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.''I'm afraid he's got you,' added Colonel Korn.'You're either for us or against your country.It's as simple as that.''Oh, no, Colonel.I don't buy that.'Colonel Korn was unrufed.'Neither do I, frankly, but everyone else will.So there you are.''You're a disgrace to your uniform!' Colonel Cathcart declared with blustering wrath,whirling to confront Yossarian for the first time.'I'd like to know how you ever gotto be a captain, anyway.''You promoted him,' Colonel Korn reminded sweetly, stifling a snicker.'Don't you remember?''Well, I never should have done it.''I told you not to do it,' Colonel Korn said.'But you just wouldn't listen to me.''Gee whiz, will you stop rubbing it in?' Colonel Cathcart cried.He furrowed his browand glowered at Colonel Korn through eyes narrow with suspicion, his fists clenchedon his hips.'Say, whose side are you on, anyway?''Your side, Colonel.What other side could I be on?''Then stop picking on me, will you? Get off my back, will you?''I'm on your side, Colonel.I'm just loaded with patriotism.''Well, just make sure you don't forget that.' Colonel Cathcart turned awaygrudgingly after another moment, incompletely reassured, and began striding thefloor, his hands kneading his long cigarette holder.He jerked a thumb towardYossarian.'Let's settle with him.I know what I'd like to do with him.I'd like to takehim outside and shoot him.That's what I'd like to do with him.That's what GeneralDreedle would do with him.''But General Dreedle isn't with us any more,' said Colonel Korn, 'so we can't take himoutside and shoot him.' Now that his moment of tension with Colonel Cathcart hadpassed, Colonel Korn relaxed again and resumed kicking softly against ColonelCathcart's desk.He returned to Yossarian.'So we're going to send you home instead.It took a bit of thinking, but we finallyworked out this horrible little plan for sending you home without causing too muchdissatisfaction among the friends you'll leave behind.Doesn't that make you happy?''What kind of plan? I'm not sure I'm going to like it.''I know you're not going to like it.' Colonel Korn laughed, locking his handscontentedly on top of his head again.'You're going to loathe it.It really is odious andcertainly will offend your conscience.But you'll agree to it quickly enough.You'llagree to it because it will send you home safe and sound in two weeks, and becauseyou have no choice.It's that or a court-martial.Take it or leave it.'Yossarian snorted.'Stop bluffing, Colonel.You can't court-martial me for desertionin the face of the enemy.It would make you look bad and you probably couldn't get aconviction.''But we can court-martial you now for desertion from duty, since you went to Romewithout a pass.And we could make it stick.If you think about it a minute, you'll seethat you'd leave us no alternative.We can't simply let you keep walking around inopen insubordination without punishing you.All the other men would stop flyingmissions, too.No, you have my word for it.We will court-martial you if you turn ourdeal down, even though it would raise a lot of questions and be a terrible black eyefor Colonel Cathcart.'Colonel Cathcart winced at the words 'black eye' and, without any apparentpremeditation, hurled his slender onyx-and-ivory cigarette holder down viciously onthe wooden surface on his desk.'Jesus Christ!' he shouted unexpectedly.'I hate thisgoddam cigarette holder!' The cigarette holder bounced off the desk to the wall,ricocheted across the window sill to the floor and came to a stop almost where hewas standing.Colonel Cathcart stared down at it with an irascible scowl.'I wonder ifit's really doing me any good.''It's a feather in your cap with General Peckem, but a black eye for you with GeneralScheisskopf,' Colonel Korn informed him with a mischievous look of innocence.'Well, which one am I supposed to please?''Both.''How can I please them both? They hate each other.How am I ever going to get afeather in my cap from General Scheisskopf without getting a black eye fromGeneral Peckem?''March.''Yeah, march.That's the only way to please him.March.March.' Colonel Cathcartgrimaced sullenly.'Some generals! They're a disgrace to their uniforms.If peoplelike those two can make general, I don't see how I can miss.''You're going to go far.' Colonel Korn assured him with a flat lack of conviction, andturned back chuckling to Yossarian, his disdainful merriment increasing at the sightof Yossarian's unyielding expression of antagonism and distrust.'And there you havethe crux of the situation.Colonel Cathcart wants to be a general and I want to be acolonel, and that's why we have to send you home.''Why does he want to be a general?''Why? For the same reason that I want to be a colonel.What else have we got to do?Everyone teaches us to aspire to higher things.A general is higher than a colonel, anda colonel is higher than a lieutenant colonel.So we're both aspiring.And you know,Yossarian, it's a lucky thing for you that we are.Your timing on this is absolutelyperfect, but I suppose you took that factor into account in your calculations.''I haven't been doing any calculating,' Yossarian retorted.'Yes, I really do enjoy the way you lie,' Colonel Korn answered [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]