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´╗┐Title: Jamieson
Author: Doede, William R.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jamieson" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


                             By BILL DOEDE

                          Illustrated by GRAY

           [Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from
                    Galaxy Magazine December 1960.
         Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that
         the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

               A Konv cylinder was the key to space--but
                there was one power it could not match!

They lived in a small house beside the little Wolf river in Wisconsin.
Once it had been a summer cottage owned by a rich man from Chicago.
The rich man died. His heirs sold it. Now it was well insulated and
Mrs. Jamieson and her son were very comfortable, even in the coldest
winter. During the summer they rented a few row boats to vacationing
fishermen, and she had built a few overnight cabins beside the road.
They were able to make ends meet.

Her neighbors knew nothing of the money she had brought with her to
Wisconsin. They didn't even know that she was not a native. She never
spoke of it, except at first, when Earl was a boy of seven and they had
just come there to live. Then she only said that she came from the
East. She knew the names of eastern Wisconsin towns, and small facts
about them; it lent an air of authenticity to her claim of being a
native. Actually her previous residence was Bangkok, Siam, where the
Agents had killed her husband.

That was back in '07, on the eve of his departure for Alpha Centaurus;
but she never spoke of this; and she was very careful not to move from
place to place except by the conventional methods of travel.

Also, she wore her hair long, almost to the shoulders. People said,
"There goes one of the old-fashioned ones. That hair-do was popular
back in the sixties." They did not suspect that she did this only to
cover the thin, pencil-line scar, evidence that a small cylinder lay
under her skin behind the ear.

For Mrs. Jamieson was one of the Konvs.

Her husband had been one of the small group who developed this tiny
instrument. Not the inventor--_his_ name was Stinson, and the effects
it resembled a small semi-conductor device. Analysis by the best
scientific minds proved it to be a semi-conductor.

Yet it held the power to move a body instantly from one point in space
to any other point. Each unit was custom built, keyed to operate only
by the thought pattern of the particular individual.

Several times in the past seven years Mrs. Jamieson had seen other
Konvs, and had been tempted to identify herself and say, "Here I am.
You are one of them; so am I. Come, and we'll talk. We'll talk about
Stinson and Benjamin, who helped them all get away. And Doctor Straus.
And my husband, E. Mason Jamieson, who never got away because those
filthy, unspeakable Agents shot him in the back, there in that coffee
shop in Bangkok, Siam."

       *       *       *       *       *

Once, in the second year after her husband's death, an Agent came and
stayed in one of her cabins.

She learned that he was an Agent completely by accident. While cleaning
the cabin one morning his badge fell out of a shirt pocket. She stood
still, staring at the horror of it there on the floor, the shirt in
her hands, all the loneliness returning in a black wave of hate and

That night she soundlessly lifted the screen from the window over his
bed and shot him with a .22 rifle.

She threw the weapon into the river. It helped very little. He was one
Agent, only one out of all the thousands of Agents all over Earth;
while her husband had been one of twenty-eight persons. She decided
then that her efforts would be too ineffective. The odds were wrong.
She would wait until her son, Earl, was grown.

Together they would seek revenge. He did not have the cylinder--not
yet. But he would. The Konvs took care of their own.

Her husband had been one of the first, and they would not forget. One
day the boy would disappear for a few hours. When he returned the small
patch of gauze would be behind his ear. She would shield him until the
opening healed. Then no one would ever know, because now they could do
it without leaving the tell-tale scar. Then they would seek revenge.

Later they would go to Alpha Centaurus, where a life free from Agents
could be lived.

It happened to Earl one hot summer day when he was fourteen. Mrs.
Jamieson was working in her kitchen; Earl supposedly was swimming with
his friends in the river. Suddenly he appeared before her, completely
nude. At sight of his mother his face paled and he began to shake
violently, so that she was forced to slap him to prevent hysteria. She
looked behind his ear.

It was there.

"Mom!" he cried. "Mom!"

