Vol. 8 No. 2 1941 - page 151

should there still be a few uncertainties in your mind, the sight of the
execution will do· away with them. And now I make this plea to you:
help me with the commander!"
The explorer did not allow him to continue. "But how could I do
that?" he cried. "That's quite impossible. I am as powerless to help you
as to hinder you.''
"You certainly can," said the officer. The explorer noticed somewhat
anxiously that the officer's fists were clenched. "You certainly can," he
repeated, still more insistently. "I have a plan that must succeed. You
believe your influence is insufficient. I know it is sufficient. But allowing
that you're right, isn't it necessary then to try everything, even what may
possibly fail, in order to maintain this procedure? So listen to my plan.
In order to carry it out, it is above all necessary for you to be as reticent
as possible concerning your judgement of this procedure in the colony
today. Unless someone questions you directly, you must by no means say
anything; your utterances should be brief and vague; people should notice
that it becomes increasingly difficult for you to talk about it, that you are
acrimonious, that you practically have to burst into invective, were you to
talk openly. I don't ask you to lie, in any sense; you should give only the
briefest answers, such as: 'Yes, Pve seen the execution,' or, 'Yes, I've heard
all the explanations.' Only that, no more. Of course there is sufficient
cause for the acrimony people should notice in you, even though it does
not correspond to the commander's viewpoint. Of course he will misun–
derstand completely and give it his own interpretation. That is the basis
of my plan. Tomorrow an important meeting of all the higher adminis·
trative officers will take place under the chairmanship of the commander
at headquarters. The commander naturally knows how to make a spectacle
out of these sessions. A gallery has been built which is always occupied
by spectators. I am obliged to attend these consultations, but I am loath
to do so. In any case, you will certainly be invited to this meeting; if you
will follow my plan today, the invitation will become an urgent request.
Should you not be invited, however, for some undiscoverable reason, you
must ask for an invitation; you will get it then without any doubt. So
tomorrow you're seated with the ladies in the commander's box. He reas–
sures himself frequently, by looking upward, that you are there. After
disposing of diverse indifferent and ludicrous subjects, calculated solely
to interest the spectators,-mostly about port constructions, eternally about
port constructions-the court procedure also comes up for discussion.
this point should not occur to the commander, or rather not early enough,
I'll see to it that it does. I'll stand up and make a report of today's execu–
tion. Quite brief, only a report. Such a report is not customary, but I
tnake it nevertheless. The commander thanks me, as always, with a friendly
smile; and then he cannot restrain himself, he sees his chance: 'A report
of today's execution has just been made,' he will say, or something similar
to this. 'I'd only like to add to this «port that this particular execution
was attended by the great scholar,
vif?it-im exceptional honor
80...,141,142,143,144,145,146,147,148,149,150 152,153,154,155,156,157,158,159,160
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