[Klinger is sitting with his feet on his desk, smoking a cigar]
Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger: Don't worry, you've got me here to keep things under control!
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Buffalo bagels! Did you get at those weekly reports, or are you sitting there with your feet up, smoking my cigars?
Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger: Working, sir! Busy as a beaver! Got your reports...
[grabs a stack of papers]
Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger: ...half finished!
Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan: Pierce you can really pack it in.
Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce: Well I've always enjoyed having breakfast in bedlam.
[Potter has gathered the senior staff in his tent]
Potter: It was a long time ago, 1917 to be exact, and I've put on a dozen or so pounds since then. We were in France, under a heavy artillery barrage. My buddies and I laid low in an old French chateau. We were quite a group, the five of us. Went through hell together and lived to get drunk about it. What a great bunch of guys.
[shows them a picture]
Potter: That's us. I'm the one mugging for the camera. Anyway, there we were in this chateau, Stein finds a cache of fine brandy and we sat up all night. The shells were screaming and we were singing and toasting our friendship. Then we got down to the last bottle...
[opens the box that was sent to him]
Potter: this very bottle here. Any of you know what a tontine is?
Charles: Yes. A tontine is a... pledge.
Potter: Give that man a cheroot. The five of us made a pledge. We'd save this bottle, let some legal eagle stow it for us and whoever turned out to be the last survivor of the group, he'd get the bottle and drink a toast to his old buddies. For good or bad, you're looking at the last survivor.
[Klinger has delivered letters to all the senior staff as per Col. Potter's order]
Hawkeye: "You are invited to my tent tomorrow night at 1900 hours. Cordially, Sherman Potter. PS: That's an order." I don't understand.
Margaret: [entering from another room] You won't believe what was left on my door.
BJ: The crowd thickens.
Hawkeye: Let me guess, does it look like this?
Margaret: You got one?
BJ: We all did.
Mulcahy: [entering from outside] Hello, all. Say, I just received the most peculiar...
[they all hold up their own letters]
Mulcahy: Oh... does anyone know what this means?
BJ: I do. We're all invited to Col. Potter's tent for an after-dinner riddle.
Hawkeye: Klinger, did he say anything to you what he gave these to you?
Klinger: No. Just ordered me to deliver them and made a beeline for his office with that package he got today.
Margaret: Package? What was in it?
Klinger: I don't know, but he's been antsy about getting it ever since the trip to Tokyo. Came from some lawyers.
Hawkeye: Lawyers? Why would he be hearing from lawyers? Divorce?
Margaret: That's stupid. Who would divorce that sweet, wonderful man?
Hawkeye: Maybe it's a lawsuit.
BJ: Tax problem.
Charles: Or a will. I don't wish to sound ghoulish and, mind you, I pray I'm assessing the evidence incorrectly, but what if the sick friend with the bad lab report is a ruse and it's Col. Potter who's sick.
Margaret: No, don't even think that.
Hawkeye: Let's not jump to conclusions.
Charles: Agreed, but that would explain the phone call, the trip to Tokyo, his mood and the package from the lawyers.
BJ: Yes, it would.
Hawkeye: Look, if he's ill, we'll find out soon enough. I'm sure he'll tell us in his own way.
Mulcahy: [looks at his letter again] Maybe he is.
[Potter is sharing the brandy with his new friends to pay tribute to his old friends]
Potter: As I recall, it was mighty smooth in '17.
Charles: Well, it should be magnificent now.
Potter: Just one thing, I'd like to make the first toast solo... to my old buddies.
Potter: [hold up his glass]
Potter: Here's to you, boys. To Ryan, who died in WWI: the War to End All Wars. To Gianelli, who died in the war after that. To Stein, the joker of the crowd. And to Gresky, my best friend, who just passed away in Tokyo. You were the friends of my youth. My comrades through thick and thin and everything in between. I drink to your memories. I loved you, fellas... one and all.
Potter: Still mighty smooth. Okay, that's the old, now for the new.
Potter: [raises his glass]
Potter: To love and friendship.
[they all drink]
[Potter comes into the office to find a Korean child at Klinger's typewriter]
Klinger: This is Private Rita, executive assistant clerk. Cute as a bug in a Persian rug, isn't she, sir?
Potter: She's a Korean Myrna Loy, all right, but what is she and the Dalton Gang doing here?
Klinger: I told you about them on the phone. They came in for shots, but things got a little complicated. Dr. Pierce says no problem.
Potter: Fine. Did my package arrive?
Klinger: No, sir. The mail hasn't come in yet.
["Rita" finishes typing]
Klinger: Sir, this girl is a prodigy. She just type "dribnif" and correctly, I might add.