Chapter 13 - Major -------- de Coverly
This chapter gives the reader some background on the mysterious Major -------- de Coverly. He is a large, foreboding, intimidating man, with terrifying white hair. He is universally respected, universally feared, and very little is known about him by anyone. His responsibilities seem to include playing horseshoes, kidnapping Italian laborers, and flying to newly-liberated cities to rent apartments for the men's use during leave. Without variation, as soon as American forces would close in on an Italian city, Major -------- de Coverly would commandeer a plane, fly there, and rent the apartments, seemingly impervious to the massive violence exploding around him.
His identity baffles both German intelligence, who believe him to be spearheading the invasions of these cities, and American intelligence, who can't figure out who he is. The apartments he procures are always of the best quality, filled with maids and servants and young girls willing sleep with the airmen. Yossarian's favorite in Rome had always been an older, less attractive woman, whom he loved because she was the only woman he could sleep with and not fall in love with. (Yet another Catch-22).
In a bizarre encounter during a game of horseshoes, Milo Minderbinder (the cook), convinces Major -------- de Coverly to allow him to fly to Malta to purchase fresh eggs. These fresh eggs, often fried in fresh butter, become the talk of the base, and soon the other units are hiring Milo to fly to Malta to purchase them eggs. The bizarre twist is that the eggs cost 7 cents each in Malta, but Milo charges the other squadrons 5 cents.
Colonel Cathcart is elated by the improved food, and decides to celebrate it by promoting Major Major Major Major to Colonel. His request is denied by the postal clerk (ex-PFC Wintergreen), who insists that having a Major Major Major Major is too good to give up. Cathcart becomes angry enough to demote Major Major Major Major, but that too, for obvious reasons, proves impossible.
Cathcart is baffled by his failure, especially since he had no problem promoting Yossarian. That incident had happened earlier, when Yossarian refused to drop his bombs on the first target run, instead flying over a second time, and destroying the target. Although the mission was accomplished, it was very irregular to go for a second run. Yossarian defended himself only by saying that he would have missed the first time, so he waited for the second. At a loss for what to do, Cathcart and Korn had decided simply to promote him and pretend he had done something heroic.
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Chapter 11 and 12
Chapter 14, 15, and 16
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 26 and 27
Chapter 28 and 29
Chapter 30 and 31
Chapter 32 and 33
Chapter 35 and 36
Chapter 37 and 38
Chapter 40 and 41