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.Presently he began to speak, with the freedom that is only possible between two people who are fond of each other but have no emotional ties.‘It is very hard, Jeryl,’ he began, ‘to turn one’s back on the work of a lifetime.Once I had hoped that the great new forces we have discovered could be safely used, but now I know that it is impossible, at least for many ages.Therodimus was right—we can go no further with our minds alone.Our culture has been hopelessly one-sided, though through no fault of ours.We cannot solve the fundamental problem of peace and war without a command over the physical world such as the Phileni posses—and which we hope borrow from them.‘Perhaps there will be other great adventures here for our minds, to make us forget what we will have to abandon.We shall be able to learn something from Nature at last.What is the difference between fire and water, between wood and stone? What are the suns, and what are those millions of faint lights we see in the sky when both the suns are down? Perhaps the answers to all these questions may lie at the end of the new road along which we must travel.’He paused.‘New knowledge—new wisdom—in realms we have never dreamed of before.It may lure us away from the dangers we have encountered: for certainly nothing we can learn from Nature will ever be as great a threat as the peril we have uncovered in our own minds.’The flow of Aretenon’s thoughts was suddenly interrupted.Then he said: ‘I think Eris wants to see you.’Jeryl wondered why Eris had not sent the message to her: she wondered, too, at the undertone of amusement—or was it something else?—in Aretenon’s mind.There was no sign of Eris as they approached the caves, but he was waiting for them and came bounding out into the sunlight before they could reach the entrance.Then Jeryl gave an involuntary cry, and retreated a pace or two as her mate came towards her.For Eris was whole again.Gone was the shattered stump on his forehead: it had been replaced by a new, gleaming horn no less splendid than the one he had lost.In a belated gesture of greeting, Eris touched horns with Aretenon.Then he was gone into the forest in great joyous leaps—but not before his mind had met Jeryl’s as it had seldom done since the days before the War.‘Let him go,’ said Therodimus softly.‘He would rather be alone.When he returns I think you will find him—different.’ He gave a little laugh.‘The Phileni are clever, are they not? Now, perhaps, Eris will be more appreciative of their “toys”.’‘I know I am impatient,’ said Therodimus, ‘but I am old now, and I want to see the changes begin in my own lifetime.That is why I am starting so many schemes in the hope that some at least will succeed.But this is the one, above all, in which I have put most faith.’For a moment he lost himself in his thoughts.Not one in a hundred of his own race could fully share his dream.Even Eris, though he now believed in it, did so with his heart rather than his mind.Perhaps Aretenon—the brilliant and subtle Aretenon, so desperately anxious to neutralise the powers he had brought into the world—might have glimpsed the reality.But his was of all minds the most impenetrable, save when he wished otherwise.‘You know as well as I do,’ continued Therodimus, as they walked upstream, ‘that our wars have only one cause—Food.We and the Mithraneans are trapped on this continent of ours with its limited resources, which we can do nothing to increase.Ahead of us we have always the nightmare of starvation, and for all our vaunted intelligence there has been nothing we can do about it.Oh yes, we have scraped some laborious irrigation ditches with our forehooves, but how slight their help has been!‘The Phileni have discovered how to grow crops that increase the fertility of the ground manyfold.I believe that we can do the same—once we have adapted their tools for our own use.That is our first and most important task, but it is not the one on which I have set my heart [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]