Cat’s Cradle — Kurt Vonnegut — Contents
And then Angela Hoenikker Conners, Newt’s beanpole sister, came in with Julian Castle, father of Philip, and founder of the House of Hope and Mercy in the Jungle. Castle wore a baggy white linen suit and a string tie. He had a scraggly mustache. He was bald. He was scrawny. He was a saint, I think.
He introduced himself to Newt and to me on the cantilevered terrace. He forestalled all references to his possible saintliness by talking out of the corner of his mouth like a movie gangster.
“I understand you are a follower of Albert Schweitzer,” I said to him.
“At a distance . . .” He gave a criminal sneer. “I’ve never met the gentleman.”
“He must surely know of your work, just as you know of his.”
“Maybe and maybe not. You ever see him?”
“You ever expect to see him?”
“Someday maybe I will.”
“Well,” said Julian Castle, “in case you run across Dr. Schweitzer in your travels, you might tell him that he is not my hero.” He lit a big cigar.
When the cigar was going good and hot he pointed its red end at me. “You can tell him he isn’t my hero,” he said, “but you can also tell him that, thanks to him, Jesus Christ is.”
“I think he’ll be glad to hear it.”
“I don’t give a damn if he is or not. This is something between Jesus and me.”