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Above This Race of Men - Robert F. Young

Above This Race of Men - Robert F. Young

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{\rtf1{\info{\title Above This Race of Men}{\author Robert F.

Young}}\ansi\ansic pg1252\deff0\deflang1033 {\fonttbl{\f0\froman\fprq2\fcharset128 Times New Roman;}{\f1\froman\fprq2\fchars et128 Times New Roman;}{\f2\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset128 Arial;}{\f3\fnil\fprq2\fcha rset128 Arial;}{\f4\fnil\fprq2\fcharset128 MS Mincho;}{\f5\fnil\fprq2\fcharset12 8 Tahoma;}{\f6\fnil\fprq0\fcharset128 Tahoma;}} {\stylesheet{\ql \li0\ri0\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\ fcs1 \af25\afs24\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\lang1033\langfe255\cgrid\langnp1033 \langfenp255 \snext0 Normal;} {\s1\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel0\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs32\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs32\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink21 heading 1;} {\s2\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel1\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\i\fs28\lan g1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedo n15 \snext16 \slink22 heading 2;} {\s3\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel2\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs28\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink23 heading 3;} {\s4\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel3\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0\b\i\fs23\lang 1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon 15 \snext16 \slink24 heading 4;} {\s5\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel4\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs23\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink25 heading 5;} {\s6\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel5\ rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs21\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs21\lang1033 \langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \ snext16 \slink26 heading 6;}} {\i This was the best of all possible worlds\u8212?was it not? All men were free, fo r Big} {\i Sister was in charge, and she was\u8212?}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\s1 \afs32 {\b ABOVE THIS RACE OF\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ MEN\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ROBERT F. YOUNG\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Illustrated by RICHARD OLSEN\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Signs of the Times}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ALL ALONG the Avenue of Procesions, Big Sister slogans were in evidence. Some w ere embroidered on bright-colored banners suspended from the copings of the tall and stately buildings for which the Avenue was famous; some were written in neo n tubing above marquees; others were part of the decor of the buildings themselv es. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ BIG SISTER LOVES YOU. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ BIC SISTER THINKS OF YOU NIGHT AND DAY. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\s1 \afs32 {\b BIG SISTER WATCHES OVER YOU WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG AND TAKES CARE OF\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ YOU WHEN YOU GROW OLD. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Walter Cranston, who had quit work early so he could visit the Avenue before ca

they were discreetly hidden by the bodice of her gay gingham dre ss. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ As soon as she began to grow up. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He discovered that he was far from being the only one to quit early in order to visit the Avenue. of course. Cranston groaned when he saw the long line of commuters waiting for the 6:25. To make matters worse . it was good for a goddess to have big breasts. Nobody had given a damn about y ou and Big Sister had been too young and too little to do anything about it. Her yell ow hair reminded you of fields of golden grain and her round full face managed t o convey both a feeling of affection and an impression of authority. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Avenue was all in readiness for the procession that was scheduled to take p lace the next morning in her honor\u8212?the Big Sister Day Parade. There weren't n early as many of them as there would be tomorrow. if they had. What struck you about her first were her eyes. and it was only fitting that they be celebrated to the maximum ex tent an individual's physical and financial resources permitted. if booming voice. was feeling no pain either. but there were enou gh. Big Sister Day came on the 6th of August. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So did everybody. Cranston wasn't one of them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Sometimes on the Party TV programs they showed you tapes of the old days when s he was still in her childhood and hadn't as yet acquired her present authority. There were some people who thought her breasts were too big. o r. Apparently nobody had. and next to Xmas it was the most be loved holiday of the year. He'd have to stand all the way home. Partly to under score his conviction but mainly because he was still thirsty. had paid no attention. he visited another baromat on his way to the Hub tube-station. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. Big Sister. she plunged right in and started helpi ng people and seeing to it that they got everything that was coming to them. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Have you taken your anti-hate pill today?" she asked Cranston in a gentle. Unfortunately. The sidewalks were fairly choked with people. "I took it the minute I got out of b ed this morning. and anyway. and in some cases the glow was abetted by spirits of another nature. of course. Their eyes were a glow with the holiday spirit. Big Sister Eve always affected him emotionally. caused her to ask you a qu estion. he got into a conver sation with a Megalopolis 16\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ sanitation-department worker who felt as strongly about such matters as he did. stood four stories hi gh and. This year. having visited two baromats on his way to t he Avenue. Both occasions came onl y once a year. though. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Like all such posters. when you looked at it for any length of time. in Big Sister's case. Cranston himself.tching the 5:59 tube train. Vehicular tr affic had been rerouted and the two invisible electronic fences that would confi ne the crowd to the sidewalks were already activated. Directly across the str eet from where Cranston was standing there was an electronic Big Sister poster. Going home cold sober on Big Sister Eve was tanta mount to going home cold sober on the night before Xmas. loved Big Sister signs. The Avenue proper had been scrubbed so vigorously it fairly shone in the slanted rays of the afternoon sun . It must have been terrible living in those days. I n his opinion." he answered. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Cranston worshipped the ground she walked on. They were as blue and ben ign as a summer sky and merely to gaze into them was to feel reassured. nevertheless. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But that was as it should be. \pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Everybody owed everything to Big Sister. it had excited even more interest than usu al because there was a rumor being bruited that the Parade was going to include an innovation so startling it would knock your eyes out. and by the time they got through buying each other handijugs of beer the 5:59 h ad long since departed." It wasn't necessary to answer her out loud. it depicted her from the waist up. to make you wonder where they all came from. but he had done so instinctively. He looked around to see if anybody had heard him. just as Xmas Eve did.

