- Not only is the Bird present to terrorize the POWs at Naoetsu, but the conditions are terrible—the barracks don't even have floorboards, because prisoners have pulled them up and burned them for heat.
- Louie is somewhat lucky that he gets regularly beaten by the Bird since it keeps him from the difficult labor that often works other men to death.
- Eventually, though, even Louie is expected to participate in this back-breaking work, shoveling coal and salt and anything else that needs shoveling.
- One day, Louie falls off the barge where he's been shoveling salt, tearing something in his ankle and knee.
- Unable to work, his rations are halved.
- He begs the Bird for work, and the Bird gives him a job: clean the pig sty… with only his hands.
- You may have heard the phrase happy as a pig in… we'll let you finish that one, but suffice it to say that Louie is about as unhappy as can be.