The Things I Do For My Country
2005 Papa Bear Awards - Second Place
We all know that Colonel Hogan comes up with some very ingenious plans to achieve his mission goals. He seems to be able to manipulate the Germans at will. Most of the time, his schemes go the way he plans. This is the story of one of the other times, when he finds himself in a whole mess of trouble!
The standard disclaimer applies – I make no claims to the characters and situations of the Hogan’s Heroes universe.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Kinch, read that message again,” ordered Hogan.
Kinch began reading. “Urgent. Contact to stay at the Hauserhof tonight only. Must make contact. Contact’s name is Keggelmann. Recognition code C. Has vital information on the German anti-aircraft batteries in place on the coast. Failure to get information will lead to heavy bomber losses. Treat as priority One-A mission. Obtain information at any cost.”
“But Colonel, with the Gestapo patrolling the woods between here and Hammelburg, it would be suicide to try to get to town tonight!” Carter exclaimed from his post at the doorway, watching for any unexpected guests.
“You heard what they said,” Hogan replied. “At any cost. We’ve all known that this is dangerous work.”
“I could do my little old lady bit,” Newkirk commented. “I should be able to get in and make contact.”
“No, Newkirk,” Hogan responded. “If anyone is going to risk their neck, it will be me.” Seeing his men begin to protest, he raised his hands to quiet them. “And that is final,” he stated firmly, putting an end to the protests.
“How are you going to get to town, Colonel?” Kinch asked. “Hochstetter has patrols out all over the place, and he’s in Klink’s office now, probably trying to get some of the guards here to patrol.”
“I know, it will make it tough,” Hogan replied. “But you heard what London said – if we don’t get this information, a lot of bomber crews won’t make it back home.”
The room was silent. Each man knew what it was like to be shot down. If you were lucky, you survived. If you were really lucky, you avoided capture and had help from people such as the men in this room to get back to England.
“I wonder,” Hogan muttered.
“You have an idea?” LeBeau asked.
“Hochstetter has been in and out of camp every few hours,” Hogan replied. “I could sneak a ride in the trunk of his car on one of those trips, and then sneak back after meeting the contact.”
“It is risky, but it might work,” Kinch commented.
“Unfortunately, it’s the best I can come up with at the moment,” Hogan replied.
“Colonel,” Kinch said. “Don’t forget that you have a rendezvous with Helga this evening.”
“Ah yes, payment for letting me look at some of Klink’s top-secret mail,” Hogan replied smiling. “Oh, the things I do for my country!” The men at the table chuckled along with him.
“Kraut car just entered the compound,” Carter said from the doorway. “It’s General Burkhalter.”
“Oh great,” Hogan muttered. “Just what we didn’t need.”
“And there’s someone with him,” Carter continued. “It looks like Frau Linkmeyer.”
“It’s gone from bad to worse,” Newkirk said. “I bet old Klink is going to be real happy now.”
“No, he’s not,” replied Hogan. “And I’m not happy either.”
“But why, Colonel?” LeBeau asked. “Frau Linkmeyer will keep Klink busy while you are in town.”
“No, just the opposite,” Hogan stated. “He’s going to do anything to avoid her, and that means he’ll be wandering the compound, inspecting the barracks, and he’ll want to see me.” Hogan snapped his fingers. “Of course!” he exclaimed.
“You got a better idea?” Kinch asked.
“Klink can’t wander around the camp tonight if he is at the Hauserhof having a romantic, intimate dinner with a beautiful woman.”
“But who would have an intimate dinner with Klink?” Newkirk asked.
“Frau Linkmeyer,” Hogan answered.
“I thought you said beautiful woman,” Kinch responded.
“Now Kinch, we all know that love is blind,” Hogan replied smiling. “And in this case, that will be to our advantage!”
“And how do you plan to get these two lovebirds together at the Hauserhof?” Newkirk asked.
“I haven’t thought of that part yet,” Hogan replied. “But I’ll think of something by the time I get to Klink’s office.” He got up and headed towards the barracks door.
After Hogan left the barracks, the men scrambled into his office to hook up the coffeepot so they could listen in. They didn’t want to miss any of the action.
* * * * * * * * * *
Hogan stepped into Klink’s outer office and saw Helga standing at the file cabinet with her back to the door. He walked up to her, put his arms around her and gave her a squeeze.
