HOPE'S CALLING- CHAPTER 35- I LOVE YOU

Disclaimer- The characters from M*A*S*H are much beloved by me, but sadly not my own. Hope Jones, her family, etc. are my creations.


Francis Mulcahy recalled the last trip he made to the orphanage and all the things that had happened that time. He fell in love with Hope and was in an accident. He learned about her during that night they waited to be rescued and loved her all the more.

This trip was different and the same. Hope was with him, but they were taking a child to the orphanage. He prayed that the he and Hope would make the trip to and from the orphanage safely. He knew the return trip would be very difficult for her. He just wanted them to complete the trip and get back to the 4077th as soon as possible.

He wasn't sure they would be able to leave on time. Just about everyone in camp came out to say good-bye to the little girl. She received plenty of hugs and kisses, especially from the nurses. When she was secured in the seat between Hope and Father Mulcahy, he started the jeep and slowly drove out of the compound.

At first, all three of them were quiet. Father Mulcahy was concentrating on avoiding the crater sized potholes in the road. Hope was trying not to cry and the little girl was watching the world go by at under forty miles per hour. This didn't last long however. Hope and Francis started to speak at the same time.

"I'm sorry Francis, what were you going to say?"

"Oh, just that I'm thankful the weather is decent today. It helps make this trip more pleasant. And you were about to say….?"

Hope laughed softly. "I was just about to say the same thing. Well, and something else. When we get to St. Teresa's, I wanted to ask the nuns to talk to the girl for me to tell her that I …." Hope let the last sentence trail off without finishing it.

"What is it Hope? What do you want the nuns to tell the girl?" He already knew the answer, but he wanted to hear her say it. It would be better for her, if she would just say how she felt and not hold it in. Then he thought, "Isn't that what I'm doing about Hope? I'm holding my feelings in."

"I want them to tell her that I love her."

"Hope, she already knows it. Love doesn't need words to be expressed. Everyone else at camp knows you love her. Your face glowed every time you were with her. She never wanted you out of her sight. You two will always have a bond."

"I just want her to hear the words before we leave her. Then she can carry the sound of those words in her heart and head for a lifetime. Does that sound weird?"

"No it doesn't. Not for you," he answered.

By then, the little passenger was getting restless and bored with the ride. She started squirming in the seat and was distracting Father Mulcahy.

"Hope could you do something to keep her busy while I drive? She's starting to distract me and that's not a good thing on these roads. You understand don't you?"

"Oh yeah, I do. It takes all your concentration to avoid the potholes or should I say "craters" in the road." Hope pulled the little girl closed to her and started singing to her.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had some chickens, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "bawk, bawk" here
And a "bawk, bawk" there,
Here a "bawk", there a "bawk,"
Everywhere a "bawk, bawk,"
Old MacDonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had some cows, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "moo, moo" here,
And a "moo, moo" there.
Here a "moo" there a "moo"
Everywhere a "moo, moo".
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had some horses, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "neigh, neigh" here,
And a "neigh, neigh" there.
Here a "neigh" there a "neigh"
Everywhere a "neigh, neigh".
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had a dog, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "woof, woof" here,
And a "woof, woof" there.
Here a "woof" there a "woof"
Everywhere a "woof, woof".
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had a cat, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "meow, meow" here,
And a "meow, meow" there.
Here a "meow" there a "meow"
Everywhere a "meow, meow".
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had some goats, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "baaa, baaa" here,
And a "baaa, baaa" there.
Here a "baaa" there a "baaa"
Everywhere a "baaa, baaa".
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had pigs, E-I-E-I-O.
With an "oink, oink" here,
And an "oink, oink" there.
Here an "oink" there an "oink"
Everywhere an "oink, oink".
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

When Hope finished the song, she felt a tug on her sleeve and heard the little girl say, "Oink, oink, baa,baa?"

Hope said, "Again?" The girl said, "Oink,oink, baa, baa." They sang Old MacDonald Had a Farm three more times.

"O.k., Old MacDonald needs to put his animals in the barn. I'm oinked, mooed and baaed out!" Hope laughed.

Francis enjoyed hearing Hope singing with the little girl. In a way, it made the trip seem a little like a family drive in the country.


Hawkeye took advantage of a quiet morning without incoming casualties to write a letter to his dad. He was long overdue in writing to him.

Dear Dad,

Everything here at the war is the same, chaos followed by boredom followed by more chaos.

Then something or should I say someone happened along and things suddenly changed. BJ has told me that I've become downright boring. Too serious. I blame it on the latest arrival to the 4077th.

This new arrival is a nurse named Hope Juliet Jones. (Don't tell her I told you her middle name, she'll kill me. She hates it!) Hope is from Georgia and her father is a minister.

She's cute, funny and compassionate. I've seen her keep patients calm just by talking to them and sometimes even singing to them. We've had a little Korean girl as a patient here for several weeks. Two soldiers found her on the side of the road and brought her here with a badly wounded foot. Hope happened to be the first person here to see her when she was brought in and the two of them have become very attached to each other.

This morning Hope and Father Mulcahy left to take the girl to St. Teresa's orphanage because her family couldn't be found and she needed a permanent place to stay. Everyone hear will miss her but I think that leaving that little girl at the orphanage is going to be really hard on Hope.

Yes, I've been involved with lots of women in one way or the other and now I'm writing you about one I just met. All this is leading up to one question Dad. How do you know when you've found the one you want to spend your life with?

And yes Dad, I am really serious in asking you this question and I do want your advice. Please write me back as soon as you read this letter.

Love,

Hawkeye

BJ entered the Swamp as Hawkeye finished the letter. "Hey Hawk, writing to your dad?"

"Yeah, I hadn't written him in a while. Really needed to do it."

