Fiction / November 2011 (Issue 15)

The Pen

by Alzo David-West


The Yankee bastards were a motley crew of indisciplined rascals, scattering like grasshoppers every time our heroic People's Army men let off a round of gunfire.

Just yesterday, the whole lot of them had entered the village like a pack of locusts, hurling themselves on Okjoo and Jihae, parading them naked on their tanks and finally rolling over them while smoking cigarettes.

Now, the rascals cried like whelps, their devilish noses, horse faces and sunken eyes scaring no one.

The message from headquarters came in over the wireless. The Lee clique was sending in a fresh batch of fascist gangsters to cover the Yanks, while the People's Volunteers were coming in from the north to aid our valiant soldiers.

Our men were instructed to hold their position for one more hour, regroup in the mountains and await the next order.

"Soongjung, it's time. Let's go."

"Just a minute, Haein."

"The work teams are waiting. Hurry."

Soongjung had been writing the story for two months during her breaks at the toilet paper factory. It was her second story, and she wanted it to be perfect for the writers' committee that would review it for the factory literary magazine.

"We have a quota to fulfill. Hurry up."

"I'm coming, Haein. I'm coming."

She put down the fountain pen and ran quickly to the door where Haein was waiting and sighing. They were roommates at the factory dormitory and good friends, though their personalities were contrasting.

Haein gave Soongjung a stare and sighed again.

Production at the toilet paper factory had been drastically under quota for the past few months, given the economic crisis that had been underway for the past six years.

"MAKE HIGH-QUALITY TOILET PAPER PRODUCTS!" read the slogan of a hand-painted poster with a smiling female worker hanging over the factory floor.

The girls scrambled before the general manager. He was an older man. He cleared his throat and rubbed his eye before speaking.

"Comrade workers, the Arduous March is a difficult time for all of us. But we should not let up. We must effect a great upsurge in toilet paper production and ensure a high daily output in our toilet paper industry. Already, more than one hundred and seventy new minor power plants are being built around the country. Our province, too, with the spirit of independence and self-reliance will soon be able to increase electricity generating capacity, in spite of the energy problem. We are doing this through our own efforts on the basis of a self-supporting economy, and we have been able to march forward despite the renewed strangulation tactics of the US imperialists and their allies. Our toilet paper factory, however, is not achieving its target quotas recently. This is what our enemies want, for if we fail to fulfill our toilet paper quotas, the economy of our county will suffer; our national economy will suffer; and our people will suffer." The general manager thought for a moment. "While shortages have reduced our annual toilet paper production capacity, there is no reason why our toilet paper quotas and the compulsory minimum cannot be met. We have adapted our methods..."

Someone sneezed.

Work team leaders Hyoyong, Soojung, Myunghee, Sunhee, Haein and Soongmin were asked to account for the particular difficulties their teams were experiencing, and the criticism and self-criticism session began ahead of the work shift.



"That story you wrote really created a stir." Soyong had walked up to Soongjung on her way to the factory dormitory one warm June evening a year ago.

"I know. The whole factory was talking about it, even some people in town."

"Maybe you'll find your way to Pyongyang if you keep it up."

Soyong was not much of a reader, more of an actress, but she did flip through the factory literary magazine from time to time, and though not close friends with Soongjung, she did not hesitate to share her opinion.

"Don't you think it was a bit predictable, though?"

"What do you mean?" said Soongjung. "Didn't Haein tell you about all the letters I got from our readers?"

"Well, that just means you struck the right note. I mean, even a bird can whistle a song."

Soyong's words startled Soongjung.

"Sister, haven't you seen me studying our nation's writers at the factory library?"

"Honestly, I don't go there often, only when we are assigned."

"Then maybe you should, because I have made every effort to..."

"I know. I am not like you when it comes to reading, but I wonder if it's something you do too much."

"I am really shocked by your words, sister. Since when did you become my father?"

"Oh, don't get me wrong. I think it's an excellent story, and you are very talented."

Soongjung was not sure how sincere Soyong's words were, but whatever the intention, she said, "No...  I am not."

Inok reached the summit of the mountain, the wind blowing on her face as she beheld the billowing clouds. There, the image of the great leader and great mother flashed in her mind, as vividly as her own parents when she was a child. She fell to her knees sobbing, thinking of the glorious struggle that was waged to bring freedom and happiness where countless misfortunes were suffered under the sea of blood of Japanese colonial rule.

