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By Walter Hasbrook

TRUTH, like a gem, has many faces; you do not know it until you have looked at them all. More and still more books on the late war between the Confederacy and the Alliance roll from the presses; if I presume to add further printed matter to this vast and growing pile, it is in the hope of providing one more facet, unique if small, to the gem of truth.

The hope is, I think, reasonable: my position as science editor of the New York Times-Tribune afforded me both a behind-the-scenes entrée and a bird's-eye view of the technical developments of the war. Much of my time is spent burrowing in dusty library files, searching out facts available to all but known to few; again, much is spent in interviews, extracting the facts of tomorrow from the vital minds of today.

ANOTHER big war was foreseen as far back as the Thirties, and the nations had set about grimly preparing for it. The expensiveness of the preparation may have been responsible for postponing it more than thirty years. The generals would go around to a government and say, "We're in danger of being attacked by countries A, B, and C. Therefore we need such-and-such an armament. You just give us the money, and in three years we'll be ready for any eventuality." The government would groan and say, "Mon Dieu, that'll ruin us!" and then give in. The military measures would be taken, and then they'd find that all their neighbors had done likewise, so that they were relatively no better off than they had been before. So the whole business would begin over again.

The ideal solution for any one nation would have been to have a greater armament than all the rest of the world combined, but no nation was in a position to do that—especially since China had ceased to be one nation, and was divided into eastern and western halves, under the Japanese heel and in Russian leading-strings respectively.

In due course two of the future combatants found themselves "ready" at once, and the necessary insignificant excuse was found, and the war was on. Within a year we were in it, despite our good resolutions—or were they good? Since we shall never know what would have happened if we had stayed out, there is no scientific way of settling the question.

I was hired by the Army Intelligence Service as a part-time civilian employee: an employee because modern Intelligence work consists of, besides active espionage, an enormous amount of study and comparison of public or semipublic documents, such as governmental reports, yearbooks, patent-office publications, etc., by which valuable information can be pieced together out of unintentional hints; a civilian, because my work was to be known only to my employers; part-time, because Intelligence valued my contacts with sources of news that didn't always pass through the Military Censor's hands. I had had plenty of practice at this kind of work in private life.

On the evening of May 4, 1971, Admiral Dahlgren called at my apartment, which was as usual knee-deep in papers—though of course I kept no confidential ones there. After we had talked of this and that, he said: "Young man, your technical friends are driving us nuts again. It was bad enough when they pushed airplane speeds up into the four hundreds and upset all our calculations; but we knew the compressibility-burble point put a ceiling on that and that they couldn't get very far over five hundred. Now they've begun putting these auxiliary rocket-tubes on bombers to enable them to spring away from pursuit-planes, and compressibility-burble doesn't matter; so God knows what they'll do to our figures now. They may go up over a thousand. Hmp. Damn it, where's my pipe?"

"They have," I said.


"SURE. Haven't you Navy people heard about it? It's a new Arado that files on its tubes alone except in taking off and landing, and it's said to do around twelve hundred miles an hour. It's for photography only, because at that speed you can't hit anything much smaller than Manhattan with a bomb. Doesn't even carry a gun, because things go by too fast to aim at them."

"Hmp. If your boys know about it, ours probably do too, only they didn't bother to tell me. Nobody ever tells me anything," he complained. "Damn it, what did I do with those matches. 1 suppose those dumbunny designers of ours got caught flatfooted, as usual. Hmp. Have to put the screws on them. They've been promising us an effective rocket-ship for six months, damn it. Ah-h!" The Admiral had found his matches.

"You know, Hasbrook," he went on, "The more I look at this war, the phonier the ostensible reasons for it seem. The idea that the members of the Alliance are fighting for needed natural resources has been worn pretty thin by our modern advances in chemistry, agronomy, and so forth. You don't need much resources to support your people nowadays. On our side we talk about saving democracy, but I notice that our lineup includes some very peculiar-looking democracies—the regime of the Argentine cattle-barons, for instance. I suppose, though, that you can't be too fussy about your friends or you won't have any.