She puts in Her Purse and keeps for us in case we get sick and ne ed it and so we'll be secure in our Old Age and happy and contented and well-fed . hell. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I realize. and all of us free\u8212?as free as the breeze that blows across the green reclaime d deserts that give us the food we put into our mouths. the train pulled out ten minutes late. you haven't got any right to he mad . after which we'll take a vote on the suggestions and ad journ. I'd like to hear both your reactions and whatever suggestions for improv ements you may have. you know yourself how it used to be before She put Her foot down and said Let them be Free! and they w ere Free. a complex gear setup caused her to turn her head first to the right a . you might say. everybody's going to live it up and it's goin g to be a Big Sister Eve like there never was before. placed the model he had secured from Special Effects on the conference tabl e and brought its mini-batteries to life. Madelyn. you've got to ove rlook it on Big Sister Eve. espe cially holiday weekends. s oysteak and tossed salad\u8212?good for Friday night. you won't mind. . I know you say I drink too much on weekends.. Big Sister's Purse is our Piggy Bank. Naturally. Madelyn. hell. What good was it to {\i be} free if you couldn't {\i act} free? In his mind he asked the question directly. I can hardly wait. . Madelyn. Tonight we'll cook out.and here I am and this is Big Siste r Eve and I'm going to live it up. to finely chiseled Miss Penharlow's. She freed my ancestors and She's my Savior and I'll carry the torch for Her every time. so you s ee. Madelyn would be furi ous when he showed up after seven. Madelyn . it would be n ice to have kids and take them to the Parade to hear the drums and see the soldi ers go marching by. He said. and besides. to hell with coffee on Big Sister Eve. Standing on the platform was a little Big Sister animannikin. you've been with me longest\u8212?we'll start with you. "that I'm interfering with what should have been an early quit." he "said". it {\i is} Big Sister Eve and tomorrow we're going to take in the Parade. ." he continued. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Dissension in a Twenty-first Century Conference Room}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ HIGH IN THE Mega 16 Vespers Building Theodore Barr. He raised his eyes to the faces of his three advisors\u8212?to broad-browed Breslau's. He groaned again. Well let her! he thought. as the beer he had drunk began to take fuller effect. Free to come and go as they pleased and to ride where they pleased and to sleep where they pleased and to work where they pleased. free and equal. "What the hell. . Breslau. It consisted of a square steel platform mounted on two sets of wide wheels. She pays our mortgage payments and our electric and our gas and our videophone bills and the installments on the TV and the washer-drier and the car and the cookout -set and all She takes out of my pay is sixty-percent and part of that sixty per cent. I think I'll stop off at t he Freedom Baromat for one more before I go home. to sensitive Parks'. the set in the rear affording the necessary maneuverability . niggerblood flows in my veins and that makes h er all the more dear to me because I owe All to Her. Madelyn. living here in Megalopolis 16 alone. I was a soldier once and helped keep this Great Land Free or would have if there'd been a war like they thought there would but there wasn't because what was there to fight about? . a tradition. Forty million of us. "what good is it to be free if you can't act free?" He warmed to his subject. Madelyn. I'll have beer instead of coffee. Madelyn. because of Her the niggerblood in my veins is as Free as the white blood is. so without further preamble I'll hear from each of you in the order of his or her seniority. "I called this late Friday-afternoon meeting to afford each of you the opportunity to see this miniature of the float in ope ration." Breslau 's pouthy eyes were following the little float intently as it moved this way and that over the tabletop. will you Madel yn?\u8212?after all. but there may be one or two small items that can be imp roved upon. I wish our generation hadn't been proclaimed a babyless one. . and as the wheel s rotated. but you do too. . District Director of Iconol ogy. no major changes can be made in the life-size ve rsion at this late date. especially good for Big Si ster Eve.

'Big Sister Sees All." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ "Then I strongly urge that it be deleted. "It's ex actly what we've needed all along. He turned toward Miss Penharlow." said Theodore Barr. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Now he knew the clearness of her intelligent brown eyes as she raised her gaze to his face. Ben\u8212?let's not be naive. Pat." Barr smiled. however. At length Breslau raised his eyes to Barr's middle-aged but somehow y outhful face. but for the sort of medium we're using tomorrow it would be out of place: The s pirit of Big Sister Day is one of emotion-charged thanksgiving and arises from t he people's need to think of her primarily as a benign and understanding protect ress. To further emphasize either might very well be detr imental to both. incid entally. be incl uded in the miniature. for often it spilled onto his pillow during the night. Their slight thickness. "How does the Department of Icon ology's brain child strike you. Midway. . Holding them parallel to the ground the way she does now is a bit too reminiscent of the Third Reich. s ubliminal perception casts and other media in use for ordinary Party propaganda. He did not answer for a whole minute. ." Barr said. crinkling in this place and stre tching in that as the tiny doll raised and lowered its arms. Such a warning is fine for posters. it was caught back from her face. He knew her hair well. If the life-size version even comes close. Ben?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Parks was staring at the mini-float as though it were a monster bent on devouri ng him. Pat?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Patricia Penharlow had been watching the float with an intensity that matched B reslau's. revealing the midnight tone of her cheeks and the cool. Despite its synchronized movements. where they won't even object t o the new tax bite. Enthusiasm shone in them. "I believe that one's included. Hears All and Kn ows All'?" Barr nodded. no doubt. Big Sister. As you probably know. Is she going to announce the new tax bite during the Parade?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. just b eneath the hem of the dress. Pa rks and Miss Penharlow would occupy during the Parade. is also going to announce the new postal workers' raise\u8212?as a sort of counterbalance. When the daylight faded and the fluorescents came on. "It makes me think o f an idol. . The life-size mo del is equipped with a Shapiro decibel-reactor that couldn't. I do have one suggestion. "Come on. their sudden softness in the middl e of a kiss . He said. which correlates them with the sound level and determines whi ch of the tape sequences should be played at any given moment." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Among them. naturally. Among ourselves we've never pretended Big Sister was anything else. and to raise her arms at periodic intervals and hold them s traight out before her. there'll be the usual slogans and admon itions. He next faced the youngest me mber of his advisory team\u8212?Benjamin Parks. The patterns register on a highly s ensitive receiver. It {\i is} an idol." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Suggestion duly noted. her hair would be black. Breslau. were miniatures of the seats that Barr. He knew her neck and her chin intimately. don't y ou think?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Suggestion duly noted. disrupting their usual quietude. its diminutive round face had a life-like rosy tinge. and its gay gingham dress followed the body's movements flawlessly. possibly.nd then to the left. "The realism's remarkable when you consider the weight th e model represents. then he said. the catch phrase. At its feet. "What' s your reaction. When the emotion of the crowd reaches maximum intensity. Its yellow hair was arranged in a plain but becoming coif fure. They'll love it. I think that she should h old her arms a little higher when she raises them. and centered in front of them was a miniature of the tiller-like steering mechanism by means of which the tech from Special Effects would guide the life-size model down the Avenue of Pr ocessions. But he knew her lips best of all. The very proportions of the life-size animannikin already suggest her omni science and her omnipotence. Al. And then. almost classic line of her chin and neck. the animannikin was startlingly realistic. a Shapiro reactor responds not only to sound but to mass-emotion wave-patterns. everybody should be suitably impressed\u8212?to a point. Her hair was dark brown in the last rays of the afternoon sun and fell in lustrous flocculent waves to her shoulders. of course.

