From last time ...
"That Mackey. He's something else."
Corporal Lewis and Lieutenant Dawes answered in unison.
"Yes. He is."
And now ...
"Mackey!!! What do you think you're doing? I just had a twelve year old Marine Corporal and a Navy Nurse leave here that say they've been ASSIGNED to me and they're coming back tomorrow."
Sarah pulled the curtain to one side and waved goodbye to the car as it pulled out onto the highway and drove out of sight.
"I know he's older than that - he just LOOKS twelve, that's all. What IS all this, Mackey?"
Sarah twiddled with a pencil on the phone table as she listened to Mackey's explanation.
"Don't you think you should have consulted me? And how the hell do you get active service personnel assigned to me TAD? Who are you, Mackey?"
"Somehow, I don't think 'just a Gunny' is all there is. Anyway, these people say they're gonna be here for a couple of weeks .. I guess I can use that time to start getting back in shape, but what I really need to do is talk to someone about building facilities here, so I can stay close to the house. Maybe I can build an outbuilding and put some gym equipment in it and stay in it that way."
Sarah continued toying with the pencil.
"I don't know. I've never heard of one around here, but I guess I can ask. I suppose there has to be a range around somewhere - there's a hardware store and bait shop about 5 miles up the road from here, I suppose I can ask there. They ought to know. But I don't have anything here I could take to a range."
"Where? Army surplus? Right outside the main gate at the Presidio. Oh. Yeah. I know the place you're talking about. ... Who? Charlie Spangler. See him. He'll have something for me? ... How much is it going to cost me? ... Is that all? ... He owes you. ... What does he owe you, Mackey? Oh, nevermind, I probably don't want to know."
Sarah listened for a minute.
"I like that rifle of yours, but that thing left me bruised and sore."
"Yeah, I know. We need the extra mass in the round. I still like my weapon better."
"Okay, okay. I'll go get it tomorrow. I'll take Corporal 'Boy Wonder' with me. He is kinda cute, you know?"
"Mackey!! I wouldn't."
A sly grin came over her face.
"It might be worth it, though - just to turn you into a pimp."
"Take it easy .. I'm just foolin' around. Geez, Mackey, what happened to your sense of humor?"
"Oh. She heard that, huh? Well, tell her I'm sorry and I'll talk to her next week."
"Oh. Listen. Before you go, tell Two Feathers to look around and find that revolver that I gave to Jake. You know ... the one that Giamatti gave to The Kid. And break down my weapon and start shipping the pieces here - one at a time. I want my gun, here. I can go back in the hills and target shoot with the silencer. No one will ever know the difference."
"Yes, I'm gonna go to the surplus store. It's just that I miss my rifle. Jake gave it to me. And it's mine. So send the pieces, please?"
"Thanks, Mackey. Now I think I'm gonna lay down and take a nap. Maybe I''ll dream about that cute little Corporal."
Sarah held the phone away from her ear, and then put it back.
"I'll be good. I promise. Bye, Mackey."
Sarah hung up the phone and laughed.
She walked over to the sofa, laid down, and closed her eyes. And smiled.