“Guten morgan, Colonel Hogan,” she said softly.
Hogan nuzzled at the back of her neck, taking a deep inhale of her perfume. “Mmmm, you smell wonderful,” he murmured.
Helga turned around quickly and swatted Hogan with the file in her hands. Her face was stern, but her eyes were twinkling. “Colonel Hogan, you are incorrigible!” she exclaimed.
“So I’ve been told,” he replied smiling. “I haven’t forgotten tonight,” he added.
A coy looked crossed over her face. “And you won’t forget it, if I have anything to say about it,” she said demurely.
Hogan smiled back at her. Things were looking very promising for tonight. Yes, the things I do for my country, he thought. “Is the Kommandant in his office?” he asked.
“Ja,” she replied. “Major Hochstetter, General Burkhalter and Frau Linkmeyer are in there with him.”
Hogan started towards the door. “See you tonight,” he said.
“Yes, you most definitely will!” she replied.
Hogan opened the door to Klink’s office and stepped inside. “Good morning, Kommandant,” he said cheerfully.
Hochstetter looked at Hogan as he entered. “Klink, isn’t this man ever locked up?” he growled.
“I’m busy, Hogan,” Klink said impatiently. “Whatever it is, request denied. Dismissed!”
Hogan ignored Klink and looked over at Frau Linkmeyer, sitting in one of the visitor chairs. “Why hello, Frau Linkmeyer,” he said warmly. “To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”
“Hogan,” Klink responded. “Frau Linkmeyer’s pleasure does not concern you!”
Everyone turned to stare at Klink. He laughed nervously and said, “What I meant was that the reason for Frau Linkmeyer’s visit is none of your business, Hogan.”
“Yes, Hogan,” Hochstetter growled. “Why are you so interested in why Frau Linkmeyer is here?”
“I’m just trying to be friendly, Major Hochstetter,” Hogan quipped. “You should try it sometime.”
“Bah!” Hochstetter barked.
“You have been dismissed, Hogan,” Burkhalter said. “So why don’t you go.”
“Albert!” Gertrude said suddenly, swinging her purse up to hit Burkhalter in the stomach. “Colonel Hogan is right. You should try being nice as well.” Gertrude turned to Hogan. “To answer your question, Colonel, I had nothing to do and decided to accompany Albert on his inspection tour of the Luft Stalags.”
Hogan feigned surprise. “I can’t believe that you had nothing better to do than to visit a bunch of run-down prison camps,” he said.
“Hoooogan,” Klink warned.
Hogan ignored Klink and continued to talk to Frau Linkmeyer. “I’m surprised that a beautiful woman such as you would not have men falling all over themselves to spend a romantic evening with you,” he said, a warm smile on his face.
“Are you blind?” Klink mumbled.
“Klink!” Burkhalter screamed.
Klink jumped. “What I meant to say, Herr General, was that a man would have to be blind to see that Frau Linkmeyer was not a beautiful woman,” he groveled.
“Yes, that’s what I thought you meant,” Burkhalter mumbled. “Too bad it’s not true.”
“Albert!” Gertrude yelled, and swung her purse at him again. Burkhalter grunted as it made contact with his stomach. “A woman has to be choosy,” she replied to Hogan.
“Choosy!” Klink mumbled, and then was silenced by a glare from Burkhalter.
“Frau Linkmeyer,” Hogan said.
“Gertrude, please,” Gertrude interrupted, warming up to Hogan’s charming demeanor.
“Gertrude,” Hogan began again. “I realize that the best men are all fighting the war at the front.”
“Present company excepted,” Klink interrupted, motioning towards Burkhalter.
Hogan looked at the men in the room and gave a small shrug. “Okay, if you say so,” he quipped.
“Hoooogan,” Klink said, trying to sound menacing.
“Klink, stop interrupting,” Gertrude ordered. “Go on, Hogan.”
“Well, it is wartime,” Hogan continued. “And during wartime, everyone must make sacrifices. And since a woman as charming as yourself, should not be stuck in a dump like Stalag 13 …”
Klink stomped his foot. “Hogan!” he said crossly.
“Klink!” Gertrude bellowed. “Shut up.”
“Yes, Frau Linkmeyer,” Klink replied timidly.
“Go on,” Gertrude prompted.
