As we reported earlier this week, after a long review of the facts to weed out any potential bias or untruth, we are finally reporting on the incident much discussed already, the death and apparent resurrection of the St. Athanasius John Wayne figure. 

Long-held as a symbol of manly virtues, an example of holiness, and a figure to lead them in battle, the cardboard cut-out had a long and storied history in the hallway of the dorm in which it has resided since the founding of Wyoming Catholic College. Small skirmishes saw it kidnapped several times over the course of the school’s history, but somehow, providence always brought it back home.

Last month seemed like the end of this streak in a highly complex and much-discussed situation. A member of St. Johns, just across the street from the fort of manliness that is Athanasius, confirmed to be known as a “Hatley”, entered Athanasius under false pretenses, under cover of darkness, and with no trace of any true courage, purpose, honor, or any noble command from his dorm, removed the John Wayne poster.

“Hatley was looking for publicity,” Athanasians told IIT, something they obviously don’t want to give him, but was still fearful of the righteous anger Athanasius, appointed as the dorm is to be the keepers of the poster. Reacting and investigating, searching every nook and cranny, every area of Lander for the poster but respecting the Church property at the same time, Athansians looked in vain. John Wayne was gone, a violence had been committed against all that is good, true, and beautiful, and the order of the college permanently destroyed, as someone seemed to be getting away with their treachery, against an idol particularly, but more broadly against all men.

And things were to get worse, it seemed, before they had a chance of getting better. For a week after the disappearance was first noted, Anslam was studying in the Church grounds, within the Holy Rosary classroom building, with a freshman. Hearing voices in the hallway, he looked up to the window of the classroom he was in, and saw in horror, the head of the poster held in front of it. Instantly jumping to his feet, he ran up and apprehended the boy holding it up, “retrieving the head”, but for all appearances John Wayne was dead, the body lying cold on a couch around the corner.

Although not from Athansius, Anslam obviously wanted to investigate and bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice. The children had destroyed it, but the negligence, of course, was Hatley’s, who had hidden the poster right where they were accustomed to play. Athansians came at once to retrieve the body and offer reparation and prayer against such a horrendous crime as the dorm sought justice. Abe officiated, and as the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrated, Hatley was responsible by means of negligence for the image’s untimely end, but his actions, undertaken cowardly under cover of darkness, with the assistance of others, and under false pretenses for being Athanasius were deemed to “have no shred of glory or honor”. 

The punishment was reduced and merciful, a strike against a dishonorable offender to honor, but the affair was far from over. For weeks later, after the trial, after Hatley the penance paid after the excitement and confusion had died down, John Wayne spoke to his people, through a prophet, junior Ryan Anderson, explaining what was really at stake.

“I let my image be taken,” Wayne said through Ryan. “Manliness seemed to be wanting and needed to be tested as iron in a furnace. For while I am present in my image, it is truly in your hearts where I wish to dwell. It was not Hatley alone who was at fault for even before I was taken, there was a traitor in your midst, a colluder with a foreign power, a leader who threatened manly virtue and allowed this travesty to happen. The destruction of my image showed the weakness he brings to your honor, a weakness you must end.”

Students, Athanaisians especially are still trying to determine what this means, with a team of sophomores investigating for them who in Athanasius could have such foreign ties, to, as Wayne indicated, somehow be a deadly threat to manly virtue as to let John Wayne be taken. But regardless of the who, the point is obvious, John Wayne was trying to teach Athanasius a lesson to save and redeem it from a pervasive enemy within.

As of Friday the 31st, the investigation is nearly complete, and according to IIT sources, promises a real surprise with the report’s release sometime next week.

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