Not even Clevinger understood how Milo could do that, and Clevinger knew
everything. Clevinger knew everything about the war except why Yossarian had to die
while Corporal Snark was allowed to live, or why Corporal Snark had to die while
Yossarian was allowed to live. It was a vile and muddy war, and Yossarian could have
lived without it - lived forever, perhaps. Only a fraction of his countrymen would give
up their lives to win it, and it was not his ambition to be among them. To die or not to
die, that was the question, and Clevinger grew limp trying to answer it. History did
not demand Yossarian's premature demise, justice could be satisfied without it,
progress did not hinge upon it, victory did not depend on it. That men would die was a
matter of necessity; which men would die, though, was a matter of circumstance, and
Yossarian was willing to be the victim of anything but circumstance. But that was war.
Just about all he could find in its favor was that it paid well and liberated children
from the pernicious influence of their parents.
Clevinger knew so much because Clevinger was a genius with a pounding heart and
blanching face. He was a gangling, gawky, feverish, famish-eyed brain. As a Harvard
undergraduate he had won prizes in scholarship for just about everything, and the
only reason he had not won prizes in scholarship for everything else was that he was
too busy signing petitions, circulating petitions and challenging petitions, joining
discussion groups and resigning from discussion groups, attending youth congresses,
picketing other youth congresses and organizing student committees in defense of
dismissed faculty members. Everyone agreed that Clevinger was certain to go far in
the academic world. In short, Clevinger was one of those people with lots of
intelligence and no brains, and everyone knew it except those who soon found it out.
In short, he was a dope. He often looked to Yossarian like one of those people
hanging around modern museums with both eyes together on one side of a face. It
was an illusion, of course, generated by Clevinger's predilection for staring fixedly at
one side of a question and never seeing the other side at all. Politically, he was a
humanitarian who did know right from left and was trapped uncomfortably between
the two. He was constantly defending his Communist friends to his right-wing
enemies and his right-wing friends to his Communist enemies, and he was thoroughly
detested by both groups, who never defended him to anyone because they thought he
was a dope.
He was a very serious, very earnest and very conscientious dope. It was impossible to
go to a movie with him without getting involved afterwards in a discussion on
empathy, Aristotle, universals, messages and the obligations of the cinema as an art
form in a materialistic society.

Girls he took to the theater had to wait until the first intermission to find out from
him whether or not they were seeing a good or a bad play, and then found out at once.
He was a militant idealist who crusaded against racial bigotry by growing faint in its
presence. He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.
Yossarian tried to help him. 'Don't be a dope,' he had counseled Clevinger when they
were both at cadet school in Santa Ana, California.
'I'm going to tell him,' Clevinger insisted, as the two of them sat high in the
reviewing stands looking down on the auxiliary parade-ground at Lieutenant
Scheisskopf raging back and forth like a beardless Lear.
'Why me?' Lieutenant Scheisskopf wailed.
'Keep still, idiot,' Yossarian advised Clevinger avuncularly.
'You don't know what you're talking about,' Clevinger objected.
'I know enough to keep still, idiot.'
Lieutenant Scheisskopf tore his hair and gnashed his teeth. His rubbery cheeks
shook with gusts of anguish. His problem was a squadron of aviation cadets with low
morale who marched atrociously in the parade competition that took place every
Sunday afternoon. Their morale was low because they did not want to march in
parades every Sunday afternoon and because Lieutenant Scheisskopf had appointed
cadet officers from their ranks instead of permitting them to elect their own.
'I want someone to tell me,' Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched them all prayerfully.
'If any of it is my fault, I *want* to be told.'
'He wants someone to tell him,' Clevinger said.
'He wants everyone to keep still, idiot,' Yossarian answered.
'Didn't you hear him?' Clevinger argued.
'I heard him,' Yossarian replied. 'I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that
he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us.'
'I won't punish you,' Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore.
'He says he won't punish me,' said Clevinger.
'He'll castrate you,' said Yossarian.