“Like I said, a woman such as yourself should be enjoying a nice dinner and dancing someplace, like the Hauserhof in town, in the company of a gentleman who appreciates your charm and beauty. Who knows what might happen after such a romantic evening!”
Hogan glanced around the room. Hochstetter was rolling his eyes and Burkhalter seemed to be trying his hardest to hold back a laugh.
“That would be nice,” Gertrude mused. “But you think I would find such a man around here?”
“As I said, it is wartime, and sometimes you must make sacrifices,” Hogan responded.
Gertrude looked at Hogan for a moment, and then looked over at Klink. Finally, she looked back at Hogan and said, “You are right, Hogan. In wartime you must sometimes make the best of the situation. I accept your invitation to a nice romantic dinner.”
Hogan’s jaw dropped. “What?” he exclaimed, hardly noticing that the other three men in the room said the exact same thing at exactly the same time.
“I accept your invitation to dinner in town tonight,” Gertrude replied smiling.
“But, but,” Hogan stammered. “I was talking about Colonel Klink!”
“Who me?” Klink replied.
Gertrude looked over at Klink. “No, the war is not going that bad,” she replied. Burkhalter and Hochstetter both chuckled.
For a moment, Klink was offended at the comment, but before he could protest, he realized the implications of what she said. “You are right, Frau Linkmeyer,” he said happily. “The war is not going that bad. I hope you and Colonel Hogan have a nice time.”
“But I’m a prisoner!” Hogan argued.
“And as your Kommandant, I give you permission to accompany Frau Linkmeyer to town for dinner this evening,” Klink responded.
“But,” Hogan protested.
“Nonsense, Hogan,” Burkhalter said. “My sister accepted your invitation.”
“This has got to be against the Geneva Convention,” Hogan continued to protest.
“Hogan, quit complaining,” Hochstetter added. “As you so eloquently said, a woman such as Frau Linkmeyer should be enjoying an evening of dinner and dancing with someone who appreciates her charm and beauty.”
“I did say that, didn’t I?” Hogan mumbled. “Is it too late to change my mind?”
“Yes!” came the chorus from everyone else in the room.
“I’ll phone the Hauserhof and make the reservations, Gertrude,” Burkhalter said. “And I’ll reserve a room for the night.” He looked at Hogan and laughed. “Who knows what might happen after such a romantic evening!”
“Cheer up, Hogan,” Hochstetter said chuckling. “After all, in wartime, we all must make sacrifices!”
* * * * * * * * * *
Hogan was stunned as he walked across the compound back to the barracks. He couldn’t understand where things went wrong. He was sure he would be able to talk Frau Linkmeyer into a dinner in town with Klink. He couldn’t understand how he was the one who got roped into it instead of Klink.
He opened the door to the barracks and entered. His men were sitting around the table with Newkirk carelessly dealing cards to each of them. LeBeau was standing by the stove, stirring something in a pot. Hogan walked over to the pot and noticed that it was empty.
“All right, so you were listening,” stated Hogan. “You know that I have to have dinner in town with Burkhalter’s sister.”
His men were restrained. “Well, you’ll be able to meet with our contact tonight,” Kinch offered.
“That’s true,” Hogan admitted. “The mission does come first.”
“Did you tell Helga that you would have to cancel your rendezvous tonight?” LeBeau asked. Hogan nodded. “How did she take it?”
“The nearest I can figure, she was okay with it,” Hogan replied.
“The nearest you can figure sir?” Carter asked.
Hogan looked at his men sheepishly. “She couldn’t stop laughing long enough to answer,” he replied.
That was too much for the men. They had been holding back the laughter the best they could, but now they couldn’t hold it anymore. They all burst out laughing.
Newkirk stood up. “Sir, in keeping with the idea that we are all in this together, I volunteer to stand in for you tonight,” he said, still chuckling.
Hogan smiled. “Thanks Newkirk,” he replied. “But Frau Linkmeyer will be expecting me.”
Newkirk burst out laughing again. “Not with her, I meant with Helga!” he replied.
“Very funny,” Hogan quipped. “You fellows just laugh it up while I get ready to face danger.”
The men laughed harder. “Oiu,” LeBeau commented breathlessly. “She does have a pretty dangerous face!”
Now even Hogan had to laugh. He was not looking forward to tonight, but he had to admit that this plan of his sure did backfire. He sighed and said, “I’ll just go, have dinner, make contact with Keggelmann and we’ll be on our way back to camp.”
