"Religion?" droned the sergeant. That man, I tell you, was a credit to
Army training. He still hadn't looked up.
uncoiled another notch and warm, suppressed joy oozed onto his face. It was a
look brimming with the anticipation of intense pleasure, the kind he got when
he slyly pushed a pawn and threatened mate in four.
"Sergeant," Hugo said softly. "I really don't know what you mean by
looked up. "I mean, buddy," he said, "what's your religion? What
church do you go to? What God do you believe in?"
Hugo pondered the
word. "God?...God?... By any chance, sergeant, do you mean do I believe in
a supernatural being? Is that what you mean, sergeant?"
peered up at this altogether new specimen, then turned pleadingly to Jimmy
Fukuzaki and me. "Look, Mr. Fukuzaki," he simpered, "is this guy
kidding me or something? If he's really an atheist I can put down "no
preference' for religion."
sergeant," Hugo interposed gloomily, "that in the context you propose
for them, the words 'no preference' would be meaningless. And I mean by that,
sergeant, that the words would be literally without meaning. And, sergeant, I'm
not an atheist. I'm an agnostic. The difference, you see...."
Hugo," I said frantically. "Not now. Please, Hugo," I implored,
"just give him a religion."
for your sake. But I do object to the principle." Then, turning to the
sergeant, Hugo blurted, "Buddhist! Two d's and one h."
type?" droned the sergeant.