A Hogan Easter Story
As usual, I make no claims to the Hogan’s Heroes universe. This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to real life is purely coincidental.
* * * * * * * * * *
Chapter 1: Here We Go Again
Corporal Louis LeBeau was sitting in the candlelight at the table in the barracks when Newkirk and Kinch emerged from the tunnel. Newkirk looked at LeBeau and saw him angrily flipping playing cards at the empty basket in front of him.
“What’s the matter, Louis?” Newkirk asked.
“The electricity is out,” the Frenchman responded testily.
“What?” a surprised Kinch asked. “It was fine a minute ago. I was just on the radio to London.”
LeBeau shrugged. “It’s been out here for a while,” he said, flipping another card in the direction of the basket.
“No matter,” Newkirk said, rubbing his hands together. “When’s supper going to be finished, Louis? I’m starved.”
“It’s not,” LeBeau replied. He flipped a card that landed in the basket.
“What?” exclaimed Newkirk and Kinch together.
“I thought you were making Quiche Larraine tonight?” Newkirk said.
“That was before Carter took all the eggs,” LeBeau replied, flipping another card at the basket.
Newkirk opened his mouth to respond, but Kinch spoke first. “Louis, why are you flipping playing cards at that basket?” he asked. “You never do that – Newkirk does.”
LeBeau shrugged again. “I know,” he responded. “And Carter doesn’t usually take all the eggs either.”
Kinch began looking around the darkened barracks. Suddenly, he gasped and muttered something to quietly for Newkirk or LeBeau to hear.
Newkirk turned around and looked at the American sergeant. “What is it, Kinch?” he asked.
Kinch began moving back towards the bunk entrance to the tunnel. “Nothing, Peter. You stay here and find out about Carter,” he said as he climbed down the stairs.
“Wait, where are you going?” Newkirk asked. “Don’t you want to find out, too?”
“There’s no time,” Kinch said as the bunk slid back down into place.
Newkirk turned back to LeBeau. “Now that’s strange,” he muttered.
LeBeau flipped another card. “And Carter stealing our eggs isn’t?” he asked sarcastically.
“No, that is strange as well,” Newkirk replied as the barracks door opened. “Why would he take all the eggs?”
“Why would who take all the eggs?” Colonel Hogan asked from the doorway.
“Carter,” LeBeau responded, flipping another card into the basket.
Hogan opened his mouth to reply, but stopped and looked around instead. “What happened to the lights?” he asked.
Both Newkirk and LeBeau shrugged. LeBeau flipped another card into the empty basket.
“We haven’t blown up the power plant again, have we?” Hogan asked.
“Not in the past few weeks,” Newkirk replied. “And Kinch said that there was electricity in the tunnel.”
Hogan looked around. “Where is Kinch?” he asked.
Newkirk pointed to the tunnel just as the bunk began to raise.
“Here I am, Colonel,” Kinch answered, climbing off the ladder into the barracks. He punched the bunk to close the tunnel entrance. “I had an errand to run.”
“An errand to run,” Newkirk snorted. “When he found out that the electricity was out and that Carter had stolen all the eggs we had, he mumbled something and ran back down the tunnel!”
Hogan squinted. “Carter stole all the eggs that LeBeau was going to cook tonight?” he asked. He then began to look around the barracks. He suddenly gasped and muttered something under his breath.
“That’s it, Colonel,” Newkirk exclaimed. “That’s exactly what Kinch did.”
Hogan took a deep breath and shot a pained glance over at Kinch. “Do you want to tell them, or should I?” he asked the sergeant.
“You’re the officer,” Kinch retorted. “Sir,” he added quickly.
“Thanks,” Hogan muttered.
“Tell us what?” Newkirk and LeBeau exclaimed together.
“You’re not going to like it,” Hogan said.
“I bloody well don’t like it now,” Newkirk replied. “How much worse can it be?”
Kinch snorted as he tried to hold back his laughter.
Suddenly Newkirk’s eyes went wide. “Oh no, you mean?” he asked tentatively.
Hogan slowly nodded his head. “I’m afraid so,” he responded.
Newkirk removed his hat and slammed it on the table in front of him, sending playing cards flying. “Oh, bloody hell!” he shouted. “Not that twit again!”
LeBeau suddenly jumped up from the table, tossing the rest of the playing cards aside. “Colonel, request permission to escape,” he begged. “I don’t think I can make it through another one of those stories.”
“Request denied,” Hogan replied.
“But Colonel,” Newkirk prompted.
Hogan held his hands in the air to stop the argument from starting. “It’s already too late,” he replied. “You couldn’t escape now if you tried.”
“I’m not going to have to sing in this one, am I?” Newkirk asked.
Kinch laughed. “No, not you,” he replied.
“What’s that supposed to mean, Kinch?” a concerned Hogan asked.
Kinch didn’t respond. Instead, he made a small motion towards the barracks door. At that moment, the door opened and Baker and Vladimir walked into the barracks. Both men were singing softly. “Cause we’re banned from the fun. We’re banned from the fun.”
“Fellas, knock it off,” Hogan said. “We’ve got a crisis here.”
“Anything we can help with, Colonel?” Baker asked.
“No, you two just keep an eye on the door,” Hogan replied.
“Banned from the fun again,” sang Vladimir.
“Actually, Colonel, they do play a part in this story,” Kinch said.
“How do you know?” Hogan said, eyeing Kinch suspiciously.
“I know what’s going to happen,” Kinch replied with a smirk.
“What, your crystal ball told you?” LeBeau quipped.
“Oh, nice quip there, Louis,” Baker said from by the door.
“Okay, hold it down,” Hogan said. “I want to know how Kinch knows what’s going on.”
“Simple, Colonel,” Kinch replied. “When I realized that he was back, I decided to take off and try to figure out what was going on.”
“You mean?” Hogan asked.
“Yes, I actually escaped out of the story and wandered around the author’s head,” Kinch replied.
“Blimey,” Newkirk exclaimed. “And you made it back so soon?”
“It was easy this time, now that I know my way around,” Kinch responded. “After all, there’s not much in there.”
“True,” Hogan mused.
“Colonel, you’re musing again in this story,” LeBeau commented.
“Knock it off, LeBeau,” Hogan replied. “The more we call attention to these things, the more the idiot writer will put them in.”
“Sorry, sir,” LeBeau muttered.
“So Kinch, tell us what is going to happen,” Hogan ordered.
“Sorry, Colonel,” Kinch replied. “I can’t do that.”
“That was an order, Sergeant,” Hogan said tightly.
“Sorry, your orders have been trumped in this case,” Kinch answered. “You see, I actually had a glimpse at what would happen if I told you everything.”
“And …” Hogan prompted.
“Pretty ugly, sir,” Kinch replied.
“Uglier than this?” Newkirk asked. “Just how much uglier can it get?”
