Eric Flint: The Wallenstein Gambit

Здесь есть возможность читать онлайн «Eric Flint: The Wallenstein Gambit» весь текст электронной книги совершенно бесплатно (целиком полную версию). В некоторых случаях присутствует краткое содержание. категория: Альтернативная история / на английском языке. Описание произведения, (предисловие) а так же отзывы посетителей доступны на портале. Библиотека «Либ Кат» — LibCat.ru создана для любителей полистать хорошую книжку и предлагает широкий выбор жанров:

любовные романы фантастика и фэнтези приключения детективы и триллеры эротика документальные научные юмористические анекдоты о бизнесе проза детские сказки о религиии новинки православные старинные про компьютеры программирование на английском домоводство поэзия

Выбрав категорию по душе Вы сможете найти действительно стоящие книги и насладиться погружением в мир воображения, прочувствовать переживания героев или узнать для себя что-то новое, совершить внутреннее открытие. Подробная информация для ознакомления по текущему запросу представлена ниже:

libcat.ru: книга без обложки
  • Название:
    The Wallenstein Gambit
  • Автор:
  • Жанр:
    Альтернативная история / на английском языке
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • Рейтинг книги:
    5 / 5
  • Ваша оценка:
    • 100
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Избранное:
    Добавить книгу в закладки

The Wallenstein Gambit: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

Предлагаем к чтению аннотацию, описание, краткое содержание или предисловие (зависит от того, что написал сам автор книги «The Wallenstein Gambit»). Если вы не нашли необходимую информацию о книге — напишите в комментариях, мы постараемся отыскать её.

Eric Flint: другие книги автора


Кто написал The Wallenstein Gambit? Узнайте фамилию, как зовут автора книги и список всех его произведений по сериям.

The Wallenstein Gambit — читать онлайн бесплатно полную книгу (весь текст) целиком

Ниже представлен текст книги, разбитый по страницам. Система автоматического сохранения места последней прочитанной страницы, позволяет с удобством читать онлайн бесплатно книгу «The Wallenstein Gambit», без необходимости каждый раз заново искать на чём Вы остановились. Не бойтесь закрыть страницу, как только Вы зайдёте на неё снова — увидите то же место, на котором закончили чтение.

Eric Flint


The Wallenstein Gambit

Chapter I: The Bohemian Opening

March, 1633

1

"So what's this all about, Mike?" asked Morris Roth, after Mike Stearns closed the door behind him. "And why did you ask me to meet you in Edith's home?"

Grantville's jeweler looked around the small living room curiously. That was the part of Mike's request that Morris had found most puzzling. By the early spring of 1633, Stearns was usually so busy with political affairs that people came to see him in his office downtown.

As soon as he spotted the young man sitting in an armchair in the corner, Morris' curiosity spiked-and, for the first time, a trace of apprehension came into his interest. He didn't know the name of the young man, but he recognized him even though he wasn't in uniform.

He was a German mercenary, captured in the short-lived battle outside Jena the year before, who'd since enrolled in the army of the United States. More to the point, Morris knew that he was part of Captain Harry Lefferts' unit-which, in reality if not in official parlance, amounted to Mike Stearns' combination of special security unit and commandos.

"Patience, patience," said Mike, smiling thinly. "I'd apologize for the somewhat peculiar circumstances, but as you'll see for yourself in a moment we have a special security problem to deal with." He glanced at the man sitting in the armchair. "I think the best way to make everything clear is just to introduce you to someone. Follow me."

Stearns turned and headed for the hallway, Morris trailing behind. Edith Wild's house wasn't a big one, so it only took a few steps before he came to a closed door. "We're keeping him in here, while he recovers from his latest round of surgery. Edith volunteered to serve as his live-in nurse."

Morris restrained his grimace. Edith Wild was capable enough as a nurse, so long as it didn't involve any real medical experience. Like many of Grantville's nurses since the Ring of Fire, she'd had no background in medical work. She'd been employed in a glass factory in Clarksburg.

Her main qualification for her new line of work, so far as Morris could tell, was that she was a very big woman, massive as well as tall, and had much the same temperament as the infamous Nurse Ratchett in a movie he'd once seen, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Not the sadism, true. But the woman was a ferocious bully. She was normally engaged in enforcing Grantville's public health laws, a job which required a firm hand given the huge influx of immigrants who had a seventeenth-century conception of sanitation and prophylaxis.

A "firm hand," Edith Wild certainly had. Morris had, more than once, heard Germans refer to her as "the Tatar." When they weren't calling her something downright obscene.

And who is "he"? Morris wondered. But he said nothing, since Mike was already opening the door and ushering him into the bedroom beyond.

