The Sandys came sweeping down the river, obliterating all other sound, the roar of their engines and propellers lifting my spirits in spite of my being trapped at the tank with a dead good kid and a living bad noncom.

I hugged the edge of the tank’s right tread, the metal warmer than the cool water slowly dropping my body temperature into one of discomfort. I knew the intensity of my fear would allow me to function no matter how cold I got. Jurgens had managed to maneuver around me to place my body between him and the crocodile. The reptile hadn’t move a millimeter since the fifty had opened up again. The Sandys hadn’t seemed to bother it a bit when they came over, nor the thunder of their twenty millimeters when they opened up again. The planes gave me hope, particularly when their remaining bombs fell into the nearby jungle again. Maybe they’d get lucky and put a five hundred pounder right on top of the fifty.