“Do the words ‘Schultz’ and ‘speedo’ answer your question?” Kinch retorted.
“Ew!” came the chorus of everyone in the room.
Suddenly the door opened and Schultz popped his head in. “I just want to state for the record that I was forced to perform in that scene,” the hefty German said. “You can’t hold that against me.”
“Schultz, it was a different story, and we all know whose fault it is,” Hogan replied, glancing around the room trying to find the most appropriate place to throw a glaring look.
The door closed and Hogan turned back to Kinch. “So what can you tell us about this story?” he asked. “Aside from the fact that it seems to be dragging along very slowly. I mean, the only think that’s happened is that we’ve established that the electricity is out. Why is that, Kinch?”
“All I can say about the electricity is that it’s a plot …” Kinch started.
“If you say the word ‘bunny’, I’ll pop you one,” Newkirk said menacingly.
“Hey Newkirk, that was pretty good,” LeBeau chimed in. “Can you say something else menacingly?”
“LeBeau!” Hogan shouted “Kinch, the story,” he prompted.
“Right, as I was saying, the electricity is a plot point and we are in the midst of a holiday special,” Kinch said.
“A holiday special?” Baker and Vladimir asked.
“Exactly,” Kinch replied. “That’s why you two actually appear in the story.”
“What kind of holiday special is this, Kinch?” Hogan asked.
“Well, as you know, tomorrow is Easter, well actually the day the story was posted is Easter, but for the purposes of this story time line, we have to make believe that tomorrow is Easter, which would make this the day before Easter, more specifically the evening before Easter because the action is taking place after dark” Kinch sputtered. He paused, taking several deep breaths.
“Um, can you repeat that?” Newkirk asked.
“No, I don’t think I can,” Kinch replied breathlessly.
“All right, so tomorrow is Easter and we are in the middle of an Easter story,” Hogan prompted.
“Right,” Kinch agreed. “You all know what a limited imagination this joke of an author has.” He paused, noticing everyone nodding his head in agreement. “Well, this story is kind of like the television cartoon specials of the comic strip Peanuts that were produced, or I should say, will be produced, in the 1970’s.”
“You mean, a comic strip that has yet to be produced in our timeline, and shown on a medium that has yet to become mainstream and commercial?” Vladimir asked.
“Hey Vladimir, that was quite an English sentence!” Newkirk exclaimed. “And I didn’t hear much of an accent either.”
“Spasibo, Newkirk,” Vladimir replied. “I’ve been taking electrocution lessons while you all are being used in the fan fiction stories.”
“Electrocution?” Hogan wondered.
“He means ‘elocution’ lessons,” Kinch corrected. “We’re also going to have influences of other television sitcoms as well.”
“So let me get this straight,” Hogan said, rubbing his temples. “We are in a holiday special modeled after a comic strip with stale sitcom jokes strewn throughout?”
“Exactly,” Kinch said.
“Good grief!” Hogan exclaimed.
Chapter 2: Here We Go Again, Again
Newkirk stared at the chapter title. “Now that’s a bloody stupid title!” he exclaimed.
“What do you expect from this author?” LeBeau asked. “You know things never make any sense.”
Trying to gain control of the situation, Hogan spoke up. “Kinch,” he said. “Since you obviously know what’s going to happen next, can you tell us if it will make any sense whatsoever in the near future?”
“Yes,” Kinch replied.
“Good, that’s something, I guess,” Hogan responded.
“Colonel, I think you misunderstood me,” Kinch replied. “I meant that, yes, I can tell you whether it will make sense in the near future.”
“I didn’t like the sound of that,” LeBeau said.
“It sounded pretty evasive to me, too,” Newkirk agreed.
“Well,” Hogan prompted.
Kinch looked around at all the men and took a deep breath. “I’m afraid we’ll have a few more chapters of this,” he said.
A collective groan escaped from the men in the barracks.
“Tell me at least the pace will be picking up,” Hogan moaned. “Will we ever find out why the electricity is off?”
“Yes,” Kinch replied, staring at the door. When nothing happened, he repeated Hogan’s words loudly, “WILL WE EVER FIND OUT WHY THE ELECTRICITY IS OUT?” Kinch kept staring at the door, as if he were waiting for something. Finally, he walked over to the door and opened it, startling Colonel Klink, who was waiting outside. Kinch glared at the Kommandant before speaking. “I said, will we ever find out why the electricity is out?”
“Oh, is that my cue?” Klink asked, stepping into the barracks. He walked up to Hogan and said, “Hogan, what do you know about the electricity being out?”
“What are you asking me for?” Hogan exclaimed.
“Because it smells like monkey business,” Klink replied. “And where there’s monkey business, you are usually behind it.”
“I resent that, Kommandant,” Hogan said. “You make it sound like all I do around here is cause trouble.”
Klink stared at Hogan silently.
“Maybe I should rephrase that,” Hogan added when he realized the truth in his statement. “How could I be behind the power outage?” he asked.
“I don’t know how,” Klink replied. “But if there is a way, I am sure that you would find it.”
Hogan put a hurt look on his face and looked around the room at his men. “He doesn’t believe we didn’t have anything to do with it,” he said. A sudden thought dawned on him. “We didn’t have anything to do with this, did we?”
“Not this week, Colonel,” LeBeau answered. “It’s been a few weeks since we’ve destroyed the Hammelburg power plant.” LeBeau quickly put his hands over his mouth at the realization that he said something that Klink shouldn’t hear.
Hogan quickly stepped in. “What he meant to say, Kommandant …” he began.
Klink threw his hands in the air as if fending off an unseen attack.
Hogan turned to Kinch. “Isn’t that a pretty strong statement?” he asked. “I mean, he didn’t look like he was fending off an attack to me. It liked more like he was simply trying to stop me from talking.”
Kinch just shrugged.
Klink cleared his throat. “Can we get back to the action?” he asked.
“That would imply that we had been in the middle of some action,” Newkirk whispered to LeBeau.
LeBeau nodded. “Oui, it’s been pretty boring so far,” he responded.
“As I was about to say,” Klink said loudly, glaring at the two whispering prisoners. “Please, Colonel Hogan. I wish to know nothing, noooothing!”
Everyone stared at Klink. Finally Vladimir asked, “Kommandant, why are you talking like Sergeant Schultz?”
Klink turned around at the sound of Vladimir’s voice. “Oh, I didn’t expect you to be in this story too,” he commented.
“The story of my life,” Vladimir retorted.
“To answer your question, all I can say is that I just say what I am told to say,” Klink replied.
“I think I can clear this one up,” Kinch interrupted. “Schultz was supposed to be the one to say those lines. But since one of the plot points involving the Kommandant is about to come to a conclusion …”
“You mean we’re almost through with this travesty of a story?” Hogan asked hopefully.
