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Another Look at My Past


Chapter 18
“Come on! We are moving out! That means right now !!!”
The men stumbled in the pre-dawn darkness. They were so tired that Sergeant Pain's frantic urging scarcely
registered.
“Is training really over?”
“I hope so. Sergeant Pain is really getting old. We will be getting somebody new for regular duty.”
Timmy was standing there, looking barely alive. “No such luck. Sergeant Pain has been assigned to us for
combat duty.”
Nelson took time to be skeptical. “And how would you know this, mister dead man walking? You can't even
find your shoes.”
“I got drunk with him last night. He has been switched from training raw recruits to leading men in combat.”
Timmy was interrupted when Sergeant Pain came ne ar them, still bellowing like he was...what?
“I had to end your training a day early. I did not get to have The Talk with my boys!! Do you know what
you are going to see? You are going to see a hssswwx! Up close!!”
Timmy waited until their military leader had passed them and was encouraging another group of men. “His
whole career he has been training recruits. This will be his first taste of war, just like it will be for us. He's
scared to death.”
“Scared? Sergeant Pain?” Horace was skeptical.
“Think about it. Training recruits, the only danger is that someone will trip over his own stupidity. Now he
has to face the hssswwx just like the rest of us.”
Frank took what comfort he could from this fact. It was not much comfort. He went to the corral to find his
horse. The still unnamed animal was light gray with big tan spots. At least Frank thought that was what it
looked like. Once it got a little more light he would recognize it, for sure.
“Ooof”
“Ooof yourself Frank. What does your horse look like?”
“Hello Dick. You are looking for your horse too. My horse looks kind of like he was decorated with leftover
bits of this and that. I don't know him by feel so I am waiting for better light.”
“My horse is a light tan all over except where he is black. We have horses of every color except brown. I
wonder why nobody has a brown horse.”
“If you want a brown horse, maybe you could rub dirt on yours.” Frank was in no mood to entertain trivial
questions.
“Frank, I am serious. I think we have a right to know why none of us has a brown horse. Where's Sergeant
Pain? I have some questions for him.”
Frank walked away from Dick Burlington. He had no desire to share in whatever punishment Sergeant Pain
might give Dick.
And ran right into something. Whatever it was, it almost stepped on Frank's foot with a great big hoof. In a
second he recognized his horse. This creature had turned to the dark side long ago. Now to get it saddled.
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