"Hawk, you know that I love you and all, but couldn't you…you know…hit me with something lighter and less threatening than a frying pan?"
Hawkeye and Klinger, sitting in the room that Charles, BJ and Kellye shared together, faced BJ as he rubbed his forehead, sore from being hit blindly by Hawkeye with the pan he retrieved from the kitchen below. Kellye offered to tend to the huge bruise, but BJ waved her off, adding that he can put his own ice pack on his head and keep it there. In the meantime, he and Hawkeye had to exchange what was going on and put some pieces together.
"Sorry, Beej, I didn't know if you were Floyd or not." Hawkeye rubbed the back of his own head in an apologetic manner, as if feeling the same pain that his friend did. "Daichi didn't tell me who had come. I just didn't think that you would come following us after all."
"Yeah, well, Floyd's got the camp in an uproar and is having arrested people left and right it seems," BJ replied sarcastically, taking the ice pack off of his head gently. "The last I heard, Rizzo had been accused, as well as me, Kellye and Chuckles here. Father Mulcahy was next, after he got back from the orphanage."
"I concede your point, Hunnicutt, but we have yet to tell Pierce what this majestic dog has been doing to what was left of the sanity of the camp, as if there was any to begin with." Charles stood in one corner, his arms crossed in an impatient stance. "After all, you didn't get to the part where Floyd arrested you and Kellye in surgery, allowing a patient to die from the contamination, and demanded that we be arraigned in a tent, like common criminals."
BJ cringed, remembering the night that he and Kellye were arrested. Nobody had come to pick up the body of the soldier either, last he knew.
Gee, what a fitting end. You're on the table on moment and dead the next because some loon thinks your doctor and nurse are murderers.
"Gee, Charles, I'd never known that you could be so Communist," Hawkeye commented acidly as BJ mused away, annoyed as he recalled his bunkmate's almost snobbish manners.
"Captain Pierce, they've right," Kellye added before the Swampmen could start arguing amongst themselves again. "Major Floyd has been keeping Colonel Potter locked up in his office most of the time, pretending that he can come and go as he pleases. The wounded have been transferred out, as far as we know. Nobody's been in or out except for us, and again, that's as far as we know."
"And, thanks to Charles, we escaped alive." BJ beamed with pride, as if Charles and not Erin was the apple of his eye.
"Yeah, well, I have Klinger to thank for ours," Hawkeye said with some warmth. "Without his bloomers, I don't think we would have been able to scale the stockade walls and get out."
Klinger blushed in his own corner, a new, clean dress covering his embarrassment. "Aww, it was nothing, Captain."
"However, with luck on our side, I'm pretty sure that we can still solve this little mystery and get Floyd out of the camp." Hawkeye stopped rubbing his head and stood up. "It's not just Margaret anymore that we have to worry about. All of us here have been accused of conspiracy and murder. Caught, we'll never be heard from again. On the streets, we might have a chance of survival."
"And take time in the stockade for it?" Kellye's eyes widened. "Captain, remember that we're free, but we're also on the run. No matter what we do, we're finished."
"And more's the reason to find out why we've been named as murderers," Hawkeye argued. "We're damned if we do and damned if we don't."
"You know, I have some false names we can –" Klinger began, seeing his chance to escape for good.
"No!" Kellye and the Swampmen yelled together.
"No, no, my lovely Klinger," Charles then added as he went to the Lebanese man and wrapped his arm around a silky shoulder. "It's been to – let's say, catch a criminal this time."
"So, what do you have on your end?" BJ asked Klinger and Hawkeye, to change the topic. "You two find anything out so far?"
"Well, many things," Hawkeye began with hesitation, eying BJ's ice pack as his friend put it down on the bed. "And some things, you just won't believe."
"Being accused of murder is something I can't believe, so try me," BJ offered.
Sighing, Hawkeye soon explained their trip, from Gayle Curtis to Claus Schultz and how they were caught during gunfire. Klinger interjected a few times, but was shooed away each time, all of the officers knowing that he was keen on leaving the war and was only trying to put a good word in. At the end of the story, when Hawkeye reached the part about seeing shadows in the hallway and running with the frying pan, BJ whistled in amazement.
"Surely, you jest, Pierce?" Charles asked before anyone else could, also incredulous. "Nurse Winifred Curtis doesn't strike anyone as a woman of means or aspirations. Wanting to change the world and be what you call a 'double agent' doesn't fit her bill either."
"I'm with Chuckles on this one," BJ added. "Winifred Curtis being married and having an adapted son now under a man who commands a bunch of people who want Nazism back seems like a bunch of silliness to me. Worse, the same guy is holding her son hostage in the US and also has a hand in Nurse Curtis' murder, but only giving a helping hand. You could have been set up by either one of those two, Hawk, either Claus Schultz or Gayle Curtis. Moreover, you could have been killed."
"And if we were set up, then why was Claus Schultz killed?" Klinger asked, the topic of Toledo closed for the moment. "If he was on their side, then he would have been captured, a big arrest shown to us and we'd find out later on down the road that he was shady."
"I agree with Klinger," Kellye said. "The story seems incredible, but other than her crude behavior, Nurse Curtis being a Nazi spy does make sense."
"How so?" Hawkeye narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "What did you hear from the women's gossiping corner?"
