think about what to tell the medics when they came.nPerhaps they wouldn’t accept Private Harper; perhaps theynwouldn’t regard him as a real human being. To whom couldnhe turn for assistance in that case? He knew better than toncall Archives and History; the last time he had called thosennumbers a recorded voice informed him that they had allnbeen disconnected. Now he was trying to reach, by mail andntelephone and fax machine, his congressman. RepresentativenDoy Collingwood, but so far had received no reply.nWhen the ambulance came, though, the young paramedicsnunderstood the situation immediately and seemed tonfind it routine. The fellow with the blond-red mustache —nhe looked like a teenager, Harry thought ruefully — onlynglanced at the inert figure on the rug before asking, “CivilnWar?”n”Yes,” Harry said. “My God, it was awful My wife isnalmost hysterical. This is just terrible.”nThe fellow nodded. “We get them like this all the time.nFaulty parts and sloppy workmanship. Sometimes we’ll getnfour calls a week like this.”n”Can’t something be done?”n”Have you tried to get in touch with Ark & Hist?”n”With whom?”n”The Archives and History Division … in Washington,”nhe asked, then saw Harry’s expression. “Never mind, Inknow. Tell you what, though. I’d better have a look to see ifnyour wife is okay. Where is she?”nHarry showed him the bedroom and stood by while henministered to Lydie. She murmured her gratitude, but keptnher eyes closed. The young medic gave her some pills tontake and went with Harry back to the living room. “She’ll benall right,” he said. “Probably have a couple of rough nights.”nThe driver had already put down a stretcher and rollednHarper’s body over onto it. His eyes were open and andreadful change had come to his face, a change that wasnmore than death and worse, a change that made PrivatenHarper look as if he’d never been human — in this life ornany other.nHarry had to look away. “My God,” he said.n”Pretty awful, isn’t it?” The medic’s response wasncheerful, matter-of-fact. “Shoddy stuff, these Ark & Histnsims. But there’s some good salvage there, more than you’dnthink by looking at it.”n”What did you call him? Harry asked. “Simms?”n”Sim. It’s a nickname. A simulacrum from the Divisionnof Archives and History. Your tax dollars at work, know whatnI mean? Sign here,” he said, handing Harry a clipboard andna pen. “And here,” he said, turning a page. “And here. Andnhere. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.”nThe medic had predicted rough nights for Lydie, but shensuffered bad days as well and took to her bed. She keptnthe shades drawn and the lights down and watched chambernmusic on the vidcube. Harry gave his shop over to thenattentions of two assistants and stayed home with his wife,npreparing her scanty meals and consoling her and monitoringnthe installation of the new carpet and choosing a newnchair for the living room. Lydie would probably hate thenchocolate-colored wingback he’d bought, but that was allnright. She could exchange it when she was up and around.nHe planned to stay home with her for a week or two — fornas long as it took to make certain that the government wasnsending to the Beacham household no more sims. Harrynpronounced the word with an ugly angry hiss: sssimsss. Henput as much disgust into the sibilants as his teeth couldnproduce, but there was no satisfaction for him.nHe was so infuriated and felt so impotent that he began tonwish a new specimen would turn up, just so that he couldnsend it away with a message for the people who hadndispatched it. He prepared several speeches in his mind,neach more savage than the last, each more heartfelt andnmore eloquent.nHe never got to deliver any of them, even though thenexpected third visitor did after all show, a week later than hadnbeen stipulated. But he didn’t announce himself, didn’tnknock at the door and present his papers as Aldershot andnHarper had done. He just stood in the front yard with hisnback turned toward the house and gazed at the housesnopposite and at the children riding bicycles and chasing ballsnalong the asphalt lanes of Shining Acres. Often he wouldnlook at the sky, at the puffy cloud masses scooting overhead,nand he would take off his big gray hat with the floppy brimnand shade his eyes with his hand.nThis hat was not of Confederate gray but of a lighternmineral color, nearly the same gray color as the man’snclothing. Nor was his attire military; he wore cotton trousersnheld up by a broad leather belt and a soft woolen shirt withnan open collar. When he removed his hat shining gray locksnfell past his ears and the sunlight imparted to this mass ofnsilver a whitish halo effect. He turned around to look at thenBeacham house and Harry saw that he wore a glorious graynbeard, clean and bright and patriarchal, and that his eyesnwere clear and warm.nEven from where Harry stood inside the man’s gaze wasnremarkable: calm and trusting and unworried and soothing.nWhen he replaced his hat Harry recognized his gesture asneasy and graceful, neither sweeping nor constrained. Therenwas a natural ease about his figure that put Harry’s mind atnrest. He would still send him away, of course he would, butnHarry began to soften the speech he had planned to make,nto modify its ferocity and to sweeten a little bit its bitterness.nBut when had this fellow arrived? How long had he beennstanding there, observing the world from his casual viewingnpoint, with his little gray knapsack lying carelessly on thenlawn? He might have been there for hours; nothing in hisnmanner would ever betray impatience.nHarry opened the door and called to the man. “Heynyou,” he said. “Hey you, standing in my yard.”nThe man turned slowly, presenting his whole figure as ifnhe wished to be taken in from crown to shoesole, to benexamined and measured for what he was as a physical being.n”I am Wade Wordmore,” he said and his voice was full ofngentle strength. “I have come a great distance, oversteppingntime and space; I am the visitor who has been sent.”n”Yeah, that’s right,” Harry said. “The government sentnyou, right? The History people? They sent you to thenBeacham residence, right?’-‘n”That is correct in some measure,” said Wade Wordmore.n”But I believe there is more to it than that.”n”Well, go away,” Harry said. “We don’t want you. We’venhad enough —” He didn’t finish the sentence he hadnplanned to say; he found that he could not look intonnnMARCH 1991/23n