They forged an iron boy in the furnace over there. At the top of a muddy
little town in some Slavic mountains, they forged an iron boy. They set him
at the bottom of the road that forked off east and west and vested in him
certain solemn duties.

When the Huns invaded, the boy gave no warning. The townspeople, yoked to the
wheel and fallen under the lash, cursed the little iron boy and gnashed their
teeth in anguish. But the ironboy was not to blame, for he was a boy of iron,
and not alive.

He was no more responsive than, even, the savior. As a savior, he was but a
boy of iron.