Sample N25 from Wesley Newton, "Aid and Comfort to the Enemy," The University of Kansas City Review, 27: 3 (March, 1961), 210-213. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,066 words 66 (3.2%) quotesN25

Used by permission of The University of Kansas City Review. 0010-1780

Wesley Newton, "Aid and Comfort to the Enemy," The University of Kansas City Review, 27: 3 (March, 1961), 210-213.

Arbitrary Hyphens: flame-throwers [0360] vine-crisscrossed [0490]Typographical Error: packet [for jacket] [1710]

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Early that day Matsuo saw a marine . The enemy came looming around a bend in the trail and Matsuo took a hasty shot , then fled without knowing the result , ran until breath was a pain in his chest and his legs were rubbery . As his feet slowed , he felt ashamed of the panic and resolved to make a stand . He crossed the next meadow and climbed a tree where the jungle trail resumed .

In the leafiest part of the tree , straddling a broad horizontal limb , he could see over the meadow . For a while he was content to let events develop in their good time . He had no doubt the marine was the lead scout of a column , and while his shot had probably bred indecision , they would soon come hunting .

His superiors had emphasized that marines tortured others for the sheer pleasure . Yesterday ; ; today ; ; tomorrow : no surrender . His remembering the self-dictate brought no peace -- only a faint chill of doubt . He murmured to himself , with firmness : `` No surrender '' . It was best to die fighting the marines . His superiors had also preached this , saying it was the way for eternal honor .

What if the marines never came ? ? His comrades were all dead . He had no rice . Then it would be a choice between starvation and suicide .

Whichever the way , he would rot in this vast choking green , his wife never to receive an urn of his ashes . He sighed and leaned for a moment against the trunk . His fingers touched the bone handle of a knife . The knife , an ammunition pouch , and a half-filled bottle of purified water hung on his belt . Besides the belt he wore a loin cloth .

As he looked up from picking at a leg ulcer , he saw a marine in the jungle across the clearing . Gloom receded .

The marine came to the edge of the green jungle mist and stayed , as though debating whether to brave the sunlight . His fatigues made a streak of almost phosphorescent green in the mist .

`` Come out , come out in the meadow '' , Matsuo said under his breath .

The man leaned against a tree and wiped a sleeve across his face . A signal ? ? Matsuo lifted his rifle , easing the sling under his left upper arm for steadiness .

Fresh on his mind were events of the past day when his whole regiment was destroyed in the hills . They had fought from caves , and the marines resorted to burning them out . Even now , like a ringing in his ears , he heard the wooooosh of flame-throwers squirting great orange billows . A wave of flame rippling through their cave had reached Nagamo , his friend , and with a shriek the man bolted through the entrance , then slowed to the jerky walk of a puppet , his uniform blazing . The marines let him advance . When he sank on his knees , they had allowed him to char without administering the stroke of mercy .

Matsuo had faked death and was pitched on a stack of corpses , both the burned and the unburned , the latter decomposing rapidly under the tropical sun . The callous marines had laughed at each other's retching , while stacking bodies . Matsuo repeatedly choked down his own nausea . At nightfall he had been able to sneak down a hillside and into the jungle , reeking of death .

Apprehensively he peered to the left , to the right into the leafy , vine-crisscrossed maze . He decided that the marines must be deploying around the meadow , with the one left to distract him . He strained his hearing . Cautious feet stepping on leafmold ; ; faint creaking of belts and slings ; ; whispers : he heard none of these . Only the hum of insects and the distant fluttering call of a bird . Because he couldn't hear them , he was more convinced they were there .

A spectacle occurred across the meadow : the lone marine took a seat on the ground ; ; leaning sidewise on a tree trunk , he embraced it . Humiliation made Matsuo tremble . While his comrades cocked the trap , that one behaved as if it was some dull maneuver . Taking aim at the man's face , Matsuo squeezed the trigger up to the point of discharge , and then he changed his mind . He wanted the arrogant marine to know fear , and so he aimed above the head .

The shot reverberated in diminishing whiplashes of sound . Hush followed . Like a mischievous boy expecting punishment , Matsuo awaited reaction from the jungle . How stupid to give his position away .

The jungle did not retort . The sitter remained seated hugging the tree . Before long the atmosphere reverted to its old normalcy , and insects hummed and birds occasionally called . Matsuo puzzled and grew anxious over the complete passiveness , concluding that he was the butt of a devilish joke .

Five or so minutes later the marine abruptly pulled up and stepped into sunlight , immediately throwing his hands over his eyes . He went into a whirling dance , a sort of blind chasing of the tail . It ended when he tumbled ; ; but jumping right up , he staggered in no particular direction . He wore no head cover of any kind and , more odd , had no visible weapon .

With a sudden decisiveness he lurched in Matsuo's direction , crossing the meadow in a zigzagging gallop . When he got closer to the tree , Matsuo noted the wild look on his face . The pockets of his jacket bulged . Hand grenades .

The bobbing head was a poor target , so Matsuo shot him in the upper trunk .

The marine spun , clapping a hand high on his chest , and dived forward . In the hush that followed the echoes , Matsuo was tense . They could come on him now without difficulty . Gradually he reached a conclusion . The marine was alone , for they were impatient people and by now would have vied to knock him from the tree .

Down the tree he scrambled and knelt at the edge of foliage . The marine was sprawled some thirty yards away , one arm extended . Matsuo jumped when the hidden arm flopped out . Reflex ? ?