The father of the nation had died, and the whole world resounded with mourning. Why, even the birds and azaleas cried. Suddenly, Inok remembered something. She gathered herself and stood up.

"Man is the master of everything and decides everything," she said with firm resolve. "Our great leader will live forever, and he has left us with the noblest idea in the world. We are the eternal nation and last hope of the world. We are the sons and daughters of the great fatherly leader comrade Kim Ilsong, and we have inherited his immortal Subject idea."

Soongjung was in her room, reading over "When the Birds and Azaleas Cried" under candlelight, wondering what about it Soyong thought was predictable.

But more than that, how could she say something so irreverent about so noble a tale? Was she heartless? Was she harboring negative feelings for the leader and system? Had she forgotten herself for a moment? Soongjung inclined more to the third case.

Children, she thought to herself, went through a period of refinement, but everyone still had an unrefined child in them, a child that had to be controlled. Nevertheless, Soongjung hoped Soyong would never say anything about the story again, and she never did.

Then one afternoon, a fountain pen came in the mail with a letter. It was from a soldier whose unit had been mobilized to the munitions factory in town.

"What's this?" Soongjung said as she began reading the words written in a rough hand.



Haein awoke at 7:15 in the morning on April 15. It was a holiday, and it was good to have a day off, especially now that the Arduous March made it harder to satisfy quotas at the toilet paper factory. Work was exhausting, and Soongjung should have been sleeping, but Haein noticed her at the desk, writing with the fountain pen. Staring at Soongjung's back for a minute, Haein wondered when her friend would realize that she had awoken.

"Soongjung, have you eaten yet?" she asked.

Soongjung was so focused on her writing that she heard nothing. Only when Haein got up and put her hand on her roommate's shoulder did Soongjung jump with a start, dropping the fountain pen. Ink spilled on the floor.

"Haein, you scared me!"

"What are you doing, Soongjung?" Haein said with a tone of frustration.

Soongjung got a rag to clean the ink, but it had already seeped into the grooves of the floorboard.

"Have you eaten yet?"

Seeing that Soongjung had not in the two hours since she got up, Haein prepared some rice and fermented cabbage from their monthly rations, which had become increasingly slighter. The two friends ate together, the morning sun pouring in from the window of their small room. Soongjung was smiling, almost laughing.

"What's wrong?" Haein asked, tensed.

"I was just remembering when the general manager gave us the talk about meeting our quotas."

"Ah, the old man."

"Oh, no, no, not him."

"What were you laughing at then?"

"When Sunhee sneezed..."

The Yanks were as desperate as rats cornered in a rice mill. They were experts at committing outrages, but they could not pass muster with the Korean People's Army. Every time our army men made a bold advance, the senseless idiots fired their carbines at random and made panicked retreats like snakes under a torch light.

But the instructions from headquarters were clear. Hold the position, do not lose any men to the dastardly enemy, and return to the mountain base. Given a sense of false confidence, the invader bastards would fall for the trap and be drowned in a hailstorm of bullets and bayonets.

Upon the hour, labor hero and company commander Cho Wonjoo ordered the men to pull back. They could do so with a sense of accomplishment, having taken out hundreds of the enemy, who littered the landscape like so many dead dogs.


Wonjoo and his men sat around a fire in the mountains, laughing and telling stories in the October evening air. The men were young, all but boys in the first five years before the US imperialists started the war, and they had all lost parents, siblings and friends. But in Wonjoo, they found an older brother, not only a commander, who cared for them like a mother.

Wonjoo called out to Kim Poksoo, the wireless operator, and asked her to bring the tin of boiled eggs he was saving for the men. She liked how he looked after them and admired the sense of purpose he gave to the company with his indomitable spirit and, most of all, with his greatness of heart. There was something Poksoo wanted to tell him.

Soongjung had been fixing the bed, not realizing that Haein's eyes had stolen upon the rough gray manuscript until her friend remarked sarcastically, "A love story." Soongjung turned around quickly, pulling the papers from Haein's small fingers. She sighed.



I am a soldier in the Korean People's Army. We have never met. My unit was assigned to assist with production at the munitions factory in town. The Arduous March made this necessary. We receive the literary magazine of the county toilet paper factory. Many people are saying good things about "When the Birds and Azaleas Cried." I know nothing about literature, but I want to say something about it.

