This could well have been Montcalm's greatest opportunity; a chance to bring mankind priceless gifts from worlds beyond. But Montcalm was a solid family man--and what about that nude statue in the park?
"I do not consider the statue of a naked woman art, even if it is called 'Dawn,'" he said bitingly. He looked at his two colleagues and received their nods of acquiescence. He ruled: "The statue must be removed from the park and from public view."
Levitt had one parting shot.
"Would it solve the board's problem if we put a brassiere and panties on the statue?" he demanded.
"Mr. Levitt's levity is not amusing. The board has ruled," said Montcalm coldly, arising to signify the end of the meeting.
* * * * *
That night Montcalm slept the satisfied sleep of the just.
He awoke shortly after dawn to find a strange, utterly beautiful naked woman in his bedroom. For a bemused instant Montcalm thought the statue of Dawn in the park had come to haunt him. His mouth fell open but he was unable to speak.
"Take me to your President," said the naked woman musically, with an accent that could have been Martian.
Mrs. Montcalm awoke.
"What's that? What is it, Richard?" she asked sleepily.
"Don't look, Millie!" exclaimed Montcalm, clapping a hand over her eyes.
"Nonsense!" she snapped, pushing his hand aside and sitting up. She gasped and her eyes went wide, and in an instinctive, unreasonable reaction she clutched the covers up around her own nightgowned bosom.
I wonder if it was Eisenhower's presidency that convinced writers in the 1950s that generals make good rulers? Anyway, this is a story about a sober, conservative general who is approached by an alien willing to bless the Earth with the knowledge to solve all its problems. But there is a snag.
Every character is a stereotype, and the alien--in the end--seems childish.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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