from them; with long hair flying and white limbs flashing in the colored dimness, they ran for the water and plunged in…. Showers of flowers, tossed by the admiring fringe of youths, came hurtling out from the mossy banks at them as they swam….
Every island thicket now held love-making couples…. We stood watching for a moment. Some of the swimming girls would land at the dotted islands. They rushed like this upon so that with squeals of laughter and simulated terror would turn and plunge back again….
“I have a punt-boat for you and the young lady here.” The boathouse attendant stood obsequiously beside us. “Of what size would you wish?”