The late-August morning sun was hot and steamy， and there was no breeze on the balcony. The chaplain moved slowly. He was downcast and burdened with self-reproach when he stepped without noise from the colonel's office on his rubber-soled and rubber-heeled brown shoes. He hated himself for what he construed to be his own cowardice. He had intended to take a much stronger stand with Colonel Cathcart on the matter of the sixty missions， to speak out with courage， logic and eloquence on a subject about which he had begun to feel very deeply. Instead he had failed miserably， had choked up once again in the face of opposition from a stronger personality. It was a familiar， ignominious experience， and his opinion of himself was low.
He choked up even more a second later when he spied Colonel Korn's tubby monochrome figure trotting up the curved， wide， yellow stone staircase toward him in lackadaisical haste from the great dilapidated lobby below with its lofty walls of cracked dark marble and circular floor of cracked grimy tile. The chaplain was even more frightened of Colonel Korn than he was of Colonel Cathcart. The swarthy， middle-aged lieutenant colonel with the rimless， icy glasses and faceted， bald， domelike pate that he was always touching sensitively with the tips of his splayed fingers disliked the chaplain and was impolite to him frequently. He kept the chaplain in a constant state of terror with his curt， derisive tongue and his knowing， cynical eyes that the chaplain was never brave enough to meet for more than an accidental second. Inevitably， the chaplain's attention， as he cowered meekly before him， focused on Colonel Korn's midriff， where the shirttails bunching up from inside his sagging belt and ballooning down over his waist gave him an appearance of slovenly girth and made him seem inches shorter than his middle height. Colonel Korn was an untidy disdainful man with an oily skin and deep， hard lines running almost straight down from his nose between his crepuscular jowls and his square， clefted chin. His face was dour， and he glanced at the chaplain without recognition as the two drew close on the staircase and prepared to pass.
'Hiya， Father，' he said tonelessly without looking at the chaplain. 'How's it going？'
'Good morning， sir，' the chaplain replied， discerning wisely that Colonel Korn expected nothing more in the way of a response.
Colonel Korn was proceeding up the stairs without slackening his pace， and the chaplain resisted the temptation to remind him again that he was not a Catholic but an Anabaptist， and that it was therefore neither necessary nor correct to address him as Father. He was almost certain now that Colonel Korn remembered and that calling him Father with a look of such bland innocence was just another one of Colonel Korn's methods of taunting him because he was only an Anabaptist.
Colonel Korn halted without warning when he was almost by and came whirling back down upon the chaplain with a glare of infuriated suspicion. The chaplain was petrified.
'What are you doing with that plum tomato， Chaplain？' Colonel Korn demanded roughly.
The chaplain looked down his arm with surprise at the plum tomato Colonel Cathcart had invited him to take. 'I got it in Colonel Cathcart's office， sir，' he managed to reply.
'Does the colonel know you took it？'
'Yes， sir. He gave it to me.'
'Oh， in that case I guess it's okay，' Colonel Korn said， mollified. He smiled without warmth， jabbing the crumpled folds of his shirt back down inside his trousers with his thumbs. His eyes glinted keenly with a private and satisfying mischief. 'What did Colonel Cathcart want to see you about， Father？' he asked suddenly.
The chaplain was tongue-tied with indecision for a moment. 'I don't think I ought-'
'Saying prayers to the editors of The Saturday Evening Post？' The chaplain almost smiled. 'Yes， sir.' Colonel Korn was enchanted with his own intuition. He laughed disparagingly. 'You know， I was afraid he'd begin thinking about something so ridiculous as soon as he saw this week's Saturday Evening Post. I hope you succeeded in showing him what an atrocious idea it is.'
'He has decided against it， sir.'
'That's good. I'm glad you convinced him that the editors of The Saturday Evening Post were not likely to run that same story twice just to give some publicity to some obscure colonel. How are things in the wilderness， Father？ Are you able to manage out there？'
'Yes， sir. Everything is working out.'
'That's good. I'm happy to hear you have nothing to complain about. Let us know if you need anything to make you comfortable. We all want you to have a good time out there.'