Rifle leveled on the man , he made a rush . Heat , in the sunlight , pressed in like an invisible crowd .

He squatted by the head , gently placing the rifle on the ground . With a snakestrike motion he grasped the hair , and , twisting , pulled the marine over on his back . He was bearded . The bullet had penetrated in the area of the right collarbone ; ; around the hole , blood glistened in a little patch . Maintaining his clutch on the hair , Matsuo watched the closed eyes while rummaging in the jacket pockets . In one : a package of cigarettes and a tinplated lighter , both sticky from the man's bleeding . In the other : a wristwatch with broken crystal wrapped in a dirty handkerchief . One by one he tossed the objects aside . He didn't smoke and could not light fires with a flintless lighter ; ; he had no use any longer for exact time , even had the watch been running . Then there was no saying how many times the marine had blown his nose on the handkerchief .

Too bad the marine had no water . From its holder he took his own canteen . The cap was stuck and made a thin rusty squeaking as he applied pressure . The marine's eyes opened , squeezed shut , then opened squinted in the glare .

So , alive . Matsuo put the bottle to his own lips . The marine reached up a hand . Matsuo shook his head . `` None for you '' . The marine blinked , soon dropping his hand . Not only had he no canteen , but he lacked even the belt to hang one on . `` You came well equipped to die '' .

Some odor made him lean over the man . He sniffed and recognized it . Sake . So that had been his difficulty . Drunk on sake , he must have wandered off from his bivouac .

The marine tried to roll on his right side , and moaned . When he rolled on the left side , propping on his left elbow , Matsuo seized his hair and pulled him back over . `` Be a good turtle '' .

Awkwardly with one hand Matsuo got the cap back on the water bottle . The smell of sake had freshened yesterday's events in his thoughts . In the caves , with other supplies , they had kept cases of sake .

The marine shut his eyes . `` Are you a thrower of flame , marine '' ? ? Matsuo took the small knife from its scabbard and laid it on the ground , out of the marine's reach and away from their shadows . He waited in his squat , gripping the hair .

Every so often he turned the knife . Its blade was dazzling in the intense sunlight . The sun was noon high and Matsuo perspired until his body was dripping . Wet also were the marine's fatigues and the face had an oily film . The man had thrown the left hand over his eyes . Now and again he murmured something that ended in a giggle . He must have saturated himself in the drink , for the bullet not to shock him out of his drunken haze . Matsuo shook his head . Strange .

At last he reached for the knife . Even the bone handle scorched , and he retrieved the marine's handkerchief to wrap it . First he barely touched the blade on the hand which shaded the eyes . The marine yelled and flung the hand away . With a firm grip on the man's hair Matsuo applied the blade flat on a cheek . A shrill yelp , kicked legs , and groping hands that circled Matsuo's wrist . Matsuo wrenched free and burned the hands into retreat ; ; burned the other cheek ; ; burned each hand when they came groping again . The marine commenced to weep and it blighted the sense of enjoyment .

Matsuo stood up . `` A small measure of payment , marine '' . He dropped the knife in its scabbard , hung the rifle behind a shoulder .

The marine , hands on cheeks , rolled by his unwounded side onto his stomach . He ceased weeping .

Matsuo walked toward his tree , once glancing back . The marine was still . He would soon die .

As Matsuo climbed by using the vines and kicking his feet against the trunk , a mood of gloom immersed him like a jungle shadow . What now ? ? In the jungle , birds were mute , while insects preserved only the monotony of living .

Someone called . It was the marine : head lifted , he strained and called . Then he astonished Matsuo by pushing and dragging himself until he sat . He cupped his mouth and yelled . Matsuo hustled the rifle off his shoulder . Once and for all he'd finish this marine who would not die . He aimed , but listened . It sounded as if the man were calling him : `` Hey , Japanese hey there , Japanese '' . The man tilted back his head and went through the pantomime of drinking from a container . He performed the act twice more , and the begging in his tone grew more distinct .

`` Sake '' ? ? Matsuo called .

The marine nodded vigorously .

Matsuo laughed , slung the rifle . The marine was a winehead . His superiors had said that all marines were depraved .

The marine slumped forward into a bow like a priest before an idol . Remembering his own thirst , Matsuo took out his water bottle . One swallow was all he would have ; ; he was very thirsty , but he must observe water discipline . His years of campaigning had taught him the value of water discipline .

He began to uncap the bottle , the rusty cap squealing on its threads . Popping upright , the marine waved both hands and shouted .

Of course it was water he really craved ; ; down in the broil of the sun he was becoming dried out . The marine shouted for it until it seemed that his voice had to crack . Matsuo shook his head . He had no water for an enemy . And when this was gone , he hadn't even a little bitter tablet to purify other water if he were to discover some stagnant jungle pool .

He capped the bottle and replaced it . After all , he had less reason to desire it than the marine .

Before much longer the marine quieted down . His head slumped . The upper part of his packet had stained dark . `` Marine . There is nothing for you '' , Matsuo said . `` Your superiors will certainly beat you for your desertion , besides the dishonor of it . I've nothing for you '' .

From the convulsive quivers of the man's shoulders it was plain he had resumed the weeping . He reminded Matsuo of a similar thing he had witnessed in China . In China it was a baby sitting on a railroad platform , smudged , blood-specked , with the village burning about him and shells exploding .