When he awakened the second time, there was more food and a larger portion. And after a while they had wheeled him out onto a porch. He recognized the scene. No other houses were in sight, but there was no doubt about it. He was within a mile of Cape Spartel, atop the mountain which rises above Tangier and looks out over Spain and the Atlantic.
There was precious little else he could identify. The architecture of the house was extreme.
The chair in which he sat was wheel
The three of them
He said, “My elbow. It’s no longer stiff. It’s been stiff since . . . since 1939.”
Academician Stein fluttered over him. “Don’t overdo, Tracy Cogswell, don’t overdo.”
The younger one, Edmonds, grinned and said, “We had your elbow and various other, ah, deficiencies taken care of before we awakened you.”
Tracy was about to say, “Where am I?” but he knew where he was. Something strange was going on, but he knew where he was. He was within a few miles of Tangier, and in the strangest house he’d ever seen and certainly the most luxurious. That fact came home to him. He was evidently in the hands of the opposition; only a multimillionaire could have afforded this sort of an establishment, and there were no such in the movement.
He considered Jo Edmonds’ words and accepted them. But in the acceptance, he realized the implications. He’d had that arm worked on in London by possibly the world’s outstanding practitioner in the field. He’d saved the elbow but let Tracy know it would never be strong again. Now it was strong, for the first time since the debacle on the Ebro.
By the third day, he was up and around, and beginning to consider his position. He kept his mind from some of the more far out aspects. Such explanations could come later. For now he wanted to evaluate the situation in which he found himself.
He didn’t seem a prisoner, but that was beside the point. You didn’t have to have steel bars to be completely under duress. The three oddly garbed characters who had him here, were seemingly of good will, but Tracy Cogswell was old enough in world political movements to know that the same man who sentenced you to gas chamber or firing squad could be a gentle soul who loved his children and spent his spare time puttering happily in a rock garden.
He wondered about the possibilities of escape. No, not yet. For one thing, he’d never make it. Still too weak. For another, he had to find out what was happening. Perhaps . . . just perhaps . . . there was some explanation which would make sense to the Executive Committee.
He had made his own way out to the terrace again and had seated himself on a piece of furniture
somewhat similar to a lawn chair. That was one of the things that got to him. Even the furniture,
in this ultra
Jo Edmonds drifted easily onto the terrace and raised his eyebrows at Tracy. He was wearing shorts today, shorts and slippers that seemed somehow to cling to the bottom of his feet, although there wasn’t even a strap on top. He was flipping, as though it was a coin, the flat green stone.
“How do you feel?” he said.
Cogswell said in irritation, “What the hell’s that?”
Edmonds said mildly, “This? A piece of jade. Do you enjoy tactile sensation?”
Cogswell scowled at him.
Edmonds said, “The Chinese have been familiar with the quality of jadeite for centuries. They’ve developed its appreciation into an advanced art form. I have quite a collection. Make a point of spending at least two hours a day over it. It takes considerable development to obtain the sensual gratification possible by stroking jade.”
Cogswell said, “You mean to say you’ve got nothing better to do with your time than pet a piece of green stone?”
Jo Edmonds flushed at the tone. “There are less kindly things to which to devote yourself,” he said.
Walter Stein emerged from the house and looked worriedly at Tracy. “How are you feeling? Not overdoing, are you?”
A Paul Lucas type, Tracy decided. Paul Lucas, playing the part of an M.D.
Tracy said, “Look, I’ve got to the point where if I don’t find out what’s going on, I’ll go batty. I realize that somehow or other, you rescued me from a crazy nightmare I got into. I must have had a complete nervous breakdown.”
Jo Edmonds chuckled, good
Cogswell turned on him. “What’s funny?”
Academician Stein held up a hand. “Jo’s humor is poorly taken. You see, we didn’t rescue you from yourself. It was we who put you into your predicament. Please forgive us.”
Tracy Cogswell stared at him.
Stein said, uncomfortably, almost sheepishly, “Do you know where you are, Mr. Cogswell?”
“Yes. That’s Spain over there.”
