fought in the revolutionary armies or been active in any overt way.
"Why not?" he snapped at me.
"I was more valuable where I stood," I said. "There's a lot that can
be done with paper work in the way of sabotage."
He nodded. "I see," he said. "I see what you mean."
"I worked in one of the Government departments," I said. "That enabled
me to pass information on to Sergeant's men in the vicinity. It also
gave me a good spot for mixing up orders and shipments."
He nodded again. "That's one of the advantages of a guerrilla outfit,"
he said. "The administration end really doesn't exist; we can live off
the country. I should think that, over an area as large as we can
range on Wohlen, we can't be wiped out."
Of course, that was only his opinion; but I wasn't easy about it. The
sight of him had shaken me quite a bit and I began to think I'd have
to get rid of him. That would be unpleasant and dangerous, I told
myself. But there didn't seem to be any help for it, at the moment.
"About information," he said. "You were closely watched--anyone
working for the Government would have had to have been. How did you
get your information out?"
I nodded toward the radio. "It's not a normal call-radio," I said,
with perfect truth. "Its operation is indetectable by the normal
methods. I'm not an expert, so I won't go into technical details; it's
enough that the radio works."
"Then why come to us?" Hollerith said. "Aren't there guerrillas in the
Ancarta vicinity for you to work with?"
I shook my head. "Only a few more or less ... ah ... disaffected
minorities," I said. That was true, too. "They raised hell for a day
or so, then walked in and surrendered. The guerrilla network on the
entire planet, sir, is under your command."
He shook his head. "It's not my command," he said. "This is a
democracy. You've met Huey ... my orderly, in the old days. But now he
has as much voice as I have. Except for expert matters."
Crackpots. But I listened. Democracy was the basis of their group;
every move was voted on by the entire band, wherever possible. "We're
not a dictatorship," Hollerith said. "We don't intend to become one."
It was nice to hear that; it meant that, maybe, I wouldn't have to get
rid of him after all. "Anyway," I said, "your men appear to be the
only ones active on Sergeant's behalf."
He took it without flinching. "Then we need help," he said. "Can you
"I can get you guns," I said. "Volunteers. Supplies."
There was a little pause.
"Who do you think you are?" Hollerith said. "God?"
I didn't tell him that, from his point of view, I was inhabiting the
other half of the theological universe. Somehow, it didn't seem
* * * * *
The men started to arrive in a week, some of them carrying supplies
and armaments for all the rest. Hollerith was beside himself with joy,Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>