Kinch shook his head. “No, I said one of the plot points, not the whole story,” he replied. Before Hogan could express his disappointment, Kinch continued, “And Schultz is going to be needed elsewhere soon, so Colonel Klink here was given the lines.”
“When will we get back to Carter and the eggs?” LeBeau asked.
“Next chapter,” Kinch replied.
“Is this chapter about over?” Newkirk asked.
“No,” Kinch replied. “In fact, the more you two keep interrupting, the longer it will be.”
“Can I get back to the electricity?” Klink asked.
“I think you’d better,” Kinch answered.
“Good,” a satisfied Klink said. “Now Hogan, what about the electricity?”
“Kommandant, at the risk of sounding like Schultz, I know nothing about it,” Hogan said. “In fact, I had figured that you just forgot to pay the electric bill.”
Klink looked surprised. “Forgot to pay the electric bill?” he challenged. “Colonel Hogan, I may come across as a bumbling fool …”
“And a darn good one, too,” Baker chimed in from the doorway.
Klink looked over at the source of the interruption. “Danke,” he said. “I may come across that way, but when it comes to running this Stalag, I know what I am doing!”
“Are you sure?” Hogan teased.
“Of course I am sure!” Klink exclaimed.
Everyone was silent, not knowing how to proceed. One by one, everyone looked at Kinch.
“Um, Colonel Klink. Now is when you are supposed to reach into your pocket,” Kinch instructed.
“Kinch, you act like you are a Hollywood director or something,” LeBeau observed. “Are you sure you aren’t trying to ready yourself for a directing career after you are finished here?”
“I just hope I’m not bored to death by this lame story and will still be around for a career after this!” Newkirk muttered. “Of course, with my luck, I’ll probably get stuck hosting a game show.”
“Actually, Louis, if I were to direct something, I’d prefer it to be in a nice warm sunny locale, like Hawaii, rather than this dreary prison camp,” Kinch replied.
“I resent that remark,” Klink retorted. “This is a nice, well built prison camp. See?” He proceeded to knock on the side of the barrel stove in the middle of the barracks and watched in horror as the stove pipe crumbled to pieces, spreading soot all over the occupants of the room.
“Thanks, Kommandant, the one thing this story was lacking was a good minstrel scene,” Hogan muttered. “And before anyone gets any bright ideas, I’d better not see any one of you try to do an Al Joleson impression!”
“If we did, you wouldn’t see it anyway,” Newkirk replied. “The electricity is still out and the air is filled with soot.”
“Good point,” Hogan replied. “Speaking of electricity – Colonel, I still say that you forgot to pay the electric bill.”
“I did not!” Klink exclaimed.
Kinch cleared his throat.
“Oh yes, I was supposed to reach into my pocket now,” Klink commented. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. “What’s this?” he asked, holding the envelope close to his eyes to try to read in the dim light of the barracks. “Hammelburg Electric Company,” he read. “Oh, I guess I did forget to pay the electric bill.”
Suddenly the lights in the barracks came on. Everyone looked around, blinking rapidly while their eyes grew accustomed to the bright light.
“That’s it?” LeBeau asked. “All this for that lame little joke?”
“I guess so,” Hogan replied.
“Colonel, how much more of this do we have to endure?” Newkirk asked with a pained expression.
“Don’t ask me, Kinch is the one who knows what’s going to happen,” Hogan responded.
“I think I need to talk to my agent,” Newkirk muttered. “They’re not paying me enough to put up with this kind of story.”
“If it’s any consolation, Peter, it’s time for a refreshment break,” Kinch prompted.
“Refreshments?” LeBeau asked. “As in food? Does this mean that we’ll find out why Carter took the eggs?”
Kinch was busy staring at the door and didn’t hear LeBeau’s response. “I said, it’s time for a refreshment break!” he said loudly.
At that moment, the barracks door crashed open and Schultz entered the room. Everyone stared at the sergeant.
“Um, Schultz, What are you wearing?” Klink asked. “You look like a giant pitcher of red liquid.”
“I’m not Schultz,” Schultz replied. “I’m Kool Aid. I’m here to show you how you can take some water, artificial food coloring and flavors and a large amount of sugar and feed it to your kids instead of giving them cans of carbonated water, artificial food coloring and flavors and a large amount of sugar.”
“You make it seem so appealing, Schultz,” Hogan said sarcastically. “You’re really selling the audience on that stuff.”
“I know nothing,” Schultz replied. “I’m just happy I don’t have to be seen wearing this speedo.”
“You mean this idiot writer has put you in the speedo again?” Newkirk asked.
“At least he has the decency to hide it this time,” LeBeau observed.
“Ja, that’s something,” Schultz agreed. “Now, you’re all supposed to have a glass of Kool Aid and say how refreshing it is on a nice hot summer day.”
“Oh, now that’s just bloody brilliant!” Newkirk exclaimed. “We’re in a prison camp in the middle of Germany, on a show where it seems that it is always winter, and we get a sponsor that makes refreshments meant for a hot summer day!”
“I’d rather have a sponsor that makes hot cocoa,” LeBeau suggested.
“Right,” Newkirk agreed. “I’d much rather have that Swiss Miss visiting us in the barracks than ‘Speedo the Kid’ here.”
“Fellas, I think we ought to count our blessings,” Hogan broke in.
“What?” Newkirk exclaimed. “Are you daft … sir?”
“Look at it this way, here we are in this long, boring, seemingly pointless story,” Hogan explained.
“My, we are certainly blessed,” Klink said sarcastically.
“Think back to the other stories,” Hogan prompted. He began ticking off items with his fingers. “We haven’t had any sound effects. We haven’t had ‘you know who’ show up singing opera arias.”
“You mean General …” LeBeau began.
“LeBeau!” Hogan snapped. “Let’s not tempt fate by mentioning any names!”
“Oh, right,” LeBeau replied. “Sorry.”
Hogan continued ticking off items. “We haven’t had any characters from other sitcoms appearing. And so far, we haven’t had Carter pulling any of his usual stunts.”
“That’s because Carter has disappeared with all of our eggs,” Vladimir observed.
“Okay, we’ve had one stunt,” Hogan admitted. “I’d say we’ve gotten off pretty good so far.”
“That’s more than I can say for the readers,” Baker commented.
Kinch cleared his throat. “I might add that until we actually drink the refreshingly cool beverage that is sponsoring this story, we’ll be stuck in this chapter,” he said.
Everyone scrambled over to where Schultz was standing.
“Where are the glasses, Schultz?” Hogan asked.
“Louder, Colonel,” Kinch prompted. “We seem to have to cue the action more than once in this story.”
“Where are the glasses, Schultz?” Hogan asked again, loudly this time.
