Wordmore’s gaze and say, We’ve had enough of you goddamnsims to last us a lifetime.nSsssimssss.n”Gladly I go where I am wanted and unwanted,”nWordmore said. “The wodd is my home, in it I am free tonloaf and meditate, every particle is as interesting to me asnevery other particle, the faces of men and women gladdennme as I journey.”n”I don’t mean for you to wander around like a stray dog,”nHarry said. “I mean. Go back where you came from. Gonback to the government.”n”But what to me are governments?” the gray mannreplied. “I, Wade Wordmore, American, untrammeled bynboundaries, unfixed as to station, and at my ease in all climesnand latitudes, answer to no laws save those my perfect naturen(for I know I am perfect, how can a man tall and in purenhealth be not perfect?), and am powerful to overstep anynborder.”nHere was a stumper. Harry had foreseen that Ark & Histnwould send another defective simulacrum, but he had notnimagined being put in charge of a bona fide grade-A bluenribbon lunatic. It was clear from Wordmore’s manner as henstooped to take up his knapsack and sling it on his shouldernthat he was willing to stroll out into a century he knewnnothing about, uttedy careless about what would happen tonhim for good or ill. And beyond this privileged residentialnsuburb Wordmore’s adventures would be mostly ill; hisnstrange aspect and wild mode of speech would mark him asnan easy victim to chicanery and violence alike.n”Oh, for God’s sake,” Harry said. There was no help fornit. “For God’s sake, come in the house.”nAs Wordmore stepped over the threshold he removed hisnfloppy hat. But this gesture of deference only served tonunderscore a casual royalty of presence; he entered Harry’snhouse as if he belonged there not as a guest but by right ofnownership. “I am most grateful to you, sir, and to everyonenelse in the house. White or black, Ghinaman or Lascar ornHottentot, they are all equal to me and I bid them goodnday.”n”We’re fresh out of those. There’s no one here but menand my wife Lydie. She’s not feeling well and she’s notngoing to be pleased that I let you come in. I’ll have some tallnexplaining to do.”nBut Lydie stood already in the hall doorway. She hadndrawn a bright floral wrapper over her nightgown, yet thencheerful colors only caused her face to look paler and herneyes more darkly encircled. She appeared feverish. “OhnHarry,” she said softly, wearily.n”Honey — “n”Among the strong I am strongest,” Wordmore said in anresonant steady voice that then quietened almost to a whisper:n”Among the weak I am gentlest.” He tucked hisnknapsack under his left arm and went to Lydie and took hernhand and drew her forward as if he were leading her onto anballroom floor. He placed her in the new chocolate-colorednwingback chair and smiled upon-her benevolently and gavenher the full benefit of that gray-eyed gaze so enormous withnsympathy.nShe responded with a tremulous smile and then leanednback and closed her eyes. “I hope you will be nice to us,”nshe said in a voice as small as the throbbing of a far-awayn24/CHRONICLESnnncricket. “We’ve never harmed anybody, Harry and I. Wenjust wanted to know about his ancestors who fought in thenGivil War. I guess that wasn’t such a good idea.”n”You know,” Harry said. “I don’t recall hearing about anynWordmores in my family. Are you sure you’re related tonme?”n”Each man is my brother, every woman my sister,”nWordmore stated. “To all I belong equally, disregardingnnone. In every household I am welcome, being full of healthnand good will and bearing peaceful tidings for all gatherednthere.”nAt these words Lydie opened her eyes, then blinked themnrapidly several times. Then she gave Harry one of the mostnreproachful glances one spouse ever turned upon another.nIn a moment, though, she closed her eyes again andnnestled into the wingback. Harry could see that she wasnrelaxing, her breathing slowed now and regular. Wordmorenemitted a powerful physical aura, an almost visible emanationnof peaceful healthful ease. Harry wondered if the mannmight have served as a physician in the War. Gertainly hisnpresence was having a salubrious effect upon Lydie andnHarry decided it would be all right to have Wordmorenaround for a few hours longer. If he was a madman he wasnharmless.n”Gan I offer you a drink?” Harry asked. “We still havensome bourbon left over from an earlier ancestor.”n”I drink only pure water from the spring gushing forth,”nWordmore replied. “My food is ever of the plainest andnmost wholesome.”n”Tap water is all we’ve got,” Harry said.n”I will take what you offer, I am pleased at everynhospitality.” He turned his attention to Lydie, placing hisndelicate fieckled hand on her forehead. “You will soon benstrong again,” he told her. “Rest now. and remember thensummer days of your youth, the cows lowing at the pasturengate and the thrush singing in the thicket and the haywainnrolling over the pebbled road with the boys lying in the hay,ntheir arms in friendship disposed around one another.”nLydie smiled ruefully. “I can’t remember anything likenthat,” she said. “I grew up in Ghicago. It was mosdy trafficnand street gangs fighting with knives.”n”Remember then your mother,” Wordmore said. “Remembernher loving smile as over your bed she leant, strokingnyour hair and murmuring a melody sweet and ancient.nRemember her in the kitchen as the steam rose around hernand the smell of bread baking and the fruits of the seasonnstewed and sugared, their thick juices oozing.”nLydie opened her eyes and sat forward. “Well, actually,”nshe explained, “my parents divorced when I was five and Indidn’t see much of either of them after that. Only onnholidays when one of them might visit at my conventnschool.”nHe was not to be discouraged. “Remember the days ofnChristmas then, when you and your comrade gids, tendernand loving, waited for the gladsome step in the foyer — “n”It’s all right,” Lydie said firmly. “Really. I don’t need tonremember anything. I feel much better. I really do. “nHarry returned with the ice water and looked curiously atnthe duo. “What’s been going on?” he asked, “What are yountwo talking about?”n”Mr. Wordmore has been curing me of my ills,” Lydien