Professor Hogan's History of the World: Revised
Linda Groundwater

Papa Bear Awards 20062006 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Comedy

Papa Bear Awards 20062006 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Original Character - Smallwood

Papa Bear Awards 20062006 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Portrayal of a Canon Character - Colonel Hogan

Chapter One

Mixed Missions


“Colonel Hogan, I must insist that you exercise better control over your men. Their behavior this morning was disgraceful.”

Colonel Robert Hogan, US Army Air Corps, stood before the Kommandant of the prisoner of war camp in Germany where he was senior officer, and shrugged. “I’m sorry, Colonel Klink, but you just looked so dapper standing there in your dress coat! Was that real fur, sir?”

“Yes, it was real fur,” Klink began smugly. “I got it for an absolutely marvelous price when I— Hogannn,” Klink cut himself off, realizing he had been caught in his own self-interest and had allowed himself to be dragged off the subject, “catcalls are not required from the prisoners on any occasion.” Wilhelm Klink shook his head. “And I don’t want to know where Corporal Newkirk learned to make that sound.”

Hogan grinned, then tried to look serious. “I understand, Kommandant. I’ll have a talk with them after morning calisthenics. By the way, the men want to know if you can get some new footballs from the Red Cross.”

“The prisoners already have footballs, Colonel.”

“Yeah, but the ol’ pigskin is looking more like pig than skin, sir. And we wanted to hold an Army-Navy game in two weeks. Although with us,” he added, chuckling, “it’ll be more like an Air Corps-Air Corps game.”


Klink shook his head. “You Americans and your foolish games. When will you realize that this gridiron will never catch on?”

“Well, we need to find something to occupy ourselves. And what better way to get out our aggressions than to tackle someone? I tell the men to pretend they’re facing the Germans; that usually helps toughen up the games up bit. Of course,” Hogan added, starting to laugh gently, “whoever’s playing the Nazis always loses—” He stopped as he noticed Klink starting to cook under his collar. “Sorry, sir. Poor taste. Do you play sports, Kommandant? I know you always carry your riding crop—did you do competition riding?”

“No, I was a stable boy,” Klink answered through gritted teeth, looking away. Then, recovering, he said, “I’ll have you know, Hogan, that my main interest when I was younger was cars. German manufacturers came up with some of the most brilliant cars of their day. I ran an Opel Doktorwagen,” Klink said, starting to warm to his subject full of memories. “Oh, it was expensive, but I had saved my money and I was determined. Two seats, retractable bonnet, one of the finest automobiles of its time, Hogan.”

Hogan nodded vaguely. “Uh huh,” he said, only half-hearing the Kommandant. His eye was attracted to a small piece of pottery on Klink’s desk. “What’s this?” he said, picking it up and fingering it with interest.

Klink stood up and snatched the chipped piece of work away from the American. “That is a piece of German history, Hogan.” Hogan raised his eyebrows. “It is a vase made during the Iron Age and was found right here in this country.”

“So how did you get it?”

“I have a friend in the antique business,” Klink crowed proudly, stroking the piece proudly. “He gave it to me as a gesture of friendship.”

Hogan frowned. “That isn’t an antique; it’s an artifact!” Hogan protested. “It should be in a museum.”

Klink waved his hand dismissively. “No, Hogan, it is mine. Look at the fine work, the attention to detail! And the beautiful terra sigalatta slip,” he said authoritatively.

Hogan shook his head. “What does that mean?” he asked.

Klink abruptly deflated. “I have no idea,” he answered. “Now get out, Hogan; I have things to do. Just make sure your men confine themselves to more dignified ways of showing me their admiration!”

Hogan nodded and headed for the door. “Right, sir. I’ll make sure they keep it down to a dull roar and an occasional whistle.” He offered Klink an off-handed salute and disappeared.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan was handed a clipboard as he entered Barracks Two, where he shared his living space with fourteen other men. “Message from the Underground, Colonel.”

Hogan sighed as he accepted the offering from Sergeant James Kinchloe. Kinch was Hogan’s “radio man,” the one who always picked up information from Allied High Command back in London, or details from the local Resistance. As head of a sabotage and intelligence unit working from right within the Stalag 13 prison camp, Hogan counted on a small group of men to help him keep the Nazis on their toes. He knew the familiar words Kinch uttered now meant he was doing his job well. And that they were about to get busy.

Hogan read the note to himself, then turned to the others. “Two escaped prisoners from Stalag 7 are coming into camp tomorrow night in the dog truck.”

“Gee, Colonel, we’re supposed to be going out to collect anyone who bails out from tonight’s bombing raid.” Sergeant Andrew Carter, probably the most amenable person Hogan had ever met, spoke up in mild protest. “It’s going to get really crowded in the tunnel.”

“Not to mention the poor chap who’s already down there now, waiting for his chance to get out,” piped up RAF Corporal Peter Newkirk.

“Well, if they can take it, we can,” Hogan answered. “We’ll just have to make sure we keep the Krauts out of the picture for as long as possible.” He turned to the little Frenchman who had been listening with interest. “Think Chez Louis can handle the extra load, Le Beau?”

Le Beau nodded agreeably. “Oui, Colonel. It won’t be a problem. I just had Schultz go to the green grocer’s for me yesterday. We have a lot of fresh food at the moment. But if he starts to wonder why I am out so soon, I will count on all of you to act like you are very, very full!”

Hogan grinned. “I’m sure we can manage, Louis. You can make a gourmet feast out of an omelet and a can of Spam.”

Le Beau shuddered. “Do not say that word to me—Spam is not food. It is an insult to the palette.”

Hogan’s eyes took on a new light. He loved Le Beau’s passion for food; it often matched his passion for women! “And it keeps thousands of men alive across Germany.”

“They might exist, but if they are eating only Spam they are not truly alive.”

Hogan nodded, accepting his defeat gracefully. “Okay,” he said, turning back to the work at hand. “We’ll have to keep careful track of the Krauts. We’re going to have a full house here and we can’t afford any slipups.”

“Kraut car, Colonel,” Carter suddenly said from the door.

Hogan straightened as a frown passed over his face. “Are we expecting anyone?” he asked, coming beside Carter to peer outside.

Kinch shook his head. “No one on the itinerary that we know of, Colonel.”

Carter squinted to see clear across the compound as the car came to a halt. “It’s Burkhalter.”

“Has the problem with the bug in Klink’s office been taken care of?” Hogan asked. A visit to the camp by General Albert Burkhalter was bound to have ramifications for Hogan and his men, usually because of some impact it would have on Klink.

“Sure has, Colonel; it was just a loose wire,” Kinch said.

“Then there’s no reason not to listen in. I love a good soap opera.” Hogan led the way into his quarters and pulled out the coffee pot they stored under his desk. He pulled the top off the contraption as Kinch plugged it in, and a red light on the pot came on. Soon Klink’s voice came all-too-clearly through the filter speaker. Hogan’s men gathered around him as the Colonel sat on the stool at the desk, listening intently.

“Ah, General Burkhalter, what an unexpected pleasure, sir!” Klink was groveling.

Hogan shook his head. No matter how many times he heard it, Klink’s bowing and scraping never ceased to amaze him.

“It wasn’t unexpected, Klink. I told you I was coming today.”

“Oh, of course you are right, General.”

“Or are you suggesting, perhaps, that you were not expecting to be pleased to see me?”

Hogan let a smile lift the corners of his lips. Somehow he couldn’t help but enjoy when Burkhalter teased Klink. The General had to know what kind of tizzy his taunting would send Klink into as he scrambled to recover.

“No, no, of course not, General,” Klink stammered. “I am always expecting to see you—I mean pleased to see you. I mean—” Klink cut himself off. “Would you care for a cigar, General?”

Hogan mentally gave Klink credit for realizing he was sounding like an idiot and actually doing something about it.

He changed his mind at Burkhalter’s sardonic reply. “Thank you. But I already have one.”

Burkhalter sat in front of Klink’s desk as the Kommandant sank into his chair. “Klink, two officers is coming to Stalag 13 with a visitor the day after tomorrow on very critical business.”

“Critical business—yes, Herr General. What is it they need to discuss with me?”

“They don’t need you at all, Klink. They will be coming to this camp because it is considered a secure area, while still being close to all the… amenities… of the nearby town.”

Hogan snorted. “Amenities. He means women.”

Newkirk shook his head. “Poor frauleins at the Hoffbrau won’t know what hit ’em.”

 “After encountering some of the Germans, even you’ll seem as safe to them as nuns in a convent, Newkirk.”

As the Germans continued talking, Hogan and his men lapsed back into concentrated silence. “The comfort of the guest these men will have with them is of the utmost importance. This meeting is top secret, and security is a priority. I will expect you to have extra guards on duty, and the Gestapo will be here tomorrow to secure the area and make sure that everything runs smoothly,” Burkhalter declared.

“Of course, General Burkhalter. I will cancel all passes. There will be no problems.”

Hogan slammed a hand down on the desk. “No problems for you,” he said, though the Germans couldn’t answer him. “But we’ve got a doozy.”

“Colonel, how are we gonna get past extra guards plus the Gestapo?” asked Newkirk.

Hogan raised a hand to get the men quiet again as Klink asked, “May I ask, General, what this meeting is about?”

“Yeah, what’s it about?” Hogan put in from his quarters.

“A British scientist named Desmond Smallwood has contacted us, Klink, with a proposal of possibly immense benefit to us. It seems the Allies have developed a logic calculator designed to break German code. If we can convince him to share that information, it would mean we can lead the Allies a merry chase with whatever information we decide to give them, while we do something else!”

“So the Germans could feed the Allies false information, and while we’re chasing rainbows, they’re out doing whatever they wanted to in the first place—with us completely unprepared!” Hogan declared.

“He must be handled delicately. We already know that it would not be wise to try to force the information from him. That often backfires, and in this case I have been assured that it would be fruitless.”

When Burkhalter left, Hogan grimly closed up the coffee pot and put it back under the desk. “How do you like that?” he declared, disgusted.

“Wow,” Carter said, understated for once.

“Colonel, that could cause some real trouble. Our fellas wouldn’t know what hit them if the Krauts get details about a code-breaker,” Newkirk said.

“Yeah, they could tell us anything, and we wouldn’t know whether to believe it!” Kinch added.

“We can’t let that happen. We’ve gotta find a way to get this man before he spills the beans. We’re gonna have to take him,” Hogan said. “Kinch, radio London. Tell them about Desmond Smallwood, and see what they can tell us about this code-breaking machine.”

“Right Colonel.” Kinch disappeared.

“But Colonel, Burkhalter said there will be Gestapo, and extra guards from the camp,” Le Beau reminded him.

Hogan nodded grimly. “That’ll just add to the challenge.”

“Colonel, how’re we going to get those fellas in from the dog truck tomorrow?” Carter asked.

Oui, and what about the men we are supposed to collect tonight?” Le Beau added.

Hogan looked at his loyal men, knowing that as easy as the statement he was to make sounded, that it really meant they would be putting their lives at risk, again, in ways that most people could only imagine. “Everything goes on as scheduled. We’ll just have to be careful.”

Chapter Two

Plots and Pottery


Hogan dropped off the last rung of the ladder that led to the tunnel system under the barracks and stood beside Kinch, who was just signing off on the radio.

“How’d you go?” Hogan asked as Kinch finished writing.

Kinch shook his head in wonder. “It’s a big one, Colonel. London says Burkhalter must be talking about Colossus.”


“It’s a programmable, electronic machine designed to break the German communication codes using the Baudot code—at five thousand characters a second.”

Hogan’s eyebrows shot up as he let out a low whistle. “That could mean the difference between life and death for a lot of our boys. Imagine the speed if a machine decodes instead of a man!”

“It was developed at the Post Office research labs in London. Smallwood was in on some of the top-level stuff but disappeared about a month ago, and it’s made them pretty nervous. Now they know why. Colossus is top secret and not yet complete, and London is anxious that the Germans not get any more information about it. They say it could mean an early end to the war if it’s kept safe. They want us to stop Smallwood at all costs.”

Hogan nodded. “I can see why,” he muttered.

“So how are we going to do it, Colonel?”

Hogan crossed his arms and started pacing back and forth in the small space, a habit Kinch had gotten used to over his time with the Colonel. He watched quietly as Hogan’s mind started working along with his feet. “The Gestapo is going to be hanging all over Smallwood. If they have any inkling what kind of information he’s carrying, they won’t be anxious to let him out of their sight. We have to give them something else to concentrate on so we can get near him ourselves.”

“All this with a couple of flyers coming in tomorrow, and whoever we pick up tonight!”

“One crisis at a time, Kinch. Just one crisis at a time.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“Wow, Colonel, full house,” Carter declared late that night. “How’re we gonna keep six guys down in the tunnel until the Gestapo is gone? And what about the ones coming tomorrow?”

Carter wiped the black off his face as Hogan poured a cup of old coffee at the stove in the common room. He, Newkirk, and Le Beau had done well that night, gathering in five Allied flyers who would otherwise have ended up in enemy hands. They were all from the same bomber and grateful for the intervention, but as bewildered as most to be brought to safety inside a German POW camp. Hogan had greeted them and made sure they were given all the comforts of a home-away-from-home, Stalag 13-style, and then come back upstairs for the night, still trying to formulate a plan to get these men, and the two still to come, out of the camp, while trying to get past the Germans to the British scientist who was considering trading some of the most important secrets of the World War Two to the enemy.

“You ask tough questions, Carter,” Hogan answered. “And at this point I have no idea what the answers are.”

Le Beau watched Hogan, concerned. Their commanding officer always had an idea. There was always a way out, always. “You will think of them, Colonel. We have never failed yet.”

Hogan sighed. “Yet. That’s the operative word. With Klink bucking for a promotion, who knows what lengths he’ll go to, to look important to Berlin. It’s no secret that both sides are working on code-breakers. But this one is so big it could turn the war in the Germans’ favor if they get it. We have to stop it from getting into their hands. And we have to get Smallwood away from them before he talks… even if it means eliminating him.” Hogan nodded toward his men. “I’m gonna go have a think about this. We can’t afford to mess this one up. Goodnight.”

