COMBAT!:  The Lost Episode
RECON 2000 Skit

Copyright 2000 by Terry Pierce

Thanks, Jen and Marty.  (Jen asked me to write this skit for the Combat fan convention held in Las Vegas, in 2000.  Marty's props proved to be the icing on the cake.)
 
 

<CAJE ENTERS STAGE LEFT; MOVES STAGE RIGHT IN A CROUCH.  LOOKS MENACING AND ALERT.  HOLDS HIS RIFLE IN A ‘READY’ POSITION -- ‘ON POINT.’

COMES TO A STOP, STAGE RIGHT.

LOOKS BACK FOR THE REST OF THE SQUAD.

NOT SEEING THEM, STRAIGHTENS UP, LOOKS AT HIS WATCH, SHRUGS, AND SHOULDERS HIS RIFLE.  PULLS A COPY OF ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Learning English On Your Own" OUT OF HIS JACKET.

STANDS CASUALLY TO READ WHILE WAITING FOR THE OTHERS.>

<SQUAD ENTERS, STAGE LEFT, BUNCHED TIGHTLY TOGETHER.  ALL LOOK FEARFUL.  HANLEY LEADS, FOLLOWED BY KIRBY, BILLY, AND DOC.>

<CAJE PUTS BOOK AWAY.  MOVES IN A CROUCH TOWARDS SQUAD.  LOOKS ALERT AND MENACING.>

<ACTORS MEET, CENTER STAGE.  GENERAL POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE PLAY (left to right):  DOC, BILLY, KIRBY, HANLEY, CAJE.>
 

HANLEY <WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE OTHERS>:

"All right, men…don’t bunch up.  Spread out and keep your eyes open."
 

<KIRBY, BILLY, AND DOC HESITATE, THEN AS A GROUP REMAINING TIGHTLY BUNCHED TOGETHER, BACK A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY FROM HANLEY.>
 

HANLEY <TO CAJE>:

"What’s it look like?"

CAJE <STRAIGHTENS TO STAND CASUALLY>:

"All clear."

HANLEY <TO THE REST OF THE SQUAD, STILL BUNCHED TOGETHER AND FRIGHTENED>:

"Okay.  Everyone take five.  Nelson - hand me the radio."
 

<KIRBY, BILLY, AND DOC ALL SIGH AUDIBLY AND RELAX.  THEY MOVE IN CLOSER TOWARD HANLEY ONCE MORE, STANDING IN CASUAL POSITIONS.>

<BILLY GIVES HANLEY A BOOMBOX.  HANLEY TURNS IT ON.  (music - Dave Brubeck’s "Take Five")>

<EACH MAN PULLS OUT HIS ‘CANTEEN’ FROM BEHIND HIM:

- KIRBY - A CAN OF BEER
- BILLY - A QUART CARTON OF MILK
- CAJE - A BOTTLE OF WINE
- DOC - A BOTTLE OF PLASMA (SLIPS THE TUBE ATTACHED TO IT UP UNDER HIS SLEEVE)
- HANLEY - A MARTINI

THEY REFRESH THEMSELVES, THEN RETURN THEIR ‘CANTEENS’ TO THEIR BELTS.>

<HANLEY TURNS OFF BOOMBOX.  GIVES IT BACK TO BILLY.>
 

KIRBY <HEAVILY BANDAGED AND SCRATCHING AT HIS RIBS AND NECK>:

"Hey, Lieutenant.  Just how far we gotta walk anyway?  My dogs are killin’ me."

BILLY:

"Looks like they’re giving you fleas, too."

KIRBY <SOURLY TO BILLY>:

"Very funny."  <HESITATES, THEN CONTINUES>  "But, uh…hey, Nelson – you got any of that flea powder your ol’ lady sent ya?"

BILLY <LOOKING DISGUSTED>:

"It’s my mother, not my ‘old lady’!"

KIRBY <LAUGHING>:

"Okay, it’s my mistake.  So?"

BILLY:

"So what?"

KIRBY:

"I mean…so, you got any of that powder?"

BILLY <LOOKING SMUG>:

"No."

KIRBY <DISGUSTED>:

"Thanks a lot."

HANLEY <TO KIRBY>:

"Kirby, just what is the matter with you?"

KIRBY <STRAIGHTENING AND GIVING HANLEY HIS ATTENTION>:

"Uh, nothing.   It’s just an itch, sir."

HANLEY:

"No.  I mean all the bandages."

KIRBY <BRIEFLY EXAMINING HIMSELF>:

"Oh…those..."  <LOOKS AT HANLEY AGAIN.>  "It’s just a scratch, sir."

DOC <ENTHUSIASTICALLY>:

"Hey!  Maybe you better let me take a look at that!"

KIRBY <STEPPING AWAY FROM DOC AND AROUND HANLEY TO PUT THE LT. BETWEEN HIMSELF AND THE MEDIC>:

"Uh, no, Doc!  That’s all right!  I’m gonna be just fine…<TO HIMSELF UNDER HIS BREATH>…especially if you stay right over there."
 

