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Clevinger was dead. That was the basic flaw in his philosophy. Eighteen planes had let down through a beaming white cloud off the coast of Elba one afternoon on the way back from the weekly milk run to Parma; seventeen came out. No trace was ever found of the other, not in the air or on the smooth surface of the jade waters below. There was no debris. Helicopters circled the white cloud till sunset. During the night the cloud blew away, and in the morning there was no more Clevinger.
The disappearance was astounding, as astounding, certainly, as the Grand Conspiracy of Lowery Field, when all sixty-four men in a single barrack vanished one payday and were never heard of again. Until Clevinger was snatched from existence so adroitly, Yossarian had assumed that the men had simply decided unanimously to go AWOL the same day. In fact, he had been so encouraged by what appeared to be a mass desertion from sacred responsibility that he had gone running outside in elation to carry the exciting news to ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen.
“What’s so exciting about it?” ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen sneered obnoxiously, resting his filthy GI shoe on his spade and lounging back in a surly slouch against the wall of one of the deep, square holes it was his military specialty to dig.
Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen was a snide little punk who enjoyed working at cross-purposes. Each time he went AWOL, he was caught and sentenced to dig and fill up holes six feet deep, wide and long for a specified length of time. Each time he finished his sentence, he went AWOL again. Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen accepted his role of digging and filling up holes with all the uncomplaining dedication of a true patriot.
“It’s not a bad life,” he would observe philosophically. “And I guess somebody has to do it.”
He had wisdom enough to understand that digging holes in Colorado was not such a bad assignment in wartime. Since the holes were in no great demand, he could dig them and fill them up at a leisurely pace, and he was seldom overworked. On the other hand, he was busted down to buck private each time he was court-martialed. He regretted this loss of rank keenly.
“It was kind of nice being a P.F.C.,” he reminisced yearningly. “I had status—you know what I mean? -- and I used to travel in the best circles.” His face darkened with resignation. “But that’s all behind me now,” he guessed. “The next time I go over the hill it will be as a buck private, and I just know it won’t be the same.” There was no future in digging holes. “The job isn’t even steady. I lose it each time I finish serving my sentence. Then I have to go over the hill again if I want it back. And I can’t even keep doing that. There’s a catch. Catch-22. The next time I go over the hill, it will mean the stockade. I don’t know what’s going to become of me. I might even wind up overseas if I’m not careful.” He did not want to keep digging holes for the rest of his life, although he had no objection to doing it as long as there was a war going on and it was part of the war effort. “It’s a matter of duty,” he observed, “and we each have our own to perform. My duty is to keep digging these holes, and I’ve been doing such a good job of it that I’ve just been recommended for the Good Conduct Medal. Your duty is to screw around in cadet school and hope the war ends before you get out. The duty of the men in combat is to win the war, and I just wish they were doing their duty as well as I’ve been doing mine. It wouldn’t be fair if I had to go overseas and do their job too, would it?”
One day ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen struck open a water pipe while digging in one of his holes and almost drowned to death before he was fished out nearly unconscious. Word spread that it was oil, and Chief White Halfoat was kicked off the base. Soon every man who could find a shovel was outside digging frenziedly for oil. Dirt flew everywhere; the scene was almost like the morning in Pianosa seven months later after the night Milo bombed the squadron with every plane he had accumulated in his M & M syndicate, and the airfield, bomb dump and repair hangars as well, and all the survivors were outside hacking cavernous shelters into the solid ground and roofing them over with sheets of armor plate stolen from the repair sheds at the field and with tattered squares of waterproof canvas stolen from the side flaps of each other’s tents. Chief White Halfoat was transferred out of Colorado at the first rumor of oil and came to rest finally in Pianosa as a replacement for Lieutenant Coombs, who had gone out on a mission as a guest one day just to see what combat was like and had died over Ferrara in the plane with Kraft. Yossarian felt guilty each time he remembered Kraft, guilty because Kraft had been killed on Yossarian’s second bomb run, and guilty because Kraft had got mixed up innocently also in the Splendid Atabrine Insurrection that had begun in Puerto Rico on the first leg of their flight overseas and ended in Pianosa ten days later with Appleby striding dutifully into the orderly room the moment he arrived to report Yossarian for refusing to take his Atabrine tablets. The sergeant there invited him to be seated.