Stein said, “That’s not exactly what I mean. Let’s cut corners, Mr. Cogswell. If we were still using the somewhat inefficient calendar of your period, this would be approximately the year 2000.”
Strange, Tracy told himself, it doesn’t seem to come as a surprise. I knew it was something like that.
“Time travel,” he said aloud. It was a field of thought in which he had never wandered but he was dimly aware of the conception; a movie or two, a short story or so, over the years.
“Well, not exactly,” Stein said, scowling. “Well, but yes, in a way.”
Jo Edmonds laughed softly. “You’re not very definite, Walter.”
The older man had taken a seat on the low stone parapet that surrounded the terrace. Now he leaned forward, elbows on knees, and clasped his hands together. “Time travel isn’t possible, so far as we know.”
“But you just said
“Actually, you’ve been in a state of suspended animation, I suppose you could call it.”
Things were fitting into place quickly. There were a lot of loose ends, but the tangle was coming out. Tracy said.
“But you had to travel back to my day to . . . to do whatever it was you did to me. To take over my actions.”
Stein said seriously, “Not our physical selves, Mr. Cogswell. It is impossible to send matter through time. Except forward, of course, at the usual pace. However, the mind can and does travel in time. Memory is nothing more than that. In dream, the mind even sometimes travels ahead, although in such haphazard manner that it is all but impossible to measure, to gather usable data.”
Jo Edmonds said, “In your case, it was a matter of going back into the past, seizing control of your mind and body and forcing you to perform yourself the steps that would lead to your, ah, suspended animation, as the academician puts it.”
For some reason, the younger man’s tone irritated Cogswell. “What’s an academician?” he said.
Edmonds raised his eyebrows. “Oh, that’s right. The degree evolved after your period. It was found that even the Ph.D. had become somewhat commonplace, so the higher one was created.”
Tracy Cogswell’s irritation was growing. The two of them, no matter how well intentioned, had a lot to answer for. Besides that, they were so comfortably clean, so obviously well fed, so unworried and adjusted. They had it made. It probably took a dozen servants to keep up this house, to wait hand and foot on these two so that they could look so comfortably sleek. And how many people did it take slaving away somewhere in industry or office, to provide the funds necessary to maintain this fabulous establishment?
Tracy said flatly, “So you figured out a way of sending back through time. Of providing my hypnotized body with information that allowed it to put itself into suspended animation.
“To accomplish this, you had me abscond with some twenty thousand dollars. Perhaps not a
great deal in your eyes, but it was composed of thousands upon thousands of tiny
Stein was frowning worriedly and clucking under his breath, but Jo Edmonds had an amused expression on his face.
Cogswell snapped, “When I’ve got some of my strength back, I’d like to take a
crack at wiping some of the vacant
The girl, Betty, came out then and looked from one of them to the other. She said impatiently, “Good heavens, look at the state Mr. Cogswell is in. I thought you weren’t going to discuss this project until he was suitably recovered.”
Cogswell glared at her. “I want to know what the big idea is! I’ve been kidnaped. On top of that, in spite of the fact that seemingly I did it, actually you people are guilty of stealing twenty thousand dollars.” He could feel the flush mounting his face.
“See?” she said indignantly to Stein and Edmonds.
The two looked embarrassedly at Tracy. “Sorry. You’re right,” Edmonds said to her. He turned on his heel and left.
Stein began bustling and clucking again, attempting to take Tracy’s pulse. Tracy jerked his arm away.
“Damn it,” he said. “Tell me what it’s all about.”
“Later, later,” Stein soothed.
It was the girl who said, “See here . . . Tracy. You’re among friends. Let us do it our way. Answers will come soon enough.” She added, like a nurse to a child, “Tomorrow, perhaps, I’ll take you for a pleasant ride over Gibraltar and up the Costa del Sol.”
In the morning, for the first time, Tracy Cogswell ate with the rest of them in a small
breakfast room, he supposed you’d call it. The more he saw of the house, the more he was
impressed by its efficient ultra
He had expected to be waited upon by Moorish servants, or possibly even French or Spanish ones. However, evidently he was being kept under wraps. Betty served them, bringing in dishes and platters from the kitchen.