"If I were to try to put in words my own feelings, I'd say that we were after tangible things, such as food, clothes, shelter, and entertainment for our folks. We may not know just how to get them, but at least there are such things. The other side seems to be fighting for things that either don't exist such as the purity of their race, or whose existence can't be proved, such as the divinity of their ruler.

"They're also after their national honor, which as nearly as I can make out is the kind of prestige you get by inflicting insult and injury on another and getting away with it. So every so often they have to injure or humiliate their neighbors as a matter of principle, previous promises to the contrary notwithstanding, hmp.

"The Hell of it is that you can get people fighting over these imaginary abstractions, such as honor, if anything more easily than over real objectives, and the Alliance knows it—at least that devil Raiberti knows it." Here my crusty friend exhausted his stock of four-letter words on the Alliance's Chief of Public Enlightenment. "And with everybody carrying a radio the size of a watch we can't stop him. We can't even blanket these wave-crest modulated sets without smothering all our own stuff at the same time. If your technical friends—"

Just then the world outside was lit up as by a noon sun. Then came a sound—the sort you feel rather than hear; but I should describe it as a vast grunt.

I CAME to lying in a corner of the room. I couldn't have been out more than a second or two. because through my now gaping window came a long-drawn-out roar, made, I later learned, by tons of steel and masonry showering on lower Manhattan.

The Admiral was already up, swearing in six languages. The lights slowly came on again. The roar died, to be replaced by official sirens and gongs. To the South, over the hedge of skyscrapers, a red glow lighted the belly of an immense smoke-cloud. We tried the telephone, but at first it didn't work, and when it did all the numbers we called for information were busy.

As I stepped back to the window, a piece of paper the size of a playing-card fluttered in. Across the top, in 24-point bold-face, were the words "Don't Be a Sucker, Buddy!", and below it one of the cleverly-worded appeals of Raiberti's gang proving that the Alliance really thought the world of us, but that we were misled by our scheming politicians.

There was no mystery about it. The Alliance had sent a radio-controlled rocket a couple of hundred feet long, with a mighty charge of explosive in its nose, across the Atlantic from the Alps. When it was almost over New York, a number of little auxiliary rockets full of these love-notes had been released to scatter their load, while the big one dove into the financial district.

The next day I got a pass to the scene of the explosion. Where the City Bank Farmers Trust Building had been was now a large hole, partly filled with steel beams twisted into pretzel shapes. The skeletons of the surrounding skyscrapers were mostly still standing, but all the masonry had been blown away. Because of the financial district's sparse night population, there had been less loss of life there than was caused by the fall of debris elsewhere. Some of it fell as far north as Times Square.

I was out at Fort Montauk the night the second—and last—of these visitors came. A battery of new guns had been put up so hurriedly that there were footprints in the emplacements where the crews had walked before the concrete was dry. The guns themselves looked incredibly large. but that was because of the water-jackets six feet in diameter (including the cooling-fins) around their barrels. A cooling-unit the size of a box-car, full of blowers and radiators, was required to dissipate the heat developed by their thirty-rounds-a-minute fire.

I descended into the fire-control room, which was full of men unconcernedly smoking while looking at indicators and oscillographs and pushing buttons and turning knobs. The main view-plate was a four-foot glass square, black except for a grid of green lines. The adjutant explained this and that to me, and a buzzer sounded. The operator in front of the main plate said over his shoulder, "Here she comes!" I saw the men tense themselves.

AT the top of the plate a white dot appeared and moved slowly down the glass, leaving a thread of purple light behind it. 1 held my breath, but you can't do that for ten minutes, and the rocket was still far out of range. The minutes crawled by. the silence complete except for the breathing of the men and the tiny noises of their instruments.

The dot reached a line a little heavier than the others, and I knew that the rocket was fifty miles out and angling down from the stratosphere. The operator pressed another buzzer. Through the concrete, the firing of the guns came to us as a tattoo of thumps. I was glad I wasn't outside: of all guns, the six-inch is hardest on eardrums, but the eight-inch, which these were, is not far behind it.

