Once the man's out of earshot, the soldiers dish divine dirt on devilish Deputy Dog, apparently my latest instrument of alliteration. On D-Day, when Malarkey befriended the German-American from Oregon who was then executed off-camera by a mystery person, rumors swirled that Deputy Dog was the one who killed that group. Hoobler claims Deputy Dog posed the men -- offered them cigarettes and a light, then shot them in cold blood while they smoked. We see a black-and-white flashback of it; then back to real time. "I heard he didn't do it," Whozit says. Now we see flashbacks of uniform-clad knees being shot, bodies falling like dominoes and Deputy Dog coldly watching one of his underlings shoot the unarmed prisoners. "No, no, no, it was him all right, but it was more than eight guys. It was more like twenty," a third guy chips in, and finally we see Deputy Dog blowing away a horde of Germans. "All except one guy, who he left alone." That man stands trembling, his cigarette burned so low it's aflame between his fingers. Wow. Deputy Dog is a legend of evil, an epic boil festering on Satan's left nostril. In other words, he's Jewel.
Whozit finally says he heard that Deputy Dog took the last MG at the German garrison by himself. "I saw that," Malarkey says, shaking his head in something akin to disbelief and grudging respect. Whozit says that's all he needs to know; the nasty stuff be damned. One of the men asks Blithe what he thinks of all this. Blithe is too busy being nervous to think. He looks like he's just been asked to dissect his own foot. "I don't know. I'm gonna have to take everyone's word for it. I didn't see any of it," he says quietly.
Welsh shows up in the distance and shouts that the 1st Platoon is moving out. Blithe is slow to rise.
Easy tromps through a lush green field, Perconte and Luz leading the way and clearly tired, frustrated, and ignorant of a battle plan. They just know to keep walking "until they tell us to stop," in Luz's words. Perconte is hitting his boiling point. "Why is Easy Company the only company who's at the front of an advance, or like now, exposed at the far edge of the line?" he snaps. Hoobler groans that it's just to keep them on their toes. "That's not what I'm saying," argues Perconte. "We're never in the middle, and we're the fifth of nine companies in this regiment -- Able through Item. Think of it." Sounds like Easy's own performance record precedes it, pushing it into greater peril. That's the hazard of being the best. I should know, based on my own history of excellence in the ferocious world of sixth-grade Vocabulary Baseball. It wasn't pretty.