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with use confirming the change. No indeed these
strange powers are vestigial hangovers from a time
when the whole race had 'em and used 'em."
Phil stopped talking, and Ben did not answer him,
but sat in a brown study while some ten miles spun
past. Joan started to speak once, then thought better
of it. Finally Ben commenced to speak slowly.
"I can't see any fault in your reasoning. It's not
reasonable to assume that whole areas of the brain
with complex functions 'jest growed.' But, brother,
you've sure raised hell with modem anthropology."
"That worried me when I first got the notion, and
that's why I kept my mouth shut. Do you know
anything about anthropology?"
"Nothing except the casual glance that any medical
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student gets."
"Neither did I, but I had quite a lot of respect for
it. Professor Whoosistwitchell would reconstruct one
of our great grand-daddies from his collar bone and
his store teem and deliver a long dissertation on his
most intimate habits, and I would swallow it, hook,
line, and sinker, and be much impressed. But I
began to read up on the subject. Do you know what
I found?"
"Go ahead."
"In the first place there isn't a distinguished an-
thropologist in the world but what you'll find one
equally distinguished who will call him a diamond-
studded liar. They can't agree on the simplest ele-
ments of their alleged science. In the second place,
there isn't a corporal's guard of really decent exhibits
to back up their assertions about the ancestry of
mankind. I never saw so much stew from one oys-
ter. They write book after book and what have they
got to go on? The Dawson Man. the Peldn Man,
the Heidelberg Man and a couple of others. And
those aren't complete skeletons, a damaged skull, a
couple of teeth, maybe another bone or two."
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"Oh now, Phil, there were lots of specimens found
ofCro-Magnon men."
"Yes, but they were true men. I'm talking about
submen, our evolutionary predecessors. You see, I
was trying to prove myself wrong. If man's ascent
had been a long steady climb, submen into savages,
savages to barbarians, barbarians perfecting their cul-
tures into civilization ... all this with only minor
setbacks of a few centuries, or a few thousand years
at the most . . . and with our present culture the
highest the race had ever reached ... If all that was
true, then my idea was wrong.
"You follow me, don't you? The internal evidence
of the brain proves that mankind, sometime in its
lost history, climbed to heights undreamed of today.
In some fashion the race slipped back. And this
happened so long ago that we have found no record
of it anywhere. These brutish submen, that the an-
thropologists set such store by, can't be our ances-
tors; they are too new, too primitive, too young.
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They are too recent; they allow for no time for the
race to develop these abilities whose existence we
have proved. Either anthropology is all wet, or Joan
can't do the things we have seen her do."
The center of the controversy said nothing. She sat
at the wheel, as the big car sped along, her eyes
closed against the slanting rays of the setting sun,
seeing the road with an inner impossible sight.
Five days were spent in coaching Huxley and a
sixth on the open road. Sacramento lay far behind
them. For the past hour Mount Shasta had been
visible from time to time through openings in the
trees. Phil brought the car to a stop on a view point
built out from the pavement of U.S. Highway 99.
He turned to his passengers. "All out, troops," he
said. "Catch a slice of scenery."
The three stood and stared over the canyon of the
Sacramento River at Mount Shasta, thirty miles away.
172 Robert A. Heinlein
It was sweater weather and the air was as clear as a
child's gaze. The peak was framed by two of the
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great fir trees which marched down the side of the
canyon. Snow still lay on the slopes of the cone and
straggled down as far as the timberline.
Joan muttered something. Ben turned his head.
"What did you say, Joan?"
"Me? Nothing I was saying over a bit of poetry to
"What was it?"
"Tietjens' Most Sacred Mountain:
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