He went to the window and looked out toward the river, where his
friends were still swimming in the river, with great noise and delight.
Apparently they did not miss him. Mrs. Jamieson handed him a pair of
trousers. "Here, get yourself dressed. Then we'll talk."

       *       *       *       *       *

He started for his room, but she stopped him. "No, do it right here.
You may as well get used to it now."

"Get used to what?"

"To people seeing you nude."


"Never mind. What happened just now?"

"I was swimming in the river, and a man came down to the river. His
hair was all white, and his eyes looked like ... well, I never saw eyes
like his before. He asked who was Earl Jamieson, and I said I was. Then
he said, 'Come with me.' I went with him. I don't know why. It seemed
the right thing. He took me to a car and there was another man in it,
that looked like the first one only he was bigger. We went to a house,
not far away and went inside. And that's all I can remember until I
woke up. I was on a table, sort of. A high table. There was a light
over it. It was all strange, and the two men stood there talking in
some language I don't know."

Earl ran his hand through his hair, shaking his head. "I don't remember
clearly, I guess. I was looking around the room and I remember thinking
how scared I was, and how nice it would be to be here with you. And
then I was here."

Earl faced the window, looking out, then turned quickly back. "What is
it?" he asked, desperately. "What happened to me?"

"Better put your trousers on," Mrs. Jamieson said. "It's something very
unusual and terrible to think of at first, but really wonderful."

"But what happened? What is this patch behind my ear?"

Suddenly his face paled and he stopped in the act of getting into his
trousers. "Guess I know now. They made me a Konv."

"Well, don't take on so. You'll get used to it."

"But they shouldn't have! They didn't even ask me!"

He started for the door, but she called him back. "No, don't run away
from it now. This is the time to face it. There are two sides to every
story, you know. You hear only one side in school--their side. There is
also _our_ side."

He turned back, a dawning comprehension showing in his eyes. "That's
right, you're one, too. That is why you killed that Agent in the third

It was her turn to be surprised. "You knew about that?"

"I saw you. I wasn't sleeping. I was afraid to stay inside alone, so I
followed you. I never told anyone."

"But you were only nine!"

"They would have taken you away if I'd said anything."

Mrs. Jamieson held out her hand. "Come here, son. It's time I told you
about us."

       *       *       *       *       *

So he sat across the kitchen table from her, and she told the whole
history, beginning with Stinson sitting in the laboratory in New
Jersey, holding in his hand a small cylinder moulded from silicon
with controlled impurities. He had made it, looking for a better
micro-circuit structure. He was holding this cylinder ... and it was a
cold day outside ... and he was dreaming of a sunny Florida beach--

And suddenly he was there, on the beach. He could not believe it at
first. He felt the sand and water, and felt of himself; there was no

On the plane back to New Jersey he came to certain conclusions
regarding the strange power of his device. He tried it again, secretly.
Then he made more cylinders. He was the only man in the world who
knew how to construct it, and he kept the secret, giving cylinders
to selected people. He worked out the basic principle, calling it a
kinetic ordinate of negative vortices, which was very undefinitive.

It was a subject of wonder and much speculation, but no one took
serious notice of them until one night a federal Agent arrested one man
for indecency. It was a valid charge. One disadvantage of this method
of travel was that, while a body could travel instantaneously to any
chosen spot, it arrived without clothes.

The arrested man disappeared from his jail cell, and the next morning
the Agent was found strangled to death in his bed. This set off a
campaign against Konvs. One base act led to another, until the original
reason for noticing them at all was lost. Normal men no longer thought
of them as human.

Mrs. Jamieson told how Stinson, knowing he had made too many cylinders
and given them unwisely, left Earth for Alpha Centaurus.

He went alone, not knowing if he could go so far, or what he would find
when he arrived. But he did arrive, and it was what he had sought.

He returned for the others. They gathered one night in a dirty,
broken-down farmhouse in Missouri--and disappeared in a body, leaving
the Agents standing helplessly on Earth, shaking their fists at the sky.