and the Department of Iconology gave our Mega 16 district the honor of building it and initiating it." Barr said. Ben?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I\u8212?I don't really know. Barr suppressed a surge of annoyance." Barr faced the table at large. "Damn it." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "But the people will see her as an entity." He paused as Parks shuddered. almost as t hough it sensed his morbid fascination. had rolled in his direction. Granted. "I'll relay the suggestions to Special Effects." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That float and that animannikin." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ BRESLAU and Parks said good night\u8212?the latter a little distantly\u8212?and left the room. "I'm unfamiliar w ith the exact tonnage. An animannikin. If you think I'm going to keep it out of the Parade just because you have an old-womanish notion that it's some sort of evil throwback. "I suppose you'll be seeing me home?" \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "I can't\u8212?it's my turn to take the megapulse. getting up and walking around the table to where s he was sitting. and believe they should be put into effect." Barr ignored him. I think we'll be making a terrible mistake if we use the float tomorrow. "It's possible to kno w something's evil without being able to pinpoint why. and it is to be hoped they'll h ave time to incorporate the necessary changes. an yway." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "That's right\u8212?I'd forgotten. Nearing the edge of the table." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I've always thought of her as an icon rather than an idol." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ "Then you've been splitting hairs. gears." There was a swift and indecipherable downward sweep o f her dark lashes. Pat. Just one!" \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ Parks face had paled slightly. Associations are probably at work somewhere. "I dissent with the whole business. Why do you think they created her in the first pl ace?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Parks did not answer. Does anyone dissent?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I dissent. you." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Barr had less luck with a second surge of annoyance." Barr said icily. Special Effects used light materials wherever and whenever possible. axles." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "They already see her as an entity. you'd better think again! Suggestion not duly noted. but batte ries. but for the life of me I can't put my finger on any of them. up till now she 's appeared only on posters and in an occasional animated cartoon\u8212?but that doesn't make her any less of an idol. Then. There's something evil about it\u8212?to me. I hereby declare this meeting adj ourned. She's the Fedgov as the people visualized it long before the Party iconologists gave her substance. Give me one solid reason why. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ At length he asked." Parks said. platform\u8212?not to mention the size of the animan nikin itself\u8212?worked against them. "I'm in complete concordance with Breslau's and Miss Penharlow's suggestions. He had returned his gaze to the float. "cost the Fedgov three mill ion dollars. it backed off and turned around. but he didn't give ground. "How much does the life-size job\u8212?float and all\u8212? weigh?" With difficulty. which. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Observation duly noted. but I'd estimate the over-all weight at about nine or ten . cables. They {\i want} to see her as an entity. It's just that I keep getting a feeling that we'r e doing the wrong thing in exposing the public to such a machine without adequat ely preparing them for it first. "That white dress becomes you exceedingly. you were recomme nded to me as one of the brightest young men ever selected by the Party for Icon ology training and one of the most promising ever to qualify! And here you show up at my conference table with ideas befitting an old woman out of Grimm's Fairy Tales! You say you {\i feel} that the float's evil. All we've done in the present instance is to make her into an {\i animated} idol. Patricia Penharlow stayed behind. "What's b ugging. Something atavistic.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He found Madelyn in the TV room watching a dramatized newscast. When he does make peace. which encouraged homeowners to locate their bathrooms as close to the sewer l ine as possible so as to curtail expenses. eight and sometimes even nine stories in height. then she fini shed the handijug of beer she was drinking. he'll automatically acquire the ne cessary hard-core attitude and begin functioning as effectively as the rest of u s. the TV ro om. Most of them are like you. It intensified with every step he took. Passing automobilists we re similarly rewarded. while you could compensate in height for what you lacked in width and length insofar as indoor-living space was concerned. I suppose. Meanwhile. the kitchen. that all Progressives are cynics. an arrangement frowned upon but not forbidden by the Fedgo v. The first story. \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i The Coldpac Culture}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ AFTER DOWNING three self-disintegrating handijugs of beer in the Freedom Baroma t." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ She stood up. and were made access ible by a small. She was a tall blonde with a round full face and cool blue eyes that weren't quite as far apart as he would have liked. his and Madelyn's room. Dusk was at hand and the oppressive heat that had infested the day was b eginning to dissipate. Apparently ever ybody on the block was either cookouting already or had already done so. The successive ones consti tuted the utility room." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Which kind are you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Barr laughed. as the average ci tizen preferred to hoard the driving hours the Fedgov allowed him till he had en ough to make a round trip to one of the extra-megalopolitan parks the Fedgov mai ntained for recreational purposes. The minute I finish the intraurban crosscheck. He wa . Cranston's house was eight stories high. Before he had gone two steps. The bathroom was just off the main bedroom. T he houses it comprised couldn't exceed the 25' \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ X 30' standard dwelling size established by the Fedgov Intraurban Building Bure au. but they could and did rise to seven. His own cookouter should have been activated long ago. "He's a non-progressive." she sa id with sudden vehemence. tall and Junoesque. dropped it into the exhausted coldpa c beside her chair and got up and kissed him lackadaisically on the cheek. centrally located self-service elevator. Pat\u8212?he's still so inundated with idealistic Party doctrine that he hasn't been able to make peace with reality y et\u8212?that's all. "I think you should get rid of Parks. and the guestroom respectively. was given over to the garage. the on e in which Cranston lived compensated in altitude for what it lacked in depth. In Cranston's neighborhood this practice had been universally fo llowed and as a result a pedestrian passing down the street saw nothing but two series of tall facades with narrow crevices in between. Instantly it took on an ad ded luster. the aroma of charred soyste ak reached his nostrils." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Barr was mildly surprised. the dining room. Cranston left the establishment and began walking down the street on which he lived. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Like all intra-urban developments (Mega 16's numbered in the thousands). Your only means of acquiring more outdoor-living space\u8212?or at least the illusion thereof\u821 2?was by building your house flush with the sidewalk and "adding" your front yar d to your back. "And there's no reason why we can't have dinner together after I vis it Special Effects." He got h er wrap for her and arranged it around her shoulders. but the latter were rarely in evidence. "We'll discuss that on a more propitious occasion. However. He felt guilty. Pure as th e driven snow. When he stepped off the lift. "No he's not." They left the conference room together."But I'll be by later. there was nothing you could do to make your standard 30' X 60' lot any larger. the living room." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "By which you mean to imply. its electric bri quettes red and waiting." \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Not all of them\u8212?just some of them. of course. she yawned. let 's go to dinner.