'Thank you， sir. I will.' Noise of a growing stir rose from the lobby below. It was almost lunchtime， and the earliest arrivals were drifting into the headquarters mess halls， the enlisted men and officers separating into different dining halls on facing sides of the archaic rotunda. Colonel Korn stopped smiling.
'You had lunch with us here just a day or so ago， didn't you， Father？' he asked meaningfully.
'Yes， sir. The day before yesterday.'
'That's what I thought，' Colonel Korn said， and paused to let his point sink in. 'Well， take it easy， Father. I'll see you around when it's time for you to eat here again.'
'Thank you， sir.' The chaplain was not certain at which of the five officers' and five enlisted men's mess halls he was scheduled to have lunch that day， for the system of rotation worked out for him by Colonel Korn was complicated， and he had forgotten his records back in his tent. The chaplain was the only officer attached to Group Headquarters who did not reside in the moldering red-stone Group Headquarters building itself or in any of the smaller satellite structures that rose about the grounds in disjuncted relationship. The chaplain lived in a clearing in the woods about four miles away between the officers' club and the first of the four squadron areas that stretched away from Group Headquarters in a distant line. The chaplain lived alone in a spacious， square tent that was also his office. Sounds of revelry traveled to him at night from the officers' club and kept him awake often as he turned and tossed on his cot in passive， half-voluntary exile. He was not able to gauge the effect of the mild pills he took occasionally to help him sleep and felt guilty about it for days afterward.
The only one who lived with the chaplain in his clearing in the woods was Corporal Whitcomb， his assistant. Corporal Whitcomb， an atheist， was a disgruntled subordinate who felt he could do the chaplain's job much better than the chaplain was doing it and viewed himself， therefore， as an underprivileged victim of social inequity. He lived in a tent of his own as spacious and square as the chaplain's. He was openly rude and contemptuous to the chaplain once he discovered that the chaplain would let him get away with it. The borders of the two tents in the clearing stood no more than four or five feet apart.
It was Colonel Korn who had mapped out this way of life for the chaplain. One good reason for making the chaplain live outside the Group Headquarters building was Colonel Korn's theory that dwelling in a tent as most of his parishioners did would bring him into closer communication with them. Another good reason was the fact that having the chaplain around Headquarters all the time made the other officers uncomfortable. It was one thing to maintain liaison with the Lord， and they were all in favor of that； it was something else， though， to have Him hanging around twenty-four hours a day. All in all， as Colonel Korn described it to Major Danby， the jittery and goggle-eyed group operations officer， the chaplain had it pretty soft； he had little more to do than listen to the troubles of others， bury the dead， visit the bedridden and conduct religious services. And there were not so many dead for him to bury any more， Colonel Korn pointed out， since opposition from German fighter planes had virtually ceased and since close to ninety per cent of what fatalities there still were， he estimated， perished behind the enemy lines or disappeared inside the clouds， where the chaplain had nothing to do with disposing of the remains. The religious services were certainly no great strain， either， since they were conducted only once a week at the Group Headquarters building and were attended by very few of the men.
Actually， the chaplain was learning to love it in his clearing in the woods. Both he and Corporal Whitcomb had been provided with every convenience so that neither might ever plead discomfort as a basis for seeking permission to return to the Headquarters building. The chaplain rotated his breakfasts， lunches and dinners in separate sets among the eight squadron mess halls and ate every fifth meal in the enlisted men's mess at Group Headquarters and every tenth meal at the officers' mess there. Back home in Wisconsin the chaplain had been very fond of gardening， and his heart welled with a glorious impression of fertility and fruition each time he contemplated the low， prickly boughs of the stunted trees and the waist-high weeds and thickets by which he was almost walled in. In the spring he had longed to plant begonias and zinnias in a narrow bed around his tent but had been deterred by his fear of Corporal Whitcomb's rancor. The chaplain relished the privacy and isolation of his verdant surroundings and the reverie and meditation that living there fostered. Fewer people came to him with their troubles than formerly， and he allowed himself a measure of gratitude for that too. The chaplain did not mix freely and was not comfortable in conversation. He missed his wife and his three small children， and she missed him.