<DOC LOOKS DISAPPOINTED.>

<CAJE PULLS OUT HIS BAYONET, AND CROUCHING AGAIN, SWINGS IT AROUND MENACINGLY.>
 

CAJE:

"Hey, Lieutenant.  Don’t you think we ought to be getting on with the mission?"
 

<KIRBY LOOKS ALARMED AND MOVES BACK AROUND HANLEY TO STAND NEXT TO BILLY ONCE MORE.>

<KIRBY, BILLY, AND DOC BEGIN BUNCHING UP NEXT TO HANLEY AGAIN.  THEY LOOK FEARFUL AT WHAT CAJE IS DOING.>
 

HANLEY <EXASPERATED AT CAJE’S ENTHUSIASM AND IN A PATRONIZING VOICE>:

"Yes, Caje.  We’ll get on with the mission."

BILLY <TO DOC>:

"Doc.  Just what is our mission, anyway?"

DOC <IN A CONFIDENTIAL TONE>:

"Well, you guys are supposed to be looking for a ‘big gun’."

BILLY <INCREDULOUS>:

"What?  Again??  I thought Sarge already took care of all those last week.  Just how many of ‘em do the Krauts have?"

DOC:

"Well, it’s not that kind of ‘big gun’.  The lieutenant has orders to scrounge himself up a real weapon."

BILLY <LOOKING THOROUGHLY CONFUSED>:

"A real weapon?"

DOC <GESTURING AT THE TINY PEA-SHOOTER HANLEY’S CARRYING>:

"Yeah.  And you can see why…"
 

<BILLY BENDS FORWARD FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT HANLEY’S RIFLE.  HIS CONFUSION GIVES WAY TO UNDERSTANDING AS DOC NODS ENCOURAGINGLY.>
 

BILLY:

"Ohhhh…"

DOC:

"Uh huh.  The lieutenant heard those MG-42s the Krauts carry aren’t too heavy, so you guys are goin’ to try to grab him one of them."    <PUTS HIS FACE NEAR BILLY’S AND HIS HAND TO HIS MOUTH SO HANLEY WON’T OVERHEAR.>    "I think he feels a little competition with the sarge, too.  You know how Sarge is always gettin’ off a lot more shots and receiving more fan mail with that Tommygun of his."

BILLY <NODS KNOWINGLY>:

"Ohhhh…"

KIRBY <TO CAJE, WHO’S STILL THRUSTING THE BAYONET AROUND>:

"C’mon, Caje.  What’s the big rush?  Them Krauts ain’t goinnowhere.  Besides, you know what they say - ‘slow and stupid wins the race.’ "
 

<EVERYONE STOPS WHAT THEY’RE DOING TO LOOK AT KIRBY -- BILLY, DOC, AND HANLEY MOVE SLIGHTLY AWAY, OFF TO EITHER SIDE OF HIM (so the four are no longer bunched up); CAJE STANDS UPRIGHT, BAYONET PRACTICE FORGOTTEN.>
 

CAJE:

"Kirby, that’s ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ "

KIRBY <LOOKING AROUND AT ALL OF THEM, EMBARRASSED AND BLUSTERING>:

"Well, look, you guys…you win the war your way and I’ll win it mine!"

HANLEY:

"All right, all right.  Settle down.  Caje, let me have that map again.  There’s got to be a Kraut outpost around here somewhere."
 

<CAJE REACHES INTO HIS JACKET, PULLS OUT A MAP, HANDS IT TO HANLEY.>

<HANLEY BEGINS TO STUDY THE MAP.  THE OTHERS CROWD AROUND TO LOOK AT IT OVER HIS SHOULDER.>:
 

HANLEY:

"Hmm…"

BILLY <POINTING TO ONE SIDE OF THE MAP>:

"Gee, Lieutenant , do you think we ought to try looking for Krauts on the other side of this ridge?"

HANLEY <LOOKING AT THE MAP>:

"No…that’s pretty rough terrain.  Can’t do that.  Besides, see this stream that bisects that sector?  It’s got to be at least two feet deep."

DOC <POINTING TO ANOTHER SPOT ON THE MAP>:

"Sir?  What if we were to move along this road, then work our way down south past this farm?"

HANLEY <STUDYING THE MAP>:

"Mmm…no.  That road is full of potholes, Doc.  <DOC GRINS AND NODS HIS HEAD ENTHUSIASTICALLY.>  "And see this fence we’d have to climb over?"  <HANLEY SHAKES HIS HEAD ‘NO’.  DOC LOOKS DISAPPOINTED.>

KIRBY <STILL SCRATCHING, POINTS AT ANOTHER SPOT ON THE MAP>:

"Uh, Lieutenant?  Maybe we could try headin’ this way?  You know, work our way through this here orchard to the west?"