I think you write well and make good pictures with words, and you have honored the great leader General Kim Ilsong. But something is missing. I believe the problem is in the end. Inok climbs the mountain, and she realizes that the General is forever with the nation. This is noble, but it is not enough. Inok is all ideas. She sees things in her mind. She remembers things. She says fine words. She is just thoughts.

Soongjung struggled to read the letter.

I have served in the Korean People's Army for six years now. The last two years have been the most difficult. The sanctions headed by the US imperialists and their allies have aggravated the food shortages, and our nation is suffering. But your story says nothing about what we should do. "When the Birds and Azaleas Cried" does not help us in reality. We cannot be like Inok and climb a mountain and cry on our knees.

Inok has not understood this.

The last sentence made Soongjung short of breath. She felt a shot of pain in her stomach and had to sit down, placing her head on the desk. The ticking of the desk clock echoed through the wood, until she heard it no longer.

A while had passed when Soongjung awoke. The afternoon had turned into evening. Haein was not in, perhaps seeing her boyfriend again, she thought. Just then, Soongjung noticed she was still holding the fountain pen. "How could he be so heartless?" she said to herself.

Soongjung wrote back to the soldier. A month passed, and she wrote another letter. After the third month, she decided to visit the munitions factory. There was a town bus that made two rounds every weekend at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. The ride took one hour on an unpaved dusty road that passed through drought-stricken cropland with dried-out cornstalks.

Soongjung tried to see through the bus window, wondering why the soldier, Cholsoo, never replied to her letters. She went over parts of them in her mind.

June: Thank you, comrade soldier. But why do you say Inok is all thoughts? She has the Subject spirit and stands with firm resolve. Will this not move her to deeds?

July: Did you receive my first letter, comrade soldier? Inok has inherited the great leader's idea and realizes she is a master. What do you mean in your letter?

August: Please forgive me for writing a third time, comrade soldier. But I was hoping if you could please tell me more about what Inok does not understand.

When Soongjung arrived in town, she made her way by foot to the munitions factory, which was roughly forty-five minutes from the bus stop. She found a group of Korean People's Army servicemen resting in the shade, away from the arid summer heat. They were about her age, and they pointed her to the factory office.

Security was tight, and Soongjung repeatedly had to show unsmiling officials her papers to confirm who she was and where she came from. They did not know her, and they had not read her story. She showed the envelope bearing the name "Chon Cholsoo." Seeing that the young woman was probably a frustrated girlfriend, the officials said the soldier had been sent home after an accident.

"An accident? What happened? How can I contact him?" she said in consternation.

Chon's personal details could not be disclosed.

Soongjung left the munitions factory office exhausted and sad. She had a flask of water and a crust of overcooked rice. She finished her lunch at an empty park and caught the bus for the toilet paper factory with a few minutes to spare.

She entered her room at the factory dorm, saw Haein listening to state radio and fell asleep until the workday the following morning.



"Our toilet paper quotas are being met, and production is on a normal track," said the general manager. "We are dismaying the imperialists, above all the US, in the Arduous March and frustrating their suffocation tactics on the basis of our own scientific and technical forces, raw materials, natural resources and technology, and we are firmly convinced of success in making high-quality toilet paper products. As General Secretary Kim Chongil instructed on his on-the-spot guidance in our county last month, we must use creativity and self-reliance to overcome shortages. Difficulties in electricity generation and in the timber and pulping industries have only inspired our efforts. Our toilet paper factory is combining automatic and semi-automatic techniques to save electricity, and the creation of pulp from recycled paper waste has allowed us to efficiently maintain the production line. There is nothing impossible for our factory, our county and our nation. Comrade Pak Sunhee, what is the report of your work team?"

When the reports were finished, the work teams did light group exercises on the factory floor. Work resumed as usual shortly thereafter.

The factory buzzed with a constant whirring, like wind in a tunnel, combined with the rhythm of gears and rotating cylinders. It was a musical composition of accelerating and decelerating sounds, a machine orchestra of clangs, whistles, hammering, sawing and pumping. Someone was drilling something, and Myunghee was filling up a glue tank.

Haein, Soyong and Soongjung were agitating waste paper in warm water to form pulp. The machine was not working properly, and they sometimes had to do things manually, sorting out staples, paper clips and other matter, separating the ink from the pulp and eventually feeding it into the rollers, which Soongmin's team operated. Sunhee was in charge of the bleaching to hot drying process.

Great spools of rough off-white toilet paper rotated continuously, with sheets like a tent cover passing over and through a series of smaller and larger rollers that resembled scaffolding. Hyoyong walked around, inspecting and touching the moving sheets from time to time.

