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The Library of Babel

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Evelyn Waugh - Put Out More Flags

Put Out More Flags (Penguin Modern Classics) - Evelyn Waugh

Per Mare, Per Terram

Memorandum for:
Flow Bookshop, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

Recommendation for Special Duty

1. I am privileged to write in support of one of our members, CAPT Evelyn Waugh. CAPT Waugh was assigned to our naval base in Chatham and has soon been involved in a daily training routine that left him with - quoting CPL. Chubb - 'so stiff a spine that he found it painful even to pick up a pen'.
During the time CAPT Waugh has spent here in Chatham, I have witnessed his tremendous growth and development among other Men at Arms. This development came not only in the area of literary works, but in maturity and character as well.

2. CAPT Waugh arrived here as an incipient writer eager to make his mark and certainly not expecting to make quick progress through the ranks. At first, he had difficulty adapting to regimental life meaning that he soon lost his command and became his battalion's Intelligence Officer. In his capacities of IO, CAPT Waugh finally saw action leading his men to withdraw from Dakar hampered by a Handful of Dust and misinformed by Black Mischief about the extent of the town's defences. But eventually he learned the valuable trait of humility and enjoyed the opportunity to learn from his older peers and supervisors.

3. CAPT Waugh was later required to assist in the evacuation of Crete. Even though he was shocked by the disorder, loss of discipline and - as he saw it - cowardice of the departing troops to the extent he called them Vile Bodies, CAPT Waugh proved to be an invaluable asset all through the most unfortunate Decline and Fall of a British outpost.

4. CAPT Waugh quickly learned to manage his time, work in group situations under strict deadlines and to recognize the importance of a strong work ethic, persistence, and integrity. He has become the most valuable and dependable member of our section and is a role model for newly assigned Officers and Gentlemen alike.

5. I recommend CAPT Waugh as the officer appointed to return the unabridged book entitled Put Out More Flags to you with absolute confidence. The aforementioned book has recently been found in Abingdon, UK after having last been seen in room 5090 of the Shangri-La's Mactan Island Resort, Cebu, Republic of the Philippines on 2nd January 2004. We have reasons to believe that the book was brought to the Philippines by a former employee of the CIA who leaked details of several top-secret US and British government mass surveillance programs to the press and travelling by the name of Basil Seal. It is my opinion that CAPT Waugh would be a trustful envoy to accomplish this mission and I highly recommend him.

Yours faithfully,
LTG Sir Alistair Digby-Vaine-Trumpington Esq, CBE