The food, admittedly, was out of this world. He wondered, momentarily, whether or not she had cooked it herself. No, of course not. Betty Stein was much too decorative to have any useful qualities.
The conversation was desultory, obviously deliberately so. However, there was still amusement behind Jo Edmonds’ eyes.
Toward the end of the meal, Stein said, “How do you feel, Mr. Cogswell? Up to the little jaunt Betty suggested?”
“I don’t see why not.” The more information he gathered about his surroundings, the better prepared he’d be when and if he went on the run.
He was able to walk by himself to the garage, although Stein bumbled worriedly alongside all the way.
Cogswell was settled into the front seat of a vehicle that didn’t look so greatly different from a sedan of his own period, except for the lack of wheels, and Betty took her place behind the controls.
The difference came, Cogswell found, when they emerged from the garage, proceeded a few feet and then took to the air, without wings, rotors, propeller, jets, or any other noticeable method of support or propulsion.
She could see he was taken aback. “What’s the matter?”
Cogswell said, “I hadn’t expected this much progress in this much time. You needed wings in my day.”
She was obviously a skilled driver
“I sometimes get my dates mixed up,” Betty said, “but I thought you were
beginning to get air
Cogswell was looking down at the countryside beneath them. Tangier had changed considerably. It
had obviously become an ultra
Tracy Cogswell grunted to himself. He supposed that as Europe’s and America’s
wealthy had discovered the climatic and scenic advantages of northern Morocco, they had zeroed in.
They must have displaced the multitude of natives who had formerly made uncomfortable, by their
obvious need, those few of the well
There were quite a few of the flying cars such as he and Betty were in. That was one thing. With flight at various levels, it relieved the congestion. However, there were probably other traffic problems that had evolved.
Betty put on speed and in a matter of five or ten minutes, they were circling Gibraltar, perhaps the world’s most spectacular landfall. Here, too, the signs of the military of his own period had given way to villas and luxury apartment houses.
Cogswell said, “Where are all the stores, garages, and other business establishments?”
Betty said, “Underground.”
“Where you can’t see them and be bothered by their unattractiveness, eh?”
“That’s right,” she said, evidently missing his sarcasm.
They flew north along the coast, passing Estepona, Marbella, and Fuengirola. Cogswell was impressed. Even in his own time, the area had been booming, but he had never expected to see anything like this.
“Too crowded,” Betty commented. “I’m amazed that so many people gravitate to the warm climates.”
Tracy said impatiently, “Everyone would, wouldn’t they, given the wherewithal?”
“But why? Why not stay in areas where you have seasonal changes? For that matter, why not spend some seasons in the far north, and enjoy the extremes of snow and cold weather? Comfortable houses can be built in any climate.”
Cogswell grunted. “You sound like that queen, what was her name? The one who said, ‘Let them eat cake.’”
Betty frowned, not getting it. “Marie Antoinette? How do you mean?”
Tracy Cogswell said impatiently, “Look. You people with lots of dough don’t realize
what it can mean for somebody without it to spend some time in the sun. And
Betty looked at him. “Dough?” she said.
“Money,” Cogswell said impatiently. “Sure, if you have piles of money, you
can build swell houses even up in Alaska, and live comfortably. You can live comfortably anywhere,
given piles of money. But for most people, who’ve probably lived the greater parts of their
lives in some near
Suddenly, Betty laughed.
Tracy Cogswell froze up, his face went expressionless. Until this, he’d rather liked the girl.
Betty indicated the swank villas beneath them. They were flying over Torremolinos now. “Were you under the impression that those people down there had lots of money?”
That took a time to sink in.
Cogswell said, “Possibly not by your standards. By mine, yes.”
Betty said, “None of them have any money at all. Neither have I.”
That was too much. He gaped at her.
Betty said, “There is no such thing as money any more. There hasn’t been for quite a while.”
Cogswell figured he understood now. “Well, it’s the same thing. Credit cards, or whatever the means of exchange.”