“Thank you, Sergeant, I think I will,” said Appleby. “About how long will I have to wait? I’ve still got a lot to get done today so that I can be fully prepared bright and early tomorrow morning to go into combat the minute they want me to.”
“What’s that, Sergeant?”
“What was your question?”
“About how long will I have to wait before I can go in to see the major?”
“Just until he goes out to lunch,” Sergeant Towser replied. “Then you can go right in.”
“But he won’t be there then. Will he?”
“No, sir. Major Major won’t be back in his office until after lunch.”
“I see,” Appleby decided uncertainly. “I think I’d better come back after lunch, then.”
Appleby turned from the orderly room in secret confusion. The moment he stepped outside, he thought he saw a tall, dark officer who looked a little like Henry Fonda come jumping out of the window of the orderly-room tent and go scooting out of sight around the corner. Appleby halted and squeezed his eyes closed. An anxious doubt assailed him. He wondered if he were suffering from malaria, or, worse, from an overdose of Atabrine tablets. Appleby had been taking four times as many Atabrine tablets as the amount prescribed because he wanted to be four times as good a pilot as everyone else. His eyes were still shut when Sergeant Towser tapped him lightly on the shoulder and told him he could go in now if he wanted to, since Major Major had just gone out. Appleby’s confidence returned.
“Thank you, Sergeant. Will he be back soon?”
“He’ll be back right after lunch. Then you’ll have to go right out and wait for him in front till he leaves for dinner. Major Major never sees anyone in his office while he’s in his office.”
“Sergeant, what did you just say?”
“I said that Major Major never sees anyone in his office while he’s in his office.”
Appleby stared at Sergeant Towser intently and attempted a firm tone. “Sergeant, are you trying to make a fool out of me just because I’m new in the squadron and you’ve been overseas a long time?”
“Oh, no, sir,” answered the sergeant deferentially. “Those are my orders. You can ask Major Major when you see him.”
“That’s just what I intend to do, Sergeant. When can I see him?”
Crimson with humiliation, Appleby wrote down his report about Yossarian and the Atabrine tablets on a pad the sergeant offered him and left quickly, wondering if perhaps Yossarian were not the only man privileged to wear an officer’s uniform who was crazy.
By the time Colonel Cathcart had raised the number of missions to fifty-five, Sergeant Towser had begun to suspect that perhaps every man who wore a uniform was crazy. Sergeant Towser was lean and angular and had fine blond hair so light it was almost without color, sunken cheeks, and teeth like large white marshmallows. He ran the squadron and was not happy doing it. Men like Hungry Joe glowered at him with blameful hatred, and Appleby subjected him to vindictive discourtesy now that he had established himself as a hot pilot and a ping-pong player who never lost a point. Sergeant Towser ran the squadron because there was no one else in the squadron to run it. He had no interest in war or advancement. He was interested in shards and Hepplewhite furniture.
Almost without realizing it, Sergeant Towser had fallen into the habit of thinking of the dead man in Yossarian’s tent in Yossarian’s own terms—as a dead man in Yossarian’s tent. In reality, he was no such thing. He was simply a replacement pilot who had been killed in combat before he had officially reported for duty. He had stopped at the operations tent to inquire the way to the orderly-room tent and had been sent right into action because so many men had completed the thirty-five missions required then that Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were finding it difficult to assemble the number of crews specified by Group. Because he had never officially gotten into the squadron, he could never officially be gotten out, and Sergeant Towser sensed that the multiplying communications relating to the poor man would continue reverberating forever.
His name was Mudd. To Sergeant Towser, who deplored violence and waste with equal aversion, it seemed like such an abhorrent extravagance to fly Mudd all the way across the ocean just to have him blown into bits over Orvieto less than two hours after he arrived. No one could recall who he was or what he had looked like, least of all Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, who remembered only that a new officer had shown up at the operations tent just in time to be killed and who colored uneasily every time the matter of the dead man in Yossarian’s tent was mentioned. The only one who might have seen Mudd, the men in the same plane, had all been blown to bits with him.
