Chapter 22 - Milo the Mayor
The mission to Avignon shortly thereafter was the one on which Yossarian lost his nerve. Dobbs had gone crazy at the controls, and the copilot Huple was only fifteen, and the plane had careened into a steep dive down back into the flack from which they had just escaped. Snowden, the radio-gunner, had been hit in the gut by a shell, and had slowly bled to death as they made for home. Inexplicably, Dobbs remained on active duty after the incident.
When Colonel Cathcart raises the number of missions to sixty, Dobbs enters Yossarian's tent asking if he wants to collaborate in a plot to kill the Colonel. Dobbs has the entire scheme worked out, but doesn't want to do it alone. Although he doesn't need Yossarian's physical assistance, he won't do it without the bombardier's agreement. Yossarian knows that Colonel Cathcart is trying to kill him every day, but still can't bring himself to give Dobbs the go-ahead. Yossarian is in a moral quandary: if Dobbs had just gone ahead and done it, Yossarian would have been glad; but being asked has put too much responsibility on him.
Yossarian remarks to himself that Dobbs is as crazy as Hungry Joe, or Orr, who gets hit be anti-aircraft fire on every mission, but somehow survives. He then remembers the bizarre rest leave when Yossarian, Orr, and Milo took off for Cairo for eggs.
This anecdote is one of the strangest in the book. It details Milo Minderbinder's construction of a "syndicate" through which he buys and sells goods, mostly foodstuffs, around the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. In every city they visit, Milo seems inexplicably to hold a high position in government: he is Mayor of Palermo, Assistant Governor-General of Malta, Vice-Shah of Oran, Caliph of Baghdad, Imam of Damascus, and Sheik of Araby.
In a long explanation to Yossarian, Milo details how is able to buy eggs at seven cents apiece and sell them at five cents apiece, yet still make a profit. The explanation is so complicated that it does not bear repetition here. The effect is that Milo seems to be a master capitalist who always makes a profit for the "syndicate" in which, he constantly reminds Yossarian, everyone gets a share. Throughout their journeys, Milo invariably stays in a sumptuous hotel room, while his two companions are forced to sleep on the street, in the plane, or in a brothel.
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Chapter 11 and 12
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