Betty laughed again and there was honest amusement in her voice, not condescension. She said, her voice gentle, “Tracy Cogswell, in all those years you belonged to your movement, in all the years of dedication, did you really think, really inwardly believe, that someday it might come true? That someday the millennium would arrive, Utopia be achieved?”
The cold went through him.
He closed his mouth, but continued to stare his disbelief.
“Tracy,” she said gently, “your movement was successful more than twenty years ago.”
After a long time he said, “Look, could we go back to the house? I could use a drink.”
They were amused by his reactions, but it was a friendly amusement and with a somehow wry connotation which Tracy Cogswell didn’t quite get. So many things were bubbling through his head, so many questions to ask, he didn’t have time for complete answers.
“And the Russkies?” he demanded. “What happened there?”
Jo Edmonds said, “About the same as everywhere else. Overnight, the contradictions that had built up through the decades of misrule and misdirection finally boiled over. It was one of the few places where there was much violence. The Commies had done too much to too many to have been allowed peaceful retirement.”
Betty shook her head. “In some places, it was terrible.”
Tracy Cogswell drew from his own memories pictures of members of the secret police hanging from lampposts by their heels. He had been in Budapest during the 1956 uprising. “Yes,” he said, uncomfortably.
Then, “But countries like India, the African nations, South America. How do they stand now?”
Academician Stein was chuckling softly. “These things seem so long ago to us,” he
said. “It’s almost unbelievable that they can be news to an intelligent adult. The
backward countries? Why, given the all
“It was a universally popular effort,” Betty added. “Everybody pitched in.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” Cogswell blurted. “But, look
Jo Edmonds, who was sitting relaxed in an armchair near the fireplace, a drink in one hand, his inevitable piece of jade in the other, said easily, “Not really much of a problem, given world government and universal education on a high level. If you’ll remember, the large families were almost always to be found in the most backward countries, or among the most backward elements in the advanced countries. Education and efficient methods of birth control ended the problem.”
“Look,” Cogswell said happily, “could I have another drink? This must be the damndest thing that ever happened to a man. Why, why, it’s as though St. Paul woke up in the year, well, say, 1400 a.d. and saw the strength of the Church.”
All three of them laughed at him and Jo Edmonds went over to the sideboard and mixed him another drink.
Tracy Cogswell said, “That reminds me of something else. How about servants? It must take a multitude of maids to run a house like this.”
Betty made a moue at him. “Nonsense. You aren’t very good at extrapolation. Why, even in your own day in the advanced countries the house was automated to the point where even the fairly well off didn’t have domestic help. Today, drudgery has been eliminated. Anyone can have just about as large a house as they want, and keep it up by devoting only a few minutes a day to its direction.”
It was still all but inconceivable to him. “And everybody, just everybody can afford a place like this?”
It was Stein’s turn again. As they’d all been doing, he prefaced his explanation
with a laugh. “Given automation and cheap, all but free, power and what is the answer?
“Yes,” Cogswell said, shaking his head. “Yes, of course.” Then he added, his voice very low, “I’ll be damned.”
They all laughed with him.
Jo Edmonds brought the new drink and Cogswell finished it in one swallow. He considered for a minute. “Look,” he said. “I don’t suppose anyone remembers what happened to a fellow named Dan Whiteley.”
“Whiteley,” Stein scowled.
“He was a member of the organization.”
“Dan Whiteley,” Betty said. “I read something about him. Let me see, he was a Canadian.”
“That’s right. From Winnipeg.”
“Did you know him?” Betty said, her voice strange.
He said slowly, “Yes, yes I knew him quite well.” Unconsciously, he stroked his left elbow. The others had been in favor of leaving him behind. Dan had carried him, one way or the other, half the night. Toward the morning the police had brought up dogs and they’d been able to hear them baying only half a mile or so behind.
Betty said gently, “The Commies got him when he was trying to contact some of their intellectuals and get your movement organized in China. He succeeded, but later was caught and shot in, I believe, Hankow. He’s now sort of a minor martyr. Students of the period know about him.”
Tracy Cogswell took a deep breath. “Yeah,” he said. “That’s the way Dan would have ended. Could I have another drink?”
