Saturday, February 10, 2007

Wouk and Hillerman

A reader of this blog sends these references to “Barzun” in fiction:

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, page 293, Captain Queeg speaking to his executive officer:

“Tell you a little story, Steve. Dates back quite a ways to peacetime. Had a little mystery like this aboard a destroyer, the Barzun, back in ’37, when I was a lowly ensign, in charge of general mess. Matter of a discrepancy of five pounds of cheese in the cook’s accounts. …”

The Fly on the Wall by Tony Hillerman, pages 231–232, reporter/narrator John Cotton reminiscing:

He drank margueritas — tequila cut with lime juice and served with the glass rimmed with salt. Drank and remembered. Frank’s Lounge in Santa Fe, when he was young, and the Sunday edition had gone to press, with Mygatt, Peterman and Peterson, Hackler and Bailey and Alding, celebrating the end of another week, and the sweatshirt crowd jamming the bar, checking their parlay card point spreads against the sport-page results. And the bar on top of the San Antonito in Ciudad Juárez, cool in the Mexican heat, when he’d been exhausted and exultant, with Rick Barzun, celebrating blanking AP on the finish of the Pan-American Road Race. How many was it? Eleven dead and eighteen hospitalized. A Porsche it had been. Not one of the Porsche team but an Argentine driver, skidding into the crowd on that fast final run from Chihuahua to the Juárez airport. And the luck of finding the Mexican colonel who had handled the army ambulances, and of having the radio-telephone link open to the Dallas UPI bureau. He remembered every detail. But where was Barzun now? Where were they all? Scattered and lost. . . .