and collected what they needed for the cookout. Enthusiastically Cra nston joined in and so did just about everybody else on the block. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the back yards to the left of Cranston and in the back yards to the right of him and in the back yards behind him his neighbors were also breaking open cold pacs. he thought. and the words rose up thrillingly into the summer air and inspired the stars to greater grand eur. shaking hands with his n eighbor and holding hands with his neighbor's wife. and the aura of camaraderie was becoming almost as tangible as the bluish haze sent up by the countless charred-soysteak drippings. tall and strong and beaut . friend. Cranston activated the cookouter and when the br iquettes turned red. it was a coldpac Big Sister Eve. placed two soysteaks on the grill. they had to unplug the one in the kitchen or they'd exceed their voltage quota. Cranston still sat at his own table. The last he'd seen of her she'd b een holding hands with a neighbor whose own wife had been holding hands with som eone else. Dear. a handijug of beer at each of thei r elbows and a coldpac within easy reach. It was a symbol of his and Madelyn's good consumer-ship. but it was nice having one just the same. and Big Sister was e verywhere. he could see her walking beneath the stars. and the minute their supply became half depleted they rep lenished it. then descended to the garage and passed through the back door into the back yard. Granted. Madelyn made a tossed sa lad and opened a container of DeLiteFul Dills. but Madelyn was no longer with him. Big Sister. his cheeks wet with tears of joy and gratitude. In the back yards to the left of them and in the back yards to the right of them and in the back yards behind them. with c arols filling the avenues and streets and the Christ-child animannikin lying in his chromium manger in Freedom Park and all the people filing past the automated creche and leaving gifts of frankincense and money. and an aura of camaraderie had begun to per vade the whole block. Th ey took the elevator down to the kitchen. After he and Madelyn finished eating. It contained two catalpa trees. She unwrapped a fresh loaf of sel f-baking bread. The mere thought of the extra fridgie made Cranston feel proud. esp ecially on holidays and weekends. Cranston would have found someone else's wife himself and held hands with her. in o rder to plug the extra fridgie in. Cranston broke open a second coldpac. why not }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i pick up six or ten? }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It could never be said there weren't enough coldpacs in his and Madelyn's fridg ie. either in the midst of similar repasts or their coldpac aftermaths. thinking tipsily of the jingle the Coldpac people had composed to go with their popular self-disposing handijug cartons: \par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i There're never enough coldpacs }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i in your fridgie. and being a good consumer meant you were doing your Part for the Economy and for Big Sister. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i So on your way home. They ate at the picnic table. ot her people were seated at similar picnic tables. A full moon was climbing into the sky and she beamed benignly down on all o f Big Sister's kid brothers and sisters and it was like Xmas Eve. Cranston felt tears running down his cheeks. \par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ There were no fences separating the back yards\u8212?intra-urban fences were fo rbidden by law\u8212?and soon everybody was everywhere. wonderful Big Sister. If it had been an ordinary coldpac Friday night. and from all around came the sounds of coldpacs being broken open and handijugs being chug-a-lugged in the n ight. almost.s disappointed: he'd thought for sure she'd he angry with him for being late. an imitation-brick cookouter. Presently someone bega n singing "Big Sister Loves Me" in a cracked soprano voice. but it wasn't an ordi nary coldpac Friday night. a smal l picnic table and two benches. They kept an extra fridgie in the garage and used it exclusively to store th e handy containers in.