Yossarian, on the other hand, knew exactly who Mudd was. Mudd was the unknown soldier who had never had a chance, for that was the only thing anyone ever did know about all the unknown soldiers—they never had a chance. They had to be dead. And this dead one was really unknown, even though his belongings still lay in a tumble on the cot in Yossarian’s tent almost exactly as he had left them three months earlier the day he never arrived—all contaminated with death less than two hours later, in the same way that all was contaminated with death in the very next week during the Great Big Siege of Bologna when the moldy odor of mortality hung wet in the air with the sulphurous fog and every man scheduled to fly was already tainted.
There was no escaping the mission to Bologna once Colonel Cathcart had volunteered his group for the ammunition dumps there that the heavy bombers on the Italian mainland had been unable to destroy from their higher altitudes. Each day’s delay deepened the awareness and deepened the gloom. The clinging, overpowering conviction of death spread steadily with the continuing rainfall, soaking mordantly into each man’s ailing countenance like the corrosive blot of some crawling disease. Everyone smelled of formaldehyde. There was nowhere to turn for help, not even to the medical tent, which had been ordered closed by Colonel Korn so that no one could report for sick call, as the men had done on the one clear day with a mysterious epidemic of diarrhea that had forced still another postponement. With sick call suspended and the door to the medical tent nailed shut, Doc Daneeka spent the intervals between rain perched on a high stool, wordlessly absorbing the bleak outbreak of fear with a sorrowing neutrality, roosting like a melancholy buzzard below the ominous, hand-lettered sign tacked up on the closed door of the medical tent by Captain Black as a joke and left hanging there by Doc Daneeka because it was no joke. The sign was bordered in dark crayon and read: “CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. DEATH IN THE FAMILY.”
The fear flowed everywhere, into Dunbar’s squadron, where Dunbar poked his head inquiringly through the entrance of the medical tent there one twilight and spoke respectfully to the blurred outline of Dr. Stubbs, who was sitting in the dense shadows inside before a bottle of whiskey and a bell jar filled with purified drinking water.
“Are you all right?” he asked solicitously.
“Terrible,” Dr. Stubbs answered.
“What are you doing here?”
“I thought there was no more sick call.”
“Then why are you sitting here?”
“Where else should I sit? At the goddam officers’ club with Colonel Cathcart and Korn? Do you know what I’m doing here?”
“In the squadron, I mean. Not in the tent. Don’t be such a goddam wise guy. Can you figure out what a doctor is doing here in the squadron?”
“They’ve got the doors to the medical tents nailed shut in the other squadrons,” Dunbar remarked.
“If anyone sick walks through my door I’m going to ground him,” Dr. Stubbs vowed. “I don’t give a damn what they say.”
“You can’t ground anyone,” Dunbar reminded. “Don’t you know the orders?”
“I’ll knock him flat on his ass with an injection and really ground him.” Dr. Stubbs laughed with sardonic amusement at the prospect. “They think they can order sick call out of existence. The bastards. Ooops, there it goes again.” The rain began falling again, first in the trees, then in the mud puddles, then, faintly, like a soothing murmur, on the tent top. “Everything’s wet,” Dr. Stubbs observed with revulsion. “Even the latrines and urinals are backing up in protest. The whole goddam world smells like a charnel house.”
The silence seemed bottomless when he stopped talking. Night fell. There was a sense of vast isolation.
“Turn on the light,” Dunbar suggested.
“There is no light. I don’t feel like starting my generator. I used to get a big kick out of saving people’s lives. Now I wonder what the hell’s the point, since they all have to die anyway.
“Oh, there’s a point, all right,” Dunbar assured him.
“Is there? What is the point?”
“The point is to keep them from dying for as long as you can.”
“Yeah, but what’s the point, since they all have to die anyway?”
“The trick is not to think about that.”
“Never mind the trick. What the hell’s the point?”
Dunbar pondered in silence for a few moments. “Who the hell knows?”