Myunghee, who was working in the cardboard tubing section, came in with a cart of long tubes, which Hyoyong's team helped her with, producing two-meter-long rolls of standard width that were individually placed on a machine fitted with a vertical saw, which cut the tubes into smaller rolls.

Bypassing the packaging machine because of insufficient electricity and paper, the toilet rolls were slid by hand onto a table, where Soojung and three others gathered and sealed them in paired rows of ten rolls, while another team took the bundles from the table, preparing them for delivery around the county. The process from start to finish was the same for four hours; the work teams rested; and the process repeated again for another four hours.

"Wonjoo," said Poksoo later that evening, "I have something important to tell you."

"What is it, Poksoo?" The men were asleep, and the commander had been leafing through the pages of Patriotic Readings, which his late sister had given him as a gift three years before the war.

"A report came in from headquarters."

"I'm listening," the commander said intently.

"Intelligence has gathered that the devils will be sending in bombers at 0700 hours."

Both of them knew what this meant. While the horse-faced bastards and their useless tanks were no match for the heroic company, there was no air defense at the mountain base, and the bombers were sufficiently equipped to turn the forest cover into a sea of fire. Wonjoo was well briefed about Wolmi Island and Inchon and knew what the American monsters were capable of. They, like the fanged vipers from the womb of a she wolf they were, would use missiles, atomic bombs, poison gas, bacteria and flamethrowers on all human beings, outdoing the Nazis. Women, infants, the young, the old, civilians, combatants, there was no difference as long as the American beasts sated their heinous and sinister desire—annihilation of the fatherland and enslavement of the Korean race.

Soongjung, seated in the factory library, was rereading the lines she had written the previous day. There was a power failure.



She did not remember her dreams, yet for the next four months after her failed attempt to meet Cholsoo, things were different.

Soongjung noticed someone in the distance through her factory dorm room window. Going outside, she saw it was a soldier in a brown uniform and cap moving forward on a wheelchair. Raised in his right hand was a husk of corn, and raised in his left hand was a fountain pen.

The sun was shining, but no shadow was cast. There was the sound of machines operating, but there was no factory. As the soldier came closer, his face became unclear. He started to move his mouth, as if saying something. Soyong came out from behind him, and everything went black.

Now, Soongjung found herself outside at an empty train station, waiting for someone. She could not tell whether it was morning or evening. A small child, barefoot, naked and unwashed, came up to her and told her to see something inside the building. There, she saw the head of a clay horse, lying broken on the floor.

She turned to the child, but he was gone, and she turned to the horse again, but in its place was the fountain pen. As she picked it up, she became nauseous and began vomiting wolves and grasshoppers.

The general manager appeared and praised Soongjung for over-fulfilling her work quota, gave her the husk of corn and said, "The higher our living and cultural standards are, the more rapidly the demand for paper grows."

Soongjung had the dream regularly, and every time it occurred, it was more and more vivid. She had no idea what it meant, and it was so unusual, so bizarre, that she was afraid to describe it to anyone, lest they would think she was becoming ill.

After the four months, however, the dream stopped, and Soongjung somehow felt a compulsion to write her second story for the toilet paper factory literary magazine, "Yankee Dogs," which she began drafting on and off in February.

She never had any literary aspirations in the beginning and was raised as an average child living with her mother, a cleaner at a rural elementary school. It was nice to have her mother there, unlike the other children. Soongjung later attended secondary and higher technical schools, received practical training and was assigned to light industry.

Of the one hundred and forty-two employees at the toilet paper factory, fifty-nine of them were studying while working. The factory institute gave her a chance to take a number of special courses, but Soongjung soon realized that she was not interested in being a technical cadre, nor had she applied to join the party for that matter.

After work, with not too much to do, she began visiting the factory library, reading the literary magazine, the weathered short story anthologies and some old editions of classic works by foreigners with strange names like Paljakoo and Sooweepootoo. She developed a habit of writing ideas for her own stories and, after joining the toilet paper factory writing group, her notes turned into "When the Birds and Azaleas Cried."

The factory writers' committee unanimously approved the story, and there was a lot of excitement for a little while. Soongjung felt a great sense of accomplishment. But after Soyong, Cholsoo and the dream, she was not so sure of herself anymore.

"Soongjung, what are you doing tonight?"

"Haein... it's you."

"Who else? What are you doing in here?"

