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Clifford Simak - Way Station, 1963

Clifford Simak - Way Station, 1963

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Published by: Михаил Коньшин on Jan 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Way Station
(First published in 1963 - Hugo Award, best novel)
Clifford D. Simak
1The noise was ended now. The smoke drifted likethin, gray wisps of fog above the tortured earthand the shattered fences and the peach trees thathad been whittled into toothpicks by the cannonfire. For a moment silence, if not peace, fell uponthose few square miles of ground where just a whilebefore men had screamed and torn at one another inthe frenzy of old hate and had contended in anancient striving and then had fallen apart,exhausted.For endless time, it seemed, there had beenbelching thunder rolling from horizon to horizonand the gouted earth that had spouted in the skyand the screams of horses and the hoarse bellowingof men; the whistling of metal and the thud whenthe whistle ended; the flash of searing fire andthe brightness of the steel; the bravery of thecolors snapping in the battle wind.Then it all had ended and there was a silence.But silence was an alien note that held no rightupon this field or day, and it was broken by thewhimper and the pain, the cry for water, and theprayer for death- the crying and the calling andthe whimpering that would go on for hours beneaththe summer sun. Later the hupled shapes would growquiet and still and there would be an odor thatwould sicken all who passed, and the graves wouldbe shallow graves.
There was wheat that never would be harvested,trees that would not bloom when spring came roundagain, and on the slope of land that ran up to theridge the words unspoken and the deeds undone andthe sopen bundles that cried aloud the emptinessand the waste of death.There were proud names that were the proudernow, but now no more than names to echo down theages Ö the Iron Brigade, the 5th New Hampshire, the1st Minnesota, the 2nd Massachusetts, the 16thMaine.And there was Enoch Wallace.He still held the shattered musket and therewere blisters on his hands. His face was smudgedwith powder. His shoes were caked with dust andblood.He was still alive.2Dr. Erwin Hardwicke rolled the pencil back andforth between his palms, an irritating business. He

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