Little dots of red appeared on the plate, closer and closer to the white dot until they looked like a cluster of gems. The white dot seemed to swerve slightly, and turned red, meaning that it was dropping out of the plane represented by the plate. The operator spun a handwheel and brought it back to white again. He kept turning, turning, until his altitude dial showed zero. The white dot flickered and disappeared. Somewhere out on the Atlantic a column of steam marked the end of the rocket. It was all over. The defense had caught up with the offense again.

It had caught up elsewhere, too. The main cities of Europe were buried in sandbags and sheathed with explosion-mats, and ringed with guns that could in a twinkling blast out of the sky any hostile aircraft, regardless of its speed or the weather conditions. On the battlefields, long lines of concealed gun-emplacements peered at each other from behind barbed-wire, concealed pits, fences of railroad-irons stuck upright in the ground, land mines, and every other defense that desperate men could devise. No-man's land was sprinkled with the remains of men and of tanks that had tried to cross the once. The gun-crews groped for each other with sound-detectors, infrared detectors, and seismographic detectors and fired. When a shot went home, the gun and its crew were replaced, and the war went on.

Our Turkish friends drove through Thrace for a few miles, and were stopped by the Balkan army under Vacarescu. The Indians were slowly pinched back into Begat by the vast Japanese-officered Chinese armies of the Alliance, with the help of a few Siamese divisions. Things went against us in Uruguay.

As the battlefields became more littered and shell-pitted, and as the contestants dug themselves in deeper. the snail-like pace of the war asymptotically approached a dead stop. But in the minds of men another kind of war was being fought. You bought a pack of cigarettes; the third one that you took out suddenly unrolled into a strip of paper bearing a propaganda message. You called the police, who arrested the clerk, the delivery-man, the dealer, and everybody at the cigarette-factory through whose hands the smoke might have passed. Their unanimous denial of knowing anything stood up under the lie-detectors. You couldn't shoot them all in the hope of getting the hostile agent; you'd have to kill too large a proportion of the population, and besides that was the sort of barbarity practiced by the Alliance, whereas our side was supposed to be more humane.

YOU bought a head of lettuce, and the grocer made out your receipted bill. The bill was normal enough when he stuffed it in the paper bag of provisions, but by the time you got home it had changed I to one of Raiberti's billetdoux. You had the grocer arrested, again without result.

Admiral Dahlgren, looking in civilian clothes more than ever like a Minnesota farmer, was in my apartment one evening when I turned on the radio. I set it for a commercial station. but when I threw the switch a hearty voice said: ". . . statement by Senator James. Now, folks, we don't like to doubt a senator's word, but when you consider that in 1956 he was held for mental observation in the Des Moines City Hospital, we think it should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm afraid you're being taken for a little ride, folks. If you want to know how he got his dough, I'd suggest you look into the matter of the Oregon timber leases of 1956, and compare that with . . ." The voice was drowned in a blare of dance-music. The commercial station, no doubt in response to frantic official telephone calls, had changed their waveform to blanket the Alliance station.

"The swine!" barked the Admiral. "I get a lot of inside dope, and I know James had nothing to do with that scandal. But they're so damned clever that their biggest lies are of a kind you can't absolutely disprove. Remember the last time they pulled that insanity gag? They said President McRae had been in the looney-bin at White Plains. Then it turned out that a small fire had destroyed that hospital's records, so that no matter what McRae said there was always a shade of doubt in people's minds. Hmp."

Another time he brought up an individual who looked like a neo-vorticist poet, whom he introduced as Dr. Quentin Hoyle, the psychologist. I was surprised: I'd met many psychiatrists, but most of them were men of conservative appearance designed to give confidence to their patients.

The Admiral spoke gloomily of the war. "Same old story, hmp. Trouble on the Ukrainian front. Trouble on the Chinese front—morale. They had a little mutiny in the Chinese Soviet's 52nd Division. Propaganda, of course. Anybody who can beat the Communists at that game is good. You probably haven't heard about it; the mutiny story should have been censored out before it got to you."

