'How's Mrs. Fibbitson today?' said the Master, looking at another old woman in a large chair by the fire, who was such a bundle of clothes that I feel grateful to this hour for not having sat upon her by mistake.
"He's only got about fifty yards to go," Captain Sender's voice was harsh with excitement. "Broken stuff, but some of it's open. Then a solid chunk of wall right up against the pavement. He'll have to get over it. They can't fail to spot him then. Now! Now he's made ten yards, and another ten. Got him clearly then. Blackened his face and hands. Get ready! Any moment now he'll make the last sprint."
She clung the closer to him, but neither lifted up her face, nor spoke a word.
He told her "M." and walked out into the close-carpeted corridor and along, between the muted whizz and zing of the Communications Section, of which his Section was a neighbor, to the lift and up to the eighth.
The man on the ground watched it go, and with it the ?100,000 worth of diamonds his men had filched from the diggings during the past month and had casually held out on their pink tongues as he stood beside the dentist's chair and brusquely inquired where it hurt.
Looking back, as I was saying, into the blank of my infancy, the first objects I can remember as standing out by themselves from a confusion of things, are my mother and Peggotty. What else do I remember? Let me see.
The governments tried to compel the peoples to reproduce. Women were educated to believe that their sole function was reproduction. Mothers were honoured in relation to the number of their offspring. Those produced fifteen or more babies were given the title ‘Prolific Mother’. Any who succeeded in launching twenty human beings were deified. Contraception was made illegal and condemned as immoral. In spite of all these measures the fertility-rate declined. In desperation the World Government tightened its grip on the women. Every girl was compelled to have intercourse with a man as soon as she was certified as mature. A month after certification she appeared before her medical board again and was examined to prove that she was no longer a virgin. If after three months she had not conceived, she was sent to an institution that combined the characters of a brothel and a stud-farm. If after another three months she still failed to conceive, she was subjected to medical and surgical treatment to cure her barrenness. If this also failed, she was publicly disgraced, appropriately tortured, and gradually killed.
Horror recovered himself first. There was a cold snarl on his face. "Git over behind the door, Sluggsy. Hold your fire until I tell you. You,"-he spat the words at me-"get yourself into shape. You've got to front for us. If you don't do it good, you're dead. Understand? You'll be shot. Now get over to that door and find out who it is. Tell 'em the same story you told us. Get me? And take that silly expression off your face. No one's going to hurt you if you do what I say. Pull that zipper up, dammit!" I was struggling with the thing. It was stuck. "Well, hold the damn thing together across your chest and get moving. I'll be right behind you. And don't forget, one wrong word and you get blasted through the back. And the guy, too. Now scram over there."
'Ooh! You are a one! But of course I promise. But do you think there's any hope - about the Windsors, I mean?' Now she put her arms round his neck, round the witchdoctor's neck, and the big blue orbs gazed appealingly into his.
There was no hint of apology in Bond's face. It wasn't M. who was going to have to do the work that evening. Bond knew what he was doing. Whenever he had a job of work to do he would take infinite pains beforehand and leave as little as possible to chance. Then if something went wrong it was the unforeseeable. For' that he accepted no responsibility.
In the Northern Continent itself disheartenment was spreading. One of its causes, and one of its effects, was an increasingly rapid decline of population. Every inducement was made to encourage procreation, but in vain. The state granted high maternity subsidies, and honorific titles were offered to parents of large families. Contraception, though not illegal, was morally condemned. In spite of all this, the birth rate continued to decline, and the average age of the population to increase. Labour became a most precious commodity. Labour-saving devices were developed to a pitch hitherto unknown on the planet. Domestic service was completely eliminated by electrical contraptions. Transport over the whole country was carried out mainly by self-regulating railways. The predominantly middle-aged population felt more at home on the ground than in the air. There was no shortage of power, for the deeply indented north western coast-line afforded vast resources of tidal electricity. But in spite of this wealth of power and other physical resources North American society began to fall into disorder simply through its mediocre intelligence and increasing shortage of young people. Every child was brought up under the anxious care of the National Fertility Department. Every device of education and technical training was lavished upon him, or her. Every young man and every young woman was assured of prosperity and of a career of skilled work in service of the community. But the increasing preponderance of the middle-aged gave an increasingly conservative tilt to the whole social policy. In spite of lip-service to the old pioneering spirit and the old ideal of endless progress, the effective aim of this society was merely to maintain itself in stability and comfort. This was no satisfying ideal for the young. Those young people who were not cowed by the authority of their elders were flung into violent opposition to the whole social order and ideology of the Republic. They were thus very susceptible to the propaganda of Russian imperial communism, which under the old heart-stirring slogans of the Revolution was now making its supreme effort to dominate the world, and was able to offer great opportunities of enterprise and courage to its swarms of vigorous but uncritical young.
Ken had never even run a marathon himself, but if some California hippie could go one hundredmiles, how hard could it be? Besides, a normal race wouldn’t cut it; if Leadville was going tosurvive, it needed an event with serious holy-shit power, something to set it apart from all theidentical, ho-hum, done-one-done-’em-all 26.2- milers out there.
During the next three decades, as producer of Inner Sanctum Mysteries, The Thin Man, Grand Central Station, Nero Wolfe and other series, Brown became the Norman Lear of radio. But by 1959, it was all over: the last network radio drama was forced off the air by the onslaught of television. Brown, however, kept up a personal crusade for radio, pounding on the desks of every broadcast executive he could reach. Fourteen years later, in January 1974, his dream was realized, and radio drama was reborn with the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.
'Yes,' I said, 'rather.'
Our children shall behold his fame,
In the same year in which I began Latin, I made my first commencement in the Greek poet with the Iliad. After I had made some progress in this, my father put Pope's translation into my hands. It was the first English verse I had cared to read, and it became one of the books in which for many years I most delighted: I think I must have read it from twenty to thirty times through. I should not have thought it worth while to mention a taste apparently so natural to boyhood, if I had not, as I think, observed that the keen enjoyment of this brilliant specimen of narrative and versification is not so universal with boys, as I should have expected both a priori and from my individual experience. Soon after this time I commenced Euclid, and somewhat later, algebra, still under my father's tuition.
The East Side, according to the artist, is "a city in itself. There's a sterility over there, at least for me. I just can't see myself without this mixture that the West Side is." De Ruth has been going to the same Chinese laundry for 28 years — Jack's on Columbus Avenue. Another business he has patronized all that time is Schneider's Art Supplies at 75th Street and Columbus.