Summary: A missing scene for the episode “Now I Lay Me Down to Die”).
Category: Garrison’s Gorillas
Genre: WWII Drama
Word Count: 3635
This is another of those missing scenes we have all come to love. You know the one. Where Chief gets shot in one scene and then there isn’t even a band aid present in the next. This takes place immediately after Chief falls out of the truck and before Casino has his say about Charlie back at the mansion. Series dialogue is in italics, and as usual, I don’t own any of them; I just have fun with them from time to time.
“Cover me.” Garrison didn’t wait to see if his order would be obeyed as he dropped the schmeisser and raced from cover to drag a struggling Chief to the safety of the trees. The barrage of gunfire from Casino, Goniff and Actor was effective and the remaining German soldiers took cover behind the sandbag barrier. Taking advantage of the lull in the shooting, Actor jumped into the driver’s seat of the staff car as Garrison pushed Chief into the back seat and Goniff swung up on to the running board on the right hand side. Speeding past the barrier, Garrison opened fire on the remaining two sentries, putting an end to the resistance. Once past the barrier and out of the line of fire, Goniff swung a leg over the top of the closed door and landed in the front seat beside Actor.
“’Ow’s Chiefy?” Goniff asked as he turned to watch Garrison struggle to get Chief upright on the back seat.
Despite the tight hold Chief had on his injured left arm, blood was freely running between his fingers and down the sleeve of his tunic, turning the grey material black. He gasped loudly as the staff car hit a rut in the road and Garrison jostled the injured arm, causing Chief to slid further off the seat, leaving a wide streak of bright red blood behind him.
“Actor, find somewhere to pull over now,” Garrison ordered urgently as he tried to support Chief and stopping him from sliding to the floor of the staff car.
Actor pulled the steering wheel hard to the left, making the heavy vehicle slew madly to the right for several yards before it came to a stop. The car had barely rocked to a stop before Actor jumped down from the driver’s seat and hurried around the back of the car, opening the side door where Chief lay slumped in the corner.
“He’s losing a lot of blood, Actor. Looks like the bullet went through,” Garrison advised as Actor climbed into the car.
“Let’s sit him up, carefully. Goniff, see if you can a first aid kit somewhere in the car,” Actor ordered as he and Garrison gently eased Chief into a sitting position.
“Easy Chief,” Garrison cajoled softly as the movement caused Chief to groan in pain.
Not expecting the sudden turn of the car in front, Casino shot past the turn off before he could hit the brakes of the car he was driving, bringing it to a shuddering halt. He threw the gear stick into reverse and sped back up the road, turning in behind the stationary staff car.
“He alright?” Casino asked as he jumped up on the running board and watched Actor and Garrison maneuvered Chief into an upright position.
“Does ‘e look alright, mate?” Goniff snapped angrily as he searched under the front seats for a medical kit.
“Casino, hold Chief while I get around on the other side. I need to get a look at his arm,” Actor ordered as he carefully climbed across Chief’s legs.
“Found it,” Goniff announced as he passed the small box marked with the words ‘erste Hilfe’ to Garrison.
Actor gently pried Chief’s bloodied hand away from the wound, releasing the knife from its sheath on the Indian’s right wrist at the same time.
Garrison broke open the box and pulled out a bandage and two dressings. “No morphine,” Garrison muttered in disgust.
Actor shrugged as he carefully cut away the sleeve from Chief’s uniform, exposing the bloody wound. Chief moaned softly as Actor gently probed the wound.
“Well?” Casino demanded as he felt Chief shudder beneath his hand.
“The bullet has torn through the muscle in his arm,” Actor replied as he applied the dressings to the two wounds and tightly wrapped it with the bandage, ignoring the sharp intake of breath as he applied pressure to the injury. “Casino, give me your belt,” Actor ordered as he gently moved the injured arm across Chief’s chest.
“So I can strap his arm down, so he can’t move it. We only have the one bandage,” Actor snapped tiredly.
“Here, use mine,” Charlie offered as he pulled his belt through the loops of his pants. “He going to be alright?”
“He should be, provided we get him back to England,” Actor replied, tightening the belt around Chief’s chest, causing him to try and arch away from the pressure. “Sorry, Chief, but this needs to be tight. I don’t want you moving that arm.”
Chief slumped back against the seat with a gasp. “It’s…alright, Actor.”
Actor watched the dark eyes close. “Rest for a few minutes, Chief.”
“Well?” Garrison demanded as Actor jumped down from the back of the car and was surrounded by the waiting men.