HANLEY <STILL LOOKING AT THE MAP AND FROWNING>:

"Too risky moving under those trees when they’re loaded up with apples."

CAJE <POINTING TO THE MAP>:

"How about if we jump off in this directon, sir?"

HANLEY <LOOKING AT CAJE, HORRIFIED>:

"Jump off??!!"

CAJE <LOOKING AT HANLEY>:

"No stunt double again today?"

HANLEY:

"Uh uh.  He called in sick."  <HANLEY FOLDS THE MAP TO SLIDE IT INTO HIS JACKET.>  "Somehow, we’ve got to find a safe route forward."

CAJE, KIRBY, BILLY, DOC < IN UNISON>:

"What are we gonna do, Lieutenant?"

HANLEY:

"We go by ‘The Book’."   <SNAPS HIS FINGERS AT CAJE.>  "Caje."
 

<CAJE REACHES INTO HIS JACKET.  PULLS OUT A COPY OF "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World War II".  HANDS IT TO HANLEY.>
 

HANLEY <THUMBING THROUGH THE BOOK>:

"Okay, let’s see…dancing Greeks…fuzzy puppies…precocious orphans…jazz bands…salary negotiations…chickens…<SUDDENLY GRINNING BROADLY AND LINGERING OVER A PAGE>…Denise Darcel…"
 

<ALL THE MEN TRY TO GET A BETTER LOOK AT THE BOOK OVER HANLEY’S SHOULDER.  HE NOTICES, AND BECOMING BUSINESS-LIKE ONCE MORE, TURNS THE PAGE.>:
 

HANLEY <CONTINUING>:

"…ditzy nuns…ah, here we are.  France.   <HE READS SILENTLY FOR A FEW MOMENTS.>  All right, men.  We find a French civilian and… <LOOKS UP AND AROUND AT THE SQUAD, THEN IN A VERY SOMBER VOICE SAYS>…we ask for directions."
 

<ALL THE MEN LOOK HORRIFIED.>
 

BILLY <HIS EYES VERY WIDE; HIS VOICE RISING DRAMATICALLY>:

"But, golly, Lieutenant…!"

KIRBY <INTERRUPTING>:

"Sir!  We can’t do that!  Real men don’t ask for directions!"
 

<A FRENCH WOMAN ENTERS STAGE RIGHT; BEGINS TO MAKE HER WAY PAST THE GIs WHILE MOVING STAGE LEFT.>
 

KIRBY <SUDDENLY ENTHUSIASTIC AND GRINNING BROADLY, STARTS TO MOVE TOWARD HER>:

"On the other hand, orders are orders!"

HANLEY <GRABBING KIRBY BY THE COLLAR>:

"Not so fast, soldier.  A commanding officer never asks anything of his men he wouldn’t be willing to do himself."
 

<HE MOVES KIRBY ASIDE, THEN TAKING A STEP FORWARD, MOTIONS THE WOMAN OVER.>
 

HANLEY:

"Madam-mazzle!"
 

<WOMAN MOVES TOWARDS HIM, SAYS NOTHING, BUT SMILES.  ALL THE MEN ARE WEARING FOOLISH GRINS.>
 

HANLEY <WITH MUCH CHARM>:

"Excuse me, Miss.  We’re looking for Germans and were wondering if you could tell us a way to get to some without too much difficulty?"
 

<WOMAN CONTINUES TO SMILE POLITELY, BUT SHRUGS AND SHAKES HER HEAD TO SIGNIFY SHE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HIM.>
 

HANLEY:

"Caje.  You speak the language.  Ask her which way to go to get to a Kraut outpost or something."

CAJE <STEPS FORWARD.  SPEAKS IN A LOUDER THAN NORMAL VOICE, VERY SLOWLY, AND CAREFULLY ENUNCIATING EVERY WORD [as Americans do when talking to foreigners, thinking that if they speak this way, they’ll surely be understood.]>:

"Mademoiselle.  Would you, by any chance, know how we can get to some Boches without the Lieutenant here having to strain himself?"

WOMAN <SPEAKING IN THE SAME MANNER AS CAJE DID>:

"Oh, you won’t need to go anywhere.  There’s a whole bunch of them coming right this way, from just beyond that rise.  <SHE TILTS HER HEAD STAGE RIGHT.>  Maybe fifty guys, all SS, heavily armed, and out for blood.  I’ve never seen a meaner-looking bunch of thugs.  Another couple of minutes, and they’ll be right in your laps."

HANLEY <TO CAJE, WHO’S LOOKING STAGE RIGHT WITH A VERY WORRIED EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE>:

"What did she say?"

CAJE <LOOKING TO HANLEY AND ANXIOUS, BUT TRYING TO SOUND UPBEAT>:

"Uh…she hasn’t seen a German in weeks.  Lieutenant, I think we ought to be going back the way we came.  Maybe we overlooked some Krauts along the way."
 

