Cat’s CradleKurt VonnegutContents

25. The Main Thing About Dr. Hoenikker

So much, for now, for the wampeter of my karass.

After my unpleasant interview with Dr. Breed in the Research Laboratory of the General Forge and Foundry Company, I was put into the hands of Miss Faust. Her orders were to show me to the door. I prevailed upon her, however, to show me the laboratory of the late Dr Hoenikker first.

En route, I asked her how well she had known Dr. Hoenikker. She gave me a frank and interesting reply, and a piquant smile to go with it.

“I don’t think he was knowable. I mean, when most people talk about knowing somebody a lot or a little, they’re talking about secrets they’ve been told or haven’t been told. They’re talking about intimate things, family things, love things,” that nice old lady said to me. “Dr. Hoenikker had all those things in his life, the way every living person has to, but they weren’t the main things with him.”

“What were the main things?” I asked her.

“Dr. Breed keeps telling me the main thing with Dr. Hoenikker was truth.”

“You don’t seem to agree.”

“I don’t know whether I agree or not. I just have trouble understanding how truth, all by itself, could be enough for a person.”

Miss Faust was ripe for Bokononism.

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