October 28, 1966
Cat Lo, South Viet Nam—There's a big investigation in progress here over the assassination of Lyndon.
The Secret Service and the FBI need not get upset. It wasn't the President.
It was a goat which had been adopted and affectionately dubbed Lyndon by Navy personnel here.
Cat Lo is a United States naval base near the South China Sea from which the Navy and Coast Guard are conducting operations Game Warden and Market Time. The dual activities include patrols of the rivers and coastline of Viet Nam in an effort to stop Viet Cong infiltration and the resupply of the Viet Cong with food and arms.
In every aspect, the investigation of Lyndon's disappearance is unconventional and fails to conform with proper tactics as prescribed by the United States Supreme Court.
It is reported that Lyndon wandered into the base about three months ago, and was instantly adopted as camp mascot by Chief Petty Officer Clarence (Duke) Ellington, 42, Miami, Okla. Ellington and one of his pals, Robert McDonald, 22, Riverside, Calif., a seaman, didn't ask the rest of the camp if they wanted a goat for a mascot. But, since there were three pet monkeys named Lady Bird, Sam, and Suzy already being pampered, Ellington and McDonald didn't see why anyone would object to having a goat named Lyndon. After all, it was a pretty good name.
No one did object...for a while. Then, Lyndon grew up, and, as he did so, members of the camp quickly got fed up. For a short time, the men put up with Lyndon's antics...chewed up boots, fatigues, underwear, and even a few mattresses and pillows.
Lyndon then developed a little trick which likely led to his undoing. Around each of the Quonset huts on the base, sandbags are stacked, nearly window high, to give protection in case of mortar attacks. Lyndon, true to a
goat's tendencies, loved to climb on the sandbags. That maneuver caused no problem. It was Lyndon's next move that caused the furor. From the sandbags, Lyndon would leap to the metal roofs of the Quonset huts.
Once on the corrugated roofs, to the disgust of the inhabitants, Lyndon would clank and thump, end-to-end of first one hut then another. Those asleep he awakened. Those just off duty and trying to get some sleep he kept awake and he aggravated and agitated all in between those states.
Lyndon did not discriminate. He treated the occupants of all the huts, officers and enlisted men, with his antics at all hours.
Ellington and another of Lyndon's keepers, Michael C. Youle, 19, Pekin, Ill., said their mascot dodged at least a truck load of shoes and managed to avoid a score of ambushes designed to do him in.
"He didn't make that much noise," Youle said in Lyndon's defense. Ellington and McDonald agreed, but their defense failed to overcome the designs of the protesters.
As the trio stated it, friendly forces lured Lyndon behind a shed and cut his throat.
Youle, Ellington and McDonald have eliminated themselves as suspects and look quizzically upon nearly all the other Americans in camp.
"An officer wouldn't do it," McDonald said. "It wouldn't be their style."
"One of the Vietnamese didn't do it," Youle said. "Because they would have taken the carcass to eat."
The trio's next investigative technique is going to lead to a lot of headaches.
Ellington, who pals around with several other chiefs stationed at Cat Lo, is going to get all of them drunk, maybe not all at once, but eventually, and as he gets the suspects in their cups, he plans to grill them about Lyndon's death.
Mick liked Ellington's idea, but spotted a potential flaw.
"You guys know how you are when you get drunk. I know how I am. I forget stuff. Suppose someone does tell us he got Lyndon, and when we sober up, we forget who told us they did it?" Mick asked.
"That's alright," Ellington said. "We just keep getting them drunk until we do remember," the chief said, bringing all his 24 years of Navy experience to bear.
Solution of the slaying of Lyndon may be only the first of several homicides to occur at Cat Lo. Lady Bird and Sam, two pet monkeys, are causing paper work to back up at the base.
Lady Bird keeps unscrewing the cap on the bottle of mimeograph machine fluid and spilling the contents. She also keeps the contents of every one's desk topsy-turvy.
Sam is living on the ragged edge. He was made an honorary electrician's mate the other day while he was helping an electrician work on one of the patrol boats which developed a circuit malfunction.
The electrician could not find the short after hours of tracing the circuits.
Sam clambered around the ship and began to gnaw on the wires. He found the short and got a jolt of electricity that sent him into the air about the heighth of the radar mast.
For that heroic action he was made an electrician's mate. Since then, Sam has chewed through wires in the officer's quarters and two other barracks, putting them into total darkness.
As Sam sat contentedly in the administration building, he gnawed the cord to the electric fan. One of the clerks said angrily, "Sam, you're either going to get demoted or electrocuted if you don't stop fooling around."
Sam dropped the cord after the harsh tones, and ran to Lady Bird's arms for comfort. Together, they managed to scoot a ream of paper off the desk to the floor.