By WINSTON K. MARKS
These gorgeous fanatics were
equally at home with men,
murder, or matrimony, and
they used all three with
Dr. Hubert Long, 40,
bachelor and assistant professor
of political science at
Mentioch University, thrust his
rugged, unlovely face forward,
sticking out his neck literally
"The Humanist Party," he
shouted at the 800 odd students
in the lecture hall, "is not a political
party at all. It's an oligarchy,
so firmly established in
Washington that our electoral
form of government is an empty
ritual, a ridiculous myth. Our
elections are rigged to perpetuate
a select group of feminists
in absolute power."
Saving Dr. Long came in the line of duty.
The mixed group of seniors
stirred in their seats with wide
eyes, and many began taking
"This may cost me my position
at the university," he said
grimly, "but the time has come
for all responsible citizens to
face the fact that the Government
of the United States of
America has degenerated into
little better than an absolute dictatorship!"
This time a rustle of whispering
grew to restless buzzing. A
young man in a bowtie leaped to
his feet breaking the no-questions
rule in Long's over-size
classes. "May the Mentioch
Bugle quote you, Dr. Long?"
"You may headline those
views, and I hope you do," Long
declared belligerently, adding
"Exactly what do you imply
when you call the Humanist
Party a group of feminists?" the
young man asked, encouraged.
Long's gaze swept out, noting
the mild amusement on the faces
of the men students, the growing
annoyance in the women. He
fixed the reporter for the campus
paper with a level stare. "I
suppose you feel that because
only 30 percent of our legislatures
are women, that men still
"I think that is the popular
conception," the reporter said in
a patronizing tone.
"Then think again, young
man. Analyze the composition of
the Senate and House, and break
down the key committee appointments
by sexes. You will find
three-fourths of these posts
held by women, and the balance
are held by men whose wives are
members of the top-level Humanist
Party movement. I say to you
that our whole nation is dominated
by a handful of female
fanatics to whom intellectual integrity
"What are your indictments?
"I will, I will," Long shouted,
ignoring the microphone before
him. "Without consideration of
our national prestige the Humanist
Party has emasculated
our influence as a world power
with its pacifistic actions. On
the domestic front, the Party
has initiated a program of so-called
Internal Security, a
that amounts to the most vicious
State-Socialism the world has
seen since the fall of Soviet Russia.
We are fast becoming slaves
to the soft, gutless bureaucracy
in Washington that feeds us,
wipes our noses, encourages excessive
breeding and enforces
its fantastic policies by use of
"Goon squads?" The young
reporter lost his smile. "You
had better clarify that, Dr.
Long. I wouldn't want to join
you in a libel action."
"Keep quoting me," Long
snarled. "I said goon squads, and
I meant just that. Once I belonged
to a scholarly fraternity
of political scientists who were
critical of our government. Of
some eighteen members, I am
the only one left in public life.
The rest have all disappeared,
and I have no doubt that my previous
silence on these matters is
all that has saved me. But the
time for discretion is past. If we
are to save our independence and
democratic freedoms the time
for action is now! I say to
It made more than the headlines
of the college campus at
Mentioch. The news-wire services
picked it up, and Dr. Long's
radical views made pages two
and three all over the nation.
Emily Bogarth, head of Internal
Security, raged at her
assistant, bald-headed Terman
Donlup. "Must I read about
these things in the papers to
keep up on subversive activity?"
"But the man's record shows
complete stability," Donlup defended.
"He simply blew up
without any warning at all. The
Dean of Women at Mentioch
tells me that Dr. Long has never
had a word of criticism from his
department head. I suppose we
had better remove him from his
position at once, eh?"
Madame Secretary Bogarth
shook her head. "That's not
enough. This calls for liquidation.
I want a special squad on
this one." She began writing
names on a sheet of paper,
names of some of the most effective
unscrupulous yet faithful
operators in the party's top
She handed it to Donlup.
"This man is dangerous. He
could force us into open control
of the press and higher education.
Get these people here not
later than tomorrow. We can't
"Yes, Madame Secretary,"
Donlup saluted with a full bow
and went to work.
The following afternoon Emily
Bogarth faced the squad with
its brilliant, green-eyed leader.