"No," I replied, "I haven't, but I have heard about our own morale troubles in the South and the Midlands. Raiberti's song-and-dance has been making headway in the Chicago area."

The Admiral was going through his usual motions of hunting for a match. "Damn, damn, where'd I put them? You know, Hasbrook, our technics are easily as good as the Alliance's, but in this 'public enlightenment' business they make our best advertising men and psychologists—with due apologies, Hoyle—look like children."

THE dreamy-looking Hoyle pulled his long hair, and said: "Repeat a thing often enough, and it leaves an indelible impression on a mans mind, whether he wants to believe it or not. If either of you gentlemen are married you'll know what I mean."

"Hmp, hmp. I am; Hasbrook isn't that I know of. I get you, though, Doc. It sort of wears a path through the mind, doesn't it?"

Hoyle was silent for so long that Dahlgren thought he hadn't heard, and started to repeat. But the psychologist, still looking at nothing, raised his hand. "Wears a path, yes. I suppose one could describe it thus in popular terms. I think you've said something, Admiral. If you have, we may yet hoist the Alliance with their own petard."

"Hmp! What the Hell's a petard?"

"Tsk, and you a military man! It's a kind of bomb used in the later middle ages for seige work, and 'hoist' in that sense means 'blow up.'" With which Hoyle retired into his own rarefied mental atmosphere, refusing to elaborate.

It was a month before the Admiral came around again; the Alliance was giving our Naval Intelligence plenty of overtime work. You wouldn't have guessed it from the censored newspapers, but I knew that the morale of the countries of the Confederacy was going from bad to worse. In the United States there was sabotage not by spies, but by disgruntled Americans in Milwaukee, an attempted peace-at-any-price demonstration in Topeka, and a lynching of an Army officer in Georgia. In other countries it was worse: Argentina was practically out of the war, and Australia was cracking.

I didn't wonder. Wherever you turned, Raiberti's propaganda got in your hair. If the ceaseless rain of half-truths, insinuations, and lies got on my nerves, I could imagine how it affected the masses of people, who lacked my inside knowledge. The usual spy-fever was bad enough, but this was something undreamed of in the old days.

The neatest trick that Raiberti's agents pulled was the doctoring of a load of newsprint on its way to the presses of my paper, so that three hours after the papers were printed the original print faded out and Raiberti's messages took its place—just about the time the buyers of the papers were reading them. Almost as good was their placing a miniature phonograph in the microphone that McRae was supposed to use for a broadcast speech. When the President started, we heard what was apparently his voice, complete with Philadelphia accent, go off on a rambling tirade denouncing Congress, the Army, the Navy, the farmers, the workers, and everybody else in sight, the talk being punctuated by frequent hiccups. And all the time poor McRae was making one of the best and most reasonable speeches of his career! It was hardly surprising that the rumors that Raiberti had started concerning the President's sanity revived.

WHEN Dahlgren did come around again he brought a gang. There was the poetic-looking Hoyle, and a dark man who combined the outlines and manner of an Iowa realtor with a buttery Oxford accent; he was introduced as Colonel Bosh of the Indian Army. The last man, whose name the Admiral said was Mr. Tsung, was an obvious Eastern Asiatic. When I got a good look at him something went "click;" I almost said "Phil!" but stopped at the "ph."

"Tsung" simultaneously recognized me and almost spoke, but checked himself. Then he laughed. "We might as well own up, Walt. The Admiral knows who I am, but he didn't know that you did."

Years before, I had gone to high-school in California with a Japanese-American boy named Philip Okuma. He had—an incredible thing unless you knew him—been elected student-body president. But some local patriotic society became exercised and forced a change in our so-called Constitution, so that poor Phil was euchered out of his job. The experience hadn't soured him.

Now he mentioned that he was doing Intelligence work. "What else is there?" he asked. "My people have been in this country for three generations, but a lot of good that does me, when every jap is supposed to be a spy, a saboteur, an emperor-worshiper, and a lot of other things. And in Japan I'd be considered a foreigner who had been exposed to the wicked and impious ideas of the Western barbarians." He laughed again.

