“The High Commissioner decided to mete out the harshest punishment to the iButere, as an example,” Smithton said, swirling his tea.

“Annexation?”

“Annihilation. Every last iButere male over the age of 17 was lined up and shot, while the women and children were given over to allied native groups as spoils of war. And spoil they did…”

The reply was frantic, colored with disbelief. “Wait just a moment. We’d have heard if something like that had happened. There would have been articles, stories, reports…people would have known even if they approved!”

“Would they, now,” Smithton said indulgently. “I suppose they all heard about the demise of the Vilcabamba Incas, or the Tayasal Maya?”

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