<HANLEY STROKES HIS CHIN, LOST IN THOUGHT FOR SEVERAL MOMENTS.>

<KIRBY’S SMILING AND MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH THE WOMAN.  HE TAKES A VERY BENT CIGARETTE FROM HIS POCKET AND PUTS IT INTO HIS MOUTH.>
 

BILLY:

"Kirb, why do you smoke those things?"

KIRBY <STILL LOOKING AT THE WOMAN>:

"Smokin’ a cigarette makes a man look suave and sophisticated, kid.  Drives the dames wild.  Ain’t that right, Doc?"

DOC:

"It sure is.  But if you were to get yourself a nice flesh wound, you’d really get some attention from the ladies.  <RUMMAGES IN HIS MEDICAL BAG>  After all, there’s nothin’ they like better than to nurse a poor, wounded GI back to health.  <PULLS OUT A SCALPEL AND A CAN OF HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE SYRUP; HOLDS UP BOTH ITEMS, READY TO GO TO WORK>  Want me to fix you up with something dramatic?"

KIRBY <EDGING AWAY FROM DOC ONCE MORE>:

"Now look, Doc.  You just stay away from me, okay?  I got me enough natural charm that I don’t need no help from you."
 

<DOC LOOKS DISAPPOINTED AGAIN.  SADLY RETURNS SCALPEL AND SYRUP TO HIS MED POUCH.>
 

BILLY <MOVES A BIT CLOSER TO KIRBY AND FARTHER FROM DOC.  SPEAKING IN A CONFIDENTIAL TONE>:

"Gee whiz, Kirb.  Do you ever worry about Doc sometimes?  I mean, gosh!"

KIRBY:

"Well, you know you gotta worry about a guy who goes through a whole war with a bunch of targets painted on his helmet."
 

<KIRBY CIRCLES AN INDEX FINGER BY AN EAR TO INDICATE DOC’S CRAZY.>
 

HANLEY:

"We can’t go back the way we came, Caje.  Remember?  <TURNING TO LOOK AT BILLY, HANLEY’S TONE BECOMES SHARPER.> Nelson blew up that footbridge over the culvert when he lost yet another grenade pin!"

BILLY <EMBARRASSED>:

"Golly, Lieutenant.  I’m really sorry about that."

FRENCH WOMAN <TO CAJE, STILL ENUNCIATING VERY CAREFULLY>:

"I’m afraid you will have to excuse me – I always faint at the sight of American blood.  Au revoir…<SHE SHAKES HER HEAD IN PITY AS HER VOICE BECOMES VERY SORROWFUL.>…Monsieurs des Americains."  <SHE PULLS A HANDKERCHIEF FROM HER POCKET, PUTS IT TO HER FACE, AND OBVIOUSLY IN GRIEF, RUSHES OFF, STAGE LEFT.>
 

<ALL THE MEN LOOK AFTER HER.>
 

HANLEY <PERPLEXED>:

"What did she say, Caje?"

CAJE:

"Um…something about how she’d like to stick around and get to know us better, but the producers don’t want to pay her for anything more than a walk-on."

KIRBY:

"Those dirty, lousy, no-good tightwads."

HANLEY:

"All right.  Well, we’d better move out.  We’ve got Krauts to find.  I’ll need one of you men to give me a boost up this slope over here.   Caje…"

CAJE <SUDDENLY RAISING AN ARM TO CAUTION FOR QUIET, AND LOOKING SKYWARD, STRAINING TO SEE SOMETHING OVERHEAD>:

"Hold on, Lieutenant!  You hear that?"
 

<ALL THE MEN LOOK UP AND AROUND WITH INTENSE CONCENTRATION, TRYING TO SEE WHAT CAJE IS REFERRING TO.  AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, THEY ALL BEGIN TO HONE IN ON AN UNSEEN MOSQUITO NOW ZEROING IN ON BILLY.

BILLY, LOOKING UP AND LICKING HIS LIPS IN CONCENTRATION, SLOWLY LIFTS HIS ARMS TO SLAP THE ‘MOSQUITO’ WHEN IT LANDS ON HIM.  EVERYONE ELSE WATCHES INTENTLY.  BILLY ‘WATCHES’ THE MOSQUITO LIGHT ON HIS RIGHT FOREARM, THEN ABRUPTLY SMACKS IT WITH HIS LEFT HAND.  SLOWLY, HE LIFTS THE HAND WHILE EVERYONE AWAITS HIS CASUALTY REPORT.>
 

BILLY <TRIUMPHANT, HOLDING OUT HIS FOREARM FOR EVERYONE TO SEE>:

"I got him!"
 

<ALL THE MEN SMILE THEIR CONGRATULATIONS.>

<BILLY SCRATCHES HIS ARM.>
 

DOC <SUDDENLY CONCERNED AND REACHING FOR BILLY’S ARM>:

"Say, did he get you?  You’d better let me have a look at that."
 

