and even Huey stopped looking at me with suspicion. In the meantime,
I'd been living with the guerrillas, eating and sleeping with them,
but I hadn't been exactly trusted. There'd been a picked group of men
set to watch over me at all times, and I managed to get a little
friendly with them, but not very. In case I turned out to be a louse,
nobody wanted to have to shed tears over my unmarked grave.
Until the men arrived, there weren't any raids; Hollerith, very
sensibly, wanted to wait for my reinforcements, and he carried most of
the group with him. Huey was all for killing me and getting on with
normal operations; I don't think he had any real faith in me even
after the reinforcements began to arrive.
I'd made the call on my radio, in Hollerith's hearing. I'd asked for
one hundred and fifty men--a force just a bit larger than the entire
band Hollerith had commanded until then--three hundred heaters with
ammunition and supplies to match, a couple of large guns throwing
explosive shells, and some dynamite. I added the dynamite because it
sounded like the sort of thing guerrillas ought to have, and Hollerith
didn't seem to mind. On his instructions, I gave them a safe route to
come by, assuming they started near New Didymus; actually, of course,
some of my corps brothers were recruiting on other parts of the planet
and the Government had been fully instructed not to hold any of them
up. I won't say that President Santa Claus understood what I was
doing, but he trusted me. He had faith--which was handy.
Hollerith was overjoyed when the reinforcements did arrive. "Now we
can really begin to work," he told me. "Now we can begin to fight
back in a big way. No more of this sneaking around, doing fiddling
He wanted to start at once. I nearly laughed in his face; it was now
established that I didn't have to get rid of the man. If he'd decided
to delay on the big attack ... but he hadn't.
So, of course, I helped him draw up some plans. Good ones, too; the
best I could come up with.
The very best.
* * * * *
"The trouble," Hollerith told me sadly, a day or so later, "is going to
be convincing the others. They want to do something dramatic--blowing up
the planet, most likely."
I said I didn't think they planned to go that far, and, anyhow, I had
an idea that might help. "You want to take the Army armaments depot
near New Didymus," I said. "That would serve as a good show of
strength, and weaken any reprisals while we get ready to move again."
"Of course," he said.
"Then think of all the fireworks you'll get," I said. "Bombs going
off, heaters exploding, stacks of arms all going off at once--the
Fourth of July, the Fourteenth, and Guy Fawkes Day, all at once, with
a small touch of Armageddon for flavor. Not to mention the Chinese New
"Sell it that way," I said. "The drama. The great picture. TheDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>