. . you wait and see. that's what I'll do\u8212?it's no good t o drink alone . Gee. "haven't I al ways?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The tears came faster and he opened another coldpac and pulled out one of the m oisture-beaded handijugs. He should have felt elated. \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ Why? he wondered. Tomorrow after the parade we 'll have another coldpac cookout and everybody will sing again and it'll be just the way it was tonight. He chug-alugged that one too.iful. . blue slacks and green coat. the night was velvet soft against his face . The man was even drunker than Barr had at first thought. . He had chosen the developments at random and this was the sixth he ha d visited. I wish everybody did his job as good as you do. "of course you h ave!" The stars seemed to come closer. It was also the last he intended to visit." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The tall Fedgov man turned. "Barr. and Madelyn an d I'd've been grandparents and could've gone to see them and bought them ice cre am cones and pretzels . . Big Sister. opening another h andijug and gulping its contents as he walked . I wish we could've had kids. he felt let down. Barr had begun his intra-urban crosschec k at once. Then. There was nothing about him that distinguis hed him particularly from the rest of the patrons\u8212?not even the slight swar . He had talked wi th automat owners and baromat keepers and automation men and electronics men and housewives and constructo-workers and transporto-workers and farm-equipment ope rators and monitor men\u8212?with just about every type of citizen. "Theodore Barr. His eyes we re red and his cheeks were streaked with tear tracks. all sounds seemed far away. Wally Cranston." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i The De Tocqueville Tapes}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ AFTER PARTING from Patricia Penharlow. I've got a long ways to go though before I'm fifty\u8212?ten whole ye ars . staggered through the garage past his automobilette and out into the street and down the street underneath the stars. the bar is full . you do your job swell. . "Hi. you never know what the quota will be from one Gen to the next. well of course I do it good a nd I'll do it better yet. gee what swell uniforms they have. . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He became aware that the sheep who had bought him the drink had asked him a que stion. who se work did not come directly under Party jurisdiction\u8212?and he had found th e pulse rate to be smooth and even. not only because he was ti red but because he had already determined Mega 16's pulse rate. "I'll take care of you. When I finish this coldpac I'll go down to t he Freedom Baromat and have a few. Wall y. maybe they could've had kids of their own . he tucked the coldpac under h is arm. the postmaster said to me this morning. yes. feel let down because th e sheep refused to go astray? But he knew the answer. true reason was n o longer with him. the grill is bright tonight. and although he had limited himself to one drink in each of the developments he'd visited. Instead. and in not so much as a single instance had he encountered the slightest objection to the new Big Sister edict that had been issued several weeks ago and which he had chosen as the subject for his Key Que stion. Cradled in hi s left arm was a half-empty coldpac. "Of course." he murmured. and when it's time for me to retire and ask Big Sister for some of my money back I'll be able to do so without feeli ng guilty. eager to be on his way. . one of the shepherds. have a drink with me? My name 's Wally Cranston. t here's room here beside this Fedgov man. in fact. I'll he glad to have a drink with you. all full of warmth and happiness and equality and every body loving everybody else and everybody loving Big Sister the way She should be loved. . He was wearing civil-servi ce clothes that reeked of burnt soysteak drippings and stale beer. Alcohol robbed him of his objectivity and painted the world in unreal colors. . and would you look at that red kepi\u8212?wow!\u8212?Big Sister sure treats her guardians right . and rapid ly reaching the maudlin stage\u8212?if he hadn't reached it already." she crooned. He chug-a-lugged the handijug and opened another." he said. . got to his feet. Drunk. . . . he could hear the soft swish of her gingham skirt and her warm voice calli ng his name. Why should he. Sure.

" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Just what am I missing? Barr thought. Barr knew. his mind played the tapes through. and in the proce ss. "I'm with the Department of Iconology. his firs t thought was to turn it down. after falli ng into disgrace. he decided he'd had enough to drin k for one night. How do you like that for a coincidence? The two of us walking in here and standing right next to each other and both of us Fedgov men!" \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ In view of the fact that thirty-five percent of the populace worked for the sam e organization directly and that the other sixty-five percent did so indirectly. Following the {\i fin de siecle} failure of the last black insurrectionists to find a foothold. Cranston?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "The Postal Service. noticing that Cranston's handijug was empty. \par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ He ordered two more from the robottlebringer. "You work for the Fedgov. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ A stamp-licker. "To the sweetest little girl in the world! You?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ "No. Then he saw the desperation deep in the man's eye s and changed his mind." Cranston said. Barr didn't regard the meeting as being particularly unusual. don't you?" \par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Yes. "Here. employing the term Party-level workers used to de signate not only the holders of post-office sinecures but all other sinecures as well.thiness of his complexion or the broadness of his nose. In the morning. for the effects of the alcohol would have worn of f by then. but there were no doubts now. and fully a third of the pat rons in the big bustling baromat had Afro\u8212?or nigger-(the term. Mr. Years ago. It did so now: \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." Barr said. had acquired aristocratic overtones)\u8212?blood in their vein s. he didn't need to think about th e children he couldn't beget." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Barr didn't elaborate. "Are you married?" he asked Crans ton." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Too bad\u8212?you don't know what you're missing. Cranston dispatched the contents of the fresh handijug in three Herculean s wallows. But he found hims elf mildly interested in the faceless man standing beside him. Sometimes when he was drinking and off guard. and pe rhaps he was the better for it. mi scegenation had accelerated at an exponential rate. To have placed all the Cranstons on dire ct dole would have been unthinkable. two passages had taped themselves indelibly on his memory. let me buy {\i you} a drink. Barr thought. The privilege of sharing my wife with any man who covets her because he is my equal according to law? The privilege of no t being able to beget children because the generation I am a part of was declare d a babyless one and all its members were sterilized at birth? The privilege of getting drunk on Big Sister Eve without my wife? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ No. He had followed her sug gestion. leaving his mind clear and cold. but he had made the mistake of reading the book first. his doubts would return. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Cranston drew himself up proudly. she retained her legal status as a virgin and lacked a wife's legal obligation to consort with any man in whom sh e aroused passion and whom she did not find objectionable. "That's a new one on me. as his mistress. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Pure-blooded blacks like Patricia Penharlow were a rarity. As her lover. he had been right all along in not asking Pat to marry him and she had been right in not encouraging him to. Patricia Penharlow had called Barr's attention to a book she thought should be banned. \par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ The question Cranston had asked was." he said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It was the same desperation you saw deep in everyone's eyes: the desperation th at resulted from belonging to a society that gave you independence and simultane ously denied you the right to be free. Nevertheless. "So do I." Cra nston shook his head. and when Cranston offered to buy him another handijug. There were millions of such jobs\u8212?there had to be to provide suffici ent employment in an automated society. Though not on the Party level of co urse. "What branch of t he Fedgov are you with.

