More Than One Way to Catch a Papa Bear
Author’s note: Others own the Hogan’s Heroes characters. All other characters are my creations. Please do not use them without my permission.
Dawn had just broken when a black car arrived at the gates of Stalag 13. The guard on duty admitted the car and sent someone to rouse Sergeant Schultz and the Kommandant from bed. Schultz quickly dressed and went to greet their guests. The man who woke him didn’t say who their visitors were, just that they were waiting inside their car that was parked outside the Kommandant’s office. As he approached, the men in the car got out and walked up to him.
“Sergeant Schultz?” the officer asked.
“Jawohl, Herr…?” Schultz replied.
“What is going on here?!?” Klink bellowed as he came out of the building. He’d just finished buttoning his uniform and was still half asleep.
A tall, dark haired man with a thick mustache who was smartly dressed in a black uniform with a red armband bearing a swastika emblem stood next to the car. Several others stood behind him. He approached the Kommandant and said, “Colonel Wilhelm Klink?”
“Yes?” Klink replied.
“I need to speak to you on a matter of the utmost importance,” the stranger began. “Let us go into your office.” The other men waited outside next to the car.
“Yes, sir,” Klink replied and opened the outside door for his guest. As the man waited just inside, he opened his office door; and when he turned around, Schultz had just closed the outer door. “Schultz, we are not to be disturbed for any reason whatsoever.” He then closed the door and went to sit behind his desk.
“How may I help you, Herr…?” Klink began as he looked at the man sitting across from him.
“Krantzmann. Colonel Fritz Krantzmann, SS Counterintelligence Division.”
Klink quivered inwardly. “Colonel, what can I do for you?”
“I will be relieving you of one of
your prisoners and taking him to
“Which prisoner are you taking?” Klink asked.
Krantzmann pulled a manila folder
from his briefcase, opened it and after he looked at the document continued,
“His name is Colonel Robert Hogan. Here
are the papers authorizing me to remove Hogan from this camp. And here are the orders for Hogan’s transfer
Klink inhaled sharply and inquired, “But why?”
“He is suspected of espionage against the state,” Krantzmann said, his tone low and menacing. He then took some papers from the folder and ordered, “You will have your Sergeant bring this man to my car immediately. I have the papers for his arrest here.”
Klink took the documents handed to him and examined them. Everything seemed to be in order. “Schuuuultz!!!” Klink bellowed.
The door opened and Schultz entered. “Yes, Herr Kommandant?” the portly sergeant asked.
“Bring Hogan to this man’s car outside, at once!” ordered Klink.
Schultz looked at his commanding officer, “Yes sir.”
Schultz left first the office, then the building and walked across the compound to Barracks 2. From the window of his office, Klink watched as Schultz entered the wooden frame building across the compound. He wondered what the SS man would do to Hogan.
* * * * * * *
Schultz quietly entered the barracks, went to the office at the end of the building and opened the door. When he closed it, turned and looked at the top bunk, he found Colonel Hogan sound asleep there. He walked over and shook the American officer’s shoulder. “Colonel Hogan?”
“Huh?” Hogan asked, still half asleep.
“Wake up, Colonel!” Schultz replied.
“What?” Hogan asked, opening his eyes.
Schultz replied quietly, “The Kommandant wants to see you.”
“What time is it?” Hogan asked wearily.
Schultz checked his pocket watch. “”
“What does Klink want at this hour?” asked Hogan.
“I don’t know. You are to come with me immediately,” replied Schultz.
“All right. Give me a few minutes to get dressed,” Hogan responded sleepily.
“I’ll wait outside the barracks,” Schultz said.
“Thanks Schultz,” Hogan said.
Hogan wondered what the hell Klink wanted with him and dressed quickly. He pulled on his jacket, put on his cap and turned off the lights before quietly opening the door leading to the main room of the barracks. He crossed to the main door, opened it, walked outside and closed it quietly behind himself. Schultz was waiting for him just outside the door.
“Sorry Colonel. I didn’t want to wake you at this hour,” Schultz began as they slowly walked across the compound.
“Any idea what’s going on?” Hogan asked.
Schultz looked at him with fear in his eyes and replied, “No. All I know is that there is some SS colonel here.”
“SS colonel? What’s he here for?” Hogan tried not to let the unease he felt creep into his voice or show on his face.
“I don’t know,” Schultz replied. “Shortly after they entered the Kommandant’s office, Klink called me in and told me to come and get you.”
By then they had crossed the compound and Klink and the SS colonel were standing next to the black car parked in front of Klink’s office. They walked over to where the two officers stood. “Herr Kommandant, Colonel Hogan as you requested,” Schultz said.
Klink replied, “Danke Schultz.”
“So, this is Colonel Hogan,” the SS officer began derisively. “I am SS Colonel Krantzmann, Counterintelligence Division.”
Hogan was suddenly very uneasy and he thought, Calm down, Robert. This may be nothing at all! With a slight nod of his head, Hogan acknowledged the officer, “Colonel.”
The SS man signaled his men with a slight nod. Suddenly, Hogan felt rough hands grab his arms, slam his hands on the hood of the car, his legs were kicked apart and he was thoroughly frisked. Then, his arms were pulled behind him and he felt the cold steel of handcuffs as they were put on his wrists.
Krantzmann opened the car door and
said, “Get in, Colonel Hogan. I’m taking
“This is against the
“Silence!” Krantzmann shouted.
Hogan fell silent and as he bent down to get into the car, someone hit him hard across his shoulders. He fell forward into the car, unconscious.
“Colonel!” Klink exclaimed, appalled at Hogan’s treatment.
Krantzmann glared murderously at Klink as though he was daring the Kommandant to further protest the prisoner’s rough treatment. The SS man then got into the car now that their prisoner was secure and said nothing other than, “Driver, let’s go.” The driver started the car.
Klink glimpsed Hogan’s unconscious form as Krantzmann closed the door. When the car turned around and went out the gate, he wondered what would become of the American officer. The prisoners would demand an explanation of their senior officer’s sudden disappearance. He returned to his office, removed his coat and hat and poured himself a glass of schnapps. His cuckoo clock read .
Schultz entered the office and asked, “Herr Kommandant? What will we tell the men in Barracks 2?”
“I don’t know, Schultz. I really don’t know,” Klink replied wearily. He then downed the schnapps in one draught.
* * * * * * *
Two hours later, at morning roll call, Kinch and the others in Hogan’s group noticed their CO’s absence. Klink took Schultz’s report normally, and then dismissed the men. Kinch wondered what was wrong, Klink was never happy when Hogan missed a roll call, even if he was deathly ill. Something was wrong and he wanted to know what it was. He walked over to where Carter and LeBeau were standing just outside the barracks door and asked, “Where’s the colonel?”
“I don’t know,” Carter replied.
“He’s never missed a roll call without a good reason and Klink didn’t say anything about his absence,” LeBeau observed.
Newkirk came out of the barracks. There was a concerned expression on his face. “What is it?” Kinch inquired.
Just then, Schultz came over to him, “Kinch, the Kommandant wants to speak with you.”
“All right, Schultz. I’ll be there in a minute,” Kinch replied.
“I don’t have all day to give you a minute!” Schultz snapped.
“Can I finish what I was saying to the guys? You interrupted me,” said Kinch.
Schultz sighed. “All right. I’ll wait over by the Kommandant’s office. But make it snappy!”
After Schultz left, Kinch said, “This is our chance to find out what is going on and what happened to Colonel Hogan.”
“I hope it ain’t somethin’ else, the colonel’s not in his room,” Newkirk commented with the slightest hint of fear in his voice.
“Me too. I want to survive this war,” Kinch said. He then turned and crossed the compound to Klink’s office. When he and Schultz entered, Kinch noticed Klink’s expression. It was one of resignation. “Sergeant Kinchloe reporting as ordered, sir.”
Klink sat down and said, “At ease. I’m sure you’re wondering about Colonel Hogan’s absence.”
“Yes. Where is he?” He inquired as he stood across from the German.
Klink stood and went to the
window. He looked out at the compound
before answering, “Hogan was taken from camp early this morning by an SS
colonel who said he was going to take him to
Oh my God! Kinch thought and felt an arctic chill run through him as his jaw dropped open in shock. “When did this happen? And why was he taken?” Kinch asked.
“At five this morning. The SS colonel said that Hogan was suspected
of espionage,” replied Klink. “I find it
hard to believe myself. However, the
colonel had all the necessary paperwork to remove Hogan from here and take him
Kinch nodded. “Thank you for telling me, Herr Kommandant. May I return to the barracks?”
“Yes. Dismissed,” Klink replied.
Kinch saluted and left the
office. As he walked out of the
building, he felt scared as he headed across the compound to Barracks 2. The others aren’t going to believe this! I’ll
have to contact
“Well?” Carter asked.
“Not here,” Kinch replied.
“What?” Carter asked.
Kinch forced the emotions in his mind down and as he headed for the tunnel entrance, he said, “Not yet. I need to confirm something.”
As they got up to follow him, he turned his head slightly towards them and said in a tone that brooked no arguments, “Alone.”
At that, he headed down to the radio
room in their tunnel. When he arrived,
he turned on the radio and called
A male voice said, “Go ahead, Papa Bear.”