<TOO LATE TO DODGE HIM, BILLY SUBMITS TO DOC’S EXAMINATION.  ALL THE MEN WATCH AS DOC GRIMLY REACHES INTO HIS MED POUCH FOR A CONTAINER OF BABY POWDER.  HE PROCEEDS TO SPRINKLE THE POWDER LIBERALLY ALL OVER BILLY’S ARM.>
 

BILLY <CONFUSED>:

"Uh…gee, Doc.  It’s just a scratch.  Really.  I don’t know that I need sulfa powder…"

DOC:

"Oh, this isn’t sulfa powder, Billy.  I stopped using that a long time ago.  Preventing infections is all well and good, but do you know how hard it is to work with a bunch of sweaty GIs, day in and day out, week after week, with no one ever takin’ a bath?  I mean, it gets to where a fella starts yearning for a little relief.  So I treat you guys with talcum powder every chance I get.  <HE STOPS APPLYING THE POWDER AND RELEASES BILLY’S ARM.>  There!  Now you’re baby fresh."

BILLY <UNCERTAIN>:

"Well, um…thanks."

KIRBY <SCRATCHING>:

"Now wait a minute, Doc.  Smellin’ like a baby’s fine for Nelson here, but…"

BILLY <INDIGNANT>:

"What’s that supposed to mean?"

HANLEY:

"All right.  Everybody settle down.  We’re supposed to be on a mission.  Remember?  Now, Caje, about that boost over the slope…"

CAJE:

"I don’t think you’ll need one, Lieutenant.  Krauts are headed this way.  Probably a platoon of Waffen SS.  They should be here any minute."

 HANLEY <WITH ADMIRATION>:

"Caje!  That’s amazing!"

CAJE <PUZZLED>:

"What is, sir?"

HANLEY:

"That uncanny way you have of just somehow knowing when Krauts are around.  It’s incredible!"

CAJE <SHRUGGING, BUT PLEASED>:

"Well, Lieutenant, I guess being Cajun, I just sort of have a ‘sixth sense’ about these things."

KIRBY <SCORNFULLY, TO DOC AND BILLY>:

"Huh.  I think bein’ Cajun, he just sort of reads ahead in the script."

HANLEY:

"All right, men.  Krauts are headed this way.  Take cover and prepare to open fire, on my order."
 

<KIRBY IMMEDIATELY TURNS TO HEAD STAGE LEFT.  HANLEY GRABS HIM BY THE COLLAR.>
 

HANLEY:

"And just where do you think you’re going?"

KIRBY <BLUSTERING>:

"Well, sir…I, uh…thought I’d better head back to Supply and pick up some more ammo, seein’ as how we’re gonna be up against so many Krauts and all."

HANLEY <PERPLEXED>:

"More?  But Kirby, you haven’t fired a shot and you were supposed to be issued a basic load of ammo before we left.  How much did the supply sergeant give you?"

KIRBY <NERVOUSLY SCRATCHING AT HIMSELF AGAIN>:

"Well, um…all that I could carry, sir."

HANLEY:

"Then you should be all set.  Your belt’s full."

KIRBY:

"Heh.  Yeah.  Well, that’s sort of  why I couldn’t carry no more than this here one mag."  <HE LIFTS THE BAR TO TAP THE MAGAZINE IN IT.>   "My belt was already full."

HANLEY:

"Already full?  Already full of  what?"

KIRBY:

"Um, well…supplies, Lieutenant."
 

<AS KIRBY TALKS, HANLEY BEGINS PULLING THINGS OUT OF KIRBY’S AMMO BELT, ONE BY ONE.>
 

KIRBY:

You know…a good soldier’s gotta be prepared for any  situation when he goes out on a dangerous mission."
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT A PAIR OF NYLON STOCKINGS.>
 

KIRBY:

"Like those, for instance.  Uh…those could be used for takin’ out a Kraut sentry nice and quiet-like if we was to be sneakin’ up on a OP or somethin’."
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT A CAN OF BEER.>
 

KIRBY:

"And, uh, that could be used to…get a Kraut prisoner to loosen up and talk if we gotta get some information out of him.  You know - you get him a little drunk and he tells you everything.  I seen that done in a Clint Eastwood picture once."
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT A SECOND CAN OF BEER.>
 

KIRBY <DEFENSIVELY>:

"Well,  sir, the Kraut could have a hollow leg."
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT A DECK OF CARDS.>
 

KIRBY:

"And did you know you can pick a locked door with a simple playin’ card from a deck like that?"
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT A BOTTLE OF MEN’S COLOGNE.>
 

KIRBY <BEGINNING TO GET INTO THIS>:

"And that in a pinch, cologne makes a nice antiseptic for disinfecting wounds?"
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT SEVERAL CHOCOLATE BARS.>
 

KIRBY <ENJOYING HIMSELF NOW>:

"And that chocolate is great for that extra burst of energy you need when you’re about to assault a pillbox?"
 

