“I see. So it’s a choice of getting shot, or getting shot with a chance of missing, huh?” Jones sucked noisily on a molar. “How do you say ‘don’t shoot I’m on your side’ in bolo, Rosenthal?”

Ne strelyayte, ya odin iz vas” said Rosenthal. “At least I think it is. Did I mention my folks can’t read and they didn’t exactly speak the Czar’s Own at home?”

“Well, the way I see it, that gives your bolo a bit of down-home charm,” said Jones. “You speak too good, it’ll sound all practiced. Bolos might cotton that you’re a kike if you talk like that, and me too if I’m parroting. Shoot me anyway.”

“You really are not interested in getting out of this alive,” muttered Rosenthal.

“That a threat, kike? You gonna draw steel on me? Leigh’ll look real kindly on that, especially as we’re short on men and half of what we’ve got’re chinks that’ll break at the first sign that civilization might break out.”

“It’s thanks to you that we’re in this mess,” said Rosenthal His hands tightened around his Mosin. “You’d think after all we’ve done for you, you’d be a little more grateful.”

“Grateful for what?” Jones spat. “For you all saluting a bunch of chinks on my behalf? For some kike lecturing me when he’s about as American as a Wiener schnitzel? Someone’s gotta stand up for real Americans, and it that means stabbing a chink who needs to learn some respect, so be it.”

“You could have started a war.” Rosenthal’s teeth were clenched.

“Hell, if that’s what it takes for them to learn their place, so be it.” Jones spat again, this time directly on the berm. Rosenthal blinked as droplets struck him. “Way I see it, I’m the only real American here.”

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