Kinch exhaled slowly as he said,
“Thank God you answered. Have you spoken
“No. Why?” asked Wolfram.
“I just tried and they didn’t answer,” Kinch replied, frustrated.
“Did you identify yourself as Papa Bear?” Wolfram asked.
“Yes,” Kinch replied.
“I think that’s the problem,” Wolfram said.
“Stop talking in riddles. What is going on?” Kinch asked quizzically.
“I’m not sure. I’ve only heard rumors. I’ll contact
Kinch closed their radio down and looked at his watch. The next ten minutes felt like an eternity.
Ten minutes later, after Wolfram
“Well? What did they say?” Kinch asked.
“I’m not willing to discuss this over the radio,” Wolfram replied.
Kinch’s brow rose in surprise. “All right. 2300 hours then?”
“Yes. The usual place?” asked Wolfram.
“I’ll be there,” Kinch replied as he closed down the radio and considered what had happened in the last week. They’d had problems with several of their operations. It was strange, like there was someone sabotaging the missions. “I’ll feel better when I know the whole story about what happened to Colonel Hogan,” Kinch muttered to himself.
After speaking with Wolfram, Kinch remained in the tunnel and cleaned his equipment several times to help pass the time between now and tonight when he would meet with him. He didn’t want to go above until roll call as the others would relentlessly assault him with questions and he had no answers. He went to the spare room in the tunnel to rest for a while before the afternoon roll call. He saw the picture on the table next to him and his heart sank. It was of Hogan with his fiancée Karla Hoffman. Should I tell her about what happened? No. Not until I know for sure exactly what happened and whether we can do anything about it.
* * * * * * *
Later that night, Kinch left and went to the deserted farm a mile east of camp. When he arrived and entered the barn, he found Wolfram already there. He sat on a bail of hay next to the man who had dark hair, was dressed in gray pants, a black turtleneck sweater and coat and asked, “Well? What’s going on? Why couldn’t you tell me what’s going on with regards to Hogan over the radio?”
“We have a problem,” a feminine voice said from the shadows. The agent known to them as Tiger came out of the shadows. She was a medium height and had short, wavy blonde hair cropped closely about her neck. She was dressed in a gray skirt and a brown turtleneck sweater that fit her curvaceous body like a glove.
“I thought you were in
“I was,” Tiger replied.
Wolfram said, “Kinch, what I’m about
to tell you, is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” He took a deep breath before continuing. “
“What? Hogan was taken by our people? Why?!” Kinch asked, incredulous.
“He’s being accused of treason,” Wolfram replied
Kinch looked first at him, and then at Tiger. His jaw hung open, his eyes were bulging with shock and he was utterly speechless. “That’s…that’s crazy!” he finally replied.
Wolfram said, “I agree with you. What do you know about the situation?”
“I was told by the Kommandant that
the man who took Hogan away was an SS colonel and that he was being taken to
“Hmmm…” Wolfram mumbled.
“Did they say anything about the rest of us?” asked Kinch.
“No,” Wolfram said. “Only that until further notice, absolutely no one in the underground was to contact or assist you for any reason.”
“The two of you have already disregarded those orders,” Kinch commented.
This time, it was Tiger who responded. “Yes. We’re doing this because we care about Hogan’s fate and that of his organization. All of you have done much to help us against the Nazis. Neither he nor you deserves to be abandoned.”
“Thank you,” Kinch said. “I’m glad that someone cared enough to
“They think that you and the others assisted Hogan in his treasonous activities unknowingly. No charges are being filed against you or them,” Wolfram said.
“They’re really serious about this?!” Kinch asked, relieved.
“Yes, they are,” Wolfram replied as he stood and paced around the room.
“Okay Wolfram, now that I’m over the shock, can you give me any details about how this happened?” Kinch inquired.
“No, but I can,” Tiger replied. Kinch turned towards Tiger and saw her expression was strained and tired.
Tiger took a deep breath before
beginning. “From what I’ve been able to
find out from my contacts in
Incredulous, Kinch replied, “That’s crazy!”
Tiger nodded and continued. “We suspect that there is an underground
network run by either Germans or German sympathizers very similar to the one
“But why?” inquired Kinch. “And what would they hope to gain?”
Tiger shook her head and replied,
“We don’t know. The only other thing we
know is that once Hogan arrives in
“What?” Kinch asked.
Tiger nodded and watched Kinch’s expression as he considered what she had just told him. Kinch closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger to ward off the headache that he was starting to feel.
“What about our operation here?” asked Kinch. “What can we do to try and clear Hogan’s name and get him back here?”
Wolfram replied, “According to
Kinch’s brow furrowed when he asked, “A scapegoat for what?”
“We don’t know, but I’ve got my
Kinch closed his eyes for a moment
and felt relieved that someone was willing to help them clear Hogan’s
name. “Thanks, both of you. I’ll come up with something. I hope.
It’ll be hard with Hogan in
“What is it, Kinch?” Wolfram asked as the devilish smile slowly appeared on the black sergeant’s face.
“I’ll need the underground’s assistance to pull this off.” He briefly described the basic idea of the plan he had in mind to Wolfram and Tiger.
When he was finished, the older man said, “It’s a plan worthy of Hogan himself. I’ll see to it that you’ve got all the assistance you need.”
Tiger replied, “Everyone in my underground group will help, too.”
“Good,” Kinch replied, and then left the barn to return to Stalag 13 where he would brief the others on his plan.
* * * * * * *
Kinch returned to the tunnel and headed for the barracks. When he checked his watch, he saw it was just after . The tunnels were silent and empty. It was eerie and he now felt Hogan’s absence more than ever. The SS colonel had only taken Hogan away that morning. He activated the trap door, climbed the ladder and found the barracks was quiet. He closed the trap door and went across the room to the office previously occupied by Hogan to try and make sense of the crazy idea that he’d been fleshing out in his mind as he returned to camp.
Kinch quietly closed the office door, turned on the desk lamp and opened the wooden locker. For an instant, he felt like he was violating Hogan’s privacy. Then, he thought, If I don’t do something to help Hogan, it won’t matter because they’ll either lock him up for life or hang him for treason. I can’t stand by and not do anything for him, he’s my friend!
Hogan had always treated Kinch like
an equal. The color his skin didn’t
matter to Hogan. He reached into the
locker, pulled out a small pile of envelopes addressed to Colonel Robert Hogan
and slid off the string which kept the pile neat. When he looked at the addresses, he found
The office door opened just as he closed the locker door and a nightshirt clad, half-awake Newkirk came in followed by Carter and a yawning LeBeau. “What’s goin’ on, Kinch?” Newkirk began.
“Yeah, what did Wolfram have to say?” Carter asked.
“Well…” Kinch began as he checked the window of Hogan’s office for eavesdroppers.
“Come on, mon ami! The suspense is killing us!” LeBeau exclaimed quietly.
Kinch turned to face them. “Wolfram and Tiger informed me that Hogan has
been taken to
“What?!” Newkirk asked, shocked and suddenly awake as though a bucket of ice water had been thrown on him.
Kinch nodded and looked at the floor for a moment to order his thoughts before continuing. “According to Tiger, Hogan will be placed in solitary confinement in an English POW camp.”
“What the bloody ‘ell for?” asked Newkirk.
“Hogan’s being accused of treason,” Kinch finished quietly.
The rafters supporting the roof above them creaked and it sounded like a wrecking ball in the blanket of silence that had suddenly descended upon the room. A pin dropping to the floor would have sounded like pistol fire.
“You’re kiddin’!” Carter exclaimed quietly as his jaw dropped open in shock.
“No, I’m not. I wish I was,” Kinch replied.
“Kinch, what are we gonna do?” Carter inquired.
“Yeah, do you ‘ave any ideas of how to rescue the guv’nr?” Newkirk asked.
“Yes, I do and it won’t be easy. Now, here’s what we need to do…” Kinch replied.
* * * * * * *
As Tiger headed back to
The next morning, Tiger arrived in
* * * * * * *
As the sun rose that morning in
“Sir? Do you have the sedative?” one of the men asked as they lifted their prisoner into the plane.
“Yes. Remove the handcuffs and prepare him to be injected. It’s imperative that he remain unconscious for the whole trip,” Krantzmann replied.
Soon, they had strapped Hogan into one of the seats and the colonel gave him the injection.
“There, it’s done. He won’t need another dose until after we land, but keep a watchful eye on him. He’s dangerous,” Krantzmann said.
“Yes sir,” the man replied as he closed and secured the door of the plane.
The pilot called, “Everybody strap themselves in back there! We’re ready to take off!”
Several hours later, the plane landed at an isolated military airstrip just north of a town called
As they rode from the airstrip to their destination, Krantzmann, whose real name was Wing Commander Sedgwick, checked to make sure he had all the necessary papers that would secure Hogan in this POW camp. On their arrival, Sedgwick made sure there was an armed guard watching the prisoner before he left the truck and entered the commandant’s outer office.
The commandant’s secretary looked up and said, “Hello.”
Sedgwick noticed that she was an attractive, red haired woman in her mid-thirties. “Hello. Please inform the commandant that Wing Commander Sedgwick is here to see him.”
