He brought them life and hope.
Why wouldn't the fools take it from him?
By HELEN M. URBAN
THE GLORY OF
There's an axiom in the galaxy:
The more complicated
the machine, the bigger mess it
can make. Like the time the planetary
computer for Buughabyta
flipped its complete grain-futures
series. The computer ordered
only 15 acres, and Buughabytians
had to live for a full year off the
government's stored surplus—thus
pounding down the surplus,
forcing up the price, eliminating
the subsidy and balancing the
Buughabytian budget for fifteen
years—an unprecedented bit of
nonsense that almost had permanent
effects. But a career economist
with an eye for flubup and
complication managed to restore
balanced disorder, bringing Buughabyta
right back to normalcy.
Or like the time a matter-duplicator
receiver misread OCH3CH3OH,
to turn out a magnificently
busted blonde sphygmomano-raiser
with an HOCH3OH replacement,
putting a strain on
the loyalty of a billion teen-age
girls dedicated to Doyle Oglevie
worship. Doyle-she insisted she
was Doyle-he, as it took quite a
while for her hormones to overcome
the memory of his easy,
microphone conquests. Put a
strain on his wardrobe, too.
No machine, of course, can
compare for complexity with any
group of humans who have been
collected into machine-like precision
of operation. Take one time
when an Ipplinger Cultural Contact
Group was handed a Boswellister
with V.I.P. connections
and orders to put him to an assignment—for
Boswellister sat patiently.
He squirmed emotionally
up and down his backbone, but
he affected a disdainful appearance
of patience in view of the
importance of his and his poppa's
positions compared with the
pawn-like minusculity of the audience's.
The Blond Terror strode majestically
down the aisle of the
open air sports arena, preceded
by twenty-four harem-darling
dancing girls. The orchestra
wailed an oriental sinuosity of
woodwinds and drums, accompanying
the hip-twitching, nearly
naked, sloe- (by benefit of make-up)
eyed, black-haired beauties.
Fifteen heavyweights, draped
in leopard skins, had preceded
the dancers to set up the Blond
Terror's tub on a polar bear rug
in the center of the ring. A dozen
luscious watercarriers had emptied
their jars into the tub. Soap
and towels, oils and perfumes,
mirror and comb, were arranged
on top of a lushly ornamented box
that stood by one of the corner
The Blond Terror vaulted the
ropes and stood in the ring, popping
his muscles, waiting for his
handmaidens to remove the five
layers of elaborately decorated
robes that were draped over his
Boswellister cringed slightly
(inwardly), speculating that the
Blond Terror really was a
muscled man. All that man—nearly
seven feet tall, bronzed,
developed, imperious, condescending
to notice just slightly
the adulations of the women in
the packed arena.
The Blond Terror stepped into
the tub, carrying out his advertised
boast of being the cleanest
wrestler in the ring, a boast he
was unable to prove with ring
action through the exigencies of
type-casting, for the Blond Terror
was the villain.
The Blond Terror muscled
down into the tub. He was scrubbed,
then rinsed. He stood out
onto the white fur rug and sneeringly
allowed his handmaidens to
pat him dry and powder him
down. They held up the large
hand mirror and allowed him to
view his handsomeness while his
short-cropped, blond curls were
"Now." Boswellister spoke the
order into the lapel receiver. On
the Ipplinger starship a communications
tech slapped home a
switch and the solido-vision circle
settled over the Blond Terror's
head, a halo of solid light for a
complex Ipplinger signal-reaction
"Hail Ippling!" Boswellister
Boswellister strained forward,
clutching the seat arms. It had to
work! His equation must be right!
The symbol had the proper cultural
connotations. It was bound
to capture the audience, put them
in the right mood of awe-struck
superstitious reverence, make the
revelation of the great circle of
the Ipplinger starship overhead a
thing of wonderment and devotion-focus.
The Blond Terror should now
look upwards, guide the eyes of
the audience, bring them to the
recognition. After all, as a Boswellister ...
and according to his
great grandfather, and his poppa
But the Blond Terror gazed
appreciatively into the mirror,
smiling slyly at the audience.
