Chapter 9 – Part 3

At chow Halftrack sat down at my table and asked, “When was it Suel wanted you back? Shackley said you had a time limit of some sort.”

“Suel said if it was going to take more than two weeks be sure to let him know. That gives me two more days. I talked to him yesterday and said I’d be on time.”

“I donno for sure yet but you might have to call him and beg another day.”

“I’ve got to be back before Friday. We’re having a graduation ceremony for the radar repair students Friday. Major Toms and some ARVN bigwigs will be there. Phil’s having diplomas printed and everything.”

“Unh. I was going to see if you could be courier for a shipment going to Saigon. You could just pile it among all your test equipment. Wouldn’t look out of place at all.”

“Why is it important that it not look out of place? I mean a Samsonite suitcase among a bunch of military travel cases is going to stick out like a sore thumb.”

“Well, the technician’s gotta have some clothes.”
“I don’t have clothes. I been wearing the same thing for almost two weeks.”

“Smells like it too. There is a post laundry, you know.”

“What’ll I wear while they’re in the laundry?”

“You’re about my size you can wear my pants and a clean tee shirt. You can’t show up back in Saigon looking and smelling like garbage.”

“The whole fucking country smells like rotting garbage, who’d know the difference.”

“The air crew for one. Who’s picking you up at Tan San Nuit. They’ll know.””

“OK, I’ll take you up on it but I still don’t like the suitcase thing. What’s in it? And where is it?”

“Do I have to spell out everything for you? It’s DB’s suitcase. Compère vous.

“Supposedly it’s on its way from Bangkok. That’s why I wondered if you could wait a day to leave. Who did you say is picking you up?”

“Sgt. Pigeon, I think. The Col. usually dispatches him to look after me.”

“Does he know DB?”

“I don’t think so.”

“In that case DB can pick up his own suitcase. Do you know what the movie is for Wednesday?”

“Speedway. Supposed to have Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra.”

“Hard to beat last week with her old man and Raquel but better than hanging out in the hooch, right?”

“Yeah, I’m on. Nancy’s cute.”

The next morning I got the forklift to carry the transmitter cabinet back to the radar site. The operator deftly set the unit on it’s mounts while I put the bolts in and tightened them. “Thanks, Duffy ya done good. Now lets see if it works.”

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