Sky Masterson, for of course it was he, decided it would be best if he took the initiative. He told the General that he believed in what "Sergeant Sarah and her Mission" were doing, and that he believed we were "making a great deal of difference". He neglected to mention his history in gambling, however. Somehow, this seemed to entice the General a bit. She listened to every word as Mr. Masterson suggested she herself come to our midnight prayer meeting. He handed me a piece of paper behind her back as she thought about her answer. It read:
One dozen, genuine sinners.
Of course, it was his "marker", referring to his previous offer of providing twelve sinners for our prayer meeting, if I had dinner with him. In Havana. Cuba. At that moment, I was overcome with a surge of emotion. I don't know what it was. Perhaps hope at saving the mission.
Anyway, before the General answered, I blurted, "General, I personally guarantee you one dozen, genuine sinners." I think I must be insane. However, she agreed to keep the Mission open until the meeting, and she also said she would come. This has put quite a lot of pressure on us to make the meeting worth while, but I can't concentrate on that now. The plane leaves at one thirty p.m. tomorrow afternoon!
I still can't believe I agreed to go to dinner in Cuba with a known gambler. The whole situation seems like a crazy, made-up story! I suppose it is for the good of the Mission, but my head is still reeling. I think I might actually be excited about leaving New York for the first time. In any case, I'm going, and it's too late to turn back now!
See you in Cuba,