"Preacher!" The hoarsely whispered shout hung heavily in the shadowed humid jungle air.
There was a rustle in the underbrush that sent the birds abruptly shrieking into the trees, then silence. Preacher’s voice was low and calm. "Where are you?"
"Over here. In the hole. Hurry, Preacher. I’m hurt real bad."
A moment later, Preacher’s head and shoulders appeared over the edge of the small crater. He peered down at the wounded black soldier and nodded silently. He elbowed himself forward and tumbled clumsily into the crater, rolled over and sat up, the white band with the red cross on his arm barely visible for the mud covering it. He slipped the medical pack from his shoulders and placed it on the ground beside him. "Where are you hit, Washington?" he asked without looking up from the pack he was opening.
The soldier grabbed at his arm. "I’m gonna die, Preacher," he said in a frightened voice. "Will you hear my confession?"
"You crazy, Joe?" Preacher looked at him. "You’re not Catholic, I’m no priest."
"So what?" Joe whispered. "You’re a preacher anyway, aren’t you?"
"No, I’m not," Preacher answered. "I’m not a minister."
"But they call you Preacher," Joe insisted. "We all know you’re always carryin’ a Bible with you."