16oHarrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all, he removed her mask.She was blindingly beautiful."Now-" said Harrison, taking her hand, "shall we show the people themeaning of the word dance? Music!" he commanded.The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped themof their handicaps, too. "Play your best," he told them, "and I'll make youbarons and dukes and earls."The music began. It was normal at first-cheap, silly, false. But Harrisonsnatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang170 the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.The music began again and was much improved.cower (kou'er) v.to crouchdown in fear0CONFLICTReread lines 142-158. Notice how Harrison views himself in relation to other people. How do his views put him in conflict withthe government?
Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music tor a while-listenedgravely, as though synchronizingtheir heartbeats with it.They shifted their weights to their roes.Harrison placed his big hands on the girl's tiny waist, letting her sehse theweightlessness that would soon be hers.And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, bur the law of graviry andthe laws of mocion as well.180They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced,capered, gamboled, and spun.They leaped like deer on the moon.The studio ceiling was thirty teet high, but each leap brought rhe dancersnearer ro lt.Ir became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling.They kissed it.And then, neut ralizinggravity with love and pure will, they remainedsuspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each orher for a long, long rime. aIt was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came190 into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, andthe Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musiciansand told d:•em they had ten seconds ro get their handicaps back on.ft was then rhar the Bergerons' television tube burned out. 0Hazel turned to commenr about the blackout ro George. But George hadgone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. "You been crying?" he said to Hazel."Yup," she said.200"What about?" he said."I forger," she said. "Something real sad on television.""What was it?" he said."it's all kind of mixed up in my mind," saidHazel."Forger sad things," said George."I always do," said Hazel."That's my girl,'' said George. He winced. There was the sound of a riveting gun7 in his head.