It had been an unqualified success, of course. The guerrillas had done
the best job of their careers.
* * * * *
Hollerith was back to the cave before me. Put it down to a short-cut,
or just more practice in the jungle. When I came in he looked
terrible, about a hundred and twelve years old and shrunken. But my
appearance seemed to rouse him a little. He gestured and the others in
the cave--three or four of them--went out. One stood at the entrance.
There was a silence. Hollerith grimaced at me. "You're working for the
Government," he said. It wasn't a question.
I shook my head. "I--"
"Keep it," he said. "James Carson from Ancarta is a cover identity,
that's all. I tell you, I _know_."
He didn't look ready to pull a heater. I waited a second. The silence
got louder. Then I said: "All right. How do you know?"
The grimace again, twisted and half-humorous. "Why, because you got me
recruits," he said. "Because you got me armaments. Because you helped
"Doesn't make sense," I said.
"Doesn't it?" He turned away from me for a second. When he turned back
he looked more like General Rawlinson Hollerith, and less like a
corpse. "You got me fanatics, men who hated the Government."
"They don't think straight," he said. "There isn't room in their minds
for any more than that hatred. And they're democratic, just like the
rest of us. They vote."
"You set that up," I said. "I had nothing to do with it."
He nodded. "I know," he said. "There are places where democracy just
doesn't work. Like an armed force. As long as most of the members
think alike, you're all right. But when a new factor comes into the
picture--why, nobody knows what he's voting for. It becomes a matter
of personal preference--which is no way to run a war."
"All right," I said. "But I got you the men and their arms--"
"Sure you did," he said. "You got me everything I needed--to hang
myself with." He raised a hand. "I'm not saying you worked against me.
You didn't have to."
"I got you everything you wanted," I said.
"Sure," he said. "Did you ever hear of jujitsu?"
"You used my strength against me," he said. "You got me what I
wanted--and did it in such a way that it would ruin me."
"But the attack was a success," I said.
He shook his head. "How many men are going to come back?" he said.
"Fifty? Sixty? How many of them are going to get lost out there,
return to the city, try to go up against New Didymus with a heater and
nothing else? How many of them have had all the excitement they want?
Those are going to head for home. A success--"
He paused. I waited.
"There was a general in Greece in the ancient days," he said. "A
general named Pyrrhus. He won a battle once, and lost most of his men
doing it. 'For my part,' he said, 'another victory like this and weDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>