Suddenly they heard a scuffle outside of the barracks door. They all looked at each other and wondered what the commotion was. After a few thumps against the side of the wall, it became quiet. After a moment, the door opened and a disheveled Helga entered carrying a tray of empty glasses.
As the men began taking glasses from the tray, Hogan walked over to the doorway and looked outside. He was surprised to see Hilda sitting in the rainwater barrel against the barracks wall. Her knees were crammed into her chest as he legs dangled over the side of the barrel.
Hogan looked away quickly while trying to stifle a laugh. When he looked back, he saw that Hilda was staring at him with a pleading look in her eyes. “Why Hilda, it seems that this story has you over a barrel,” he said.
A loud groan emerged from inside the barracks and Hogan turned back into the doorway. “Hey, I don’t write this drivel!” he exclaimed.
“Colonel, darling, could you please help me out of here?” Hilda pleaded.
Hogan turned to look at the blonde with her legs dangling. “I can’t right now,” he responded. “Have to get back in there for the end of this chapter. I’ll be back though – don’t go away.”
Another groan emerged from the barracks.
“Colonel, would you please get in here before we have to endure another one of those terrible attempts at humor,” Klink ordered.
“Coming!” Hogan answered. He smiled at Hilda and entered the barracks. As he took the last glass from the tray, he saw that no one had filled his glass. “Come on fellas, let’s get drinking so we can get on with this story.” He looked around. “Um, Schultz, where do we get this stuff from? You aren’t carrying a pitcher.”
“Colonel Hogan, I am a pitcher!” Schultz exclaimed. “There’s a spigot on the costume.”
Hogan stared at the costume and realized why nobody had filled his glass. “Schultz, are you sure that spigot is supposed to be in the front of your costume?”
“No, it’s supposed to be on the side,” Schultz replied. “But if I put the costume on that way, this stupid handle would get caught in the doorway.” The sergeant looked at everyone. “Why, what’s the problem?”
Newkirk and LeBeau began a pantomime to show Schultz what it would look like if they were to fill their glasses from his costume. Everyone began laughing at the spectacle.
Hogan stepped over to Schultz and said, “Why not, we’ve got to end this chapter sometime.” He bent over and placing his glass under the spigot, he pressed the button to fill his glass. The room grew suddenly quiet as everyone watched the green liquid fill the glass.
“Um, Schultz, what flavor is this?” Hogan asked.
“They told me it was lemon-lime,” Schultz replied.
“Good grief!” Hogan exclaimed.
Chapter 3: Is there a point here?
Hogan sat beside Kinch on the bench outside the barracks. “Kinch, am I going to end each chapter by saying good grief?” Hogan asked.
“I could order you to tell me,” Hogan commented.
“You could,” Kinch agreed. “But take my word for it, you wouldn’t like what would happen next.”
“How bad could it be?” Hogan wondered aloud. “After all, this story is bad enough.”
“Trust me, Colonel,” Kinch assured him. “We’re better off.”
At that moment, they saw a staff car enter the camp through the main gate. The car pulled up outside of the Kommandant’s office and Hochstetter emerged form the back seat holding what looked like a large envelope in his hand. Looking around, the Major spotted Hogan and began walking in his direction.
“Kinch, am I hallucinating again, or is Hochstetter skipping a little?” Hogan asked incredulously.
“He does look to be a little light on his feet this morning, Colonel,” Kinch agreed.
“This can’t be a good sign,” Hogan said warily.
As the Major drew near the prisoners, they heard him singing softly to himself. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Russian Front. Send him to the Russian Front. Hochstetter stopped singing when he stopped in front of Hogan.
“Colonel Hogan, I have something for you,” Hochstetter said, holding out the envelope he was carrying.
“What’s that?” Hogan said, declining to take the envelope – or the bait.
“With this explosion of fan fiction talking about the incredible exploits of Hogan’s Heroes, I decided to write my own story,” Hochstetter said. “It’s a little more realistic.”
“How so?” Hogan asked.
“I get to beat you up,” Hochstetter said, smiling broadly.
“Oh, wonderful,” Hogan muttered. “I can’t wait.”
“Neither can I,” Hochstetter said. “So let’s go.”
“Now hold on a minute, Major,” Hogan protested.
“You’re not going to spout some drivel about the Geneva Convention, are you?” Hochstetter asked impatiently.
“Spout some drivel?” Klink asked. “When did you start talking that that, Major?”
Everyone turned to look at Klink - everyone but Kinch had a surprised look on his face. “Where did you come from, Kommandant?” Hogan asked. “You weren’t there a moment ago.”
Klink smiled. “There are some instances where it is nice to be in one of these stories,” he replied. “I didn’t have to waste time walking across the compound.”
“Enough about you, Klink,” Hochstetter interjected. “I’m taking Colonel Hogan away so that we can do my story.” Hochstetter waved the envelope in Klink’s face.
“If you think you’re going to beat him up, I think you’re mistaken,” Klink said.
Hochstetter’s eyes narrowed. “How did you know I planned to beat him up?” he asked.
Klink pointed at the words that were slowly scrolling up the side of the barracks. “I read what had happened before I arrived here,” he said. “And before you try to publish that story where you beat Hogan to a pulp …”
“To a pulp?” Hogan gasped. “Why is it always me that gets beaten to a pulp?”
“Exactly,” Klink said. “Before you publish that story, Major, I think you need to get permission first. There are other authors who have the consignment on having Hogan beat to a pulp in their stories.”
Hogan snapped his fingers. “Yea, there’s that one Aussie writer,” he said. “What’s her name? Groundcover or something like that.”
Kinch began laughing. “Yeah, something like that,” he agreed.
“Why are you laughing?” Hochstetter asked.
“I’m just thinking about how she’s going to beat the idiot author of this story to a pulp once she reads it,” Kinch replied.
Everyone present had a good laugh at the thought. “Yeah, kind of like when he was bludgeoned with the oboe for putting his dog in a story,” Hochstetter commented. “I’d like to be around to see that.”
“I think we all would,” Kinch agreed. “But for now, we need to be moving on.”
“By moving on, you mean skipping my story,” Hochstetter said dejectedly.
“Yes,” Kinch replied. “But if it’s any consolation to you, Colonel Hogan will have to go back to the ravine after this story.”
“The ravine again?” Hogan moaned. “Will I ever get out of that ravine for good?”
“I can’t help you there, Colonel,” Kinch replied. “I’m only privy to the events in this story. You’ll have to go ask the author of that story if she’ll ever let you out.”
There was silence as the four men looked at each other, unsure what to do next.
“Um, Kinch, what now?” Hogan asked. “Don’t tell me we just stay here staring at each other for the rest of the story.”
“Well, actually …” Kinch began.
“You mean we do just stay here and stare at each other for the rest of the story?” Klink exclaimed.
“I don’t,” Kinch replied. “I get to take Baker and Vladimir to where Carter is so we can find out about the eggs.”
