“Men of the American Army,” said the grizzled old General Hunt into the microphone, “we are on the eve of the last desperate effort to gain back our land from the invader. Also, in all other nations, armies are crouched to leap tonight. We must destroy the invader or die; and if we die, the human race dies with us. Our home, the Earth, will belong to the Martians.”
The small bulb awakened yellow glimmers from the insignia on the General’s tall, firm figure. It revealed also the mud walls of the adobe hut which served as headquarters. His young adjutant sat on the floor on a roll of blankets. On a rough bench near him waited a calm, elderly man in civilian clothes, holding in his hand a bunch of white cards covered with notes. Outside was night, and in that night were thousands of desperate men, so well hidden that even by day, a plane flying low over the country could not discover them. In mud huts, in iron huts covered with sand, in dugouts, in caves, for twenty miles east and twenty miles west, groups of men were huddled about radio speakers, listening. They were big, tanned men, splendidly developed physically; the finest specimens of manhood that the world had seen for ages. Rocks, dirt-colored canvas, baked mud huts, heaps of New Mexico mesquite and cactus covered stacks of weapons and ammunition and countless aeroplanes. Everything was ready for an attack flight on a few moments’ notice.
The General’s message to the men gathered in their hot hiding places continued.
For a while, Lieutenant Gary, the General’s adjutant, was intent on his chief’s words. Then a far away look came into his eyes. From his pocket he took the photograph of a beautiful girl and gazed at it