"Should I follow orders or not?"
Alt end to "The General Flipped At Dawn"

by Hawkshotlips1

The camp was a buzz with the imminent arrival of General Steele. Henry was in his tent and he had on fatigues. He didn't see Radar behind him.



"I got these from the supply sergeant...how do I look?"

"Just fine sir."

Radar handed Henry a cap. Henry nodded and then put on the cap.

"The tag... sir."

"Rip it off."

Radar took the tag off and frowned.


"This tag says you can't remove it...I think you'll get in trouble."

"Just what I need to get in trouble over a dumb tag."

They walked out and waited for the General to show up.

General Bartford Hamilton Steele drove up in his jeep. Henry stood there and saluted.

The General saluted back and got out by jumping over the side door of the jeep. Henry's jaw just dropped.

"Colonel Blake?"


"Can you call your troops?"

"Yes sir."

Radar whispered to Henry.

"Fall in..by rank."

General Steele looked at the line and stopped in front of Frank.

"Major Frank Burns." Henry said.

The General looked at Frank up and down. He shook his head."Clip your nose hairs.

Frank frowned and then turned his head. Margaret tried not to smile.

"General....what do I put this under?"

"N... and I'll know."

Henry looked at Margaret and she tried not to look over his shoulder at Hawkeye and Trapper. She saw them in their robes and she didn't react.

The General looked at her up and down and waited.

"This is our head nurse... Major Houlihan."

The General studied her and shook his head.

"Chest out and shoulders back."

Hawkeye tried not to smile and he saw the look on Margaret's face. She didn't look at him until the General came to the Padre.

She wasn't sure what to do, but she tried not to smile. Hawkeye gave his thumb up to her.

The General stopped at the Padre.

"Lieutenant Francis Mulcahy.... our Chaplain."

"No atheists in camp.."

Father Mulcahy smiled."Yes.. sir."

"I'm Presbyterian."

Father Mulcahy nodded his head.

"I want a shine on that cross."

The Padre had seen Hawkeye and he turned to look at Margaret too. He saw the looks on their faces. Margaret looked at the Padre and then at Hawkeye.

General Steele stood in front of Radar.

"The Company clerks run the outfit."

"Yes sir."

"No talking in formation."

Radar saw Hawkeye and he looked at the General.

He turned his head and then saw Klinger walking toward the group.

"Colonel....trouble... at... eleven o' clock."

Henry turned in that direction and groaned."No."

Klinger walked up to stand next to the General.

The General sensed someone next to him and out of the corner of his eye he guessed it was a woman. He rolled his eyes.

"Marjorie....I'm busy."

Klinger frowned and then looked at the line. He saw Hawkeye and Trapper try not to laugh. He shook his head and turned around and walked to his tent. Hawkeye and Trapper headed back to the Swamp.

It was later and Hawkeye checked his patient and saw Margaret. She frowned at him and then took the patient's temperature. He put his hand on her shoulder. She gave him a smile.

The patient looked at Hawkeye."Sir?"

"You look much better.. than when you came in.... just don't laugh."

"Yes... sir."

"Margaret.. "

"I know."

It was past supper time and the General walked out and smiled.

"Well.. that was something.... really good."

"We don't get that too often... unless we shoot it."

"You do.. what?"


"Colonel Blake.. just a second... what's this?"

Henry picked up a band aid.

"If it's not opened you can use this."

"A band aid?"


"You want to go to the supply tent?"


In the tent... Hawkeye sat on the cot and heard the door open.

Margaret had the crackers and handed them to Hawkeye. He had the wine and glasses. She sat on the cot and sighed.

"Where's Frank?"

"Trying to get in the General's good graces."

"Good." he put his arms around her.

She put her arms around him too.

They put their heads together and were about to kiss and the door opened. She turned her head and saw the two. Hawkeye pulled away.

"Well." General Steele said.

"Benjamin Franklin Pierce."

"A reporter."


Margaret leaned against the wall. She rolled her eyes and then sighed.

"It's good of you to interview the camp."

"That's what I was doing.... interviewing."

"Could you... take this down?"

"Yes, sir."

The General turned to see Margaret.

"Young lady...this is private."

"Yes.. sir." she walked out.

Hawkeye sighed and looked at the General.

"Now then, take careful notes. Hmm...um...what my wife sent to me. It's working."

Hawkeye took notes and then sighed.

"Talcum powder.. son."

Hawkeye wrote it down.

"Don't write that..."


"Just write that I was in here and this place is ship shape."

"Yes, sir."

"So, when you plan to leave?"

"Any time."

General Steele smiled."You know...I think I need to.." he whispered to Henry.

"To your left and straight to the door."

"Pierce that's three e's in Steele."

"Yes sir."

"Thank you."

Henry closed the door."Pierce... I swear.. you and the Major.."

"We were interviewing."

"Hmm...and what if I was Frank?"

"Aw... Henry...they're on the outs."

"A civilian?"

"He didn't ask me."

"You could have picked a different place."

"Yeah... you know that General is looney."

"He is."

"Henry...he's leaving in a few days.. right?"


"Thank goodness."

Hawkeye walked out and in the direction of Margaret's tent.She opened the door and looked at him.

"Shh... sorry about our date."

"In here."

He walked in and sat on her chair."Margaret...that General is cracked up."

"Hawkeye..really....he thinks you're a reporter."

"I know."

"You should have told him."

'I didn't know he'd come in the supply room."

"I guess."

"He's making all of us nervous."

"Yes." she stood next to the chair.

He took her hands in his and held them. She moved a hand and put it on his face.

He pulled her down to his lap and kissed her. She leaned against him.

"I thought I'd die in that formation....chest out.. shoulders back."

Hawkeye tried not to smile."You didn't see Frank's face."

"I saw your reaction."

"You look really nice."

"And you... and McIntyre out of uniform."

"We didn't get caught."

"Klinger did."

"Marjorie must be the General's wife."

"That was amusing."

"Poor Klinger."

"Yeah." he sighed.

"You still have that wine and crackers?"


"You think the General took it?"


"That's okay."

"We don't need it."

"We don't?"

"Nope." he kissed her.

She didn't see the door open and the General standing there and he frowned. He closed the door and checked the sign and walked to the VIP tent.

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