It would be like the au thority of a parent. about Big Sister's decision to make it a capital offen se for anyone publicly to impugn any of her actions?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Cranston stood up straighter. and subdivides their inheritances\u8212?what remai ns. Barr hadn' t looked at the stars for many years. which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications. Barr did not look at the stars tonight eit her. He would have given his right arm if just one of the citizens he had put the question to had had the guts to ask. but walked down the street. and presently he ca me to the intra-urban station and descended the stairs." he said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ OUTSIDE beneath the stars it should have been better. swaying a little as he did so. but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood. After a short wait in li ne he boarded the train for the Hub. and. regul ates the descent of property. everyone is at once independent and powerless. "Of c ourse I approve of Her decisions. He laid down enough change to cover another drink for Cranston. He did so without further delay: "How d o you feel. They invariably reminded him of man's fail ure to conquer space to an extent that would have made colonization of other pla nets practicable and thereby have enabled him to experiment with new and possibl y better ways of living with himself. A white negligee brought out her midnight skin tone and matched the whiteness of her teeth. That power is absolute. but it wasn't. and to watch over their fate. directs their industry. despite the man's tearful protests. which he cannot expect from any of them. a {\i Fedgov} man!" Barr was both disconcerted and annoyed. because they a re all impotent and unsympathizing. like that authority. minute. walked out of the baromat. "How do I feel about it? I feel that it's just a nd fair like all Big Shister's decishions. provident. Did his thoughts show so c learly on his face that this petty stamp-licking lush could see them through the mists of drunkenness? Barr re-donned the cold mask he habitually wore in public places and re-cloaked himself in his impenetrable mantle of indifference." \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power. Cranston was staring at him. eyes fixed on the blacktop. he remembered the purpose of his visit and realized he hadn't aske d Cranston this year's key question yet. He gripped the edg e of the bar to steady himself. "Damn it. and none has any right to expect such support from them. facilitates their pleasures. and mild. exhibiting at once their pride and their servility. Setting the jug back dow n on the bar. Cranston."As in the ages of equality no man is compelled to lend his assistance to his f ellow-men. his debility makes him feel from time to time the want of some outward assistance. In this predicament he naturally turns his e yes to that imposing power which alone rises above the level of universal depres sion (and) ultimately views it as the sole and necessary support of his own weak ness (and thus) the very men who are so impatient of superiors patiently submit to a master. it pr ovides for their security. Mr. but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?" \ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ WHEN THE ROBOTTLEBRINGER brought Barr the beer Cranston had bought him Barr rai sed the handijug to his lips and took a polite swallow. manages their principal concerns. Patricia Penharlow was still up when he let himself into her air-conditioned ultra-modern apartment twenty stories above Ab raham Lincoln Boulevard. It was always white with Patricia\u8212?she knew how black and beautiful she was and knew that contrast could not fail to m . if. regular. And if I ever catch anybody talking a bout Her behind Her back I'll turn him in quicker'n you can say 'Jackie Robinshu n'!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ An inward shudder racked Barr. (A citizen's) independence fills him with sel f-reliance and pride. "Don't {\i you} approve of Her decishion? You. its object was to prepare men for manhood. isn' t she big enough already? How much more of our human dignity must she strip away before she's through aggrandizing herself?" It was an index of the alcohol-cont ent of Barr's blood that he would have given both his arms if he himself had had the guts. foresees and supplies their necessities.

The heat generated by the crowd tried to rise . at least a reasonable approximation thereof. like rabbi ts almost. he took the lift back up to the seventh floor and. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He donned his best suit. but he sold his birthrate down the drain for gadgets a nd domestic security and now the stars he might have had are setting one by one. immune to slogans. fumbling in the medicine cabinet for an anti-crapulence pill. Already the day was oppressivel y humid and a blast-furnace like wind was ruffling the Big Sister banners and ma king the lettering on them crawl. O if he had only bent all his energies tow ard conquering the stars. Carrying the coldpac. if not quite his no rmal self. licking stamps by day in Fedgov meadows and hiding behind Big Bo Peep's apron strings by night . but when he reminded her what day it was she rolled quickly out of bed. The shepherd has something to say abou t the sheep. Actually the ordeal consumed two hours and twenty minutes. He thought of Cranston. It wasn' t until he was drinking his second cupful that he remembered what day it was.. . Madelyn her best dress. dressin g in the bedroom with the coldpac within easy reach. and then lay silently side by side in the cool darkness. In stantly the face of all the world was changed and he dumped the rest of the coff ee down the sink and opened a coldpac and dispatched the contents of a handijug. After nightcaps. Big Bo Peep in your gingham gown. while the C ranstons are blithely ignorant of theirs. their tails will always wag behind them\u8212?O that man should have coveted equality so much that he voluntarily became a sheep in o rder to obtain it. He and Madelyn broke theirs op en without delay and took out a handijug apiece. i ncapable of self-complacency. . Even though I can pull strings here and there and slightly affect the over-all picture I'm still h elpless. but when the time comes he must always shear them because he is onl y one of many shepherds and all of us are slaves of the shepherdess we comprise and can do nothing she doesn't want us to do. Nor does the fact that the shepher dess is a benevolent shepherdess make matters any better. The mood brought on by the alcohol he'd consumed still lingered and he could not sleep. He washed the pill down with two glasses o f cold water and by the time he reached the kitchen he felt. S he glared at him out of sleep-dulled eyes. and did so. The memory of the last time he had seen her c ame back to him and he experienced a bad moment. And Barr fel t alone\u8212?as alone as he always felt after making love. The Parade wasn't scheduled to begin till ten and proba bly wouldn't get underway much before eleven. T he Avenue was lined with two thirty-foot-thick rows of people. he nudged Madelyn awake (sh e had come in sometime during the early-morning hours) and told her to get up. He made coffee. and desp otism admits of no distinctions . most of whom had brought coldpacs. and realized that he himself was no less helpless . it would take them a good hour and a half t o reach the Hub and it would require at least another half hour for them to reac h the Avenue of Processions and squirm their way to a place of vantage behind th e electronic fence. settin g the jug aside. they retired and made love quickly. then he took an anti-hate pill and everything was all right again. but counting the time they would h ave to wait in line for their train. . Cranston was one of the latter. And with me. they haven't got the guts. I am only one of the little gears that tur n in Big Sister's Brobdingnagian brain and around and around I go and where I st op nobody knows. By eight o'clock they were rea dy to leave. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Jagannatha}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Dawn the rosy-fingered found Cranston in the bathroom.ake her more so. . tomorrow I will ride in a Fedgov-sponsored circus caravan calle d a Big Sister Day Parade and all up and down the Avenue of Processions sheep wi ll stand on their hind legs waving flags and cheering the shepherdess on and all throughout the land other sheep will sit before their TV screens with rapt and tearful eyes. I am acutely aware of my helplessness. your sheep will never run away. Afterward. for as many crimes can be committed in the name of benevolence as in the name of malevolence. Undrugged. removed his pajamas and shaved and showered. the helplessness is worse. and the man's helpless ness.. even when he loved t he woman he made love to.