"You have asked many times," Mrs. Jamieson said, "how your father
died. Now I will tell you the truth. Your father was one of the great
ones, along with Stinson and Benjamin and Dr. Straus. He helped plan
the escape; but the Agents found him in Bangkok fifteen minutes before
the group left. They shot him in the back, and the others had to go on
without him. Now do you know why I killed the Agent in the third cabin?
I had to. Your father was a great man, and I loved him."

"I don't blame you, mother," Earl said simply. "But we are freaks.
Everybody says, 'Konv' as if it is something dirty. They write it on
the walls in rest rooms."

"Of course they do--because they don't understand! They are afraid of
us. Wouldn't you be afraid of someone who could do the things we do, if
you _couldn't_ do them?"

Just like that, it was over.

That is, the first shock was over. Mrs. Jamieson watched Earl leave the
house, walking slowly along the river, a boy with a man's problems.
His friends called to him from the river, but he chose not to hear.
He wanted to be alone. He needed to think, to feel the newness of the

Perhaps he would cross the river and enter the deep forest there. When
the initial shock wore off he might experiment with his new power. He
would not travel far, in these first attempts. Probably he would stay
within walking distance of his clothes, because he still lacked the
tricks others had learned.

It was a hot, mucky afternoon with storm clouds pushing out of the
west. Mrs. Jamieson put on her swimming suit and wandered down to the
river to cool herself.

       *       *       *       *       *

For the remainder of that summer they worked together. They practiced
at night mostly, taking longer and longer jumps, until Earl's
confidence allowed him to reach any part of the Earth he chose. She
knew the habits of Agents. She knew how to avoid them.

They would select a spot sufficiently remote to insure detection, she
would devise some prank to irritate the Agents; then they would quickly
return to Wisconsin. The Agents would rush to the calculated spot, but
would find only the bare footprints of a woman and a boy. They would
swear and drive back to their offices to dig through files, searching
for some clue to their identity.

It was inevitable that they should identify Mrs. Jamieson as one of
the offenders, since they had discovered, even before Stinson took his
group to Centaurus, that individuals had thought patterns peculiar to
themselves. These could be identified, if caught on their detectors,
and even recorded for the files. But the files proved confusing, for
they said that Mrs. Jamieson had gone to Centaurus with the others.

Had she returned to Earth? The question did not trouble them long. They
had more serious problems. Stinson had selected only the best of the
Konvs when he left Earth, leaving all those with criminal tendencies
behind. They could have followed if they chose--what could stop them?
But it was more lucrative to stay. On Earth they could rob, loot, even
murder--without fear of the law.

Earl changed.

Even before the summer was over, he matured. The childish antics of his
friends began to bore him. "Be careful, Earl," his mother would say.
"Remember who you are. Play with them sometimes, even if you don't like
it. You have a long way to go before you will be ready."

During the long winter evenings, after they had watched their favorite
video programs, they would sit by the fireplace. "Tell me about the
great ones," he would say, and she would repeat all the things she
remembered about Stinson and Benjamin and Straus. She never tired of
discussing them. She would tell about Benjamin's wife, Lisa, and try to
describe the horror in Lisa's young mind when the news went out that
E. Mason Jamieson had been killed. She wanted him to learn as much as
possible about his father's death, knowing that soon the Agents would
be after Earl. They were so clever, so persistent. She wanted him to be
ready, not only in ways of avoiding their traps ... but ready with a
heart full of hate.

Sometimes when she talked about her husband, Mrs. Jamieson wanted to
stand up and scream at her son, "Hate, hate! Hate! You must learn to
hate!" But she clenched her hands over her knitting, knowing that he
would learn it faster if she avoided the word.

       *       *       *       *       *

The winter passed, and the next summer, and two more summers.

Earl was ready for college. They had successfully kept their secret.
They had been vigilant in every detail. Earl referred to the "damn
Agents" now with a curl of his lip. They had been successful in
contacting other Konvs, and sometimes visited them at a remote

"When you have finished college," Mrs. Jamieson told her son, "we will
go to Centaurus."