What displeased Corporal Whitcomb most about the chaplain， apart from the fact that the chaplain believed in God， was his lack of initiative and aggressiveness. Corporal Whitcomb regarded the low attendance at religious services as a sad reflection of his own status. His mind germinated feverishly with challenging new ideas for sparking the great spiritual revival of which he dreamed himself the architect-box lunches， church socials， form letters to the families of men killed and injured in combat， censorship， Bingo. But the chaplain blocked him. Corporal Whitcomb bridled with vexation beneath the chaplain's restraint， for he spied room for improvement everywhere. It was people like the chaplain， he concluded， who were responsible for giving religion such a bad name and making pariahs out of them both. Unlike the chaplain， Corporal Whitcomb detested the seclusion of the clearing in the woods. One of the first things he intended to do after he deposed the chaplain was move back into the Group Headquarters building， where he could be right in the thick of things.
When the chaplain drove back into the clearing after leaving Colonel Korn， Corporal Whitcomb was outside in the muggy haze talking in conspiratorial tones to a strange chubby man in a maroon corduroy bathrobe and gray flannel pajamas. The chaplain recognized the bathrobe and pajamas as official hospital attire. Neither of the two men gave him any sign of recognition. The stranger's gums had been painted purple； his corduroy bathrobe was decorated in back with a picture of a B-25 nosing through orange bursts of flak and in front with six neat rows of tiny bombs signifying sixty combat missions flown. The chaplain was so struck by the sight that he stopped to stare. Both men broke off their conversation and waited in stony silence for him to go. The chaplain hurried inside his tent. He heard， or imagined he heard， them tittering.
Corporal Whitcomb walked in a moment later and demanded， 'What's doing？'
'There isn't anything new，' the chaplain replied with averted eyes. 'Was anyone here to see me？'
'Just that crackpot Yossarian again. He's a real troublemaker， isn't he？'
'I'm not so sure he's a crackpot，' the chaplain observed.
'That's right， take his part，' said Corporal Whitcomb in an injured tone， and stamped out.
The chaplain could not believe that Corporal Whitcomb was offended again and had really walked out. As soon as he did realize it， Corporal Whitcomb walked back in.
'You always side with other people，' Corporal Whitcomb accused. 'You don't back up your men. That's one of the things that's wrong with you.'
'I didn't intend to side with him，' the chaplain apologized. 'I was just making a statement.'
'What did Colonel Cathcart want？'
'It wasn't anything important. He just wanted to discuss the possibility of saying prayers in the briefing room before each mission.'
'All right， don't tell me，' Corporal Whitcomb snapped and walked out again.
The chaplain felt terrible. No matter how considerate he tried to be， it seemed he always managed to hurt Corporal Whitcomb's feelings. He gazed down remorsefully and saw that the orderly forced upon him by Colonel Korn to keep his tent clean and attend to his belongings had neglected to shine his shoes again.
Corporal Whitcomb came back in. 'You never trust me with information，' he whined truculently. 'You don't have confidence in your men. That's another one of the things that's wrong with you.'
'Yes， I do，' the chaplain assured him guiltily. 'I have lots of confidence in you.'
'Then how about those letters？'
'No， not now，' the chaplain pleaded， cringing. 'Not the letters. Please don't bring that up again. I'll let you know if I have a change of mind.' Corporal Whitcomb looked furious. 'Is that so？ Well， it's all right for you to just sit there and shake your head while I do all the work. Didn't you see the guy outside with all those pictures painted on his bathrobe？'
'Is he here to see me？'
'No，' Corporal Whitcomb said， and walked out.
It was hot and humid inside the tent， and the chaplain felt himself turning damp. He listened like an unwilling eavesdropper to the muffled， indistinguishable drone of the lowered voices outside. As he sat inertly at the rickety bridge table that served as a desk， his lips were closed， his eyes were blank， and his face， with its pale ochre hue and ancient， confined clusters of minute acne pits， had the color and texture of an uncracked almond shell. He racked his memory for some clue to the origin of Corporal Whitcomb's bitterness toward him. In some way he was unable to fathom， he was convinced he had done him some unforgivable wrong. It seemed incredible that such lasting ire as Corporal Whitcomb's could have stemmed from his rejection of Bingo or the form letters home to the families of the men killed in combat. The chaplain was despondent with an acceptance of his own ineptitude. He had intended for some weeks to have a heart-to-heart talk with Corporal Whitcomb in order to find out what was bothering him， but was already ashamed of what he might find out.