"Well," Kellye began uneasily, "Nurse Curtis was always talking about being an aide to General MacArthur and boasting about her trip to Germany before the last war. And we found out it was true, Major Houlihan looked into it for us."
"Major Houlihan doing a favor is like the government ending this war," BJ said. "It's harder than we expected."
"Yeah, well, she was curious too," Kellye replied. "She didn't say anything, but even Major Houlihan was having doubts, like the rest of us. All of us were afraid of telling her the truth though."
All of the men leaned in. "Which was?" Klinger asked carefully.
"She liked talking about being a Nazi," Kellye whispered fearfully. "We thought she was joking, that it was all part of her personality. It wasn't, we figured, the more she talked about it and the more she mentioned leaving the Army by herself. We thought about telling Major Houlihan to call Major Freedman or somebody, but there was no case to build it on. She just was nasty, that's all."
"Or just plain stupid and indiscreet," BJ commented.
"Why tell the nurses and nobody else though?" Hawkeye mused. "You girls talk the moment something is said. The whole camp knows about somebody's business the moment it comes out of their mouth."
"She swore us to secrecy." Kellye started shaking, as if remembering something.
"Why?" Hawkeye then asked, drilling her harshly.
Kellye only looked at him, still frightened. "I know she's dead, Captain, but it doesn't mean that I'm still scared of her. I don't want to be murdered like she was."
"Come on, Kellye, what did Nurse Curtis threaten to do to you?" BJ then asked, trying to make the mood lighter by joking. "It's not like her dead body is going to come up and bite you. Her ghost can't haunt either."
"The same thing that happened to her," Kellye answered, still shaking hard. "She threatened to shoot us several times, hack our heads off until it was barely attached to our bodies and cut our tongues out."
Well after midnight, Colonel Potter and Radar sat hurdled in the former's office, going through paperwork, but hiding some files underneath their cover work. After all of the activity that Major Floyd had been fluttering around the camp, the two were more than worried, especially Colonel Potter, about what was going to happen to everyone. After being all but striped of his command, his whole camp (save for himself and Radar) now accused of conspiracy and the wounded evacuated, he had to do something or more people were going to hang.
And it won't be just Margaret who would be hanging from a noose.
"And sign here, Sir," Radar said out loud for the guard outside the doors to hear, the same man Floyd had posted earlier in the day, to keep an eye out on them. "You remember the form for more tongue depressors and X-ray thingees and other –"
"I understand, Son," Colonel Potter interrupted, signing each form and then trying to see an opportunity for privacy, but catching no breaks from the guard. "Any other paperwork that needs my John Hancock?"
"Well, there are those transfer papers for Nurse Haines. You know, the new one who came here just before that thing happened and she's all sorts of scared and wants out of here and everything now."
"Radar, you don't need to hide a terrible event like murder and conspiracy. Yes, I understand the need to transfer after such events happened. However, all transfers right now are subject to Major Floyd's jurisdiction. Deny it for now, but I'll talk with her later. Anything else?"
"Nothing, Sir," Radar only replied, winking with much effort, like always. "I'll just file those papers you signed right now and take the copies of the ones you signed and file those too or send them out."
"You do that," Colonel Potter said, their signal to pretend to do their normal routine, but to go through the file they retrieved. "I'll be here until you're done."
"Right, Sir." Radar took the paperwork and the file underneath it all to the cabinet, opening it out of the guard's eyeshot and putting the papers away as he glanced here and there at the file. After scanning line after line with little light and squinted eyes, he found finally found what he and the colonel were searching for.
Returning back to Colonel Potter after filing everything, Radar carefully slipped the precious file underneath some other files on the colonel's overcrowded desk. He winked again, feeling the guard's presence behind him (and fearing the weapon he held), proud that he found the needle in the haystack. There was one somewhere, Colonel Potter had said, and there it was for them to see finally.
"You know, Colonel, I think you could check the fourth drawer of the filing cabinet," Radar mentioned in the agreed code, about to leave. "It has something stuck there and I think it's jammed again. I can't fix the thingee."
Colonel Potter nodded, smiling broadly. "I'll check it later tonight, Radar, after finishing up my last reports. You go to bed. Be back here at six hundred hours in the morning so we can go over the paperwork again. I think we missed something. I'm sure there's another supply form we need to fill out."
"I think so too, Sir." Radar turned to leave, aware that the colonel wanted to talk with him in the morning about what they found. "I'll find that missing form in the morning, if there is one. Good night, Sir."
"Good night, Radar. Remember, be here at six hundred hours."
Colonel Potter watched Radar and then the guard vanish from his sight for sure before picking up the file left on his desk. He was sure that he had a few minutes to see what Radar was talking about before another guard came by to check on him (sure that Radar would also keep watch and warn him). Strange, he saw, how he had been in the Army for so long and now, when the time came that good people were wrongly accused, he had been pushed along with them and suspected of worse crimes than they had supposedly committed. The loyalty to his country had been questioned and it hurt him to the bone.
After slipping the file in his hands quickly, Colonel Potter swiveled his chair around and opened it, gently leaving no evidence behind that he, too, had been snooping around. He then smiled again, this time to himself, and settled comfortably before opening to page four.
"Ah, Major Floyd, let's see what caught Radar's attention," Colonel Potter said to himself quietly. "Let's see what dirt we can dig up on you."