'I swear I won't punish you,' said Lieutenant Scheisskopf.
'I'll be grateful to the man who tells me the truth.'
'He'll hate you,' said Yossarian. 'To his dying day he'll hate you.'
Lieutenant Scheisskopf was an R.O.T.C. graduate who was rather glad that war had
broken out, since it gave him an opportunity to wear an officer's uniform every day
and say 'Men' in a clipped, military voice to the bunches of kids who fell into his
clutches every eight weeks on their way to the butcher's block. He was an ambitious
and humorless Lieutenant Scheisskopf, who confronted his responsibilities soberly
and smiled only when some rival officer at the Santa Ana Army Air Force Base came
down with a lingering disease. He had poor eyesight and chronic sinus trouble, which
made war especially exciting for him, since he was in no danger of going overseas. The
best thing about him was his wife and the best thing about his wife was a girl friend
named Dori Duz who did whenever she could and had a Wac uniform that Lieutenant
Scheisskopf's wife put on every weekend and took off every weekend for every
cadet in her husband's squadron who wanted to creep into her.
Dori Duz was a lively little tart of copper-green and gold who loved doing it best in
toolsheds, phone booths, field houses and bus kiosks. There was little she hadn't
tried and less she wouldn't. She was shameless, slim, nineteen and aggressive. She
destroyed egos by the score and made men hate themselves in the morning for the
way she found them, used them and tossed them aside. Yossarian loved her. She was
a marvelous piece of ass who found him only fair. He loved the feel of springy muscle
beneath her skin everywhere he touched her the only time she'd let him. Yossarian
loved Dori Duz so much that he couldn't help flinging himself down passionately on
top of Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife every week to revenge himself upon Lieutenant
Scheisskopf for the way Lieutenant Scheisskopf was revenging himself
upon Clevinger.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife was revenging herself upon Lieutenant Scheisskopf
for some unforgettable crime of his she couldn't recall. She was a plump, pink,
sluggish girl who read good books and kept urging Yossarian not to be so bourgeois
without the *r*. She was never without a good book close by, not even when she was
lying in bed with nothing on her but Yossarian and Dori Duz's dog tags. She bored
Yossarian, but he was in love with her, too. She was a crazy mathematics major from
the Wharton School of Business who could not count to twenty-eight each month
without getting into trouble.
'Darling, we're going to have a baby again,' she would say to Yossarian every month.
'You're out of your goddamn head,' he would reply.

'I mean it, baby,' she insisted.
'So do I.'
'Darling, we're going to have a baby again,' she would say to her husband.
'I haven't the time,' Lieutenant Scheisskopf would grumble petulantly.
'Don't you know there's a parade going on?'
Lieutenant Scheisskopf cared very deeply about winning parades and about bringing
Clevinger up on charges before the Action Board for conspiring to advocate the
overthrow of the cadet officers Lieutenant Scheisskopf had appointed. Clevinger was
a troublemaker and a wise guy. Lieutenant Scheisskopf knew that Clevinger might
cause even more trouble if he wasn't watched. Yesterday it was the cadet officers;
tomorrow it might be the world. Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf
had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times. Such men
were dangerous, and even the new cadet officers whom Clevinger had helped into
office were eager to give damning testimony against him. The case against Clevinger
was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.
It could not be anything to do with parades, for Clevinger took the parades almost as
seriously as Lieutenant Scheisskopf himself. The men fell out for the parades early
each Sunday afternoon and groped their way into ranks of twelve outside the
barracks. Groaning with hangovers, they limped in step to their station on the main
paradeground, where they stood motionless in the heat for an hour or two with the
men from the sixty or seventy other cadet squadrons until enough of them had
collapsed to call it a day. On the edge of the field stood a row of ambulances and
teams of trained stretcher bearers with walkie-talkies. On the roofs of the
ambulances were spotters with binoculars. A tally clerk kept score. Supervising this
entire phase of the operation was a medical officer with a flair for accounting who
okayed pulses and checked the figures of the tally clerk. As soon as enough
unconscious men had been collected in the ambulances, the medical officer signaled
the bandmaster to strike up the band and end the parade. One behind the other, the
squadrons marched up the field, executed a cumbersome turn around the reviewing
stand and marched down the field and back to their barracks.
Each of the parading squadrons was graded as it marched past the reviewing stand,
where a bloated colonel with a big fat mustache sat with the other officers. The
best squadron in each wing won a yellow pennant on a pole that was utterly worthless.
The best squadron on the base won a red pennant on a longer pole that was worth
even less, since the pole was heavier and was that much more of a nuisance to lug
around all week until some other squadron won it the following Sunday.

