Winters creeps toward Roe's foxhole to check on the troubled medic. The sound of a German chorus diverts his attention; the enemy is singing "Silent Night." Winters listens, amazed that the very act of singing that song makes it a lie. Nearby, Compton and Gonorrhea huddle in a foxhole; the former plucks a photo from his pocket and shows it to Gonorrhea. "Picture of my girl," he says, a proud smile flashing briefly across his face. Gonorrhea compliments her as sincerely as he ever can: "Good-looking broad, Buck," he says. Compton drops the picture onto his friend's chest, choking, "She's finished with me." Startled, Gonorrhea stammers, "Yeah?" and looks at the photo of a pretty brunette hugging Compton. "Yeah, she's, er..." Buck begins, then trails off and stares into the distance again. "Just in time for Christmas, eh?" Gonorrhea says, regretfully. Compton wipes his face and half-laughs, half-cries, but doing both in a strangely serene manner. "Just in time for Christmas," he whispers. Aw. That about broke my heart. The vengeful part of me hopes she's still alive and watching, so she knows exactly what fresh hell he was enduring when she dumped his strapping behind. Witchy woman.
"Shit!" a shivering Malarkey curses. "Almost forgot!" He triumphantly whips cigarettes from his pocket, to the delight of his hole-mates Skip and Penkala. They inhale with orgasmic delight, as if a simple cigarette is the first sliver of warmth they've cradled in too long. Skip passes the smoke to Penkala. "I'm shaking so goddamn much, I feel like I'm dancing," he trembles. Skip slips the cigarette between his friend's grateful lips. Over in Perconte's area, meanwhile, the guys are taking lemonade powder and mixing it with snow to yield a dessert of sorts. "Merry fucking Christmas," gripes Perconte.
Winters slinks over toward Welsh and Peacock, who have lit a small fire for warmth. "Fire's not a good idea," Winters softly admonishes. "Just a couple minutes," pleads Welsh. "We're in a dell." Winters: "A dell? Where fairies and gnomes live?" Nixon approaches and whispers, "I did smell a fire. Are you out of your mind?" Winters calmly replies, "Well, we're in a dell." I love this sarcastic Winters. But before he can remedy the fire situation, mortar fire bombards them and knocks Welsh backwards. "Noooo! Oh, God!" he screams, chillingly. Shit, I just gnawed on my nails again from tension -- I like Welsh. He's friendly, and he's a friend of Winters's, and seeing a trusted lieutenant felled like that freaks me out. Winters yells for a medic while Nixon frantically phones for a Jeep, and Peacock stamps out the tiny fire. Heffron violently shakes Roe out of a stupor; the medic is completely reluctant to move, suddenly, but Heffron forces him out of his hole. In leaving, Roe steps on Babe's hand and draws blood; the young soldier swears in frustration. So, how is it that the Germans can sing "Silent Night" unmolested, but the tiniest of controlled fires on the Allied side whips enemy gunners into a firing frenzy? I guess that's the benefit of firing on a decimated line with no artillery backup.