corner to order him in a cold undertone to start reporting for duty at the officers' club every evening to mingle with the men while they were drinking and gambling so that he could get to understand them and win their confidence. The chaplain agreed and did report for duty to the officers' club every night to mingle with men who wanted to avoid him, until the evening the vicious fist fight broke out at the ping-pong table and Chief White Halfoat whirled without provocation and punched Colonel Moodus squarely in the nose, knocking Colonel Moodus down on the seat of his pants and making General Dreedle roar with lusty, unexpected laughter until he spied the chaplain standing close by gawking at him grotesquely in tortured wonder. General Dreedle froze at the sight of him. He glowered at the chaplain with swollen fury for a moment, his good humor gone, and turned back toward the bar disgruntedly, rolling from side to side like a sailor on his short bandy legs. Colonel Cathcart cantered fearfully along behind, glancing anxiously about in vain for some sign of help from Colonel Korn. 'That's a fine thing,' General Dreedle growled at the bar, gripping his empty shot glass in his burly hand. 'That's really a fine thing, when a man of God begins hanging around a place like this with a bunch of dirty drunks and gamblers.' Colonel Cathcart sighed with relief. 'Yes, sir,' he exclaimed proudly. 'It certainly is a fine thing.' 'Then why the hell don't you do something about it?' 'Sir?' Colonel Cathcart inquired, blinking. 'Do you think it does you credit to have your chaplain hanging around here every night? He's in here every goddam time I come.' 'You're right, sir, absolutely right,' Colonel Cathcart responded. 'It does me no credit at all. And I am going to do something about it, this very minute.' 'Aren't you the one who ordered him to come here?' 'No, sir, that was Colonel Korn. I intend to punish him severely, too.' 'If he wasn't a chaplain,' General Dreedle muttered, 'I'd have him taken outside and shot.' 'He's not a chaplain, sir.' Colonel Cathcart advised helpfully. 'Isn't he? Then why the hell does he wear that cross on his collar if he's not a chaplain?' 'He doesn't wear a cross on his collar, sir. He wears a silver leaf. He's a lieutenant colonel.' 'You've got a chaplain who's a lieutenant colonel?' inquired General Dreedle with amazement. 'Oh, no, sir. My chaplain is only a captain.' 'Then why the hell does he wear a silver leaf on his collar if he's only a captain?' 'He doesn't wear a silver leaf on his collar, sir. He wears a cross.' 'Go away from me now, you son of a bitch,' said General Dreedle. 'Or I'll have you taken outside
and shot!' 'Yes, sir.' Colonel Cathcart went away from General Dreedle with a gulp and kicked the chaplain out of the officers' club, and it was exactly the way it almost was two months later after the chaplain had tried to persuade Colonel Cathcart to rescind his order increasing the number of missions to sixty and had failed abysmally in that endeavor too, and the chaplain was ready now to capitulate to despair
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