To Yossarian, the idea of pennants as prizes was absurd. No money went with them,
no class privileges. Like Olympic medals and tennis trophies, all they signified was
that the owner had done something of no benefit to anyone more capably than
everyone else.
The parades themselves seemed equally absurd. Yossarian hated a parade. Parades
were so martial. He hated hearing them, hated seeing them, hated being tied up in
traffic by them. He hated being made to take part in them. It was bad enough being
an aviation cadet without having to act like a soldier in the blistering heat every
Sunday afternoon. It was bad enough being an aviation cadet because it was obvious
now that the war would not be over before he had finished his training. That was the
only reason he had volunteered for cadet training in the first place. As a soldier who
had qualified for aviation cadet training, he had weeks and weeks of waiting for
assignment to a class, weeks and weeks more to become a bombardier-navigator,
weeks and weeks more of operational training after that to prepare him for overseas
duty. It seemed inconceivable then that the war could last that long, for God was on
his side, he had been told, and God, he had also been told, could do whatever He
wanted to. But the war was not nearly over, and his training was almost complete.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf longed desperately to win parades and sat up half the night
working on it while his wife waited amorously for him in bed thumbing through
Krafft-Ebing to her favorite passages. He read books on marching. He manipulated
boxes of chocolate soldiers until they melted in his hands and then maneuvered in
ranks of twelve a set of plastic cowboys he had bought from a mail-order house
under an assumed name and kept locked away from everyone's eyes during the day.
Leonardo's exercises in anatomy proved indispensable. One evening he felt the need
for a live model and directed his wife to march around the room.
'Naked?' she asked hopefully.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf smacked his hands over his eyes in exasperation. It was the
despair of Lieutenant Scheisskopf's life to be chained to a woman who was incapable
of looking beyond her own dirty, sexual desires to the titanic struggles for the
unattainable in which noble man could become heroically engaged.
'Why don't you ever whip me?' she pouted one night.
'Because I haven't the time,' he snapped at her impatiently. 'I haven't the time.
Don't you know there's a parade going on?'
And he really did not have the time. There it was Sunday already, with only seven
days left in the week to get ready for the next parade. He had no idea where the
hours went.

