Chapters 9-10 Summary
Bernie Lynn’s death is recalled. Frenchie Tucker had crawled into a tunnel and was shot by friendly fire. Bernie retrieved his body but was also shot. Frenchie lay on the ground with his T-shirt pulled up under his armpits from being dragged. He had been shot through the nose. Ben Nystrom is trying to call for someone to get the dead and wounded out by chopper. Doc gives Bernie some M&Ms; he lets the wounded man think they were medicine. Bernie says over and over again that he heard it, but he does not identify exactly what he heard. Doc tells him to lie still until the “medicine” takes effect. Bernie has been shot in the throat down into his chest. Doc is trying to make him as comfortable as possible without hope. Ben Nystrom is desperate to find the code book so he can send headquarters their coordinates to retrieve Bernie and Frenchie.
Doc tells Bernie that he is going home. He replaces the compress on Bernie’s wounded throat and tells Stink to stick the hypodermic needle into Bernie, but Stink refuses to do this because he is afraid of blood. Oscar tells Ben to forget the codes and send the coordinates. The ground shudders from the impact of incoming missiles. Bernie keeps repeating that he heard something go off with a bang. Doc gives him more M&Ms, which the men realize is a signal to them that Bernie is not going to make it.
Back on the road to Paris, Stink is upset that he could not hold Cacciato, who got away. He insists that he had a good hold on him but Cacciato bit his elbow, which Doc is now treating to avoid infection. Eddie suggests that Doc give Stink some M&Ms, like Bernie. Stink vows that the next time he gets hold of Cacciato, the man will “fry.” They move along the road and come upon a map with a warning: “Look out, there’s a hole in the road.” Lieutenant Corson explains that he has a new plan, to leave the road and take off through the jungle. The men are not looking forward to another hike through the thick undergrowth. Lieutenant Corson tells Paul once again that the women and girl will have to be left behind. When Paul explains this to Sarkin Aung Wan, she begins to cry. Suddenly the ground begins to shake. A huge crack appears in the road, and the women, men, buffalo, and cart all slide into the hole.