At last the long period of armed peace came to an end. Propaganda for the light was rapidly gaining ground throughout the Empire. The imperialists decided that at all costs they must destroy their enemy at once. For some years they prepared in secret, while trying to persuade the Free Peoples of their increasing friendliness. Then suddenly they flung their whole armament into a double attack, from north to south, to cut the Federation in two between Afghanistan and Kashmir. With clouds of planes and swarms of mountain tanks the imperial armament pressed up among the hills. Behind the attacking forces came ‘supporting’ forces whose office it was to bombard the attackers should they show any signs of wavering. The Federation defended itself desperately, but the pincer movement of the enemy succeeded in cutting the Federal territory in two. Not long afterwards the richer and more vulnerable western half of the Federation collapsed. Tibet, with Kashmir and Chwanben, was once more alone against the world, a world more effectively organized than that which they had formerly opposed. Moreover their own economy was gravely mutilated by the loss of the western lands, which had been well integrated with the eastern districts. Tibet had become largely dependent on the more industrial West. But once more the Tibetans rose to strange irrational and almost hilarious confidence. Aided by their mountains and their microbes, they held the frontiers intact. Air bombardment once more blasted their homes and factories and reservoirs. Yet Tibetan life continued. Still the yak browsed, the crops were tended, save where lack of water had ruined them. Food was strictly rationed. No one had enough, but none actually starved. The whole population of Tibet, Kashmir, and Chwanben was united in the will to resist. ‘If we hang on long enough,’ they said, ‘the tide will surely turn.’ They were right.
crickets are chirping.'
The following interview took place on a morning late in October in the sitting room adjoining his study. Along one wall was a bookcase approximately 6 by 8 feet containing Asimov's collected works.挲 E榣潦硫J?罔C螠言訳j$-唥[璧:T?)xz瑩襾騨#m詤螿陑n(R[皮偠帺1粺胕碓-棅SIＶV妋A6C鋒蜂V鼫T又瑛%N$?畇U詔朔4盛栣x&朒M|卯nRG敮痒佀牴芫咡n怂7
'Aren't Englishmen the same as Americans? Isn't the money the same?'
He said firmly, "No, darling. They almost killed both of us. Any minute now they may come back and find the Vespa gone. Then we'll have lost the surprise factor. And I can't let them get away with it. These are killers. They'll be off killing someone else tomorrow." He smiled cheerfully. "Besides, they ruined my shirt!"
Had I been defeated in the election, I should still have had no reason to regret the contact it had brought me into with large bodies of my countrymen; which not only gave me much new experience, but enabled me to scatter my political opinions rather widely, and, by making me known in many quarters where I had never before been heard of, increased the number of my readers, and the presumable influence of my writings. These latter effects were of course produced in a still greater degree, when, as much to my surprise as to that of any one, I was returned to Parliament by a majority of some hundreds over my Conservative competitor.
When the lower rim of the orange sun touched the sea, it was almost as if a signal had sounded for the girl. She slowly got to her feet, ran both hands backwards through her hair and began to walk evenly, purposefully towards the sun and the far-away froth of the water-line over a mile away. It would be violet dusk by the time she reached the sea and one might have guessed that this was probably the last day of her holiday, her last bathe.