She told them their mission and
then dismissed all but one. "I'm
sorry to hand this one to you. I
know what a promising career
you had before you. But this
man is deadly to our purpose. Believe
me, I am not wasting your
"If it's for the good of the
"Dr. Hubert Long is a lighted
fuse," Emily Bogarth said, her
cold eyes hard on her operator,
"that could blow the Humanist
movement sky-high. I want you
to snuff out that fuse." She
squeezed a forefinger against
her spatulate thumb.
The operator nodded and the
green eyes flashed with the
same fanatic spark that electrified
American politics at the
turn of the 21st century and
launched the Humanist Party
into its 30-year tenure of
At first only a shocked, embarrassed
silence greeted Dr.
Long on the campus of Mentioch
University, but as the press notices
of his utterances grew in
volume so did his prestige.
He began to have a number
of local visitors who evinced
sharp interest in his views. At
the end of the first week he was
holding forth each evening to a
sizable audience in his tiny bungalow
on the edge of faculty
By nature a careful, practical
man, Hubert Long now carried
a small pistol in his coat pocket,
but being also a fearless, independent
individual, he admitted
all callers and exposed himself
daily to the public. It wasn't entirely
personal bravado, however.
He knew from his years of
intense, discreet research that
the goon squads rarely made
their attacks in the public eye.
When they liquidated him he
fervently hoped they would make
this mistake and prove his point
concerning their operations.
Although he didn't seek martyrdom,
Dr. Long was prepared
for it, as he explained to the informal
seminar that had accumulated
at his home this Sunday
afternoon. It was now late evening
and the endless questions
were beginning to grow wearying.
"How do you know," asked a
skeptical businessman, "that I
am not an assassin who will ambush
you on the way to the bathroom
There were several ladies
present, and bachelor Long
blushed with annoyance. "You
might very well be," he retorted.
"But probably I have some measure
of temporary protection
from the publicity I have received.
My death, if it occurs, will
doubtless appear to be from
natural causes, or perhaps from
a most ordinary but unfortunate
He arose. "It's rather late and
I have an early class. Will you
excuse me? Thanks for coming,
everyone of you." He nodded,
trying to smile, but the chill
thought from the businessman's
remark persisted. Very possible
it was that one or more members
of a goon squad was among the
twenty-some people now beginning
to pick themselves off his
worn carpet, footstool, coffee
table and the meager furniture
he could afford on his salary.
With a small start he realized
that a youngish woman, in her
early thirties, he guessed, was
stalling as though she intended
to remain behind. Sure enough,
she closed the door behind the
others and turned a very lovely
face to him. "I think you are
magnificent, Dr. Long," she said
impulsively. "I hope you will
spare me just a few minutes
Long slipped his right hand
into his coat pocket casually. On
her feet the woman displayed
more than a beautiful face. Her
figure was alarmingly feminine
and rather aggressively displayed,
feet akimbo, hips forward,
shoulders back. Her hair was
nearly platinum, but so expensively
dressed it was impossible
to determine whether it was
She caught his hesitation.
"Perhaps you would feel better
out on the porch," she offered,
smiling with such relaxed understanding
that Long felt a little
"No. Sit down, please, I didn't
catch your name earlier."
"Julie Stone," she introduced
herself and held out a long, bare
arm. Her hand squeezed his fingers
warmly, more like a man's
grip. "My brother is Senator
Stone, and he asked me to stop
by and meet you. Secretly he
agrees with much of what you
have said, but of course he is
reluctant to expose himself until
something of a formal movement
is under way."
Long relaxed a little. This
was good news, about the first
he had had to date. Political figures
were remaining eloquently
silent in the press, and this was
the first overture he had enjoyed
from anyone more influential
than the reporters.
She went on, "Specifically, my
brother would like to know which
of the other two political parties
you favor, in the event you make
an appeal through such channels."
"Either party," Long asserted
with some emphasis. "In fact I
would like to see a coalition of
the Democratic and Republican
Parties to overthrow this unholy
Her forehead wrinkled. "Precisely
Tom's idea. He's not at all
certain it can be done, but he
thinks that the press reaction
you have had indicates there is
a possibility if it is played
"Yes, the so-called free press,"
he said. "Some people have
thrown that up to me. If the Humanists
were dictators, they say,
we wouldn't have this free press
that has given my remarks currency.
I read it differently. The
Humanists have sold the press a
bill of goods, and so they control
the papers in the most effective
way of all. You'll notice that
they have printed my speeches
strictly as news, you might say
as oddities in the news. Editorial
comment has been extremely
"I hope you are right," Long
said. He made a pot of coffee,
and they discussed the matter at
some length. He liked this woman's
direct, open approach, but
she startled him as she was leaving.