No. there was little to distinguish them from ordinary parades. save for the overwhelming enthusiasm with which they were rece ived.but was forced back down by the far greater heat of the sun. a huge shape showed. Martia l music sounded in the distance and far down the street the vanguard of the Para de came into view. other people were crying too. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Was she coming? Cranston fought his way to the fence. to all the other people lining the Avenue. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That was when the momentous thought occurred to him\u8212?and. The excitement of the crowd was almost tangible and broke over him in huge hot waves. If the Para de was being held up till Big Sister's stocking was repaired. BIC SISTERRRRRR!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Cranston felt tears running down his cheeks and intenningling with the sweat br ought out by the hotness of the August day. Of course she wasn't {\i really} going to appear in the one today\u8212?Cranston knew that. Never before had she {\i personally} appeared in one of her processions. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ NOW MARCHED the men who guarded land and sea and air from nonexistent foes. dropping leaflets. Usually Big Sister Day Parades obtained th eir special flavor from the holiday itself and from contingents of her Special G irl Troops carrying signs. Otherwise. He laughed. other people were laughing. It was nice to know she could make light of th em and poke fun at herself while doing so. Madelyn was singing too: \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i "\u8212?yes I know. All up and down the Avenue. Apparently Big Sister had her troubles too. No one had ev er seen her and no one ever would. pygmies sat. Cranston calmed down a little. It was hoarse. The leaflets drifted down from the sky like big flat snowflakes. He still had d ifficulty breathing and his hands were slightly trembling. scarlet smoke rising from portable sky-rite kits rep eatedly spelled her name. In an effort to calm himself further. judging from the great gasp that went up. Around him. he could see her cle arly now. \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ A Fedgov chopper passed overhead. \par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ " {\i Big Sister}!" someone shouted. {\i then Big Sister was going to be in the Parade}! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So {\i that} was the innovation! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Cranston could hardly breathe. 'cause the Fedgov tells me so\u8230?\u8221? }\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ In the distance. Her g ay gingham dress was a windblown tent. Big Sis ter solicits your patience. And her name was on everybody's lips \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "Big Sister. This morning she discovered a run in her stocking an d time out has been called so it can be repaired. Not that she wasn't real. they were laughing. He finished the handijug he'd opened and opened another. and it cracked whenever he hi t the high notes. but not very much. He made no attempt to wipe them away . she wasn't going to appear physically in the Parade: she w as going to be represented somehow\u8212?probably in a way she'd never been repr esented before. Cranston got hold of one of them. but she was real in the way God was real. and who had ever seen God? {\i Really} seen him. Someone else repeated the name and soon it was on everyone's lips. Yes. She towered thirty feet above the huge float on which she stood. rolling thunderously up and down the Avenue. and bugles blared and glockenspiels chimed and drums went BRUM-BRUM-BRUM! Gossamer signs carried by contingents of stunning girls wearing majorette-bikinis proclai med Big Sister's greatness. All around him. one of them hol . Beside him. Cranston heard his own voice. At its base. One of the passing bands struck up the Big-Sister-Loves-Me song in march tempo and the crowd began singing the w ords.

{\i We won't mind. The float's left front wheel loomed darkly before him. AND YOU KNOW HOW IMPORTANT EVERYBODY IS\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ TO BIG SISTER. THOUGH. Big Sister\u8212?we won't mind. We won't mind}. A contingent of Special Girl Troops had just passed a nd the Big Sister float was less than fifty feet distant. BIG SISTER CARES. what he had always want ed. "Big Sister.) \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "SHE HAS GOOD NEWS FOR SOME OF YOU TODAY\u8212?SHE'S DECIDED TO GIVE HER\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ POSTAL WORKERS A RAISE. He moved f arther away from the curb. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ He did not care. BRUM. rounded arms rose and fell in rhythmic majesty. we are!" \par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ "BIG SISTER LOVES YOU. BRUM-BRUM. went the drums in his ears and his mind. Wally\u8212?no! Come back!" He paid no attention. went the drums." he murmured. Overtaxed already.ding a tiller. beautiful. Behind him a vaguely fa miliar voice cried. \u8220?Big Sister. "I'm coming!" BRUM. BUT TO MAKE THIS\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{\s1 \afs32 {\b POSSIBLE SHE MAY HAVE TO TAKE A LITTLE MORE OUT OF EVERYBODY'S\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ PAYCHECK. then right." Cransto n was crying uncontrollably by this time. But the fence had already mended itself. YOU WON'T MIND. THAT'S RIGHT\u8212?HONEST SHE HAS. He began walking towar d it." The pressure of his own weight and that of the people directly b ehind him proved to be more than the fence could withstand. she boomed again. isolating him from the sidewalk and str anding him in the street. trying to see her better. Dazed. he got to his feet. BRUM-B RUM\u8212?BRUM! One of the float's occupants was a black girl. rejoicing as his bones were crushed a nd his flesh was ground to pulp. BRUM! \par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\i Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for Freedom}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." he sobbed . "Big Sister. her face was the sun. He was glad. He'd forgotte n Madelyn completely. People were pressed tightly against him. "AREN'T YOU GLAD TO\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ SEE ME?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The crowd answered in a ragged chorus. and he fell through it into the street. drums sounding in his mind as well as in his ears. He heard her gentle booming voic e. and it was like the surf breaking along a sunlit summer shore: "HELLO ALL YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE. Goddess-tall. Now he could get closer to Big Sister. "We are." BRUM. huge." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ (Cheers. He threw himself beneath the darkness. WILL YOU? YOU KNOW THAT IN THE LONG\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ RUN EVERYBODY WILL BENEFIT. go back!" she shouted. "No. "Go back. She was shouting to him. BRUM-BRUM-BRUM! The occupants of the f loat were waving frantically to him and the float was slowing. relentless. It was what he wanted. Why. i t developed a flaw. BRUM. but he was barely aware of them. BRUM." \par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ "HELLO ALL YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. BIG SISTER LOVES YOU. BIG SISTER CARES. Big Sister!" he cried. BRUM. her hair its golden light. she was going to give {\i him} a raise! He pressed harder against the fence. she grew out of the morning. her huge. "I'm coming. "Big Sister. His handijug slipped from his fingers and disintegrated on the pavement." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "BIG SISTER KNEW YOU WOULDN'T. we are. BRUMBRUM-BRUM! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ Cranston flattened himself against the fence. Big Sister loomed building tall above him now. Her handsome head turned left. \u8220?We can't stop it in time!" But C ranston was not to be denied. he could hear her gingham dress flapping in the mo rning wind.