Actor shrugged, “Well what, Craig?”
Garrison glared at his conman. “Is he going to be alright? Can we getting going? We need to meet that sub in five hours.”
Actor sighed. “Give him a few minutes to rest, Craig. The bullets done considerable damage to the muscle and I’m not sure that it didn’t hit the bone as well. If it was a straight through and through, he shouldn’t be in that much pain.”
“But ‘e’s going to be alright, Actor? I mean, he’ll still be able to use his arm, won’t ‘e?” Goniff asked worriedly.
“I don’t know, Goniff. We’ll have to wait until we get him back to England and a doctor looks at.”
“While we’re waiting, what about you, Goniff?” Actor asked as he managed to get his first real look at the little English pickpocket since his rescue. “How do you feel?”
“Me?” Goniff yelped. “I’m fine, just a few bruises, can’t ‘ardly feel them. It’s Chiefy you gotta worry about.”
Actor considered the answer for a few seconds before nodding in acceptance. Aside from the bruises coloring the pale face, the Englishman seemed to be moving alright and didn’t seem to be having any difficulties in breathing. Still, he would be keeping a close eye on him too. He knew how well these men were at hiding their injuries. “Charlie,” Actor turned to the OSS man and their reason for being in this predicament. “You feeling alright?”
Charlie nodded. “Like Goniff said, just a few bruises. I’m fine.”
“And a couple of cracked ribs,” Casino muttered.
Charlie glared at Casino. “You don’t need to worry about me, Actor, and I promise I’ll tell you if I start feeling worse. Just worry about Chief.”
“Alright, now that that’s sorted, let’s move out,” Garrison ordered as he climbed into the driver’s seat of the staff car, fully expecting Actor to ride in the back with Chief. Goniff retook his place next to Garrison while Casino and Charlie returned to their car. Casino backed out into the road and waited for Garrison to reverse the bigger car, before following closely behind as they continued on to the rendezvous point.
“’ey, Warden, shouldn’t we ‘ave ditched these cars and got a truck or something? I mean, we’re not exactly inconspicuous driving around in the Colonel’s staff car.”
“Did you want to return to that town, Goniff, and get another car?”
“Well, when you put it like that…” Goniff hunched down in the front seat and wrapped his arms across his chest.
Despite driving as carefully as possible, Garrison winced every time he heard Chief moan in the back seat. As much as he would have liked to hide out and give Chief time to recover, they only had one chance at meeting the sub this time and getting Charlie back to England was to important to miss.
“How much longer, Craig?” Actor asked, breaking into Garrison’s train of thought.
“Hour, hour and half before we ditch the cars. Why? Is there a problem?” Of course there was a problem; one of his men was shot, another was beaten, along with the agent they had being sent in to rescue, and at the pace they were travelling, they would be lucky to make the rendezvous on time.
“Chief’s temperature is rising,” Actor replied quietly.
“Damn,” Garrison cursed as he steered around a large pot hole in the road. “We’re going to have to move faster, Actor, if we want to make that sub and get Chief home.”
Actor looked to where Chief huddled semi- conscious in the corner of the car. There was fresh blood on the bandage wrapped around the injured arm and a fine sheen of sweat covered the pale face. “I agree.”
Garrison didn’t need any further encouragement to pick up the pace. The big car shot forward with a lurch, forcing Actor to scramble across the seat to grab Chief before he slid to the floor. Edging back across the seat, Actor pulled Chief with him until he was wedged with his back in the corner. He settled Chief as comfortably as possible against his chest without jostling the injured arm more than necessary and hung on as the car swerved around a bend in the road.
“What the hell?” Casino growled as the car in front shot forward and gained speed. Casino hit the gas as he pushed the car he was driving to catch up to the one in front.
Charlie grabbed onto the door as the car sped forward. “What’s going on?”
“We’re running out of time,” Casino shouted as he caught up to the other car.
“What does that mean?” Charlie asked.
Casino shrugged. “We’re falling behind schedule to make the sub or maybe Geronimo’s getting worse or maybe both. Hell, the Warden may have just decided to see how fast that piece of junk could go.”
It was almost an hour later before Garrison pulled off the road and drove into a copse of small trees and bushes, closely followed by Casino. Coming to a stop, Garrison turned in the seat and surveyed his back seat passengers. “How’s he doing, Actor?” he asked worriedly. The road hadn’t been good; the recent rains left ruts and potholes through which the car had bounced and lurched, despite his best attempts to avoid them. Guiltily, he had to admit he had been relieved when the groans he could hear behind him finally stopped. Now as he studied the unconscious, pale, sweat-covered face of his wheelman and scout he wished to hear those groans again.
