Heller is a master at indicating character through a brief description of physical characteristics and personality quirks. Major _______ de Coverley is "a splendid, awe-inspiring, grave old man with a massive leonine head and an angry shock of wild white hair" raging like a blizzard around his "stern, patriarchal face." He is a man of few words, accomplishing most of his tasks without having to speak, which may be a good thing because his spoken words are less than impressive. His tasks appear to be few. As squadron executive officer, de Coverley procures rental apartments in occupied cities — separate for officers and enlisted — so the men will have places to stay when on leave. He also provides the base with Italian laborers, apparently by shady means. Other than that, he pitches
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