"I have much to tell my brother,"
she said. "For my own
curiosity, though, are you certain
that some personal distrust
or dislike for women hasn't influenced
your attack against the
It jarred him like an uppercut.
Her detached manner had almost
made him forget she was a woman
herself. Now this.
"Why—why do you ask?"
She shrugged. "It was a natural
thought. There aren't many
confirmed bachelors these days."
"Oh, that!" He smiled.
"You're quite right, there aren't
many unattached men over
twenty-one any more, what with
the barrage of government
propaganda and their special tax
deduction incentives. I assure
you that it's nothing personal,
however. My tastes are simply
"Your tastes?" It was her
turn to arch an eyebrow.
"That's right. A lovely woman
is a work of art, but like any
other masterpiece, she is a luxury
I can't afford. Anyway, this
mug of mine rather put me out
of the running in the only
leagues I've wanted to play in.
Incidentally, you introduced
yourself as Miss Julie Stone,
"No, but it happens to be correct."
"What's your excuse?"
"For being single? I'm a
career girl. I have my own
modeling agency. Too busy for
one thing. And I guess a woman
gets bored looking at beautiful
men in my business. Not a brain
in a barnful. Just beautiful
brawn and wavy hair. Ugh! Animals!
Everyone of them."
"Young woman, that's sedition.
Don't you believe the government
"If I did do you think I'd be
here? No. Dr. Long, I find your
arguments quite valid. America
is in the hands of the feminists,
all right, and it's the fault of
several generations of mama's
boys. I just can't get—"
She broke off as a heavy truck
rolled by out front, back-firing
heavily. They were both silhouetted
in the open door. She
glanced out, and suddenly she
threw herself upon him, pulling
him to the floor. He caught her
in his arms as they cascaded
into a tangle of limbs and nylon.
The racket faded off down the
street, but Dr. Long's mind was
not on the noise. The touch of
this beautiful woman's flesh under
his hands dominated his
whole being. How different, how
soft, incredibly soft!
Now she was clinging to him,
trembling slightly and breathing
deeply. Even at this range her
pale hair looked natural. "Are
you all right?" she asked at last.
"Of course," he said sitting
up reluctantly. "It was only a
"Look!" She pointed
behind him at the wall opposite
the door. A wavery line of
small, deep holes cut across
about heart-high. "I saw the
gun-barrel stick out as the truck
came up," she explained, untangling
herself. "It appears your
temporary immunity is over.
They're getting active."
Long stared half-unbelieving
at the mean, business-like little
holes. With the reactions of a
trained semanticist he relaxed
instead of tensing up with fear.
He had made his decision days
ago, and he knew full well the
risks he incurred.
"Thanks for nothing!" he
Julie Stone looked up from
straightening her dress and
studied his lined face. "So you
really were expecting an attack?"
She shook her head in
disgust. "I finally meet a man
with some semblance of guts,
and the only way he can think
of to win his point is to let a
goon squad spill them in the
She threw herself into an
armchair and crossed her knees.
Long stood in the middle of the
floor staring down at the woman
he had held in his arms minutes
ago, and his temples began
throbbing. "What—what else is
there to do?" he asked hoarsely.
"This was my best chance to
draw attention to the reality of
our police state. I have much
more to die for than to live for.
This has been my life's work—gathering
the facts and contriving
to present them dramatically
enough to attract national attention.
My only fear was that
they wouldn't come after me,
and I might be written off as a
"I regret," she intoned, "that
I have but one life to give to my
country!" Then her lip curled.
"Very well, brainy, if that's the
best you can think up. Let's
make it better yet. How about
this for a headline: Dr. Long
and Lovely Model Murdered by
"Are you insane?"
She shook her head. "I'm dead
serious. I'm sticking right in the
line of fire until you figure out
a way to stay alive at a profit."
He argued, pleaded and even
lost his temper, pulling her to
her feet and trying to force her
out the door. He didn't make it.
Somehow his arms slipped too
far around her, and she clamped
herself to him in a defiant embrace.
The soft warmth of her
body, her sweet breath in his
nostrils, the faint essence of her
perfume enveloped him in a befuddling
Live at a profit? How could a
man want to die with Julie Stone
in his arms?