The Admiral called the meeting to order. Hoyle handed him a little black cylinder, about the size of the eraser in the end of an ordinary pencil.

"Colonel Bosh," Dahlgren said, "Your job is this: your agents are to introduce these—these things into the electrical communications of the enemy in Burma, without getting caught. You have, I know, pulled riskier jobs before. I'm having the technical details typed and photo-offset; you'll get them tomorrow. Tsung here—Okuma, that is—is to get the first ones installed in Japan. I'm sorry we had to deprive you of a good molar. Okuma, but I think you'll find that the fake one we gave you to hold the—hmp—capsule works well. The capsule. once installed, cannot be removed without setting off a minute charge of thermite in it that will destroy it. I can't tell you how it works, not even you, Hasbrook, but you can take my word that it does. When it and, we hope, several thousand more like it have been given a chance to work, your general staff will be given the necessary information."

Bosh, who was, I knew, a much more dangerous man than one would have suspected from his aggressively harmless exterior, made a fatuous little speech about doing one's duty for one's paw people, Sir. We talked of this and that, and they went.

IN about a month, my sources began to turn up incredible reports. A Japanese cruiser squadron was caught and wiped out off the Kuriles by a superior Russo-American force. Their commander, fished out of the water and forcibly prevented from committing suicide, babbled that his rear admiral had said to go ahead because the whole battlefleet was right behind him, when we knew that there were no Japanese battleships within hundreds of miles.

In Lithuania. General Czarnewicz1 was court-martialed and shot by the Alliance high command for saying that all was quiet on his front, when actually the Russians had broken his lint'. and he was just about to jump in his car and flee to avoid being run over by his own retreating troops.

1: Pronounced char-nyay-vitch

Dictators Von Freygang and Botorovic weren't on speaking terms, each swearing that the other had baldly lied to him at their last meeting.

In Bengal, Field Marshall Sato started an offensive with one day's ammunition, after assuring his Supply Service that he had enough for a month. When his Chinese troops ran out of shells and cartridges and the Indians counter-attacked, the results were pitiful. The Indians almost got across Burma. into Siam before they were effectively opposed, and their advance was stopped more by the clogging of their supply lines with hundreds of thousands of prisoners than by the frantic efforts of the Alliance armies. I suspected that somehow our buttery friend Bosh was at the bottom of the débacle.

Then one afternoon the Admiral paid me another visit, his last one during the war. "That damn place is noisier than a triple eighteen-inch turret," he said, referring to his office. "Every three minutes somebody pops in with a 'Sir, what do I do with this now?' or a 'Sir, Commander Zilch sends his compliments and wants to know something,' and so on. I've got to get these reports read, so I came up here. Listen, Hasbrook, will you call up on that secret 'phone of yours and arrange to have any important intelligence 'phoned up? Big news is likely to break any minute."

He settled down to his reports. Presently the bell rang, and in walked Philip Okuma. To the Admiral's and my questions as to what in Hell he was doing here, he replied that he'd just been flown over from Siberia, and hadn't found Dahlgren in his office when he went there to report.

"For a while," he said, "I had no trouble installing the capsules, as I had been given the rank of corporal in the Imperial Army and was assigned to headquarters as a stenographer. But as a result of the operation of the capsules there'd been some bad losses on the Manchurian front, and the first thing I knew I was shipped off to the trenches, leaving my subordinates in Intelligence to carry on the good work with the capsules.

"I soon found that morale wasn't very good in my outfit, the reason being that people at headquarters had been making so many statements that failed to prove true.

"ANYWAY, last week we were ordered to advance across the Sungari. The advance went fine, with amphibian tanks to support it—except that our battalion was on the extreme left of the brigade, and suddenly found that the brigade next to us had simply pulled out, for no apparent reason, and gone home. Of course you never realize just what's going on on a battlefield, but I was chief battalion runner and got a better idea than most of the men.

