Dojo Darelir, the School of Xenograg the Sorcerer

The “Johns Quarter”

[Glover] Johns…showed marksmanship for what it ought to be. This full colonel would stroll along the [rifle] range for a while giving encouragement and instruction, then stop by a soldier.

“You got a quarter, son?” he’d ask.

“Yes, sir.”

“Give me your rifle there.” The trooper would hand over his weapon. After taking a good hard look at it, Johns would turn to the kid. “Now you just throw that quarter up in the air. High as you like.”

The trooper would toss up the coin, and before he had a chance to blink, Johns would put a bullet—sometimes two—right through the middle of it. He’d hand back the kid’s rifle as the quarter ricocheted to the ground, and continue down the firing line until he got the urge to display his prowess once again.

The “Johns Quarter,” as it was called, was a sought-after prize. More than that, though, was the pleasure of watching him “produce” one. The troops loved it. Johns was a showman in the truest sense of the word (and he was also the first to admit it)—for him it was a basic principle of leadership.

About Face, Chapter 12