Actor gently eased Chief into a sitting position with Casino’s help. “We need to get him to the sub as soon as possible. The arm is still bleeding and his temperature is still rising.”
Garrison nodded grimly. “We have to walk from here. It’s about two miles through the woods. Do you think you can wake him, Actor? It will be easier on all of us if he can walk.”
“Why can’t we just drive to the beach? Save all of us a walk it would.”
“Because, Goniff, there is a sentry post at each end of the cove. We might get through the first post, but once we don’t pass the second one, they will know something is wrong and will come looking. We can’t afford any more encounters with the Germans on this trip,” Garrison replied tiredly.
“Then why use the ruddy beach in the first place?”
Garrison sighed. “Because it is the only stretch of beach along this section of the coast that has deep enough water close to shore for a submarine and is sheltered. Any more questions?” When no more were forthcoming, Garrison nodded. “Right. Actor, wake up Chief.”
It was the lack of movement that first brought Chief towards wakefulness. That and the murmured voices buzzing in his ear. He felt hot and cold and his arm was agony. With it strapped to his chest, each breath sent a wave of pain racing through it. With his eyes still closed, he listened half-heartedly to the conversation about why they had to walk to the beach. That was one walk he wasn’t looking forward to but he was determined that he wouldn’t hold the team up. “I’m awake, Warden.” Chief blinked several times before the faces in front of him came into focus and he found himself staring into the concerned countenance of Garrison.
“I’m sorry, Chief, but we have to walk from here.”
“It’s alright, Warden; I can make it. Just help me up.”
“Come on, Geronimo,” Casino growled as Chief tried unsuccessfully to hide a grimace of pain, “I’ll help you.”
Chief slid carefully across the seat and, with Actor and Casino’s support, managed to climb down from the staff car. He stood with his back against the side of the car, head lowered and breathing heavily in an effort to remain conscious. After several minutes, Chief raised his head and nodded at Garrison.
“Alright, I’ll take point. Casino, you help Chief? Actor, you watch our backs. Let’s move out. We’ve got an hour to make the beach,” Garrison ordered.
“Well, Charlie, it looks like it’s you and me mate,” Goniff lamented as he watched Garrison move off followed by Casino and Chief, who was leaning heavily on the safecracker.
“Move it, Goniff,” Actor ordered urgently.
“Alright, alright, mate, don’t get your knickers in a knot. We’re going. Come on, Charlie,” Goniff grumbled as he followed behind Casino and Chief.
Actor stood and listened for several minutes to ensure that no cars were travelling along the road before he turned and hurried after the rest of the team.
“Hey, Warden,” Casino hissed loudly as he came to a stop with a gasping Chief hanging off his shoulder. “How much further?”
Garrison turned to find Casino all but holding Chief up and Goniff supporting a stumbling Charlie. “Damn,” he mumbled as he took in the state of his men. They were so close. “Not much more than a quarter mile.”
“Yeah well that’s too far, Babe. The Indian doesn’t have it in him.”
“I can make it,” Chief gasped as he tried to push himself upright but only succeeded in staggering sideways. He would have fallen if both Casino and Garrison hadn’t caught him.
“I know you can, Chief, but let us help you,” Garrison said. “It’s not much further.”
Chief nodded imperceptibly. He knew he wasn’t going to get much further without help and he couldn’t expect Casino to do it on his own, although he was sure the safecracker would try, if just to prove him wrong.
“Actor, help Goniff and Charlie,” Garrison ordered as he took his place by Chief’s injured arm. “Alright, move it.”
Garrison inclined his head toward a tree just in from the beach. “We’ll sit him down there, Casino.” Chief had finally given in to pain and exhaustion and they had had to carry him the last five hundred yards to the beach. “I’ll go down and check if our rides still there.”
Casino nodded as he squatted beside Chief. “They better damn well be there.”
Garrison moved cautiously out onto the beach. It was only about a hundred yards to the water’s edge but the heavy cloud cover made visibility poor. He was almost halfway across the beach before he heard the gently lapping of water against wood. He immediately dropped to the sand and listened for any other sounds. After a few moments, he was rewarded with the sounds of a very English accent giving the order to cast off from shore. “There’ll be bluebirds…” Garrison called out. He heard the unmistakably click of guns been readied before the same heavy English accent responded to his words. “Over the white cliffs of Dover.” There was a pause. “Lieutenant Garrison?”