It was a room to fit the house. Small, sparsely furnished, and just as spick-and-span clean as everything else. But Morris Roth gave the room itself no more than a cursory glance. Despite the bandages covering much of the lower face, he recognized the man lying in the bed within two seconds.

That was odd, since he'd never actually met him. But, perhaps not so odd as all that. Like many residents of Grantville, Morris had a poster up in his jewelry store that portrayed the man's likeness. True, in the form of a painting rather than a photograph. But he could now see that it was quite a good likeness.

He groped for words and couldn't find any. They'd have been swear words, and Morris avoided profanity. The poster in his shop was titled: Wanted, Dead or Alive.

The man was studying him with dark eyes. Despite the obvious pain the man was feeling, his expression was one of keen interest.

Abruptly, the man raised a hand and motioned for Morris to approach him.

"Go ahead," said Mike, chuckling harshly. "He doesn't bite, I promise. He couldn't anyway, even if he wanted to. His jaw's wired shut."

Reluctantly, much as he'd move toward a viper, Morris came over to the side of the bed. There was a tablet lying on the covers-one of the now-rare modern legal tablets-along with a ballpoint pen.

The man in the bed took the pen in hand and, shakily, scratched out a message. Then, held it up for Morris to see.

The words were written in English. Morris hadn't known the man in the bed knew the language. He wasn't surprised, really. Whatever other crimes and faults had ever been ascribed to that man, lack of intelligence had never been one of them.

But Morris didn't give any of that much thought. His attention was entirely riveted on the message itself.

CHMIELNICKI

I CAN STOP IT

For a moment, it seemed to Morris Roth as if time stood still. He felt light-headed, as if everything was unreal. Since the Ring of Fire, when Morris came to understand that he was really stranded in the seventeenth century, in the early 1630s, not more than a week had ever gone by without his thoughts turning to the Chmielnicki Massacre of 1648. And wondering if there was something-anything-he could do to prevent it. He'd raised the matter with Mike himself, several times before. Only to be told, not to his surprise, that Mike couldn't think of any way a small town of Americans fighting for its own survival in war-torn Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War could possibly do anything to stop a coming mass pogrom in the Ukraine.

"How?" he croaked.

Again, the man scrawled; and held up the tablet.


COMPLICATED
STEARNS WILL EXPLAIN
BUT I WILL NEED YOUR HELP

Morris looked at Stearns. Mike had come close and seen the message himself. Now, he motioned toward the door. "Like he says, it's complicated. Let's talk about it in the living room, Morris. After the extensive surgery done on him, the man needs his rest."

Morris followed Mike out of the bedroom, not looking back. He said nothing until they reached the living room. Then, almost choking out the words, could only exclaim:

"Wallenstein?"

Mike shrugged, smiling wryly, and gestured at the couch. He perched himself on an ottoman near the armchair where the soldier was sitting. "Have a seat, Morris. We've got a lot to discuss. But I'll grant you, it's more than a bit like having a devil come and offer you salvation."

After Morris was seated, he manage a chuckle himself.

"Make sure you use a long spoon."

Seeing the expression on Mike's face, Morris groaned. "Don't tell me!"

"Yup. I plan to use a whole set of very long-handled tableware, dealing with that man. And, yup, I've got you in mind for the spoon. The ladle, actually."

"He wants money, I assume." Morris scowled. "I have to tell you that I get awfully tired of the assumption that all Jews are rich. If this new venture of ours takes off, I might be. Faceted jewelry is unheard-of in this day and age, and we should get a king's ransom for them. But right now… Mike, I don't have a lot of cash lying around. Most of my money is invested in the business."

Mike's smile grew more lopsided still. "Wallenstein's no piker, like the rest of them. He wants a lot more than your money, Morris. He doesn't want the gold from the goose, he wants the goose himself."

Morris raised a questioning eyebrow.

"Figure it out. Your new jewel-cutting business looks to make a fortune, right? So where's that fortune going to pour into? Grantville-or Prague?"

Читать дальше

Похожие книги на «The Wallenstein Gambit»

Представляем Вашему вниманию похожие книги на «The Wallenstein Gambit» списком для выбора. Мы отобрали схожую по названию и смыслу литературу в надежде предоставить читателям больше вариантов отыскать новые, интересные, ещё не прочитанные произведения.


Eric Flint: 1632
1632
Eric Flint
Eric Flint: Threshold
Threshold
Eric Flint
Eric Flint: Boundary
Boundary
Eric Flint
Отзывы о книге «The Wallenstein Gambit»

Обсуждение, отзывы о книге «The Wallenstein Gambit» и просто собственные мнения читателей. Оставьте ваши комментарии, напишите, что Вы думаете о произведении, его смысле или главных героях. Укажите что конкретно понравилось, а что нет, и почему Вы так считаете.