"I hear you're leaving us." MacAllister spoke to the Australian soldier who was smiling at her approach.
He nodded. "Time to get back to the front. We're needed there. Are you sure you don't want to come along?"
"I'm needed here." She said simply. "Mitch," she continued, "I'll look after Tom and the other two. You won't have to worry about them."
"I know you'll take care of them. You've been doing a good job so far."
"Make sure you keep your sutures clean." The nurse instructed. "I don't want you to get an infection and mar that handsome face."
"I will." Cochlan agreed. "Sarabeth, I occasionally get 24 hour leave. Would you mind if I spend that time with you?" He asked, uncertain of her reaction.
"I wouldn't mind a bit." She told him with a bashful grin. "Thank you---for everything." Her hand caressed his face. "Be careful out there! I want to see you back here...standing up...not being carried in on a stretcher."
"Too right. Take care, lady."
"Take care, Mitch."
Sarabeth waved to him and his men as their truck left the camp.
Oct. 3rd: 0800 hours
Lieutenant MacAllister stepped into Klinger's office. "OK, Corporal, are you ready for me to help you with this?"
"Sure, Lieutenant." The man shrugged. "If you really want to. But, where do you start?"
"It's like triage. You just jump in somewhere and begin." She told him as she sat down in a chair and leaned her crutches against the desk. He pulled another chair over and placed a pillow on it for her foot. "Much better! Thanks, Corporal. Now then, the very first thing you need to do is---chunk Radar's system---whatever it was."
"How do I do that?"
"Any man who can teach a camel to sit up and beg, can throw out an outdated filing system. Here." Sarabeth held out an imaginary box.
"I get you." Klinger grinned. He opened the doors and ‘threw' the box away. Wiping his hands on his pants, he turned to her. "I feel better already."
"I thought so. Now, go into the colonel's office and remove all of the things you have stored in there. That'll show him that you are trying to get organized and it'll make his office look better. Which ought to make him feel better."
Through the opened entrance to his office, Potter called to them, "I agree with your assessment, Lieutenant. Klinger, come get this mess out of here."
"Right away, Colonel."
MacAllister and Klinger sorted and organized and talked. Sitting at his desk, completing his own work, Potter listened to their conversation. In a short time, he learned more about his company clerk than he had ever known. And he learned that his newest officer knew how to manage people and how to get things accomplished.
Coming from the hospital ward, Major Houlihan entered the company clerk's office. The red-haired nurse smiled and greeted her ranking officer. The major briskly spoke to the other woman. "Lieutenant, I understand you were in post-op earlier this morning."
"Yes, ma'am. I wanted to check on the Australians. I, of course, had the Surgeon on Duty---Doctor Hunnicutt's---permission." The Texan answered with extreme politeness. Her manner had become very formal.
"Since you are well enough to go on rounds, you can start learning the routines and procedures of this M*A*S*H unit. If you are to remain here, you'll be expected to follow them. Is that clear?"
"Perfectly clear, Major." The lieutenant replied with an even tone. "I certainly want to know what is expected of me."
"Good. Let's go."
MacAllister looked at the papers in her lap and the ones scattered about her chair. "Right now?"
"Yes, right now." Major Houlihan answered. "I have three hours open. You should be able to review everything several times before I go off duty. Come along, Lieutenant."
"Coming, Major." MacAllister reached for her crutches. She had a small shrug and a lopsided grin for the corporal. "Keep up the good work."
"Thanks, Lieutenant. I'll bring your furniture over this evening."
"I'd appreciate it."
"I'm waiting, Lieutenant."
"I'm coming, Major." The young woman replied politely.