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Brother Gregory: Gene One

Brother Gregory: Gene One

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Brother Gregory: Gene One

89 pagine
1 ora
Jul 21, 2014


These Brother Gregory stories are historical scientific fiction. They start on a cold night in Brno in 1865 when the world learns, for the first time, about the mechanism of genetic inheritance. A giant scientific mystery was revealed, but the time was not quite right. Why? Meet Gregor Mendel, his friends - and his enemies - and find the answer.

Jul 21, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

John Hulme is a retired Professor, now living and writing in Florida. He was educated in England - a long time ago - and arrived on the shores of New York carrying a single suitcase and lots of ideas. He has written several hardcover science books and was an early user of the fledgling internet as a teaching tool. Before retirement he wrote a set of fictional science stories about Gregor Mendel - the person who discovered genetics, which he is now converting into ebooks. Since retirement he has started on a long-cherished writing project of historical fiction - which you may be seeing soon.

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Anteprima del libro

Brother Gregory - John Hulme

Brother Gregory: Gene One

Being the fictionalized story of Brother Gregor Mendel; monk, scientist and the discoverer of genetics.

How Mendel delivers his famous lecture and first tells the world about genetics.


John Hulme


Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2014 John Hulme

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.


Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen


About the Author



Chapter One

A cold night in Brno

It was cold. February in Brno [see footnote] is a cruel, bitter month when the winds from the Carpathian Mountains curl around the Austro-Hungarian Empire seeking out the unprotected. Gray streets, gray stone houses and a gray sky blended seamlessly into one another, as they had done all day. From Vienna to the small farmsteads of northern Moravia around Krnov, the winter of 1865 had been a particularly brutal one. Snow-laden storm after snow-laden storm had tracked out of the mountains carried by the perpetual wind. Attendance at the monthly meeting of the Brno Society of Natural Sciences would be small that evening.

Thomas Makytta pulled his coat tightly around him and started to cross Nadrazni Street. He had been waiting, and sheltering, in the Brno hlavni nadrazi train station for over an hour, but it was now time to move. A retired schoolteacher from Heinzendorf, a tiny, one-square village of 72 households in Moravian Silesia, he did not have enough money for a carriage, even if one of the miserable nags outside the station had been willing to move. So he started to walk.

This journey had started the day before, when the whole village had turned out to say good-bye. As is the case in small communities, everyone knew he was going on a train journey to Brno, the regional capitol south and west of their village. To the farmers of the Beskydy region even the nearest town of Olomouc, less than 30 kilometers away was a distant, frightening place and Brno was way beyond their most vivid imaginings. None of them had ever traveled, or would ever travel, more than a league from home in their entire lives. But for Makytta, this was a journey he had to make, whatever the cost. He was going to see and hear his star pupil give his first major scientific presentation.

He had not gone more than a few steps when he heard a voice call out behind him. Herr Makytta, Herr Makytta.

He turned to see a well protected, round figure hurrying towards him across Hadrazni Street from the direction of the Petrov hill.

Herr Makytta? Welcome, I'm Brother Matthew from the Monastery, Brother Gregory asked me to come and meet you. The speaker was a man of medium height, round of body and face with dark brown eyes and long furrows across his forehead. Wild grey hair was escaping from under his hood. He was wearing heavy boots and a woolen cape pulled up tight around his neck. Did you have a good journey?

Makytta nodded. The train from Heinzendorf was slow, but warm and I was able to get food at Prerov.

Brother Matthew looked at his guest. He saw a small man in his late 70's with a wide face and an open countenance. Age sat well on him. Although long retired from his duties as schoolmaster in the local village school of Heinzendorf, Thomas Makytta had not slowed down and continued to take a strong interest in all his pupils, past and present.

Since his appointment in 1796, Thomas Makytta had always taught large classes in a strong, capable manner. Children had to be given different lessons according to their age and sometimes, when students could not pay the small fee for a class, they helped out in the school garden, or Makytta's own fields. Helped when ever possible by the local priest, Father Schreiber, Makytta had included basic natural history among the subjects he taught. Father Schreiber had once worked at the Kunin Philanthropinum where he had been instrumental in founding a fruit-tree nursery. Jointly the two men they liked to think that they had been somewhat influential in directing their star pupil, Johann Mendel, into a life long interest in the sciences.

Come, said the monk striding off across the main street, we must get to the Realschule. The meeting starts in less than an hour. I was late. I apologize.

Not at all, mumbled Makytta hurrying after his guide, risking his neck as the two of them braved the hazardous cobbles that lined Masaryhova Street. Normally this main thoroughfare was crowded with people making their way up to Namesti Svobody, the central square of Brno, but today it was almost deserted. Even the hardy Czechs stayed in doors on days like this, so the two men had an unobstructed view of the Capuchin Crypt as they crossed Josefska and continued north.

That's the St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral, said Brother Matthew pointing to the imposing church on the Petrov hill to their left. Makytta obligingly looked at the needle-sharp Gothic spires that could hardly be missed, for they dominated the skyline for miles around. During the thirty years war, Brother Matthew continued, "the Swedish general Tortennson besieged our town, but after fruitless months of getting nowhere,

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