The group bade Hogan goodnight and then started to settle in themselves. “The gov’nor’s not himself tonight,” Newkirk observed.

“He’s pretty upset about this scientist,” Kinch said. “The idea of someone selling out a secret as important as Colossus really gets to him.”

“Let me get me hands on that filthy traitor for five minutes, and the Colonel wouldn’t have to worry about any secrets getting out,” Newkirk declared, getting hot under the collar himself. “It’s not British, what he’s planning to do!”

“I’m American and it bothers me!” Carter put in.

“And to top it off, we’re gonna have two more fellas coming in tomorrow while the camp is crawling with Krauts. And that will make a total of eight to look after—if we can get them in without being spotted,” Kinch said.

“It’s going to get crowded pretty fast down there,” Newkirk admitted.

Mon Colonel will come up with a plan,” Le Beau insisted. “He is very clever.”

“The Colonel mentioned eliminating the scientist—is he talking about what I think he’s talking about?”

“Assassination?” Kinch asked. Carter nodded. “If we have to. But it’s not our style. The Colonel won’t like it. But he’ll do it if he has to.”

“Well I hope we don’t, Kinch,” Newkirk answered. “Otherwise, I’m going to find it pretty hard to sleep from now on.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan’s men groaned as their commanding officer nudged or prodded each of them into wakefulness at some ungodly hour of the night. It became clear to them as they stumbled into his office that he had not gone to sleep at all. His bed was still untouched, and papers littered the floor around his desk.

“Okay I’ve got it,” Hogan said simply.

“I knew you would, Colonel,” said Carter, already warming up his patter. “Louis said it last night—if there’s a problem, Colonel Hogan will—”

“Carter,” Hogan said, rubbing his eyes tiredly. Carter stopped talking. “We’re gonna need a distraction—I mean a big one, and I think I know just the thing to do it. Kinch, radio the Underground and see what kind of information you can get about archaeological findings here in Germany, particularly Iron Age ruins. We need pictures and details, and we need them fast.”

Kinch screwed up his face in a look of confusion but nodded anyway. “Yes, sir.”

“Carter, Newkirk—you two are going to volunteer for cleaning duty in Klink’s office first thing in the morning. You need to get a good look at a vase he’s got on his desk. It’s from an excavation site here in Germany and it belongs in a museum. We’re going to need to copy it and make some things in a similar style.”

“Right, Colonel,” Newkirk said, exchanging dubious glances with Carter.

“Le Beau, I need you to get moving in getting some pottery clay together. I’ll draw you a general sketch to start with till we get some photos and more accurate drawings. Get Olsen to help you. We need to start firing some pieces right away.”

Le Beau furrowed his brow questioningly. “Oui, Colonel. Colonel, what are we doing?”

Hogan paused in his planning. “Did you boys know that Stalag 13 is built on top of Iron Age ruins?” The men shifted and murmured to themselves in disbelief. “Neither did I, until I decided it a few minutes ago. Germans are very proud of their history and heritage, right?” Hogan asked. The quartet agreed. “So we’re going to give them a little more reason to be proud—their very own archaeological find, right here under their feet.” Everyone started talking at once. Hogan put up his hands to stop them. “Hold it, hold it!” he ordered. When they fell silent, he continued. “If we plant a few things conveniently away on the opposite side of the camp near the fence, and we can convince the Germans they’ve discovered a brand new Iron Age village, they’re bound to close off the area and surround it—with guards.”

Newkirk nodded slowly, starting to understand. “And if the guards are near the site, they won’t be watching Smallwood….”

“Or the dog pen?” Kinch added tentatively.

Hogan nodded, satisfied. “Now you’ve got it. They won’t all go, but we can at least bring the odds a bit more into our favor.”

Newkirk shook his head. “Blimey,” he said with a small smile. “It takes a bleedin’ devious mind to come up with stuff like this, gov’nor.”

Hogan grinned. “Thank you,” he replied. Now, let’s get the boys to start digging. Where don’t we have anything to worry about?”

“There’s nothing out from Barracks Ten, Colonel,” Kinch said. “It’s in the opposite direction to town and too far away from the dog pen and the main gate.”

Hogan nodded agreement. “That’ll do nicely. Now let’s get moving; we don’t have a lot of time. Those guys from the Iron Age had centuries—we’ve got hours.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Newkirk’s broom swept wide and carelessly along the floor of Klink’s office, stirring up dirt more than gathering it. Carter carefully stroked everything on Klink’s desk with his dust cloth, picking up and putting down each item as he worked his way across the surface. When he got to a certain piece of reddish ceramic pottery, he worked just as meticulously, glancing over his shoulder to see that his companion had shut the door behind them and was leaning against it to make sure no one dropped in unexpectedly. He quickly pulled out a tiny camera from inside his jacket pocket and snapped a couple of shots of the vase, turning it once or twice to make sure he got all the design and shape. When he was done he gestured to Newkirk to take a good look at it, and Newkirk nodded as he studied the strokes and the textures, ready to do one of the best forgeries of his career. The broom didn’t stand a chance of getting used now.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan was checking Le Beau and Olsen’s progress down in the tunnels when Kinch came up to him with a note. “Underground, Colonel,” Kinch said, handing Hogan the small piece of blue paper.

Hogan took it and nodded, reading. At first quite stern, his features slowly took on a look of being pleasantly surprised, and then of another look that Kinch had gotten used to seeing: plotting. “So we’ll have pictures tonight. Fantastic,” Hogan said.

Le Beau looked up from the shaping he was doing. “Good news, Colonel?”

“Yeah,” Hogan said, starting a very slow pace. He tapped the note absentmindedly against his other hand. “The Underground has people who are actually connected with an Iron Age excavation site at Heuneburg. They’re going to send photographs of the items they’ve been working with—all from the Iron Age, like in Klink’s office.”

“That is fantastic, Colonel,” Le Beau replied, studying the photos from Klink’s office again. “Then we can copy more than one type of pattern.”

“That’s right,” Hogan said, clearly still thinking. “And… I think I just came up with a way to get our guests out of camp. Kinch, can we get back in touch with the Underground?”

Chapter Three



Hogan’s men watched as the black staff car and the truck rolled into the compound.

“Here they come,” Carter observed.

“Yeah, they always know how to ruin your day,” Newkirk added. He watched as Major Wolfgang Hochstetter got out of the car and spoke to the six men who emerged from the truck. The men immediately dispersed, and Hochstetter went up the stairs to Klink’s office.

“There goes the neighborhood,” Hogan sighed. “Let’s listen in on what he plans to do.”

The trio headed back inside. “Carter, watch the door,” Hogan ordered. He moved into his office and pulled out the coffee pot again. Newkirk settled in beside him.

Hochstetter was already in full swing by the time Hogan switched on the listening device. “—will surround this camp with a ring of steel! No one in, no one out!” he was saying. “My men are conducting a thorough inspection of this camp now, and more will arrive tomorrow to ensure the safety of our dear Mr. Smallwood.”

“Great,” Hogan muttered under his breath.

“Of course, we here at Stalag 13 will do whatever we can to help maintain the tightest security, Major Hochstetter,” Klink said.

“Good, then you will understand when I tell you to stay out of my way,” Hochstetter growled. “The Gestapo will have things well in hand. We expect you and your guards to keep your prisoners under control; we will handle the security of the scientist. And if we do not get the help we need, Klink, then we will also handle you.”

Klink laughed nervously. “You know we will be up to our usual efficiency!” he tittered.

“Then I’d better bring in more guards.” Hochstetter paused. “Where is Colonel Hogan today?” he asked.

“I believe he’s in the barracks,” Klink answered.

Hogan raised an eyebrow and straightened. Newkirk frowned.

“He is not to be given access to Smallwood for any reason. Do you understand this, Klink?”

“Absolutely, Major. No access.”

“We will have enough trouble making sure everything goes smoothly without Hogan’s interfering.”

“I resent that!” Hogan protested. “I don’t interfere; I connive!”

“Only with the best of intentions,” Newkirk added.

“That’s right,” Hogan added: “Ours.”

Klink had continued assuring the Major that Hogan would be kept away from Smallwood, and Hochstetter gave orders regarding the placement and actions of the camp’s guards, then stormed out of the office, leaving the usual hurricane in his wake. Hogan unplugged the coffee pot and sighed. “Just one more problem to add to the pile. The last person I wanted here was the Gestapo weasel. Well,” he said, standing up, “we can only hope he’ll fall into the trap we’re setting for the others. I’ll have to give him some special treatment, as a thank you for the endorsement he just gave Klink.”

Hogan and Newkirk went back out into the main room. Carter turned around. “Hochstetter’s leaving, Colonel. What’s he up to?”

“Oh, nothing special. Just exuding his usual charm,” Hogan answered.

Carter gulped. “Oh. That bad, huh?”

Hogan forced on a lopsided smile. “Don’t worry, Carter,” he said, putting an arm around the Sergeant’s shoulder. “We’ll get around him. Let’s see how our artists are doing.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

The touch of Hogan’s hand on Kinch’s shoulder woke the radio man late that night. Kinch sat up and rubbed his eyes as he look at his commanding officer in his black face paint and dark clothing, ready to head out. He asked in a whisper if Hogan wanted him to accompany the Colonel, but Hogan just shook his head no and smiled grimly, replying only, “Too many goons,” before tripping the latch that exposed the tunnel under Kinch’s bunk.

“Good luck,” Kinch said after Hogan, as the Colonel’s head disappeared down the ladder.

Hogan passed the escaped flyers sleeping spread out on cots and blankets in the tunnel, nodding reassuringly at one man who woke up as Hogan passed. “Can’t do without my midnight stroll,” he quipped in a hushed voice. The young man’s worried face melted into a grin, and Hogan continued on.

The cover of the emergency tunnel opened cautiously as Hogan’s eyes scanned the immediate area for any signs of German activity. The lid slammed abruptly as a searchlight from the camp’s watchtowers passed by. Then it opened again slowly and Hogan emerged and slipped into the darkness.

A short time later Hogan found himself waiting by the side of the road, flashlight in one hand, gun in the other. He glanced at his watch for the fourth time in ten minutes and waited. At last a car came slowly down the road, flashing its lights in an odd pattern. Hogan raised his flashlight and returned contact with his part of the agreed signal, and the car came to a slow stop. Hogan lowered his light and emerged. He came around to driver’s side of the car and a man quickly handed him a large envelope. “These are the pictures you needed, Colonel,” the contact said.

Hogan took the parcel and buried it in his clothing. “This is faster service than I get at the drug store.”

The contact smiled. “There is also much information in there about the site being excavated at Heuneburg. They have found much out there that may be of use to you.”

“Thanks,” Hogan said. “I’ll be studying it tonight. Is everything organized?”

“Exactly as you requested, Colonel.”


“Be careful, Colonel Hogan.”

“I will,” Hogan answered, always touched somehow when cautioned to take care by a civilian who, to him, was taking even more risks than he was as a member of the military. “Just stick to the plan, and we should all be okay. We’ll be in touch soon. Be safe.”

And Hogan disappeared back into the night.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Despite his desire to remain awake while Hogan was out, when the bunk below him rattled, Kinch realized he had fallen back to sleep. Instantly ashamed at his lack of stamina and what he perceived as a slight lack of selflessness, he jumped and triggered the latch to lower the ladder.

Hogan climbed back inside, nodding that all was well and pulling out the envelope for Kinch to see. Then he closed himself in his office to start his crash course in German archaeology.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan handed Newkirk the photographs and showed him a few key points in the notes he had received before turning back to his desk. He stifled a yawn as the Corporal left the room, the words on the pages before him starting to dance as his vision blurred from tiredness. He had not slept after his return in the early morning hours, instead taking the time without interruption to learn all he could about the subject about which he was soon to need expertise. Eventually, when he could make no sense of the letters at all, he lay his head down on the desk and closed his eyes, intending to take just a minute to gather the strength to continue his work.

A voice suddenly broke in on his rest. “You should go to bed, Colonel.”


Hogan gave a start, then reluctantly opened his eyes as someone touched his shoulder. He looked up to see Le Beau standing beside him with a cup of coffee. Light was starting to dawn just outside his window; he had slept for at least an hour. He straightened and gratefully took the cup. “Afraid there isn’t much time for that,” he said, taking the biggest swallow he could manage while it was still so hot. “There’s too much to do. How’s it going downstairs?”

“Fine, Colonel,” Le Beau replied. “Newkirk turned in after he finished painting a few hours ago. They look just like the photographs you gave them last night.”

Hogan nodded, wincing as he stretched to release some of the tension in his back and shoulders. “Good,” he said. He heard something crack loudly and took another sip of his coffee. “There’s a lot of work to do today. How are the flyers going downstairs?”

“They are fine. A little confused, but they are happy to be out of the way of the Krauts.”

“A goal for us all,” Hogan agreed. “If all goes to plan we’ll have them out in the next few days. Do they know they’re going out in the dog truck?”

Oui, Colonel. We will swap them with the men coming in tonight.”

“Good. Make sure everything’s ready.” Hogan yawned hugely. “I wish the war wouldn’t keep these long hours; they’re killing me!”

“Get some sleep, Colonel,” Le Beau encouraged him. “We will not be done for awhile.”

At that moment, the bell sounded outside for roll call. Hogan stood up. “Duty calls,” he said. “This is such an inconvenient war!”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Yawning, Hogan nodded and followed Carter downstairs when he was woken up about three hours later. Newkirk held up a piece of pottery. “What do you think of that, gov’nor?” he asked, obviously proud.

Hogan moved in and took the piece from the Englishman, turning it slowly in his hands. He studied the colors, the texture, and the design, nodding quietly and trying to connect this with everything he had read overnight. “Newkirk, Carter, this is perfect.” The men’s chests swelled with pride. “Le Beau, you and Olsen did a great job with the clay. This is exactly what it’s supposed to look like. They’ll have to believe this is the real thing.” Hogan paused as the Frenchman nodded, pleased. Then he said, “You and Newkirk might not want to watch this. I know how sensitive artists are about their creations.” Hogan turned to Carter. “Carter, you have my permission to smash these.”

