Return To Heartbreak RidgeReturn To Heartbreak Ridge is the story of a sons' search for his fathers' past, and a series of letters received from Korean War Veteran SFC Seymour "Hoppy" Harris, a gunner with Company H, 23d Infantry Regiment, 1951. It is a complex story.
Warning: Strong language, pejorative terms, and honesty.
1946-1950 (Part II)
I went to dances after that, and he'd just look at me and wink and say, "You take her easy now."
I always did. I wasn't anxious to tangle with him again.
I worked at the Radiator for 11 months, then one day walked off the job in a huff over something. Went out and got stoned. Fact is, I hung around Geneva for two or three days at the butt end of town drinking sneaky pete with the winos who frequented the bars I hung out in.
I landed a job with a building contractor who was building an addition onto a local sauerkraut factory, and worked for him all summer. When we finished the job, he wanted this other dude and I to go to the next job with him as he was pleased with our work. Promised me he'd teach me to lay concrete blocks and mason skills, but like a damn fool I turned it down and went to work for the guy who was doing the roofing job on the building we'd just completed, even though it was understood the job would be only temporary.
The guy whose place I was taking had been in a poker game on the third floor of an old hotel. It is a hot night and they have a window open. The cops raid the game, and this guy being half smashed, forgets he's on the third floor. Out he jumps through the window. A wooden shed is behind the hotel. Gravity carries him through the roof. The floor stops his fall.
The other players have a hell of a time convincing the cops a man has jumped out the window, but when they shine their lights down there, they see a man sized hole in the roof.
When they finally dragged him out, he was a mess. Gather he looked like one big piece of plaster when the hospital got through with him.
Violence. It seems to follow me wherever I go. If I go into a saloon, and somebody is inside raring to go, he will head right for me. And I will not back up.
"You want trouble, I got it!" was my attitude. Win, lose, or draw, I will not back up.
Oh hell, I admit I went out of my way to prod someone into a fight. I fought because I liked it, and sometimes just to break the monotony . Fight like a son-of-a-bitch with someone and say the next day, "What the hell were we fighting about?"
During the summer I played Sunday baseball with the Stanley baseball team. People were always saying I was wasting talent, but I could never see what they seemed to see. For my size, about 150 pounds, now I guess I could hit with some power. My eyes were good, you had to throw pretty hard to get it by me. But you can't get shitfaced drunk on a Saturday night and expect to play a decent game on Sunday afternoon.
We played in the town of Bradford one Sunday afternoon and our manager picked me up off the street in Penn Yan and insisted I could play. Good Christ, I had a hangover so bad water wouldn't even stay down.
I get to Bradford and take batting practice. Holy shit, I'm a mess.
I drink a cold bottle of orange pop, trot out to the right field and puke it up. What a way to start a ball game.
My first time at bat, the Bradford pitcher throws me a jug-handle curve and I swing and miss it by a foot. Swing before the ball even gets there. On the next pitch he tries the same pitch, only I wait on it this time and whale a double to right.
My next time up, being a right handed batter who tucks the bat close in to my body, I guess the pitcher thinks he can tie me up inside. He tries it and I pull it past the third baseman like a bullet for another double. Man, I'm having a ball, but the running is killing me. Every stride I take makes the top of my head feel like it's going to explode. I whale two more pitches right on the button that day. It was without a doubt the longest baseball game I ever played. At least I didn't make a fool out of myself.
As far as work is concerned, during the summer I worked for local farmers. I loved farm work as it kept me outside and for the most part alone, and I liked it that way. The hours were long, and the work hard, but with some chew bulging my left cheek, I was happy as a lark. I was by myself, I could be myself. I did not have to listen to gossip, bragging, or pure bullshit. I was not confined by walls, someone was not looking over my shoulder.
I cannot say I was completely happy doing farm work. I have never been completely happy doing anything. It always seemed to me that I was always an outsider. I could never fit in. I could not get close to people. It seemed I was always on the defensive. I felt people were always trying to put me down, and this caused much of my unhappiness.
It is July 9, 1948. I am at the home of a neighbor and we are having a party. There are three couples or so and we have chipped in for the booze, a little whisky, wine, beer, and some Vodka.
We are having a fine time spinning country music records, laughing and enjoying each others company.