The crowd roared its applause
for the trick lighting effect. You
could depend on the Blond Terror.
No matter how many times
you'd seen his act, he always managed
to come up with something
new. Now, for the opening of the
new Million Dollar Ventura Boulevard
Open Air Sports Arena, the
Blond Terror had done it again.
Boswellister shouted. He
pointed. He stared upwards, trying
to draw the crowd with his
vehemence. But he couldn't capture
one gaze, no matter what he
He poked the man seated next
to him, but the surly fool snarled,
"Shuddup! The Hatchet Man's
goin' into his act!"
There it was, sailing in the
night sky, illuminated with soft
etherealness to give the proper
effect to these superstition-ridden
people. All they had to do was
glance up and accord to Ippling
the superiority that was Ippling's,
and they would be brought
gently, delicately into galactic
contact, opening out their narrow
ways into the broad ways of the
galactic universal worlds. With
Boswellister to lead them.
But he couldn't make the play.
Not a head would tilt up. The
TV cameras that should be scanning
the great lighted circle of the
Ipplinger starship had swung to
the entrance, waiting for the Hatchet
And here he came, down the
aisle like a bolt of Chinese lightning.
He vaulted the ropes,
leaped to the tub, overturned it
and was gone back up the aisle
before the Blond Terror could retaliate.
Bath water sopped the
piles of robes and made a mess
out of the bearskin rug; but the
ring attendants carted everything
off, removed the waterproof canvas
from the ring mat and prepared
to get the match underway.
The Blond Terror paced in his
corner, waving his hand mirror,
challenging the Hatchet Man to
quick, bloody death. And every
few moments he'd stop to gaze
admiringly into the mirror, running
his hand along the edge of
the solid band of light, grabbing
all the credit for Ipplinger electronic
science. He turned on cue
to give the TV audience a full-face
Boswellister cursed himself for
choosing the Blond Terror. That
cynical, egocentric muscle artist
was too pleased with himself to
have any room in his thoughts for
proper superstitious awe, and too
stupid to recognize the superior
science in back of the halo device.
"Remove the device," Boswellister
ordered. There was no point
in allowing it to stay, and that
band of solid light, immovably in
place on the wrestler's head, made
a perfect battering ram for head-butting
Boswellister paid no attention
to the gladiators-at-mat; he left
his seat as soon as the device was
removed and walked out onto
Ventura Boulevard. He went
over his cultural equation, trying
to find the flaw.
In the year he had spent on
the preliminary survey, he had
assessed this cultural equation to
the last decimal point of surety.
He had absolute faith in these
people's superstitions. He knew
what to expect; but somewhere
the equation had been off. He
should have chosen a quieter
event, he guessed. The audience
had been too well schooled in the
acceptance of the spectacular.
What was needed was a more
acute contrast, and suddenly he
had it: the burlesque runway. He
had watched it many times ... and
there was one girl, a big-bodied
blonde with mild eyes.
He checked his watch and hurried
his pace. It was about time
for Dodie's turn on the runway
that extended out from the front
of the gambling house.
With satisfaction, Boswellister
called up the memory of Dodie's
peel act. This would be a natural,
and he couldn't think why he
hadn't decided on it right away.
In many ways Dodie was a big
girl. In clothes she could
never be the fashion ideal, but she
certainly made a good thing out
of nakedness. Her soft, heavy,
white breasts made old men
blanch and young men start to
grab. She was tall, with a narrow
waist, flaring hips, long curvy legs
and arms; with those big, innocent
blue eyes, wearing high
heels and an ounce of flimsy, up
there on the burlesque runway ...
mmm ... Boswellister groaned.
She wouldn't date Boswellister
a second time no matter what he
promised, and his promises had
included many things she'd never
before heard of. Boswellister
It was too bad there wasn't a
better crowd. Most of the Boulevard's
regulars were at the Arena
opening, but there were a few
loiterers, standing along the curb,
watching the free show. And all
he had to do was make a beginning,
Boswellister felt. He was
sure that everything would roll by
itself after that. He had faith in
his superstition equation.