Carter’s face broke into an even bigger smile than the one he put on when Hogan first praised them. “Thanks, Colonel,” Carter said, grabbing a hammer that he had waiting nearby.

Hogan caught the gleam in the young Sergeant’s eye and cautioned him, “Make sure you leave pieces that are big enough to look at, Carter. Your love of destruction is too well-documented as it is.”

Carter grinned and shifted feet shyly.

Hogan took one last look at the pieces and shook his head. “Yep, you could fool the experts,” he declared. He turned to Kinch. “Speaking of which, you’d better get these boys some information about the Heuneburg site… otherwise the experts won’t know what they’re talking about!” He turned knowingly to the downed flyers who were hovering near the wall, still unsure of themselves.

They could only look back in wonder as Hogan headed up the ladder.

Chapter Four

The Klink Discovery


Once again Hogan watched as Hochstetter got out of his staff car and walked over to meet the men filing out of the truck that once again accompanied him to the camp. They came to attention as the Gestapo officer paced up and down the line of men, obviously giving instructions. “Everything ready?” Hogan asked, not moving.

“Carter and Le Beau brought everything down about an hour ago,” Kinch answered, also keeping an eye on the activity across the compound.

“How far did the boys get digging?”

“About thirty feet from Barracks Ten, toward the back fence.”

“Good,” Hogan answered. He continued watching as the dozen soldiers started dispersing, heading to various parts of the camp, with Hochstetter overseeing everything. “This is it. Get everyone in place, huh? And tell Newkirk to get started.”


Kinch took off, and Hogan strolled casually away from Barracks Two.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“Klink, you are to put double the usual number of guards at every post. I want extra patrols near the gate, and I will have my men patrolling the perimeter as well as joining your men in walking the compound. This will start now, Klink, so that your usual efficiency won’t have a chance to ruin this opportunity for the Third Reich.” Hochstetter sneered. “How many guards do you have in camp?”

“Seventy-six, Major Hochstetter,” Klink answered with pride. “I had three already on leave when you came, and another three who are ill. You know, the bad weather has been so hard on them, especially the older men who—”

Hochstetter waved a hand dismissively. “That will do, Klink.”

Klink nodded. “All other passes have been cancelled. The men are aware they will be working longer shifts until this very important visitor is gone.”

“Did you tell them who is coming?” Hochstetter asked, his voice starting to rise with his temper.

Klink shook his head quickly, already used to the Major’s suspicious mind. “No, no, no, Major Hochstetter! I merely had Sergeant Schultz tell them that they are part of an important mission for the Fatherland and that their passes were cancelled for the time being.”

“And they accepted this without protest?” Hochstetter asked.

“I owe some of them longer passes next week,” Klink muttered, then did his best to smile graciously.

“I want the prisoners confined to barracks after roll call tomorrow morning,” Hochstetter said. “And I want them counted every two hours—day and night.”

“Yes, Major. Of course, Major.”

“And I want Hogan kept as far away from here as possible.”

At that moment someone knocked on the door, and it swung open, revealing Hogan, looking slightly dusty and disheveled. “Kommandant, I’m disappointed in you—”

All eyes in the room turned toward the man who had entered. Hochstetter’s blood started to boil, but Hogan was going to leave the Major no chance to get a word in edgewise and continued speaking as though he hadn’t seen him.

“Hogannnn—” Klink started.

“I thought we had a better relationship, Kommandant. You lied to me, sir, and you expected me to fall for it, and sure enough I did—until now!” Hogan said, flashing his eyes defiantly and coming to stand before Klink at his desk.

“Hogan, what are you talking about?” Klink asked, trying to give Hogan a warning in his tone of voice, but obviously not getting through.

Hogan picked the vase up off Klink’s desk. “You told me you got this vase from a friend in the antique business—you’ve been holding out on me!”

“What is this man doing here?” came a low growl from behind.

Hogan ignored it. “You don’t have a friend in the antique business, do you, Kommandant?” Hogan accused. “This came from an archaeological dig! Right here in Germany, you said? Well that part was true—but you left out one minor detail: that it was found right here in this camp!”

“What is this man doing here?” The growl became louder and more insistent.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Hogan. How could I get something like that at Stalag 13?” Klink asked, torn between his interest in what the senior POW officer was saying and his fear of Hochstetter and the Gestapo.

“It’s a good thing one of my men was doing a little digging, or I’d have never figured out that you were trying to pull a fast one on me!” Hogan pushed. He pulled a small piece of clay out of his pocket. “Because he found this!”

“One of your men was digging?” Klink repeated, upset, but trying to look at what Hogan was holding.

Hochstetter finally exploded. “What is this man doing here?

Hogan stopped and turned calmly toward the officer. “Oh, hi, Major. Didn’t realize you were talking to the Kommandant. Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“Hogan, what are you babbling about?” Klink asked. “What have you got there?”

“Klink,” Hochstetter seethed, “if this is an example of your usual efficiency, I predict we will lose the war by the end of next week.”

“One of my men was digging an escape tunnel, and when I caught up with him, I saw this stuff all over the place. It looked familiar to me, and I realized it was just like this vase on your desk,” Hogan explained, still sounding a bit put out.

“Where is this man?” Klink asked, quaking.

“Newkirk? Oh, he’s in the outer office. I wanted you to see for yourself.” Hogan turned to open the door and turned apologetically toward Hochstetter. “Sorry, Major. We won’t take up much of your time.”

“Hogan, why are you turning in one of your own men? Don’t you want them to escape?” Hochstetter asked, suspicious.

Hogan paused with his hand on the knob, looking offended. “Well, of course I do, Major. But I could see you and your men all over camp. And with Colonel Klink’s strict discipline—well, the safety of my men comes first, and I had to make sure that Corporal Newkirk didn’t get spotted and shot.” He lowered his eyes. “It was bound to happen if I didn’t stop him myself, and I wouldn’t know what to say in the letter home to his family. How would you explain a foolish move against an Iron Eagle with a perfect record?”

Klink nodded solemnly in agreement. “A wise move, Hogan.”

Hogan turned back to the door and, opening it, called for Newkirk. The RAF Corporal entered, dirt-streaked and cow-eyed, wringing his cap in his hands, and not daring to look up at his commanding officer. “Newkirk, don’t you have something to say to the Kommandant?”

Newkirk looked up and then quickly ducked his head back down. “I was just trying to get home to see me Nan,” he mumbled. Hogan looked at him, unconvinced. “It’s her birthday next week, Colonel—I had to see her for her birthday. I’ve never once missed giving the old girl a kiss and a rose on her special day—”

“That’s enough, Newkirk,” Hogan said roughly. “You know how important a time this is for the Kommandant. And to do this with Major Hochstetter in camp, too—couldn’t you have waited until—until—sorry, Major, how long are you planning to stay?”

“That has yet to be determined, Colonel Hogan,” Hochstetter said smoothly. “But rest assured, I will be watching you the entire time.”

“Hogan, what is this all about?” Klink spluttered.

“Show him, Newkirk. Show him what you put in your pocket to bring Granny,” Hogan said with contempt.

Newkirk reluctantly reached into his jacket and pulled out a very small, perfectly formed cup. “No one would have missed it,” he protested as Hogan took it from him. “They’re all over the place down there,” he said to Klink.

Hogan kept his hand out, waiting. Newkirk slowly reached back into his pocket and took out another piece of pottery, then another. Hogan took them and held his hand out again. Once more the hand reached in and pulled out a piece. Hogan put everything he had extracted from the Corporal on the desk, then turned back to Newkirk. “Well?” he asked expectantly.

Newkirk hesitated. Hogan straightened to his full height. “I’m waiting, Corporal,” he said.

Newkirk held out another moment, then sighed defeat and put his hand in his pocket, pulling out a small, chipped plate. Hogan snatched it away and turned back to Klink. “I think you can see what this is all about, Kommandant.”

Klink looked back at Hogan, bewildered. “I can?”

“Of course you can!” Hogan replied. “An archaeological find as important as this, right here at Stalag 13—why, you’ll be famous, sir! ‘The Klink Discovery,’ that’s what they’ll call it, sir. They’ll be talking about this for years.”

“‘The Klink Discovery,’” Klink repeated, already dreaming of his renown. “I like it….” He came back to himself a moment. “Corporal Newkirk, you will spend the next fourteen days in the cooler for attempted escape.”

“Bad idea, Kommandant,” Hogan admonished, shaking his head.

“It is?”

“How interested do you think Newkirk is going to be in telling you where he found all of this if he’s locked up in a cell? And besides, he’d have to show you himself; I haven’t seen the whole site.”

Klink nodded. “Mm, you’re right.” He waved his hand as if to erase his sentence. “Sentence revoked—for now. But if I catch you trying this again…” he trailed off in what he considered a threatening manner. Newkirk nodded and looked at the ground, properly reproached.

“This is nonsense!” burst in Hochstetter. “Klink, what is this all about?”

“Well, Major Hochstetter, these things that the Englander has found are just like this vase I have here,” Klink began to explain.

“Beautiful; now you can have a complete set,” Hochstetter scoffed.

“You don’t understand, Major; the vase is an artifact; it is a very important part of Germany’s history!” Klink continued.

“And finding it here at Stalag 13 means you’re sitting on a very important archaeological find,” Hogan put in.

“I am going to have to look into this,” Hochstetter said, frowning fiercely.

“Ah, nothing slips past you, Major,” Hogan praised him. “Of course you’ll want to secure the area and put some of your guards there, just in case someone tries to get back in there to take some of the Third Reich’s treasures for their own,” he said, exchanging quick glances with Newkirk, then looking hopefully at Hochstetter. “Imagine how pleased old Bubble Brain will be when he realizes that the two of you have been looking after the Fatherland’s riches. I see a red stripe coming for those pants, Kommandant….”

“You think so?” Klink asked, pleased.

Hochstetter considered a moment before responding. “Of course,” he finally said slowly. “I will take some men down there now. Your Corporal Newkirk will lead the way.”

“Of course he will, sir,” Hogan answered. “It’s the least he can do after his disgraceful actions today.” He turned back to Newkirk. “Isn’t that right, Corporal?”

Newkirk nodded, ashamed. “Yes, gov’nor. The very least I could do.”

“Schultz!” Klink called out.

The door opened and the portly Sergeant of the Guard appeared at the door. “Jawohl, Herr Kommandant,” he said, coming in.

“Schultz, get a party of three men—”

Six men,” Hogan interjected.

“—six men, and assemble them outside for duty at a very important site in the camp,” Klink said, unaware that his numbers had even been adjusted.

Jawohl, Herr Kommandant,” Schultz replied.

“See that they have rope to cordon off a fairly large area,” Klink added.

“Rope, Kommandant?”

“Don’t question it; just do it, dumbkopf!” Klink insisted.

“Of course, Herr Kommandant,” Schultz said. “May I ask what we are doing?”

“You’re looking after the Fatherland, Schultz,” Hogan said. “Protecting it from the likes of prisoners like me and Newkirk.”

“I think that would take more than all the guards in this camp,” Hochstetter grumbled, unhappy but knowing he was outdone. “Come, Klink, we had better look at this… excavation.” And he pushed past Hogan and Newkirk out the door, leaving Klink and Schultz to practically run after him.

Hogan turned to Newkirk and nodded, offering a small grin. “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself, Corporal? Sending the Germans on a wild goose chase?”

Newkirk smiled back. “Absolutely, sir.”

“Good. Let’s see if we can’t get help them make a bit bigger fools of themselves—if that’s possible.” And he headed out of the office.


Chapter Five

The Diversion


Kinch suddenly shushed the others. “Here it comes,” he said. Le Beau and Carter instantly stopped talking and listened. Kinch plugged a cord into the switchboard they had rigged up under the barracks and adjusted his headsets. “Gestapo Headquarters Berlin, Heil Hitler,” he said in his gruffest German voice. He glanced at his companions. “Ja, ja, Herr Major. I will put you through to General Lehrer in charge of Special Operations.”

Kinch nodded to Carter, who picked a microphone up off the desk and put on a spare pair of headsets that was also patched into the call. “General Lehrer, Heil Hitler!” he barked aggressively. A pause, then: “Ja, Major Hochstetter, I am aware of what is happening at Stalag 13. Did you think I would not be?… Ja, Herr Major, that sounds very important, indeed. You need to make sure your men are concentrated in that area…. Are you suggesting I do not know what is critical to the Fatherland?” Carter asked, his voice rising. Le Beau smirked as Kinch winced at the loudness. “The Fuhrer is interested in the great and noble history of the Third Reich! I will make sure to send experts to camp in the morning…. Ja, Major, experts from the current excavation site at Heuneburg. There is an archaeological dig happening there. It is closer to you than to me, Major—are you not aware of the events occurring right in your area?…. You will await their arrival and their expertise before you let any of your men leave that site, do you understand? No matter what else you might want to assign them to! You are to guard it as if your life depended on it, Hochstetter… and it may!” Le Beau nearly laughed out loud. Kinch elbowed him into silence. “Give my regards to the person responsible for this spectacular find!” A pause. “A prisoner, you say?” Carter chuckled. “Perhaps we should see if we can convert him if we make him a hero of the German people! Heil Hitler!”

Carter ran a finger across his throat and Kinch cut the connection. Carter relaxed and grinned at the others. “Hochstetter’s fallen for it. He’s going to make sure some of his men and the camp guards stay at the site.”

“Great,” Le Beau said. “Colonel Hogan will be pleased. I will tell him everything is ready.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Hogan faced the half dozen men who’d been rescued and brought to the tunnel. “Okay, are you men all clear on what’s happening?” he asked them, looking from one to the other. They nodded doubtfully, wanting to appear confident and sure, but not able to. Hogan smiled reassuringly. “You’re going out tonight in the dog truck. Don’t worry; the dogs are trained specially by the local veterinarian to sound vicious… but they’re really pussycats, at least to men in Allied uniforms. You’ll come back tomorrow with an Underground agent as experts in Iron Age history. Have you got your notes and your identification papers?”

At that the men nodded and shuffled their papers out of their pockets. “Good,” Hogan said. “Which one of you speaks French?”