<HANLEY PULLS OUT SOME CIGARS.>
 

KIRBY:

"And that cigars can be used to lay down an effective smoke screen when chemical mortars ain’t available to do the job for you?"

HANLEY <ROLLING HIS EYES, BUT PUTTING THE CIGARS INTO HIS OWN JACKET>:

"All right, all right.  Get this stuff out of the way, but stick around.  I need every man I’ve got.  You’ll just have to space your shots and make every one of ‘em count."

KIRBY:

"Okay, sir.  I’ll wait to open up until the Krauts leave cover to get out into the open and walk right toward us like they always do."

HANLEY:

"All right.  That’s fine.   <HE LOOKS AROUND AT THE OTHERS.>  And that goes for the rest of you, too.  The fewer squibs that go off, the less chance I have of getting hurt.  Now get behind some cover."
 

<HANLEY & CAJE GET BEHIND ONE FICUS TREE (center stage right); KIRBY GETS BEHIND ANOTHER (center stage); AND BILLY AND DOC MOVE BEHIND A THIRD (center stage left).>

<KIRBY, HANLEY, AND CAJE RAISE THEIR RIFLES TO FIRE, AIMING THEM STAGE RIGHT.>

<BILLY SWALLOWS HARD.  SOLEMNLY PUTS THE CORK INTO HIS ‘POPGUN’ RIFLE.  BRINGS IT UP TO HIS SHOULDER.>
 

CAJE:

"Here they come, Lieutenant."

HANLEY:

"Okay, men.  Now remember - on my order.  <HE WAITS A FEW MOMENTS>  "Ready…aim…FIRE!"
 

<KIRBY, HANLEY, AND CAJE OPEN UP.>

<BILLY AIMS CAREFULLY.  FIRES THE CORK FROM HIS RIFLE.>
 

BILLY:

"Lieutenant!  I’m out of ammunition!"
 

<HANLEY’S TOO BUSY TO RESPOND.>

<BILLY HESITATES.  MAKES SURE NO ONE’S PAYING ATTENTION TO HIM.  PULLS A "TRICK" GRENADE FROM HIS JACKET.  MONKEYS WITH IT AND THE GRENADE’S LEVER FALLS OFF.  HORRIFIED, DRAWS BACK HIS ARM TO THROW THE GRENADE STAGE RIGHT.>

<DOC GRABS BILLY’S ARM.>
 

DOC:

"You can’t throw that thing up a slope!  It’ll roll right back down on top of us and get us all killed!"

BILLY <HIS VOICE RISING IN PANIC>:

"Well, gee whiz, Doc!  What am I gonna do?"

DOC <RUMMAGING IN HIS BAG TO PULL OUT A ROLL OF BANDAGES>:

"Hang on a minute!  I’ll give you a hand!"
 

<DOC - OBVIOUSLY ENJOYING HIMSELF - PROCEEDS TO WRAP BILLY’S ENTIRE HAND - GRENADE AND ALL - IN A HUGE SWATH OF BANDAGES.>
 

DOC <BEAMING>:

"There!  That ought’a hold you."

BILLY <EXAMINING DOC’S WORK AND LESS THAN THRILLED>:

"Gee…thanks, Doc."
 

<KIRBY, HANLEY, AND CAJE ALL SUDDENLY STOP WHAT THEY’RE DOING TO TURN TO DOC.>
 

KIRBY, HANLEY, CAJE <ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND IN UNISON>:

"Yeah!  Thanks, Doc!"
 

<KIRBY, HANLEY, AND CAJE RESUME FIRING.>

<AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, BILLY SPEAKS.>
 

BILLY <LOOKING TOWARDS STAGE RIGHT>:

"Hey, you guys…those Krauts look awful familiar.  I mean, you see that dark-haired one over there?  He could be the twin of the guy who was with Steiner.  You know, the one that you guys killed when you escaped?"

DOC <SQUINTING TOWARDS STAGE RIGHT (as though looking at Germans)>:

"Yeah…now that you mention it, he does look familiar.  And so does that blond one over there.  Say, Kirby, isn’t that the same Kraut who got it when we were tryin’ to swap him for Mason a few weeks back?"

KIRBY <ALSO SQUINTS TO SEE THE GERMANS, THEN TURNS BACK TO DOC AND BILLY>:

"Aw, come on, you guys.  They ain’t the same Krauts.  Use your heads.  Everybody knows foreigners all look alike."

DOC AND BILLY <IN UNISON>:

"Ohhhh…"

HANLEY <HOLDING UP HIS ARM>:

"All right!  Hold your fire!"
 

<ALL STOP FIRING.>
 

KIRBY:

"Think we got all of ‘em, Lieutenant?"

HANLEY:

"Looks like it.  Caje!  Go check it out."

CAJE:

"Right, sir."
 