“But Colonel, you never know what might happen after such a romantic evening,” Carter said.
“There will not be any romance in it for me!” Hogan retorted. “I’m just there to complete a mission.”
Newkirk chuckled again. “And so is Frau Linkmeyer!” he replied. “After all, if anyone is going to risk their neck on this mission, it will be you!”
* * * * * * * * * *
Hogan came out of his office to a chorus of whistles. He was wearing the civilian clothes that had been provided by General Burkhalter.
“All right fellows,” he said. “You know I can’t be having dinner with General Burkhalter’s sister wearing an American uniform.”
“Later on, you may not be wearing anything!” quipped Newkirk, causing the rest of the men to laugh.
Hogan shot Newkirk a stern glance. “That will not happen!” he said, hoping that he was right. “Besides, meeting Keggelmann in civilian clothes is much better. I’m just glad Burkhalter thought of this idea first.”
Just then, Schultz entered the barracks to escort Hogan to the waiting car. He looked around and spotted Hogan, still standing by his office door. “Oh, Colonel Hogan,” he said. “Frau Linkmeyer is ready for you." The men in the barracks began to snicker.
Hogan quieted his men and began to follow Schultz out of the barracks. As he crossed the room, he saw Kinch raise his hands to his mouth and imitate a corpsman blowing a bugle. He heard him begin to hum Taps, and the rest of the men joined in. Hogan shook his head and hurried from the barracks.
After Schultz closed the door of the barracks, he fell into step beside Hogan. “Colonel Hogan,” he said softly. “I would say for you not to do anything that I wouldn’t do when you are on your date tonight.”
“Gee thanks, Schultz,” Hogan said sarcastically.
Schultz shook his head. “I would say that,” he continued. “But there’s absolutely nothing that I would want to do with Frau Linkmeyer.”
“You’re all heart, Schultz,” Hogan replied.
“No, I’m mostly stomach,” replied Schultz, patting his ample midsection. Hogan laughed as they continued to walk towards the waiting car.
* * * * * * * * * *
Schultz had driven them to the Hauserhof and had been given orders to wait. Hogan had tried to invite him into the restaurant with them, but Gertrude had overruled him and ordered Schultz to wait in the car.
Throughout the dinner, Hogan had been trying to make any excuse to be able to steal away and make contact with Keggelmann, but nothing had worked. He thought he had his chance when he suggested that he take Schultz something to eat, but Gertrude had stepped in first and had the waiter take him something.
So Hogan had sat with Gertrude, made a lot of small talk and danced a few dances when the band was playing. He had to admit to himself that Gertrude was a pleasant person when she wasn’t busy being the crusty old maid that she portrayed, and she was a surprisingly spry dancer for someone of her build.
However, the last thing he wanted was to have to spend the night with General Burkhalter’s sister! And as the dinner crowd thinned out, Hogan was more and more sure that he would be forced to go through with that in order to try to meet his contact.
“This has been a very pleasant evening,” he said to her, glancing at his watch.
“Ja, it has,” she agreed. “But the night is still young.” She reached across the table and patted his hand.
Oh no, he thought. She actually does expect this to lead to something else. What am I going to do now? I can’t leave here without making contact with Keggelmann, but I certainly can’t let myself do what she is thinking of! He smiled at her. “Time passes so slowly in your presence,” he said.
Gertrude giggled as if she was unaccustomed to the flattery. “Why don’t we adjourn to the suite where we can continue talking in more comfort?”
Hogan wanted to scream “NO” as loud as he could, but he knew that he couldn’t. He knew that he must do whatever necessary, make whatever sacrifices were required in order to complete his mission. So in the end, he just smiled and said, “That would be nice.”
As they rose from the table and walked through the dining room, Gertrude said, “I’ll tell Schultz that he is not needed anymore tonight, and to pick us up in the morning. Then I must powder my nose. You will wait for me in the lobby?”
Hogan again wanted to scream “NO” as loud as he could. He didn’t want to wait for her. He didn’t want Schultz to leave. He didn’t want to be trapped in a hotel suite where he might have to … no, he couldn’t think of that possibility. His mind raced to find a solution to the predicament.
When they reached the lobby, Gertrude went towards the exit to find Schultz, who was waiting in the car outside. Hogan walked up to the registration desk.
“May I help you?” the man behind the desk asked.
