On the dusty roads of Korea, Klinger was informed of the mission; Hawkeye was at the wheel, and Trapper shotgun with the map. They drove for about an hour, talking mostly chitchat until Trapper directed a question to Frank.
"What made you decide to come Frank?"
"Well," Explained Frank in his 'heroic' voice "I thought it would be a good choice to score some promotion points, and kill off a couple of reds." Trapper looked back to see that Burns was holding his pistol.
"C'mon, Frank!" yelled Trapper "You're supposed to be here as a doctor!"
"It will be your big acting debut." Added Hawkeye, over the sound of the engine.
"Hardy, har, har!" said Frank sarcastically.
Suddenly an explosion rang out. A geyser of earth bursts in front of the jeep. They were being shelled. Hawkeye began to back up the jeep but another shell hit a piece of road behind them, then another to the right of them.
"Fall out!" screamed Frank. For the first time they followed orders. They grabbed all that they could and took cover by the side of the road. The screech of another incoming shell sounded and in a flash of light the jeep was destroyed. The smoke and debris cleared and all that was left of the jeep was the frame, which was on fire.
"That means the shelling stops, right?" asked Frank. He was right, all artillery receded and it was safe to get up.
"Let's make a equipment check." Said Hawkeye. "Medical bags?"
"Check." Said Klinger.
"Check." Said Trapper.
"Check." said Frank.
"Phone?" Klinger held up the phone in three separate pieces.
"Oh, great!" yelled Trapper.
"Now what are we going to do?" asked Frank in his crooning voice.
"Let's just stay calm!" suggested Hawkeye.
"We could be under enemy lines!" cried Klinger.
"Calm..." soothed Hawkeye.
"They'll kill us!" cried Frank, his gun in hand.
"Guys!" said Hawkeye "Shut up!" They all caught their breath.
"What are we going to do?" Trapper asked.
"I say we go back." Answered Frank.
"Me too," added Klinger "without the jeep we're sitting ducks." Trapper turned to Hawkeye and whispered:
"They're right, you know. We'll only make it if we're driving ducks."
"I know." Whispered Hawkeye. He then spoke to the group: "We'll go back then. Hopefully a company will find the helicopter." So they began to walk back to which they came, but Frank stopped them.
"We can't go on the main road!" he yelled. "That's the first place they'll look!"
"Then where, Major?" asked Klinger. Frank looked around.
"That side road." He said, pointing. "We don't know where it leads but whoever shelled us won't find us." They took Frank's advice and traveled the side road.
Soon the heat, nervousness and weight of the equipment wore down on them. Trapper and Hawkeye were tempted to take Frank's gun and shoot him with it because he wouldn't stop humming. Klinger kept complaining that the sun was ruining his linen scarf.
"Let's all just shut up!" suggested Hawkeye. "Whoever is the quietest will get a Purple Heart sticker."
The side road then opened up to a large field. The group looked it over and didn't like what they saw. Dozens of foxholes, craters gouged into the earth, and bullet shell casings all over the ground.
"This must be part of the front line!" exclaimed Trapper.
"Complements of Major Columbus!" yelled Hawkeye looking at Frank. Gunfire sounded.
"What was that?" inquired Klinger. It sounded again, very close to them. They found cover in a small foxhole near the outskirts of a wooded area.
"It must be an enemy company!" Screamed Frank over the gunfire shots. The Major took out his gun.
"Frank, if you shoot one of them I'm going to march you over there to patch them up!" yelled Hawkeye.
"I think I was hit!" cried Trapper. Hawkeye looked to his friend to see him holding his left shoulder. He released his hand to show his bunkee blood. Quickly, Hawk grabbed his bag and examined the wound.
"It's just a graze!" he announced as he patched it up.
"That would be good if I was a cow!" said Trapper.
The gunfire suddenly sounded more rapidly. Klinger peeked his head out quick, in curiosity.
"Our guys have showed up!" he informed in delight. As Klinger said this, Frank found and held up a strange looking mechanical fragment.
"What's this?" asked Frank, still over all the gunfire. Hawkeye, who just finished bandaging Trapper, looked over. Trapper took the piece and looked to ground to see two more.
"They almost look like engine parts." Observed Klinger.
"Engine?" asked Hawkeye. Klinger nodded. Carefully, Hawkeye peeked out of the foxhole and into the woods. "I think there's something in there!" he exclaimed.
"What?" asked Trapper. Without answering, Hawkeye began to climb out and crawl toward the woods to avoid bullets.
"Where's he going?" demanded Frank. Trapper began to follow him, then Klinger. "I'm staying in here, I'm not going to get shot!" said Frank. A bullet that hit the side of the foxhole changed his mind.
