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

My daughter Susan married Henry Schultz on Saturday, 1 August 195, in Mark's Episcopal Church, The Paseo at 63rd in Kansas City. Brian was there and gave his daughter in marriage; Marian stayed behind in Dallas, with her children. .. and, I must add, with an acceptable excuse. She was at or near term with her latest baby, and could reasonably have asked Brian to stay at home. Instead she urged him not to disappoint Susan.

I'm not sure Susan would have noticed, but I would have.

Over half of my children were there, most of them with their spouses, and about forty of my grandchildren and their spouses, along with a sprinkling of great-grandchildren - and one great-great-grandchild. Not bad, for a woman whose official age was forty-seven. Not bad even for a woman whose actual age was seventy years and four weeks.

Impossible? Not quite. My Nancy gave birth to her Roberta on Christmas Day 1918. Roberta married at sixteen (Zachary Barstow) and bore Anne Barstow on 2 November 1935. Anne Barstow married Eugene Hardy and had her first child, Nancy Jane Hardy, on 22 june 1952.

Name Birth Date Relationship

Maureen Johnson (Smith) 4 Jul 1882 great-great-grandmother

Nancy Smith (Weatheral) 1 Dec 1899 great-grandmother

Roberta Weatheral (Barstow) 25 Dec 1918 grandmother

Anne Barstow (Hardy) 2 Nov 1935 mother

Nancy Jane Hardy 22 Jun 1952 femaledetective.ru daughter

According to the Archives Nancy Jane Hardy (Foote) gave birth to Justin Foote, first of that name, on the last day of the twentieth century, 31 December 2000. I married his (and my) remote descendant, Justin Foote the forty-fifth, in marrying into the Lazarus Long family in Gregorian AD 4316, almost twenty-four centuries later - my hundred-and-first year by my personal time line.

The Schultz family was almost as well represented at Susan's wedding as the Johnson family, even though most of them had to fly in from California or from Pennsylvania. But they could not show five generations, all in one room. I was delighted that we could, and I did not hang back when the photographer, Kenneth Barstow, wanted a group picture of us. He seated me in the middle with my great-great granddaughter in my lap, while my daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter hovered around us, like angels around Madonna and Child.

Whereupon we got scolded. Ken kept shooting pictures until Nancy Jane got bored with it and started to cry. At that point Justin Weatheral moved in and said, ‘Ken, may I see your camera? '

‘Certainly, Uncle Justin. ' (Honorary uncle - first cousin twice removed, I believe. The Howard Families were beginning to reach the point where everyone was related to everyone else. .. with those inevitable defects through inbreeding that later had to be weeded out. )

‘You can have it back in a moment. Now, ladies - you especially, Maureen - what I have to say is strictly among ourselves, persons registered with the Foundation. Look around you. Is the lodge tyled? Are there any strangers among us? '

I said, ‘Justin, admission to this reception is by card only. Almost anyone could have been at the wedding. But it takes a card to get inside this room. I sent them out for our family; Johanna Schultz handled it for Henry's relatives. '

‘I got in without a card. '

‘Justin, everybody knows you. '

‘That's my point. Who else got in without a card? Good old Joe Blow, whom everybody knows, of course. Is that Joe behind the table, ladling out punch? '

I answered, ‘Of course there are hired staff inside. Musicians. the caterer's people. And such. '

‘And such. Exactly. ' Justin lowered his voice, spoke directly to us five and to Ken. ‘You all know the efforts of all of us are making to keep our ages optimised. You, Maureen, how old are you? '

‘Uh. .. forty-seven. '

‘Nancy? Your age, dear? '

Nancy started to say, ‘Fifty-two. ' She got out the, first syllable, bit it off. ‘Oh, shucks, Papa-Weatheral, I don't keep track of my age. '

‘Your age, Nancy, ' Justin insisted.

‘Let me see. Mama had me at fifteen, so - How old are you, Mama? '

‘Forty-seven. '

‘Yes, of course. I'm thirty-two. '

Justin looked at my granddaughter Roberta, my great-granddaughter Anne, and my great-great-granddaughter Nancy Jane, and said, I'm not going to ask the ages of you three, because any way you answer would emphasise the impossibility of reconciling your very existence with Nancy's and Maureen's claimed age. Speaking for the trustees I can say how pleased we are with how thoroughly all of you are carrying out the purpose of Ira Howard's will. But, again speaking for the trustees, I must again emphasise the necessity of never calling attention to our peculiarity. We must try to avoid having anyone notice that we are in any way different. '

He sighed, then went on: ‘So I am forced to say that I am sorry to see you five ladies all in one room at one time, and to add that I hope that it will never happen again. And I shiver at the idea that you are being photographed together. If that photograph wound up in the society section of next Sunday's Journal-Post, it could ruin the careful efforts of all our cousins to avoid calling attention to ourselves. Ken, don't you think it would be well to kill that picture? '

Ken Barstow was outgunned; I could see that he was about to let the Foundation's chief officer have his own way.

But I was not outgunned. ‘Hey! Justin, you stop that! You're chairman of the board, surely. But nobody appointed you God. Those photos were taken for me and my kids. You kill them, or get Ken to, and I'm going to beat you over the head with his camera. '