Stein said, “You’re not overdoing, are you?”
“No, of course not. Look, how about cancer, and space flight, and how about interracial problems and juvenile delinquency?”
“Hold it!” Jo Edmonds laughed. Somehow there was a strained quality in the laugh that Cogswell couldn’t quite put his finger on.
Stein said, “You can imagine how long any of the old diseases lasted once we began to devote the amount of time to them that our scientists had formerly put into devising methods of destroying man.”
Betty said, “Oh, we have observatories and various laboratories on the moon. And . . .”
Joe Edmonds brought the drink and Tracy Cogswell took a long swallow and then shook his head.
Walter Stein was quickly on his feet. “See here,” he said, “you’re pale. We’ve allowed you to push yourself too far.” He clucked unhappily. “Betty was premature this morning. We hadn’t expected to allow you so much excitement for several days yet. Now, back to bed for you.”
“I feel a little tired and a little tight,” Cogswell admitted.
In bed, just before he dropped off, he gazed up at the ceiling. What did he feel like? Somewhat as he had when a kid, back there in Baltimore. When tomorrow was going to be Christmas.
He was drifting into sleep before a worrying thought wriggled up from below. He never quite grasped it all.
However, his subconscious worked away.
They were waiting for him when he emerged for breakfast in the morning. All three of them, dressed as usual in the most imaginative clothes possible. Cogswell had already come to the conclusion that fashions and styles were a thing of yesteryear; people dressed in the most comfortable way they damn well pleased. He supposed that when it had been followed, fashion had largely been a matter of sales promotion.
For the first time since his awakening, he felt really fit, both mentally and physically alert.
After they’d exchanged good mornings and questioned him on his well
“Yesterday, I was pretty well taken up in enthusiasm. I doubt if many men live to see their own idea of Utopia achieved. In fact, looking back I doubt I know of a single example. But an 5 way, now I’d like to get some basic matters cleared up.”
Edmonds finished his coffee, leaned back, and began fiddling with his piece of jade. “Fire away,” he said, but he, like the others, seemed to have a faint element of tension.
Cogswell said, “As I understand it, through a method devised by Stein, here, you were
able to send his mind back to my time, hypnotize me, and force me to take the steps that resulted
in my being
Walter Stein shrugged. He still reminded Cogswell of Paul Lucas, playing the part of an anxious scientist. “That’s a sufficient explanation.”
Cogswell looked at him questioningly. “What was all that about the monument, and the tomb beneath?”
Stein said, “We had to have some place to leave your body where it wouldn’t be discovered for decades. A cave beneath a holy man’s tomb was as good a bet as any. Even today, such monuments are respected.”
“I see,” Cogswell said. “I’ve got some mind
Betty took up the ball. She said, “Remember, Tracy, when I told you yesterday that Dan Whiteley had become a minor martyr?”
He waited for her to go on.
“You are also so known. Tracy Cogswell, the dependable, the organization man plus ultra.” She spoke as though reciting. “Fought in Spain as a boy. Friend of George Orwell. Spent three years in Nazi concentration camps before escaping. Active in overthrowing Mussolini. Fought on the side of the revolutionists in the Hungarian tragedy of 1956. Helped Djilis get out of Yugoslavia. Finally, was given post of international secretary, coordinating activities from Tangier.” She took a breath, then went on. “Captured by Franco police and smuggled into Spain. Died under torture without betraying any members of the organization.”
Tracy Cogswell was on his feet. His voice was strained. “But. . . but Dan Whiteley was there, at the end. He knew that last wasn’t true. I appropriated almost twenty thousand dollars of the movement’s funds. It must have been practically the whole international treasury.”
Edmonds said with sour humor, “Evidently, your organization needed a martyr more than it needed the money. You’ve gone down in history as Tracy Cogswell, the Incorruptible, the Dependable, the perfect organization man.”
Cogswell slumped back into his chair. At least, that way, a hundred friends had never known his final act of betrayal. Beyond him to resist, but still betrayal.
He said, “All right. Now we come to the question that counts.” He looked from one face to another. They knew what he was about to ask. “Why?”
