Cat’s CradleKurt VonnegutContents

29. Gone, but Not Forgotten

There was one more thing I wanted to do in Ilium. I wanted to get a photograph of the old man’s tomb. So I went back to my room, found Sandra gone, picked up my camera, hired a cab.

Sleet was still coming down, acid and gray. I thought the old man’s tombstone in all that sleet might photograph pretty well, might even make a good picture for the jacket of The Day the World Ended.

The custodian at the cemetery gate told me how to find the Hoenikker burial plot. “Can’t miss it,” he said. “It’s got the biggest marker in the place.”

He did not lie. The marker was an alabaster phallus twenty feet high and three feet thick. It was plastered with sleet.

“By God,” I exclaimed, getting out of the cab with my camera, “how’s that for a suitable memorial to a father of the atom bomb?” I laughed.

I asked the driver if he’d mind standing by the monument in order to give some idea of scale. And then I asked him to wipe away some of the sleet so the name of the deceased would show.

He did so.

And there on the shaft in letters six inches high, so help me God, was the word:


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