One of the men, Rhodes, raised his hand hesitantly. “Good. Remember: no English, no matter what. Just do what you’ve been instructed to do, and it will all be fine.” The faces looking back at Hogan seemed anything but convinced. “Look, don’t worry,” Hogan said with a smile. “We’ve done this dozens of times. The Krauts won’t understand you. All you have to do is act like you know what you’re talking about. If you can pull that off, we’re halfway home. Leave the rest to us, okay?”

“Okay, Colonel,” agreed one of the men. “But… what happens if this doesn’t work?”

Hogan shrugged. “Well you can always say you’ve gotten a stronger education in history while you were here. And a good education never goes to waste.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

The truck carrying the dogs rolled slowly into camp as dusk settled in. Hogan glanced around the compound, casually leaning against the wall of the barracks: two guards patrolling; two at the gate, some up in the towers; Schultz waiting to talk with Schnitzer as usual. For the moment, the others seemed to be out of sight, either at evening mess or down at the other end of the camp, where Hogan had managed to convince Hochstetter they belonged. It wasn’t hard, Hogan thought with a grin. Carter must have really run him up the flagpole; Hochstetter practically volunteered to guard the site himself. Two Gestapo soldiers came into view, apparently wandering around the compound, peering into shadows and corners whenever the mood struck them. Hogan grimaced. The regulars he could handle; he was more worried about the random strollers, who could ruin their plan. He ducked his head back into the barracks and called for Newkirk and Carter.

The pair instantly appeared. “Yes, sir?”

Hogan nodded discreetly toward the soldiers, who were just starting to head toward the dog pens. “See if you can’t find something else to occupy those two, will you?” he requested.

“Absolutely, gov’nor,” Newkirk answered.

Hogan nodded once and then headed for the Schultz. “How you going, Schultz?” Hogan asked, smiling as he approached the guard, thumbs stuffed into the top of his pockets.

Schultz shook his head as Hogan appeared. “Colonel Hogan, you know you are not supposed to be here when the dogs are being changed. It is against regulations.”

“Aw, come on, Schultz, I just wanted to have a chat with you before we’re confined to barracks tomorrow. You know Klink said we’re going to have to have an inside day while the site’s being checked out,” Hogan said. He glanced over his shoulder to make contact with the veterinarian, Oskar Schnitzer. The old man just nodded and pulled a dog out of the truck. Hogan turned back to the guard. “It’s not fair, you know—we’re the ones who found it. We should be able to have a look!” He paused, then said in a low voice, “So what’s really going on tomorrow anyway, Schultz? Klink wouldn’t say anything at roll call, and I know there’s more to it than he’s saying.”

Schultz put a finger up to his lips and shook his head. “That I cannot say, Colonel Hogan,” he said.

“Oh, come on, Schultz, somebody important must be coming,” Hogan pressed, looking toward the dog pen out of the corner of his eye. He saw one of the kennels raised up, and a man he did not recognize disappearing down into the tunnel below it.  He turned back. “Hochstetter wouldn’t still be here just because there are some vases being dug up in camp.”

“That is true,” Schultz conceded. “But he might be here because he is worried about prisoners escaping—and that’s what the Englander was trying to do when those pieces of pottery were discovered: escape.”

“Aw, Schultz, you never tell me anything!” Hogan whined. One more glance; Le Beau was beckoning to a man who was hesitant about running from the truck into the dog pen. “What does a guy have to do to get a little information around here? Our Red Cross packages are way overdue, Schultz, and we’re bored. Bored men with nothing to look forward to but the slim bits of gossip that filter through in our blacked-out letters from home. Come on, Schultz,” Hogan wheedled, “help make our life here just a little more exciting.”

Schultz stopped for a moment to consider. Just as he appeared to be ready to talk, he turned on his heel and headed back toward the dog truck. Hogan immediately tried to turn the portly Sergeant back around, but was finding it difficult. He looked up to see Kinch’s face disappearing under the fast-lowering kennel, and Schnitzer came back to the truck with one of the dogs being exchanged, without looking up. “I cannot tell you,” Schultz said. “It would be worth my life. Major Hochstetter has left explicit instructions for the prisoners to be kept away from the visitors—especially you, Colonel Hogan.”

“Ah, so it is someone important,” Hogan pounced happily. “When’s he coming, Schultz?”

“In the morning,” Schultz answered before he could stop himself. “Please, Colonel Hogan, no more!”

Hogan was about to protest again when loud, angry voices floated toward them from further inside the compound. It’s about time, he thought, relieved. The shouting and cheering made Schultz do an about-face and head slowly toward the ruckus. “You’d better find out what that’s all about, Schultz,” Hogan encouraged him. “Wouldn’t do to have fighting in camp with the Gestapo around.”

Schultz moved a little more quickly now as the voices filtered across to them. “What did you think I was gonna tell you for?”


Newkirk, Hogan realized.


“Well, gee, it’s the least you could have done—I thought we were friends! And you were gonna escape and not tell any of us about it!”




Hogan and Schultz moved in closer to the fray, finally seeing a crowd of prisoners and more than just the two Gestapo guards trying to stop it.


“If I had told you about it, the whole bleedin’ camp would have found out, in about two minutes flat!”


“Oh, that’s a fine thing to say, a fine thing!” Carter shot back. And then the physical scuffle began.


Hogan took the opportunity to hang back, and, looking at the dog pen, he saw one of the men that had been hiding in the tunnel for the last two days hopping into Schnitzer’s truck. The veterinarian came up behind him and locked the door, then climbed into the truck and headed for the front gate. Hogan looked at the kennel; Le Beau’s head was almost out of sight. He paused a second to signal a thumbs-up toward Hogan and then closed the entrance. All was quiet, with not a sign of any creature on two legs having gone in or out. Hogan made a split-second surveillance of the area, then let out a heavy sigh of relief and went to break up the fight. He reached in past guards and gathered prisoners, pulled Carter and Newkirk by their collars and held them apart. “Okay, knock it off, fellas; knock it off!” he shouted.


The pair quieted down almost instantly, each occasionally showing a bit of fight still left in him for good measure. “What’s going on here?” Hogan asked harshly.


“Well, gee, Colonel, he was gonna leave camp, and he wasn’t even going to say goodbye!” Carter said.


Newkirk struggled against Hogan’s hold; Hogan just yanked on his collar and held firm. “I wouldn’t tell you anything; you’ve got a mouth bigger than ol’ Scramble Brains himself—”


“All right, all right!” Hogan censured once again. The pair quieted down. “Carter, is that what this is about? Your feelings were hurt?”


Carter calmed down immediately. “Well, yeah,” he said humbly. “I would have missed Newkirk if he had made it; at least he could have told me he was going.”


Newkirk smiled lopsidedly. “Yeah, well, I guess I should have had more sense in the first place,” he said. Then, looking toward the guards who were still standing threateningly nearby, he added, “No one ever escapes from Stalag 13. I shouldn’t have even tried.”


“Now that’s more like it,” Hogan said approvingly. He let the two of them go. “Now shake hands and go back to the barracks.”  Carter and Newkirk did as they were told, while Hogan dispersed the crowd, saying, “It’s all over now, fellas. There’s nothing to see here.” The guards looked nonplussed; Hogan ignored them and went to Schultz, who had not moved during the whole incident. “See, Schultz? Men with nothing to live for but the passing excitement of a brawl… I’ve got to make it more exciting here somehow.”


As Hogan walked off toward Barracks Two, Schultz said pleadingly, “Not too exciting, Colonel Hogan, please. I do not like the Russian front.”


----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan closed the door and gestured for Carter to watch the camp. “They’re all out?”


Oui, Colonel. All of them are gone,” Louis answered.


“Good. What about the new ones?”


“Downstairs being processed.”


“Excellent. We’ll get the Underground to deal with them when we take care of Smallwood. He’ll be here in the morning.”


----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“That’s not fair, Kommandant; you know the prisoners are allowed at least one hour’s exercise a day according to the Geneva Convention,” Hogan said the next morning to Klink, as the German officer once again reminded the men that they would be confined to barracks until further notice.


“And you shall have exercise, my dear Colonel Hogan,” Klink said smugly. “Pacing from one room to the next will provide you with plenty of movement.” He brought himself up to his full height and added, “And besides, the Geneva Convention also says that we must keep the prisoners safe. And it won’t be safe if you leave the barracks starting today; you will be shot.”


“That is pretty bad for your health,” Hogan admitted. He rocked briefly back and forth on his heels, then sighed and shook his head. “All right, Kommandant, you’ve got us licked—for now. I still think it’s unfair that you’re not letting us anywhere near the archaeological site—after all, it’s Newkirk that found it.”


“Corporal Newkirk is hardly an expert about these matters,” Klink retorted dismissively. “Berlin will be sending the proper authorities to look after this issue today. Your help will not be required.” He nodded at Schultz. “Dissss-missed.”


Klink turned away as the gates to the camp opened and a car rolled in, parking outside his office. Hogan and his men paused as the others slowly went back inside the barracks. Three men disembarked from the vehicle. “That must be Smallwood,” Hogan said, nodding toward the man in a civilian suit flanked by two men who were clearly German officers. “I can’t wait to get my hands on him.”


Schultz came up beside the men and started herding them toward the hut. “Come on now, you heard the Kommandant. Everyone inside. Inside! Raus, raus, raus, raus, raus!”


“Yeah, yeah, we’re going, Schultz,” Hogan replied, walking slowly inside. Then, under his breath, he added, “I don’t think I could stand looking at that traitor for very long anyway.”

When Hogan got back inside, he ordered Carter to watch the door. Kinch pulled out the coffee pot in the Colonel’s quarters and plugged it in. Hogan leaned back against his bunk while the others pulled in close around the speaker created from the filter.

“Are you sure this is a safe place to talk?” an English voice was saying.

Newkirk felt his temper starting to rise, as a slow burn rose within him. “Bleedin’ Benedict Arnold,” he seethed.

Hogan quieted him gently and resumed listening. Klink’s voice came through loud and clear. “Oh, yes, this is a very safe place, Herr Smallwood, very safe. Not a single prisoner has ever escaped from Stalag 13. Our prisoners are thoroughly cowed here and this camp is quite secure.”

Hogan shook his head. Cowed. That word always bothered him—maybe challenged him was a better description. I’ll show you who’s ‘cowed’.

“We can talk immediately about the information you have for us, Herr Smallwood,” an unfamiliar voice urged. “There is no reason to delay.”

“Ah, but there is,” Smallwood replied. “You see I haven’t yet decided that I’m giving you the information you want.” Hogan’s men glanced at each other briefly. “I need to know what is in it for me.”

“We could just force it out of you—” began yet another voice.

The man who had urged immediate discussions again spoke. “Nein, nein, Herr Major,” he said with a light touch in his voice, “we do not need to use force with our friend Herr Smallwood. We are here to help him understand how important his work is to us, and how we can reward him for such assistance to the war effort. We have many rewards that you may find attractive, Herr Smallwood.”

“I would expect that, Colonel Stigler,” Smallwood responded to the unknown man.

“But first it would be very nice if we had some, oh, shall we say, small sampling of what this project you claim to be so important… is. After all, we are taking you at your word that you have something we want. It is only polite to explain yourself, at least in a small way, before we put forth our side of the bargain.”

“Very well,” Smallwood agreed.

Hogan stepped forward toward the coffee pot, his face grim. His men parted from their close formation, clearly seeing the anger in their commanding officer’s eyes. Hogan sat down, staring straight ahead as he listened, picturing the scene in his mind.

“The project is called Colossus,” Smallwood began. Hogan glanced at Kinch, who nodded. London had been right; he was going to sell out the biggest secret of the war. Hogan’s face paled. “It works electronically, and can scan coded messages very, very quickly.”

“Is that so?” Stigler’s voice sounded quietly fascinated. “Please, go on.”

“The machine will use valve circuits and thyratron rings,” Smallwood continued.

Hogan’s hands balled into fists. “He’s doing it, all right. He’s selling us out.”

“Let me go over there, Colonel,” Newkirk pleaded, clearly overwhelmed by the events as well. “I can get him to shut his mouth. Just let me get in one good punch—”

“Never mind, Newkirk; we’ll get him our own way,” Hogan said, irritated, but not at the Corporal.

The door to the office suddenly opened, and Carter’s head popped in. “The truck from Heuneburg’s just pulled in, Colonel.”

Hogan nodded and raised a hand for silence.

“That is enough for now,” Smallwood was saying. “You see, I know I am quite safe. You may be able to force the information out of me, but none of your scientists would know what to do with it. You need my expertise. And for that, you will pay dearly.”

A knock on the Kommandant’s office door. “Come!”

Herr Kommandant.” Schultz. “Some men are here from Berlin. They are speaking in French, and we cannot understand them. But they are carrying papers signed by a General Lehrer that say they are here to look at the place the Englander found yesterday.”

“What is this?” Smallwood asked, suspicious. “I thought this was to be amongst us alone—no pressure from Berlin!”

“No, no, Herr Smallwood, no pressure,” Stigler assured him smoothly. Then, more harshly, “Klink, what is this?”

Klink laughed lightly. “Ah, nothing to worry about Oberst Stigler,” he said. “These men are here to examine a possible Iron Age settlement that was discovered yesterday right inside this camp! Herr Smallwood, I assure you, they could not have less interest in what you have to say here.”

Hogan shook his head. “Well I’m still pretty curious. Carter, how’s it look?”

“All the fellas are here, Colonel. They got through the gate with no trouble. The Underground agent from the Heuneburg site is with them.”

“Iron Age settlement?” Smallwood’s voice came through the speaker. “You have an archaeological site here?” He sounded intrigued.

“Yes, that’s right, Herr Smallwood,” Klink replied proudly.

“Supplied by the prisoners,” Le Beau put in.

Hogan shushed him, engrossed in the conversation.

“I—I have always found archaeology fascinating,” Smallwood continued. “Colonel Stigler, do you think I might be able to have a look in myself?”

“I’ll make sure that you do!” Hogan answered from his office. “This couldn’t have been better if we’d planned it!”