Dunbar didn’t know. Bologna should have exulted Dunbar, because the minutes dawdled and the hours dragged like centuries. Instead it tortured him, because he knew he was going to be killed.
“Do you really want some more codeine?” Dr. Stubbs asked.
“It’s for my friend Yossarian. He’s sure he’s going to be killed.”
“Yossarian? Who the hell is Yossarian? What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian, anyway? Isn’t he the one who got drunk and started that fight with Colonel Korn at the officers’ club the other night?”
“That’s right. He’s Assyrian.”
“That crazy bastard.”
“He’s not so crazy,” Dunbar said. “He swears he’s not going to fly to Bologna.”
“That’s just what I mean,” Dr. Stubbs answered. “That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left.”
11 CAPTAIN BLACK
Corporal Kolodny learned about it first in a phone call from Group and was so shaken by the news that he crossed the intelligence tent on tiptoe to Captain Black, who was resting drowsily with his bladed shins up on the desk, and relayed the information to him in a shocked whisper.
Captain Black brightened immediately. “Bologna?” he exclaimed with delight. “Well, I’ll be damned.” He broke into loud laughter. “Bologna, huh?” He laughed again and shook his head in pleasant amazement. “Oh, boy! I can’t wait to see those bastards’ faces when they find out they’re going to Bologna. Ha, ha, ha!”
It was the first really good laugh Captain Black had enjoyed since the day Major Major outsmarted him and was appointed squadron commander, and he rose with torpid enthusiasm and stationed himself behind the front counter in order to wring the most enjoyment from the occasion when the bombardiers arrived for their map kits.
“That’s right, you bastards, Bologna,” he kept repeating to all the bombardiers who inquired incredulously if they were really going to Bologna. “Ha! Ha! Ha! Eat your livers, you bastards. This time you’re really in for it.”
Captain Black followed the last of them outside to observe with relish the effect of the knowledge upon all of the other officers and enlisted men who were assembling with their helmets, parachutes and flak suits around the four trucks idling in the center of the squadron area. He was a tall, narrow, disconsolate man who moved with a crabby listlessness. He shaved his pinched, pale face every third or fourth day, and most of the time he appeared to be growing a reddish-gold mustache over his skinny upper lip. He was not disappointed in the scene outside. There was consternation darkening every expression, and Captain Black yawned deliciously, rubbed the last lethargy from his eyes and laughed gloatingly each time he told someone else to eat his liver.
Bologna turned out to be the most rewarding event in Captain Black’s life since the day Major Duluth was killed over Perugia and he was almost selected to replace him. When word of Major Duluth’s death was radioed back to the field, Captain Black responded with a surge of joy. Although he had never really contemplated the possibility before, Captain Black understood at once that he was the logical man to succeed Major Duluth as squadron commander. To begin with, he was the squadron intelligence officer, which meant he was more intelligent than everyone else in the squadron. True, he was not on combat status, as Major Duluth had been and as all squadron commanders customarily were; but this was really another powerful argument in his favor, since his life was in no danger and he would be able to fill the post for as long as his country needed him. The more Captain Black thought about it, the more inevitable it seemed. It was merely a matter of dropping the right word in the right place quickly. He hurried back to his office to determine a course of action. Settling back in his swivel chair, his feet up on the desk and his eyes closed, he began imagining how beautiful everything would be once he was squadron commander.
While Captain Black was imagining, Colonel Cathcart was acting, and Captain Black was flabbergasted by the speed with which, he concluded, Major Major had outsmarted him. His great dismay at the announcement of Major Major’s appointment as squadron commander was tinged with an embittered resentment he made no effort to conceal. When fellow administrative officers expressed astonishment at Colonel Cathcart’s choice of Major Major, Captain Black muttered that there was something funny going on; when they speculated on the political value of Major Major’s resemblance to Henry Fonda, Captain Black asserted that Major Major really was Henry Fonda; and when they remarked that Major Major was somewhat odd, Captain Black announced that he was a Communist.