“I’m here to meet a friend,” Hogan said. “Herr Keggelmann. Can you tell me if he has checked in yet?”
“Why yes, he has,” the man replied, looking at the registration book on the desk. “He is in room Three-C. Would you like me to ring his room sir?”
“Nein, danke,” Hogan replied, spotting Gertrude coming towards him. “I’m sure I will see him while he is here.”
“Robert dear,” she said coyly. “Are you trying to get yourself a separate room?”
An excellent suggestion, I’m glad you thought of that! Maybe I can try to get myself a separate war! He shook the thought out of his head and laughed lightly. “Not at all!” he said. He turned to the man at the desk and asked, “Would you please send some champagne up to our suite?”
“Of course, sir,” the man replied. “And which suite would that be?”
Before Hogan could respond, Gertrude butted in and answered. “The Honeymoon Suite,” she said, giggling.
The man behind the desk looked from Gertrude to Hogan with no expression on his face. Hogan felt his face flush with embarrassment. “Her brother is on the General Staff,” Hogan said to the man, as if explaining the situation. Hogan could see the beginnings of a smile appear on the man’s face.
“Of course sir,” the man replied. “I’ll have that sent up right away.”
* * * * * * * * * *
Hogan and Gertrude were sitting together on the settee in the outer room of the suite. The hotel manager had sent up two large bottles of champagne, and Hogan had made sure that Gertrude never had an empty glass.
“Why Robert,” Gertrude said as Hogan was filling her glass again. Her words were slurring together and she was swaying slightly. “I do believe you are drying to get me trunk!” She looked at him with glassy eyes and tried to give him a provocative look. “Are you trying to take advantage of me?” she asked.
Hogan coughed as he was taking a sip from his glass. “No Gertrude, not at all,” he managed to say. Actually, his plan had been to get her drunk, so drunk that she would eventually pass out. If that happened, he could then arrange it so that she might think something happened between them, and he would be in the clear. So far, that plan seemed to be working perfectly.
As they had sat in the room and talked, Gertrude had begun to become more and more melancholic as the alcohol affected her system. Hogan realized that she was a lonely person and he tried to be sympathetic, but not to give the wrong impression. Gertrude’s husband Rudolf had been reported missing at the Russian front right after the hostilities in the East had begun, and Hogan had the impression that her social calendar had not been very active since that time.
The longer they talked, the more Hogan sensed that he now had a different problem. The more Gertrude drank, the more melancholic she became. The more melancholic she became, the more she talked about how lonely she was. The more she talked about how lonely she was, the more she clung to Hogan. It was reaching the point where he was afraid that she might break down and start sobbing on his shoulder. The last thing I need is for General Burkhalter’s sister to be sobbing on my shoulder telling me how nice she thinks I am. He looked at the door to the bedchamber of the suite. No, I take it back. THAT is the last thing I need.
Hogan filled her glass with the last of the champagne from the second bottle and watched as she took it all in one swallow. Oh boy, I may have to have another bottle sent up here in a minute, he thought. She looked at him and tried to smile the best she could. She puckered her lips and began to lean towards him. Here it comes, he thought. This is what I have been trying to avoid!
As she leaned towards him, her eyes rolled upwards and she fell forwards, her face landing in his lap. She had finally had enough. Hallelujah! Now I can meet Keggelmann and get the information from him, he thought.
But now he realized he had another, more immediate problem. It would be hard for him to meet Keggelmann with Gertrude passed out on his lap. He must somehow get her into the bedchamber and get her in bed. That would complete his plan, so that in the morning he could make it seem like something happened between them and she just couldn’t remember it. Carrying her into the room was out of the question, so he knew he must try to rouse her at least until he could get her into the room. That was a dangerous proposition in itself, because he didn’t really want her awake at the moment.
He began shaking her shoulders. “Gertrude,” he said. “Gertrude, wake up.” Gertrude lifted her head and tried to sit up. Hogan helped her lift herself and then tried to get her to stand.
“What?” she asked sleepily. “What happened?”
“Gertrude, it’s time to go to bed,” he said softly.
Gertrude smiled dreamily. “Why Robert, you diddle level you.” She giggled and tried again. “You little devil,” she said and clung to him as they walked into the bedchamber.