“Of course, of course!” Stigler replied graciously. “Whatever you like! You see, Herr Smallwood, we are here to make you happy. And if we make you happy—”

“Then I will gladly make your superiors happy as well,” Smallwood finished. “But I have said enough for now. I want to have a look at this site.”

Hogan unplugged the coffee pot. “So do I.”

“Colonel Hogan, that traitor is going to tell les Boches everything!” Le Beau burst.

Hogan stood up, clearly plotting. “Not… if we get to him first. And I think this Iron Age history we’ve created might be able to help us in more ways than one.”

Chapter Six

Flyboy Versus Stool Pigeon


“But General Burkhalter, these gentlemen that Berlin has sent only speak French!”

Klink was complaining to his superior officer a few minutes later, having sent Schultz out with the officers to show them to the VIP hut and to offer them some food and drink to put Smallwood at ease. It was hard enough having these visitors in the camp at the same time, along with the Gestapo, but then to have no way to communicate with them was an added burden that Klink just didn’t know how to deal with.

“Yes, Herr General. Yes, we do have a prisoner who speaks French. But Major Hochstetter has ordered the prisoners confined to barracks…. Yes, sir, I am a Colonel and he is only a Major. But he is Gestapo… No, General Burkhalter, I don’t think there are any Gestapo agents at the Russian front…. Yes, sir, I’ll talk to Colonel Hogan about it right away. Goodbye, sir.” Klink hung up the phone with a sigh and bellowed for his Sergeant of the Guard. “Schultz!”

The door to his office opened and Schultz entered, coming to attention. “Jawohl, Herr Kommandant!”

“I need to you to go get Colonel Hoga—”

Klink cut himself off as Hogan appeared behind Schultz and gave a brief wave. “Hi,” Hogan greeted.

Klink rose up from his desk, angry. “Hogan, what are you doing out of the barracks? Don’t you know the Gestapo has orders to shoot on sight?”

Hogan gave a short laugh. “Well, they must know that you sent for me, sir!”

“But Hogan, I was just about to get Schultz to—never mind,” Klink dismissed through his gritted teeth. “Hogan, I need the services of your Frenchman, Le Beau.”

Hogan shifted as if uncomfortable. “Well, gee, Kommandant, I don’t know that he’ll be interested in doing anything for the Krauts—I mean the Germans, sir. Not after the way the prisoners are being treated while your visitors are here.”

“What do you know about our visitors?” Klink asked quickly.

“Not much, sir; just that they must be awfully important or you wouldn’t have the Gestapo here, too.”

“That’s right, Hogan, so it is important that you do as you are told!” Klink insisted. “Now. I need Corporal Le Beau to act as translator for the men who have been sent from Berlin to examine the site the Englander stumbled across while trying to escape. They are from Vichy and only speak French!” He sank back into his chair.

“Oh, that,” Hogan answered. “Well, sir, I don’t think Corporal Le Beau will do it.”

“Why not?” Klink asked, disappointed. “Think of the importance of this discovery to world knowledge!”

“And think of the men, all cooped up in the barracks, longing to see the sun reflecting off the barbed wire,” Hogan continued. “Sorry, Kommandant. But he’s angry; I won’t even ask him.”

“Hogan, how dare you,” Klink seethed ineffectively. Hogan simply stood quietly. “Very well, then, I will ask him myself.” He stood up and grabbed his coat and hat. “Come, Schultz—and, Hogan, you’d better come with us. The Gestapo might not be so short-sighted the next time you sneak out.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“I told him you wouldn’t do it, Le Beau, but he insisted on coming here himself!” Hogan explained as the Kommandant faced the Corporal with his request.

Oui, he is right,” Le Beau agreed. “I have no desire to help les Boches.”

“See, Kommandant? I told ya!” Hogan put in. He gave a nearly invisible nod toward Kinch.

“But Louis,” Kinch interjected, taking the cue. “The Iron Age is one of the most important archaeological periods we could study! Surely you’d want to be part of that.”

Klink raised his eyebrows in surprise. “What do you know about this, Sergeant?”

“Oh, he knows a lot about this kind of thing, Kommandant,” Hogan cut in. “His uncle is an archaeologist in… Egypt!” Kinch rolled his eyes to the ceiling, then hoped that no one noticed.

“Really?” Klink breathed, impressed.

“That’s right,” Hogan confirmed. “And he’s taught Kinch everything he knows, hasn’t he?” Hogan looked at Kinch and nodded exaggeratedly when Klink turned away from the Colonel.

“Uh—yeah, that’s right, Kommandant,” Kinch said. “I know a lot of things.” He faltered as he tried to think of an example to prove his expertise.

“I tell you what, Kommandant,” Le Beau said. “I will help you. But I must have Kinch with me. After all, I know the language, but I do not understand the procedures.”

“That’s out of the question!” Klink said.

“Oh well, then, that’s your answer, Kommandant,” Hogan said, turning to shuffle Klink out the door. “You’ll just have to report your failure to Berlin. I’m sure they’ll understand. Now if you’ll excuse us—”

Just a minute,” Klink objected. Hogan stopped pushing. “Very well, Corporal, you can have Sergeant Kinchloe as your aid. But you will be watched constantly.”

“Oh, good. It’ll be nice to have company for a change,” Hogan said.

“Company?” Klink asked. “You don’t think you are going as well, Colonel Hogan?”

“Well of course I am!” Hogan said. “You don’t think I’d let my boys out in the yard with all those Gestapo men around and not be there to protect them!”

“Absolutely not, Hogan.”

“Okay, then,” Hogan sighed. “Sorry, Louis, Kinch. You’ll just have to take your chances.”

“No way,” Kinch protested. “Not without Colonel Hogan.”

Moi aussi. No Colonel, no Louis Le Beau.”

“Very well, very well! I will expect you three at the site in one hour. Schultz, see that they are escorted out so they don’t get themselves shot.” Klink turned toward the door, then looked back briefly at Hogan. “Although why I don’t just let them put you out of my misery, I have no idea.”

Hogan smiled innocently. “Thanks, Kommandant,” he said. When the door shut behind Klink and Schultz, Hogan turned to his men. “That’s it; we’re in.”

“Colonel, I thought you just wanted me to play along. I don’t know anything about archaeology!” Kinch said.

“That’s okay; neither do the Krauts. I just like the idea of more than one person down there when Smallwood gets involved.”

“Smallwood?” Carter asked.

“That’s right,” Hogan said. “Our British stool pigeon is going to land right in our nest, and I want to make sure he can’t fly the coop.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Hogan stood by as Le Beau spoke in rapid French to the prisoners-cum-“experts” and the Underground agent now inside the roped-off area of the camp. Schultz had been assigned to the location as an extra guard, especially to watch over the senior POW. Le Beau was making wide, sweeping gestures with his arms, while the others were nodding agreement and one visitor was being quite vehement.

Nous devons déterrer cet endroit pour voir que nous avons. Le trou que l'homme anglais a fait n'était pas assez grand,” Rhodes, who had been chosen as the “head Vichy expert” said in his best high school French.

Oui, oui, je suis d’accord,” Louis replied. “Mais les Boches…

“What are they saying, Colonel Hogan?” Schultz asked, bewildered.

“Only the experts would know, Schultz. I don’t know anything about archaeology.”

Kinch approached. “They say they want to dig, Colonel.”

“Dig?” Schultz repeated, laughing. “The Kommandant is not about to allow digging.”

Le Beau started translating back to the phony Frenchmen. Rhodes and the Underground agent started ranting and raving immediately.

“Looks like you’ve got a revolt on your hands, Schultz!” Hogan said, not disappointed, as other guards started closing in to see what all the commotion was about.

“They say they must dig to proceed properly, Colonel,” Le Beau said, shrugging his shoulders.

“No! There will be no digging!” Schultz insisted loudly.

The Heuneburg expert started protesting again as Le Beau shook his head and shrugged to confirm the German’s denial. Suddenly a voice from behind made Hogan and Schultz turn around. “What is going on here, gentlemen?” Klink was sauntering toward them, with Smallwood and the German officers who had accompanied him to camp in tow. “Is there a problem?”

Herr Kommandant, the Frenchmen are saying they want to dig up the area. I have told them that would not be allowed,” Schultz announced proudly.

“But in order to find all the treasures hidden here, Kommandant, there must be digging!” said Smallwood excitedly. He looked at Hogan. “How much did your man find when he was trying to escape?”

Hogan kept his arms folded across his chest and clenched his jaw to avoid saying something he knew he may not live to regret. “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure?” he said expectantly.

“Colonel Hogan, this is Desmond Smallwood, a brilliant scientist from England,” Klink introduced smugly.

“So you’ve captured another one,” Hogan said. “What are you going to try to make him do?”

“Colonel Hogan, Herr Smallwood is here of his own free will,” explained a man whose voice Hogan recognized as Colonel Stigler’s. “He is being most cooperative.”

Hogan raised an eyebrow and felt the muscles in his neck tense. “So you’re a traitor,” he shot at Smallwood, staring hard.

Smallwood did not flinch under Hogan’s gaze. “I simply succumb to the inevitable future,” he said.

Hogan was disturbed by the man’s lack of guilt. “You disgust me,” he said, quietly seething. “Selling out to the Krauts. Profiting from people’s suffering. You could cost thousands of good men their lives!”

“Come now, Hogan, you can’t expect me to be looking for the approval of a failed flyboy.” Smallwood snorted. “You wouldn’t be here if you were worthy of those eagles you wear so proudly in the first place. And neither would your men. I have nothing to fear from the likes of you.”

Le Beau and Kinch exchanged looks as their commanding officer’s eyes darkened with unexpressed rage. “What you mean is, while the Germans have their rifles aimed at me, you’re invulnerable,” Hogan said in a dangerously low voice. “Just wait till after the war, Smallwood. I’ll meet you in the playground at recess, and you won’t have any big bad Krauts to help you.”

Smallwood offered a thin smile. “I admire your patriotism, Colonel, even if it is misdirected. You don’t even know what I am proposing to these gentlemen.”

“No, but I have no doubt you’ll be asking a colossal sum of money for the discussion,” Hogan said pointedly.

Finally, he had made Smallwood squirm. Hogan noticed a small flicker of doubt cross the Englishman’s face. But since Hogan then turned his back on the man in genuine repulsion, Smallwood could not confirm that Hogan’s choice of words was anything but coincidence.

“The men want to dig,” Stigler said, eyeing Hogan carefully, then turning his attention to Klink. “So they will dig. Colonel Klink, please supply the men with what they need.”

“But Colonel Stigler,” Klink started to protest, “digging in a POW camp—”

“It will please Herr Smallwood,” Stigler interrupted. “I take it, mein Herr, that you will want to be a part of this excavation.”

Smallwood nodded, immediately putting his encounter with Hogan out of his mind. “Oh, yes, Colonel Stigler. Very much so.”

Le Beau turned to the group of flyers pretending to be archaeologists and explained something to them in French, with Kinch interjecting ideas in a hushed voice. The answer from the assembled men was loud and incomprehensible to the Germans. Le Beau turned back to the officers to explain. “They say they will need more men than themselves to do what is necessary. Can you order your prisoners to help?”

“Prisoners cannot be forced to work; it is against the Geneva Convention,” Klink said.

“Perhaps,” Hogan put in, “for thirty pfennigs an hour they would consider doing it anyway.”

“Thirty pfennigs! That’s highway robbery! What about their contribution to world knowledge?”

Hogan shrugged. “We know all we need to at the moment, Kommandant.”

“Twenty pfennigs, Hogan; that’s my final offer—and that’s subject to approval from Berlin.”

“You go ahead and ask, Kommandant,” Hogan agreed. “I think I could find five or six men willing to do some digging for that.”


“As long as you include an extra shower this week for all the prisoners.”


“Just do it, Klink,” Stigler broke in. “It is required, especially now. Herr Smallwood, we shall take you into Hammelburg for a wonderful dinner and some charming company, and tomorrow you shall enjoy yourself here, courtesy of the Third Reich. After that,” he added solely for Hogan’s benefit, “we shall begin our own discussions about how we can best look after you in exchange for the vital information you will be giving us.” Stigler smiled as Hogan turned back to watch them. “And Colonel Klink,” Stigler added, “be sure that your Colonel Hogan is reminded that he is a prisoner of war… with very alert men with rifles watching him. Just in case he has any ideas about being a hero.”

Chapter Seven

The Big Dig


Kinch popped his head into Hogan’s office and opened his mouth to speak, but stopped when he caught the senior POW once again staring out his window. Hogan’s mind seemed to be a million miles away—or at least four and a half miles upwards, in a plane that he could only see in his memories, and his nightmares. He seemed to sense someone’s presence, and soon lowered his head with a sigh but didn’t turn around. “Yeah?” he asked quietly.

“The men have dug from Barracks Nine almost all the way to where Newkirk started digging the other day,” Kinch said.

“Good. Tell them to stop for the night,” Hogan decided, still unusually subdued; “they’ve done enough for one day.”

“Right.” Kinch hesitated. “Colonel, Smallwood was just trying to get to you. He didn’t know what he was talking about.”

Hogan turned toward the Sergeant and offered a small smile. “I know.”

Kinch tried a light laugh that failed miserably. “For a minute, I thought you might really have a go at him there.”

Hogan nodded, thinking back all too clearly. “It wouldn’t have done anyone any good. And who knows? Maybe these eagles are misplaced.” Kinch shook his head. Hogan sighed. “I’m just tired, Kinch. We’re all tired. Go get some shut-eye. There’s plenty to do in the morning.”

Kinch nodded. “Right. Good night, Colonel.”

“Good night.”

Kinch turned and walked out, closing Hogan’s door behind him. He yawned and stretched thoughtfully as he headed toward his bunk. “The Colonel is pleased?” Le Beau asked, already under his blanket.

“I think so,” Kinch said. “Hard to tell with the mood he’s in.”

“He is still upset?”

“Still staring at the sky.”

“Bloody Smallwood,” Newkirk grumbled.

“We all think like that once in awhile,” Kinch said. “You know: ‘Could I have done anything different to stop from being shot down?’ Colonel Hogan asks himself that often enough without any reminders from someone like that British traitor.”

