Two 6-o'clock-choppers came again this evening. The MASH was overcrowded with wounded. The VIP tent served as a second post-op ward and Kyong was moved into Margaret's tent later that evening, where a second cot had been put up.
The next day was as hectic as the last. But now Kyong wasn't able to follow what was going on. She was much better. The fever was gone and her belly wound was healing pretty well.
This evening she got up for the first time after her operation. She took Margaret's bathrobe and went outside.
The triage was empty. Charles just came out of a door and stretched himself. His operation coat was splattered with blood. This time it was him, who waited for choppers in the dusk.
"Please, give us a break!" He pleaded exhausted.
Kyong slowly approached him.
"Oh, hi, Kyong-Lee." He was happy to see the girl on her feet. "You seem to be doing much better."
"Yeah. So, you're looking for helicopters?"
Charles nodded. "I rather hope that no one is coming."
"It's already pretty dark. What time is it?"
Winchester studied his watch. "Seven!" He smiled. "I think the Deluge is finally over."
A second later Klinger and Radar joined them. They couldn't believe their ears and they were relieved. In the meantime it turned pitch-dark and there were no choppers far and wide.
"Do we have more in the pre-op?" Winchester asked.
Klinger and Radar shook their heads. "No, the others are almost done also. Go to bed, Major!" Both went back to the OR.
"The first order from a Corporal I'll obey!"
Charles and Kyong walked a while side by side.
"You should go to bed again, too." The Major suggested yawning. "I'll bring you."
"Well, actually I sick of lying down. I'd rather help. I worked often in hospitals during school break. Maybe I could do something useful in here." She explained. But as soon as she finished the sentence she collapsed.
Winchester helped her on her feet again and supported her. Smiling he said: "Whoa, I don't think you're totally fit yet. Be rational. One step at a time. And the first one is recovery."
"And what's next? What's going to happen with me then?" She asked and looked at him eyes wide open. "I don't want to go into a refugee camp, but I can't stay here forever. How will I ever make it to Boston without money?" Kyong was in despair.
"Boston?" Charles asked.
Kyong told him about her grandmother stateside and that she would love to live with her.
Winchester soothed her. She would have to stay in the camp for a while and they'll find a solution. He brought her over to Margaret's tent. The Major was already in bed and sound asleep after more than 48 hours of work in the OR.
Charles then stumbled into the Swamp and fell into his own bed.
BJ and Hawkeye didn't even bother to walk across the compound. They spent the night onto two stretchers in the preparation room.
This night the camp was as still as death. Everyone was totally worn out because of last days work.
The next week passed more peacefully. Although there was no day without wounded, it sufficed that only one or two shifts worked.
Kyong recovered from day to day. And most of the time she spent either in the Swamp with the surgeons or with Margaret. The head nurse had given her one of her uniforms because Kyong possessed nothing more than her torn clothes. From time to time she helped the nurses in the post-op ward and did a very good job.
Kyong was the reason why Colonel Potter wanted to see all of his officers in his office one evening. Pierce, Winchester, Hunnicutt, Father Mulcahy and Major Houlihan were sitting in front of his desk while Klinger and Radar were outside listening at the door.
"Kyong-Lee now is with us for more than a week." The Colonel began. "Actually we should send her to a hospital in Seoul to therapy her wounds."
The others protested.
"We can do that, too." BJ, who had a special connection to her, interjected.
"They would transfer her into a refugee camp or who-knows-where as soon as she is totally recovered." Margaret remarked.
"And that's exactly what she doesn't want." Charles said and Mulcahy, who had talked to Kyong very often, agreed.
"But there must be a way to get her into the states." Hawkeye said. "It worked with Ho-Jon. We only need some money."
Now a big and loud discussion broke out.
Potter watched the jumble for a while, then he had enough. "SILENZIO!!!" He shouted and everyone was quiet. "You're right." He then agreed. "We should try..."
At that moment Radar knocked at the door.
"Phone call for you, Sir." He said while coming into the room.
Potter took the receiver. "Who is it, son?"
"A Mrs. Martha Collins from Boston." The company clerk answered grinning and blinked at BJ.
Hunnicutt laughed out loud.
Like in trance the shocked Colonel lifted the receiver to his ear and began a conversation with Kyong-Lee's grandmother.
"You're the greatest, Radar!" Hawkeye whispered to him.
"It was Captain Hunnicutt's idea. It took Klinger and me quite a while to find out the right Mrs. Collins."
"Clever!" Hawkeye boxed his friend's shoulder. "Why didn't you tell anything? We crack our brains and you ..."
"Surprise!" BJ grinned and added: "I didn't know whether we will be successful or not. Kyong hadn't seen her grandma for four years. What if she hadn't lived in Boston anymore?"
"Yeah, but great that you have found her!" Margaret said.
When Potter finished his call he turned around with a big smile on his face.
"I think I could need a belt." He walked over to his little liquor closet and pulled out a bottle of Scotch. "Anyone else?"
Everyone said yes.
"Now, what did she say?" Pierce wanted to know while Potter was filling the glasses.
"She said that she would be very happy to welcome Kyong at her place." He announced.
And while they clinked glasses together, they heard a loud "Yippee!!" from outside.
"Come in, Klinger!" Potter hollered. "And have a drink. It's you, Radar and BJ that we have to say thanks to!"
A couple of minutes later Radar was sent to the post-op to get Kyong.
Finally the shocked girl faced the officers of the 4077th. Was have I done? Why do they want to see me?
Kyong was thunderstruck when they told her that she will be in Boston with her grandma even before Christmas.
"Well...I really don't know what to say..." She stammered. "I think I need a drink."
Everybody laughed at this comment. But the Colonel actually poured her a Scotch and refilled the glasses of the others.
"Your grandmother will send us some money for the transport. You can stay here until it arrived." Potter explained. "Then we will send you to the Evac in Tokyo. They should check you from head to toe before you travel on. Yes, and then Honolulu and Boston."
Kyong looked around with tears in her eyes. "I thank you all! You did so much for me and now this. This is what I have never dreamed of after the death of my brother and father. Without you I never would have made it!!" She sobbed.
"Don't exaggerate." BJ said embracing her. He also had tears in his eyes.
A week and a half later they celebrated a big farewell party in the mess hall. The transport next morning and the flights a week later had been arranged thanks to grandma Collins' donation. Even Kyong's future had been planned. She had always dreamed of becoming a nurse after graduation from school but the war made it impossible. Charles had helped her with his connections to get into the nursing school of the Boston College. She will start there right after Christmas.
The girl was as happy as could be.