Finishing last in three successive parades had given Lieutenant Scheisskopf an
unsavory reputation, and he considered every means of improvement, even nailing the
twelve men in each rank to a long two-by-four beam of seasoned oak to keep them in
line. The plan was not feasible, for making a ninety-degree turn would have been
impossible without nickel-alloy swivels inserted in the small of every man's back, and
Lieutenant Scheisskopf was not sanguine at all about obtaining that many nickel-alloy
swivels from Quartermaster or enlisting the cooperation of the surgeons
at the hospital.
The week after Lieutenant Scheisskopf followed Clevinger's recommendation and let
the men elect their own cadet officers, the squadron won the yellow pennant.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf was so elated by his unexpected achievement that he gave
his wife a sharp crack over the head with the pole when she tried to drag him into
bed to celebrate by showing their contempt for the sexual mores of the lower middle
classes in Western civilization. The next week the squadron won the red flag, and
Lieutenant Scheisskopf was beside himself with rapture. And the week after that his
squadron made history by winning the red pennant two weeks in a row! Now
Lieutenant Scheisskopf had confidence enough in his powers to spring his big
surprise. Lieutenant Scheisskopf had discovered in his extensive research that the
hands of marchers, instead of swinging freely, as was then the popular fashion, ought
never to be moved more than three inches from the center of the thigh, which
meant, in effect, that they were scarcely to be swung at all.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf's preparations were elaborate and clandestine. All the cadets
in his squadron were sworn to secrecy and rehearsed in the dead of night on the
auxiliary parade-ground. They marched in darkness that was pitch and bumped into
each other blindly, but they did not panic, and they were learning to march without
swinging their hands. Lieutenant Scheisskopf's first thought had been to have a
friend of his in the sheet metal shop sink pegs of nickel alloy into each man's
thighbones and link them to the wrists by strands of copper wire with exactly three
inches of play, but there wasn't time - there was never enough time - and good
copper wire was hard to come by in wartime. He remembered also that the men, so
hampered, would be unable to fall properly during the impressive fainting ceremony
preceding the marching and that an inability to faint properly might affect the unit's
rating as a whole .
And all week long he chortled with repressed delight at the officers' club.
Speculation grew rampant among his closest friends.
'I wonder what that Shithead is up to,' Lieutenant Engle said.

Lieutenant Scheisskopf responded with a knowing smile to the queries of his
colleagues. 'You'll find out Sunday,' he promised. 'You'll find out.'
Lieutenant Scheisskopf unveiled his epochal surprise that Sunday with all the aplomb
of an experienced impresario. He said nothing while the other squadrons ambled past
the reviewing stand crookedly in their customary manner. He gave no sign even when
the first ranks of his own squadron hove into sight with their swingless marching and
the first stricken gasps of alarm were hissing from his startled fellow officers. He
held back even then until the bloated colonel with the big fat mustache whirled upon
him savagely with a purpling face, and then he offered the explanation that
made him immortal.
'Look, Colonel,' he announced. 'No hands.'
And to an audience stilled with awe, he distributed certified photostatic copies of
the obscure regulation on which he had built his unforgettable triumph. This was
Lieutenant Scheisskopf's finest hour. He won the parade, of course, hands down,
obtaining permanent possession of the red pennant and ending the Sunday parades
altogether, since good red pennants were as hard to come by in wartime as good
copper wire. Lieutenant Scheisskopf was made First Lieutenant Scheisskopf on the
spot and began his rapid rise through the ranks. There were few who did not hail him
as a true military genius for his important discovery.
'That Lieutenant Scheisskopf,' Lieutenant Travels remarked. 'He's a military genius.'
'Yes, he really is,' Lieutenant Engle agreed.
'It's a pity the schmuck won't whip his wife.'
'I don't see what that has to do with it,' Lieutenant Travers answered coolly.
'Lieutenant Bemis whips Mrs. Bemis beautifully every time they have sexual
intercourse, and he isn't worth a farthing at parades.'
'I'm talking about flagellation,' Lieutenant Engle retorted.
'Who gives a damn about parades?'
Actually, no one but Lieutenant Scheisskopf really gave a damn about the parades,
least of all the bloated colonel with the big fat mustache, who was chairman of the
Action Board and began bellowing at Clevinger the moment Clevinger stepped gingerly
into the room to plead innocent to the charges Lieutenant Scheisskopf had lodged
against him.