“There’s something suspiciously absent from your last line,” Hogan said, looking over at the text on the wall. “You forgot to read the last sentence – the one that says that the three of us have to stay here and stare at each other while you are gone.”
“I was kind of hoping to avoid saying that, Colonel,” Kinch said.
“And you were successful,” Klink observed. “You made Colonel Hogan say it instead.”
Kinch smiled. “Right, and on that note, I think it’s time I am off,” he replied.
“I think this whole story is off,” Hochstetter quipped.
“Kommandant, Major, what do you say we take off while Kinch is gone?” Hogan asked. “Let’s try to find that author, what’s her name – Groundcover, and see if she has any mescaline left over from her story. The hallucinations we’ll get from that have to be much better than living through the hell of this story!”
Klink and Hochstetter both shook their heads in agreement, and the three men began to walk across the compound.
Kinch got up and walked into the barracks. “Sam, Baker, it’s time to go look for Carter,” he said, and left the barracks to wait.
When he got there, he saw Hogan and Klink sitting on the bench outside of the barracks. He looked back and saw that Newkirk and LeBeau had come out and were standing beside him. Looking around, he saw that Vladimir and Baker had decided to take up residence on a bench on the other side of the door. “What’s going on here?” he asked Hogan. “I thought you were going to try to find that author.”
“Change of plans,” Hogan said. “We’d rather sit here.”
“Where did Hochstetter go?” Kinch asked.
“Change of plans,” Klink replied. “He decided to go back to Hammelburg to try to find someone to beat up.”
Kinch shook his head. “This isn’t how it’s supposed to go,” he muttered. He looked over at Baker and Vladimir. “Aren’t you two going with me to see Carter?” he asked.
“Change of plans,” Baker replied. “We’d rather sit here and sing our song about being left out.”
“So I suppose I am stuck with you two,” Kinch said to Newkirk and LeBeau.
“Change of plans,” LeBeau responded. “We’ll take care of Carter, you’ve done enough already.”
“What is going on here?” a frustrated Kinch asked. “I feel like I am in a television commercial for computer technology!”
At that moment, Corporal Langenscheidt walked by the barracks. He stopped beside Kinch and brought a small device up to his ear. “Can you hear me now, Schultz?” he asked, speaking into the device. The Corporal listened for a second and then added, “Good!” before walking away.
Kinch rubbed his temples. “Something is wrong here,” he muttered. He looked over at the text on the wall and noticed many red lines had been drawn through it, and new text had been scrawled in its place. “All right, who’s been messing with the script?” He glanced over at Newkirk, who was busy trying to stuff a red marker into his uniform pocket.
Newkirk smiled at Kinch. “Change of plans, mate,” he said glibly. “Can’t let you have an easy ride this story.”
“I see that I have to stay here with Colonel Hogan and the Kommandant,” Kinch said, reading the new text on the wall.
“That’s right,” Newkirk replied. “You just sit there between the two Colonels and try to stay out of trouble. We’ll go check on Carter.”
“By the way, where is Carter?” LeBeau asked.
Kinch smiled. “He’s in the henhouse,” he replied.
“The what?” Hogan asked.
“The henhouse,” Kinch repeated.
“When in the bloody ‘ell did we get a henhouse?” Newkirk asked.
“This story,” Kinch said, relieved that he was back in some control of the situation.
“Colonel Hogan, I did not give you permission to build a henhouse!” Klink exclaimed.
“Don’t worry, Kommandant,” Kinch reassured the German. “It will be gone after this story. It’s like the well and the brick steps to your office.”
“I wondered where those things went,” LeBeau commented.
“Yes, apparently the author of this story isn’t the only one out there making things appear just to make them fit into their storyline,” Kinch explained.
“Kinch, you are starting to sound like a mouthpiece for this author,” Hogan observed.
Kinch paused, contemplating the statement. He then walked over to the wall and read what he had said. Shaking his head, he turned and walked over to the bench where Baker and Sam were sitting.
“What’s wrong, Kinch?” LeBeau asked
“I quit,” Kinch said as he sat down beside the other prisoners. “I will not become a stooge for this poor excuse of an author.”
“Is this why Baker replaced you in the last season of the television series?” Klink asked.
Hogan stared at Klink. “Kommandant, I didn’t think you noticed,” he said. “You never said anything about it.”
“Hogan, I’m not as dumb as you think I look,” Klink said smugly.
Everyone was silent for a moment, contemplating the Kommandant’s statement. Finally, LeBeau leaned over to Newkirk and whispered, “I don’t think it’s even possible to be that dumb.”
Newkirk snorted, trying to hold back his laughter.
“I heard that, Cockroach,” Klink said. “Don’t you two have a cathouse to visit?”
“Henhouse, Kommandant,” Hogan corrected. “That’s henhouse.”
“Henhouse. Cathouse. What’s the difference?” Klink said dismissively.
Newkirk and LeBeau could not control their laughter as they gave a mock salute and started across the compound. “The biggest difference,” Newkirk told LeBeau, “is that I have no desire to visit a henhouse!” The pair continued their laughter as they rounded the corner of the barracks and disappeared from sight.
Hogan began reading the text on the wall. After a moment, he let out a sigh of relief.
“What are you so relieved about?” Klink asked.
“It seems that I don’t have to end this chapter by saying good grief,” Hogan replied.
“I’ve got news for you, Hogan,” Klink replied. “You just did.”
A pained expression crossed Hogan’s face. “Good grief!” he exclaimed.
Chapter 4: Is Carter eggs-aggerating?
“Louis, did you notice how the last chapter took place in the morning while the first two took place in the evening?” Newkirk asked the Frenchman as they walked towards the camp’s new henhouse.
“Oui, I noticed that,” LeBeau replied. “And now it seems that we are back in the evening.”
“I wonder if the readers noticed it?” Newkirk asked.
Suddenly a voice boomed overhead. They wouldn’t have if you hadn’t pointed it out to them! Both men jumped.
“Blimey,” Newkirk exclaimed. “Who the bloody ‘ell was that?”
“I bet it was that idiot writer,” LeBeau speculated. “He’s probably sore about us picking apart his story all the time.”
“Well too bloody bad!” Newkirk said. “He’s the fool that keeps writing these things.”
The voice boomed again. I’d be careful if I were you – you could be replaced, you know.
Newkirk smiled. “Promises, promises,” he replied.
LeBeau poked Newkirk in the side. “Hey, don’t press your luck,” he said. “Who knows what might be written for us.”
The booming voice began laughing.
Newkirk frowned. “I hate it when you’re right, Louis,” he said. “It makes me wish that I could leave him a review an tell him what I think about this trash that he calls fiction.”
“Why don’t you?” LeBeau asked.
“I might just do that,” Newkirk decided. “But right now, it seems that he wants us to stop talking about him.”
