Fact was, she didn’t want to spend her life in some Podunk town, and I was her ticket out. But we didn’t have a ride, so we borrowed — ”
On the wall above that was a tapestry of a Revolutionary War battle scene hung from an ornately carved piece of what looked to be teak. It depicted gallant men dying gallantly seemingly without a thought as to their personal safety, only elegant, patriotic sacrifice in their dignified countenances. It was something Archer had never once seen in three-plus years of actual combat. For him, it had been a tedious and Spartan existence intersected with chaos, fear, and times of sporadic bravery mingled with anger, panic, hatred, self-pity, and sadness at those who had fallen, followed by a guilty relief at still being alive when the shooting had stopped.