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"In 1871 Darwin published The Descent of Man, in which he drew attention to the great similarities between humans and animals, advancing the theory that men and anthropoidsites to buy cheap bitcoin apes must at one time have evolved from the same progenitor. By this time the first fossil skulls of an extinct type of man had been found, first in the Rock of Gibraltar and some years later in Neanderthal in Germany. Strangely enough, there were fewer protests in T871 than in 1859, when Darwin published The Origin of Species. But man's descent from animals had been implicit in the first book as well. And as I said, when Darwin died in 1882, he was buried with all the ceremony due to a pioneer of science.""So in the end he found honor and dignity?"

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"Eventually, yes. But not before he had been described as the most dangerous man in England.""Holy Moses!"" 'Let us hope it is not true,' wrote an upper-class lady, 'but if it is, let us hope it will not be generally known.' A distinguished scientist expressed a similar thought: 'An embarrassing discovery, and the less said about it the better.' ""That was almost proof that man is related to the ostrich!""Good point. But that's easy enough for us to say now. People were suddenly obliged to revise their whole approach to the Book of Genesis. The young writer John Ruskin put it like this: 'If only the geologists would leave me alone. After each Bible verse I hear the blows of their hammers.' "

"And the blows of the hammers were his doubts about the word of God?""That was presumably what he meant. Because it was more than the literal interpretation of the story of creation that toppled. The essence of Darwin's theory was the utterly random variations which had finally produced Man. And what was more, Darwin had turned Marv into a product of something as unsentimental as the struggle for existence.""It is the only way to become a human being. It is the only way to become more than a naked ape ..."

Sophie sat for a while staring into the garden through the little holes in the hedge. She was beginning to understand why it was so important to know about her historical roots. It had certainly been important to the Children of Israel.She herself was just an ordinary person. But if she knew her historical roots, she would be a little less ordinary.She would not be living on this planet for more than a few years. But if the history of mankind was her own history, in a way she was thousands of years old.The Middle Ages

... going only part of the way is not the same as going the wrong wayA week passed without Sophie hearing from Alberto Knox. There were no more postcards from Lebanon either, although she and Joanna still talked about the cards they found in the major's cabin. Joanna had had the fright of her life, but as nothing further seemed to hap-pen, the immediate terror faded and was submerged in homework and badminton.

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Sophie read Alberto's letters over and over, looking for some clue that would throw light on the Hilde mystery. Doing so also gave her plenty of opportunity to digest the classical philosophy. She no longer had difficulty in distinguishing Democritus and Socrates, or Plato and Aristotle, from each other.On Friday, May 25, she was in the kitchen fixing dinner before her mother got home. It was their regular Friday agreement. Today she was making fish soup with fish balls and carrots. Plain and simple.Outside it was becoming windy. As Sophie stood stirring the casserole she turned toward the window. The birch trees were waving like cornstalks.Suddenly something smacked against the window-pane. Sophie turned around again and discovered a card sticking to the window.

It was a postcard. She could read it through the glass: "Hilde Moller Knag, c/o Sophie Amundsen."She thought as much! She opened the window and took the card. It could hardly have blown all the way from Lebanon!This card was also dated June 15. Sophie removed the casserole from the stove and sat down at the kitchen table. The card read:Dear Hilde, I don't know whether it will still be your birthday when you read this card. I hope so, in a way; or at least that not too many days have gone by. A week or two for Sophie does not have to mean just as long for us. I shall be coming home for Midsummer Eve, so we can sit together for hours in the glider, looking out over the sea, Hilde. We have so much to talk about. Love from Dad, who sometimes gets very depressed about the thousand-year-long strife between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. I have to keep reminding myself that all three religions stem from Abraham. So I suppose they all pray to the same God. Down here, Cain and Abel have not finished killing each other.

P.S. Please say hello to Sophie. Poor child, she still doesn't know how this whole thing hangs together. But perhaps you do?Sophie put her head down on the table, exhausted. One thing was certain--she had no idea how this thing hung together. But Hilde did, presumably.

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If Hilde's father asked her to say hello to Sophie, it had to mean that Hilde knew more about Sophie than Sophie did about Hilde. It was all so complicated that Sophie went back to fixing dinner.A postcard that smacked against the kitchen window all by itself! You could call that airmail!

As soon as she had set the casserole on the stove again, the telephone rang.Suppose it was Dad! She wished desperately that he would come home so she could tell him everything that had happened in these last weeks. But it was probably only Joanna or Mom. Sophie snatched up the phone."Sophie Amundsen," she said."It's me," said a voice.Sophie was sure of three things: it was not her father. But it was a man's voice, and a voice she knew she had heard before."Who is this?"

"It's Alberto.""Ohhh!"

Sophie was at a loss for words. It was the voice from the Acropolis video that she had recognized."Are you all right?"

"Sure.""From now on there will be no more letters."

"But I didn't send you a frog!""We must meet in person. It's beginning to be urgent, you see.""Why?""Hilde's father is closing in on us."

"Closing in how?""On all sides, Sophie. We have to work together now."

"How...?""But you can't help much before I have told you about the Middle Ages. We ought to cover the Renaissance and the seventeenth century as well. Berkeley is a key figure..."

"Wasn't he the man in the picture at the major's cabin?""That very same. Maybe the actual struggle will be waged over his philosophy."

"You make it sound like a war.""I would rather call it a battle of wills. We have to attract Hilde's attention and get her over on our side before her father comes home to Lillesand.""I don't get it at all.""Perhaps the philosophers can open your eyes. Meet me at St. Mary's Church at eight o'clock tomorrow morning. But come alone, my child."

"So early in the morning?"The telephone clicked.

"Hello?"He had hung up! Sophie rushed back to the stove just before the fish soup boiled over.

St. Mary's Church? That was an old stone church from the Middle Ages. It was only used for concerts and very special ceremonies. And in the summer it was sometimes open to tourists. But surely it wasn't open in the middle of the night?When her mother got home, Sophie had put the card from Lebanon with everything else from Alberto and Hilde. After dinner she went over to Joanna's place.

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC#

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster