Suddenly, Malarkey dashes inside and throws sixty dollars at his pal Skip, from whom he borrowed the initial stake for what became an epic night of gambling. He throws Skip an extra tip and brags that he won as much as six thousand on the tables, but ended up with only $3600. Skip is shocked. Malarkey grins that he's going to blow it all in Paris as soon as possible. That's fairly insensitive, because in the book, Malarkey's excitement stems from his ability to pay for his remaining semesters of University of Oregon tuition. That's one of my favorite details from the book, and I'm sad they scrapped it here in favor of making him look like a total boner.
Winters creeps through the rows and sits directly behind Compton, who stares transfixed at the screen. He asks after Buck, and his four ass wounds, and whether he's seen the movie before; stony silence greets every inquiry. Dick slaps Buck's arm, and Compton revives himself long enough to call the movie "a real corker." I didn't quite understand this scene. Is Buck just shell-shocked from his injury, and facing his own mortality? Is he annoyed at Winters? Is he upset that Winters isn't commanding Easy? Is he upset because they ran out of supplies and plugged his four bullet holes with chocolate chips? Seriously, though, this just makes me even sadder for Winters. He needed a buddy, and Compton's all zoned out and useless.
Luz gets excited because the movie's female star is about to say her line. He imitates it really, really badly three times before she gets around to uttering it herself, and Donnie rightly spins around and shoots a major stink-eye at Luz. Suddenly, soldiers march through the tent, shut off the movie, and turn on the lights. Luz is under arrest for perpetrating an illegal assault of our senses, and will be flogged forty times in the town square with a copy of the regiment scrapbook. And once that's done, Easy will move out again. "Elements of the 1st and 6th Panzer divisions broke [into the] Ardennes Forest," a man barks. The Germans have overrun the U.S. 28th infantry and parts of its 4th, so the 101st is in line to reinforce the line. Dejected, Luz, Toye, Donnie, Malarkey, and Skip file out of the tent to collect their things. Compton sneaks one look at Winters, then stares straight ahead and doesn't move. Dick rises and briefly waits for Buck, then strolls toward the exit. Stopping, Winters makes a half-turn, which is enough to jack Compton's holy butt off its seat. Buck is not at his most strapping; I guess a bullet through the buttocks can do that to a person. But he can still swagger.