The colonel beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged with Clevinger that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder
and hurt his hand some more. Lieutenant Scheisskopf glared at Clevinger with tight
lips, mortified by the poor impression Clevinger was making.
'In sixty days you'll be fighting Billy Petrolle,' the colonel with the big fat mustache
roared. 'And you think it's a big fat joke.'
'I don't think it's a joke, sir,' Clevinger replied.
'Don't interrupt.'
'Yes, sir.'
'And say "sir" when you do,' ordered Major Metcalf.
'Yes, sir.'
'Weren't you just ordered not to interrupt?' Major Metcalf inquired coldly.
'But I didn't interrupt, sir,' Clevinger protested.
'No. And you didn't say "sir," either. Add that to the charges against him,' Major
Metcalf directed the corporal who could take shorthand. 'Failure to say "sir" to
superior officers when not interrupting them.'
'Metcalf,' said the colonel, 'you're a goddam fool. Do you know that?'
Major Metcalf swallowed with difficulty. 'Yes, Sir.'
'Then keep your goddam mouth shut. You don't make sense.'
There were three members of the Action Board, the bloated colonel with the big fat
mustache, Lieutenant Scheisskopf and Major Metcalf, who was trying to develop a
steely gaze. As a member of the Action Board, Lieutenant Scheisskopf was one of
the judges who would weigh the merits of the case against Clevinger as presented by
the prosecutor. Lieutenant Scheisskopf was also the prosecutor. Clevinger had an
officer defending him. The officer defending him was Lieutenant Scheisskopf
It was all very confusing to Clevinger, who began vibrating in terror as the colonel
surged to his feet like a gigantic belch and threatened to rip his stinking, cowardly
body apart limb from limb.

One day he had stumbled while marching to class; the next day he was formally
charged with 'breaking ranks while in formation, felonious assault, indiscriminate
behavior, mopery, high treason, provoking, being a smart guy, listening to classical
music and so on'.
In short, they threw the book at him, and there he was, standing in dread before
the bloated colonel, who roared once more that in sixty days he would be fighting
Billy Petrolle and demanded to know how the hell he would like being washed out and
shipped to the Solomon Islands to bury bodies. Clevinger replied with courtesy that
he would not like it; he was a dope who would rather be a corpse than bury one. The
colonel sat down and settled back, calm and cagey suddenly, and ingratiatingly polite.
'What did you mean,' he inquired slowly, 'when you said we couldn't punish you?'
'When, sir?'
'I'm asking the questions. You're answering them.'
'Yes, sir. I -'
'Did you think we brought you here to ask questions and for me to answer them?'
'No, sir. I -'
'What did we bring you here for?'
'To answer questions.'
'You're goddamn right,' roared the colonel. 'Now suppose you start answering some
before I break your goddamn head. Just what the hell did you mean, you bastard,
when you said we couldn't punish you?'
'I don't think I ever made that statement, sir.'
'Will you speak up, please? I couldn't hear you.'
'Yes, sir. I -'
'Will you speak up, please? He couldn't hear you.'
'Yes, sir. I -'

'Didn't I tell you to keep your stupid mouth shut?'
'Yes, sir.'
'Then keep your stupid mouth shut when I tell you to keep your stupid mouth shut.
Do you understand? Will you speak up, please? I couldn't hear you.'
'Yes, sir. I -'
'Metcalf, is that your foot I'm stepping on?'
'No, sir. It must be Lieutenant Scheisskopf's foot.'
'It isn't my foot,' said Lieutenant Scheisskopf.
'Then maybe it is my foot after all,' said Major Metcalf.
'Move it.'
'Yes, sir. You'll have to move your foot first, colonel. It's on top of mine.'
'Are you telling me to move my foot?'
'No, sir. Oh, no, sir.'
'Then move your foot and keep your stupid mouth shut. Will you speak up, please? I
still couldn't hear you.'
'Yes, sir. I said that I didn't say that you couldn't punish me.'
'Just what the hell are you talking about?'
'I'm answering your question, sir.'
'What question?'
' "Just what the hell did you mean, you bastard, when you said we couldn't punish
you?" ' said the corporal who could take shorthand, reading from his steno pad.
'All right,' said the colonel. 'Just what the hell *did* you mean?'