“He’ll show Smallwood,” Carter predicted. “Colonel Hogan always wins. This guy won’t know what hit him!”

“I hope so, Carter,” Newkirk replied, looking toward Hogan’s closed door and imagining the Colonel brooding at his window. “Otherwise he might just think that useless turncoat is right.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“How are our experts?” Hogan asked the next morning. He poured a big cup of black coffee and took a long drink, hoping it would unfog his mind from a restless night.

“They’re great, Colonel,” Carter answered. “The Krauts put the flyers and the Underground agent in Barracks Four and treated them like kings. Hochstetter even checked up on them once or twice to make sure they were okay.”

Hogan shook his head in amazement. “Today’s the day to act. We don’t know what Smallwood might have said or agreed to while he was out on the town last night with the Krauts.”

“The fellas were at it again first thing this morning,” Carter said. “They’ve got everything ready.”

“How about you?” Hogan asked.

“Oh, yes, sir,” Carter said. “I’ve got it all set up just the way you asked, boy—uh, Colonel. Everything’ll go just the way you want it to.”

“And everyone knows what their jobs are?”

“Le Beau checked with them before roll call.”

“Excellent. It’s time to set the wheels in motion.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan looked around as Le Beau, Kinch and the “experts” supervised more digging in the cordoned off area near Barracks Ten. He turned to Schultz when he didn’t see what he expected. “Hey, Schultz, where’s Smallwood this morning? Don’t tell me he decided to defect back to the Allies.”

Schultz gave a small chuckle. “No, Colonel Hogan. He is talking with Colonel Stigler and the other officers he came with in the Kommandant’s office.”

Hogan felt his heart drop into his stomach. “Talking? With Colonel Stigler?” Schultz nodded. “Excuse me, Schultz, I have to talk to our translator.” Hogan went down and whispered to Le Beau, who nodded and turned to the “experts” and started speaking in rapid French. Then Hogan went back to Schultz.

“What did you tell them?” asked Schultz, as he watched the French men hop down to where a handful of prisoners were digging and start gesturing wildly toward a so far untouched area.

“Who knows, Schultz? I don’t understand French.” Schultz got a bewildered look on his face that Hogan did nothing to dispel, as he had hoped it would appear there in the first place. “I’ll be right back, Schultz. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

Schultz frowned, deep in thought. “I don’t think I’d want to do anything you wouldn’t do,” he muttered as Hogan strode away. “Would I?”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Hogan burst into the barracks, startling Newkirk. “Get the coffee pot,” Hogan ordered. “Smallwood’s talking with the Krauts in Klink’s office.”

Newkirk didn’t waste a second, and by the time the listening device was plugged in, the conversation was in full swing.

“The complexities of this electronic calculator are enormous,” Smallwood was saying. “It’s not just the sum of its parts. It is much, much more than that. Only a trained, experienced scientist would be able to make sense of the components, even if I wrote it all down for you.”

“Ensuring the future of his own hide,” Hogan observed. “Clever. Because the Krauts won’t know any different, even if he’s lying. Yet.”

“Give us the basics, Herr Smallwood. Major Lugsden is ready to write it all down as you speak,” Stigler said.

“You must once again promise me my safety,” Smallwood said.

“A safe passage to Switzerland, Herr Smallwood. We understand your importance in this project; there is nothing we can do with it, without you.”

“And once I have trained your own scientists in this work? How do I know you will not dispose of me after my usefulness is over?”

Hogan shook his head. “He’s a traitor, dealing with ruthless men, and he’s looking for them to say ‘Cross my heart’.”

“I’d rather take my chances with a ruddy patrol or three,” agreed Newkirk.

Herr Smallwood,” Stigler said smoothly, “we have been all through this. We are men of honor, leading a country that is in need of strong, intelligent men like yourself. How could we pass on such brilliance and nobility of spirit to our youth if we simply dispose of those who help us once they have given us their very best? No, Herr Smallwood. We do not act in such a way. Besides, how do you know that you won’t have more to offer us after this first project? Perhaps you would like your own lab, so you can continue in such great works?”

“Smooth operator,” Hogan muttered.

“Very well,” Smallwood conceded. “What you say makes sense. I am only coming to you because I understand that this war will turn, in your favor. And I do not see the sense in working for losers. They cannot further scientific progress.”

“Very good,” Stigler said cordially. “Now, please, on with your information.”

“Intercepted messages are punched into ordinary teleprinter paper,” Smallwood began. “The machine has fifteen hundred circuits in it—that is absolutely extraordinary, as they should blow instantly; imagine using that many, trying to scan five thousand characters per second! But it does.” Smallwood seemed to be warming to his subject, which clearly fascinated him.

Hogan stood up abruptly, nearly knocking over the stool he had been sitting on. “That’s it,” he said as Smallwood continued speaking. “It’s time to draw his attention elsewhere. Get down to the site, now. You know what to do.”

“Right, gov’nor.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Hogan made his usual unannounced entrance into Klink’s office about two minutes later. “Good morning, Kommandant,” he said cheerfully. “I thought you’d like to know—” Hogan stopped as he looked around the room at the several pairs of eyes staring at him, as though noting their presence for the first time. “Oh. Sorry, Kommandant. I didn’t know you had company.”

“Can’t you see we are very busy here, Hogan?” Klink asked. Hogan quickly took in the room. The tension was so thick he thought he would hit it if he tried to move around too fast. Klink was sitting at his desk, stiff as a rod; Smallwood was a ball of tension, his fists clenching and unclenching, his arms moving non-stop; another man, whom Hogan guessed was Major Lugsden, was sitting perched near Klink’s desk, sheaf of papers and pen in hand; two other men who had accompanied Smallwood into camp were hovering against a wall. Stigler seemed to be the only one completely at ease; he was sitting comfortably in the chair in front of Klink’s desk, facing Smallwood. It was an electric room, and Hogan decided to be a spark.

“Sorry, Kommandant,” Hogan said again. “I just thought you’d want to know that the experts have told Louis they think they’re pretty close to a big find out there.”

Hochstetter suddenly burst into the office, his pistol drawn. “Hogan,” he growled, “I told you that you were to stay out of here! You are under arrest—”

“Hogan, Major Hochstetter, we have no time for this this morning—” Klink fumbled.

“They are?” Smallwood put in. “They are close?”

Hogan turned to the Englishman and swallowed hard. Failed flyboy echoed in his head as he looked Smallwood in the eye. We’ll see, he vowed silently now. He pulled his arm out of Hochstetter’s tight grasp. “You’re interested in archaeology, Smallwood?” Hogan asked coolly.

“I have many interests,” Smallwood replied. “Archaeology is one of which I am particularly fond.”

“Well, it’s too bad you’re so busy, then,” Hogan replied lightly. “They can’t hold up their work just because you’re talking. I’ll just go back to the site, Kommandant, and have them put aside anything they find.” Hogan offered a quick salute to Klink and turned to head back out the door. “Excuse me, Major,” he offered to Hochstetter, who was about to follow him out and drag him off for questioning somewhere.

“Wait, Hogan,” Smallwood called.

Hogan stopped and turned back. “That’s Colonel Hogan to you,” he said evenly.

Hochstetter lowered his pistol but blocked the door.

Smallwood looked to Stigler. “Please. Gentlemen. This is a most important historical discovery. I would like very much to be there when it is unearthed. It is happening right now—can we postpone this discussion at least long enough for me to have a look?”

Stigler looked dubiously at his companions. “Really, Herr Smallwood, we must start getting down to business—”

“Just this first find,” Smallwood pressed. “You can see that I am going to give you the information. I have already begun to do that this morning! My mind will be fully on the discussion at hand if I am only allowed to see this one small thing.” He paused, waited. No answer from the Germans. “Please.”

Stigler considered, then sighed. “Very well, Herr Smallwood. We shall have Major Hochstetter accompany you for your own safety.”

Great, thought Hogan.

“Hogan,” Smallwood said. Hogan raised an eyebrow but did not answer. “Colonel Hogan.” Hogan nodded slightly. “Please tell the archaeologists to wait. I will be there very shortly.”

Hogan said nothing, but moved past Hochstetter to leave the office. I knew you would.

Chapter Eight

Manipulation and Memories


Major Hochstetter walked briskly around the perimeter of the dig site and then came back to face off against Klink. “What is all this digging, Klink?”

“That’s what you do in archaeology, Major,” Hogan interjected, uninvited. “Most things from thousands of years ago aren’t sitting on the surface. You have to dig for them!”

“What is this man doing here?” Hochstetter seethed. “You are letting prisoners dig, Klink! Doesn’t that strike you as odd? It is like you are inviting them to escape! And with Hogan nearby, it is even more dangerous! He does not belong anywhere near here, or near Herr Smallwood, either!”

Klink continued to fumble in an attempted answer. Hogan shook his head and sighed. “Major,” Hogan tried, “I think you’ll find this was all authorized by Colonel Stigler.”

“Hogan, keep out of this, you don’t know what you are—” Hochstetter stopped, then looked at Stigler. “Is this true, Herr Oberst?”

Stigler came forward calmly. “Yes, Major, that is correct. Herr Smallwood has indicated a strong interest in this project, and so we are doing all we can to satisfy him.” He smiled at the Englishman.

“Including allowing the most dangerous man in Germany near shovels and fences!” Hochstetter added. “Begging your pardon, Colonel, Hogan is not the kind of man who should be anywhere near here, much less near an important visitor like Herr Smallwood! Klink, I warned you about this—”

“Major Hochstetter, there is nothing to worry about,” Stigler said. “I have it well under control.” With a glance toward the senior POW, he added, “Your own men are watching Colonel Hogan very carefully. He doesn’t seem like much of a threat to us. What can one man—a prisoner, no less—do to stop the Third Reich?”

“You’d be surprised,” Hochstetter growled through his teeth. Hogan looked back innocently. “Nevertheless,” he added in a louder voice, “I would recommend that we keep a close watch on Colonel Hogan. I believe he is capable of more than you give him credit for.”

“I will leave that to you, then, Major,” Stigler said. “I will concern myself with the happiness of Herr Smallwood, and you concern yourself with his safety.”

“But the digging, the digging!” Hochstetter resumed. “This must not be happening here! Herr Colonel, surely you can understand why giving shovels to prisoners is a bad idea!”

Hogan watched the exchange carefully; their whole plan hinged on this project continuing. “You have guards, Major. And they have rifles. If the men try to use the shovels for anything but this project, I’m sure Colonel Klink would have no objections to having them shot on sight.”

“That’s right, Herr Oberst!” Klink said ingratiatingly. Hogan arched his eyebrow at him. Klink’s nervous smile disappeared.

“Let me see what progress they have made so far before you decide, Major,” Smallwood put in, anxious. “Hogan said they were close to making a monumental discovery!”

Did I say that? Hogan asked himself, bemused at how his words had been twisted into something even more fantastic.

Suddenly, excited shouts started coming from the digging area. “Colonel! Colonel Hogan!” Le Beau shouted.

Hogan looked over to see the Frenchman waving wildly, trying to get his attention. He wandered down to him, thumbs hooked in his pockets. “What is it, Le Beau?”

“These men—they have done it! They think they have found something important! Come and see!”

Hogan looked back to the Germans and, shrugging his shoulders, turned and headed into the secured area to where the downed flyers and the Underground agent were talking excitedly amongst themselves. Rhodes held out a large piece of pottery toward him. Hogan took it and casually turned it over in his hands, then held it up for the Germans to notice. “Looks like we might have something nice here,” he called. As he heard rather than saw the flood of German feet flowing into the pit toward them, Hogan asked loudly, “Do they think they can find any more of this stuff?”

Le Beau turned to the “experts” and asked the question, to which he got several vehement, affirmative responses that even Hogan could understand. “Oui, Colonel. Now that this has been found they are confident there will be more.”

Smallwood was the first to reach him. “Let me see that,” he said breathlessly, his eyes never leaving the clay pot. He practically snatched it out of Hogan’s hands and studied it with eager eyes. “Ah, look at that. Red, white, and black paint… probably wheel-thrown and made in a specialized workshop…. Notice the geometric designs on this piece—the diamonds, the crosses…See how the sections almost mirror each other but there are slight differences in the bottom section that make them each unique.” Hogan exchanged looks with Le Beau and Kinch as Smallwood gushed, “This is exquisite, gentlemen. Exquisite!” He reluctantly handed the piece back to Rhodes. “There must be more of it. There must be!” Smallwood walked back to Hochstetter, who had quickly followed his charge down to the group. “Major Hochstetter, you must not forbid digging here. This site is too important!”

“Actually, digging might not be a good idea, not right here,” Kinch said suddenly. Smallwood looked at the Sergeant questioningly. “We’ll need to be very careful how we proceed from here on out. A couple of hard hits with a shovel here and we might destroy anything we come across!”

“So what do you suggest?” Hogan asked.

“Regular digging further down there, Colonel,” Kinch replied, nodding toward where the pit was deeper and wider, “and excavating by hand in this area. These men must have some tools with them, Louis. Equipment we can use for slower excavation.”

Le Beau turned to the assembled Frenchmen and asked the question. “Oui, Kinch, they do not travel without them.”

“Then I suggest we continue that way,” Hogan said agreeably. “That’s much more detailed work, though, isn’t it?” he asked.

“Absolutely,” Kinch said.

“Then our price just went up five pfennigs an hour.”

Klink started blustering. “Hogan, this is outrageous—!”

“When will this begin?” Smallwood asked Le Beau.

Le Beau translated, then turned back to the Englishman. “Right away, Monsieur.”

Smallwood turned to Stigler. “I must take part in this. I must! It may be the only chance I have to be so intimately involved in such a project. You may have me every evening. But please, Colonel, during the day—please let me take part in this.”

Stigler screwed up his face, obviously considering. “Herr Smallwood, I appreciate your great interest in this project. But we must start making progress. Berlin is most anxious to hear what you have to say.” He stopped and fixed Smallwood with a stare. “You’re not having second thoughts, are you?”