"Just because it's been a while or because you wanted to tell him about Hope?"

Hawkeye looked up at BJ and said, "Yes and yes."

"It must be serious if you're writing your dad about her."

"Serious on my side, but I don't know about her side of things. I plan on talking to her when she and Father Mulcahy get back from their trip to the orphanage. This is gonna be a long day until she gets back."

BJ patted Hawkeye on the shoulder. "Hang in there my friend. She and Mulcahy should be back before nightfall."

"I sure hope so Beej, remember what happened the last time those two were on the road?"

"Oh, come on Hawk that was an accident. I'm sure they'll be just fine and will make it home for supper. "

"I sure hope so." Hawkeye put the letter in an envelope, addressed and sealed it. He left the Swamp and headed to Klinger's office to put the letter in the outgoing mail.


When they arrived at St. Teresa's orphanage, Hope and Father Mulcahy received an enthusiastic greeting like the one on their earlier trip there. Also, the nuns had told the children that a new child was coming to live with them so they were doubly excited. Hope had barely gotten out of the jeep with the little girl in her arms when she felt little hands grab her leg. She looked down to see the little boy she had played hide and seek before. She knelt down, put the girl on the ground and hugged the boy. "Hello again, I've brought someone new to live with you."

He said something to the little girl in Korean and took her hand. As they started to walk away, the little girl hesitated and looked back. Hope nodded and said, "its o.k., go meet your new friends." The girl turned away and walked with the little boy to where the other children were waiting for them.

Once the children were off getting acquainted with the little girl, Hope and Father Mulcahy talked to the nuns about her. Hope told them about the girl's foot and the surgery BJ had performed on it. She also told them that the child could walk, but would probably always limp.

Father Mulcahy gave them the things that members of the 4077th had given the child; the painting she did with Colonel Potter, a crocheted blanket from Major Houlihan, a pair of shiny earrings from Klinger and Hope's stuffed rabbit, Old Fluffy.

"Sister Mary Margaret, would you do something for me?" asked Hope. "I don't speak Korean and I would like to talk to the little girl and tell her something before Father Mulcahy and I have to leave."

"Of course, I'd be happy to do that for you." The nun walked over to where the children were grouped together around the little girl. She took the child's hand and brought her over to Hope.

Both Sister Mary Margaret and Hope knelt down to be at eye level with the girl.

"Sister, please ask her what her name is first and then tell her that I will always remember her and that I…" Hope paused for a second and then continued, "I love her very much."

The nun spoke to the girl for a few minutes and then told Hope what she had said to her. "I asked her name. She says it is Cho Hee, it means beautiful and bright. And I told her that you would always remember her. However, I think you should tell her you love her."

"How do you say "I love you" in Korean?" Hope asked.

"Sarang hae," the nun responded.

Hope put her hands on the little girl's shoulders and called her name, "Cho Hee?"

The girl smiled when she heard Hope say her name. She hugged the nurse tightly.

Hope whispered to her, "Sarang hae."

Cho Hee responded by kissing Hope on the cheek and saying, "Sarang hae."

It pained Francis Mulcahy to tell Hope they needed to leave. He knew the longer they stayed, the more difficult it would be for everyone. He touched her shoulder and gently said, "It's time for us to leave."

She let go of Cho Hee and stood up. "Yes, you're right. We have to leave now."

Hope turned to Sister Mary Margaret and said, "Thank you for helping me tell Cho Hee that I love her. I will keep her and all of you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you."

The nun gave her a hug and then took Cho Hee's hand and started to walk away. The little girl broke free of the nun's grasp and ran back to Hope and grabbed her legs. Hope knelt down and hugged and kissed her.

Cho Hee whispered in her ear, "Sarang hae. Hope."

Hope touched Cho Hee's cheek and looked into her dark eyes. "Sarang hae. " The girl let go of her and went back to Sister Mary Margaret.

Father Mulcahy told the nun and Cho Hee good bye and put his hand on Hope's shoulder. "Come on, let's go." The two of them walk to the jeep and got in. He started the engine and drove off. Hope looked back and then turned forward in her seat. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. His eyes misted when he saw her face and he found it difficult to the see the road.

They rode in silence for about half an hour until Hope sobbed loudly. It startled Francis so badly that he pulled off the jeep off the road. He left the engine running.

Without a word, he pulled her to him. She placed her head on his shoulder and cried loudly for several minutes. Once she stopped crying, he lifted her face and kissed her lips softly. The kiss caught Hope by surprise. It was gentle, sweet, and innocent. Before he could pull away, she returned his kiss.

Francis Mulcahy had passed over the boundary between being a priest and a man. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her again, but he stopped himself before it was too late and pulled away from her. "Oh Hope, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that."

Hope looked into his eyes and said, "Don't be sorry. It's as much my fault as yours. I kissed you back."

Before Francis could respond to Hope, there was a distant sound of voices speaking something other than English. He turned off the jeep's engine and they both sat there silently, hardly daring to breathe.

Unfortunately, the jeep was visible from the road. He dared not start up the engine again and try to move where they would have been hidden. Then he thought about the language of the distant voices. Francis wasn't sure, but it didn't sound like Korean to him. It sounded like Chinese.

He pulled Hope closed to him and whispered in her ear," I think we're hearing a group of Chinese soldiers. Get out of the jeep quietly now. We're going to have to find a place to hide."

Father Mulcahy and Hope on another road trip. It appears that this trip is turning out to be even more eventful than the first one in many ways! He finally kissed her. And she kissed back. It appears they might not make it back to the 4077th before nightfall like they planned.

Hawkeye has finally written to his dad about Hope. It will be interesting to see what sort of response he receives from him.

Dear readers, thank you so much for your support! Thanks for reading!