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Be It Ever Thus   By: (1907-1977)

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Men have fought and died for life and liberty since the beginning of time, and they will continue the fight until time finally comes to an end. Here is a thoroughly readable story about just such a situation a story which could well be a forecast of the chilling future of your children and ours.

be it ever thus

by ... Robert Moore Williams

The planet's natives were so similar to their conquerors that no one could tell them apart except for their difference in thinking.

This was Graduation Day. The senior class from the Star Institute of Advanced Science was scheduled to go through the Museum of the Conquered and observe the remnants of the race that had once ruled this planet. There were many such museums maintained for the purpose of allowing the people to see the greatness their ancestors had displayed in conquering this world and also to demonstrate how thorough and how complete that conquest had been. Perhaps the museums had other reasons for existing, but the authorities did not reveal these reasons. Visiting such a museum was part of the exercises of every graduating class.

Billy Kasker arrived early, to take care of all last minute problems for Mr. Phipper, the instructor who would take the group through the museum, and to make certain that all of the members of the graduating class knew what they were supposed to do on the trip. Billy Kasker was class president. A handsome, husky youth, accommodating, generous, and thoughtful to a fault. He was well liked both by the faculty and the students. He was pleasant to everybody, even to Joe Buckner, who called him "teacher's pet" and sneeringly remarked that he had been elected class president as a result of a superb job of boot licking.

Even such remarks as these had not disturbed Bill Kasker. He still acted as if Joe Buckner was his best friend.

"Are we all here, Billy?" the instructor called.

"All here, sir," Billy Kasker answered.

"Very well. Let's start to the museum. As we go through you may ask any questions you wish. However, I must insist you stay close to me and not wander from the group. We will be in no danger, you understand the creatures living in the museum have had their fangs pulled most effectively but even so we must not take chances."

The instructor led off. He was a fussy little person in a shiny black coat and a soft hat that was too big for him. No matter how much paper he stuffed inside the brim, the hat never seemed to fit right. Peering through glasses that were always threatening to fall off, he moved away from the Star Institute toward the nearby museum. The class of eight girls and nine boys followed him.

"Why do we have to go through this old museum?" Joe Buckner complained. "We already know everything about it."

"It's the rule," Billy Kasker answered. "The faculty thinks we should see the situation at first hand. Then we will have a better understanding of it."

Joe Buckner grunted disdainfully. "You're always sucking in with the big shots and telling everybody what they say."

"You asked me. I tried to tell you." Billy Kasker's voice was still pleasant. If a slight glint appeared in his eyes, it remained there for only a second.

The museum was an open area many miles long. It was enclosed by a high, electrically charged fence along which guard towers were placed at regular intervals. There was only one gate, to which the instructor led the class. A captain, resplendent in a brilliant uniform, came out of the guard house to greet them.

"The graduating class from the Star Institute, eh? Good. We had notice that you were coming. Guard, bring Mr. Phipper a Thor gun, then open the gates." The last was spoken in a brisk tone to the guard who had followed the captain.

The Thor gun was brought immediately. It was a small weapon, with a belt and holster. The captain took it from the holster. Watching, Billy Kasker had the impression that the weapon was made of glittering, spun glass... Continue reading book >>

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