Smallwood recoiled physically from the suggestion. “No, Colonel Stigler, no. It’s just that I—”

“Aw, come on, Colonel,” Hogan urged. “Even a traitor is entitled to a hobby. These guys need the help, and it sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. If he’s as much of an expert as he seems to be, he’ll only be adding to the glory of the Third Reich by being part of it, right?”

Stigler nodded thoughtfully. “Very well. The American has spoken well for you, Herr Smallwood.” Hogan nodded slightly as Smallwood turned to look at him. “You may stay here for today. But tonight you will give us everything!”

“Of course, Colonel. Everything.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“The detail, it is perfect! It is as though it were taken from the Heuneburg site itself!” Le Beau translated for the real Heuneburg expert, who could not hide a genuine smile.

Smallwood held another piece of pottery in his hands, proud and awed by the vessel he had pulled out of the ground on his own. “It is beautiful,” he said.

Le Beau nodded and kept at the detailed work he was pretending to do on a small patch of ground. Ah, there was another of Newkirk’s creations; he recognized his own work in the shape of the remnant. “It all looks the same to me.”

Smallwood almost gasped. “Oh, but it isn’t! Look how perfect, how perfect!”

Le Beau mimicked him under his breath. “Nothing in this world is perfect. Not even the Boches,” he said with a trace of bitterness.

Smallwood paused in his admiration and looked long and hard at the Frenchman. “What are you trying to say, man?”

Le Beau shrugged. “Nothing,” he answered casually. He continued working quietly, not looking up. Eventually, he said, “Colonel Hogan, he is a very smart man.”

“He may be,” Smallwood answered, still studying more than working.

“You will regret what you said to him.”

Smallwood stood tall. “Are you threatening me?”

Le Beau dropped his tools and faced the Englishman, his face full of anger. “He is worth more than one hundred of you, you filthy traitor.”

“I suggest you change your tone, Corporal,” Smallwood said evenly. “You may not like the punishment that comes with crossing me.”

Le Beau started to get feisty and loud. It wasn’t long before he attracted the attention of both Hochstetter and Hogan. The pair made a beeline for the area of the pit where the two were working. “All right, what’s going on here?” Hogan asked, eyeing Smallwood as he put a hand on Louis’s shoulder to calm him down.

“Nothing, Colonel,” Le Beau said, pulling away and turning back to his work. “I just have not gotten used to working alongside swine.”

Hogan looked hard at Smallwood, then glanced at Le Beau to make sure the Corporal was back to his job; obviously, being with Smallwood was affecting him, too. “You’d think you’d be used to it by now, Louis,” Hogan said with a touch of lightness; “look at how many times you’ve had to share the kitchen with the Germans!”

Le Beau smiled wanly, continuing his assigned task. Smallwood took the opportunity to push Hogan just a little bit farther. “Your Frenchman was defending you, Hogan,” he explained. “It is not unexpected—after all, pathetic, fallen eagles attract weak creatures such as scavengers… and Frogs.”

It was Smallwood’s smirk that finally drove Hogan over the edge. Before anyone had a chance to react, the Colonel grabbed the Englishman by the lapels of his neat brown suit and drove him forcefully up against the crumbly, earthen wall of the pit. His fists clenched tightly, Hogan pushed with a reserve of strength he didn’t know he had, pinning Smallwood against the dirt and leaving the older man gasping for release. Hogan’s dark, flashing eyes bore straight into Smallwood, seeing nothing but the anger and the memories that haunted him, hearing nothing but the roar of the engines and the screams of the crew of his plane as she bore the brunt of an enemy attack that she could not survive.

Hogan’s men—indeed, everyone in the vicinity—had stopped to watch the scene unfolding before them. Hogan’s hands trembled, and his chest moved so very slightly that for an instant some of them wondered if he was even breathing. A trickle of sweat ran past his temple. He had done all he could on that terrible day. He had done all he could!


Hadn’t he?

“Colonel—Colonel Hogan!”

He remembered his men calling to him as the fateful moment barreled toward them at horrible, breakneck speed. We’ve got a fire starting back here!


“Colonel! Are you all right?”

I can’t stop her from heading down. Bail out. Do it now!


As though being abruptly sucked out of a tunnel and into the light of day, Hogan came back into himself, seeing what he was doing as if for the first time, and hearing the voices of those around him. He looked, almost bewildered, at his hands that were forcing Smallwood against the dirt wall. He let out a breath he had not realized he was holding, and took long, deep breaths as he recovered.

“Colonel Hogan. Please, mon Colonel, he is not worth it!”

Hogan tore his eyes away from Smallwood and stared down at the ground, still stunned.

“Colonel! Colonel, listen to me. You have to let him go!”

One of Hogan’s hands let go of a lapel. He let his arm fall limply to his side.

“You will stop, Hogan, or you will be shot!”

Down came the other arm. Hogan looked up as though just released from a trance, to see a group of tense men surrounding him, including Le Beau, Kinch, and Hochstetter, who was holding a pistol aimed directly at his chest.

Hogan blinked and slowly straightened. Smallwood relaxed a little and brushed off his clothing, sidling away from Hogan cautiously. Hogan shook his head and took a staggering step away from him, taking in the worried faces of his own men. “I’m sorry,” he said breathlessly to no one in particular. He glanced up at Hochstetter, who had not moved. “I’m sorry,” he said again, this time to the Gestapo officer. “I don’t know what came over me.”

“You will have time to think about it when you are sitting in your cell, Hogan,” Hochstetter said. He waved his pistol toward the guards who had moved in with him. “Take him to the cooler.” Two guards moved in and grabbed Hogan by the arms. He heaved a sigh but did not resist them. “I will tell Kommandant Klink that you are temporarily indisposed. And you will remain indisposed until Herr Smallwood is safely out of camp. Take him!” he shouted at the guards, who had paused as the Major spoke to Hogan.

The guards prodded Hogan into walking. Hogan glanced at Kinch and Le Beau, who nodded in response to his silent instructions; then he let the Germans lead him away.

Chapter Nine

Up in Smoke


Hogan was sitting with his head hanging down, his elbows on his knees, when he heard the familiar scrape of the loose stone that led from the tunnels under Stalag 13 to the cooler. He gave a cursory glance to the moving rock, only mildly surprised when the head of Louis Le Beau popped through, followed by a tray brimming with goodies that any other time would have coaxed a smile from the Colonel. Today, though, it was just a nice gesture that he couldn’t stomach.

“I brought you dinner, Colonel,” Louis explained needlessly. Hogan just went back to staring at the floor. The Corporal spoke again, hoping to draw Hogan out of his obvious melancholy. “Everyone is done for the day. Even Smallwood has left the site. You were right, Colonel; it was a brilliant way to get his attention away from les Boches. He could talk of nothing else.”

Hogan nodded vaguely but said nothing.

“He is asleep now. Newkirk checked on him. Stigler and the others wanted him to start spilling his secrets tonight but they could barely keep him awake. They were angry, but they still feel they are doing the right thing, so they have left him alone. Kinch says they figure as long as they are keeping him happy and have his attention, he will come through with what he promises, so they will be patient.”

Le Beau waited for Hogan to give him instructions to carry back to the others. He waited for one of Hogan’s characteristically glib remarks about the conditions of the cooler and about the room service he was receiving now. None of it was forthcoming. “Colonel…”

“I keep thinking about it, you know?” Hogan said, almost in wonder. He sat up straight and braced his hands on his knees. He let his eyes wander the upper third of the small cell, as though seeing the entire sky before him. “‘What if I had done something differently? What if I could have kept Goldilocks in the sky just a little longer? What if I’d had us turn back earlier?’”

Louis took his time before answering. “We cannot change what has happened, Colonel,” he said finally. Hogan let his hands slide off his knees and resumed his dejected slouch. “You did everything you could do that day. No one doubts that but you, and that is because you are a good commander who cares about his men. ‘What ifs’ are not healthy, Colonel. ‘What ifs’ are for writers of fairy tales. But if you are going to do that, then try this one: ‘What if you had not come to Stalag 13? What would have become of all those men who have come through here? What would have become of us?’”

Le Beau wondered for a moment if Hogan had heard him, for the American made no move and no sound, and continued staring at nothing. Then he let out a long breath and turned toward the Corporal, with a small gleam in his eye. “Thanks, Louis.”

Le Beau shrugged in reply.

Hogan smiled determinedly now, in a deliberate attempt to clear his mind. “Look, I’m stuck in here for the duration. But you all know what to do, and I want it done.”

Oui, Colonel,” Le Beau answered, heartened by the return of Hogan’s “take-charge” attitude.

“Don’t deviate from the plan; we’re running out of time, fast. Tell the others it goes down tomorrow, as soon as possible. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Well, there’s one good thing about being stuck in here, I suppose,” Hogan said.

“What is that?”

Hogan grabbed a drumstick off the tray and took a large bite out of it, his appetite making a sudden and fierce return. “The Krauts can’t possibly think I had anything to do with what’s going to happen next!”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“What do you mean you have to stop?” Kinch asked incredulously, when Le Beau approached him sometime late the next morning.

Le Beau braced himself against the cold, stiff wind that had crept up around the camp overnight. “Oui, that is what I said. Les experts archéologiques say that we have to stop. We have hit solid rock and cannot go any farther.” He shrugged. “They are disappointed, but there is nothing we can do with mere shovels.”

The Underground leader approached Le Beau. “S'il vous plaît, pourrions-nous avoir la permission de faire exploser la roche ?

Le Beau turned back to the man. “Non, non, mon ami, les Boches ne comprendraient pas pourquoi vous auriez besoin d'utiliser d'explosifs. Ce n’est pas possible.

“What is he saying, Corporal?” Hochstetter asked, now more relaxed looking after Smallwood, since Hogan was no longer a threat. He shivered underneath his long coat.

“He is saying that they would like to blast the rock out of the way so they can keep going, Major. But I have told him that is not possible.”

Hochstetter nodded approvingly. “You are certainly correct about that,” he said.

Stigler came down to the men from outside the pit, smiling. “This may not be a bad thing after all, Herr Major,” he began.

What?” Hochstetter gasped, unbelieving. “Using explosives? In a prisoner of war camp? Herr Colonel—”

“The interlude may give us some time to spend with Herr Smallwood, discussing matters of great importance. He can always return to this later, when there is more for him to do.”

“But Colonel, I—”

Stigler waved his hand dismissively. “It is ideal, Major Hochstetter,” he said, with a look that indicated he would accept no protest. “Get the materials, and have the prisoners do the blasting.” At Hochstetter’s look of shock, Stigler added, “If they have to worry about blowing themselves up, they aren’t likely to conduct any… monkey business, are they?”

Hochstetter could only shake his head.

“Come, Herr Smallwood. Why don’t you get cleaned up? We will meet you in Colonel Klink’s office in half an hour.” Stigler smiled and patted Smallwood on the shoulder, then turned, accepting a salute from Hochstetter, and walked away.

Le Beau finished translating for the archaeologist beside him, and received an answer that he relayed to Hochstetter. “He says he has what he needs to make small explosions with him in the truck these men came here in,” Le Beau explained.

“Very well,” Hochstetter growled. “I will send my guards with them to make sure no one pulls any funny business.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“This machine is intended to break the codes devised by the German Lorenz cipher machines. A test was conducted recently, and it was quite a smashing success by any standards. You may well find that in no time at all, your supposedly superior designs will be simply child’s play to the Allies if this machine is duplicated and used regularly.” Smallwood looked almost smugly at the Germans, who were listening with great interest. Major Lugsden was taking non-stop notes.

“It all sounds very impressive, Herr Smallwood,” Stigler praised, nodding. “How many of these machines are the Allies planning to build?”

“There are plans to put together as many as ten, Colonel.”

“Where will they be kept?”

“At various points throughout Allied holdings. But they are just in the first stages at the moment, so there is no need to move the prototype out of London.”

“Please explain, Herr Smallwood, exactly how this marvelous piece of equipment works.”

“Colossus has two cycles of operation,” Smallwood said. “The first is controlled by the optical reading of the sprocket holes punched between—”

“Kommandant! Hey, Kommandant!” A cry from outside interrupted them.

Klink stood up and opened his window, ready to reprimand the person shouting. “What is it? What’s going on out here?” he called. He nearly shut the window rather than face the bitter cold without his overcoat.

“We weren’t allowed in the office by the guards,” called Newkirk, coming up to the window. He glanced inside, saw Smallwood clearly paused mid-speech and Lugsden holding down his papers against the wind. “But we thought your friend Smallwood might like to know the blasting is done and there’s an awful lot of stuff down there that wasn’t there before. The boys are just pulling out pieces of ceramics left and right now.”

Smallwood moved toward Newkirk, oblivious to the cold. “What are they getting? What?”

Newkirk shrugged. “I don’t know, gov’nor,” he said innocently. “I just see a lot of broken pots. I don’t know what any of it is.”

“Perhaps a storehouse, a burial site… they may have struck an absolute treasure trove!” Smallwood exclaimed. By now used to having his whims catered to, he turned to Stigler and said, “We must go there now, Colonel. I may never have an opportunity to be so close to this kind of discovery again.”

Stigler pursed his lips, then considered the progress they had already made. “In light of your obvious willingness to continue, Herr Smallwood, I cannot see where this short distraction will matter.” He smiled. “After all, my orders are to keep you safe… and satisfied… while you are here.” He stood up. “Come, gentlemen, we will all view this marvelous find.”

“‘The Klink Discovery,’” the Kommandant sighed quietly.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“Newkirk, I thought you said the blasting was finished!” Klink shouted, as the earth trembled beneath their feet.

“It was, Kommandant,” Le Beau said, approaching the Germans. “But they found one small spot that they could not get past that they believe is holding some very important artifacts.”

“May I help?” Smallwood asked eagerly.

Le Beau looked at Smallwood with loathing in his eyes. Newkirk nudged him gently, and the Frenchman’s face twisted into a smile that was not reflected in his voice. “Of course,” he said. His teeth threatened to crack from how tightly he was clenching them together to keep his smile in place. “Why don’t you come with me?”

“I do not recommend this, Herr Oberst,” Hochstetter said to Stigler. “This area would be quite unstable.” He pulled his collar up to try to stave off some of the chill.

