Well, Frank Burns is back, but Colonel Potter is allowing me use of the VIP tent.
"Listen, Duncan. I'm sorry I behaved like a yahoo. You've nothing but help people since I've known you. It's just seeing a duel like that back in 17'-Whew! I used to have nightmares of you coming for my head! Not that anybody would really want the fool thing!"
"No apology is necessary, Sherman. What Immortals like myself do in pursuit of our prize should ideally not affect mortals. Invariably it does, but that does not diminish you. You saw something, and you thought the army should know."
"You think they'd really come after you? Maybe they'd just want to use you folk to help catch up on old times!"
"They'd use us, Colonel. But not in a way I'd like, I'm afraid. But you are a good and gracious man, with aught to apologize for, as I've said."
Another friendship I've struck up, Connor, is with BJ Hunnicutt. He thinks he bores me with his talk of family. But to me, his wee lass, Erin, seems the most beautiful thing in the world, as your adopted little one is for you. But to have your own, to achieve that OTHER kind of Immortality--well, you know, kinsman.
"And, here she is falling into the cake AFTER blowing out the candles-you know what, Duncan?"
"No, what is it BJ?"
"You are a good friend. Even Hawkeye, my very best friend, can't go through more than one shoebox worth of pictures before giving up. But you've humored me and sat through five. So, you got any of your own?"
"Who, me? Oh, no, not possible, I'm afraid. An old complaint."
"Well, pal, according to the nurses, Everything on You is where it should be! Sorry, small camp."
"So I've noticed. It seems I've left a mythic impression with your nursing staff."
"Well, with one of them, anyway. I've never seen Hot Lips Houlihan so loosened up."
"Hot Lips? BJ, yeve told me you're faithful to your wife, but you carry on with Margaret?"
"Whoa, time-out. Hot Lips was her nickname long before I got here, Duncan. And, as a rule, I don't stray."
"I'm sorry, BJ. I shouldna presume about ye. Its just sex flows as freely as death around this place!"
"Yeah, I've kinda noticed that, too. How serious are you and Margaret?"
"When I have my courage, Hunnicutt, I'll ask her the same, and let ye know."
I have more sympathy with Ben Pierce's unconcious dance around Margaret than I did. She is so beautiful, but is quick to build walls around herself, so that she will not be hurt. Before leaving for 3 days in Tokyo, she made some vague mention of my rank. I'll push down this barrier, Connor, but will she choose to replace it? If so, what then?
As I walked out from the Swamp and BJ, I noticed a commotion. A man named Max Klinger is forever seeking to leave this place by way of Section 8 - mentally unfit to serve. Usually, this manifests itself in tranvestism. Today, though.....
"I AM from Toledo! Toledo, Spain! I am not this Max Klinger, but rather Juan Ramirez, swordmaker to Charles V. I have been alive for---a really, really long time! I was drafted as Klinger, but have served in many wars-so's I don't have to serve in this one anymore! I am an IMMORAL! er-I mean an Immortal! I cannot be killed! C'mon, anybody wanna try? After all, only an immortal--or a crazy man--would ask such a thing!"
The man was dressed in a poor bullfighter's outfit, Connor. Except for the affront to your teacher, whose legend apparently reached Lebanon, it was a hilarious spectacle. It was a spectacle that Colonel Potter did not approve of, though.
"Hey, Duncan? Would you kibosh this Spaniard for me?"
I smiled at the old man, and came back, sword in hand.
"Juan Ramirez of Spain! I too was in disguise. I too am an Immortal! I am Duncan Macleod of the Clan Macleod! I have come to take your head in fair combat!"
Connor, I couldna believe I actually got to say all this in public. But Klinger, making his declaration by a single wooden post, was not swayed.
"I have no quarrel with you, Duncan Macleod! Besides, if I hurt ya, Major Houlihan would kill me."
Too late for poor Max. I was having fun, now.
"Immortals must fight til such time as there be only one! Have at ye!"
Merrily, I chased Klinger around the compound. When I sliced through the post he was standing near, he ran off.
"Colonel, get THIS guy a Section 8! He's CRAZY! GetthatswordawayFROMME! Yeaaah!"
Connor, there was much rejoicing.
As I finished a previous letter to you, though, my mission became somewhat more grim. I finally met Radar O'Reilly.
"Is it too late to drop off the mail, Corporal?"
"Just drop it off and leave, Sargeant!"
"Now that's a fine attitude, O'Reilly! What did I do to you?"
"You didn't do nothin', sir! You're just one of them."
"One of them what, Corporal?"
"One of those people makes my head all buzz! It's like when I know somethings gonna happen, only alls that happens is, I get a headache!"
"I'm sorry, Radar. I'll clear out."
"I'm sorry, too sir! Everybody likes ya, here. Specially the nurses! Only, they get kinda into it when they talk aboutcha! Makes me blush!"
Starting to walk out of Radar's office, I knew something. He wasn't an Immortal, but he would be. And if he could sense me, having not been awakened yet, that meant he was destined to be quite powerful even before his first head. Then, both of us felt it .
"Can't talk now, Sarge! Major Doctor Freedman is here!"
"How do you know that, Radar?"
"Oh, well, he makes me have that buzz, too. Only I can tell it's him. Each buzz is a little different. Some make you feel giddy, others make you sick. Gotta go!"
Unbelievable, Connor. The ability to differentiate between the sensation caused by the Presence Of Another would give this boy an advantage unheard of in the annals of the Game. I had to digest all this. Then in walked the one I had come to see.
"I am Doctor Sidney Freedman, also known as the Kaballa-Master of Prague. I forged the Great Golem, as Siddig-Ben-Moshe. Are you here for me? You better not be here for the boy!"
"I am Duncan Macleod of The Clan Macleod, kinsman to Connor, who fought to protect your people in Prague, alongside you. I am not here for anyone. Connor is plagued by dreams of a dead world, a red sky, and a crazy General."
"Duncan, this is the MASH 4077th. We got all those in abundance, here!"
I then spoke with him of many things, including your troubles, Connor. But now I must go.
OFF IN THE DISTANCE.......
"Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here! Get a few Hunters, take out the entire nest! Mulcahy will object, but no one's going to wonder why we took them when it's learned they killed a Priest! Besides, the Watchers has too many sympwimps like him as it is."
A little too happy for his own good, Colonel Flagg picked up his binoculars and continued his surveillance.