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Scouts of a Feather

Old Guy

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(A little story suggested by today's "This Day in ..." post)

“I'm gonna buy one of these when I get home.” Donnie patted the gas tank of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He flipped a cigarette butt toward a puddle and immediately lit another.

Old Guy glanced up from a map. He sat astride an identical motorcycle. Both men wore tanker jackets and paratrooper trousers, mud splattered and showing the effects of long use. Like Donnie, he carried a .45 Colt in a shoulder holster. An M-1 Garand rested in a scabbard mounted on the right side of the front fender. Various bags and ammo boxes were strapped all over the cycle.

“Buy what? One of these torture machines?” Old Guy stepped off his vehicle and stretched. “My ass is numb and my arms feel like someone hammered on them with a baseball bat.”

“That's cause you're older'n dirt,” said Donnie. He glanced up at the sullen sky. “A roof would be nice at times, but mostly I like being a dispatch rider. Admit it, you old fart, you're just bitching to hear yourself talk. Given the choice of walking with the grunts or riding a Harley, which do you prefer?”

“Neither. The Army could better use my skills by assigning me to Supply, preferably back in England, where I could keep the fighting troops better supplied than the thieving bastards they have in charge now.” Old Guy removed his helmet. “I'd have a nice little WAC secretary for . . . for handling requisitions and stuff. A warm Quonset hut for quarters. No damn tents!”

Donnie snickered. “I'll bet that WAC would handle more than requisitions.”

“I can't help it if women flock to me like bees to honey.”

“We ain't seen any honeys lately. No bees either, come to think of it. Lotsa flies.”

“They're drawn to corpses. It's a product of our times.” Both men chuckled. The humor was weak, but serviceable.

A low growl announced the arrival of another vehicle, climbing the rise behind them. Donnie got on his cycle. Old Guy put his helmet back on.

“What the hell is that?” asked Donnie. “Some kinda armored car?”

“It's British,” answered Old Guy, removing his helmet again. “I don't know what they call them. The Brits are supposed to be a little further north.” He pulled out his map. “Unless we're lost.”

“Judging by those clods in that village we passed through this morning, we're still in France. You're the navigator. I just follow you – or my nose.”

“Hah! Your nose usually leads you to bad wine and ugly women.”

“Too true. I think the Krauts drank all the good booze in France. And our officers have corralled all the good looking broads – as usual. Maybe this Limey is out of his reckoning.”

The Limey in question peered down at them from his position in the turret of the strange vehicle, which pulled up beside the two motorcycle riders and stopped. He shoved his goggles up and grinned. “Two Yanks! And bloody well lost. Or I am. We're all out of cigarettes. You got any for a valiant ally?”

Donnie rummaged in his kit bag and tossed up two packs of Crottin Chevals. “You must be brave. Drivin' around in a crate like that. Those are all I have. We ain't seen our own supply jerks for a couple weeks. They seem to prefer rear areas – of battle zones and young boys.”

“Sounds like our chaps.” The Brit dropped one pack into the turret and opened the other. In response to a muffled voice from below he snarled, “I know they're French! Smoke the sodding things and stop with the bloody whining.”

“We were just discussing the possibility that we've gone astray,” said Old Guy. He held up his map. “I think we're about ten kilometers east of Sur Mere. Where do you think you are?”

“The same.” The Brit studied a map of his own. “The dividing line between my brigade and you lads has been moved. It runs through that village. I guess we're both where we ought to be.”

This homely meeting of staunch allies was interrupted by the bellowing of not-too-distant engines.

“Bloody hell, Tigers, or I'm a sodding Socialist.”

Old Guy donned his helmet. “More than one, I think. Time for us to get out of here.”

“Too bloody right,” agreed the Brit. He called down inside. “Call it in, Boz. Six Tigers at – .” He read off a map coordinate, then grinned down at the two Americans. “Might as well stir up the rear area lads, eh? Take their filthy minds off those young boys.”

Donnie started his Harley and took off. Old Guy paused. “You better get the hell out. An 88 won't even slow down going through that crate of yours.”

