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He Walked Around the Horses

H. Beam Piper

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Austrian surrender made necessary my return to London. I left Vienna on the morning of Monday, the 20th, to go to Hamburg to take ship home; I was traveling in my own coach-and-four, with my secretary, Mr. Bertram Jardine, and my valet, William Small, both British subjects, and a coachman, Josef Bidek, an Austrian subject, whom I had hired for the trip. Because of the presence of French troops, whom I was anxious to avoid, I was forced to make a detour west as far as Salzburg before turning north toward Magdeburg, where I crossed the Elbe. I was unable to get a change of horses for my coach after leaving Gera, until I reached Perleburg, where I stopped at the Sword & Scepter Inn.

Arriving there, I left my coach in the inn yard, and I and my secretary, Mr. Jardine, went into the inn. A man, not this fellow here, but another rogue, with more beard and less paunch, and more shabbily dressed, but as like him as though he were his brother, represent. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Really liked this story of the old adage right time-wrong place, the first of the paratime stories.

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: In November 1809, an Englishman named Benjamin Bathurst vanished, inexplicably and utterly. He was en route to Hamburg from Vienna, where he had been serving as his government's envoy to the court of what Napoleon had left of the Austrian Empire. At an inn...more

This is a nice alternate history story about the disappearance of Benjamin Bathurst, a real British diplomat from the Napoleonic era. Instead of disappearing, he accidentally traveled to another timeline where the American Revolution failed due to the lack of Louis XVI's support. Benjamin is seen...more

3.5/5, but I generally err on the side of caution with my ratings. This is a neat, quick short story about a British Diplomat in the very early 1800s who somehow gets transported to an alternate reality. The story is told through a collection of correspondences from official representatives invol...more

I enjoyed listening to this tale told in an epistolary style. The story seem to reflect a realistic description of the reports that would follow an event of this nature.
The narrators voice is clear and easy to listen to. She is a good story teller, with experience. She has participated in 14 wor...more

I know this was a short story, but it just didn't really go anywhere.

an intriguing little tale hypothesizing a solution to a historical mystery about a disappearance and having some fun with alternate history.

Note: the mystery it "solves" is somewhat less mysterious than it would appear, since the description given in the tale understates the time between when he...more

First story I have ever read by this author. Very intriguing. Will not be the last book I read by him.

This is an interesting Alternate History short story. Kind of funny and has its moments. This is a story of a man from our world going into a parallel version of ours where Napoleon Bonaparte did not start a revolution. More than that would ruin the story, but definitely worth a bit of reading on...more

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