Jo Edmonds, for once, slipped his piece of jade into a pocket. He opened his mouth to speak but Stein quieted him with a shake of his head. “Let me do this Jo. How we put this now means success or failure of the whole project.”
“What project, damn it?” Cogswell snapped.
“Just a minute,” Stein said, flustered a bit. “Let me give you some background.”
“I’ve been getting background for days. Tell me why I’m here!”
“A moment, please. Tracy, man was an aggressive, hard
“I don’t need this,” Cogswell growled.
“A moment, please. Even when his fellow beasts were conquered, man still had nature to combat. He still must feed, clothe, and shelter himself. He must free himself of the seasons. Of cold and the night, of flood and storm, of draft and pestilence. And step by step he beat out his path of progress. It wasn’t always easy, Tracy.”
“It was never easy,” Tracy Cogswell said impatiently.
“All along the way,” Stein pursued, “man fought not only as a species but as an individual. Each man battled not only nature, but his fellow man, since there was seldom sufficient for all. Particularly when we get to the historic period and the emerging of the priest and warrior, and finally the noble, man pitted himself against his fellows for a place at the top. There was room for only a fraction.”
The academician shook his head. “Survival of the fittest,” he said. “Which often meant the most brutal, the most cunning, the conscienceless. But it also meant the strengthening of the race. When a ruling class was no longer the most aggressive and intelligent element of a people, it didn’t long remain the ruling class.”
Walter Stein hesitated for a long moment. “In short, Tracy, all through his history man
has had something to fight against
“Isn’t all this elementary?” Cogswell said. Some of the heat of his impatience was gone but he couldn’t understand what the other was building up to.
Stein said, uncertainly, “I suppose the first signs of it were evident in your own period. I recall reading of educators and social scientists who began remarking on the trend before the twentieth century was half through.”
“What trend?” Cogswell scowled.
“In the more advanced countries of your period. The young people. They stopped taking the science and engineering courses in school, they were too difficult to wish to bother with. A youngster didn’t have to fight to make his way, the way was greased. The important thing was to have a good time. Find an angle so that you could obtain the material things everyone else had, without the expenditure of much effort. Don’t be an egghead. Don’t stick your neck out. Conform. You’ve got cradle to the grave security. Take it easy. You’ve got it made.”
Betty Stein, quiet for a long time, added softly, “And the most advanced
“That’s the point,” Stein nodded. “They had nothing to fight against and man is a fighting animal. Take away something to work for, to fight for, and he’s a frustrated animal.”
A horrible understanding was growing within Cogswell.
He looked from one to the other of them, all but desperately, “Why did you bring me here?” he said hoarsely.
Stein ignored him and pressed on. “Since the success of your movement, Tracy Cogswell, there has been world government. Wars have disappeared and racial tensions. There is abundance for all, crime is a thing of the past. Government is so changed as hardly to be recognized from the viewpoint of your day. There are no politics, as you knew them.”
Jo Edmonds said bitterly, “You asked about space flight, yesterday. Sure, there’s a
small base on the moon, but nothing new has been done in the field for a generation. We have lots
of dilettantes,” he flicked his beautifully carved bit of jade, “lots of connoisseurs,
lots of gourmets
“Why did you bring me here?” Cogswell repeated.
“Because we need your know
Cogswell’s eyes went tired. “My know
Betty said gently, “Tracy, when we sought back through history for someone to show us the way, we found Tracy Cogswell, the Incorruptible, the Dependable, the lifelong devoted organization man.”
Tracy Cogswell was staring at her. “Who are you people? What’s your angle?”
It was Academician Stein who answered, and he said what Cogswell now already knew. “We’re members of the new underground. The human race is turning to mush, Tracy. Something must be done. For decades we’ve had what every Utopian through history has dreamed of. Democracy in its most ultimate form. Abundance for all. The end of strife between nations, races, and, for all purposes practical, between individuals. And, as a species, we’re heading for dissolution. Tracy, we need your experience to guide us. To head the new movement.”
Jo Edmonds leaned forward and put it in another way.