“They’re taking over everything,” he declared rebelliously. “Well, you fellows can stand around and let them if you want to, but I’m not going to. I’m going to do something about it. From now on I’m going to make every son of a bitch who comes to my intelligence tent sign a loyalty oath. And I’m not going to let that bastard Major Major sign one even if he wants to.”
Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed. They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers. To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new stratagem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.
Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.
“The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ mean.”
To Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a glorious pain in the ass, since it complicated their task of organizing the crews for each combat mission. Men were tied up all over the squadron signing, pledging and singing, and the missions took hours longer to get under way. Effective emergency action became impossible, but Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were both too timid to raise any outcry against Captain Black, who scrupulously enforced each day the doctrine of “Continual Reaffirmation” that he had originated, a doctrine designed to trap all those men who had become disloyal since the last time they had signed a loyalty oath the day before. It was Captain Black who came with advice to Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren as they pitched about in their bewildering predicament. He came with a delegation and advised them bluntly to make each man sign a loyalty oath before allowing him to fly on a combat mission.
“Of course, it’s up to you,” Captain Black pointed out. “Nobody’s trying to pressure you. But everyone else is making them sign loyalty oaths, and it’s going to look mighty funny to the F.B.I. if you two are the only ones who don’t care enough about your country to make them sign loyalty oaths, too. If you want to get a bad reputation, that’s nobody’s business but your own. All we’re trying to do is help.”
Milo was not convinced and absolutely refused to deprive Major Major of food, even if Major Major was a Communist, which Milo secretly doubted. Milo was by nature opposed to any innovation that threatened to disrupt the normal course of affairs. Milo took a firm moral stand and absolutely refused to participate in the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade until Captain Black called upon him with his delegation and requested him to.
“National defense is everybody’s job,” Captain Black replied to Milo’s objection. “And this whole program is voluntary, Milo—don’t forget that. The men don’t have to sign Piltchard and Wren’s loyalty oath if they don’t want to. But we need you to starve them to death if they don’t. It’s just like Catch-22. Don’t you get it? You’re not against Catch-22, are you?”
Doc Daneeka was adamant.
“What makes you so sure Major Major is a Communist?”
“You never heard him denying it until we began accusing him, did you? And you don’t see him signing any of our loyalty oaths.”
“You aren’t letting him sign any.”
“Of course not,” Captain Black explained. “That would defeat the whole purpose of our crusade. Look, you don’t have to play ball with us if you don’t want to. But what’s the point of the rest of us working so hard if you’re going to give Major Major medical attention the minute Milo begins starving him to death? I just wonder what they’re going to think up at Group about the man who’s undermining our whole security program. They’ll probably transfer you to the Pacific.”
Doc Daneeka surrendered swiftly. “I’ll go tell Gus and Wes to do whatever you want them to.”
Up at Group, Colonel Cathcart had already begun wondering what was going on.
“It’s that idiot Black off on a patriotism binge,” Colonel Korn reported with a smile. “I think you’d better play ball with him for a while, since you’re the one who promoted Major Major to squadron commander.”
“That was your idea,” Colonel Cathcart accused him Petulantly. “I never should have let you talk me into it.”
“And a very good idea it was, too,” retorted Colonel Korn, “since it eliminated that superfluous major that’s been giving you such an awful black eye as an administrator. Don’t worry, this will probably run its course soon. The best thing to do now is send Captain Black a letter of total support and hope he drops dead before he does too much damage.” Colonel Korn was struck with a whimsical thought. “I wonder! You don’t suppose that imbecile will try to turn Major Major out of his trailer, do you?”
“The next thing we’ve got to do is turn that bastard Major Major out of his trailer,” Captain Black decided. “I’d like to turn his wife and kids out into the woods, too. But we can’t. He has no wife and kids. So we’ll just have to make do with what we have and turn him out. Who’s in charge of the tents?”
“You see?” cried Captain Black. “They’re taking over everything! Well, I’m not going to stand for it. I’ll take this matter right to Major --- de Coverley himself if I have to. I’ll have Milo speak to him about it the minute he gets back from Rome.”
