This must be among the most illogical stories I've seen from Campbell-edited Astounding/Analog. The only redeeming part is the quote below. Someone familiar with history of Europe & Americas in 16th century may enjoy it a little more, but basic premise remains illogical.
Story summary.Pope Gregory III decreed that the date following 4 October 1582 would be 15 October, with intervening dates gone in a time hole. OK - Pope had some arcane reasons to change the calender.
Different countries accept this date change at different times, sometimes two factions in a country accept this at different times.
These human-administered dates, & conflicts within the countries, change the behavior of mother nature's Time itself!! So time travelers to missing dates vanish in the void of no time, depending on target country! And a smart alec figures this out & gets it fixed by traveling to past & influencing Pope to restore the calender - hence rescuing the stranded.
- "Company rules, like the army regulations, covered every conceivable thing in the minutest detail. If a fellow learned them all & took care to never break a one - well, he never got in trouble, but likewise he never got far. Smash a rule & one of two things invariably happens. You either get kicked out, or somebody pins a medal on you."
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding, August 1943.
Download full text as part of the scans of Astounding issue where it originally appeared.
Among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: Time travel in fiction; fiction from 1940s.