“Just a moment, sir,” the secretary said. She then lifted the phone’s receiver and buzzed the commandant. After giving the commandant his visitor’s name, she nodded, hung up the phone and turned back to face Sedgwick. “You may go right in, sir.”
Sedgwick entered the commandant’s office and saw the beige walls that had various pictures of the English landscape hanging on them. These were combined with various military pictures and personal items scattered about the office.
The commandant looked up from his work when Sedgwick entered the office and saluted him. “Commander, I’m Group Captain Neville Archer. What can I do for you?” Archer asked.
“I’m Wing Commander Sedgwick. Sir, I have a very dangerous prisoner that I’m handing over to you temporarily for safekeeping. I expect you to keep him in solitary confinement until I return for him,” Sedgwick replied.
“How long will that be?” Archer asked.
“It shouldn’t be more than a week,” Sedgwick replied. “Beyond that, I’ll let you know.”
“What’s so special about him?” Archer demanded.
Sedgwick frowned and replied, “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t tell you. That’s on a ‘need to know’ basis.”
“I’m the one that will be guarding the prisoner. Therefore, I need to know,” Archer protested.
“I’m not authorized to tell you anything except that this man is suspected of treason against the Allies and that he is to speak to no one. Is that clear?”
“Perfectly,” Archer replied.
“Show me where the solitary cells are and I’ll have my men bring him from the truck,” Sedgwick finished.
They left the office and went outside. Sedgwick motioned to the men in the truck who were guarding the prisoner to follow him. The men carried Hogan’s limp form down from the truck and followed their CO to the solitary confinement building. Hogan’s feet dragged the ground.
“Why is he unconscious?” Archer asked.
“Because he’s such a dangerous man, we sedated him. Once he wakes, he’ll be groggy and unable to move a whole lot. That’s the side effect of the sedative. Whoever brings him food should not say anything and leave immediately,” Sedgwick replied.
Archer thought for a moment before commenting, “You stacked the deck against your prisoner, didn’t you?”
“Yes. This man is very important. We believe he knows the locations and
identities of all our spies in
“That bloody traitor!” Archer swore.
When they arrived at the cell, Sedgwick walked in and checked for any possible means of escape such as tunnels, sliding doors or panels.
“Is there a problem?” Archer asked as Sedgwick came out and signaled his men.
“No, I’m just doing a security check before we leave this prisoner here,” Sedgwick replied. He noticed that the solitary confinement cell was small, dark and damp.
When they put Hogan into the cell, the commandant asked, “Isn’t that an American uniform?”
Sedgwick nodded. “He’s to see no one.”
“Yes, I agree. Does he have a name?” Archer asked.
“Not that you need to know and the name on his uniform is phony. Now, he’s all yours for a week and he’d better not escape,” Sedgwick replied. Once the cell door was closed and locked, Sedgwick felt much better. His men had already left the building and would be waiting at the truck.
Sedgwick and Archer left the building and neither man said anything. Once they were outside, Sedgwick saluted Archer and said, “Good bye, sir.”
“Good bye,” Archer replied. “I’ll be waiting to hear from you.”
Outside and across the compound, the evening roll call was occurring and the ranking POW in the camp, a Luftwaffe major by the name of Kurt Gertenfelt observed the new prisoner being taken to the solitary confinement cells and wondered what was going on. The commandant returned to his office after hearing the report that all of his prisoners were present and accounted for.
After the truck drove out the front gate, the major crossed the compound and entered the commandant’s office. “Herr Kommandant?” asked Gertenfelt.
“Yes, Major?” Archer asked in reply.
Gertenfelt continued, “Was that a new prisoner that was just put into solitary?”
“Yes,” Archer said.
“As senior POW, I have the right under the Geneva Convention to see any prisoner and advise him of his rights.”
“No, Major. You may not see this prisoner under any circumstances. He’s a top security prisoner and will only be here for a week and will see no one, is that clear? You’re dismissed,” Archer said tersely.
“Perfectly, Herr Kommandant,” Gertenfelt muttered in reply, then turned and left the office. On his way back to the barracks, he thought, I wonder what is so special about this prisoner?
When Gertenfelt entered the barracks a few minutes later, one of his fellow prisoners, an Italian corporal, asked, “What was all that about?”
“They’ve brought in a top security prisoner of some sort,” Gertenfelt began. “He’s being held in solitary and is to be here no longer than a week. The Kommandant won’t let me near him. I believe it’s in our best interests to contact the prisoner and assist him to escape.”
“So what do we do?” the Italian asked.
“I get in via our good friend, the sergeant,” Gertenfelt replied.
“Will he let you in there?” the Italian asked.
“Probably not,” replied Gertenfelt. “Or at least, he won’t intentionally allow me in to see the prisoner. You will cook him some of his favorite dish.”
“Not Yorkshire pudding! I thought he didn’t like it the last time I made it,” the Italian said.
Gertenfelt grinned when he replied, “No. Later, he told me how much he enjoyed it. He said that if the other guards knew how good it was, he wouldn’t get his fair share.”
The Italian nodded. “I’ll do it. So, the sergeant will smell it, come to the barracks and you’ll convince him that you won’t tell the Kommandant that he’s fraternizing with us if he allows you to see the prisoner.”
“Precisely. And if that doesn’t work, one of you will steal his keys and I’ll sneak over there,” Gertenfelt finished.
Soon, the smell of Yorkshire pudding was wafting throughout the barracks. One of the men opened a window and was fanning it outside. The major watched with amusement as he wondered about the English. What a strange people!
* * * * * * *
Across the compound in the solitary cell, Hogan began to wake up as the effects of the sedative wore off. What happened? Where am I? he thought, his mind still groggy. He closed his eyes for a few minutes and when he opened them again, felt somewhat better. The place where he’d been hit was still very sore. He looked around and saw that he was in a cell of some sort. When he listened for the presence of other prisoners, he heard nothing. They must have me in some sort of solitary confinement. Why did they knock me out? He wondered as a cold chill came over him.
A few minutes later, Hogan heard a door open and tried to move. What the hell? Why can’t I move? he thought. Hogan felt a wave of panic start to overwhelm him. A key rattled, and then turned in the lock and the cell door slowly opened. Hogan crushed all thoughts of panic. It was more important to find out what was going on now. A man dressed in a Luftwaffe uniform entered. He couldn’t see the man’s rank insignia in the dimness of the cell.
Hogan asked, “What’s going on here?”
“That’s what I was going to ask you, friend,” the man whispered in German-accented English.
Hogan was surprised by his visitor’s response and asked, “What do you mean?”
“Shhh. Be quiet. I’m not supposed to be here. I’m Major Gertenfelt, the senior POW officer here,” the man said to introduce himself.
Confused, Hogan asked, “Where am I?”
“You are in a prisoner of war camp
an hour north of
“What?” Hogan asked, his eyes bulging with shock.
“Are you a spy that was captured? Who are you?” asked Gertenfelt in reply.
“No. I...,” Hogan stuttered, and then replied with the first name that came to mind, “I am SS Colonel Johann Strassburg.”
Gertenfelt exclaimed quietly, “An SS Colonel? Mein Gott! We’ve got to get you out of here, sir!”
“But how?” Hogan asked.
“I’ll think of something,” Gertenfelt replied. The major clasped Hogan’s shoulder in a show of comradeship. Hogan tried to lift a hand to remove the German’s hand from his shoulder, but found that he couldn’t. Gertenfelt noticed this and asked, “Are you hurt?”
“Someone hit me across my shoulders and knocked me out. I feel queasy, too,” Hogan replied.
The major thought for a minute before commenting, “It sounds like you’ve been drugged.”
“So much for the Geneva Convention,” Hogan replied. They chuckled at that comment. “Seriously, I can hardly move.”
“I’ll see what I can arrange,” Gertenfelt said. “Perhaps you will feel better soon. Is there anything you need?”
“To get out of here,” Hogan replied.
A man outside the door said, “Herr Major! Someone’s coming!”
“We’ll talk again as soon as I can get back over here. They’re not allowing anyone to see you for some reason. Don’t tell them anything. Wiedersehen,” Gertenfelt said.
“Danke. Wiedersehen,” Hogan said.
After the German major left, Hogan
considered what the man had said and wasn’t reassured despite the major’s
promise to think of something. How many
times have I told someone that when they were hiding from the Nazis at Stalag 13?
Now I know how they felt, afraid and uncertain, Hogan thought as he closed his
eyes. Why am I in an English POW camp?
Surely that can’t be! I was to be taken to
* * * * * * *
Major Gertenfelt returned to his barracks after his brief visit to solitary to speak to the prisoner. He felt tired and irritable when he entered the barracks and headed for his quarters. A prisoner followed him to his quarters at the far end of the barracks.
“Well? What happened, Herr Major? What did you find out?” the thin, blond-haired Luftwaffe lieutenant asked.
Gertenfelt closed his office door. “I want this to be kept between the two of us. The prisoner said he was an SS colonel.”
“No wonder the Brits are making such a fuss over him!” the lieutenant exclaimed in a whisper.
Gertenfelt nodded and continued, “He said his name is Johann Strassburg. Apparently, these filthy Brits gave him a drug to knock him out while they transported him here.”
