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Free Study Guide-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller-Free Online Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER 13: MAJOR DE COVERLEY

Summary

Each time a German-held city falls to the Allies, Major de Coverley would have himself flown there. Within a day or two he would have finished renting some apartments for officers and enlisted men. These apartments are suitably furnished and staffed with "jolly cooks and maids." The apartments doubled as dens of pleasure.

In one of these buildings, Yossarian meets the maid with the lime-colored panties. In Rome, while leading a triumphal procession, de Coverley is injured by a flower thrown at him.

De Coverley sanctions a separate plane for Milo to bring fresh eggs from Malta. The major also appoints Milo as mess officer. Milo brings back all kinds of exotic and extravagant food.

Yossarian is questioned why he had led a second bombing run over Ferrora, in which Kraft had been killed. He replies that he had missed the target the first time. Cathcart does not care that he has lost an airplane and some men. He is only worried that Yossarian’s actions will make the report on the matter look "lousy." Colonel Korn suggests that Yossarian be decorated with a medal for bravery so that people will not raise questions. Yossarian is given a medal and elevated to the rank of Captain.


Notes

Major de Coverley, like Minderbinder, is enterprising. His majestic presence only serves to hide the fact that he is a coward, a dandified soldier whose only war-time injury came about because he was hurt in the eye by a flower thrown at a Victory parade.

Yossarian’s sordid physical affairs continue with the maid in lime-colored panties.

Meanwhile, Milo begins his mercenary ways with the blessings of de Coverley. The time sequence is distorted. We have Milo being made mess officer, while in an earlier chapter he was already described as the mess officer.

Cathcart is more concerned with how he will prepare the report on the Ferrara mission than the fact that his men have died. Though Yossarian deserves a medal for having bombed the bridge, his superior officers make it appear as though he has been given the medal by default. Yossarian feels guilty for the death of Kraft.

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