“What makes you say that?” LeBeau asked.
“We’re here in front of the henhouse,” Newkirk pointed out.
LeBeau looked up at the building in front of him. “This is the henhouse?” he asked. “It looks like it’s just the recreation hall with a new sign over the door.”
“I know, you have to remember, we’re dealing with a limited imagination here,” Newkirk said. “Imagine, having a sign over the henhouse door – as if the chickens can read. Come on, let’s of in and get Andrew.”
“And get our eggs back,” LeBeau added.
The two men walked into the henhouse and stopped. They couldn’t believe what they saw. Carter was sitting on a crate in the middle of the room holding a blanket in his hands. He had taken all of the eggs and scattered them around the room.
“Where are the chickens?” LeBeau asked.
“There are no chickens,” Carter replied.
“Then why do we have a henhouse?” Newkirk asked.
“I built it,” Carter replied.
“I think I might regret this,” Newkirk said. “But can I ask why?”
“Because it’s Easter,” Carter replied.
Newkirk was getting a little annoyed by Carter replying all the time. “Andrew, could you do something other than reply to my questions? How about a response, or a comment? I’d even settle for a muse!”
“Sorry,” Carter retorted.
“Yeah, like that,” Newkirk responded. “Now, what does Easter have to do with a henhouse? And think carefully before you reply.”
Carter sighed. “I guess I have to tell you the whole story,” he said.
“That might be nice,” Newkirk agreed.
“It might be nice for the reader too,” LeBeau added. “I’m sure they are just as clueless as we are.”
“But not as clueless as our author,” Newkirk muttered.
“Fellas, can I explain?” Carter asked. Not waiting for a response, he went on, “First, it’s Easter. And what do you see on Easter morning?”
Newkirk opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off as Carter continued.
“Colored eggs. That’s what you see,” Carter explained. “And where to eggs come from? Chickens, that’s where they come from. And where to chickens live? In a henhouse, that’s where they live. Are you with me so far?”
Newkirk gaped at Carter. “I don’t even think I am on the same planet as you,” he uttered.
Carter sighed again. “Where do you think the colored eggs come from?” he asked.
“You take eggs, boil them, and then dip them into a solution of vinegar and water with food coloring added until they are the color you desire,” LeBeau guessed.
“Have you been taking the same electrocution lessons as Sam?” Newkirk asked.
“No,” LeBeau replied. “But remember, it was supposed to be Baker and Sam in this scene. That was Sam’s line.”
“Fellas, do you want to hear the explanation or not?” Carter asked.
“Not really,” Newkirk quipped. “But I have a feeling we will anyway. So where do the colored eggs come from?”
“From the Easter Plot Bunny,” Carter replied.
“Huh?” Newkirk and LeBeau wondered.
“The Easter Plot Bunny,” Carter repeated. “Every Easter, the Great Plot Bunny delivers colored eggs to all the good little boys and girls.”
“I never got any when I was growing up,” LeBeau stated.
“I didn’t either,” Newkirk added. “I think you’re balmy, Andrew.”
“No, you two didn’t get any because you are non-believers,” Carter explained.
“So you’re telling us that there is a secular bunny running around ever Easter, performing illegal acts of breaking and entering just to leave colored eggs,” Newkirk asked.
“I knew you wouldn’t understand,” Carter mumbled. “You don’t even want to hear the whole explanation before you trample over my beliefs.”
Newkirk was silent for a moment. “Sorry, Andrew,” he said. “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”
Carter smiled. “Oh, you didn’t,” he said. “I just said that because I knew it would make you feel bad. But I do think you should hear the entire story before this chapter begins to drift away in a sea of irrelevancy.”
LeBeau looked over at Newkirk. “Another member of the electrocution class,” he commented.
Carter ignored the comment and continued his explanation. “As I said, the Great Plot Bunny leaves colored eggs for all the good little boys and girls that have faith in him,” he said, emphasizing the last part in case Newkirk had another comment. “But that’s not all he leaves. He also leaves nice little chocolates …”
“I’d be careful,” Newkirk butted in. “Those might not be chocolates!”
Carter shot him a severe glance.
LeBeau pointed at Carter. “Wow, that was an excellent example of a severe glance, Andrew,” he said. “You should do that more often.”
Carter shot LeBeau a severe glance.
“No need going overboard, mate,” Newkirk commented. “Just get on with your story.”
Carter let out a sigh. “In addition to the eggs, he leaves little chocolates and other candies, such as jelly beans,” he explained.
“What about those little marshmallow chickens?” Newkirk asked.
“Peeps,” LeBeau corrected.
“Would you two quit interrupting?” Carter exclaimed loudly. “Now I don’t want to hear another peep out of either of you.”
Newkirk and LeBeau looked at each other. “I know we should let Andrew get on with his explanation,” Newkirk said. “But I just have to say that that was probably the worst joke in this story so far.”
“Oiu,” LeBeau agreed. “We’ve really hit a new low.”
Carter looked at his watch impatiently and began explaining again. “But before he can leave the colored eggs, where do you think the Great Plot Bunny gets those eggs from?” he asked.
Newkirk and LeBeau were silent.
“Naturally, you only talk when you are supposed to keep quiet,” Carter complained. “I’ll tell you where he gets them – from chickens. And as I told you earlier, chickens live in henhouses.”
“I have a feeling there’s more to this,” Newkirk whispered to LeBeau.
“You still don’t get it, do you?” Carter asked. “The Great Plot Bunny visits all the henhouses on the eve of Easter, gathering eggs to color and leave for the good little boys and girls. And when he takes those eggs, he always leaves a special treat in the henhouse.”
“So why are you here?” Newkirk asked.
“I am here because I want to tell the Great Plot Bunny how thankful I am for his generosity,” Carter replied.
“That and to get the treat he will leave in the henhouse,” LeBeau added.
“Well … yeah,” Carter agreed.
Newkirk pulled a small book out of his pocket and started leafing through it.
“What’s that?” LeBeau asked.
“I lifted it from Kinch earlier,” Newkirk replied. “I think he got it when he was traipsing around the author’s mind earlier.”
Newkirk held the book so that LeBeau could see the cover. “Peanuts,” the Frenchman said. His eyes widened. “Peanuts! Hey, you don’t think this is …”
“Right on the very first try, mate,” Newkirk replied. “This book should tell us why Carter has turned into a bleedin’ laying hen.”
They leafed through the book, scanning for something relevant.
“Boy, that bald headed kid is stupid,” LeBeau commented. “How many times does he have to fall on his behind before he realizes that the mean little girl is always going to pull the football away from him and not let him kick it?”
“So do you think the author meant to have Klink represent the bald headed boy in this story?” LeBeau asked.