“So? That’s not unusual,” the lieutenant commented.
“There seems to be a side effect to this drug. It’s weakened him so much that he can hardly move. When he did move, he seemed to be in a lot of pain.”
“Mein Gott! That’s against the Geneva Convention!” the lieutenant commented.
“If that isn’t, then the fact that I’ve not been allowed to see him and advise him of his rights under the Geneva Convention certainly is,” Gertenfelt said.
“Why haven’t you been allowed to see him?” the lieutenant asked.
Gertenfelt shrugged and replied, “I don’t know. The commandant won’t allow it for some reason. He won’t tell me why.”
“When’s the next outside inspection of this place?” the lieutenant asked.
“I believe a German inspector will be coming in the next day or two. I’ll make sure they know what’s going on here. This is an outrage.”
Just then someone knocked on the door. It opened and was the barracks sergeant who said, “Major, the commandant wants to see you.”
Gertenfelt sighed. “All right.” He followed the sergeant out of the barracks and across the compound. When they entered the office, the commandant’s pretty secretary smiled at Gertenfelt. While he waited to go into the office, he asked in a soft tone, “Do you know the name of the next inspector who is coming to inspect this place in a couple of days?”
“No. The inspection schedule isn’t due out until tomorrow. I can let you know if you like,” the woman replied softly.
“Danke, mein Liebchen,” Gertenfelt said. After his brief visit with the commandant, he returned to the barracks. As Gertenfelt crossed the compound, he thought, Maybe we’ll get lucky and the inspector will be a sexy German woman! He shook his head and sighed. “I can dream.”
* * * * * * *
Back at Stalag 13, the men of Barracks 2 had fallen out for the evening roll call. A black car entered camp through the main gate and pulled up in front of the office building. When Klink was returning to his office after receiving Schultz’s report, he saw an officer get out of the car. The officer came up to him and saluted him. Klink returned the salute and indicated for the officer to follow him to his office.
The Gestapo man handed Klink his
identification papers as well as another sheaf of papers. According to his identification papers, the
man was a Gestapo lieutenant colonel.
His visitor had dark hair and a dark mustache. Aside from his taller frame, the man could
have been Hochstetter’s double, Klink noticed.
When he read the other papers in his hand, he was shocked. This man wanted to take two more of his
“Why all this sudden interest in my prisoners?” Klink asked, suspicious.
“We have been ordered by the SS colonel that took your other prisoner earlier today to secure these two men as he needs to confirm that man’s answers to his questions,” the Gestapo man replied.
Klink was surprised that Hogan would talk under any circumstances. That SS colonel had done more than either he or General Burkhalter or even Hochstetter had been able to do -- he’d gotten Hogan to talk and to say something. He shook his head and refused to consider the matter any further. It’s better to let the Gestapo do whatever they want. Nodding, Klink said, “I’ll arrange for a truck.”
“No need for that, Herr Kommandant,
I’ve already arranged for a truck to arrive here shortly and transport these
“I’ll have my sergeant bring the
prisoners here at once,” Klink replied as he opened the door and motioned for
Schultz to enter the office. “Schultz,
please bring Corporal Newkirk and Sergeant Carter over here at once, this officer
will be taking them to
Schultz looked afraid for a moment but then saluted and replied, “Yes sir!”
Soon, Schultz arrived with Newkirk and Carter. A truck entered camp just after the prisoners were in Klink’s office. It pulled up behind the car and several Gestapo men came out of the back of the truck. “All right, Colonel, here are these two prisoners. Uh, will any of these men be coming back to us?” Klink asked the man quietly.
The officer looked at him and replied in a calm, flat tone, “Of course!”
Klink’s expression was one of fear when the officer replied to his query. He thought that he would never see any of these men alive again and watched as the two prisoners were herded into the back of the truck and handcuffed.
The lieutenant colonel saluted Klink, and then got in his car and left the camp with the truck following. When the car was out of sight of Stalag 13, the lieutenant colonel sighed and said to himself, “At least that part of the plan worked.” He drove to the deserted farm a mile east of Stalag 13 and parked.
Carter and Newkirk watched as the man who had handcuffed them now released them. The Gestapo officer came around and climbed into the back of the truck. “I spoke to Tiger today and she told me where Hogan is being held. Since we’re going against
“What contact?” Carter asked, mystified.
“I don’t know. He said that this person would help us clear
Hogan’s name and gave me their address in
“Wolfram, I didn’t know you were a pilot,” Carter said.
“Yes, but the underground didn’t need pilots, just people who believed in something other than Hitler. It’s not well known that I can fly and I want it to stay that way,” Wolfram replied.
“Let’s go,” Newkirk said.
“First, you two need to change clothes,” Wolfram said as he handed Carter and Newkirk civilian clothes.
Soon, they were in the air and
“Well, Newkirk, how’s it feel to be going home?” Carter asked.
“This ain’t the bleedin’ end o’ the war! I don’t get to stay here when the mission’s done!” Newkirk snapped.
Carter chuckled at his English friend.
“What’s so bloody funny?” Newkirk asked.
“You,” Carter replied. “That outfit looks terrible on you!”
“And what would you bleedin’ suggest?” Newkirk demanded.
“I’d suggest that you stick to wearing your old lady costume,” Carter replied and burst into a fit of laughter.
“Oh, I oughtta murder you!” Newkirk muttered.
“It’s a wonder you two are still alive, with all your bickering!” Wolfram said, frustrated with their petty arguing.
“What?” Newkirk asked.
“I’m surprised Hogan hasn’t killed the two of you,” Wolfram replied.
“He can’t! He needs us!” Carter exclaimed, indignant.
“Good, so shut up and let me land this thing in one piece,” Wolfram said.
Shortly after that, the plane
landed. After taxiing to a halt, he shut
off the engine. Tiger was waiting for
them in a car. When they were all in the
car, she started it and headed for
“Let’s go see this person. We need to get Hogan out of that camp as soon as possible,” Wolfram said.
“I couldn’t agree with you more, mate,” Newkirk commented quietly.
“Yeah, me too,” Carter said, his tone serious.
An hour later, Tiger parked in front
of a small, wood frame house on the northern outskirts of
* * * * * * *
Inside the house, a blonde haired woman put the book she was reading down on the table next to her, stood and crossed the room to answer the door. When she opened it, she saw four people standing there, two of whom were looking towards the street as though they thought they were being followed.
“Come in, quickly!” she said.
After they entered, she closed the door behind them. Two of them whirled around and pointed their guns at her. Then they recognized her. “What are you doing here?” Newkirk asked, incredulous as he and Carter put away their guns.
“I live here,” she replied. Her eyes bulged in shock as she recognized the two POWs. “Why aren’t you two in Stalag 13?” she asked.
“Do you know her?” the blonde woman in the group asked Newkirk.
“Yes. This is Karla Hoffman. We helped her escape from
“A German?!” Tiger inquired, her tone acid. “We were told that you could help us, not betray us and get us killed!”
“Yes, I am German. As far as the rest, that depends on why you need help. I have no intention of getting you killed,” Karla replied icily as she stared at the Frenchwoman who clearly didn’t trust her because she was German. What is it with these French? Karla wondered. Karla noticed that Wolfram, as a German, wasn’t pleased with Tiger’s statement either.
Wolfram began, “I was informed that you would be willing to assist us in our mission.”
Karla looked towards Carter who had a hopeful look on his face and said, “I’ll do what I can. What’s your mission?”
“Colonel Hogan has been brought to
“What?!” Karla inquired, concerned and utterly shocked. “Why?!”
“Let’s sit down and I’ll explain,” Wolfram said. They sat on the couch and chairs in the living room and he told Karla what they knew about Hogan’s situation.
When he finished, Karla exclaimed, “Treason? That’s crazy!”
“Yeah, we thought so, too. We’re not sure what headquarters has in mind, but we think that Hogan’s been set up to take a fall for someone else’s treachery. Perhaps there’s a double agent here who needs to get some heat off himself,” Wolfram said.
“I’ll work with you to get Hogan out of there. What did you have in mind?” Karla asked.
Wolfram replied, “Kinch’s idea was to forge some papers and get Hogan out of the POW camp under an assumed name. He thought we could masquerade as intelligence agents or something like that.”
Now that she knew what Kinch’s idea was, Karla asked, “Do you have the necessary papers to get Hogan out of there?”
“Yes, but we have no plausible German name for Hogan and no way to inform him of it if we had one. We may need to inform the British of a name, you know.”
“Yes, I know,” Karla replied. She thought for a moment. “I have a name for Hogan.”
“What is it?” Carter asked.
“Hogan’s name will be listed on the papers as SS Colonel Johann Strassburg,” replied Karla.
“Huh? I don’t get it,” Carter said.
“We can’t just waltz in there. What we need is to get someone in there disguised as a German inspector,” Tiger began. “According to my contacts, that’s the easiest way to get inside a POW camp.”
“Can we pull it off? Where will we find someone to go in there dressed convincingly as a German inspector?” Wolfram asked. “I don’t know enough about the military to pull it off.”
“And we need Newkirk and Carter to play an English officer and an American officer,” Tiger finished.