I don't know why, but all evening I had felt ill at ease. And people noticed it. Asked me what was troubling me. It seems something was always bothering me, but on this night I just felt nervous. I could not relax.
It was a dark night and as it had been raining earlier in the evening, the clouds were low. It was muggy. A screen door led onto the back porch. Several times I stepped outside onto the porch to catch a breath of fresh air. Each time I did I recall feeling someone was watching us. I strain my ears to try to pick up some sounds of something or someone lurking around the house. With the music coming from the house, I cannot tell anything out of the ordinary.
I strain my eyes, but I can see nothing. Trying to convince myself that my imagination is playing tricks on me, I step back inside and try to get into the swing of things. It is 10:30 P.M..
I am in the front room when I hear the screen door squeak open. One of the guys says, "Hell, Gene, what are you all about? You like to have scared me to death. Shouldn't sneak up on somebody like that."
I feel my blood run cold. This is what has been bothering me all evening. Only one person in town I know named Gene. Gene Hornsby. Gene is black and I know him to be a very dangerous man. I have been in his company at least two times, and soft- talked him from carving someone. He always carried a pig sticker, and was more than willing to use it.
I recall asking him many times why he needed a knife. He claimed to be good with his fists, but he never showed it to me. Fact is, I'd always told him he had a bull dogs' mouth and a puppy dogs' ass.
Hornsby and I had gotten along fairly well, but I had by now worked up somewhat of a reputation as someone not to be trifled with, and I'm sure Gene saw in me what he would like to be if he had the guts.
We had exchanged verbal bullshit, but it never got serious. He'd remark how I was a false alarm, or how one day he was going to whip my ass. But it would never go beyond the talk stage. I knew I could take him, so I passed him off as a blow-hard.
But then he started to abuse a girl I was more than a little fond of. She had left town a year or so before. Under his breath when passing her on the street, he would make filthy remarks to her. When she'd pass his boarding house, he'd make remarks to her. She told me when it got to be too much.
I called him on it, but at first he denied it, then finally admitted it. Even bragged as to what he intended to do with her first chance.
Gene was a railroad section hand, a man of medium height, maybe 170 pounds. Walked with a bit of swagger.
"This is the way you walk," he'd say. "Think you're a bad- ass! Shit!"
This is the way he approached me in front of the railroad station one day. It never really bothered me, but after my girl friend told me what he was doing, the sight of him swaggering at me with a stupid smirk brought anger welling up inside me.
Right then and there I commenced to call him all the names I could lay my tongue to, all the while daring him to do something.
I sensed he wanted to reach for the pigsticker he carried, but he knew I knew it, and kept his hand well away from his hip pocket.
No matter what I said, I couldn't get a rise out of him. He just stood there and took it. He denied everything. I backed off and warned him if he ever fucked with me again in any way, shape, or form, I was going to whip him like he had never been whipped before.
The people whose home I was in knew of the friction between Gene and I. I walked to the door leading from the dining room to the kitchen, and just stood there staring. Without speaking, everybody headed for the living room. As Gene was pouring himself a drink, I stood there staring at him. I wanted to know who had offered him a drink. No one would admit offering him anything.
We were talking in low tones. I noticed under the table that Gene's pant legs were wet. I said I had felt uneasy all evening like someone was prowling about the house. Now I felt sure it had been him.
No one wanted any trouble, especially the lady of the house. Figured if he was just left alone, there would not be trouble.
If it wasn't for the fact I'd helped pay for the booze he was so freely drinking, I probably would not have started anything. But this bastard is defying me, and daring me to do something about it.
About that time my younger brother Don walks into the kitchen from the outside, and I hear Gene speak to him and say something like, "Another one of those bad-ass Harris's."
When Don got into the living room, I said, "You'd better get out of here, there's going to be trouble and I don't want you in on it."
Don left and I continued to discuss the issue with the rest of the party, but they were all for letting Gene just run slipshod over all of us. All the women were holding onto their husbands for dear life. Made me sick.
I walk to the kitchen. Gene is sitting there at the table horsing around with a deck of cards. I stand and stare down at him. He pounds in a shot of whisky, and sneering at me says, "Ah, damn man, that sure is good whisky!"
I take one step closer to the table and whisper, "Gene, stand up."
When I am ready to start swinging, for some reason I've always had a tendency to whisper rather than talk loudly. I believe this kind of affected Gene, because I saw fear in his eyes, fact is I could smell the fear.
