Ray Bradbury: Short Stories

The Flying Machine

Why did the emperor call for his guards to execute the flier?

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The Emperor explains to the flier that he fears that an evil man will manipulate the technology and destroy its beauty - for instance using the flying machine to throw rocks down upon the Great Wall of China. The Emperor says to the inventor, "There are times when one must lose a little beauty if one is to keep what little beauty one already has" (2.)