Garrison rose slowly to his feet before replying. “Yes.”
“You’re late, laddie; I was just about to return to the submarine.”
“I have three injured men with me,” Garrison replied as the tall shape of a man stepped out of the darkness. “Give us a couple of minutes to get them down here.”
“You need any help, laddie?”
“No we can manage. Just be ready to cast off as soon as we arrive.” Garrison turned and hurried back to where his team waited. “Come on, the boat’s waiting. Actor, you help Chief.”
“Nothing doing, Warden. I got the damn Indian this far; I’ll get him to the boat,” Casino growled as he bent down and lifted Chief to his feet. “You going to make it, Geronimo?”
“I’ll make it, Casino.”
“Good, because I ain’t carrying you any further.”
Garrison stepped aside and watched Casino and Chief making their way to the beach, Actor right behind them in case his assistance was needed. Charlie walked past with Goniff following behind him. “You alright, Charlie?”
“Fine, Lieutenant. Just got a bit breathless back there. The few minutes rest helped.”
Garrison nodded to the man’s back before following along behind Goniff. The two Frenchmen who owned the small boat had beached it so it was easier to get Chief in. Once the three injured men and Casino were settled, he and Actor helped push the boat out into the water before climbing aboard. Everyone remained quiet as the Frenchmen gently rowed the boat out to the waiting sub.
Garrison sighed. The men, with the exception of Chief and Actor, sat around the table in the small dining area hunched over hot cups of coffee or tea. Getting Chief on board the sub had proved to be a small challenge but he was now safely ensconced in the sickbay and getting the medical attention he needed. They didn’t know it yet but Garrison was going to make sure both Charlie and Goniff saw the medical officer on board once he was finished with Chief and before they docked. He knew the Army would see to Charlie’s well being once they arrived in England but he just needed to make sure the man was alright after what he had been through. And as for Goniff, the little pickpocket was as slippery as an eel and he was determined they would know the full extent of his injuries before they left the sub.
Actor walked in, followed by a seaman. “Charlie, the Doctor is waiting for you and this gentleman will escort you to him,” Actor announced as he poured a cup of coffee and waited for Charlie to vacate his seat.
Garrison smirked. It seemed his number two had the same idea as him.
Charlie sighed as he pushed himself to his feet. He knew it was inevitable that he would have to be checked out, but just right now, he really was over having anything to do with doctors. “How’s Chief, Actor?” Charlie asked in a vain attempt to stall the coming exam.
“The bullet grazed the bone and severed a small vein, as well as damaging the muscle. That’s why it bled continuously and he was in so much pain.”
“But ‘e’s going to be alright, isn’t ‘e, Actor? I mean, ‘e will still be able to use his arm?” Goniff asked worriedly.
“He’ll be fine, Goniff, but he’ll be out of action for a while.”
“Ah, sir,” the seaman interrupted. “I’m sorry, sir, but the Doctor is waiting for you.”
Charlie sighed as he followed the seaman out the door.
“And you’re next, Goniff,” Garrison warned.
“Aw, Warden, I’m fine. Just a few bruises is all.”
“Give it up, limey; you aren’t getting off this boat until you see the doc. Ain’t that right, Warden?” Casino asked.
“That’s about the size of it, Casino,” Garrison agreed.
Garrison headed for the men’s dormitory. They had been back for three days now. Chief had spent the first two days in the base hospital but he had come home this morning. He was out for at least the next four weeks, if not six, but the doctor had confirmed he would make a full recovery, provided he rested the arm and let it heal. Garrison opened the door and surveyed his men, or rather Chief, who sat in the desk chair, one leg hooked over one of the arms and his injured arm already out of the sling.
Garrison sighed. “What part of ‘resting the arm’ didn’t you understand, Chief?” he asked as he watched the Indian twirling his knife with the hand of the arm he was supposed to be resting.
“Not moving my arm, just my hand, Warden. Arm’s fine,” Chief replied as he continued twirling the knife, oblivious to the glare Garrison leveled at him.
“’Ey Warden, ‘ow’s Charlie doing?” Goniff looked up from where he was studying his reflection in the small hand mirror. The bruises were taking on that peculiar yellowish green color of healing. He had talked Actor into lending him some of his make-up and he was dabbing it on the bruises trying to make them disappear.
“He’s good, Goniff. The Army…”
Casino began pacing in front of the door, interrupting Garrison. “The brass, what’d they know, the brass? They don’t know what he’s been through. Look, I’ve talked to Charlie, I’m telling you he’s had it rough, plenty rough…”