Outside the tent， Corporal Whitcomb snickered. The other man chuckled. For a few precarious seconds， the chaplain tingled with a weird， occult sensation of having experienced the identical situation before in some prior time or existence. He endeavored to trap and nourish the impression in order to predict， and perhaps even control， what incident would occur next， but the afatus melted away unproductively， as he had known beforehand it would. Dé；jà； vu. The subtle， recurring confusion between illusion and reality that was characteristic of paramnesia fascinated the chaplain， and he knew a number of things about it. He knew， for example， that it was called paramnesia， and he was interested as well in such corollary optical phenomena as jamais vu， never seen， and presque vu， almost seen. There were terrifying， sudden moments when objects， concepts and even people that the chaplain had lived with almost all his life inexplicably took on an unfamiliar and irregular aspect that he had never seen before and which made them totally strange： jamais vu. And there were other moments when he almost saw absolute truth in brilliant flashes of clarity that almost came to him： presque vu. The episode of the naked man in the tree at Snowden's funeral mystified him thoroughly. It was not dé；jà； vu， for at the time he had experienced no sensation of ever having seen a naked man in a tree at Snowden's funeral before. It was not jamais vu， since the apparition was not of someone， or something， familiar appearing to him in an unfamiliar guise. And it was certainly not presque vu， for the chaplain did see him.
A jeep started up with a backfire directly outside and roared away. Had the naked man in the tree at Snowden's funeral been merely a hallucination？ Or had it been a true revelation？ The chaplain trembled at the mere idea. He wanted desperately to confide in Yossarian， but each time he thought about the occurrence he decided not to think about it any further， although now that he did think about it he could not be sure that he ever really had thought about it.
Corporal Whitcomb sauntered back in wearing a shiny new smirk and leaned his elbow impertinently against the center pole of the chaplain's tent.
'Do you know who that guy in the red bathrobe was？' he asked boastfully. 'That was a C.I.D. man with a fractured nose. He came down here from the hospital on official business. He's conducting an investigation.' The chaplain raised his eyes quickly in obsequious commiseration. 'I hope you're not in any trouble. Is there anything I can do？'
'No， I'm not in any trouble，' Corporal Whitcomb replied with a grin. 'You are. They're going to crack down on you for signing Washington Irving's name to all those letters you've been signing Washington Irving's name to. How do you like that？'
'I haven't been signing Washington Irving's name to any letters，' said the chaplain.
'You don't have to lie to me，' Corporal Whitcomb answered. 'I'm not the one you have to convince.'
'But I'm not lying.'
'I don't care whether you're lying or not. They're going to get you for intercepting Major Major's correspondence， too. A lot of that stuff is classified information.'
'What correspondence？' asked the chaplain plaintively in rising exasperation. 'I've never even seen any of Major Major's correspondence.'
'You don't have to lie to me，' Corporal Whitcomb replied. 'I'm not the one you have to convince.'
'But I'm not lying！' protested the chaplain.
'I don't see why you have to shout at me，' Corporal Whitcomb retorted with an injured look. He came away from the center pole and shook his finger at the chaplain for emphasis. 'I just did you the biggest favor anybody ever did you in your whole life， and you don't even realize it. Every time he tries to report you to his superiors， somebody up at the hospital censors out the details. He's been going batty for weeks trying to turn you in. I just put a censor's okay on his letter without even reading it. That will make a very good impression for you up at C.I.D. headquarters. It will let them know that we're not the least bit afraid to have the whole truth about you come out.' The chaplain was reeling with confusion. 'But you aren't authorized to censor letters， are you？'
'Of course not，' Corporal Whitcomb answered. 'Only officers are ever authorized to do that. I censored it in your name.'
'But I'm not authorized to censor letters either. Am I？'
'I took care of that for you， too，' Corporal Whitcomb assured him. 'I signed somebody else's name for you.'