When they got into the room, she turned and hugged him tightly, making smacking sounds in the vicinity of his face trying to kiss him. Then she pulled away, swaying so much that Hogan thought she would topple to the floor. She smiled at him demurely and began to remove her dress. Oh brother, he thought. First dinner, then dancing, and now I get a striptease act! But he knew that if she woke to find that she was wearing only her undergarments, she would more readily believe that something had happened between them. Though Hogan was very determined to make sure that nothing happened!
When she looked like she was having trouble removing her dress, he moved forward and helped. She giggled as he gave her a gentle nudge towards the bed, watching her fall flat on her back. He waited, hoping that he could avoid joining her while she was still conscious. She stirred for a moment, and then Hogan could hear her snoring softly. Bingo! I’m home free, he thought.
* * * * * * * * * *
Hogan had waited another hour before he left the suit to make contact with Keggelmann. This gave him some time to compose himself, and to make sure that Gertrude would be asleep for a while.
He walked up to the door of room Three-C and knocked. “Room service,” he called out. He heard rustling and mumbling from within the room. He knocked again.
“What is it?” came the reply from behind the door.
“Room service,” Hogan repeated.
The door opened a crack and Hogan saw a face peering out. “I didn’t call for room service,” the man said.
“The snow in the Alps is better in January,” Hogan said, giving the first part of the recognition code.
The man’s eyes widened slightly and he responded, “But the beer in Munich is better in October.”
“Keggelmann?” Hogan asked.
The man nodded and opened the door. He motioned for Hogan to enter and peered down the hallway before closing the door.
“I was beginning to think you were not coming,” Keggelmann said.
“I was unavoidably detained,” Hogan responded.
“Was it dangerous?” Keggelmann asked.
Hogan chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe the danger I faced!” he replied. “You have something for me?”
Keggelmann nodded and took an envelope from his briefcase. “The locations and strengths of every anti-aircraft battery on the north coast of France,” he said.
Hogan gave a low whistle. “No wonder London was so anxious for this,” he replied, putting the envelope in his jacket pocket.
“Guard it carefully,” Keggelmann said. “Two people died obtaining this information.”
Hogan patted his pocket. “It will get to London safely,” he replied, thinking of the supreme sacrifice made by those two people.
Keggelmann let him out of the room and he returned to his suite. Crossing into the bedchamber, he checked on Gertrude – still asleep. Hogan smiled. This didn’t turn out so bad after all, he thought. Then remembering what Keggelmann said about the people losing their lives to obtain the information, he thought, I shouldn’t complain about what I had to go through to get this information.
Hogan stripped off his clothes, getting ready to climb into bed. He decided that it would look better if both he and Gertrude woke up in the morning in their undergarments – it would complete the illusion that something happened. He climbed into his side of the bed and wiggled to get comfortable, his back turned towards Gertrude.
He felt Gertrude stirring beside him and then heard her say, “Awake again, Robert?” He felt her hand caressing his back. “You devil. Can’t you get enough?”
Hogan gasped as she draped an arm and a leg over him and began to nuzzle the back of his neck. NO! This can’t be happening! She’s supposed to be asleep!
Her rolled over to attempt to tell her that he was too tired. The things I do for my country, he thought. Any further thoughts left his mind as soon as he turned over, because as he opened his mouth to speak, Gertrude began to kiss him passionately. He struggled to free himself, but he knew it was going to be a losing battle.
* * * * * * * * * *
Schultz had arrived the next morning to bring Hogan and Gertrude back to Stalag 13. When Hogan arrived back at the barracks, he accepted the ribbing from his men, but remained silent about the events of the night before.
He even remained silent when Newkirk had chided LeBeau about how a gentleman did not kiss and tell. He knew that Newkirk was baiting him into revealing details, and he wasn’t going to fall for it.
Kinch had radioed the information to London and relayed their thanks to Hogan.
As Hogan was pouring himself a cup of coffee, Schultz entered the barracks.
“’Ello, Schultzie,” Newkirk said happily. “What do you know?”
“I know nothing!” Schultz replied.
“Aw, come on. Colonel Hogan wouldn’t tell us anything,” Newkirk persisted.
“Newkirk, about that I know nothing. All I know is that Frau Linkmeyer is in a good mood this morning,” Schultz replied. The reply brought a round of catcalls from the men in the barracks.
“Hold it down fellows!” Hogan ordered. “Did you come here for a reason, Schultz? Or did you just come here to try and embarrass me in front of my men?”