Karla stood, walked over to a closet, pulled a key from her pocket, unlocked the door and opened it. She reached in and pulled out an opaque garment bag. When she turned it to face them and unzipped it, they saw a black uniform. “I’ll go as the German inspector. You said you needed some rank to get Hogan out of there, right Wolfram?”
“Yes. Where did you…?” Wolfram asked, astounded.
“Where did I get this? This is my old uniform. I was a full Colonel in the SD. Is that enough rank to get him out?” Karla asked.
Wolfram looked at Karla with doubt-filled eyes. Tiger stared at her, her mouth agape. The French woman was clearly surprised that Karla would do this and by the expression on her face, Tiger was curious what her motivation was for helping them.
“Yes, I think so. Aren’t inspectors usually male?” Wolfram continued.
Tiger shook her head and replied, “Not necessarily. However, we’ll need to make arrangements for the normal inspector to be sent elsewhere. My people can handle the details for arranging the inspection party to be made up of you, Newkirk and Carter.”
“We’ll have Newkirk in the guise of an Air Commodore in the RAF to escort you,” Wolfram replied.
“At least we allow German inspectors into our POW camps to see how well their men are being treated,” Tiger muttered.
“Karla, do you have the appropriate identification to go with this uniform?” Wolfram asked.
Karla heard the edge in the other woman’s voice and replied, “Yes. I still have my ID.” She pulled it from one of the uniform’s pockets and showed it to Wolfram.
“How will we tell Hogan what his name will be?” Carter asked.
“If I get the chance to be alone with him, I’ll tell him. He’ll recognize it,” Karla replied.
On the other side of the room, Tiger whispered to Newkirk, “Are you sure we can trust Karla?”
“Yes,” replied Newkirk.
“I’m not. You can never trust someone who was in the Nazi Secret Service, no matter what they may say to convince you otherwise.” When he said nothing, Tiger tried a different tack, “Would Hogan trust her?”
“Yes,” Newkirk answered.
Tiger’s eyes narrowed suspiciously and Newkirk realized that he had replied too quickly and confidently. “You say that as if you know it for a fact,” Tiger stated.
Whoops! Think fast, Peter! “No, but I know Hogan,” Newkirk said.
“So do I and Hogan wouldn’t trust this woman with his life,” replied Tiger.
Karla and Wolfram had stopped talking and were now listening intently to Tiger and Newkirk. Carter was at the window watching the street and totally oblivious to the conversation between Tiger and Newkirk.
“We’ve got no choice but to trust her!” Newkirk protested.
“I can put on that uniform and do just as good a job as she’ll do for us!” Tiger replied.
“No,” Newkirk said firmly.
“You don’t understand!” Tiger protested.
“Yes, I do. Karla owes Hogan her life and is willing to put it on the line for him.” Blimey! I can’t say anything else without saying that Hogan loves Karla and is engaged to her!
“I owe Hogan my life too! What can this filthy bosche bitch mean to him? Besides, I love him!” Tiger exclaimed. Newkirk put his arm around her shoulders and felt her trembling. He saw the desire, anxiety and loneliness in Tiger’s eyes and found himself wanting to ease the pain she held within her soul. And he wanted to ease his own loneliness with her.
They suddenly noticed that they were the only ones talking. Even Carter was paying attention now. After this last statement, Newkirk and Carter looked at Karla for her reaction. Karla was furious, her eyes were narrowed and she quietly said, “I may be German, but I’m not a ‘filthy bosche’ as you French like to call us. I am a woman who loves Hogan and he loves me. I think that I mean a great deal to him or else he wouldn’t have asked me to marry him!”
Wolfram and Tiger stared at her, their expressions frozen in a state of shock. “No! That can’t be!” Tiger exclaimed angrily.
“It’s true. We’re going to find each other after the war and get married,” Karla replied.
“She’s telling the truth,” Newkirk said quietly.
Tiger stared at him and realized that as he was at Stalag 13, he would know the truth of the matter. “What?!” she whispered.
“Yes, Tiger. Colonel Hogan is engaged to Karla. I’m sorry.”
Tiger glared jealously at Karla, then stood and went into the next room. She slammed the door, sat on the bed and looked out the window. She didn’t hear what was happening in the other room and was so upset at the moment that she honestly didn’t care. Once she relaxed and her eyes adjusted to the moonlit room, she looked around. Her gaze fell upon a picture on the small table next to the bed. She stood, walked over, picked it up and looked at it. Hogan and this bitch were sitting together and he had his arm around her. I thought you loved me, Hogan! How could you do this to me?! Tiger whispered as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“Get a grip on yourself, Marie Louise,” she muttered to herself. “You’re a grown woman, not an infatuated child.” In her past love life, she had been the one to ditch the man. Now, she found herself on the receiving end. However, she had never told Hogan how she felt about him. After returning the picture to its place, she straightened her clothes and took a few deep breaths to calm herself. Then, she opened the door and returned to the living room where the others were relaxing over tea.
* * * * * * *
“I wouldn’t have said anything, but she had to know the truth of the matter,” Karla said after the bedroom door slammed.
“I know. I wasn’t going to say anything either. The colonel didn’t want anyone besides us in
“Ahem!” Wolfram cleared his throat. The remaining people in the room turned and looked at him. He continued, “Can we return to the matter at hand? Namely that of Hogan’s rescue?”
Karla nodded and said, “What will happen after the war will be a moot point if we don’t clear Hogan’s name and rescue him now.”
“This is the first really good tea I’ve had in several years!” Newkirk said after he’d poured himself a second cup.
Carter rolled his eyes heavenward at that comment. “Newkirk, it figures that all you’re interested in is a cup of tea.”
“Of course, mate. Tea and ladies, what else is there in life?” Newkirk replied jovially.
“I’m glad it’s to your liking, Newkirk,” Karla said.
Everyone laughed just as Tiger walked back into the room then and lightly placed her hand on Karla’s shoulder. She looked up and Tiger quietly asked, “May I have a word with you?”
Karla nodded once, stood and excused herself before following Tiger into the kitchen. “Yes?” she asked.
Tiger leaned against the table and looked out the window over the sink for a moment before beginning, “If...if you and Hogan are really engaged, then I’ll stay away. I…I didn’t know.”
“Danke. Does Hogan know how you feel about him?” Karla asked.
“No. I never told him. I suppose that was stupid on my part,” Tiger replied as she crossed her arms over her chest. “I naively assumed that Hogan felt the same way towards me.”
“Right now, we must concentrate our efforts on rescuing Hogan. How either of us feels about him won’t make a damn bit of difference if he is shot as a traitor,” Karla said quietly.
“I agree,” Tiger said.
“Do you or your contacts have any idea who is behind Hogan’s current problems?” Karla asked.
The part of Tiger that was jealous wanted to scream, Yes, I do. It’s you, you bitch! That didn’t suit their current purpose. “Not yet. Our only lead is the spy who reported Hogan wearing a German uniform. His superior officer reports to an Undersecretary by the name of Medwin,” Tiger replied.
“Okay. Please have your people keep an eye on this Medwin. Now here’s what we decided to do…” Karla said as she briefed Tiger on the plan to rescue Hogan.
Tiger contacted several members of the underground who would make the arrangements for them to go to the POW camp the next day.
* * * * * * *
In the cell, Hogan tried to regain some mobility in his body. Every move was painful. He decided to catch up on some sleep. The pain eventually subsided and he dozed off. When he woke later, he wondered what time it was. Out of habit, he looked at his left wrist for his watch. It wasn’t there. “Damn! I forgot to put on my watch before going to see Klink.” He looked over by the door and saw a tray with some food on it. It was the typical slop that he assumed the prisoners ate. Then, the door of his cell opened. A British private entered long enough to take away the untouched food tray.
“Wait a minute!” Hogan cried out. The private looked at him. “What time is it?” The private completely ignored him and continued with his task. Later that night, the German major came to see him again. If the British wouldn’t tell him, Hogan thought, at least this man would.
Hogan was relieved to see Gertenfelt and asked, “What time is it, Major?”
“It’s almost ,” Gertenfelt replied. “How are you feeling, sir?”
Hogan sighed, “I’m tired, weak and hungry.”
Gertenfelt looked over by the door. “Wasn’t there food over by the door?”
Hogan replied, “Yes, but I thought it might be poisoned so I didn’t eat it.” He shook his head, “I can’t risk it.”
“I won’t ask what your assignment here was, but it’s obviously important enough to have someone of your rank here,” Gertenfelt began. Hogan nodded and he continued, “The food here is okay to eat. I don’t think they’ll poison you.”
“I won’t eat until either I’m forced to do so or I can escape, which isn’t very likely in my current condition,” Hogan commented quietly.
“Have you regained movement in your limbs?” Gertenfelt asked.
“Yes, I have, to a degree. At least it’s not as painful to move as it was before.” Hogan stared at the far wall and thought about the previous night. He’d dreamt about Karla. If she knew where I was, I suspect that she would try and rescue me, he thought.
Hogan’s mind was brought back to reality when he felt the major shaking his shoulder and whispering urgently, “Sir! Herr Oberst! Are you all right?”
Hogan blinked. “Huh? Oh, sorry Herr Major. Please continue.”
