Feghoot XXIX

The Feghoot series is by Reginald Bretnor writing under the pseudonym of Grendel Briarton.

In 3229, when Ferdinand Feghoot arose to deliver his famous report to the Society for the Aesthetic Rearrangement of History, his reception was hostile.

“Feghoot,” cried Dr. Corydon Bramahpootra, the President, “is it not the purpose of our Society to make all history Classically perfect, as though Gibbon himself had composed it? To change every event that is crude, inartistic? When we sent you back to the early 1960’s, did we not ask you to avert the untidy Sino-Indian War?”

He gave Feghoot no chance to reply. “We did! And every day a Learned Commission examined the texts to see if they’d changed. Vast sums were wagered on your success; duels were actually fought. And what did you accomplish? At the peak of the crisis, you arranged for Ex- Premier Castro of Cuba to visit Prime Minister Nehru! You even mis-managed that, so that Castro wandered all over India sight-seeing while his host waited for him in vain, getting more and more angry!”

Imperturbably, Feghoot nodded.

“Wretch!” screeched the Doctor. “You have betrayed our ideals! Was that in the Classical spirit of Gibbon?”

“Of course it was,” answered Ferdinand Feghoot. “Now I can tell you how, as the fate of the world hung in the balance, . . . Fidel roamed while Nehru burned.”

(Copyright © 1960 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, August 1960.)

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