I am looking for the title and author of a short story I read in a Megapack. It's about a military general who is exiled on a planet, but he is so overbearing and cruel to the locals, they tie him up and leave him on an anthill.


Would fit Happy Ending by Frank Brown and Mack Reynolds.

Mr Smith, formerly 'Number One' and ruler of the solar system escapes capture and escapes to an exile on Venus. He tries to set himself up as ruler of a village, and shoots many of the locals, including the chief. Once he is overcome, they have a difficult choice:

To harm one who was mad was tabu. If he was really a god, it would be worse. Thunder and lightning from the sky would destroy the village. Yet they dared not release him. Even if they took the evil weapon-that-whispered-its-death and buried it, he might find other ways to harm them. He might have another where he had gone for the first.

The solution is to give him to the Kifs - Venusian ant-equivalents:

“If he is a god, they will not harm him. If he is mad and not a god, we will not have harmed him. It harms not a man to tie him to a tree.”

It was included in The Science Fiction Megapack

  • I'm a new user and am probably breaking site protocol already, but I feel I have to in order to thank Michael for the answer to my question. The answer is exactly right. Many many thanks! You rock. lldemats
    – Lldemats
    Jul 30 '20 at 10:41
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    @Lldemats You can give Michael an extra thank-you by clicking the checkmark to the left of his answer (below the voting buttons) to mark this answer as correct :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 30 '20 at 11:31

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