Before Newkirk could answer, the door to the henhouse opened and Klink stuck his head in. “I just want you to know that I resent that,” he said. “Not only because both of us are bald, but because of the seeming representation of me, as Kommandant, always falling for Colonel Hogan’s schemes.”
Klink was suddenly pushed from the doorway and Hochstetter entered the henhouse.
“What are you doing here Major?” Newkirk asked.
Hochstetter pointed to his sleeve. The letters ‘PC’ had replaced the swastika on the armband. “I am the political correctness police for this story,” he replied.
“The what?” Klink asked.
“Political correctness police,” Hochstetter repeated. “And I am here to inform you that the use of the term bald to describe someone with thinning hair is prohibited.”
“And just what are we supposed to say?” Newkirk asked.
“The person is follically challenged,” Hochstetter explained. “And failure to use the correct term will result in me throwing you all in the cooler.”
“Major, you can’t do that,” Klink said.
“Klink!” Hochstetter bellowed. “Are you arguing with me?”
“Yes, actually,” Klink replied. “You can’t throw anyone in the cooler right now.”
“Why not?” Hochstetter asked.
“It’s full,” Klink replied. “I’ve thrown a bunch of the fiction authors in the cooler so that they would finish their stories.”
“What about solitary?” Hochstetter asked. “Can I throw someone in there?”
“No, I got a special case in there,” Klink explained. “A pair of authors who need to get their confidence back.”
“Bah!” Hochstetter screamed. He stopped and shook his head. “I hate it when this author can’t think of anything else for me to say.”
“Join the club,” LeBeau said.
“Major Hochstetter, what would happen if I said chrome dome instead of bald?” Newkirk asked. “Would you shoot me?”
Hochstetter began laughing. “You’re kidding,” he said. “That would be a reward!”
“Fellas,” Carter said, clearing his throat. “Can we get back to the story?”
“Oh, right,” Klink said. “Wolfgang, what do you say we go call General Burkhalter and see if we can trick him into joining in on all this …” Klink looked around with a sour looking expression. “Fun.”
“Ja, good idea,” Hochstetter agreed.
As the two men walked out the door, Klink asked, “So what would be the politically correct term for a man of the General’s stature? Dietetically challenged?”
Hochstetter chuckled. “No, actually he would just be known as a bad tempered fat man,” he said.
The door closed and Newkirk and LeBeau turned their attention back to the book. “Now where were we?” Newkirk asked, hurriedly flipping the pages.
“Wait,” LeBeau said. “What’s this here? A little boy carrying a blanket and sitting in a field with … what are those, pumpkins?”
They hurriedly read the page and turned to the next. After a few pages, Newkirk slammed the book shut. “Just as I thought,” he said.
“What?” Carter asked from he crate.
“Andrew, you are acting like a boy named Linus,” Newkirk explained.
“A boy named Sinus?” Carter asked. “What kind of a name is Sinus?”
“Not Sinus, you twit,” Newkirk admonished. “Linus. It says here that every Halloween, he goes to the pumpkin patch and waits for the Great Pumpkin to come with candy for all the good little boys and girls.”
“Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?” LeBeau asked.
“Yeah, so what?” Carter asked defiantly.
“It means that you don’t have to waste your time with this nonsense,” Newkirk replied.
“It’s not nonsense to me,” Carter replied defiantly.
‘Look, Andrew, you don’t have to keep being defiant,” Newkirk observed. “We’re just trying to save you the trouble of staying in the rec hall overnight
“Henhouse,” Carter corrected.
“I have a feeling it will be a rec hall again tomorrow,” Newkirk said.
“I see what you are trying to do,” Carter said. “You are persecuting me because I have different beliefs than you. You’re all chummy with me until I express a different belief than you and then you just want to …”
“Hold it right there!” LeBeau screamed. “All right, you idiot writer. Where are you?” He hurriedly looked around the room. “I know where you are heading with this, and I’m not going to let you do it.”
“Hey, calm down, Louis,” Newkirk said soothingly.
“Peter, there’s no need for you to try to be soothing,” LeBeau replied. “I’m not going to let this guy do this to us.”
“Do what?” Carter asked.
“Just because it’s Easter, he thinks that he can make Carter into a martyr,” LeBeau fumed. “It’s totally inappropriate, and I’m not going to let him do it!”
“Louis, let’s just get this chapter over with and move on,” Newkirk said.
“No, I will not let him get away with it!” LeBeau screamed.
The door to the henhouse opened and Colonel Hogan walked in. “What’s all the screaming for?” he asked.
“Louis is angry at our idiot writer,” Newkirk replied.
“Who isn’t?” Hogan responded, looking around the room. “What are all these eggs doing on the floor?”
“I put them there, Colonel,” Carter replied.
Hogan looked at Newkirk and LeBeau, who both shrugged. “Are you planning on hatching them yourself?” Hogan asked Carter.
“I’m not going to hatch them, sir,” Carter replied.
“No, he’s trying to catch a rabbit,” Newkirk joked.
“A what?” Hogan asked.
“I’m waiting for the Great Plot Bunny,” Carter said.
Hogan muttered something and then suddenly his eyes went wide. He clamped his mouth shut and looked around to make sure no one had heard him.
“Colonel, what is it?” Newkirk asked.
“He said goose grease,” carter said.
Hogan shook his head.
“Colonel, what’s this about goose grease?” LeBeau asked. “We’re in a henhouse – all you’ll get here is chicken fat.”
Hogan kept shaking his head.
“Why did you say goose grease, Colonel?” Carter asked.
A pained expression crossed Hogan’s face as he said, “I didn’t. I said good grief.”
Chapter 5: The Merciful End
Hogan emerged from his office putting on his jacket. “Come on, rise and shine,” he said cheerfully.
Newkirk yawned as he sat up in his bunk. “What are you so cheerful about this morning, Colonel?” he asked.
“It’s Easter, Newkirk,” Hogan replied.
“Oh happy days,” Newkirk replied sarcastically.
“I have a feeling it will be, Newkirk,” Hogan responded. “I believe that this stupid story is drawing to a close.”
LeBeau groaned. “Thanks for reminding me,” he complained. “I had forgotten we were suffering.”
“Where are Kinch and Carter?” Hogan asked, looking at their empty bunks.
“Carter never came back last night,” Newkirk replied, jumping down from his bunk. “And Kinch is still sitting outside the barracks.”
“Still?” Hogan asked. “I thought he was joking when he said he quit.”
“Apparently not,” LeBeau said. “Hey, what’s that on the table?”
Everyone looked at the table. The basket was still sitting in the middle of the table, but it was now full of colored eggs and little bits of candy.
“Blimey,” exclaimed Newkirk. “Carter was right!”
At that moment, Carter entered the barracks carrying a plate. “Hi guys,” he said dejectedly.
“Andrew, you were right,” Newkirk repeated. “The Great Plot Bunny was here and left you your colored eggs and candy.”
