Franklin Marion Burns - The Story of Ferret Face

by Margaret Houlihan

Author's note: The characters belong to 20th Century Fox. Any characters that I made up belong to me.

June, 1953. It's been over a year since Frank was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and transferred back to Fort Wayne, Indiana. He likes the authority that he has over his colleagues, not to mention the money that he's making to give Louise everything she wants. He wishes that Margaret hadn't married Donald Penobscott because he was happier with her.

Frank's parents are Frank and Marion Burns Sr. Frank's brothers are named Robert, David, and Samuel. Louise's parents are Wendell and Penelope McNealy. She's an only child. Louise always dresses conservatively, always wearing sensible shoes and dresses. Her brown hair was mostly up in a bun and her green eyes were always hidden behind those glasses. She wears little make-up and rarely smiled because of her shy demeanor. Frank was always there for her, he even delivered all three of their daughters when they were born.

Laura is the oldest at age 13. She has long brown hair which was usually in a barrette. She has Frank's blue eyes, but she was more like her mother, prim and proper. Christina is the second oldest at age 11, she has Frank's quick temper and quick wit. She also has brown hair, but has green eyes like her mother. Julianna is the youngest at age 9 and is also shy, she idolizes both of her older sisters. She looks like Louise the most, she even has Christina's sense of fashion, which is in between conservative and flashy.

The Burns family sits down to a dinner cooked up by Louise.

"Hi darling, how was your day?" asked Louise as she kissed Frank

"Oh, the usual, you know, sick people!" answered Frank

"Hi daddy! Guess what, I'm getting an award at school and I'm also giving a speech at the grade 6 graduation!" said Julianna

"That's great, Julianna! I'm proud of you!" replied Frank

"Daddy, she's the youngest and she gets all of the attention! Aren't you going to ask me about my day?" said Christina

"Oh, sorry, Christina! How was your day?" asked Frank

"I got the highest mark in my class on my report card!" answered Christina

"I'm so proud of you too, Christina! What happened to you today, Laura?" asked Frank

"Daddy, there's this year-end dance coming up at school and there's this boy who asked me to go with him to the dance!" said Laura

"Laura, who's the boy? Do I know his parents?" asked Frank

"Frank, she told me already that it's Steven Jacobs, you know, he's a neighbor of ours!" answered Louise

"That's right, John Jacobs plays golf at the country club and his wife, Nora, is a nurse at the hospital. Great people!" answered Frank

"Does this mean I can go?" asked Laura

"Of course you can, just be home by midnight!" answered Frank

"Frank, that's so unlike you, anytime Laura mentions any boys, you're ready to tear them down limb by limb. Now, what's gotten into you?" asked Louise

"Oh, Louise, girls, I'm going away for a couple of weeks. I'm going to be conducting medical lectures in the Southeast Asia region. It means more money and a possible promotion!" said Frank

"Honey, if you're happy, then so am I!" said Louise

"Me too, daddy!" said Christina

"We're gong to miss you around here!" said Julianna

"Wait, this will be the same as when you left to go to war, isn't it?" asked Laura

"Yes, but I'll be back at a definite time instead of not knowing at all!" answered Frank

"I guess we'll get used to it!" said Louise

"I'll write to all of you, everyday, besides, you're all my girls!" said Frank

"Okay, sweetheart!" said Louise

"Does this mean you'll miss my award and speech?" asked Julianna

"No, I won't be leaving until after that!" answered Frank

"That's great!" said Christina

Two weeks later, Frank is in the full extent of his tour. He happened to be in Seoul, his last stop in the tour, when he thought he should visit his old stomping grounds of the 4077 MASH. He was coming out of the officer's club when he saw someone approach him with a jeep.

"Driver, take me to the 4077 MASH!" said Frank

"Why are you going there, sir?" asked the driver

"I have some unfinished business to tend to there!" answered Frank

"Yes, sir, we'll be there in an hour!" said the driver

"Wait until I see the look on their faces when they see me, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Burns, in Korea again!" said Frank

"What was that, sir?" asked the driver

"Nothing, keep driving!" replied Frank

They arrive at the 4077 to find that nothing has changed on the outside, but he didn't expect to find any changes on the inside. Franks goes into what used to be Radar's office looking for Colonel Potter. He sees a young woman sitting where Radar usually sits, typing the daily reports for I-Core.