'Isn't that forgery？'
'Oh， don't worry about that either. The only one who might complain in a case of forgery is the person whose name you forged， and I looked out for your interests by picking a dead man. I used Washington Irving's name.' Corporal Whitcomb scrutinized the chaplain's face closely for some sign of rebellion and then breezed ahead confidently with concealed irony. 'That was pretty quick thinking on my part， wasn't it？'
'I don't know，' the chaplain wailed softly in a quavering voice， squinting with grotesque contortions of anguish and incomprehension. 'I don't think I understand all you've been telling me. How will it make a good impression for me if you signed Washington Irving's name instead of my own？'
'Because they're convinced that you are Washington Irving. Don't you see？ They'll know it was you.'
'But isn't that the very belief we want to dispel？ Won't this help them prove it？'
'If I thought you were going to be so stuffy about it， I wouldn't even have tried to help，' Corporal Whitcomb declared indignantly， and walked out. A second later he walked back in. 'I just did you the biggest favor anybody ever did you in your whole life and you don't even know it. You don't know how to show your appreciation. That's another one of the things that's wrong with you.'
'I'm sorry，' the chaplain apologized contritely. 'I really am sorry. It's just that I'm so completely stunned by all you're telling me that I don't even realize what I'm saying. I'm really very grateful to you.'
'Then how about letting me send out those form letters？' Corporal Whitcomb demanded immediately. 'Can I begin working on the first drafts？' The chaplain's jaw dropped in astonishment. 'No， no，' he groaned. 'Not now.' Corporal Whitcomb was incensed. 'I'm the best friend you've got and you don't even know it，' he asserted belligerently， and walked out of the chaplain's tent. He walked back in. 'I'm on your side and you don't even realize it. Don't you know what serious trouble you're in？ That C.I.D. man has gone rushing back to the hospital to write a brand-new report on you about that tomato.'
'What tomato？' the chaplain asked， blinking.
'The plum tomato you were hiding in your hand when you first showed up here. There it is. The tomato you're still holding in your hand right this very minute！' The captain unclenched his fingers with surprise and saw that he was still holding the plum tomato he had obtained in Colonel Cathcart's office. He set it down quickly on the bridge table. 'I got this tomato from Colonel Cathcart，' he said， and was struck by how ludicrous his explanation sounded. 'He insisted I take it.'
'You don't have to lie to me，' Corporal Whitcomb answered. 'I don't care whether you stole it from him or not.'
'Stole it？' the chaplain exclaimed with amazement. 'Why should I want to steal a plum tomato？'
'That's exactly what had us both stumped，' said Corporal Whitcomb. 'And then the C.I.D. man figured out you might have some important secret papers hidden away inside it.' The chaplain sagged limply beneath the mountainous weight of his despair. 'I don't have any important secret papers hidden away inside it，' he stated simply. 'I didn't even want it to begin with. Here， you can have it and see for yourself.'
'I don't want it.'
'Please take it away，' the chaplain pleaded in a voice that was barely audible. 'I want to be rid of it.'
'I don't want it，' Corporal Whitcomb snapped again， and stalked out with an angry face， suppressing a smile of great jubilation at having forged a powerful new alliance with the C.I.D. man and at having succeeded again in convincing the chaplain that he was really displeased.
Poor Whitcomb， sighed the chaplain， and blamed himself for his assistant's malaise. He sat mutely in a ponderous， stultifying melancholy， waiting expectantly for Corporal Whitcomb to walk back in. He was disappointed as he heard the peremptory crunch of Corporal Whitcomb's footsteps recede into silence. There was nothing he wanted to do next. He decided to pass up lunch for a Milky Way and a Baby Ruth from his foot locker and a few swallows of luke-warm water from his canteen. He felt himself surrounded by dense， overwhelming fogs of possibilities in which he could perceive no glimmer of light. He dreaded what Colonel Cathcart would think when the news that he was suspected of being Washington Irving was brought to him， then fell to fretting over what Colonel Cathcart was already thinking about him for even having broached the subject of sixty missions. There was so much unhappiness in the world， he reflected， bowing his head dismally beneath the tragic thought， and there was nothing he could do about anybody's， least of all his own.