He slowly stood up and moved to the end of the table, his back to the screen door. I watch his hands. He knew I was alert to any move he might make for that pigsticker.
"Ah, come on, man, I don't want any trouble with you."
"You've already got it," I whispered, and at the same instant I let a straight right hand shot go thud. I grunted when I threw it. I felt the impact of the blow clear up in my shoulder. The blow catches him flush in the face and sends him crashing through the screen door onto the porch. The top hinge of the door is torn loose, and I have to try to get past it. This gives him time to struggle down the four steps to the ground, holding a hand to his face.
In a second I get onto the porch. His back is toward me, so I leap off the porch and bring him down from behind. I roll on past him, but quickly regain my feet. He manages to get up and I can see his face is a mess. He says something I do not catch. He throws a right I slip, and I nail him with another shot that stops him dead in his tracks. He tries to cover his face and I land a left with everything I have behind it, follow that with a gut shot I believe went to his spine. He curls up in agony on the ground at my feet and starts to vomit.
It is only now that I become aware of someone screaming for me to stop. "Stop fighting, please! Stop fighting, please!"
I leave Gene Hornsby there and return to the house. I am in a state of rage. I cuss and rant and rave at those I think brought this affair. The lady of the house is convinced the whole affair was brought on by the girl in the picture. That if it hadn't been for her, this would never have come about. But I would not buy that. The girl in question was pretty, built like a brink shit-house with every brick in place. With a personality to match, and women in town were jealous of her.
The party continues and by 1:00 A.M., I am really feeling no pain and announce it is time I hit the road. Everyone tries to get me to stay overnight, but I will not hear of it. I only live about 400 yards up the road, and see no reason why I should not go home. No amount of talk will change my mind.
I leave by the back door, and once off the porch, I go around the back of the house onto the driveway. I can see nothing as it is still cloudy. My eyes have not yet become accustomed to the dark. Walking by feel, I follow the driveway until I feel my feet hit a slight upgrade. I know I am on the dirt road. I turn right and hum softly to myself.
I hear a slight rustle in the ditch to my right. I pay little attention to the sound, thinking it a rabbit or something. I begin to sense someone behind me. I turn and peer into the darkness.
Before I ever make out anything, I hear a grunting sound, and pain doubles me over. My knees turn to jelly, and I go down. Someone is beating at my left rib cage and back. With the force of the blows, I can feel something like the sting of a bee. Then I feel my head being pulled back. Two blows to my head, and I see stars.
That is all I remember until I became aware that I am down in the road, and I am having trouble getting to my feet. Then I become conscious of the fact that I am bleeding. In my stomach is a dull ache. Swaying with weakness, I head up the road toward the light in the window I know is home.
I will never know why I did not turn and go back to the house I had just left. I guess I was like a wounded animal heading to its hole.
I am wearing Western style boots with a flat heel, and I can hear the blood making a sloshing sound in my left boot as I struggle along. It has finally dawned on me what has happened. I begin to fear that he will return to finish the job. The dull ache in my stomach has turned to terrible pain. When the moon comes out from behind a cloud, I look down and see my guts protruding out. The sight of them causes terror in me. I realize now that it is just God and I. I feel very sad and lonely.
I guess you can say I was very close to God during that ordeal. I know I talked to him that night like never before. I asked him why I was the way I was. Why couldn't I live like other people? Why did violence always seem to stalk me? Why?
I eventually make it home and to the bottom of the stairs. Just before I pass out, I manage to snap the light switch to my mother's bedroom and say, "Mom, help me, will you?"
I wake up in Geneva hospital late the next day. My mother is sitting by my bed when I awaken. I reach through the railings on my bed, touch her shoulder, and say, "Hi, mom."
It had taken 122 stitches and three or four hours of work by the best surgeons at Geneva Hospital to keep me on top of the ground. I still think it was God and Doc Skinner working together to save me.
They pick Gene Hornsby up in Philadelphia, and he is brought back to New York state and held for trial in the Canandaigua jail. It wasn't until the day of the trial that I really learned all that had happened that night.
He admitted he had been outside that night, and had peeped in the windows and watched us for sometime before he decided to invite himself inside. That explained to me the feeling of un-easiness I'd had before he made his presence known. And my hunch had been right about the wet pant legs.