"With our flank in the air, the enemy—that is to say, the enemy of the army in which I was ostensibly serving—wasted no time, and we had to fall back on the Sungari. We dug in in some marshy ground on the inside of a bend in the river, and waited. Our battalion had only four officers left, a captain Ishii and three lieutenants. We sat in the mud for three days, and ran out of most of our ammunition and all of our food."

The 'phone rang for the Admiral. When he finished listening, he said with a broad grin, "The Brazilian Army has asked for an armistice. Told you something was going to pop. Go on, Okuma."

"As I was saying, we sat there, with Captain Ishii trying by radio to get something done about our precarious position. Finally Headquarters announced that they were sending some 'planes over to drop supplies, and asked our exact location, which was given.

"Pretty soon the airplanes appeared, but instead of supplies a bomb came whooshing down, and we scuttled for our holes like a lot of prairie-dogs. The 'planes dropped three more before the Captain, by frantically waving a Japanese flag, got their attention.

"I could guess what had happened: a capsule had been influencing the operator at headquarters, and he, when given the position of our battalion, had reported it as that of a group of the enemy: The bombs hadn't done much damage because of the softness of the ground, but I still felt that the capsules were working a little too well for my comfort. Having been brought up in this country, I haven't quite the fatalistic attitude about death that a true Japanese possesses.

"After the 'planes had gone, and Captain Ishii had protested loudly into his radio, an amphibian supply-carrier appeared across the river, splashed into it, and puttered over. It crawled out on its tracks, and the driver hove out four large boxes. 'These, Sir,' he said to Ishii, 'Are your food and ammunition.'

"Ishii looked puzzled. 'Why are the boxes marked, "Woolen Mittens"?,' he asked. "The driver answered, 'The Honorable Headquarters did not inform me, Sir,' and drove his machine back the way it had come.

"We hacked open the boxes in a hurry, I can tell you. You can imagine the feelings of those soldiers when the first was full of—woolen mittens. The second and third were likewise. "Captain Ishii said in a strangled voice, 'Open the remaining box!' We did, and it contained—woolen mittens.

"Just then Captain Ishii spotted Sergeant Wada reading one of the innumerable propaganda leaflets with which the Russian 'planes had showered us. 'Sergeant!' he barked, 'I thought I told you not to read those again?'

"THE sergeant just looked at him, and said 'Sure you did, but I didn't promise not to.'

"Ishii looked as though he were going to have apoplexy. Not only was the sergeant being insubordinate, but he was using the forbidden Fourth Inflexion. The Japanese language has four inflections implying different degrees of politeness; ordinarily officers use the contemptuous Fourth to enlisted men, and enlisted men use the respectful Second to officers. The sergeant's use of the Fourth was a mortal insult.

"Sergeant Wada went on: 'Furthermore, I'll do as I damn please. You and the rest of the officers have been fooling us long enough. You've given us every reason to believe that these Russians'—here he waved the paper-'are right after all, when they say that all this talk about the divinity of the Emperor and the glory of the Empire is just a racket. In war you expect people in authority to lie, especially to the enemy and to the masses on their own side. But the members of our High Command lie not only to us, but to each other as well. That bombing this morning, and these mittens, aren't the first of such happenings, but as far as I'm concerned they'll be the last. Nobody in his right mind wants to fight for such crazy people. Who's with me?'

"Ishii whipped out his big old samurai sword and started for Wada, but a big gun went off and the Captain fell with his face in a puddle. We were astonished to see that Lieutenant Tatsuta had killed him. But then, these lieutenants were all pretty fresh from the ranks. The shortage of officers had made it necessary to promote them in a hurry, and they couldn't be expected to take the samurai code as seriously as the military-academy products.

"Tatsuta said to Wada, 'I'm with you; I think you're right. How about you, Kanzaki?' speaking to one of the other two lieutenants.

"Kanzaki said, 'The samurai code leaves me but one course,' and before anybody could move he had pulled his pistol and blown his brains out.

"'You, Ichikawa?' said Tatsuta to the remaining looey, a nervous little rabbity man. Ichikawa answered, 'We-ell, I suppose I really ought to kill myself too. But a lot of queer things have been happening, and if it should turn out that Wada is right, and the samurai code is actually the bunk, I'd have killed myself for no good reason. And if it transpires that Wada is wrong, it will always be easy enough to kill myself when that time comes. So I think I'll go with you boys for a while and see what happens.'

