Cat’s Cradle — Kurt Vonnegut — Contents
They took me to what was left of Franklin Hoenikker’s house at the head of the waterfall. What remained was the cave under the waterfall, which had become a sort of igloo under a translucent, blue-white dome of ice-nine.
The ménage consisted of Frank, little Newt, and the Crosbys. They had survived in a dungeon in the palace, one far shallower and more unpleasant than the oubliette. They had moved out the moment the winds had abated, while Mona and I had stayed underground for another three days.
As it happened, they had found the miraculous taxicab waiting for them under the arch of the palace gate. They had found a can of white paint, and on the front doors of the cab Frank had painted white stars, and on the roof he had painted the letters of a granfalloon: U.S.A.
“And you left the paint under the arch,” I said.
“How did you know?” asked Crosby.
“Somebody else came along and wrote a poem.”
I did not inquire at once as to how Angela Hoenikker Conners and Philip and Julian Castle had met their ends, for I would have had to speak at once about Mona. I wasn’t ready to do that yet.
I particularly didn’t want to discuss the death of Mona since, as we rode along in the taxi, the Crosbys and little Newt seemed so inappropriately gay.
Hazel gave me a clue to the gaiety. “Wait until you see how we live. We’ve got all kinds of good things to eat. Whenever we want water, we just build a campfire and melt some. The Swiss Family Robinson—that’s what we call ourselves.”