He further admitted he would have used his knife when I first approached him in the kitchen, but that he had changed pants and showered when he'd come home from work, and had left the knife in his work pants pocket. After I whipped his ass, he had gone home, gotten the knife, and come back and lay in wait for me.
After he carved me up he said he returned to the place where he boarded. A black friend drove him to Auburn where he caught a bus for Philadelphia. Near Freebridge, he had thrown the knife out the car window into a swampy area and it was never found.
Hornsby showed no remorse for anything he had done time, and it came out at the trial that he had done time for carving another fellow up in Alabama. Also some time in the South for arson. It seemed somebody else had beat his ass, and he had set his house afire.
All in all, I guess Mr. Hornsby was a pretty dangerous SOB even though he was a sneaking lowlife coward. Cost him seven to fifteen at Attica. Attempted manslaughter.
I cannot say to this day that I am sorry for what took place that night. And if it had been another era, I would have killed him without giving it a second thought. I hope someone along the line settled his hash.
Well, that little episode didn't do my reputation any good, and it seemed everybody in Stanley had a version of what happened that night. No matter what I said, nothing made any difference.
Like I said before, people will believe what they want to believe, and that is that so be it. Amen.
Listen. I was in need of a job, and it was the end of the harvest season, so I went to the local kraut factory and asked for a job. The supervisor was pleasant enough with me, but finally came right out and said what was on his mind.
"Look, Seymour, you came to me looking for a job, and I need another man. But you have something of a reputation. We are family here and we don't need anyone around who is as free with his fists as you seem to be. If I give you a job, will you promise me if you have any difficulties, you will not take matters into your own hands, but come to me instead?"
I promised I would, but said, "Mr. Kibbert, you don't want to believe all you hear. If I'd done all I've been accused of doing, I would have to be ten men."
"Well, there may be something to what you say. People have a way of ad-libbing, I don't deny that. Can you start Monday morning?"
Well, I was put in a tank with Chuck Pierson. Unknown to me, when Pierson heard I had been hired to work in the tank spreading chopped cabbage with him, he threatened to quit. It seems Chuck had believed all he had heard about me like so many other people in the area.
For the first two days, he hardly spoke to me, but then he began to thaw and in time we became best of friends. We'd work our asses off together all week and then sometimes on a Saturday we'd go out and get smashed on wine and beer at a gin mill in Geneva. Then go to his place with a couple of bottles of wine, and give his wife a hard time. His wife also worked at the plant and come Monday she'd good naturedly tell us both she hoped we'd both suffer like dogs all day for giving her such a hard time.
But Chuck would just laugh and say to me, "Don't you just love her, Seymour?"
I'd say, "Damn sure do, Chuck. And if she wasn't you wife I'd ask her to marry me."
I worked there at the kraut factory all during the cutting season of 1949 and got along in perfect harmony with everyone.
I also worked there during the canning season and had no trouble. Those people there at the kraut factory were the salt of the earth. And at the end of the canning season, we would take the profit from the soft drink machine and have a banquet. There would be a huge meal and some drinking, but we all got along fine.
I always got along with people who went to the trouble to get to know me. But it was those who knew me only from what someone else had told them who made my life miserable and lonely.
It was in the summer of 1949 when I got involved in more violence people who didn't know the facts condemned me for.
I crawled out of bed one Saturday morning. Downstairs, I noticed my mother really teed-off about something. When I woke up enough to ask her what was the matter, she said, "Arlene. She got beat up."
She named the culprit, a fellow I knew.
I go upstairs to her bedroom, and find her in pretty rough shape. Black eye, nose swollen, upper lip protruding like a sausage. It turned out that this creep had made advances which she had resisted, so he became enraged and really did a number on her.
"I'll settle the account for you," I told her.
I return downstairs and shave, and without even stopping for a late breakfast, I head for Geneva. I no sooner arrive when I run into a friend. I confided in him what had happened. "What are you going to do?" he wants to know.
"Look him up and whip his ass," I said, and laid out the plan to him.
I told him I knew where he usually hung out, and it shouldn't take us long to find him. That when we did find him, I was going to act as if nothing had happened to throw him off guard. I told him to do the same and if things went according to plan, sooner or later I'd get him alone and clean his clock.
The second saloon we entered, I spot Dave at the lower end of a long bar. "Hi, Dave," I yell. "What's happening?