Captain Black had boundless faith in the wisdom, power and justice of Major --- de Coverley, even though he had never spoken to him before and still found himself without the courage to do so. He deputized Milo to speak to Major --- de Coverley for him and stormed about impatiently as he waited for the tall executive officer to return. Along with everyone else in the squadron, he lived in profound awe and reverence of the majestic, white-haired major with craggy face and Jehovean bearing, who came back from Rome finally with an injured eye inside a new celluloid eye patch and smashed his whole Glorious Crusade to bits with a single stroke.
Milo carefully said nothing when Major --- de Coverley stepped into the mess hall with his fierce and austere dignity the day he returned and found his way blocked by a wall of officers waiting in line to sign loyalty oaths. At the far end of the food counter, a group of men who had arrived earlier were pledging allegiance to the flag, with trays of food balanced in one hand, in order to be allowed to take seats at the table. Already at the tables, a group that had arrived still earlier was singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in order that they might use the salt and pepper and ketchup there. The hubbub began to subside slowly as Major --- de Coverley paused in the doorway with a frown of puzzled disapproval, as though viewing something bizarre. He started forward in a straight line, and the wall of officers before him parted like the Red Sea. Glancing neither left nor right, he strode indomitably up to the steam counter and, in a clear, full-bodied voice that was gruff with age and resonant with ancient eminence and authority, said:
Instead of eat, Corporal Snark gave Major --- de Coverley a loyalty oath to sign. Major --- de Coverley swept it away with mighty displeasure the moment he recognized what it was, his good eye flaring up blindingly with fiery disdain and his enormous old corrugated face darkening in mountainous wrath.
“Gimme eat, I said,” he ordered loudly in harsh tones that rumbled ominously through the silent tent like claps of distant thunder.
Corporal Snark turned pale and began to tremble. He glanced toward Milo pleadingly for guidance. For several terrible seconds there was not a sound. Then Milo nodded.
“Give him eat,” he said.
Corporal Snark began giving Major --- de Coverley eat. Major --- de Coverley turned from the counter with his tray full and came to a stop. His eyes fell on the groups of other officers gazing at him in mute appeal, and, with righteous belligerence, he roared:
“Give everybody eat!”
“Give everybody eat!” Milo echoed with joyful relief, and the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade came to an end.
Captain Black was deeply disillusioned by this treacherous stab in the back from someone in high place upon whom he had relied so confidently for support. Major --- de Coverley had let him down.
“Oh, it doesn’t bother me a bit,” he responded cheerfully to everyone who came to him with sympathy. “We completed our task. Our purpose was to make everyone we don’t like afraid and to alert people to the danger of Major Major, and we certainly succeeded at that. Since we weren’t going to let him sign loyalty oaths anyway, it doesn’t really matter whether we have them or not.”
Seeing everyone in the squadron he didn’t like afraid once again throughout the appalling, interminable Great Big Siege of Bologna reminded Captain Black nostalgically of the good old days of his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade when he had been a man of real consequence, and when even big shots like Milo Minderbinder, Doc Daneeka and Piltchard and Wren had trembled at his approach and groveled at his feet. To prove to newcomers that he really had been a man of consequence once, he still had the letter of commendation he had received from Colonel Cathcart.
|Ebook version 0—please increment version number if you make corrections to this text. Thanks! The Toad exploring the world of lucid dreaming||This text will contain errors even though I spent at least a few minutes on each page trying to correct major errors such as Sanskrit names. This was the first|
|Rich Text Version (rtf) – this version of the report has been produced in rtf format and all maps, tables and charts have been removed. A full version is available on this website in pdf format||Rich Text Version (rtf) – this version of the report has been produced in rtf format and all maps, tables and charts have been removed. A full version is available on this website in pdf format|
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|This rich text version does not include all images. For a full version please view the pdf||Chris, Geoff and others: make sure the final printed version has apostrophes (they’re lost in my version) and that Rick’s equations print ok|
|A journey down the Severn from Thomas Harral’s Picturesque Views of the River (1824) [Text only version]||Now first translated from the original latin, and collated with the french version, with dissertations, new translation of the text, and copious indices|