Passages: Robert A. Heinlein

Back in my bright college days, when dinosaurs roamed the quads, a girlfriend gave me a copy of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as a birthday present (I was born on Bastille Day) and once I finished the book I went on a Robert A. Heinlein tear. Round about the fifth or sixth book, I came across this passage, which I still think is the most charming thing the man ever wrote:

One winter shortly before the Six Weeks War, my tomcat, Petronius the Arbiter, and I lived in an old farmhouse in Connecticut. I doubt if it is there any longer, as it was near the edge of the blast area of the Manhattan near-miss, and those old frame buildings burn like tissue paper. Even if it is still standing it wouldn’t be a desirable rental because of the fall-out, but we liked it then, Pete and I. The lack of plumbing made the rent low and what had been the dining-room had a good north light for my drafting board. The drawback was that the place had eleven doors to the outside.

The hero goes on to explain that Petronius hated snow, and whenever there had been a snowfall would insist on having every door opened for him in the hopes of finding summer behind one of them.

The Door into Summer is a fun, quick read, but nothing else in the novel lives up to that opening.   

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