“We'll be right behind you, Yank. It's a Chevrolet, by the way. Made in your country. Some boffin named it the Staghound. She actually moves bloody well. Don't slow down or we'll run you over.”

“Staghound? Never heard of it.” Old Guy's words were lost in the roar of engines as he cranked up his Harley and the armored car driver started his rig. As he rode away, the Brits began turning around in the small clearing.

Donnie awaited him at a crossing, three hundred yards down the road. “Which way?”

“Straight ahead. Maybe we missed some booze in Sur Mere. Or further west.”

The sharp crack of a high velocity gun killed the banter. Both men twisted around in time to see the Staghound disappear in a bright yellow flash and a cloud of black smoke. Pieces tumbled through the air and smashed into trees.

“Jesus,” breathed Old Guy.

“Let's get the hell outta here!” cried Donnie.

Suiting action to words, the two men accelerated down the road leading west. Behind them greasy black smoke rolled up from the blazing heap of metal lying in a small clearing.

An hour later Old Guy reported the presence of heavy German armor to regimental HQ. A beehive of activity erupted. He and Donnie slipped into a nearby village and found refuge in front of a small cafe where a surly, fat woman provided stale rolls and bad wine.

“Your famous luck is in,” chuckled Donnie. He nodded toward the woman. “I think she likes you.”

Old Guy wasn't paying attention. He gazed at the two mud-covered motorcycles parked a few feet away and nodded his head, as if making up his mind about something. “After this fracas is over I'm gonna get me one of those.”

“The hell. A couple hours ago you didn't want nothing to do with Harleys, ever again.”

The old fart shrugged. “A man can change his mind.” He waxed philosophical. “A woman and booze will only get you into trouble. A Harley will always get you out of that trouble.”

“Jeez, the crap is getting deep here. I'm glad I have boots on.” Donnie eyed the road to the east. “You think those Germans are coming this way?”

“Who knows? Who cares? When we leave here let's head for Division. Maybe that T-5 commo guy buddy of yours can find a bunch of messages we can take back to Army HQ or something. If it gets dangerous around here we don't want to be hanging around.”

“He ain't my buddy, dammit! I don't know why he's always hanging around me.”

“He's in love, dummy. Just smile at him. You want to live through this mess so you can buy that Harley don't you?”

“God, you're a real ass, you know that?”

“Finish your wine. We need to get out of here.”

Donnie shoved his glass away. “I don't want any more of that piss. I'd rather drink Army coffee.”

Old Guy drank down his own wine and grimaced. “It's bad, all right. But not quite that bad.” He finished Donnie's drink and stood for a moment, empty glass in hand. “Well, maybe it is . . .”

“Come on, you old drunk. Let's go before the Krauts show up.”

“Lead on, Macduff.” Old Guy strapped his helmet on and started his Harley.

“Who the hell is Macduff?”

Old Guy shrugged and drove away. Donnie followed, still muttering.


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There has to be more to the story! There was nothing about me passing out after seeing boobies! Where are the boobies? Oh wait. Maybe OG was writing about another Donnie. Would be a treat to have the story continue. Us boys taking on the Natzis. Thanks OG. Another good read. Always enjoy your work!

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I've laid off writing for some months while I worked on the house. Most of that is finished now, including insulation and drywall in the garage, so I thought I'd get back into the swing of writing by cranking out a forum tale or two.

Working on another OG and Donnie tale. Look for it in a day or so.


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I've laid off writing for some months while I worked on the house. Most of that is finished now, including insulation and drywall in the garage, so I thought I'd get back into the swing of writing by cranking out a forum tale or two.

Working on another OG and Donnie tale. Look for it in a day or so.


Looking forward to it! Thanks again OG!

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Oh, goody, goody, OG got off the pot and dusted off his keyboard to start another saga about the derring-do of the boys in Company"?"

and just as I started to watch my old VHS tapes of "Patton!" Good timing, OG. Now, I wasn't in that Staghound, was I? Please say I have a longer life than that! (Waiting in breathless anticipation for the next chapter!)

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