'I didn't say you couldn't punish me, sir.'
'When?' asked the colonel.
'When what, sir?'
'Now you're asking me questions again.'
'I'm sorry, sir. I'm afraid I don't understand your question.'
'When didn't you say we couldn't punish you? Don't you understand my question?'
'No, sir. I don't understand.'
'You've just told us that. Now suppose you answer my question.'
'But how can I answer it?'
'That's another question you're asking me.'
'I'm sorry, sir. But I don't know how to answer it.
I never said you couldn't punish me.'
'Now you're telling us when you did say it.
I'm asking you to tell us when you didn't say it.'
Clevinger took a deep breath. 'I always didn't say you couldn't punish me, sir.'
'That's much better, Mr. Clevinger, even though it is a barefaced lie. Last night in
the latrine. Didn't you whisper that we couldn't punish you to that other dirty son of
a bitch we don't like? What's his name?'
'Yossarian, sir,' Lieutenant Scheisskopf said.
'Yes, Yossarian. That's right. Yossarian. Yossarian? Is that his name? Yossarian?
What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?'
Lieutenant Scheisskopf had the facts at his fingertips. 'It's Yossarian's name, sir,'
he explained.
'Yes, I suppose it is. Didn't you whisper to Yossarian that we couldn't punish you?'

'Oh, no, sir. I whispered to him that you couldn't find me guilty -'
'I may be stupid,' interrupted the colonel, 'but the distinction escapes me.
I guess I am pretty stupid, because the distinction escapes me.'
'You're a windy son of a bitch, aren't you? Nobody asked you for clarification and
you're giving me clarification. I was making a statement, not asking for clarification.
You are a windy son of a bitch, aren't you?'
'No, Sir.'
'No, sir? Are you calling me a goddam liar?'
'Oh, no, sir.'
'Then you're a windy son of a bitch, aren't you?'
'No, sir.'
'Are you a windy son of a bitch?'
'No, sir.'
'Goddammit, you *are* trying to pick a fight with me. For two stinking cents I'd jump
over this big fat table and rip your stinking, cowardly body apart limb from limb.'
'Do it! Do it!' cried Major Metcalf.
'Metcalf, you stinking son of a bitch. Didn't I tell you to keep your stinking, cowardly,
stupid mouth shut?'
'Yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir.'
'Then suppose *you* do it.'
'I was only trying to learn, sir. The only way a person can learn is by trying.'
'Who says so?'
'Everybody says so, sir. Even Lieutenant Scheisskopf says so.'

'Do you say so?'
'Yes, sir,' said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. 'But everybody says so.'
'Well, Metcalf, suppose you try keeping that stupid mouth of yours shut, and maybe
that's the way you'll learn how. Now, where were we? Read me back the last line.'
' "Read me back the last line," ' read back the corporal who could take shorthand.
'Not *my* last line, stupid!' the colonel shouted. 'Somebody else's.'
' "Read me back the last line," ' read back the corporal.
'That's *my* last line again!' shrieked the colonel, turning purple with anger.
'Oh, no, sir,' corrected the corporal. 'That's *my* last line. I read it to you just a
moment ago. Don't you remember, sir? It was only a moment ago.'
'Oh, my God! Read me back *his* last line, stupid.
Say, what the hell's your name, anyway?'
'Popinjay, sir.'
'Well, you're next, Popinjay. As soon as his trial ends, your trial begins. Get it?'
'Yes, sir. What will I be charged with?'
'What the hell difference does that make? Did you hear what he asked me? You're
going to learn, Popinjay - the minute we finish with Clevinger you're going to learn.
Cadet Clevinger, what did - You are Cadet Clevinger, aren't you, and not Popinjay?'
'Yes, sir.'
'Good. What did -'
'I'm Popinjay, sir.'
'Popinjay, is your father a millionaire, or a member of the Senate?'
'No, sir.'