"Why not now?"

"Because when you get there they will need men who can contribute to
the development of the planet. Stinson is a physicist, Benjamin a
metallurgist, Straus a doctor. But Straus is an old man by this time. A
young doctor will be needed. Study hard, Earl. Learn all you can. Even
the great ones get sick."

She did not mention her secret hope, that before they left Earth
he would have fully avenged his father's death. He was clever and

He could kill many Agents.

So she exhumed the money she had hidden more than ten years before.
The house beside the Little Wolf river was sold. They found a modest
bungalow within walking distance of the University's medical school.
Mrs. Jamieson furnished it carefully but, oddly, rather lavishly.

This was her husband's money she was spending now. It needed to last
only a few years. Then they would leave Earth forever.

A room was built on the east side of the bungalow, with its own private
entrance. This was Earl's room. Ostensibly the private entrance was for
convenience due to the irregular hours of college students.

It was also convenient for coming home late at night after Agent

Mrs. Jamieson was becoming obvious.

Excitement brought color to her cheeks when she thought of Earl facing
one of them--a lean, cunning jaguar facing a fat, lazy bear. It was her
notion that federal Agents were evil creatures, tools of a decadent,
bloodthirsty society, living off the fat of the land.

She painted the room herself, in soft, pastel colors. When it was
finished she showed Earl regally into the room, making a big joke of it.

"Here you can study and relax, and have those bull sessions students
are always having," she said.

"There will be no friends," he answered, "not here. No Konvs will be at
the university."

"Why not? Stinson selected only educated, intelligent people. When
one dies the cylinder is taken and adjusted to a new thought
pattern--usually a person from the same family. I would say it is very
likely that Konvs will be found here."

       *       *       *       *       *

He shook his head. "No. They knew we were coming, and no one said a
word about others being here. I'm afraid we are alone."

"Well, I think not," she said firmly. "Anyway, the room will be

He shook his head again. "Why can't I be in the house with you? There
are two bedrooms."

She said quickly, "You can if you wish. I just thought you'd like being
alone, at your age. Most boys do."

"I'm not like most boys, mother. The Konvs saw to that. Sometimes I'm
sorry. Back in high school I used to wish I was like the others. Do you
remember Lorane Peters?" His mother nodded. "Well, when we were seniors
last year she liked me quite a lot. She didn't say so, but I knew it.
She would sit across the aisle from me, and sometimes when I saw how
her hair fell over her face when she read, I wanted to lean over and
whisper to her, 'Hey, Lorrie--' just as if I was human--'can I take you
to the basketball game?'"

Mrs. Jamieson turned to leave the room, but he stopped her. "You
understand what I'm saying, don't you?"

"No, I don't!" she said sharply. "You're old enough to face realities.
You are a Konv. You always will be a Konv. _Have you forgotten your own

She turned her back and slammed the door. Earl stood very still for
a long time in the room that was to have been happy for him. She was
crying just beyond the wall.

Earl did not use the room that first year. He slept in the second
bedroom. He did not mention his frustrated desires to be normal, not
after the first attempt, but he persisted in his efforts to be so. Use
of the cylinder was out of the question for them now, anyway.

In the spring Mrs. Jamieson caught a virus cold which resulted in a
long convalescence. Earl moved into the new bedroom. At first she
thought he moved in an effort to please her because of the illness, but
she soon grew aware of her mistake.

One day he disappeared.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Jamieson was alarmed. Had the Agents found him? She watched the
papers daily for some word of Konvs being killed.

The second day after his disappearance she found a small item. A Konv
had raided the Agent's office in Stockholm, killing three, and getting
killed himself. Mrs. Jamieson dropped the paper immediately and went
to Stockholm. She did not consider the risk. In Stockholm she found
clothes and made discreet inquiries. The slain man had been a Finnish
Konv, one of those left behind by Stinson as an undesirable. His wife
had been killed by the Agents the week before. He had gone completely
insane and made the raid singlehanded. Mrs. Jamieson read the account
of crimes committed by the man and his wife, and determined to prevent
Earl from making the mistake of taking on more than he could handle.