Dodie peeled. She seemed
headed for complete nakedness at
any moment, but to Boswellister's
surprise, the revealing costume
contained more pieces than he
"Any moment now," he whispered
to the solido-tech. "Now,
wait ... there ... that should be
the last piece. Settle the device
around her head," he ordered.
Then he groaned and countermanded
the order. He had remembered
Dodie's details, not
her act. For at the last moment
she slipped to the wings, dropping
the last swatch of lace to
slide down one long, white, out-thrust
Oh, blessed Ippling! There was
his ship, floating majestically
overhead, but no one would give
it a glance. He pointed to it.
These men must follow his excited
gestures and look up; but
they were busy calling suggestions
to the line of ponies who had
taken over the runway. Boswellister
felt as if he were standing in a
desert, surrounded by a mob of
phantoms from his own imagination.
The crying voice of the gambling-house
barker rode in over
the clang and brass of jazzy music,
but he couldn't turn the tip. As
soon as the line-girls left the over-the-sidewalk
runway, the idlers
moved on down the street to take
in the next spot's free outdoor lure
Boswellister leaned against the
wall and watched the barker wipe
his sweat-soaked forehead. He
felt kinship with the man in his
failure. The manager came out
and talked to the barker for a
moment. Boswellister overheard:
"Dodie didn't draw one customer.
A buck ain't to be made these
The barker replied, shaking his
head, "They're oversold, Marve.
The give-away is all they want."
Boswellister turned away and
walked towards his motel. They
wanted the give-away, but the
glory of Ippling he had to give
made no impression. He felt desperate.
He had to make one more
His family position demanded
obedience from the starship officers
and crew. He stopped for a
moment and gave a swift command
into the lapel pickup, then
went on to his motel room.
The next morning, full of confidence
after a good breakfast,
he headed for the intersection
of Laurel Canyon and
Ventura Boulevards. There he
would make his stand.
The boulevard swarmed with
women shoppers. Cars and trucks
roared by. The spectacular signs
and free lure show runways were
closed down, for ballyhoo of a
different character had taken
their place for the daytime.
Boswellister stopped for a
moment to watch a demonstrator
work before a huge, block-long,
The demonstrator went into
"—money back. Now watch!
Into a wet glass I pour a small
amount of medically tested Calsobisidine.
See how the Calsobisidine
clings to the sides of the
The pitchman smiled with
flawless teeth and the women
smiled back at him. His shoes
were waxed and buffed; his hair
fell in a black curl across his high
forehead; his gardenia dripped
dew like the ones in the box by
his elbow. Each bottle of Calsobisidine
came complete with an
intimate smile from the pitchman,
a fresh gardenia pinned on
the breast by his clever fingers
and a trial sample bottle. Just for
six ninety-five, plus tax.
"In the exact same manner,
Calsobisidine clings to the lining
of your stomach and intestines,
giving positive relief from burning
pain and acid indigestion."
This puzzled Boswellister, and
he remarked in a voice that
seemed overloud, "But who has
The women giggled and turned
The pitchman's scowl was a
menace; his voice bitter: "Go on,
scram. You queered my tip."
Boswellister slipped away
while the pitchman started to collect
a new crowd. He popped into
the entrance of the drugstore, and
as always stood momentarily
amazed by the bewildering variety
of merchandise. Gardening
implements, paper goods, dishes
and glassware, whiskey, Calsobisidine,
a huge display of baby dolls
that performed every human
function but reproduction....
Then he gasped and walked
towards the inside demonstration.
There, presided over by a fake
medical man, dressed in operating
room regalia, including mask,
rubber gloves and stethoscope;
there, right in the middle of the
block-long drugstore, a demonstration
of the newest educational
doll was taking place. The doll,
stretched out on a miniature hospital
delivery table, was being delivered
of a replica new-born infant.
Again and again the "doctor"
performed the delivery, alternately
inserting the doll-baby into
the doll-mamma and removing it.
Boswellister flushed and
walked quickly away. He had no
doubt of the toy's educational
value, but nevertheless—he
When Boswellister reached the
corner of Ventura and Laurel
Canyon, he made his stand on
the southeast corner, facing the
hills over which the Ipplinger
starship would come to hover
over the intersection and be revealed
He contacted control and ordered
the halo focus for his head.