"Ten hut! Stand at attention, Lieutenant!" said Frank as he approached the young woman

"Yes, sir!" said the young woman as she saluted Frank

"Who may I ask are you and what are you doing here?" asked Frank

"First Lieutenant Catherine Josephine Barnes, soon to be Mrs. Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester, the third and I'm company clerk here along with Sergeant Max Klinger. Who are you, Lieutenant-Colonel?" asked Cathy Jo

"Well, I'm the former Major Frank Burns! Why isn't Corporal O'Reilly here, and Sergeant Klinger, since when did he get promoted? Where's Colonel Potter?" asked Frank

"Colonel Potter's polishing Sophie's saddle and for your information, Corporal O'Reilly was discharged a while back due to family hardship and Klinger got promoted!" answered Cathy Jo

"What the blazes is going on here? Frank, what are you doing in Korea, the last I heard was you were back in Indiana!" asked Colonel Potter as he walked out of his office

"Colonel, I'm just finishing my tour of conducting lectures and I was in the neighborhood. I won't cause any trouble!" answered Frank

"Well, alright! Cathy Jo, I see you've met the infamous Frank Burns. Cathy Jo's engaged to your successor, Major Charles Emerson Winchester. Come over to the officer's club and I'll buy you both a drink!" said Colonel Potter

"Colonel Potter, before we go, I need you to sign the daily reports that I typed up to send to I-core!" said Cathy Jo as she handed the papers to Colonel Potter

"Very well! Let's be on our way!" answered Colonel Potter after he signed the papers

"Sounds great to me! It's nice that you're engaged to a doctor! How does it feel?" asked Frank as the trio was leaving the office

"It feels wonderful because Charles is such a great man!" answered Cathy Jo

Colonel Potter, Frank, and Cathy Jo enter the officer's club to find Father Mulcahy, Klinger, B.J., and Charles all sitting together in the corner.

"Hi darling, who's this stranger with you?" asked Charles

"Charles, this is your predecessor, Frank Burns!" answered Cathy Jo

"So, you're the infamous Frank Burns! Pierce and Hunnicutt told me so many stories about their practical jokes on you!" said Charles

"What are you doing in Korea, Ferret Face?" asked B.J.

"What's with the cheesy moustache, Hunnicutt?" asked Frank

"Relax, I just grew it for fun!" answered B.J.

"Klinger, you're not in a dress, but wearing Sergeant stripes!" said Frank

"Yes, sir, I gave up my section 8 schemes and I got promoted!" answered Klinger

"Father, you're a Captain! When did you get promoted?" asked Frank

"Well, it was a little while ago. Hawkeye pinned the bars on me and he even saluted me!" answered Father Mulcahy

"Colonel Burns, why are you here? Did you not get enough torture being in Korea last time?" asked Charles

"That's not funny, Winchester! I'm here conducting lectures to medical army corps! Where did you get your training, the laughing academy?" asked Frank

"Harvard, and for your information, I was the top student in my class, and I don't wish to be insulted by you anymore!" answered Charles

"Fine, maybe Major Houlihan will have an intelligent conversation with me instead of you degenerates!" replied Frank as he walked out

"Burns is going to be in shock when he finds out that Margaret isn't married to Penobscott, but to Hawkeye instead. Hawkeye was his worst enemy!" said Colonel Potter

"Margaret was married before?" asked Cathy Jo

"Yes, she married and divorced Donald Penobscott within three months because he was having an affair and Hawkeye comforted her and they fell in love and got married!" replied B.J.

"Boy, he is going to be shocked!" said Klinger

Frank walks over to Margaret's tend but he's unprepared to face what happens next. He knocks on the door and it opens.

"What are you doing here, Pierce? This is Major Houlihan's tent!" said Frank as Hawkeye opened the door

"Frank, what the hell are you doing in Korea!" asked Hawkeye as he stared at Frank

"Answer my question first!" said Frank as he entered the tent

Just then, Margaret walks in holding two babies.

"Frank, why are you here!" asked Margaret

"I was giving a lecture in Seoul and I was in the neighborhood! Why is Pierce in your tent?" asked Frank

"Well, Frank, it's a long story! I divorced that scum of the earth, Donald Penobscott, and Hawkeye was there for me and he comforted me through that rough time!" answered Margaret as she put the twins down for a nap

"And when I had my appendix taken out, I confessed my love to Margaret as I was under anesthesia and she confessed her love to me in Post-Op. Then we dated for a few months and we got married in the mess tent. Margaret got pregnant a few weeks later and I won the fight against the Army to let Margaret stay with me. Then she gave birth to Maggie and Ben in the O.R. and I delivered them myself!" replied Hawkeye

"Is this some sick joke! Do you really expect me to believe all of this!" said Frank

"Frank, it's true! Here's a copy of our marriage certificate!" said Hawkeye as he handed it to Frank

"It's probably forged!" answered Frank as he examines it

"Here's our wedding rings, our wedding pictures and some pictures of when I was pregnant with the twins!" said Margaret as she handed those items to Frank

"What did your parents say about all of this?" asked Frank

"My dad was overjoyed!" said Hawkeye

"My father wasn't thrilled, but my mother was here about a week ago and she approves of Hawkeye!" said Margaret