He knew it was supremely
idiotic, but the thought of her
fabulous form crumpled and riddled
with bullets slashed at the
tendons of his resolve, and he
clutched her lips to his with the
hunger of the condemned man
"Julie, Julie! Why did you
"One bullet, a single bullet
will do it now." Her lips peeled
back from her white teeth. "Let's
stay this way, darling. That's
the way you want it."
Her low, black sedan nibbled
at the 100-mile-per-hour limit
on the Freeway as they crossed
the state line. In the back seat,
reclining out of sight, his head
pillowed on his brief case full of
his documented case against the
Humanist Party, was a very
thoughtful Dr. Hubert Long, recently
of Mentioch University.
He had driven until dawn
while Julie Stone slept, and
now, after a brief nap, he was
waking to some of the realities
of the morning.
This flight was utterly absurd.
When the federal people discovered
he was not dead they would
come after him again and again.
All he had done was involve this
lovely woman. Long since he had
controlled fear for his own life,
but now he knew the exquisite
torment of fearing for the woman
The emotion was genuine and
no less raging for its swift
eruption in the space of a single
evening. Dr. Hubert Long was
hopelessly and deeply in love
with Julie Stone.
"Quit worrying," she called
back to him. "They couldn't
have spotted my car. I parked it
a block from your house, remember?"
"I hope you have a plan,"
Long muttered. "I certainly
don't. Where are we heading?"
"Florida. To my brother's
winter place. You know, I just
had a thought. Tom and I are
both on the board of regents of
Toppinhout College down there,
and there'll be an opening next
quarter in the faculty. A professorship,
Long grunted. "No dice.
They'll have every political scientist
in the country under
scrutiny for years."
"This is the chair of anthropology,"
she said. "We can
change your name, and after
this first excitement of your disappearance
"But I don't want it to die
down!" he objected.
"I thought we settled that.
You've got to stay alive to talk
to important people. Tom and I
will round them up secretly, and
you can present your case to
them. My brother is the senior
Senator, you know, and he's been
itching to bolt the Humanist
Party for the last two terms."
"What can I accomplish in secret
conferences? The people are
the ones who must be aroused."
"I know, I know, from a soapbox
in Times Square, I suppose.
Darling, you can't accomplish
this alone. They've proved they
are willing to take the chance of
killing you, so they must be
stronger than you think. Your
facts must come to the attention
of the right people. Over a period
of time we can organize a
truly effective underground."
"Toppinhout is a girls' college."
"I've never taught anthropology
"You've never been married
before, either," she pointed out,
"but I predict you'll be a success
"Married?" Long popped his
She smiled at him in the rear-view
mirror. "Get your head
down before you get it blown off.
Yes, I said married. I'm not
trusting that pug-ugly, beautiful
mug of yours out of my sight
from now on. And I'm afraid
Tom will shoot you himself if
you don't make it conventional.
"But—I couldn't support you
"A full professor's salary?
Don't be foolish. Besides, I'm
retiring from my agency. Selling
out. That'll set us up housekeeping."
That such a prosaic term as
"set us up housekeeping" should
send molten lava racing through
his veins, did not seem strange
to Dr. Hubert Long. How could
a man successfully keep his
mind on dying when at last a
work of art like Julie seemed
within his reach? He knew
that his plans were irrevocably
Emily Bogarth turned to the
phone speaker as her assistant
made the circuit and signalled
"On the Hubert Long mission—"
the speaker said. "Mission
accomplished from this end.
I trust you have a likely story
for the press?"
"Never mind that. Did it come
off as planned?"
"Precisely. Your marksmen
were quite effective."
Emily Bogarth sighed. "Sorry
to sacrifice you, honey, but the
other way is just too messy."
"Don't mention it. This chap
has a very interesting mind. He's
a challenge—in more ways than
one. By the way, get word to
Senator Stone, will you? Have
him fly down to his winter home
at once. He'll be needed. Some
Party members, too."
"Of course. That's all set up.
"Thanks, but you can put your
mind at rest. Dr. Hubert Long
is positively liquidated."
Julie stepped from the phone
booth and paid the service attendant
for the gasoline. He
looked at her as he dropped the
change into her hand and wondered
who the lucky chap in the
back seat might be. A man would
sell his soul for the right kind
of a look from those green eyes.
This etext was produced from Amazing Science Fiction Stories October
1958. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence
that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.