“There will be an inspector arriving here tomorrow. I’ll do everything I can to ensure that they know of your presence here and that I’ve not been allowed to see you or advise you of your rights under the Geneva Convention. Once I’ve done that, the inspector will no doubt demand to see you.”
“Inspector?” Hogan asked, curious.
Gertenfelt nodded. “The English allow a German inspector to come and see how their prisoners are being treated.”
Hogan’s brow rose in surprise and he asked, “Oh? I never thought that they would allow any Germans to come here except as prisoners.”
“This is the one exception to that rule. We are usually able to smuggle uncensored letters home with the help of these inspectors.” Gertenfelt chuckled. “The guards here in the camp are so stupid.”
“Do you know who the inspector is?” Hogan asked.
“No, it’s usually someone different every time. This afternoon, the commandant’s secretary told me that the one coming tomorrow is a woman. That’s something we could all use more of, eh?” Gertenfelt replied with a sly wink.
Hogan laughed at Gertenfelt’s comment. “Yeah, I know I sure could.” Rubbing his chin, Hogan continued, “I guess I look pretty bad. Even if she is a beautiful German war maiden, I’m dirty, grimy and unshaven. That’s not the way to catch a woman.”
“Don’t worry about it sir. The worse you look, the more likely you’ll get pity from her,” Gertenfelt replied.
“You’re right, I didn’t think about it that way,” Hogan said.
“So, as far as these Brits are concerned, you’re an American Colonel?” Gertenfelt asked.
“Yes,” Hogan replied.
The man in the hallway knocked twice on the door to indicate the guard was returning. “Wiedersehen,” Gertenfelt said.
“Wiedersehen,” Hogan replied.
The next morning, his fourth in this
smelly, dirty and moldy cell, Hogan woke and saw that someone had left some
fresh food for him. He crawled over to
the tray and found that the plate was still tantalizingly warm. Since being confined in this solitary cell
with an unknown and uncertain future, he’d thought more about Karla and his
family than he had in a long time. He
tried to push these thoughts out of his mind.
It wouldn’t do him any good to start down that path, instead, his
thoughts turned to why he was in
* * * * * * *
Early the next morning, Karla woke after a long night filled with nightmares, crawled out of bed and put on her bra and panties. She crossed the room to her closet, opened the door, reached in, pulled out her old uniform and started to dress. “I never thought I’d put on this thing again,” she muttered. Someone knocked twice on her bedroom door. “Who is it?” Karla inquired as she finished tucking her shirt into her skirt. She started pinning her long hair into a bun at the back of her neck.
“It’s Newkirk! Are you ready?” asked Newkirk.
“Just a minute,” replied Karla.
When she opened her bedroom door, Newkirk entered and was wearing what she assumed was an RAF air commodore’s uniform.
“I hope we’re not too late to get Colonel ‘ogan out of that bloody POW camp! I could be ruddy court-martialed for impersonatin’ an officer!” Newkirk exclaimed.
“And I could be deported from
“Are you sure that you can go through with this?” Newkirk asked.
Karla nodded and replied, “I must do everything in my power to save Hogan.”
Carter sauntered into the room dressed in an American major’s uniform and said, “I’ll be driving the car. Wolfram is driving the truck and Tiger will be dressed as the commodore’s secretary.”
“Tiger’s group made arrangements for the inspector that was supposed to go to this camp today to be sent elsewhere,” Newkirk began as Karla put on her tunic, buttoned it, and then reached for a navy blue cloak to cover her uniform. She hid her cap in a small black cloth bag.
“Good. Is everyone ready? The car is parked outside,” Carter said.
“Yes. Tiger, did you contact your people to follow up on those leads to find out who is responsible for all this?” Karla asked.
“Yes. They are making progress but wouldn’t give me the details over the phone,” Tiger replied.
They left the house then, walked out to the car and got in. Carter got into the driver’s seat, started the car and followed the truck north towards where the POW camp was located. Several hours later, the truck stopped at a pub run by members of Tiger’s group and Wolfram remained there with the truck while they took the car and continued to the POW camp.
Newkirk asked, “Are you ready, love?” Tiger nodded.
Karla unfastened her cloak and added, “I’m ready too, Air Commodore. Or I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Do you remember what I said about Hogan’s name?”
“Yes. If we make any reference to Hogan, it will be using the name on these papers, Colonel Johann Strassburg. By the way, ‘ow’s he supposed to recognize that name?” Newkirk asked.
Karla replied, “He’ll recognize it. It’s the name of my late fiancé.”
Both Tiger and Newkirk’s eyes widened in amazement. “Your late what?!?” Newkirk asked, shocked. “You mean that you were engaged before you met Colonel ‘ogan?!”
Karla nodded. “However, Johann was killed in
Newkirk’s expression relaxed. “Sorry. I didn’t know.”
“Okay, we’re almost there,” Carter interrupted. “Wolfram’s in position with the truck at the pub. Tiger’s people are ready to receive any inquiries about us and they’re monitoring the airwaves as well as the phones. Karla, do you have the phone number where Wolfram can be reached?”
“Jawohl. Here we go,” Karla commented as the car was stopped at the gate moments later.
The guard at the gate asked Carter, “Who are you and what is your business here?”
“I am Major Carter, aide to Air Commodore Newkirkson. He’s escorting a German officer who is here to make an inspection of this camp. We’re expected,” Carter replied.
“Yes, sir! The commandant’s office is over there,” the guard replied and indicated which building they should go to.
Carter parked the car in front of the commandant’s office building, got out and opened the rear car door for them. Newkirk lightly squeezed Tiger’s hand before she left the car, and then followed. When the women emerged from the car, there were catcalls and whistles from the prisoners. As they headed towards the building, the door opened and a sergeant stepped out, followed by an officer.
“I am the camp commandant, Group Captain Neville Archer, at your service, Major, Commodore and…” The commandant looked at Karla and stammered, “Uh…May I inquire who you are, madam?”
Karla replied, “I am Colonel Hoffman of the SS.” She handed him her ID and he examined it.
Archer handed Karla’s ID back to her and asked, “Isn’t it unusual for the SS to inspect a POW camp?”
“No one else was available,” replied Karla.
“Oh. Shall we begin the inspection?” asked Archer.
“Of course,” replied Karla.
“Please follow me,” Archer began as they left the office. He turned and walked away from the barracks. They visited many of the facilities of the camp and Karla was bored senseless, but had to suffer through it until they finally got to visit with the prisoners. Perhaps she looked bored, because the next thing she knew, Archer said, “We’ll visit with the senior POW officer now.”
They crossed the compound and entered the first wooden frame building they came across. It looked very much like the barracks she’d seen at Stalag 13. The sergeant entered first and called the prisoners to attention. Archer and his party followed, and then the sergeant closed the door.
“This is a typical barracks and these are some of our prisoners,” Archer began and smiled deprecatingly at her.
Karla stared at him. “Where is the senior POW officer?” she demanded. I’m amazed at how I can still sound like I’m in the SS! she thought.
Just then, an inner door opened to her right and a Luftwaffe major entered the room. “This is our senior POW officer. His name is…”
“My name is Herr Major Kurt Gertenfelt,” the German greeted her in their native tongue and bowed to her in the manner of a gentleman. “I have some complaints.”
“I am Colonel Hoffman of the SS.” She knew that she had to hear out his complaints and didn’t miss his swift inspection of her body. “Perhaps we can go into your office?” asked Karla. Gertenfelt nodded, started towards the room at the end of the barracks and she followed.
“Um, Colonel, that’s not allowed,” Archer said.
Karla whirled around to face the commandant. “And WHY not?! This man wishes to speak to me privately about some complaints that he has and I feel that in your presence, he won’t be able to without fear of retribution after I’ve left.” Newkirk was surprised at her tone and she hoped the commandant didn’t notice the look of surprise on the Englishman’s face. She turned and stalked towards the room at the end of the barracks and the major silently followed.
Once they were inside his office with the door closed, Gertenfelt said, “Danke, Frau Oberst.”
Glancing around, Karla noticed how similar these quarters were to Hogan’s at Stalag 13. She decided it would be best if they spoke in German and said, “Quickly, we don’t have much time. What are your complaints?”
Gertenfelt replied, “The main one is that there is a man who is being held in solitary confinement that no one has been allowed to see, not even me. I think he may be one of our spies and it would be to our advantage to assist him to escape.”
“I agree. I’ll demand to see him. The commandant can’t refuse to allow me to see him without violating the Geneva Convention. Is there anything else?” asked Karla.
“Yes. Please take this and see to it that it gets
Karla felt herself blushing from his compliment. “Danke, Herr Major,” she whispered. She found that she couldn’t push herself away from him.
Gertenfelt’s hands squeezed her butt and that brought her mind back to reality. For a moment, Karla realized that she had enjoyed the major’s advances and felt ashamed of herself. This must end now! Karla thought.
“Don’t get any ideas, Herr Major, I’m taken,” Karla said, the tone of her voice cold and flat as she pushed herself away from him.
Gertenfelt took the hint and dropped his arms back to his side. “What a shame. Whoever he is, he’s one lucky man.”
“Yes, he is,” Karla replied softly. She decided to try something. “I love Colonel Johann Strassburg very much.”
