THE FAR END OF THE BARRACK
This is the strategic spot of the story. In the five tiers
of bunks live our major characters.
In the upper bunk lies HOFFY. Little fellow. Plenty of
authority. The Barrack Chief. His eyes are wide open. He is
studying his wristwatch, the phosphorescent numerals shining
in the dark.
In the other bunks lie the others, wide awake, tense:
DUKE, big bellyacher.
TRIZ, six-foot-three, ninety-eight pounds.
PRICE, the barrack Security Chief. Quiet, touch of class.
MANFREDI, no cover, fully dressed.
HARRY, bug-eyed, cocky.
BLONDIE, fair-skinned, boyish.
JOHNSON, fully dressed like Manfredi. Scared.
SEFTON, casual. In his mouth a cold cigar butt.
Hoffy again. Still staring at the wristwatch. This is the
moment. He lifts the metal dogtags off his chest and jiggles
them. This is the signal.
Duke instantly slides out of the bunk, grabs up his blanket
and moves toward the window. A searchlight beam sweeps across.
Duke goes flush on the ground. The light passes on. Duke
gets up again and starts hanging the blanket over the window.
Now the others go into action, silently, efficiently. Except
for Manfredi and Johnson they are all in long winter
underwear, some in slacks and socks.
As for Sefton, he is lying in his bunk just watching them.