"Sorry. I was feeling dizzy after working the pulper." Soongjung was sitting by herself in the factory meeting room.

"Oh, I hope it's nothing serious. We have a lot of work today. Anyway, I'm going to see my boyfriend later this evening. He has a friend. Why don't you come?"

Soongjung smiled, "Thank you, Haein, but I'm already seeing someone."



The toilet paper factory writing group gathered for a special meeting with the writers' committee at the end of May. The chairman delivered a statement prepared in advance:

"The formal quality of your story stands out, comrade Hyon Soongjung, but we feel the content does not meet the present requirements of our toilet paper factory literary magazine. As General Kim Chongil has taught us, the success or failure of a work depends on selecting the right seed, and the seed of a work must be philosophically profound, significant and representative of that which is typical of the people and the times.

"While you have made an effort to imbue 'Yankee Dogs' with party spirit, high ideological content and artistic value, and national character, we feel that what you have written is an imitation of our national literature in the period of the Fatherland Liberation War, and no doubt, you have made a deep study of our nation's writers in this regard. We are, to be sure, still at war with our eternal enemies the US imperialists.

"Consistent with the policy of our party, literature is a weapon to educate the popular masses, remodel their ideas and give the popular masses what they like. 'Yankee Dogs' demonstrates the indomitable will of the Korean People's Army and the love our heroic fighting men and women have for the motherland. 'Yankee Dogs' also shows the true nature of the US imperialist aggressors, who are war criminals and maniacs.

"What is lacking, however, is a seed that genuinely conforms to the present period of the Arduous March and the revolutionary spirit of soldiers. The leader's seed theory is a powerful weapon that helps us avoid imitation and dogma, enabling us to produce literary masterpieces with originality and innovation. Let us now look at the problems of theme, idea and personalities of the characters in relation to the seed…"

Soongjung was taking notes with Cholsoo's fountain pen. She thought about him, recalling parts of his letter she had committed to memory. Why did things seem different from what the writers' committee chairman was saying?

After the chairman was finished, Soongjung was asked to deliver her self-criticism. She stood up.

"Thank you, comrade chairman and writers' committee members. I should not rely on readymade formulas and imitation in the art of short story writing. I should study and understand present-day realities, avoid any trace of formalism and reflect life with the principles of truthfulness and criticism. I should choose the correct seed in accordance with the times as great leader comrade Kim Chongil has expounded. I am responsible for my errors, and I will make an all-out effort to rectify my failings in short story writing following the correct policy of our party in the period of the Arduous March."

Wonjoo looked at Poksoo.

"What were the instructions from headquarters?" he asked.

"There were none... only that the company use guerrilla tactics against the ugly faces on the ground."

"I see," he said, reflecting for a moment, with his hand on his chin and a studied expression on his brow. "We have anticipated this, haven't we, Poksoo?" he continued. "But it is nothing to despair about. We took out many of the enemy today, and we know we will win. Why, even with so little, we have so much because we are a family, and that is why the men can laugh and sleep happily even though our individual tomorrows may not come."

Poksoo was moved to tears by the commander's words, tears not of sadness but tears of joy.

"What is our plan, Wonjoo?"

"I will awake the men at 0100 hours, and we will descend on the enemy under dark in their encampment. They have dared to slaughter our people en masse and defile our motherland, and we shall shatter their dreams as they loll in a drunken slumber like mosquitoes fattened with blood."

The food situation began to affect work at the toilet paper factory over the next few days, which was not surprising to anyone, since shortages permitted only two meals a day. Production quotas lagged again, and the general manager delivered the same motivational messages about electricity, self-reliance and the production line.



Soongjung and Haein were sitting quietly in their room, listening to evening sounds as an incense coil burned.

"I don't think you are seeing anyone," Haein remarked.

"Why do you say that?"

"All you ever do is work and write," she said.

"You are right," Soongjung conceded, "I am not seeing anyone."

"So why the lie the other day?"

"It wasn't a lie. I'm looking for him."

"You mean the soldier? It's been a year now."

"Do you think they sent them to him?"

"What?" Haein asked.

"My letters."

"Soongjung, if he had an accident..."

"The officials were so unwilling to tell me anything," she interrupted, "even when I showed them the envelope with his handwriting."

"Maybe he really was sent home. Maybe he is dead."

"I know, Haein, but I can't reconcile myself to the thought."

"Many people have died, Soongjung. Everyone knows this. What's so hard to believe?"

