Cat’s CradleKurt VonnegutContents

70. Tutored by Bokonon

“You, I take it,” I said to the mosaicist, “are Philip Castle, son of Julian Castle.”

“That happiness is mine.”

“I’m here to see your father.”

“Are you an aspirin salesman?”


“Too bad. Father’s low on aspirin. How about miracle drugs? Father enjoys pulling off a miracle now and then.”

“I’m not a drug salesman. I’m a writer.”

“What makes you think a writer isn’t a drug salesman?”

“I’ll accept that. Guilty as charged.”

“Father needs some kind of book to read to people who are dying or in terrible pain. I don’t suppose you’ve written anything like that.”

“Not yet.”

“I think there’d be money in it. There’s another valuable tip for you.”

“I suppose I could overhaul the ‘Twenty-third Psalm,’ switch it around a little so nobody would realize it wasn’t original with me.”

“Bokonon tried to overhaul it,” he told me. “Bokonon found out he couldn’t change a word.”

“You know him, too?”

“That happiness is mine. He was my tutor when I was a little boy.” He gestured sentimentally at the mosaic. “He was Mona’s tutor, too.”

“Was he a good teacher?”

“Mona and I can both read and write and do simple sums,” said Castle, “if that’s what you mean.”

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