As I was battling my fellow patients and reviewing the manuscript, I came upon a letter from Sut Lowman dated early March or late February. A fragment from Sut Lowman's letter is described below.
"Well, gettting back to tumesses or whatever, I have got to tell you about Corpral Williams. He's always been a Sunday-preaching type, but back during the false spring he gave all of us a rise. I was on guard duty when I heard him (only I didn't know it was him then) rustling through the bare woods. Here I thought the Shawnee were here. I swallowed long and deep and finally just squeaked out a halt-who-goes-there. 'Williams,' a voice panted,"Corpral Williams.' You can imagine that I swallowed again only this time a little slower and easier. Only he wasn't slow and easy but tearing through the woods with no breeches on. He did look awful with a faded blue top and a pale white bottom. About a minute or so later, I heard a terrible rustling and stomping and grunting coming right for us. The Corpral yelled out, 'PIGS, the pigs are coming.' Well, I was looking for pork chops but I didn't see none--just about thirty or forty lean and mean pigs coming to devastate us. I screamed--didn't have time to swallow this time hard or easy or any other way. I was yelling so hard and loud I didn't even know my voice, 'Get up in the trees; GET UP.' We all got safe in the trees but for the Lootenant who got on the top of his rock. Well, the head sow just went busting right for him--going to revenge herself on the salt pork he had made us eat. Only Frontier Guide and myself had brought our muskets. I was sitting up in a tree laughing softly and so was Horace (I'm afraid to say but for the slightest part of a second I felt like letting the sow have her way). But those pigs sure were busting up the place so Frontier Guide just sort of peppered away at the lead sow till he got her and then I started banging in myself. Between the two of us, I guess we wounded maybe three and killed two, one of which was the lead sow I was talking about. Well, the squealing and groaning of the wounded ones was awful and made me sick. We tried to track them down but they was moving too fast even for Frontier Guide"
Just then, Jack tossed a letter in my lap, "Mail call, little Peter." Jack had never gone past sophomore year of high school. Still I was glad to get the letter. It was from my son Jack. "Dear Dad, as you know, for the past two months we've been training for cold weather, mountain warfare. For some reason last week we found ourselves at the Texas /New Mexico / old Mexico border in the flattest piece of hot desert hell we could imagine. Some army snafu, we thought, but then our c.o. belted out,' Head due south with your battle buddy and look like you're taking a Sunday stroll. Take your old body army and the $135.63 I'm issuing you in good American money. Take the body armor and the $135. 63 and nothing else. Route step down to one of the twelve Suburbans you see down there. Exchange your old body armor and the $135.63 for a new set of body armor you will get from General Guttierrez's men. You will then get the best body armor the war on drugs can buy. Stroll on back here and you'll keep your sweet ass safe. I will not have my men going into combat with that plastic sandwich wrap Halley-Burton palmed off on us. This is a request, not an order, so you know what that means.'
"Little, peter, little peter." Jack just didn't know when to stop. But I just waved him off and went back to my letters.