“Colonel Hogan, you are wanted in the Kommandant’s office,” Schultz replied crisply. “General Burkhalter and Frau Linkmeyer are there also.” This brought another round of catcalls from the men in the barracks, causing Hogan to roll his eyes in annoyance as he left the barracks.
When he entered Klink’s outer office, he saw Helga sitting behind the desk. She gave him a sly smile and said, “They’re waiting for you.” Then she paused and giggled a little. “Romeo,” she added, placing her hand to her mouth to cover her mischievous grin.
Hogan felt himself flush. “Not you too,” he complained.
Helga gave him a look of pure innocence. “What?” she asked. “All I know is that I had a date last night that was broken so he could spend the night with another woman.” The twinkle in her eyes belied the innocent look on her face.
Now it was Hogan’s turn to grin. “It was a night I’ll never forget,” he said walking over to stand next to her desk. Ain’t that the truth, he thought.
Helga frowned, taking Hogan’s comment to mean that he had enjoyed himself. Hogan sensed this and reached over to stroke her cheek. He leaned over and kissed her other cheek. “I’ll see you tonight,” he said softly.
Helga’s eyes twinkled as she replied, “Maybe.” She kissed his hand before he could pull it away from her cheek. “You’d better go in.”
Hogan walked into Klink’s office and shut the door. “You wanted to see me, Kommandant?” he asked, giving Klink a sloppy salute.
“I asked for you, Robert,” Gertrude replied.
Hogan turned to look at a smiling Gertrude. “Oh, Frau Link …” he started and then stopped to correct himself. “Gertrude. What can I do for you?” he asked. He heard Klink begin to snicker like a schoolboy.
“You were very charming last night, Robert,” Gertrude said, ignoring Klink.
The snickering grew louder from behind the desk. Hogan looked over at Burkhalter who was smiling broadly. It seemed to Hogan that everyone was enjoying themselves at his expense with this fiasco. Oh no, she’s going to want to continue seeing me, he thought in horror.
Gertrude continued, seemingly oblivious to the childish laughter from Klink. “But we have to face the fact, Robert. It just wouldn’t work. You are an American prisoner of war and I am the sister of a Luftwaffe General. How would it look for poor Albert if his sister was carrying on with the enemy.”
Inwardly Hogan breathed a sigh of relief. He now knew that she was trying to let him down easy, thinking that he would be heartbroken after last night. Trying hard not to show his pleasure at the turn of events, Hogan put on a sad face. “I understand, Gertrude. It would be rather unseemly.”
Gertrude nodded. “That is why I have decided that tonight Wilhelm and I will have a romantic dinner in town,” she said.
Klink suddenly started sputtering – his laughter turning to a fit of coughing. “Who me?” he sputtered.
“And what is wrong with that?” Burkhalter asked.
Klink began to shake his head. “Why nothing, General Burkhalter,” he said timidly. “It’s just that I am Kommandant of this camp, and it requires my full attention.”
“And I am your commanding officer,” Burkhalter countered. “And I give you my permission to spend the evening in town with my sister. You don’t even need to hurry back tonight. I can take care of things for you until you come back tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Klink wheezed out. “Stay there all night?”
“We all must make sacrifices during wartime, Kommandant,” Hogan piped in cheerfully.
Gertrude looked up at Hogan and winked. “And I seem to be making a huge sacrifice in this case,” she commented.
Klink said nothing. He stood behind his desk, his mouth opening and closing soundlessly.
“Kommandant,” Hogan said. “You’re getting a wonderful woman.” He gave Gertrude a small kiss on the cheek and bounced out of Klink’s office.
Helga noticed Hogan’s mood and commented, “You seem to be happy.”
“Helga my dear,” Hogan said. “The Kommandant will be busy in town with Frau Linkmeyer this evening. I think you will be free until tomorrow morning.”
A mischievous grin spread across Helga’s face. “In that case, Colonel,” she said. “I think you will have another night that you will never forget.”
Hogan gave Helga a kiss on her cheek before leaving the office. Now that is more like it, he thought as he turned to leave the office.
Text and original characters copyright 2004 by Jeff Evans
This copyright covers only original material and characters, and in no way intends to infringe upon the privileges of the holders of the copyrights, trademarks, or other legal rights, for the Hogan's Heroes universe.