It began in November 1952 somewhere between the front and the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital:
It was a long bumping drive back to the camp. BJ was trying to get some sleep while Klinger was behind the wheel. He seemed to hit every goddamned pothole on the street.
"Klinger, can't you go a little slower?" The exhausted looking Captain entreated. "I have worked non-stop for 48 hours in the aid station. And I would like to get at least five minutes of sleep before going on duty in the post-op when we're back at the 4077. Why don't we just take a break? You must be deadtired also."
"Yes Sir, I am but I would like to leave this area as fast as possible!" The company clerk replied. "I heard there are a lot of snipers around here. And I have misgivings. I can practically smell that something is about to happen."
The surgeon started to grin. "With that nose I would smell a lot of things."
Klinger didn't react. So they still bounced along the road. They passed a group of GI's and three Koreans who were bound south.
But they didn't go much further with their jeep. Suddenly a shot came out of nowhere, followed by a loud "bang". Klinger wasn't able to control the car anymore and finally they ended up in the ditch.
"What's wrong?" BJ asked shaking.
"I told you!" Klinger answered and jumped out of the jeep. "They shot the tires."
As they climbed back up to the street a volley broke out.
"EVERYBODY TAKE COVER! SNIPERS!" One of the soldiers screamed.
BJ and Klinger ducked behind a bush on one side of the road. The three Koreans who had been on the street also jumped into an adjacent field on the other side.
Then everybody could hear two loud explosions. The shooting between the soldiers and the snipers ebbed away a little.
"What was that?" BJ asked.
"A minefield." A soldier near them shouted. "The family ran into a minefield."
Startled BJ and Klinger looked down. "Survivors?"
The soldiers shrugged his shoulders. "I don't think so."
The shooting went on for a couple of more minutes. Then there was a dead silence.
BJ ran to the jeep, fetched his bag and took care of the wounded soldiers. Klinger helped him. Most of their wounds weren't severe and soon the troop was back on their feet marching on.
"Well Sir, I guess we have to go by foot also." Klinger said discontented.
"Looks so. Damn!"
"Captain, think of the positive side." Klinger was grinning.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Now we will never reach the camp on time and someone will have to take over your shift..."
A big smile was building on BJ's face.
"Charles! Charlie would have to do that because Hawkeye just was on duty." BJ was malicious. "Man I'd like to see Charles' reaction!"
"I guess we will hear him raging thus far." Klinger was laughing while picking up the other bags.
Just when the started to move on both heard a strange rustle.
"Oh, oh ... they are coming back." Klinger guessed.
"Shhh! Listen..." BJ put a finger across his lips. "That's a women's voice - Korean. And it's coming from..."
"...the minefield. I can hear it, too."
The whimper became more audible. The person seemed to have not enough strength to create a loud cry.
The surgeon and the company clerk went to the side of the road and looked into the field. Due to the explosions the soil was turned up, dirt had splashed even up to the street. They could see two dead bodies totally torn into pieces. But what was the origin of this voice?
"Something is moving over there." Klinger pointed with his arm in one direction. "There must be a survivor."
"Yeah, I can see a hand." BJ shouted.
The girl was lying about two yards away from her dead companions - just in the middle of the field.
"And now?" Klinger asked.
"We have to get her out of there." BJ said, grabbed one of the bags and walked into the field.
Klinger didn't have a chance to stop him.
"Captain, are you crazy???" He screamed. "Do you wanna kill yourself?" Max seemed in despair. He almost couldn't look at it when BJ was moving through the field.
He finally reached the girl. Her condition wasn't too well. She had a belly wound due to the explosion which BJ treated as good as possible now. A bullet still stuck in her shoulder and another one had brushed her temple.
Her big tearshot eyes looked at him fearfully.
"Don't worry." He said and put a hand on her cheek. "You'll be back on your feet in no time."
He smiled at her what made her calm down a little.
Finally he had tended her wounds best possible.
"Here comes the hard part." BJ thought.
He lifted the girl into his arms and carefully moved into the direction he came from.
"Watch out, Captain. You have to take the same way as before." Klinger guided him. "Yeah, that looks good."
Hunnicutt was sweating blood. When he ran into the field he didn't think about it but now...
He could exactly remember the day of his arrival. Hawk and Radar had picked him up at Kimpo. And on the way to the camp Radar ran into a minefield to save a girl. BJ now recalled how he had felt then. He was so alarmed about that young Corporal and he didn't even know Radar that well then. And now it was the same fear - he didn't want to die, his daughter and wife were waiting for him to come back home.
But should he have left the girl out here and let her die? - No, he could never do such a thing.
Klinger was sweating as much. Standing on one side of the road he observed every step BJ took and drew a deep breath every time he moved.
It seemed like an eternity to them but it had only been a couple of minutes then BJ was standing again in front of Klinger smiling weakly and sinking down on his knees.
"That was really stupid, Sir!" Klinger said reproachful. "But I think I know why you did it." He looked into the girl's face, smiled and then took her out of the Captain's arms.
"Yes, Klinger." Hunnicutt pulled himself up again.
"Don't you ever ... ever do that again!"
BJ laughed. "Don't worry!"
Meanwhile the girl lost consciousness. So they set forward to the camp as fast as possible.
After half of the way an army truck came approaching them. He transported the troop from the shooting, had picked up the soldiers a couple of miles further south. The GI's had talked the driver into turning around to pick up BJ and Klinger.
It was dark when they all arrived at the 4077th.
"Klinger, get Margaret and Hawkeye quick. We have to operate on her after she had a couple of pints of blood. Prepare everything." BJ said.
Klinger jumped out of the truck. "Aye, aye, Sir!"
Hunnicutt climbed down carefully, carried the Korean girl into the pre-op ward and laid her onto a stretcher. Instantly Margaret was at her side, took her blood and cross-matched it.