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would be a dud, but the second contained a phosphorous explosive. Kenny decided to wait until his platoon was on the line to fire their live round, before making his move.

By the time he finished firing the blank round, the amphetamine was coming on, and he began to have an overwhelming sense of wellbeing. He already knew what he was going to do and waited for his platoon to be called forward, while his mind raced time and went nowhere. He sneaked a cigarette and sat in the bleachers, watching the blue-white phosphorous explode in bursts around the tank. It was like a fireworks display, and he wondered what it would be like at nighttime in battle. He remembered all the films he had seen about war. How the realism was always muffled to keep it from becoming unpleasant for the audience, and how they would leave the theaters going, "Tsk! Tsk! War is hell," but remark also that some men were able to measure their manhood by the sword, like Audie Murphy. Like George Armstrong Custer.

His platoon moved to the firing line and he knelt next to the weapon. Everything was going Ziiinnggg! Ziiinnggg! as the instructor ordered the gunners over the loudspeaker to raise the weapons into position and the loaders to ready the shells. The weapons were loaded, and as soon as this was acknowledged with a tap on his head, and while everyone else was sighting their aim on the target, Kenny stood up with the loaded bazooka resting on his shoulder. He just stood straight up while his firing partner made like an ostrich and covered his head with his arms. A closet-queen corporal standing nearby alerted everybody by screaming with terror and running away. The loudspeaker began shouting, "Hold your fire! Hold your fire! No one move! No one move!" But when the other trainees turned and saw Kenny standing and pointing his bazooka all around, they panicked. Some of them laid down their weapons and split, while others carried them and ran.

The confusion was frightening. With noncoms diving for cover and trainees running all over the place with primed bazookas in their hands and the loudspeaker pleading with everyone to "Stop! Stop!" and calling for the "Captain! Captain!" If someone had fired his weapon it would have caused a chain reaction, and t~ey all would have gone off. It was scary but Kenny wasn't particularly concerned. He even considered walking back to the barracks but the bazooka was too heavy. Ziiinnggg! Ziiinnggg!

The loudspeaker yelled and finally wheedled him to, "Please, Wisdom, lay the weapon on the ground, that's an order!" while a [end page 225]


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