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Hold your head up

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Face looked on helplessly when the guards dragged Murdock out of his cage on the edge of the camp for another round of “interrogation”. He knew Murdock couldn’t take much more and was on the edge of breaking.

But there was nothing he, Hannibal, Ray or B.A. could do, the VC had kept him isolated from the rest of the P.O.W.’s for the last two or three weeks. Every time one of the team tried to shout encouragements to him it only resulted in another whipping for them.

At least he, Ray and B.A. were allowed out of their hut to “work”, Hannibal as the ranking officer was kept locked up at all times. Face looked at the axe in his hand and wished for the thousandth time he just could throw it at the nearby guard.

Suddenly he got an idea, a way to keep Murdock’s spirit up and that right under the guards noses.
Slowly he began to beat out a rhythm as he was swinging the axe. Baam baam baam bambam baam baam baam, three slow, two fast, three slow. He saw a flicker of recognition on the face of the man working next to him. He too began to swing his hammer in the same rhythm, baam baam baam bambam baam baam baam. Ever so slowly all the man working on clearing the small patch of land began to follow the same rhythm.

Face just hoped Murdock would recognize it, this song was being played regularly just before the where captured. As he looked over at Murdock he saw a change come over him. First, he was being dragged across the compound with his head hung low but now he began raising his head and tried to get his feet under him so he could walk. Murdock shot a secret smile over at Face and he knew his plan had worked.

When the work gang was rounded up so they could be marched back to their huts for the night he had a change to thank the others. In all the huts that night the same song was whispered. Since that day the same rhythm was heard every time some unlucky grunt was dragged off to the interrogation and all said it helped them to withstand the torture for at least a while.

A month later the team escaped and while they were recovering in the hospital Murdock confessed to Face that without his help he would have surely cracked. But Face wouldn’t hear of it. For if it wasn’t for Murdock he wouldn’t have lasted one week in Nam.

The end.

This is the song