Gertenfelt’s eyes just about popped out of his head. He asked, “Did you say Colonel Johann Strassburg?”
“Why yes, I did. Why do you ask?” asked Karla.
Gertenfelt replied, “The man over in solitary confinement told me that was what his name was when I spoke to him. You see, I have been able to sneak over there a couple of times.”
“Mein Gott!” Karla exclaimed. Her expression was one of genuine concern when she asked, surprised, “How is he?”
“He is tired and suspicious. In his position, I don’t blame him. It sounds to me that if you can get him out of here, you’ll be doing yourself a favor too,” Gertenfelt replied.
Karla closed her eyes and nodded before replying, “If that’s all, Herr Major, then I’ll see about going to see this prisoner.” She turned, walked to the door and pulled it open and the commandant almost fell into the office. She stifled a giggle and thought, You got what you deserved, Archer!
Newkirk and Carter smiled as Archer hastily grabbed the doorframe to maintain his balance. Archer stepped aside as Karla and the major came out of the office. “Is there a problem, Colonel?” Archer asked once he regained his composure.
“Yes, Herr Kommandant, there is a problem,” Karla began sharply. “I understand that you are holding a prisoner in your solitary confinement cells who has not yet been advised of his rights under the Geneva Convention. Is this true?”
The commandant looked at her, completely taken aback by her tone towards him. “Yes. We do have a prisoner in solitary confinement. However, I have been instructed not to allow anyone to see this man until headquarters determines what his fate is to be following their investigation. He is suspected of treason.”
Newkirk stepped in at this juncture and pulled rank on the inept commandant. He said, “Commandant, you will allow the Colonel to visit this man. If she reports that you have violated the Geneva Convention as a result of your refusal, you will suffer the consequences, is that clear?”
“Yes sir. Right away, sir!” Archer saluted Newkirkson and continued, “This way, Colonel.”
Karla followed the commandant out of the barracks and across the compound with Tiger, Carter and Newkirk following. All the way across the compound, she prayed that Hogan was all right and that they could get him out of this place safely. She slid her hands inside her pockets to keep them warm against the biting wind. There was a small flask of water in one of her pockets and a couple of candy bars in her purse.
They entered the solitary building and the sergeant opened one of the cell doors. “I will see this man alone. Herr Commodore, please ensure that the Kommandant doesn’t try to listen at the door again,” Karla said.
“I will, Colonel,” Newkirk replied.
“Danke,” Karla said.
The guard opened the door, Karla entered the cell and the door was closed behind her. As her eyes adjusted to the murky darkness in the cell, she saw something huddling in the corner farthest away from the door. When she knelt next to it and looked closely, she realized that it was a man. When he looked up, she almost didn’t recognize him. Hogan’s face was thin and gaunt, his hair unkempt and his face was covered with at least two days of stubbly growth. “Mein Gott! Herr Oberst!” Karla whispered when she saw him.
“What?” Hogan croaked, his voice raspy as he replied. When the door opened, he was probably blinded by the light from the hallway and after it closed, looked as though he was confused.
“Can you see me?” Karla began quietly.
Hogan’s eyes hadn’t adjusted yet and he didn’t recognize her. “No, but you have a beautiful voice.”
“Danke,” Karla said and smiled at Hogan’s reply. She pulled the flask of water from her pocket, opened it and said softly, “Here is some water. Drink it.”
Hogan replied, “It might be poisoned.”
Oh great! He doesn’t know me yet! Karla thought. “No, it’s not. You have my word on that, Robert.”
Hogan looked at her again trying to see more than a gray and black blob, with a head-sized, oval-shaped area that was vaguely skin colored and for a moment thought he recognized the voice as Karla’s. He mumbled, “What are you doing here?”
“Shhh…I’m trying to get you out of here, Herr Oberst Johann Strassburg,” replied Karla.
“Huh?” Hogan inquired as he recognized the name. “It can’t be you, Karla.”
Karla quickly looked over her shoulder towards the door. When she turned back, Hogan had leaned forward and was looking at her closely. “It can’t?” Karla whispered in reply and then took his face in her hands and kissed his lips tenderly. The presence of the stubble on his face or his dry, chapped lips didn’t bother her in the least.
Hogan could never forget the kiss of the woman he loved and when she pulled away from him, responded weakly, “Danke. I’ll take that water now.”
Karla handed the flask to him and asked, “When was the last time you ate?”
“I’ve not eaten since I got here three days ago,” Hogan replied. His hands shook as he raised the flask to his lips to take a drink from it and she steadied it for him. The water caused his throat muscles to relax and he felt much better.
“Why not?” Karla asked. She reached into her purse and pulled out two candy bars that she handed to him. “Here, eat these. Hide them until we leave the building.”
“I was afraid they might poison me,” Hogan whispered.
“I’m going to recommend that you be removed from here immediately and taken to a hospital,” Karla said.
“Thanks. The last couple of days have been a nightmare for me. Why is this happening?” asked Hogan.
“Your headquarters thinks you’re a traitor. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. Now, be quiet. I’m going back outside before they get suspicious,” Karla replied as Hogan handed the flask to her and she stood and slid it back into her pocket.
“Jawohl, Frau Oberst,” Hogan replied as he looked gratefully at her.
Karla stood, crossed the cell to the door and called, “I’m ready to come out!”
The door was opened and Karla looked once more at Hogan who squinted and turned away as the light from the hallway fell upon him before she said, “I demand that he be taken to a hospital!”
“What??? Are you crazy?!” Archer replied.
“That man is very ill. He needs medical attention immediately. He’s not been eating,” Karla said.
“I can’t do that without proper authorization. What will you do?” Archer inquired.
“I’ll have to report to the
authorities here and in
“I have my orders!” Archer protested.
Karla retorted, “I’ll see that you get your orders! I need to make a phone call.”
The group left the cell and returned to the commandant’s office. Upon entering his office, Archer continued to protest. “But…but…”
“No buts!” Karla responded sharply as she picked up his phone and dialed a phone number. Shortly, she spoke to someone on the other end of the line and said, “Herr Hausmann? Oberst Hoffman here,” then informed him of where she was and what she had found. She demanded that he report this to the appropriate authorities and that the commandant be prosecuted for violating the Geneva Convention. She listened as the other person on the line spoke and her expression relaxed.
When Karla hung up, everyone looked at her and waited for the next bout of shouting to come from her. She had easily slipped back into the role of an SS colonel quite well. Or at least, what people expected from an SS colonel, for her to be an obnoxious, officious bitch. Her voice was harsh when she continued, “Well, Herr Kommandant, you are fortunate. The only thing they want is for me to remove this prisoner from your custody immediately and see to it that he’s taken to a hospital.”
“What?” Archer replied, astonished and relieved at the same time.
Karla said, “Yes. That is all and they are sending a truck for him. A Captain Hausmann will bring it here. Please see to it that he is admitted when he arrives.”
“And?” asked Archer.
“And this prisoner will be brought out to him immediately,” replied Karla.
“Nothing else?” asked Archer.
“Nein. You will not be prosecuted for any violations of the Geneva Convention if you release your prisoner into my custody,” said Karla.
Archer grumbled, “I guess I’ve got no choice.”
“No, commandant, you don’t. We must adhere to the Geneva Convention even if we don’t like it,” Newkirk commented.
Soon, the truck arrived and Hogan was brought out and hauled into the rear of the truck. Karla watched as he stumbled from sore muscles protesting from lack of use. Hogan could hardly see because of the bright daylight. Gertenfelt came out of the barracks and watched while the prisoner was loaded in the back of the truck. When Karla looked over towards the prisoners, Gertenfelt saluted her and she returned the gesture as not to would raise his suspicions.
“All right Colonel Hoffman, here’s your prisoner,” Archer said snidely after witnessing the exchange between her and Gertenfelt.
“Danke, Herr Kommandant,” Karla replied with a polite tone in her voice that bordered on insulting. She then walked around to the rear of the truck and was helped in by the one of the men inside. Newkirk, Tiger and Carter got into the car and both vehicles then left the camp.
Karla sat next to Hogan after she climbed into the back of the truck and handed him the flask of water again. The truck’s engine rumbled to life and they left the POW camp behind.
“Thanks for getting me out of there,” Hogan said in between gulps of water from her flask. He reached into his jacket’s inner pocket and pulled out the chocolate bars she had given him. Soon, both the chocolate and the water were gone.
“You’re welcome,” Karla replied.
Gazing at Karla, Hogan said, “You’re a sight for sore eyes.”
“So are you, you’re dirty, grimy,” Karla began. Leaning closer to him, she continued, “smelly and…” She never got a chance to finish as he kissed her. When they separated she finished, “and your face feels like sandpaper.”
Hogan chuckled at Karla’s comments mocking his grungy appearance and replied, “Yeah. I know.”
Karla smiled and said, “And I don’t care a bit. I still love you.”
After the truck was about ten minutes away from the camp, it stopped with a jolt. The two men in the back went to the stopped car when Carter, Newkirk and Tiger climbed into the back of the truck. Carter handed Karla her navy blue cloak, which she put on just as the truck’s engine rumbled to life again. She pulled an envelope from her pocket, a flashlight from her purse, opened and read the letter inside the envelope.
