Absurd! Potter thought. A spy right under everybody's noses, incredibly brazen.
And the worst was, nobody had noticed. Everyone had been working so hard that they had not noticed a second Radar sneaking around the camp.
Potter looked at his desk. That Burns! He rearranged the entire office. The Colonel started returning his own order by putting his in-basket back to the left side of his desk. Then, after a moment of thought, he pushed all the neatly arranged pencils and pens into the middle of the table and mixed them up with one swirling movement of his hand. So there!
And now for a glass of Bourbon. He looked across to the drinks cabinet behind him. That moment, Radar came through the door with a glass of Bourbon.
"I thought you might need one of these after that shock, Sir."
"Thank you Radar, it's good to be back!" the Colonel said, almost softly.
He raised his glass and sipped some of its contents. "I just hope Pierce is alright...," the ringing of the telephone interrupted his thoughts.
"Alright, Sir. I've got it," announced Radar and disappeared though the swing doors.
Just as Potter wanted to lean back in his chair he heard a commotion outside his office with several voices shouting promiscuously. He put his glass down and was just about to get up from his chair, as Hawkeye walked in with his hands up behind his head and Flagg behind him, pointing the rifle between Hawkeye's shoulder blades.
"What is going on here, for Pete's sake?" shouted Potter aghast and jumped up from his chair.
"The Colonel here thinks I am a spy. But the real spy is Major Hayward," said Hawkeye, looking tired and pale, his hands still up. "I have finally sussed him out."
"Flagg, take that toy of yours down!" demanded Potter slightly agitated. "Pierce sit down, you look awful. Why Major Hayward?"
Hawkeye decided that he'd no longer keep everything back. He now blurted out all his observations and suspicions from the last few days. "Since the Major has turned up here, strange things have started to happen. Equipment has disappeared, medical and personal, medication, he himself sneaks around the camp when he should still be in his cot, healing his wounds."
He stopped because he started to get a strange look from Colonel Potter.
"Hawkeye, this time you are wrong. You may be a first class surgeon, but you are a lousy detective," the Potter almost smiled.
"Pierce is a spy and now he is trying to put the blame on someone else!" interrupted Flagg.
"Flagg, instead of staking out my surgeons, you should have opened your eyes a bit. You have been as blind as anyone else in this camp, and you claim to be from Intelligence!" Potter said as calmly as he could.
"None of my men is a spy, neither Pierce nor Hayward. We have had a Chinese spy in our camp who was dressed up as Radar. And no one, not even you, Flagg, had noticed. Everyone was so engulfed in their work. You, Hawkeye, were obsessed about there being something wrong with Hayward, and no one paid attention to the fact that there was a second clerk running around the compound."
"But how can that be? Hayward was really acting strange, he even pretended to be chums with Frank!" For the first time Hawkeye was feeling a bit confused about the whole thing.
Radar poked his head through the door.
"Erm, Colonel Potter, Sir. There was a call from I Corps."
He paused for a moment to get Potters attention, then continued, "They want to have Major Hayward back, because they think he is needed more urgently in the 8063rd."
"Whaaaaat?" asked Potter. "I don't believe it! Has anyone of these egg heads from I Corps ever been here to see how we work the skin off our fingers? We didn't even notice a damn Chinese spy walking amongst us!"
Colonel Potter shook his head in disbelief.
"Well, you won't need me anymore, now that all has been explained," said Flagg leaning against a filing cabinet. "Close your eyes. You know the procedure!"
"Oh, Colonel Flagg," said Potter with a saccharine smile, "if you could be so kind and take the door this time. It is really hard getting new window panes out here."
Potter closed his eyes and heard how Flagg left via the swing doors.
"Hm," said Hawkeye pensively, "I hate to admit it, but it seems that I was wrong in my views on Major Hayward." He grimaced.
"And I really think you should apologise to him," decided Potter.
Colonel Potter took Hawkeye across to the Mess tent. The camp had now come back to life. The last of the sleepy heads woke up when the shots fell in the Office. There was a small queue to the showers and a bad smell emanated from the kitchen.
Hayward sat in the Mess tent sipping some brown brew resembling coffee. Colonel Potter got down on the bench opposite him while Hawkeye went to get some of the brown beverage for himself and the Colonel.
"I have someone here who wants to apologise to you," Hawkeye heard Potter say when he arrived at the table.
He smiled awkwardly and sat next to Potter, "Thank you, Colonel."
Hawkeye squirmed a bit and Potter smiled. The great Hawkeye,embarrassed, he thought.
"Erm, this isn't my best subject," said Hawkeye, and decided to explain his behaviour from the start. "You appeared here in unusual circumstances. Right at a time when strange things started to happen around the camp and things disappeared. I had jumped to the premature conclusion that you might have something to do with it."
"Ah, therefore your great concern for my wellbeing and my staying in bed?" asked Hayward.
"We are always concerned about all our patients. At the 4077th you get the best care anywhere," said Potter and smiled again about the sign he had just driven under not even an hour ago. His boys were the best, and he wouldn't even allow an inkling of doubt in Major Hayward's remark.
BJ came in and walked straight towards the table of the three officers.
"How's the Chinese?" Potter asked him.
"That was a good shot, Colonel. You missed the artery by just half an inch. The MP can take him away once he wakes up later today," explained BJ.
"Ah, Major Hayward, there you are! How are you?" Nurse Johnson had noticed Major Hayward and came towards the little group with a seductive smile. "Your invitation to the officers' club really made for a refreshing change! How charming!" She slid onto the bench next to Major Hayward.
"You probably won't have time for that," interrupted Colonel Potter. "Major Hayward has gotten his marching orders, he's transferring to the 8063rd."
"Oh, that's so unfair!" said Johnson. "Just when we get a civilised, charming doctor, he's outta here before you can even say MacArthur."
"How can anyone be more charming than me?" asked Hawkeye and put on a cheesy grin.
"Are we not civilised enough?" wondered BJ.
"Well, in stark contrast to our full-time professional womaniser here, Major Hayward has proved some creativeness and humour when he wrote his invitation. He made it into a paper chase around the camp," explained Nurse Johnson.
"Paper chase?" asked Hawk and BJ in unison.
Nurse Johnson ignored them and turned to Hayward. "I would never have found the last pieces if I hadn't seen you behind the latrines. They were so well hidden!"
"And I thought no one had seen me! Thought I was sneaking around like the invisible man. No wonder Captain Pierce thought there was something odd about me."
Hawkeye leaned over the table and put his hand on Hayward's arm.
"I sincerely apologise!"
Now they all had to laugh.
That moment Frank and Margaret entered the Mess tent and thought the group was laughing about them.
"And I thought you were my friend!" said Frank towards Major Hayward and looked as if he was about to cry.
The others were laughing even louder and harder, until they all had tears of laughter running down their cheeks.