Chapter 9 – Part 3

Toward the end of second seating I saw him and the other man climb the steps to the mess hall. They had stayed for the movie and when I came back to claim a seat Halftrack greeted me.

“Specialist Allen, how’s your radar repair coming? I saw you have it all torn down in the warehouse. God, what a mess. How will you ever get all those pieces back in the right place?”

“I wondered that at first too. But is turns out I have good help. What are you doing here?”

“Oh, I’m on an errand.”

“Another one? Seems like you could run a freight service.”

“That’s not too far off.”

“I thought you guys were buying and selling stuff.”

“That’s DB and Virgil’s game. Not mine and that was their last shipment. There’s too much of it. They don’t have that kind of money. Neither do I. This is a program that takes bankers.”

“What about Thieu’s colonel?”

“No. Those guys have their own game going. We can’t be involved in that shit at all. It would be way too hot. But they might find some suckers to ship stuff to the states for them, like some greedy sergeant major going home on rotation.”

“Or some naive enlisted man on a TDY?”

“For Instance. Let me tell you, if you hadn’t smelled a rat on that deal, there would be big trouble. There might still be.”

“Like what?“

“Like if they figure out Daddy Warbucks’ daughter knows about any of their schemes.”

“Daddy Warbucks?”

“You know, the Aristotle Onassis of Viet Nam. We’d best not use real names here.”


“That’s all we should say for now. I’m going to hang around for a few days till some Australians show up so we’ll have plenty of time to talk. How ‘bout you, when do you leave?”

“Depends on when I get my spare parts. After the girls get the waveguides cleaned and put back together I’m just hanging around waiting for parts.”

The projectionist blinked the lights and the room gradually fell silent. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 flashed on the screen. Then the Screen Gems logo. Tonight’s much anticipated movie was on. Sanatra and Welch! Oh boy. What a treat. It didn’t really matter which movie it was. The head cook set up one of the big, stand-up room fans by the door to suck the smoke out. No cigars was the rule unless you sat by the door. This promised to be a real smoker.

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