<CAJE EXITS, STAGE RIGHT.  QUICKLY RETURNS WITH A KRAUT PRISONER.>

<PRISONER WALKS AHEAD OF CAJE, HIS ARMS UP.  ONE SIDE OF HIS HEAD IS BLOODY, AND HIS PANTS ARE RIDDLED WITH BULLET HOLES AND BLOODY.  HIS TUNIC IS IMMACULATE.>

<THE GERMAN’S RIFLE IS SLUNG OVER CAJE’S LEFT SHOULDER.>

<THE GERMAN AND CAJE  COME TO A STOP AT HANLEY’S LEFT.>
 

CAJE:

"This one still had some life left in him."

HANLEY:

"So, I see."

GERMAN <DEFIANTLY>:

"It is too bad the same will not be said of you in a few more minutes, Lieutenant."

HANLEY <SURPRISED>:

"You speak English?"

GERMAN <HAUGHTILY>:

"Of course.  I learned it at the gymnasium."

KIRBY <SCRATCHING AGAIN>:

"Didn’t any of you Krauts ever just play basketball in there?"

HANLEY:

"What do you mean by ‘in a few more minutes,’ uh…?"

GERMAN <STILL HAUGHTY AND LOWERING HIS ARMS>:

"The name is Kindelschmidt - Feldwebel Dick Kindelschmidt.  And what I mean is that in mere minutes, twenty panzer divisions will be right on top of you.  I do not think your firepower will serve you quite as well against them, yes?"

CAJE <NERVOUSLY>:

"Lieutenant, we got our Kraut for the night.  How about if we head back now, huh?"

HANLEY <RUBBING HIS JAW>:

"We’re not out here for a Kraut, Caje.  We’re out here for a gun."

CAJE <PULLING THE RIFLE HE’S CONFISCATED OFF HIS SHOULDER>:

"Well, how about this guy’s?"

DICK:

"That is not a ‘gun’.  It’s a rifle."

CAJE <SHRUGGING>:

"Whatever."
 

<HANLEY ACCEPTS THE GERMAN’S RIFLE (WITH DROOPING RUBBER BARREL) TO INSPECT IT.>
 

HANLEY <INCREDULOUS>:

"This is an M1 carbine!  What on earth are you doing with one of these?"

DICK:

"The spoils of war, Lieutenant.  German Intelligence has determined they are quite effective in combat against dancing Greeks. You will note the design of the barrel is particularly well-suited to targeting the feet.  Therefore, as you can well imagine, they are highly prized among our troops."
 

<HANLEY HOLDS THE RIFLE IN FRONT OF HIM TO SLOWLY RUN HIS HAND ALONG ITS DROOPING BARREL.>
 

HANLEY <UNCERTAIN>:

"Well…I suppose…"

CAJE <DESPERATE>:

"Lieutenant, it could also make targeting short Krauts a lot easier for a tall guy like you."
 

<HANLEY’S MEN ALL LOOK ANXIOUS FOR HIM TO ACCEPT THE WEAPON.>
 

HANLEY:

"Hmmm… <HE CONTINUES TO EXAMINE THE DROOPING BARREL.>  Okay.  I’ll take it."
 

<HANLEY’S MEN LET OUT A COLLECTIVE SIGH OF RELIEF.>
 

HANLEY:

"But we still can’t go home."
 

<HANLEY’S MEN ALL LOOK ANXIOUS AGAIN.>
 

HANLEY:

"No stunt double.  Remember?"
 

<THE MEN ALL LOOK LOST IN THOUGHT, TRYING TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION.  AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, KIRBY SPEAKS.>
 

KIRBY <HESITANTLY>:

"Well , uh…what about this here Kraut, Lieutenant?  It ain’t like he’s busy doinnothin’ else at the moment.  Why not use him as your fall guy?"
 

BILLY <ENTHUSIASTICALLY TAKING UP THE IDEA>:

"Sure!  That’s a great idea, Kirb!  He doesn’t have emerald green eyes or an engaging movie-star smile… <BECOMING UNCERTAIN NOW>…and, well gee, looks a lot more like Littlejohn than the lieutenant, but…"

CAJE <INTERRUPTING>:

"…but it’s amazing what you can get away with in long camera shots!  So how about it, sir?  What do you say we use the Kraut to do your stunts?"

DICK <INDIGNANT>:

"Now, wait just a minute, Lieutenant!  I have absolutely no intention of being used as if I were some kind of pig in a mine field by you Amerikaners.  I have my honor as a German soldier in the Third Reich to preserve!  I have my dignity to consider!  I have my insurance premiums to worry about!  I steadfastly refuse to cooperate in this matter!"

HANLEY:

"Well, you heard him, men.  Under the rules of the Geneva Convention, I can’t force him to do the job.  It looks like we’ll have to stay put."
 

<BILLY, KIRBY, AND CAJE LOOK VERY DISAPPOINTED.>

<DICK LOOKS VERY SMUG.>

<HANLEY LOOKS AT HIS WATCH, THEN AROUND AT HIS SURROUNDINGS AS IF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO NEXT.>

<DOC LOOKS INTENTLY AT DICK.>
 

DOC <SOUNDING TERRIBLY CONCERNED>:

"Say…you look like you could use some help over there.  How about if I take a look at you?"
 