Soongjung wanted to talk about the dream, but what would Haein say? Someone knocked on the door, and she got up with the candle.

"Myunghee, Hyoyong, what is it?"

"Soongjung, we heard about the meeting." Myunghee's voice was gentle. "We are sorry your story was not accepted."

"It's okay. I am not a good writer, as you know."

"Don't be discouraged," Hyoyong continued. "Here, we made you a notebook."

Soongjung was moved and asked the two to come in.

The four of them sat on the floor and talked generally about their days in higher technical school together and their plans for the future: marriage, children, old age. After a little while, Myunghee noticed the ink stain on the floorboard.

"Our food problem is still very serious," Soongjung said.

"I know, and the weather is warmer now," replied Myunghee. "It's been so hard to stay up in the daytime. It's so hard to work."

"We are all exhausted," Haein sighed out.

"What do you suppose we can do about it?" Soongjung asked. "The floods last year completely destroyed the corn and potato crop, and these dry spells are not helping us."

"The party says the food problem is temporary," Hyoyong reassured everyone.

"How is anything going to be temporary?" Soongjung said.

"It's true," Haein added, "the food distribution system is no longer functioning in some of our counties and provinces."

"Let's always be cheerful though our way is thorny," Hyoyong stated peremptorily.

Everyone suddenly became quiet.

Myunghee broke the silence, "How did this stain get here?"



A reporter from a literary publishing house in Pyongyang arrived at the toilet paper factory one afternoon when everyone was working. The general manager was showing her around the floor, explaining the innovations the work teams had made in toilet paper production.

The woman from the capital stood out with her coiffed hair, high heels, smart dress and makeup. She walked differently, carried herself differently and really did look like she was from very far away.

The general manager pointed in the direction of the pulper, where Haein, Soyong and Soongjung were working. They were all model workers to the reporter, who was now writing something down.

During the break, the general manager asked Soongjung to come to his office, where reporter Kang Minhee was sitting, her back straight and her hands on her knees.

Soongjung, in her headscarf, smock and galoshes, entered the room. The reporter, who was standing now, smiled and spoke like a piano. She was on an assignment for an article series, "Literators in Light Industry around the Country." An interview began.

Where were you born and raised?

"I was born and raised here."

How long have you worked in light industry?

"I have worked for four years."

What inspired you to become a literator?

"We have good books at our factory library."

How do you manage your time working and writing?

"It is thanks to the eight-hour workday."

Where do you get your ideas?

"Our life is the mother of my ideas."

Who are your favorite writers?

"Our great leader Kim Ilsong is my favorite of all."

Who do you write for?

"I write for the people."

What principle guides you when you write?

"It is the principle of the Subject."

What do you plan to write about next?

"I will write about important human problems and our honorable life."

Lastly, would you tell me about your dreams?

"I dream for the reunification of our country."

Thank you. I wish you success in your work.

The general manager gave Soongjung permission to leave. She walked down the factory floor and resumed her work at the pulper.



Wonjoo mapped out a plan of operation and awoke the men. They gathered under a torch as the commander delivered a speech. They would make a surprise attack, and it would be their final fight.

"The US imperialists invaded our homeland, and now they are facing a nationwide all-people resistance led by our great party and army," Wonjoo said in the true voice of a commander. "We will not be forgotten, younger brothers. Remember this. Even now, the General is thinking of us."

Wonjoo was in the van of the company as the column marched through the forest and descended the rugged mountain path with resourceful determination. Our people would be free thanks to such brave men, who would give their youth and their lives for the nation.

The first Yank they saw was a sentry, as clueless as a pup staring at the moon. The men smashed his ridiculous, small head, and his eyes flew out like marbles.

After that, the enemy encampment was rampant with confusion, the cowardly Yanks never expecting the Korean People's Army men to make so bold and daring an attack. The bastards did not know how to fight in the dark and were rolling about like ninepins.

Chon Wonjoo's company dealt serious death blows to the enemy, annihilating several hundreds of the devils instantly in incendiary and rifle volleys, bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat.

Poksoo and the other female wireless operators and nurses with the company were firing pistols and machine guns. The moneybags from Wall Street had no idea our women could fight, too.

Wonjoo was giving orders, when an enemy's bullet suddenly tore through his chest. Until then, not a single man had fallen.

The Yankee hordes poured in from all sides as the heroic fighters fought death-defyingly to the last, their hearts pure like children.

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