"The one," said Mike.
"The one what?"
"Who I've been looking for. There! Headed for the exit back of the Tycoon dugout. I recognized him by his ears and the set of his chin," and a sob rose in his throat. "Him. The kidnapper. The masked man who killed my little girl."
"Mike!" snapped the General—"Mike, you were seeing things! You were imagining it!"
"It was him!"
"Mike, that was 35 years ago. You could not recognize a man after all that time, not by his ears, for God's sake!"
"Why not?" Mike wept. "I've seen him every night, in my sleep, since 12 September 1898."
" 'O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave/O'er the land of the free, and the home—' "
"Play ball!" the fans were shouting, "Play the God damn game!"
It had worked. The General had turned 62,342 savages back into baseball fans with the playing of the national anthem! Now—if only he could step in behind the plate and call the last pitch! Or bring the field umpire in to take Mike's place on balls and strikes! But the first was beyond what he was empowered to do under the Rules and Regulations; and the second would forever cast doubt upon the 26 strikeouts already recorded in the history books by Gamesh, and on the 41 victories before that. Indeed, the field umpire had wisely pretended that he had not seen the last Gamesh pitch either, so as not to compromise the greatest umpire in the game by rendering the call himself. What could the General do then but depart the field?