"We hoisted a white flag. and pretty soon a tank rattled over the nearest rise and up to the edge of the soft ground. A man in a Russian uniform got out and asked us in a strong Mongol accent who was in command.

"THAT was embarrassing, because obviously Sergeant Wada was the commander de facto, and Lieutenant Tatsuta was the commander de jure. They began arguing about it, bowing and hissing politely through their teeth, but the Mongol officer said to skip it, and ordered us to fall in. As we started to march away, one little private asked the Mongol if he was going to have us killed. The officer just grinned, and said 'Why should we? You'll all be good Communists by the time we get through with you!'"

The 'phone rang again. When the Admiral had finished listening this time, he was fairly bursting. "Poland has quit! In Italy they've set up something called a cooperative republic, though how cooperative and how republican it is remains to be seen. Von Freygang has killed himself. The King of the South Slavs fled from his palace in his pajamas, and when last seen was pulling his pants on in the cabin of his private 'plane just before it took off." He paused for breath. While he was getting it, I suggested getting our celebrating in early, before the streets became packed. He said "Sure, sure! But we'd better bring along the man who really did this—you know, the brain guy, Hoyle." So he called the psychologist, and we picked up him and his wife on our way to the hotel.

The steak wasn't up to my idea of a celebration steak, but meat prices were still astronomical as a result of war rationing. We drank enough cocktails so that all the food tasted pretty good whether it was or not, and the Admiral said to Hoyle: "Hasbrook here has been asking me leading questions ever since I had you up to his place, trying to find how your capsule works. I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell him now, especially as he's the most discreet man I know, except maybe Okuma here, damn it."

Hoyle brought his eyes slowly back into focus. "Capsule?" he said vaguely. "Oh, yes, that's what you call my transmitter." He gazed into space for a moment.

"Remember, Mr. Hasbrook, when the Admiral spoke of wearing a path through the mind? That gave me the idea. Every thought, every mental image, every sense-impression, consists essentially of an electric discharge-pattern between millions of neurons in the cortex of the brain. The pattern is so complicated that it is better described as a 'web' than as a 'path'.

"But it's a definite linkage between definite cells, and the passage of electric current quasi-permanently lowers the resistance of the synapses between the neurons. Therefore one can recreate the pattern at will; or rather, electrically re-activate a pattern already created. This we call 'remembering'.

"In the setting up of one of these patterns by the lowering of resistance through certain synapses, many small discharges are as effective as one large one. Therefore an unnoticed sound that one hears or a sight that one sees daily becomes an integral part of one's personality.

"MY transmitter was designed to be placed in the regular transmitter of any electrical communication system, either wire or wireless, and connected in parallel with the transmitter circuit. It was so constructed that when the circuit was activated. the little transmitter would feed a sound-modulated current of the same frequency as that of the main circuit into it. The added current would carry a simple word-pattern urging the listener to lie. For instance, the transmitters installed in Germany said 'Es ist gut zu lügen—Es ist gut zu lügen' over and over. "The listener would not actually hear these words, because they were a mere inaudible murmur superimposed on the conversation of the speaker. But, if he used the instrument often enough, the minute neuronic impulses caused by these sounds would in time wear the necessary paths in his brain, and he'd believe it was good to 'Lügen'. With these devices installed in the telephones and radios used by the dictators, ministers, and general staffs of the Alliance countries, the result was what we have seen. In other words, we made pathological liars out of them."

He paused again, and I could imagine millions of resentful soldiers taking their destinies into their own hands; of their officers, some yelling, threatening, and being contemptuously shot down, others discreetly removing their insignia and joining their men.

"That's what I meant by saying that we'd hoist them with their own petard. All these men have made such extensive use of that never-obsolete weapon, the lie, and they're all such accomplished liars anyway, that it didn't take as much of this form of suggestion to achieve our object as it would have with more truthful people."