Chapter 24 - Lost and Found
"I will be so glad when we're through filling out papers and answering questions," sighed Margaret as they walked out of the US Consulate in Seoul.
"Just a little while longer and we'll be taking our daughter home with us to Crabapple Cove!" said Hawkeye grinning. "Don'tcha just love the sound of that? 'Our daughter!'"
Margaret held Yumee's hand as they strolled along the street. She smiled up at Margaret.
Sherman and BJ had stayed back at the orphanage while the Pierces borrowed the truck.
"Sherman certainly has been enjoying his reunion with Sophie hasn't he?" asked Margaret. "It's a pity there's no way to take her home with us."
"That reminds me, we won't be going straight home," said Hawkeye thinking out loud. "We're going to stay a couple of days with Peg and Beej and then head to Hannibal for the surprise birthday party and 4077 reunion."
"Has Radar secured Potter's gift?"
"I don't know I haven't heard. But I think the women and Radar are taking care of the arrangements. Mildred Potter is sure one for surprise parties isn't she? Remember the mortgage burning we had for him?"
"Do I remember? How could I forget?" said Margaret, bending over to pick Yumee up. "Is Mommy's girl getting tired?...Remember how hard we had to work to keep him out of his tent. He was getting madder by the second. He was convinced that Mildred had bought a houseboat for him to retire on."
The two laughed at the memory. Yumee grinned at their laughter and hugged Margaret's neck.
"Here, let me carry her for a while," said Hawkeye. "She's kind of a load for you."
Margaret handed him the child. She smiled, knowing he had an ulterior motive. He was as thrilled as she was to have found their little girl.
"Now I'm glad we couldn't get her sent to the states two years ago," said Margaret.
"I'm sorry we don't have a saddle, Colonel," said Sister Theresa.
"That's quite all right Ma'am," said Sherman as he dismounted Sophie. "I rode bareback before I ever knew there was anything such thing as a saddle. I'll be back as soon as I give the old girl a rub down. She and I went for a nice little ride this morning. I sure do appreciate the way you and the kids have taken care of her."
"Actually Father Mulcahy does most of the care taking. He said he made a promise to an old friend that he would."
Sherman smiled. If that Padre wasn't the cat's pajamas, he thought. If anyone deserves a special place in Heaven, it would have to be Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy, former army captain and chaplain.
Sherman was heading for the barn when he thought he heard a woman crying. He turned in the direction of the sound in time to see BJ coming down the road with an older Korean couple. The woman was crying and the man had his arm around her. It wasn't an unusual scene in this neck of the woods but he wondered why BJ was walking with them.
Father Mulcahy was bringing some of the children in from a walk when he heard the woman crying and came to see what the commotion was about.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" asked the priest.
"Sherman, Father, this is Jin-Ho Han and his wife Hyun-Soon Han. It seems that the Hans are looking for their daughter. She was separated from them almost two years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Han have been wandering the countryside since the war ended in hopes of finding their daughter...Soon-Lee! I told them I thought we might be able to help them."
"You know where daughter is, please?" asked Jin-Ho Han "My wife she cry all time. You see her...short girl, dark hair?"
Father Mulcahy shouted, "The saints be praised!"
"Hold your horses before you start sending praises up to the saints, Padre," said Sherman. "We want to make sure before we go gettin' these folks' hopes up. We've been down that dirt road before. There's a one in a million chance that these people are our Soon-Lee's parents."
"Sherman, don't you have a picture of Soon-Lee and Max with Brian?" asked BJ.
"Good thinking, Hunnicutt," said Sherman pulling his wallet from his back pocket. He pulled the picture of the Klinger family out of the wallet and handed it to Jin-Ho. Tears formed in the Korean man's eyes when he looked at the picture and then he handed it to his wife. Hyun-Soon took one look and began to cover the picture with kisses.
"Now, Mr. Benny?" asked Father Mulcahy.
"Now, Dennis," laughed Sherman.
"The saints be praised!!!!" cried the priest at the top of his lungs. "Hallelujah!"
"What's going on up there at the orphanage?" asked Margaret. She saw Sherman standing in the middle of the road holding Sophie's rope. Father Mulcahy was dancing around the street with BJ. A Korean man and woman were crying over something in the woman's hands and the children were standing around them laughing.
Hawkeye stopped the truck and walked over to the gathering. "How come we weren't invited to the party?" asked Hawkeye casually.
BJ stopped his dancing and said, "Hawkeye and Margaret Pierce, I'd like you to introduce you to Jin-Ho and Hyun-Soon Han."
Margaret grinned and said, "You mean...as in..."
"...as in Soon-Lee Han!" BJ finished her sentence.