of the comet's arrival was greeted with both fear and anticipation.
In a thousand cities there were telescopes--amateur and professional--turned
to the night sky, and papers were prepared for publication by
scientists and crackpots alike. It would be both an ordinary occurrence
and would change everything, and people believed at first that
hardly a single person would be untouched in the fervour which
swept the world.
Only in Boltzman,
a tiny town deep in the mountains, were the people slow to catch
the fever. Instead, caught by their somnolence, they anticipated
a deep sleep on the night of the comet's arrival. It was a chance
to best the night sky by ignorance. They covered their dismay
about the heavens by a shovel-faced refusal to bow to the excitement
of the times.
For the rest
of the world, the comet hanging over them like the glory of the
Milky Way had shoved aside the moon, the trudge of daily existence
proved to be too entrancing. Even while they turned away from
the sight, they would never have been able to predict--if they
had even heard of the place--that Boltzman would be the most affected
by the comet's coming.
veiled, the people of Boltzman cast their eyes to the night sky
with the rest, but only in Boltzman did the sky answer.