He reached up and felt the circle,
planted firmly over his brow. He
smiled to himself and went into
"People of Earth," he began
in a quavering voice, then
he remembered the Calsobisidine
demonstrator, firmed up his tones
and started again. "People of
Earth! Listen to the message
from the stars!"
"Selling horoscopes," a woman
answered her child's question.
"What's a horrorscope, mamma?"
"A bunch of hooey," she
snapped in reply, scowled at Boswellister
and jerked her child
complainingly down the street behind her.
"People of Earth!" Boswellister
stated commandingly. He
grasped a man's arm, saying,
"Stand still a moment, friend, and
hear the promise of Ippling. Glory
beyond your imagination can be
yours with the ascendancy of Ippling
in this world of tears and
The man jerked away. "What
the hell, Mac!" He looked searchingly
at Boswellister and muttered,
"Geez, a nut." He stood
back from Boswellister to listen,
smilingly superior, tolerantly
waiting to be entertained. A
woman dragging a toddler
stopped, then several other people
stopped to see until Boswellister
had about ten people standing
"People of Earth!" he started in
again, but he was interrupted by
a cackling voice from the rear.
The small crowd laughed and
started to move away, but Boswellister
stood straight and commanded
them. "Listen! Wait for
a moment and learn your glorious
"Now," he said quietly into the
lapel pickup, and the great doughnut
circle of the Ipplinger starship
sailed in close over the hills.
A line of brush fire followed the
Boswellister held up his hands
and pointed. "Behold the glory of
Ippling that can be yours!" He
held onto the halo, trying to get
them to follow the symbolism.
"Look upwards!" He screamed at
them, but they watched the brush
fire that swept the hill top. It was
a goodie. It would wipe out a
number of homes.
He grabbed a boy by the arm
and demanded, "Look at the Ipplinger
starship. Behold the glory
The ten-year-old sneered.
"Yah! That's the new 1993 Lockheed
X69-P37 experimental ship.
I got a model last week."
"No, no, lad! The Ipplinger
starship, come to Earth to bring
the blessings of Ippling's culture
to this backwards planet. Ippling
will save you from wars and ills,
from poverty and hatred. Ippling
will be your destiny. Follow me,
Boswellister! Ippling will lead
you to the stars! Glory for all!"
Boswellister patted the boy on
"Keep your hands off me, you
Boswellister gulped and pointed
upwards. "See the Ipplinger
His mother jerked his arm in
reproof. "How many times I've
gotta tell you not to say, shuddup.
Say, SHUT UP! S-H-U-T U-P!"
"Aah!" the boy said in disgust.
"Everybody knows starships are
big rockets!" He'd said the final
word; he had no more interest in
Boswellister, for the fire engines
They sirened down Ventura
and turned up Laurel Canyon,
their heavy motors, air horns
and sirens drowning out Boswellister's
speech. Cars had piled
up at the intersection to wait for
the fire engines to make their
swing, and Boswellister leaped to
the middle of the intersection as
soon as the trucks had turned.
He held up his arms and went
into his People of Earth spiel
again. But angry, blasting horns
cut his voice to nothing. The
drivers pressed close in on him,
pinpointing him in the middle of
the intersection. Shouts and jeers
and horns; the roaring scream of
fire engines; people running and
shouting; Ventura at Laurel Canyon
was a cacophonous maelstrom.
A traffic officer screeched his
copcycle to a halt and made his
way to the center of the mass of
tangled traffic. He blew his whistle
and waved his arms, ordering
Boswellister to the sidewalk, but
Boswellister refused to move. He
had his mission on Earth.
Boswellister shouted over the
piled-up noise, waving his hand
to the sky, calling to them to follow
his lead to the glory of
The officer grabbed his coat
collar and hustled him to the
sidewalk. "You're under arrest!"
"You can't arrest me!" Boswellister
squirmed and jerked away.
He shouted, "Follow me!" and ran
north, a good part of the crowd
after him. He shrieked an order
into the pickup while he ran over
the bridge towards Moorpark.