He looked sort of surprised for a moment, then smiled and said, "Not much. Same old crap, you know."
He then moved up the bar, bought my friend and I a beer, and we stood and made small talk. We drank several large glasses of beer, and Dave suddenly says, "Man, I have got to take a leak, my teeth are floating," and he headed for the john at the back corner of the saloon. I let him get inside, gulped my beer, and headed for the john.
"Quick, drink your beer, I'm going to stomp his ass."
Quickly, I stride to the john, and Dave is at the urinal. He turns his head to smile at me as I enter. I gave him a blank stare and whisper, "You dirty bastard! Nobody beats a sister of mine!"
He never has a chance to get it back in his pants before I whale him. Right in the left eye. It is a beauty, and although he outweighs me by 30 or 40 pounds, he goes down like he'd been shot.
He's under the urinal, both hands to his face, and I put those Western boots into his ribs with all the strength I could muster. All the while ranting, "Bet my sister I was gonna stomp your guts out!"
But then someone outside had heard the ruckus, and came to investigate. I have to push open the door, shoulder a guy out of my way to get out of there, and walk up to the bartender who is just standing there staring.
"Better get a doctor, that bastard back there needs one," I say, and walk out onto the street. Walk half a block down a narrow alley way to a small parking area, get in the car, and take off without saying a dozen words.
I recall my friend Roy asking, "How bad?"
Roy and I drove to another town where we continued to casually drink beer. Out of a clear sky Roy looks at me and starts laughing.
"What the hell strikes you so funny?" I ask him.
"You! Goddamn, you are something else. I've seen a lot of shit in my time, but nothing like that. Laugh, talk, and drink with a guy one minute, and tear up his ass the next. And then walk out as cool as a cucumber like it was the most normal thing in the world. Do you know you smiled at that bartender?"
"No, did I?" I don't remember that. He must have thought I was some kind of a nut.
Until the day he died, my brother George tells me, Roy would bring up that incident and say, "That was the coolest goddamn thing I ever saw anybody ever do. George, you should have been there. Christ, that was something!"
It may seem a cowardly thing to do, kicking a man when he is down. But when you were traveling the road I was in those days, you fought to win. If you fought fair and square, you were liable to get your ass whipped.
Hell, I took some awful beatings back then when I was so shitfaced, I had the coordination of a cow. Didn't even remember or know who had beaten me. I took some licking from people who would stalk me, waiting for me to get drunk. I mean really plastered, then they'd make their move. Even then they had to have backups.
I can honestly say I never lost a fight when I was sober. It was when I was really shot down, unable to defend myself, that I lost fights.
The one thing about me that others could not understand is I never felt any remorse after beating hell out of someone. If they hadn't deserved it, they wouldn't have gotten it.
I pasted a guy in the eye one night that gave him a shiner that was a thing of beauty.
It was at a barn dance and I am sitting along the wall talking to some friends. This jerk walks by and steps on my toes. I get up, follow him and his friends to the other end of the dance hall.
"You stepped on my toes back there," I said. "You should have said 'Excuse me,' you know."
"Well, I didn't, now did I?"
"Nope," I said, and let him have it.
It was things like that, that caused a lot of my problems. People seemed to think they could do anything to me they wanted. I was supposed to grin and bear it. And although people never gave me credit, I did take a lot of abuse from people for the sake of a friend. Other time I took it as long as I could, even walked away at times. For me, it took a lot of courage to walk away.
One night I am in a bar in Penn Yan. The place is unusually quiet, as it is a miserably cold night. Only the owner, the bartender, and myself.
This particular woman hates me with a passion, because one day I caught her getting laid in an old barn. I watched. Instead of sneaking out, I clapped my hands and said like a Limey, "Well done, bloody good show."
Jesus, you talk about someone being pissed, she went into a temper tantrum that was a thing of beauty. Called me names I'd never heard, and said if she were a man, she would beat the shit out of me.
"Well, you ain't. So fuck you, bitch!"
So here I am in the bar, and in she comes with her husband.
Every so often she says something insulting in my direction, but I try to ignore her. Tiring of this, I begin to do the same to her.
Well, it gets to the point where I am getting the best of her, and she starts heaping abuse on me out loud. The owner tells her to put a lid on it or get the hell out. That only keeps her quiet for a short time, then she starts her shit again, only under her breath.