When they were deep enough into the woods they stood up, but still kept low. What was soon revealed to them was the wreckage of a U.S. helicopter, with debris all over the ground like the kind they found in the foxhole. They rushed to it looking for survivors. Trapper searched the cockpit to find the pilot, barely conscious and bleeding from his head, arm and leg. He seemed to awaken a little at the sight of Trapper.
"Hello again." Said Trapper. "I didn't catch your name last time."
"Lieutenant Hopkins." Mumbled the pilot.
"Hopkins, what happened?" Asked Trapper, as he began to treat the wounds.
"Enemy company shot at us while I was picking up wounded...hit the engine and I tried to land."
"All right Hopkins," said Trapper " You are going to be OK."
Out side the chopper Hawkeye had Frank and Klinger tend the wounded man in one of the body capsules on the side of the chopper. He was in shock and lost a lot of blood. Hawk then ran to the other side of the wreckage for the other wounded man. Unfortunately, the way the chopper crashed it crushed the other body capsule. Hawkeye was able to grab the dog tags of the man they were marked: Corporal Lee.
"Rest in peace, Lee." Mumbled Hawkeye. He went back to help the other doctors. That was when the shooting stopped and the U.S. company entered the woods.
"You guys need any help?" said the Sergeant. They saw the doctors working hard on Private Thomson, trying to get him stable and out of shock. Hopkins was laid out; conscious on the ground, all bandaged up.
"You got a medic?" asked Trapper. The company medic ran over to help them. After five minutes of fighting, Thomson was both stable and out of shock. They were able to relax and bandage him up.
"What happened to the enemy?" asked Frank.
"They ran," said the Sergeant, "we out numbered them."
"Do you guys have a phone?" asked Hawkeye.
"Yeah." Said the Sergeant.
"Call HQ and get a chopper for these guys." Commanded Trapper. "Have them sent to the 4077th surgical hospital." The Sergeant did.
"Now," said Hawkeye, packing his things with the rest of the doctors, "is there away to get to that M*A*S*H from here?"
"We're pretty close," said the Sergeant. He turned and pointed to a large hill in the opposite direction from the front line. "About three miles that way." They thanked the company for their help and headed for their camp.
In about an hour and a half they reached the 4077th just in time to operate on Thomson and have Hopkins' broken leg taken care of. This all took place at night, and the next mourning Hawkeye and Trapper sat in relaxation in their tent, the Swamp. Both had their robes on and martinis in hand. Hawkeye took a large sip and sighed in satisfaction.
"You know we should sell are booze recipe when we get home." Said Hawkeye.
"I'd bet we would get real good money in the antifreeze business." Added Trapper. Frank walked in from his early Post-Op duty. He sat down on his bunk and began to take off his boots.
"How are Hopkins and Thomson, Frank?" asked Hawkeye.
"Oh, they'll be all right." Reported Frank. He laughed and turned to his tent mates. "That was kinda fun going out and rescuing, huh?" Hawkeye and Trapper looked at each other and then back at Frank in disbelief.
"Fun?" asked Trapper.
"I'd rather have my teeth pulled out with vascular clamps then go out and do that again." Said Hawkeye. Frank got up and began to undress.
"Being a part of the army should make you proud that you accomplished a military mission." Said Frank. Hawkeye turned to Trapper.
"You think Frank's brain is camouflage printed?" he whispered.
The Swamp's door opened and Henry entered, with Radar close behind. Trapper got up and made a martini for his Colonel. Henry cleared his throat.
"I just wanted to come in here and congratulate you guys for doing such a good job." Spoke Henry. Trapper handed him the martini, "How's your arm, McIntyre?"
"Fine." Trapper answered. Henry continued:
"General Clayton is very impressed and suggested I'd give you these to you." Henry handed out a small piece of paper to the doctors. Frank read off it:
"A three day pass to Tokyo." He read. Hawkeye and Trapper looked at each other and stood up.
"After a painstaking mission where we were bombed..." began Hawkeye.
"Shelled," added Trapper.
"Shot at," said Hawkeye "My best friend was shot!"
"I was shot!" said Trapper.
"We battled the elements and saved two lives and all you can give us is a lousy 3-day pass?" commanded Hawkeye. He took his and Trapper's pass and ripped them in half. "We at least deserve a week!" Henry looked down to the fallen, ripped passes on the ground and then back up at the protesting doctors.
"It was either those," explained Henry "or nothing." Hawkeye and Trapper looked at each other once more before sprawling to the ground, retrieving the damaged passes.
"Quick, Radar," commanded Hawkeye "get the tape!"