A woman spotted the Ipplinger
starship that followed overhead.
"Free samples!" she screamed,
and those who had lagged behind
fell into a run with the crowd following
The northwest corner of Laurel
Canyon and Moorpark had been
cleared of houses for the erection
of a new billion-dollar shopping
center, and the ground was
smooth and bare. Here, in the
center of the five-acre construction
site, the Ipplinger starship
settled to Earth.
The Ipplinger Supreme Starship
Commander was panic-stricken.
He had to rescue Boswellister
from that sample-seeking mob.
If Boswellister should
be trampled and injured! Each
screamed demand, picked up by
Boswellister's lapel microphone,
sent the Supreme Commander's
blood pressure up another notch,
and the moment the ramp was
unshipped he hit the ground.
Officers and crewmen quickly
lined up to pipe Boswellister
aboard. But the crowd pushed in
close, forcing Boswellister to the
rear as they screamed for their
free samples. Two bulky crewmen
stood embattled by the entrance
port, strong-arming the kids
who tried to storm through the
port and inside.
"Space Angel's inside!" That
was their battle cry as they tried
to wriggle under the legs of the
"Ya sellin' Oatbombs?" one
screamed in the commander's ear,
then reached up to snatch off a
Boswellister stood in the rear
of the crowd and wrung his hands
while the crowd clamored for
"Give us the pitch, then pass
out the stuff!"
"Lookit that ship! Ain't it a
dilly! Whatcha sellin', Wheatsnaps?"
"Bring on the dames!"
They pressed in close to the
starship, running their hands
over the slick metal surface.
"Boy, what a prop! Bet it cost
a million bucks. What ya sellin',
"Sanity!" Boswellister shouted
from the rear.
His men tried to hold their
ranks, but the crowd broke the
lines, jerking the medals off their
chests for souvenirs.
Boswellister was almost babbling
by the time the commander
and his men battled their way to
"You saw it all! You know!"
Boswellister protested. "That
Blond Terror and his harem darlings,
and those violence-avid
ruffians in the audience! Dodie,
the stripper, with her lip-licking
ogglers! That Calsobisidine pitchman,
oozing allure and implied
invitation! My equation! My precious
equation, buried under a
mass of pills, lotions, toys, food,
clothes and everything sold with
a bump and grind!"
They fought to the ship with
him, while the crowd opposed
each step, yelling for entertainment,
for TV cameras, for samples
"How could I have missed it?"
Boswellister moaned. "I should
have sold them with sex, right
from the beginning."
"What do you do, handsome?
Sing?" A bundle-clutching housewife
breathed into his face, stepping
on the commander's foot as
she shoved in close to Boswellister.
"Take me home!" Boswellister
beseeched the commander.
The officers and crew, tattered,
demedaled, bruised and completely
defeated in morale,
formed a flying wedge and drove
for the safety of the ship.
The ramp retracted. The port
closed, then opened briefly to
eject a nosey boy, closing finally
on the demands and the mocking
laughter and the clangor of arriving
"Raise ship!" the commander
ordered. He sopped at the blood
from his gashed arm and said to
his first officer, "Somebody in that
mob used a knife to go after those
The first shuddered. "Ugly
Boswellister leaned against the
corridor bulkhead and sighed as
the Ipplinger starship rose from
the ground. How could he explain
to his poppa? All his brothers had
won their worlds. He would do it.
He squared his shoulders. After
all, he was a Boswellister. Boswellister
XIV, no less. A son of Gaphroldshan
IX himself, the Prince
of Ippling World LXIV, a Royal
Prince of the Central Ippling.
He walked resolutely to the
control room, riding the crest of
his refurbished dignity.
"Put me down on that planet
we spotted last year," he ordered.
"What was that star map number?"
"G.S.R. 285139-F. R. A. 592-105-R.U. 13,"
his alert assistant
astronomical officer answered,
reading the number from a prepared memorandum.