When she arrived at her own home, Earl was in his room.

"Where have you been?" she asked petulantly.

"Oh, here and there."

"I thought you were involved in that fight in Stockholm."

He shook his head.

She stood in the doorway and watched him leaning over his desk,
attempting to write something on a sheet of paper. She was proud of his
profile, tow-headed as a boy, handsome in a masculine way. He cracked
his knuckles nervously.

"What did you do?" she asked.

Suddenly he flung the pencil down, jumped from his chair and paced the
floor. "I talked to an Agent last night," he said.



Mrs. Jamieson had to sit down. Finally she was able to ask, "How did it

"I broke into the office there to get at the records. He caught me."

"What were you looking for?"

"I wanted to learn the names of the men who killed Father." He said the
word strangely. He was unaccustomed to it.

"Did you find them?"

He pointed to the paper on his desk. Mrs. Jamieson, trembling, picked
it up and read the names. Seeing them there, written like any other
names would be written, made her furious. How could they? How could the
names of murderers look like ordinary names? When she thought them in
her mind, they even sounded like ordinary names--and they shouldn't!
She had always thought that those names, if she ever saw them, would
be filthy, unholy scratches on paper, evil sounds, like the rustle of
bedclothes to a jealous lover listening at a keyhole. "Tom Palieu"
didn't sound evil; neither did "Al Jonson." She was shaken by this more
than she would permit Earl to see.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Why did you want the names?"

"I don't know," he said. "Curiosity, maybe, or a subconscious desire
for revenge. I just wanted to see them."

"Tell me what happened! If an Agent saw you ... well, either he killed
you or you killed him. But you're here alive."

"I didn't kill him. That's what seems so strange. And he didn't try to
kill me. We didn't even fight. He didn't ask why I broke in without
breaking the lock or even a window. He seemed to know. He did ask what
I was doing there, and who I was. I told him, and ... he helped me get
the names. He asked where I lived. 'None of your damn business,' I told
him. Then he said he didn't blame me for not telling, that Konvs must
fear Agents, and hate them. Then he said, 'Do you know why we kill
Konvs? We kill them because there is no prison cell in the world that
will hold a Konv. When they break the law, we have no choice. It is a
terrible thing, but must be done. We don't want your secret; we only
want law and order. There is room enough in the world for both of us.'"

Mrs. Jamieson was furious. "And you believed him?"

"I don't know. I just know what he said--and that he let me go without
trying to shoot me."

Mrs. Jamieson stopped on her way out of the room and laid a hand on his
arm. "Your father would have been proud of you," she said. "Soon you
will learn the truth about the Agents."

Beyond the closed door, out of sight of her son, Mrs. Jamieson gave
rein to the excitement that ran through her. He had wanted the names!
He didn't know why--not yet--but he would. "He'll do it yet!" she
whispered to the flowered wallpaper. She didn't care that no one heard

She didn't know where the men were now, those who had killed her
husband. They could be anywhere. Agents moved from post to post; in ten
years they might be scattered all over Earth. In the killing of Konvs,
some cylinders might even be taken by Agents--and used by them, for
the power and freedom the cylinders gave must be coveted even by them.
And they were in the best position to gain them. She was consumed by
fear that one or more of the men on Earl's list might have acquired a
cylinder and were now Konvs themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two weeks later she read a news item saying that Tom Palieu had been
killed by a Konv. The assassin's identity was unknown, but agents were
working on the case.

She knew. She had found a gun in Earl's desk.

She took the paper into Earl's room. "Did you do this?"

He turned away from her. "It doesn't matter whether I did or not. They
will suspect me. His name was on the list."

