H. Beam Piper.

Crossroads of Destiny online

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Banks. I'd have to think over the implications of that carefully. In the
second place, it was a silver certificate; why, in this other United
States, silver must be an acceptable monetary metal; maybe equally so
with gold, though I could hardly believe that. Then I looked at the
picture on the gray obverse side, and had to strain my eyes on the fine
print under it to identify it. It was Washington, all right, but a much
older Washington than any of the pictures of him I had ever seen. Then I
realized that I knew just where the Crossroads of Destiny for his world
and mine had been.

As every schoolchild among us knows, General George Washington was shot
dead at the Battle of Germantown, in 1777, by an English, or, rather,
Scottish, officer, Patrick Ferguson - the same Patrick Ferguson who
invented the breech-loading rifle that smashed Napoleon's armies.
Washington, today, is one of our lesser national heroes, because he was
our first military commander-in-chief. But in this other world, he must
have survived to lead our armies to victory and become our first
President, as was the case with the man who took his place when he was
killed.

I folded the bill and put it away carefully among my identification
cards, where it wouldn't a second time get mixed with the money I spent,
and as I did, I wondered what sort of a President George Washington had
made, and what part, in the history of that other United States, had
been played by the man whose picture appears on our dollar
bills - General and President Benedict Arnold.


THE END.








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Online LibraryH. Beam PiperCrossroads of Destiny → online text (page 2 of 2)