<DICK NODS HIS PERMISSION AND STEPS FORWARD, TURNING TO FACE DOC.>

<DOC STEPS FORWARD, AND REACHING FOR DICK’S RIGHT HAND, IMMEDIATELY EXAMINES DICK’S PALM.>

<BILLY, KIRBY, HANLEY, AND CAJE ALL SMILE BROADLY AT ONE ANOTHER, HIGHLY AMUSED THAT THE KRAUT HAS JUST MADE A HUGE MISTAKE.>

<DICK LOOKS SOMEWHAT CONFUSED.>

<EVERYONE WATCHES DOC WITH INTEREST.>
 

DOC <TO HIMSELF>:

"Hmmm…oh, my…mmm-hmmm…I was afraid of this."

DOC <TO HANLEY IN A VERY GRAVE VOICE>:

"Lieutenant, this man’s got a bruise the size of a quarter on the heel of his hand.  Somethin’s gonna have to be done to relieve the pressure on the surrounding muscle tissue that’s bein’ caused by the internal bleedingoin’ on in there, or he might suffer permanent damage."
 

<DOC TURNS TO RUMMAGE IN HIS MEDICAL BAG AND PULLS OUT A CHAIN SAW.>
 

DOC <CONTINUING SOMBERLY>:

"I’m afraid that arm’ll have to come off."
 

<ALL THE MEN LOOK HORRIFIED.>
 

DICK <AGHAST>:

"Lieutenant!  You can’t allow this!  It’s…it’s just a scratch!"

DOC <ABSENTLY, TO HANLEY, WHILE MONKEYING WITH THE CHAIN SAW>:

"No, sir…it’s definitely a bruise."

DICK <NEARLY HYSTERICAL>:

"Lieutenant!"

HANLEY <SHRUGGING>:

"Well, Doc knows what he’s talking about.  <SUDDENLY MENACING>  He’ll fix you!"

DICK <WHINING PITIFULLY NOW>:

"But Lieutenant!  How am I gonna carry your rifle and do all of your stunt work without a right arm?!  You don’t wanna lug that gun around by yourself, do you?!!"
 

<DOC IS JUST PLACING THE CHAIN SAW UP TO DICK’S RIGHT SHOULDER.>
 

HANLEY:

"Hold it, Doc!  <DIRECTING HIMSELF TO DICK>  "Hmm…I guess you do have a point there, don’t you?  Okay.  I’ll tell you what.  Since I’m not that keen on invasive procedures - despite my tactical training - anyway, how about if we talk over terms of your new employment?"

<HANLEY SLINGS AN ARM ACROSS DICK’S SHOULDERS AND THE TWO MEN SLOWLY BEGIN MOVING STAGE LEFT, TO EXIT.>

<DICK NODS ENTHUSIASTICALLY TO EVERYTHING HANLEY SAYS.>

<DOC STANDS AND LOOKS FORLORNLY AFTER THEM.>

<BILLY, KIRBY, AND CAJE ALSO WATCH HANLEY AND DICK LEAVE.>
 

HANLEY <CONTINUING>:

"Now, you’ll have to be available to work weekends, and I suppose I should warn you that quicksand occasionally shows up on a set.  Of course, artillery barrages, fire fights, barbed wire, and Billy’s grenades are all just par for the course.  Speaking of which, I golf occasionally, and sand pits and ponds are absolute murder, aren’t they?  But I don’t suppose they’re anything compared to what you run into when you’re big-game hunting.  Have you ever done any of that, uh…what’d you say your name was again?"

DICK:

"Dick."

HANLEY:

"Yeah.  Dick.  Being on safari in deepest, darkest Africa is really something.  But beating around the bush and dealing with all those bugs, snakes, and treacherous natives…well, I’ll tell you - you’re just going to have your work cut out for you, aren’t you?" <HANLEY’S VOICE FADES AS HE AND DICK MOVE OFF-STAGE.>

DOC <LOOKING AROUND AT BILLY, KIRBY, AND CAJE, AND RAISING THE CHAIN SAW ONCE MORE>:

"Well, what about the rest of you fellas?  Anyone want a haircut?  Need a trim?"
 

<LOOKING TERRIFIED, BILLY, KIRBY, AND CAJE ALL BEAT A HASTY RETREAT TO EXIT, STAGE LEFT.>

<DOC HESITATES A MOMENT, LOOKING AFTER THEM IN DISAPPOINTMENT, THEN ALSO MOVES STAGE LEFT TO EXIT.>
 

DOC <CALLING OUT>:

"Aw, c’mon, Kirby!  You know you’re lookin’ kind of shaggy!  How about just a little off the top?"
 

<DOC EXITS STAGE.>
 

***
END