Donnie calls for 2nd platoon to fall out behind him. He narrates that he was happy to be out of his foxhole and moving, if only to get the blood flowing and generate any kind of warmth. The men fan out slowly and trudge through the snowy woods to clear the Bois Jacques, a stretch of forest overlooking the German-held town of Foy, "in preparation for what we all knew would be the eventual assault on Foy itself." In the background, scouts call for soldiers to watch for mines. Donnie recalls only light fire raining down upon them, surprisingly little resistance from a well-fortified German side. The men look cautious, but not too terrified. "Hoobler's run-in with the German on horseback was the most dramatic moment of the day," Donnie says.
Flash back to Hoobler ducking behind a tree, taking cover as the German rides past. Darting out, he fires three quick shots; the third rips through the man's helmet and drops him off the horse and onto the ground in a slump. Those helmets are outstanding. He might as well have worn aluminum foil. Hoobler grins proudly and cheers his successful snipe, bounding over to the corpse and poking it to ensure its complete expiration. His brains trickle gently out of the helmet hole. Suddenly, inspired, Hoobler bends down and searches the dead man's pockets, withdrawing with ecstasy a covered Luger pistol. His brain orgasms. Hoobler shoots it off into the distance.
"Hoobler had been talking about getting a Luger since Normandy," Donnie says. "As we dug in, he went from foxhole to foxhole telling everybody just how he got one." Hoob stops at Randleman's, Martin's, and Perconte's holes, among others, gleefully recounting his accurate shot and subsequent raid. "Outstanding accuracy, if I do say so myself," he boasts. "And you do," Donnie says wryly. "And I do," agrees Hoobler. And I do, because I can't even hit a stationary target from two feet out with a balled-up Kleenex. Hoobler jokes with Shifty Powers, the company's best marksman, that he could've challenged him for accuracy that day. "No, no, I'm not a good shot," Shifty says modestly. "Now, Dad, he was excellent, excellent, I declare, he could shoot the wings off a fly." Shifty is evidently some kind of southern belle. He should've said, "Dad could've shot the bun off that mealy-mouthed Melanie Wilkes." Hoobler wonders what a horseman was doing in the forest; Donnie suggests that it was probably reconnaissance work, figuring a horse would be quieter. Than what? A Jeep, I guess, because a huge panting, snarling, stomping animal probably makes more noise than a man on foot. Unless you're Mike Tyson. Someone snarks that the German was probably trying to escape, and they momentarily wonder whether the horse is okay. Donnie helps Shifty dig his foxhole, because he's selfless and believes in the group, not the solo career, and Jordan, we're looking at you, here.