The Pistol

As bombs begin to fall on Pearl Harbour, 19-year-old PFC Richard Mask is wearing a pistol, a .45 calibre automatic that makes him feel connected to the army of the Wild West and Custer's Cavalry. In the chaos of the first days and weeks of the war, as Mask and his company move from Schofield Barracks to the beaches of Oahu, then to a remote mountain pass, a struggle over the pistol dominates this novella's action, providing the pathos and savagery of the story. Every effort is made to get it away from Mask, but he is obsessed by his need for the weapon. It becomes, for him and the men around him, the last chance for personal salvation.