“Well, my grandfather was a soldier too,” Leigh said. “Hardly a knight, though, or a samurai. He did have a sword, though, and he carried it into battle all over the United States until he was wounded and lost his leg. Didn’t keep him from finding a girl or having ten kids, of course.”

“So your father was a soldier as well?”

“Dad? Ha! No, he worked in a paper mill. Every day for twenty years until he dropped dead sweeping up the pulp. There were a lot of mouths in the family, and we all got the same idea early on. He loved us, but he could barely feed us when we were small. So there’s the great Leigh clan for you: Edith the seamstress, Thomas–just like dad!–the paper mill boy, Catherine the mother of four boys of her own now, and of course me, the soldier. I joined for three square meals a day and damn if I haven’t made a go of it.”

Yamaguchi took a moment to digest this. “So you, like me, have come back to arms after your family had turned away from it.”

Leigh nodded. “And like you I wonder if I really came that far. Don’t get me wrong. My boys are good boys, and I’ve learned a lot from them. Rosenthal’s from New York, Davis is from Tennessee, and I’d never have met either of them if not for all this. Even that son-of-a-bitch Jones, may God have mercy on his Kentucky ass, has taught me a lot.”

“What do you hope to get out of all this, when it’s done?” said Yamaguchi.

“Three square meals a day,” laughed Leigh. “And seeing all my boys home safe.”

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