“Oh joy,” Carter moped.
“What’s wrong?” LeBeau asked. “I thought you were looking forward to this.”
“I was,” Carter replied. “But I fell asleep last night, and when I woke up, the eggs were gone. I missed the Great Plot Bunny.”
“Didn’t he leave you a treat?” Newkirk asked.
“Yes, he did,” Carter answered.
“So what did he leave you?” Newkirk asked. “Chocolate? Candy?”
Carter shook his head sadly. “No, he left me these,” he said, putting the plate on the table.
“Scrambled eggs?” LeBeau asked. “He left you scrambled eggs?”
“Yeah, I don’t understand it,” Carter replied. “I did everything right.”
Hogan walked over to Carter and clapped him on the shoulder. “Don’t let it bother you, Carter,” he said. “Remember, nothing ever makes sense in these stories.”
“But I thought this time would be different,” Carter complained. “I thought it would be a good story.”
Newkirk grinned at his friend. “I think there was a better chance of you meeting the Great Plot Bunny than that happening,” he said.
“That’s right,” LeBeau chimed in. “To have a good story, you have to have a good writer.”
“Thanks for trying to cheer me up, guys,” Carter said. “You might as well have some eggs.”
At that moment, they heard a commotion outside the door of the barracks. Hogan walked over and opened the door. He found that Baker and Vladimir were having a heated argument.
“Black!” Vladimir said.
“No, Brown!” Baker corrected.
“I’m telling you, Black,” Vladimir insisted.
“Look, Sam, I know Black. And it’s not Black,” Baker argued.
“Baker, Vladimir is right,” Hogan said. “It’s Black.”
Baker was about to continue the argument when they saw a contingent of prisoners walking in their direction. “What’s this?” Hogan asked.
The group had reached the barracks, and the leader of the group did not look happy. “Why are we having this argument again?” she asked crossly.
“What argument?” Hogan asked.
“These two,” the leader said, motioning towards Vladimir and Baker. “They are having the black/brown argument again.”
“Yes, what’s it to you?” Hogan asked warily.
“And you, you actually agreed that it was black!” the leader exclaimed.
“Of course I did,” Hogan agreed. “That’s because Black is correct.”
The leader glared crossly at Hogan and pointed at his jacket. “You call this black?” she said.
“No,” Hogan answered. “I call it my jacket.”
The leader let out an annoyed huff. “And you think your jacket is black?” she asked.
“Of course not,” Hogan replied. “Anyone with eyes can see that it’s brown.”
“Um, Colonel,” Newkirk interrupted. “There are some color vision impaired people that might not be able to make that distinction.”
“Color vision impaired people?” LeBeau asked. “Why are you calling them that?”
“Because I don’t want Hochstetter to come back,” Newkirk answered. “He’s bad enough when he’s Gestapo and now he’s joined the political correctness police.”
“Oiu, he’s ever more insufferable now,” LeBeau agreed.
“Wait, can we get back to the jacket here?” the group leader asked. She turned to Hogan. “If you think it’s brown, then why did you say it was black?”
“I never did say it was black,” Hogan insisted.
“You did too!” the leader countered. “Right as we walked up, you agreed with Vladimir that it was black.”
“Of course I agreed with Vladimir,” Hogan said. “He’s right, it is Black.”
“So you think your jacket is black?” she asked.
“No, I think it’s brown,” Hogan said.
“So Vladimir can’t be right,” she countered.
“But Vladimir is right,” Hogan insisted again.
“How can Vladimir be right?” she asked. “He says your jacket is black, and you say it’s brown. And yet you keep insisting he is right?”
Vladimir opened his mouth to speak, but Hogan motioned him to silence. “I think you are arguing under a very great misunderstanding here, my dear.”
The group leader’s brow furrowed in confusion.
“You see, Baker and Vladimir were not arguing about the color of my jacket,” Hogan said.
“What are they arguing about?” she asked.
“You see, a few weeks ago, my jacket turned up missing,” Hogan explained. “And Sergeant Evan Black was the person who found it. Baker thinks it was Sergeant Dirk Brown.”
“Oh,” the leader said. “I guess everything’s all right then – as long as you are trying to tell people your jacket is black.”
“I know better than that,” Hogan said, smiling at her.
“Well then, we’ll be going,” she said.
“Wait!” Hogan said. “We’ve got some colored eggs inside, and I was thinking of asking LeBeau if he could whip us up some egg salad. Would you care to join us for some Easter egg salad?”
The leader looked at the rest of her group, who were all nodding their acceptance. “We’d be much obliged. Thank you!”
Hogan watched as everyone filed into the barracks. When the last person was in, he looked over and saw Kinch still sitting on the bench. “Kinch, are you coming?” he asked.
“No,” Kinch replied.
“But the story is over, Kinch,” Hogan said. “It’s safe to come back.”
Kinch shook his head. “But the story is not over yet, Colonel,” he replied.
Hogan’s brow furrowed with concern. “What do you mean?” he asked.
Kinch stood up and walked towards the reader. “I’d like to say that I am sorry that you had to suffer through reading this terrible story, with all of its bad jokes and terribly irrelevant side tracks.” He paused and then shrugged. “I’d like to say that, but the idiot writer won’t let me. Instead, he wants me to pass this message along to you.” He pulled a small piece of paper out of his pocket and started reading.
“For those of you who are so religiously inclined, I’d like to wish you a very Happy Easter. For those who do not observe the holiday, I’d like to wish you a very Happy Spring. And for those of you who have been enjoying summer, I’d like to wish you a very Happy Fall.”
Kinch folded the paper and put it back in his pocket.
“That’s it?” Hogan asked.
“Yes, that’s it,” Kinch replied.
“That was a pretty pathetic message,” Hogan commented.
“I agree,” Kinch responded. “But I didn’t want to try to argue. I wanted to give him no opportunity to drag this story on any longer than absolutely necessary.”
“Well, it didn’t work,” Hogan observed. “We’re still prattling on about things.” He smiled. “So let’s stop prattling and go get some egg salad before it’s all gone.”
As Kinch walked back towards the barracks, Hogan asked, “So now that the story is over, what was the terrible thing that would happen if you told us what was going to happen in this story?”
Kinch stopped and looked at the main gate. A staff car was entering the camp. “That,” he said, pointing at the car.
Hogan watched the car stop in front of the Kommandant’s office and General Burkhalter emerge from the back seat. “General Burkhalter is the bad thing that would happen?” he asked.
“No, not just that,” Kinch replied. “He’s here to get this.” Kinch removed something from his pocket and dangled it in the air for Hogan to see.
Hogan looked at the object Kinch was holding and winced. In Kinch’s hand was a small piece of fabric with a label on it – the label read Speedo.
“Good grief!” Hogan exclaimed.
Text and original characters copyright 2005 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.