Private ate pomegranates because he had heard a story in Latin class in 5th grade involving one.
"She ate four seeds and only stayed in Hell four days." Private, who was only ever called Private, explained.
"Four months." Private Stern corrected.
"Four months." Private corrected. Yossarin listened because Private and Private Stern had no accents and no visible difference to set them apart from each other. They could be the same person but for Private's stupidity and Private Stern's love of correcting Private. Dunbar listened because they were boring.
"Why four?" asked Yossarin. Dunbar watched his milk jug. He was waiting for it to turn into cheese.
"She ate four seeds." Said Private triumphantly. He took another bite of his fruit.
"Gimme a seed!" Yelled Dunbar. Private spat a seed at him and Dunbar pushed it into the ground next to his milk jug.
"Tell them I can't do missions, I'm watching a race." Yossarin grunted and kicked over the milk jug, sitting in the puddle he looked at Private.
"Tell them we can't fly because he is watching a race and I have milk on my pants."
"The girl ate the seeds in Hell, you know." Replied Private.
"It was called Hades." Corrected Private Stern.
"The girl ate the seeds in Hades, you know," Corrected Private, "If I eat seeds out of Hell then I will live forever." The men hesitated to say anything. They watched Private chew the red pulp and swallow it.
"What happens if you are wrong?" asked Private Stern. Private began to cry.
"I'll die. I'll die and go to Hell." His tears mixed with the juice on his face. Private Stern ignored him.
"I haven't got a plan." He said forlornly.
"I don't think I do either." Yossarin said. Dunbar yawned.
"You are going to sit in milk so they don't take you away." Dunbar mumbled.
"I have a plan." Yossarin corrected.
"Is it a good plan?" Asked Private through the pulp.
"Is it?" Asked Yossarin. Dunbar and Private Stern looked around. Dunbar shrugged.
"No one has taken you away yet." He said.
"No one at all!" Cheered Yossarin and in celebration he grabbed the pomegranate and threw it into the sea.