Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

‘I'm not sure what happened in 1907 because, as I told you, I studied closely only the history of the decade I planned to spend here - from the gear after the end of this War until shortly before Black Tuesday, 29 October, 1929. That ten years from after the First World War -‘

‘Hold it! Doctor, you said "First World War - " First? '

‘Doctor Johnson, except for this one Golden Age, from 11 November 1918 to 29 October 1929, there are wars all through this century. The Second World War starts in 1939, and is longer and worse than this one. Then there are wars off and on - mostly on - the rest of this century. But the next century, the twenty-first century, is far worse. '

Father said, ‘Ted. The day war was declared. You were simply speaking the truth as you saw it. Weren't you? '

‘Yes, sir. '

‘Then why did you enlist? This isn't your war. .. Captain Long. '

Theodore answered very softly, ‘To regain your respect, Ancestor. And to make Maureen proud of me. '

‘Mrrph! Well! I hope that you will never regret it, sir. '

‘I never will. '

Thursday was a busy day indeed; Eleanor and I, with the aid of all my older children and all her older children, with much help from Sergeant Theodore as my aide-de-camp (‘dog robber' he called it, and so did Father - I declined to let them get my goat), with some help from our spouses and from Father - Eleanor and I mounted a formal church wedding in only twenty-four hours.

Oh, I must admit that Eleanor and I had done spadework ahead of time - guest lists, plans, alerting of minister and janitor and caterer as soon as Brian's first phone call had made it possible, engraving of invitations on Tuesday, envelopes addressed on Wednesday by her two best penmen, invitations delivered by my two boys and two of hers, with RSVP to Justin's office by telephone, etc. , etc.

We managed to have the bride dressed correctly and on time because Sergeant Theodore displayed another unexpected talent: ladies' sempstress - no, sempstor - no, I think it must be ladies' tailor. I had already accomplished my prime purpose of using Eleanor's special telepathic talent by having Theodore drive me to Eleanor's house out south on Thursday morning and there putting my problem to her bluntly - speeding things up by peeling my clothes off the instant the door was locked on El and me in her private apartment, then bringing her up to date - then Eleanor had her maid show Theodore to El's private suite.

Never mind the sweaty details; in another thirty minutes Eleanor reported to me, ‘Maureen love, Theodore believes every word of what he has been telling us, ' which Theodore countered by pointing out that every Napoleon in every insane asylum believed his own story just as firmly.

‘Captain Long, ' Eleanor had answered, ‘few males have a firm grip on reality; I can't see that it matters. You were telling me the truth as you know it when you told about your home in the future and you were again telling the truth when you told me that you love Maureen. Since I love her, too, I hope to earn some portion of your love. Now, please, if you will let me up - and thank you, sir! you pleasured me immensely. '

It was immediately after that that we ran into a time conflict: how to get Eleanor's wedding dress and Nancy to Eleanor's sempstress at a time when Justin said that Jonathan must fetch Nancy and Brian to Justin's office so that all four could go to City Hall together to obtain the necessary special licence, both principals being under age.

Theodore said, ‘Why do we need a sempstress? Eleanor, doesn't that cabinet over there conceal a Singer sewing machine? And why do we need Nancy? Mama Maureen, didn't you tell me that you and Nancy can wear the same clothes? '

I agreed that Nancy and I could (and did) borrow clothes from each other. I'm an inch more in the thighs and about the same bigger in the bust. But, Lazarus, we don't dare touch Eleanor's dress - wait till you see it. '

Although Eleanor was taller and bigger than I, her wedding dress was dose to my size as it had already been cut down once for her daughter Ruth, three inches shorter than her mother. It was a magnificent gown of white satin, lavishly beaded with seed pearls. It had a Belgian lace veil and a ten-foot train. It had originally had mutton-leg sleeves and a derrière cut for a bustle; these had vanished in the alteration for Ruth.

Ali the money in the world could not produce a wedding dress of that quality in the few hours until it would be needed; my Nancy was lucky that her Aunt El was willing to lend it to her.

Eleanor fetched it. Theodore admired it but did not seem intimidated by it. ‘Eleanor, let's fit it snugly to Mama Maureen, then there will be just room for its slip under it for Nancy. What other underclothes? Corset? Brassière? Panties? '

I said, ‘I've never put a corset on Nancy and she says she's never going to start. '

‘Good for Nancy! ' agreed Eleanor. ‘I wish I never had. Mau, Nancy doesn't need a brassière. What about underpants? Can't wear bloomers with that dress. Both Emery Bird and Harzfeld carry sheer underpants. .. but they will still make lines under this dress if it is fitted as well as it should be. '

‘No pants, ' I ruled.