I should get drunk. Incidentally." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "How can you be so callous!" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I'm not being callous. He was part black. He sensed the right analogy but he drew the wro ng conclusions because he associated the Orissa ritual with evil. And never have litters to s how for it. she thought afterward. apart from the substance we give ourselve s? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ I really must go down into the city. All of us were shouting\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . It was well t hat the shepherd should sleep.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER\u8212?the confusion and the shouting. and the terrible day was drawing swiftly to a close. she mixed one for herself and they sat down at the little bar in her cool and spacious living room. you know. any more or less of a fool . The irony. A bad day. Rabbit s. Da rkness was nearly at hand." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "Nonsense!" Barr said. she thought. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "No. He had had a hard day. she swirled her highball." Barr said. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ LATER. and the long afterno on conference at Party Headquarters\u8212?Patricia Penharlow returned wearily to her apartment accompanied by Theodore Barr. I could feel his bones being ground into the pavement. and his dossier bears me out. the cleansed cool air washin g over her. they made love. I really must attend Cranston's wake. She lay there silently in the darkness. "Parks was right. Beyon d him stretched the vast megascape. "That makes it twice as bad. but I guessed. The Chain I helped hoist into place. They always are." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "You're upset right now. I'll bet he was proud of it. A rent had appe ared in the roseate cloud cloaking America and for an instant the sun had glinte d on one of the links of the Great Chain. But no one made him\u8212?he did it of hi s own free will. "he was wrong. We make love like rabbits. Perhaps three times." Barr said. And far from b eing detrimental to its own cause when it inspired self-immolation. happiness and equality for all. Barr had gone over and was standing in front of the wide picture window." she said. In the near darkness. and on a personal level I'm as sorry as you are tha t he threw himself beneath that wheel. So he had niggerblood in his vein s. "Ideologies need an occasional fanatic like Cranston. Slanted sunlight was fading from the parqueted f loor and the little isles of throwrugs. It was not evi l. I mean. you couldn't concei vably have felt anything. Get drunk and go down into the megalopolis and join the coldpackers in t heir pursuit of love. he was one of the Citizens I talked to last night durin g my intra-urban crosscheck. How much substance do any of us really have. "You'll be all right when the memory loses its sharp edges." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I did. wasn't he. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "I could feel the wheel go over him\u8212?could you?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ "It was your imagination. But she knew she would do neither. she t hought. There should be a goodly c rowd at Cranston's wake\u8212?I daresay they have him laid out by now. she thought. When he declined her offer to mix h im a drink. in the chaste coolness of her windowless bedroom. Presently Barr's breathing informed her that he slept. He seemed tenuous standing there. A coldpac at his head and a bag of peanuts at his feet." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Patricia Penharlow shuddered." She made no further comment and it grew quiet in the room. its multi-lights winking on like glowworms i n the dusk. but neither she nor Barr made a move to turn on the l ights. and it was discontinued only because a new ideology took over. As though nigger-or any other k ind of blood could make a man any more or less human. With all that weight beneath you. it strengthe ned its own cause\u8212?just as the incident today strengthened Big Sister's cau se. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The Chain I helped to forge. though. People admire an entity that inspires self-sacrifice and the Party leaders w ere right this afternoon when they decided to make the float a part of all futur e Big Sister Day Parades. He didn't tell me." said Barr. a thin pencil line of a man she fe lt certain she could erase if she had a large enough eraser. My bones . There was an emptiness in her that the whiskey could not even begin to fill.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ -ROBERT F. my feet kissing the earth. reverberating through the forest and the night. the night trees rising round me. One seldom saw birds in the me galopolis. the chains slipping from me. she probably wouldn't be able to fly either. free. While th e room was windowless. yes! the drums. And then one day they had gone away. The only sounds we re the susurrus of Barr's breathing and the fainter whisper of her own. a steady rhythmic throb reaching out across the decades and the cent uries and the sea. The night was still. put there for a forgotten reaso n long ago. the e arth kissing them back. the ghost of that opinionated little Fr enchman stood on the sidelines laughing. through the night. The jungl e mud oozed tip between her naked toes. free. running running toward the distant drums. BRUM-BRUMBRUM! but she realized presently that th ese were different drums. the great dark earth of my birth. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ If she had wings. Swiftly. self-righte ous sweat. At the peopled pinnacle s and the cold. she knew the coolness of the earth. Hollow-log drums. The drums grew lo uder. matched their tempo to the quickened beating of her heart. at distant patterns of blue or starr y skies. Just beneath the ceiling on the street-side there was a small louvered vent. in the raining light of the stars. never to return. She had looked through it hundreds of times. doves had nested on a ledge just beneath the eaves. BRUM. terrible chasms in between. And all the while we labored. Yes. and for many nights she had lain in the cool cruel darkness listening to them coo. Free O Free. there was a way to look out. She left the cl earing and began running through the forest. the old chains we used to help forge the new. the night and the stars and the throb of the drums. slipped out of her filmy underclothes. She pirouetted in the clearing. Perhaps there was an updraft of some kind that made it difficult for them to fly. One spring. \par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ When she heard the drums she thought at first they were the Big Sister Parade d rums that had gone BRUM. She kicked free from her white-girl shoes. flowing up and through me into my veins. YOUNG \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{\par\pard\hyphpar }{\page } } . free."Hallelujah!" white and black alike. swiftly now. the leaves brushing my blackness as I pass. running I go Freeeeeeeeeeeee. our backs gleaming with noble. She removed her dress again.

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