"They will," she agreed. "It doesn't matter who the Konv is, now that
an Agent has been killed. The one in Bangkok will tell them about you
and the list of names, and it's all they need."

"Well, what else can he do?" Earl asked. "After all, he is an Agent.
If one of them is killed, he will have to tell what he knows."

"You're defending him? Why?" she cried. "Tell me why!"

He removed her hand from his arm. Her nails were digging into his
flesh. "I don't know why. Mother, I'm sorry, but Agents are just people
to me. I can't hate them the way you do."

Mrs. Jamieson's face colored, then drained white.

Suddenly, with a wide, furious sweep of her hand, she slapped his face.
So much strength and rage was in her arm that the blow almost sent him
spinning. They faced each other, she breathing hard from the exertion,
Earl stunned immobile--not by the blow, but from the knowledge that she
could hate so suddenly, viciously.

She controlled herself. "We must find a way to leave here," she said,

"They won't find us."

"Oh, yes they will," she said. "Don't underestimate them. Agents are
picked from the most intelligent people on Earth. It will be a small
job for them. Don't forget they know who you are. Even if you hadn't
been so stupid as to tell them, they'd know. They knew my pattern from
the time your father was alive. They got yours when we were together
years ago, teasing them. They linked your pattern with mine. They know
that your father and I had a son. Your birth was recorded. The only
difficult aspect of their job now is to find where you live, and it
won't be impossible. They will drive their cars through every city on
Earth with those new detectors, until they pick up your pattern or
mine. I'm afraid it's time to leave Earth."

       *       *       *       *       *

Earl sat down suddenly, "It's just as well. I thought maybe some day I
might hate them too, or learn to like them. But I can do neither, so I
am halfway between, and no man can live this way."

She did not answer him. Finally he said, "It doesn't make sense to you,
does it?"

"No, it doesn't. This is not the time for such discussions, anyway. The
Agents have their machines working at top speed, while we sit here and

Suddenly they were not alone.

No sound was generated by the man's coming. One instant they were
talking alone, the next he was here. Earl saw him first. He was a
middle-aged man whose hair was completely white. He stood near the
desk, easily, as if standing there were the most natural way to relax.
He was entirely nude ... but it seemed natural and right.

Then Mrs. Jamieson saw him.

"Benjamin!" she cried. "I knew someone would come."

He smiled. "This is your son?"

"Yes," she said. "We are ready."

"I remember when you were born," he said, and smiled in reminiscence.
"Your father was afraid you would be twins."

Earl said, "Why was my father killed?"

"By mistake. Back in those days, like now, there were good Konvs and
bad. One of those not selected by Stinson to join us was enraged, half
crazy with envy. He killed two women there in Bangkok. The Agents
thought Jamieson--I mean, your father--did it. Jamieson was the
greatest man among us. It was he who first conceived the theory that
there was a basic, underlying law in the operation of the cylinders.
Even now, no one knows how the idea of love ties in with the Stinson
Effect; but we do know that hate and greed as motivating forces can
greatly minimize the cylinders' power. That is why the undesirables
with cylinders have never reached Centaurus."

Heavy steps sounded on the porch outside.

"We'd better hurry," Mrs. Jamieson said.

Benjamin held out his hands. They took them, to increase the power of
the cylinders. As the Agents pounded on the door, Mrs. Jamieson flicked
one thought of hatred at them, but of course they did not hear her.
Benjamin's hands gripped tightly.

Mrs. Jamieson slowly opened her eyes....

She no longer felt the hands. _She was still in the room!_ Benjamin and
her son were gone. Her outstretched hands touched nothing.

Her power was gone!

The Agents stepped into the room over the broken door. She stared at
them, then ran to Earl's desk, fumbling for the gun.

The Agents' guns rattled.

Love, Benjamin said, the greatest of these is love. Or did someone
else say that? Someone, somewhere, perhaps in another time, in some
misty, forgotten chip of time long gone, in another frame of reference

Mrs. Jamieson could not remember, before she died.

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search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.