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By Per Wahlöö
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From in keeping with Wahlöö—co-author along with his spouse, Maj Sjöwall, of the across the world bestselling Martin Beck sequence of mysteries—comes a political satire, informed as a courtroom transcript, concerning the court-martial of a normal long gone rogue.
Time: the no longer too far away destiny. Place: a small island within the temperate quarter. Scene: air-force headquarters. Corporal Edwin Velder is on trial for his life--accused of acts opposed to the army, govt, and society. because the lawsuits spread, we examine of a country's descent into political tyranny--a civil battle erupted within the face of a mystery armed strength bringing the present generals to energy. the army tribunal forces Velder to reconstruct the occasions, battles, and ultimate defeat of the island uprising. because the inevitable verdict is reported, Velder's testimony simply could deliver to undergo yet one more political revolution.
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Significant von Peters: Have this witness referred to as, Mateo. Colonel Orbal: What? What did you assert? What’s this all approximately? Colonel Pigafetta: A witness, who's to be summoned. Colonel Orbal: Oh, convinced, in fact. name him in. Lieutenant Brown: Mr Roth, you're now to undergo witness. Do you swear by means of Almighty God to inform the reality, the full fact, and not anything however the fact? Roth: I do. Lieutenant Brown: I should still remind you that it is a court docket martial and perjury is a punishable offence. Roth: Hullo, Velder. It’s been many years, certainly it has. infrequently regarded you. significant von Peters: No fraternising with the accused, please. Captain Schmidt: You’re not in army provider, are you? Roth: No, I left the armed forces after 13 months, while the risk was once over, with the intention to converse, and have become a farmer back, simply as i used to be ahead of. I had a farm really close to the following, fourteen miles west of Oswaldsburg, and now have. nice substantial position. Now in fact, it’s in general military offers. significant von Peters: Is there something incorrect with military provides? Roth: Well—wrong—you know—as issues are, one can’t grumble. Captain Schmidt: How did it occur that you simply grew to become part chief within the defense force? Roth: workforce chief it was once referred to as. Now did that take place? good, anyone has to do these items, don’t they? i used to be an skilled hunter and a very good shot, and that used to be adequate. Captain Schmidt: are you able to, on your personal phrases, let us know in regards to the formation of the military and the conditions in the strength? Commander Kampenmann: in particular in reference to your relatives to Velder. Roth: The military happened kind of … good, if now not precisely at random—but in any case very rapidly and in a wierd approach. the complete suggestion of liberation, and all that, was once stated to be pacifist and—yes, sorry—anti-militaristic. We have been in need of fingers and had no informed males, and there has been by no means any query of having the ability to supply any resistance if the mainland lot determined to begin bombing and touchdown troops from the ocean. We easily needed to depend upon them being thoroughly foxed over there, a minimum of for a couple of days. Then our proclamations and foreign strain might do the trick, and that’s what occurred, too. We trusted the militia now not bold to do something until eventually they’d bought clearance from the politicians and that that may take not less than a number of days ahead of the politicians had had time to grasp what had occurred. We’d reckoned all that out, and we have been correct, too. Captain Schmidt: you retain asserting ‘we’ the entire time—I believe you suggest the Liberation Committee. Roth: good, at the moment, all of us felt greatly welded jointly as a gaggle, we all. What I stated simply now approximately now not delivering resistance used to be in basic terms in connection with the military, in fact. there has been something we have been even more afraid of, and that was once the police. there have been numerous cities at the mainland just a couple of hours clear of right here, and lets in all probability reckon at the police there no longer status approximately with their palms of their wallet whereas we annexed a little the rustic for ourselves. ultimately or different, we needed to repulse in simple terms police actions—otherwise 100 or 200 policemen may simply come ashore and arrest us and placed an finish to the revolution inside a couple of hours.