Finally I say, "You simple bitch, why don't you go back to the barn?"
At this, her husband comes flying at me like he'd gone nuts, swinging wildly. All I'm doing is moving around the room taunting him, but then he gets close enough to catch hold of my shirt, and I yank him to me and sink a right into his guts. Then another and another until he turns loose my shirt.
All the while his wife is screaming for me to let her husband alone, and throwing in all the obscenities she can think of.
The owner of the place tells her to hit the bricks, and points to her husband laying over the booth groaning his ass off. "Take that hunk of shit with you, and both of you stay the hell out of here. I don't want you in here, you're nothing but trouble."
Hotdamn, the fat is in the fire now. As soon as they are out the door, I say, "They'll go for the cops. Five will get you ten!"
"What for, I didn't see anything happen. You stay right where you are. If the cops come, you let me handle things."
In less than ten minutes, sure enough, here come the cops, and the owner meets them at the door. He says to the cop, "You come in. They stay out. Got it?"
Now the owner of this place probably knows the cop since he was still shitin' yellow, and being a well respected man in town, the cop says, "OK! OK! No sweat!"
Looking in my direction but talking to the owner, he asks, "What happened here? Guy out there says Harris over there beat him."
The owner says, "Yeah, well I'll be. I didn't see anybody beating anybody." He asks his bartender, "Did you see anything?"
The bartender, acting as innocent as a lamb says, "Gosh, no. I sure didn't, you been beating on anyone, Seymour?"
"Not me," I say. "It's a miserable night and I'm a man of peace and goodwill."
The owner takes the young cop back into the kitchen and they are not there over five minutes. They talk in low tones so I cannot hear what is said. But I do hear the cop say, "Ah, that's good on a cold night." And I know the owner has fixed him up with a double.
Then they both walk out and the owner says, winking at me, "And that takes care of that."
After a while things get back to normal and a few others drift in from the cold. The owner eases up to me and asks, "What did you ever do to that bitch that she's got it in for you?"
I tell him and he like to bust a gut.
"You shithead, you should have walked off instead of letting them know you were here. You goddamned knucklehead, you got no sense at all!"
"Got sense enough to know I need another beer."
In the spring of 1950, I am working for a local farmer and I'm so bored it's pathetic. And then the North Koreans barrel over the 38th parallel and soon Gabriel Heatter is opening his nightly broadcast by screaming, "There's blood in Korea! Tonight the Naktong River runs red with blood! American blood!"
And then he'd go on and blast politicians who had said there would be no more wars, and how American boys were being slaughtered because they were ill-trained and poorly disciplined because the politicians had screamed their heads off at MacArthur and others to quit playing soldier and stop picking on their sons. Now these same people were hollering, "Why weren't our boys trained and disciplined and properly equipped?"
Night after night I listened to him pour it on and I commenced to get that restless feeling. And the old man on Okinawa came flooding back to my memory.
"Well, old man, it looks like you were for real," I thought.
I tried to fight it, but it was no use. I had to get in on this one, and told the farmer I was working for. He tried to talk me out of it.
"Hell, Seymour, you helped fight one war, you don't owe anyone anything. Stay to hell home, and let someone else fight this one. It's not our war over there anyway. Let the Koreans fight their own war."
But I had been thinking on it for days, and my mind was made up. It was August 26, 1950.
I went home that night, and finally got the courage to tell mother.
"Well," she said, "I knew it was coming. You've been awfully quiet the last few days, and at night with your ears glued to that radio, I knew you were thinking on something."
There was a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach, and a lump in my throat that was choking me. Mom melted in my arms and we hugged each other as tight as we could.
"I'm sorry, Mom, I really am. I love you very much and I appreciate everything you have done for me, and I am sorry for all that I have put you through. I guess I haven't been much of a son, what with all the worry I've put you through, but some day so help me God, I will make it up to you."
Mom tried to be brave and said, "Honey, I hate to see you go, but if anyone can make it through something like that, I know it's you."
"Hell, mom," I said, "they won't get me. I'm too mean. I'm going to die in bed of old age."
And the next day I headed for Geneva to enlist in the United States Army. And on August 29, 1950, I was sworn in.
"Well Harris, you've done it again!" I think. "What the hell have you got yourself into now?"
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