Huddling Place

City series

Story, first published: Astounding Science Fiction, July 1944

"Huddling Place" is set in the year 2117 A.D., six generations of Websters later. The Websters have lived on the land for two-hundred years and never go anywhere. Their personal needs are attended to by robots like the faithful retainer, Jenkins. As a consequence of this flight from the cities, "the huddling places," Jerome Webster is afflicted with agoraphobia. Another crisis faces the Websters - Jerome is asked to come to Mars, where he had formerly spent five years studying the physiology of the Martian brain, to save the life of his old Martian friend, Juwain the philosopher. Juwain has developed a concept that will advance mankind ten thousand years in the space of two generations. After an agonizing internal struggle, Webster screws up his courage ... but too late; faithful Jenkins has sent the rescue ship away.

Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.41