“I assure you, I shall be quite safe,” Smallwood replied. “Come, Corporal. Show me where this is.”

The pair descended into the pit and over to the far corner. Uncomfortable with the distance between him and his charge, Hochstetter also moved in. As they observed, Stigler, Klink, and Lugsden wandered down as well, taking in the work done in the pit. Newkirk stayed close by them.

Suddenly a larger blast rocked the earth, leaving the Germans to fight for balance. Newkirk brushed up against Major Lugsden. “There you go, Major,” he said, holding the officer upright.

Danke,” he said, brushing himself off.

“Perhaps Major Hochstetter is right,” Stigler conceded. “We cannot afford to risk the wellbeing of Herr Smallwood.” He moved further down to where Le Beau and the Englishman had disappeared.

“Look out!” shouted Newkirk, as another explosion was heard. This time, it was much stronger than the one before. Smoke belched out from the area, and for a brief moment, flames shot high up into the air, as the cave-like cavern they had created collapsed around them.

“Louis!” called Newkirk. The Germans and Newkirk were lying on the ground from the impact. Newkirk pulled himself up, pulling on Lugsden’s coat as he did so. Papers came flying out from inside Lugsden’s pocket, only to be drawn up into the wind.

“No, I need those!” the Major cried as he struggled to get off the ground.

Newkirk took a brief second to watch the papers fly over the fence and out of sight, then raced toward the site of the blast.

Chapter Ten



“Louis!” Newkirk dug and scraped as he helped pull the self-appointed experts from the rubble. Then he found Le Beau coughing and spluttering as he made his way out as well. “Louis, are you all right?” Newkirk asked.

Oui,” he answered. “Oui.” He looked up to see the Germans running toward him. “But Smallwood—he was in the direct path of the explosion. I saw him,” Le Beau continued, almost crying. “I saw him—there s nothing left!” he said. “Just—just there—just his shoe!” he stammered. “There was blood, and then he was gone!” Le Beau keeled over. Newkirk caught him.

“What is he saying? Where is Herr Smallwood?” Stigler cried.

“Didn’t you ’ear him?—He said he’s gone! Bleedin’ disintegrated!” Newkirk answered. He turned back to Le Beau. “C’mon, Louis. Wake up for me,” he said.

Le Beau didn’t move. Newkirk lay the Frenchman on the ground and leaned over him worriedly. Out of sight of the Germans, Le Beau opened one eye and nodded imperceptibly, then went back into his faint over his ordeal.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“What is the meaning of this? What’s going on?”

Smallwood was struggling as Carter tied the man’s hands behind his back. “Sorry, Mr. Smallwood, but I had to get the part of the tunnel to collapse, and that big blast was the only way to do it and get you out of the hands of the Germans at the same time.”

Carter smiled as he finished his job and then turned back to the Englishman. “You’re going to have to stay quiet,” he said. “We’re going to move farther down the tunnel away from here, but your voice might carry a bit.”

“I don’t understand! What tunnel? Where are we?”

“We’re under Stalag 13,” Kinch explained, keeping his gun by his side but not raised. “You’re going to go back to England, Smallwood. But not as a hero.” He nodded to Carter. “Let’s go.”

They each took one of Smallwood’s arms and headed toward the main tunnel and away from Barracks Nine. Smallwood started to cry out. Kinch shoved a cloth in the man’s mouth immediately and shook his head.

“I told you, you have to be quiet,” Carter said. “And Newkirk says I talk too much. Englishmen.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“These men say they cannot work here any more; it is too dangerous,” Le Beau translated, still sitting on the ground as Rhodes and the Underground agent came to speak with him, nursing some cuts and bruises.

“What?” Klink said. “They created the blasts—of course it was dangerous!”

Le Beau shrugged. “Archaeologists are very suspicious people, Kommandant. They feel this place would have bad luck now that someone has been killed here. They do not want to continue this excavation. They want to take what they have already found, and get everything else filled in.”

Do it!” spat Stigler, angry. “Get this area filled up with dirt and cement right now!” he ordered. “The world can wait a little longer for this ‘great discovery.’”

“But what about the Klink Discovery?” Klink asked.

“What about the Klink Execution?” Hochstetter retorted.

“What do we do, Herr Colonel?” Lugsden was saying. “Smallwood is gone! And the notes I took—they have blown away! How do we explain this?”

“Maybe we can search the woods for them later,” Newkirk suggested. “That is, before they put you in front of the firing squad for losing one of your most important traitors.” He turned to Le Beau. “Come on, Louis. Let’s get you back to the barracks.” He helped Le Beau up off the ground, and patted the inside of his own jacket possessively.

Le Beau stood up and his wooziness abruptly disappeared.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Schultz unlocked the door to Hogan’s cell and swung it wide open. “You are free, Colonel Hogan,” he muttered.

Hogan looked up, surprised. “Smallwood gone already, Schultz?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes.”

“I’m surprised, Schultz,” Hogan said, standing up and stretching. “Isn’t he supposed to be having a good ol’ yarn with the boys about something? Or have they taken him in to town again so he can have a look at the ladies?”

“He is not in Hammelburg,” Schultz replied, still bewildered.

Hogan frowned. “What’s the matter, Schultz? Isn’t he coming back?”

Schultz shook his head and widened his eyes. “Nein, Colonel Hogan. He will not come back. He blew up!”

It was Hogan’s turn for his eyes to widen like saucers. “Blew up?”

Ja. There was an explosion at the excavation site, and he went—poof!—up in flames. All they found was one shoe.”

“Is that what that shaking was?” Hogan asked. “I thought Burkhalter was just walking too close to the cooler. Were any of my men hurt?”

“No, Colonel Hogan, they are all okay. Although the Cockroach, I think he fainted.”

“He never could stand the sight of blood.” He patted the guard’s chest as he passed him on the way out. “Thanks, Schultz. I owe you.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


“Yes, General Burkhalter, that’s right; they have filled in everything as it was before…. No, General, there is no chance of a prisoner escaping. Everything is secure, as usual.... Colonel Stigler and Major Lugsden are on their way back to Berlin to explain what has happened, and Major Hochstetter has left as well…. The archaeologists? They packed up their truck and got out as quickly as possible. Suspicious people—weak! Didn’t want to stay here after someone had been killed on the site….Ja, Herr General. Of course, sir. My regards to Mrs. Burkhalter!... Yes, sir. Shut up and hang up.”

Klink sat back in his chair and sighed. “The Klink Discovery” was gone. He looked at the vase on his desk and nodded. Gone for now, buried with that British traitor under the ground. But after the war…

All at once, Klink picked up his phone. “Fraulein Hilda, I need you to find out who to apply to for land rights once the war is over….”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Hogan hopped off the bottom rung of the ladder that led to the tunnels under Barracks Two and watched as the contraption locked itself back in place. Le Beau was the first one he saw. “Everything okay?” he asked.

Oui. Welcome back, Colonel.”

Hogan gave a mild smile. “Thanks. You get hurt? Schultz said you fainted.”

Non, mon Colonel. That was just acting to get the Germans away from the hole.”

Newkirk came up and punched his arm. “You could have opened your eyes a little faster. I wasn’t sure if you were putting it on or not for awhile there!”

Le Beau turned to him. “Aw, were you worried?” he asked, teasing.

“Never!” Newkirk replied. “I just thought I was gonna have to carry you all the way back to the barracks, and I didn’t want to strain meself!” Newkirk reached into his pocket and pulled out a half dozen sheets of paper. “And when everyone fell down on top of each other from the impact of the explosion, the poor Major lost some of his papers.” He handed the pages to Hogan, who looked them over quickly and nodded appreciatively. “Notes from Smallwood’s talk,” he said, nodding. “How did you manage it?”

“Well, sir, I had to help the gentleman up, you know. Only politeness, after all. The rest of his papers went flying over the fence in the wind. If they go looking, they won’t find anything on those! Bad luck, poor man,” Newkirk added, shaking his head regretfully.

Hogan smiled and stuck the papers in the breast pocket of his bomber jacket. “Bad luck brought on with a little help from Light Fingers Newkirk.”

“I’m proud to have been a part of it, sir.”

Carter approached from further down the tunnel. “Carter?” Hogan greeted him.

“You missed it, Colonel! One of the best-looking explosions I’ve ever created! Lots of smoke, even a few flames to make it look like it could have incinerated someone, and boom! It was really exciting!” the Sergeant gushed. “Boy, if I hadn’t done it myself, I would never have guessed that it wasn’t an honest-to-goodness, accidental, deadly blast! You should have seen it, boy!—uh, Colonel!”

Hogan shook his head. “I could hear it from the cooler. Did it do its job?”

Carter bobbed his head. “Sure did—the link between the digging site near Barracks Ten and the real tunnel we have under Barracks Nine is gone. And after the Germans ordered the men to cement off the area, there’s no chance they’ll ever be able to go back and reach our tunnel system now.”


Kinch was the next to appear. “Colonel—the Gestapo has pulled out of the area—and fast. There’ll be two Underground agents waiting to take the two fellas from Stalag 7 and Smallwood back out at twenty-three hundred hours. And they’ll make sure Smallwood is escorted rather forcefully back to the Allied sub at the rendezvous point tonight.”

“Good. How’d he take it?”

“He’s mad as hell, Colonel.” Hogan snorted. “But he’ll survive.”

“So will a lot more of our boys… no thanks to him.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Just before the appointed hour, Hogan stood before Smallwood in the tunnel, his men surrounding him. He looked the Englishman over with a critical eye, then shook his head in disgust.

“You make me sick, Smallwood. I consider it an honor to hand you over to the authorities.”

Smallwood waited a moment before responding. “Well, Hogan, this appears to be your ‘playground,’” he goaded quietly, reminding Hogan of their first encounter. “There are no ‘big bad Krauts’ here with rifles to stop you. So why don’t you make yourself feel better and get whatever it is you have against me out of your system, eh?”

Hogan stared at Smallwood, anger putting flames in his dark eyes. His men watched tensely as the senior POW seemed to consider Smallwood’s suggestion. But Hogan remained stock still, his breathing steady, his fists clenching and unclenching, his eyes boring through Smallwood in a way that made them all uncomfortable. Finally, Hogan broke out of what appeared to be a self-induced trance and spoke. “I don’t need to touch a hair on your head, Smallwood. This ‘failed flyboy’ has it all over you already. And while I have something to say about it—and I do—guys like you are never going to win.” He took in and let out a heavy breath and turned to Newkirk. “Newkirk, Le Beau, get him out of my sight. It’s starting to stink in here.”

Newkirk came forward, Luger in hand, grabbing Smallwood by the arm and shoving him none too gently toward the exit. “With pleasure, Colonel.”

Oui, avec plaisir,” Le Beau repeated.

Hogan turned back toward the main part of the tunnel to head back upstairs. “Why should I always be the one to put out the trash?”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Kinch’s head appeared at the top of the ladder as he started speaking. “Just spoke with London, Colonel,” he said.

Hogan looked up from the table, where he was watching Newkirk and Carter play a very one-sided game of gin rummy.

“Smallwood is back with the authorities. They’re none too pleased with him, they say.”

“British understatement,” Hogan said with a shake of his head.

“They said to pass on congratulations to all on a job well done.”

“Good!” Hogan said, standing up. “You certainly all deserve it.” He paused, almost awkwardly, before continuing. “Thanks, fellas, for coming through when it came to the crunch. I’m sorry I… put it all in jeopardy by losing my temper.”

Newkirk was the first to break the silence. “It worked out better this way anyway, sir,” he said. “Hochstetter couldn’t pin a thing on you that way—or us. We’re all clean and the Gestapo took off like a shot!”

Hogan nodded. “Maybe I should keep my nose out of it more often!” He smiled resignedly. “I’m tired, fellas. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Good night, gov’nor.”

“Good night, sir.”

A few minutes later, Hogan heard a light tapping on his door. “Come,” he said.

The door opened and Le Beau entered quietly, nodding knowingly when he saw Hogan sitting up on his bottom bunk, his blankets smooth and untouched. “I had a feeling you would not be asleep, Colonel,” he said, holding a cup of coffee in his hands.

Hogan smiled softly and accepted the offered drink. “Louis, when are you going to stop knowing everything about me without my telling you?”

Le Beau shrugged. “When you stop being a human being.”  He let Hogan take a swallow before he asked, “How do you feel now that Smallwood is gone?”

“Pretty good,” he admitted. “I couldn’t stand the idea of someone throwing away our boys’ lives for his own gain. And he had the gall to tell me that I was a failure!” Hogan paused. “At least I didn’t forfeit anyone’s lives on purpose.”

“No more ‘what ifs,’ Colonel?” Le Beau asked quietly.

Hogan shook his head. “No, Louis. No more. I did everything I could to save that plane. Everything that happened had a reason. This is where I was meant to be.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

“Message from the Underground, Colonel. The Heuneburg agent who was here with the fellas we picked up said to tell you that they’re grateful for the pottery, and want to know where you got the Greek pieces from.”

Kinch handed the note to Hogan, who scanned it and then looked at his men. “Nice work, fellas,” he said. “You fooled the experts. It says here that the piece with the Greek soldier heading off to war was better than anything they could have expected from a bunch of men stuck in a prison camp.”

“Greek soldier?” Newkirk repeated. “I didn’t do any Greek pieces; did you, Andrew?”

“Well, gee, no, I didn’t do any either, Colonel. We didn’t have anything that looked like that.”

Hogan furrowed his brow. “Well they got the stuff while they were digging here. Everything they picked up was from us, wasn’t it?” Hogan’s men looked at each other. No answers. “Le Beau?”

Le Beau shook his head. “Olsen and I did not do any painting. Just the firing.”

Hogan toyed with the note, chewing his bottom lip. “So where did it come from?” His eyebrows rose as he realized the implications of the men’s denials. “Kinch, you’d better get back on the horn and tell those Heuneburg experts not to throw anything out. It looks like they’re going to have a new excavation job waiting for them after the war—right here at Stalag 13!”

January 2005

Text and original characters copyright 2005 by Linda Groundwater

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.