On Christmas Eve we staggered our shifts so that there were always two of us monitoring the ovens. There were four ovens working and one in transition (cooling and refilling the burner unit).
My shift was 2200 to 0400, then three hours off to catch a few Z’s before starting the brunch. I took a break in the OP, and Arizona Territory was still. The crescent moon had set behind Charlie Ridge, and a few bright stars shone through the hazy overcast sky.
When I returned to the mess hall, Reb was unrolling a sketch he had penciled on butcher paper. It was a Biblical text, “For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” There was a punctuation mark over the i in Savior (the Christmas star). The sketch was mounted above the mess deck entrance, and it was the only decoration we had.
Reb had been unusually quiet lately, and I wondered if this artwork had anything to do with it. He was acting as if he had something up his sleeve . . . quietly thinking, almost as if he were in a trance. I gave him plenty of space. If and when he wanted talk, I would listen.