Boswellister hesitated. Should
he reprimand the officer for anticipating
his failure or compliment
him for his efficiency? Boswellister
backed water and went
to his room to learn the language
he'd need, while the officers
pulled their own demoralized
spirits together so they could go
to work on the crew when the
news broke that they weren't going
They made a quick passage to
their destination, and Boswellister—well
rested, well fed,
hypnotically tutored, supplied
with communicators, a synthesizer
for his food and a portable
equation writer strapped to his
back, and his irrepressible, dauntless
belief in himself in triumphant
the ramp onto this newest world
of his Princely destiny.
"Circle in orbit," he ordered.
"I'll call you when I need you."
Boswellister walked confidently
down the road to town.
He congratulated himself on having
learned, also on his wise humility
in admitting the fact of his
having learned. He smiled now at
the naiveté with which he had
approached his first try at establishing
a realm for his Ipplinger
He had been so full of illusions
that he had landed openly, had
stepped right up and announced
that he had come to establish his
household and rear his own Princes,
who would, in their maturity,
leave to win their own worlds. In
addition to their being small-minded
on that first world about
his needing five wives for his
household, they had nearly managed
to commit him to a lunatic
asylum, for he had overlooked, in
his equation, the fact that his first
planet, with its two suns and perpetual
daylight, had never known
about the stars. There had been
no way to break through their
wall of stupidity, and he had left,
the planet's sanity-police close on
his heels. Had he used money it
would have been a cinch, he had
realized as soon as he was safely
in the ship.
That hard-earned lesson he
had applied to his second planet,
but there superstition meant
more than money, though money
had seemed on the surface to be
the answer to everything. On that
second planet he had made the
error of buying his way into the
half-political, half-religious temple
setup, and had tried to bring
the local superstitions into line
with Ipplinger Reality Philosophy.
They had lost an officer and
three men when they rescued him
from the temple's torture chamber;
and none too soon, for he
had been taking quite a stretching
when his rescue had arrived.
Applied on Earth, the superstition
equation had not paid off.
He had failed to notice that they
didn't really believe in their religions
and superstitions, though
they showed every indication of
being extremely devout and credulous.
He should have sold Earth,
and sold it with sex.
Well, he had learned, all right,
and here, on this new world, in
this fresh start, he would show
how well he had learned. In the
idiom of Ventura Boulevard, he'd
hit 'em with the whole deck,
deuces wild. He'd give 'em sex
and money and superstition and
to hell with fact and logic.
These primitive worlds had to
be brought slowly into a respect
for logic; for Ipplinger logic, the
only valid system of logic in the
In the hovering ship, the commander
turned to the astrogator
and said, with the bitterness of
yesterday's conflict with the mutinous
crew evident in his voice,
"Well, our little vaporized circuit
is off again." He motioned to the
image of Boswellister in the forward
It was a sight that tended to
increase the tremor in the astrogator's
hands. He replied, "I only
hope we can pull the crew
through another pickup. Home
and family! Do they think I want
mine any less?"
Boswellister marched confidently
down the road. He would
succeed, for didn't he have the
well oiled machinery of the whole
Ipplinger starship crew of cultural
contact specialists to back
While he walked, he practiced
the strident-voiced delivery
of extravagant lies he had
learned so well and had so magnificently
imitated from the Ventura
Boulevard pitch artists. He
practiced the leering insinuendo
of the barker outside the gambling
hall; he gave it the Calsobisidine
con come-on; he sold it
solid, dripping with sex, twitching
He knew that here, finally, he
Boswellister XIV, Noble
Prince of Ippling, smiled his confidence
in his sex-money-superstition
equation as he walked
briskly down the road to begin
his contact with a world that had
substituted vat-culture procreation
for sex; that had abolished
money in favor of a complicated
system of verbal, personal-honor
swapping credits; that had no religions
or superstitions. A world of
people who considered the most
sweetly distilled essence of living
to be the minute investigation of
the fine points of logical discourse,
engaged in on the basis of
an incredibly multiplied logic
structure composed of thirty-seven
separate systems of discursive
regulations, the very first of
which was based on a planetary
absolute, the rejection and ridicule
of all persuasive techniques
and those who used them.
—HELEN M. URBAN
This etext was produced from Galaxy December 1962. Extensive
research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
copyright on this publication was renewed.