"You mean she's out of jail!" said Frank

"What are you talking about, Frank?" asked Hawkeye

"Remember the time you wanted to borrow $240 for your sister's wedding present! You told me that your salary goes to keep your mother out of jail because she's a shoplifter and a drunk!" said Frank

"Frank, my mother isn't either of those things and I'm an only child! I made it up so that I could have a few dollars to hold me over until payday, I wanted to get something unique for my mother's birthday present!" said Margaret

"Why didn't you tell me the truth?" asked Frank

"Because I wanted to find out if you would lend me money in the first place!" answered Margaret

"Well, I guess that I have no choice but to give you my best wishes!" said Frank as he looked at the pictures and handed them back to Margaret

"Thanks, Frank, I knew some good would come out of this conversation!" said Hawkeye

"Well, I must shove off, bye!" said Frank as he left the tent

"Goodbye, Ferret Face!" said Margaret and Hawkeye in unison

Frank walks out of Margaret's tent with a little tear in his eye. He then meets up with the rest of the gang in the compound.

"Frank, your lips have disappeared! Something's up!" said B.J.

"It's not Major Houlihan!" replied Frank

"We didn't say it was!" said Charles

"How could she have the nerve to marry Pierce behind my back, not to mention have twins to him!" said Frank

"Burns, face it, you're just a ghost in Margaret's past! Let her go and be happy with Hawkeye!" replied Colonel Potter

"Hawkeye and Margaret love each other, I'm sure they didn't get married just to get even with anyone. I performed the wedding ceremony, I should know!" said Father Mulcahy

"I remember when Margaret announced that her divorce come through from Penobscott. She was so happy and she was even happier when she announced that she was marrying Hawkeye. They're a match made in heaven!" said Klinger

"Well, I gave them my blessing and I patched things up between me and Pierce. I shall be off, I'm due back in Indiana in a few days. Goodbye all!" replied Frank

"Goodbye, Colonel Burns!" said Cathy Jo

They all watch Frank leaving the 4077 MASH for the last time.

"Still the same old Frank Burns. Nothing much has changed!" said B.J.

"I think he's as nutty as you all described him!" replied Charles

"I've never said anything terrible about a person before, but he's almost as nutty as that CIA man, Colonel Flagg!" said Cathy Jo

"So you've met Flagg too!" replied Colonel Potter

"Oh, yes! When I worked at I-core, we've had so many run ins with him. You needed a scorecard to keep up with his different aliases!" answered Cathy Jo

"That's so true!" said Colonel Potter

The gang all shares a laugh over Frank and Flagg.

Back in Indiana, Frank is back home with Louise and his daughters.

"Hi darling, how as your trip!" asked Louise

"Fine and dandy, Louise. What did you and the girls do while I was gone?" asked Frank

"Well, we stayed at my parent's house for a week to look after my mother while my father was out of town. We all had a great time. You still didn't tell me about your trip!" said Louise

"There's not much to tell, I just conducted lectures in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea. I did get to visit my old unit, the 4077 MASH!" said Frank

"You didn't happen to run into your 'friend' Major Houlihan by any chance or did you!" replied Louise

"Well, yes, but she's not Major Houlihan anymore. She's now Major Margaret Houlihan-Pierce, she married my worst enemy, Captain Hawkeye Pierce, and she had twins to him as well!" said Frank

"Frank, let her go. She's moved on, she doesn't need you! I need you more than anything. I know all about your so-called friendship with her. That's why I threatened to leave you and get a divorce!" replied Louise in anger

"You wouldn't do that, would you?" asked Frank frighteningly

"It's a good thing she got married to someone else because I certainly wouldn't be here having this ridiculous conversation with you. I would have left you just like that! I've got everything I need and if you don't want me, then I'll leave with the girls and live with my parents because they'll support me!" answered Louise still steamed from Frank

"I don't want you to leave me because I love you and the girls more than ever before and I gave Major Houlihan my blessing! I'm a one woman man!" said Frank

"Okay, just for that I'll give you another chance!" answered Louise

"Really, Louise! You meant it?" asked Frank

"Really. Now kiss me before this offer expires!" answered Louise

The next few months passed by. September finally came and the girls were back at school. Louise had started working outside the house, something Frank didn't approve of, but he never said anything to her because he was afraid that she would leave him for good. He feels lonely and sad because his wife isn't there for him when he gets home from work. One September day, he calls in sick to work. He then mixes a liquid full of barbiturates and vodka and then drinks it. A few hours later, his daughters come home from school to see him laying unconscious on the bedroom floor. They call Louise at work and the ambulance and they arrived quickly, but it's too late, Frank Burns was dead at age 45! Louise and the girls were distraught over Frank's death, they depended on him for everything, now they have to face life in a new way.

The End