'Then you're up shit creek, Popinjay, without a paddle.
He's not a general or a high-ranking member of the Administration, is he?'
'No, sir.'
'That's good. What does your father do?'
'He's dead, sir.'
'That's very good. You really are up the creek, Popinjay. Is Popinjay really your name?
Just what the hell kind of a name is Popinjay anyway? I don't like it.'
'It's Popinjay's name, sir,' Lieutenant Scheisskopf explained.
'Well, I don't like it, Popinjay, and I just can't wait to rip your stinking, cowardly
body apart limb from limb. Cadet Clevinger, will you please repeat what the hell it was
you did or didn't whisper to Yossarian late last night in the latrine?'
'Yes, sir. I said that you couldn't find me guilty -'
'We'll take it from there. Precisely what did you mean, Cadet Clevinger, when you
said we couldn't find you guilty?'
'I didn't say you couldn't find me guilty, sir.'
'When what, sir?'
'Goddammit, are you going to start pumping me again?'
'No, sir. I'm sorry, sir.'
'Then answer the question. When didn't you say we couldn't find you guilty?'
'Late last night in the latrine, sir.'
'Is that the only time you didn't say it?'
'No, sir. I always didn't say you couldn't find me guilty, sir.
What I did say to Yossarian was -'

'Nobody asked you what you did say to Yossarian. We asked you what you didn't say
to him. We're not at all interested in what you did say to Yossarian. Is that clear?'
'Yes, sir.'
'Then we'll go on. What did you say to Yossarian?'
'I said to him, sir, that you couldn't find me guilty of the offense with which I am
charged and still be faithful to the cause of'
'Of what? You're mumbling.'
'Stop mumbling.'
'Yes, sir.'
'And mumble "sir" when you do.'
'Metcalf, you bastard!'
'Yes, sir,' mumbled Clevinger. 'Of justice, sir. That you couldn't find -'
'Justice?' The colonel was astounded. 'What is justice?'
'Justice, sir -'
'That's not what justice is,' the colonel jeered, and began pounding the table again
with his big fat hand. 'That's what Karl Marx is. I'll tell you what justice is. Justice
is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up
down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a
word of warning. Garroting. That's what justice is when we've all got to be tough
enough and rough enough to fight Billy Petrolle. From the hip. Get it?'
'No, sir.'
'Don't sir me!'
'Yes, sir.'
'And say "sir" when you don't,' ordered Major Metcalf.

Clevinger was guilty, of course, or he would not have been accused, and since the only
way to prove it was to find him guilty, it was their patriotic duty to do so. He was
sentenced to walk fifty-seven punishment tours. Popinjay was locked up to be taught
a lesson, and Major Metcalf was shipped to the Solomon Islands to bury bodies. A
punishment tour for Clevinger was fifty minutes of a weekend hour spent pacing back
and forth before the provost marshal's building with a ton of an unloaded
rifle on his shoulder.
It was all very confusing to Clevinger. There were many strange things taking place,
but the strangest of all, to Clevinger, was the hatred, the brutal, uncloaked,
inexorable hatred of the members of the Action Board, glazing their unforgiving
expressions with a hard, vindictive surface, glowing in their narrowed eyes
malignantly like inextinguishable coals. Clevinger was stunned to discover it. They
would have lynched him if they could. They were three grown men and he was a boy,
and they hated him and wished him dead. They had hated him before he came, hated
him while he was there, hated him after he left, carried their hatred for him away
malignantly like some pampered treasure after they separated from each other and
went to their solitude.
Yossarian had done his best to warn him the night before. 'You haven't got a chance,
kid,' he told him glumly. 'They hate Jews.'
'But I'm not Jewish,' answered Clevinger.
'It will make no difference,' Yossarian promised, and Yossarian was right.
'They're after everybody.'
Clevinger recoiled from their hatred as though from a blinding light. These three
men who hated him spoke his language and wore his uniform, but he saw their loveless
faces set immutably into cramped, mean lines of hostility and understood instantly
that nowhere in the world, not in all the fascist tanks or planes or submarines, not in
the bunkers behind the machine guns or mortars or behind the blowing flame
throwers, not even among all the expert gunners of the crack Hermann Goering
Antiaircraft Division or among the grisly connivers in all the beer halls in Munich and
everywhere else, were there men who hated him more.

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