“Colonel Hogan?” Carter asked.
“Yeah? Who is it?” Hogan replied, and then continued in surprise as he recognized the men, “Carter? Newkirk?”
“It’s good to see you, sir,” Carter replied.
“It’s good to see you guys too. Now tell me, what the hell is going on here? Why aren’t you two back at Stalag 13? What about Kinch and LeBeau?” Hogan asked.
“It was Kinch’s idea to come and rescue you,” Carter continued.
Hogan chuckled. “That crazy son of a…”
“And Karla came up with the details of the plan once we were here,” Newkirk said.
Karla inhaled sharply. “This letter gives the details of the next
Allied offensive in
“Where did you get that?” Hogan asked.
“From the senior POW officer at the
camp. He asked me to see to it that it
“We’ll have to inform headquarters that they have a leak,” said Hogan.
“First we need to find out where the leak is,” Karla commented.
It was mid-afternoon when they arrived at her house after dropping the truck and the others off at a prearranged place. Wolfram arrived at the house shortly after they did and Hogan asked, “You too?”
“Yes. And Tiger,” Wolfram replied.
“Excuse me,” Hogan said as he took Karla in his arms and kissed her passionately. He didn’t know what to say to her; words couldn’t express how he felt. She had just saved his life.
Just then, Tiger returned to the room. When she saw Hogan kissing Karla, her jaw dropped in shock. Hogan truly cared about Karla. She was extremely jealous of the German woman. No matter what she had previously told Karla, Tiger shouted, “I can’t take it anymore!”
Hogan looked over at Tiger, confused and asked, “What?”
“How can you love this SS bitch?” Tiger asked in reply, furious.
“That Tiger, is none of your business,” Hogan replied as he went over and sat wearily on the couch. Karla remained standing.
“Calm down, my love,” Newkirk said from behind Tiger.
Tiger turned and looked at him, “Your what?”
“My love,” Newkirk said as he walked over to her, gently took her arm and guided her to a window away from everyone.
“I know that you feel love towards Hogan, but as you can see, he’s in love with Karla,” Newkirk said.
Tiger looked down at the floor and replied, “As much as I hate to say it, I see that I was wrong about Karla. She went to the camp and really went through with her plan. I didn’t think she would.”
“I’m glad, luv,” Newkirk looked at her affectionately and gave her a hug. All Tiger’s defenses crumbled and she returned the hug. It had been so long since she felt able to relax with a man. Perhaps now wasn’t the time, but Newkirk seemed nice enough and was determined to try and win her heart. All she wanted was love and comfort.
“Now all we have to do is get the three of you back to Stalag 13 and find out for sure who is behind this,” Tiger commented.
“Did your contact make any progress?” Karla inquired.
“Yes. He’s trying to arrange for surveillance on Undersecretary Medwin. Once he does, we may find out something,” replied Tiger as she stared out the window in the living room deep in thought. She was beginning to realize that Newkirk had some very strong feelings for her and was considering how she felt about him.
“Oh! I nearly forgot! Carter, we need to contact Kinch,” Newkirk said.
“That’s right,” Carter replied. He walked over to where Karla was standing and inquired, “Ma’am, do you have a radio that I can use to contact Kinch?”
Karla smiled and replied, “Yes, Carter. Come this way.” She took him into the next room and showed him the radio.
Carter set the radio for 510 megahertz. “Papa Bear, this is Baby Bear,” he began.
Through the static, came Kinch’s reply, “Baby Bear, this is Papa Bear, I read you, go ahead.”
“Understood. Over and out,” replied Kinch as he sighed in relief.
* * * * * * *
Shortly after Tiger’s arrival, Karla retired to the kitchen to fix some food. The easiest thing to prepare that would feed this crew was soup. Soon, she had a large pot filled with vegetables and meat cooking on the stove and some garlic bread in the oven.
Hogan entered the kitchen after washing his face, arms and hands, then sat to the table and watched her cook from across the small kitchen. “Mmmm. That smells wonderful!” he commented.
“Don’t gorge yourself. You’ll be sick after not eating for three days,” Karla replied as she cut the bread into slices.
“You sound like we’re already married!” Hogan protested.
“And you don’t mind a bit, do you?” Karla asked with a grin.
Hogan chuckled, “No, I don’t. By the way, I noticed you have quite a bit of photography equipment set up in your other room.”
“Yes. It’s a fascinating medium. I’ve been working with it a lot at MI-6,” Karla replied.
“I’m glad that the operation to rescue you was successful, Colonel Hogan,” Tiger said as she came into the kitchen.
“Oh, I didn’t see you, Tiger,” Hogan said. His eyes widened at the realization of what had just been said. Whoops!
Tiger turned towards him and quietly said, “Colonel, I know about your engagement.”
“You do?” Hogan tilted his head and lifted his brow towards Karla.
“Yes,” Tiger replied.
“Oh,” Hogan commented as Karla placed a bowl of soup in front of him. He started to eat his soup and felt a measure of his strength beginning to return. “Mmmm. Tasty.”
“I’m glad you like it. Have some bread,” Karla replied and put the plate of bread in front of Hogan.
Tiger left the room presumably to inform the others that the food was ready. Everyone consumed a late dinner before retiring for the night. The house had two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. In one of the bedrooms, Tiger and Newkirk spent some time getting to know one another better. Carter and Wolfram slept in sleeping bags on the living room floor. Meanwhile, Hogan and Karla retired to her bedroom.
Hogan looked out the window at the moon and the stars before Karla lightly touched his arm. From here, he noticed, she had an unobstructed view of the night sky. Her house was on the edge of a large park. He didn’t close the curtains as there were no people outside; there were no buildings on this side of the house and she didn’t demand it for air raid conditions. The moon was bright and Hogan noticed how much her skin looked like delicate porcelain as he turned towards her and gently embraced her. Karla felt Hogan trembling slightly and said, “I’m so glad that you’re safe, but sad that you went through that ordeal. Come over to the bed, let me look at you.”
Hogan muttered, “Stop fussing! I’m all right.”
Karla frowned and said, “When someone says that, they are usually in the greatest pain. Off with your shirt and pants and sit on the edge of the bed.”
“All right,” Hogan replied.
Karla turned on the lamp next to the bed and examined Hogan. “Lay on your side so I can see your back in the light,” she said. As he complied with her request, she saw the black and blue area across his shoulders. Her brow furrowed when she asked, “Did they beat you?”
“No,” Hogan replied.
“Then what is this bruise across your shoulders? A tattoo?” Karla asked sarcastically as she touched it with her hand. “It’s the only thing wrong with you other than that you’re weak from starvation and the side effects of that drug they gave you.”
Hogan winced at her touch. “No, somebody decided that I should be unconscious before leaving Stalag 13 and they hit me there. Hard. And that was before they drugged me.”
“It hurts me just looking at it,” Karla whispered as she leaned over and kissed it. “Does it feel better now?”
“Since you kissed it, yes,” Hogan replied as he rolled onto his back. Karla turned off the lamp once more and pulled her legs up onto the bed. As she settled next to Hogan, he reached around her head, unpinned her hair, ran his fingers through it and allowed it to cascade over her shoulders. “You look beautiful with long hair, Karla. I definitely approve.”
“Thanks,” Karla replied. Quietly, she came closer to him and said, “I’ve been very lonely.”
“Me too. Stalag 13 is a cold and lonely place. I cherish every letter you send me,” replied Hogan.
“So do I, my love,” Karla said.
Karla undressed Hogan the rest of the way before he pulled her camisole up and over her head. She covered them with the sheets and blankets.
“I guess I won’t be getting much rest tonight, huh?” Hogan asked.
Karla replied, “Do you really want to rest? If you do, then I’ll just curl up next to you and sleep.”
Hogan felt her warm, smooth, feminine curves against his body and the ache of loneliness within himself. Knowing that he would be leaving her to return to that lonely life at Stalag 13, his hand drifted down to rest on her butt and he replied, “No, I guess not. What is the date today?”
It was after and she responded, “December thirtieth. Why?”
He thought for a moment before answering, “Happy birthday, Karla.”
“Thanks. If not for you, I wouldn’t have lived to see this day. My thirty-eighth birthday,” Karla replied.
“You’re welcome. So, tell me, what do you want for your birthday?” asked Hogan.
“Hmmm. That’s a tough one,” Karla replied, her voice calm and relaxed. She slid her leg around his, moved atop him and said, “Don’t move, I’ve got you covered.”
As Hogan’s eyes moved down to her naked bosom then back to her face, he replied sensually, “You certainly do.”
Karla’s knees now rested on either side of his hips and she pushed herself up, keeping the covers over her shoulders. She then replied sultrily, “I know what I want for my birthday. I want the very handsome, unwrapped gift beneath me on my bed.” Her fingers lightly traced the line from just behind his ear, down around his jaw, down his neck and to his chest.
Hogan slid the sheet and blanket down her back, saw her body bathed in the moonlight and indicated for her to come closer. When she did, he gently caressed her breasts and replied, “Request granted.” He gave her a birthday present that neither of them would soon forget as they made love.
When Hogan closed his eyes as they lay together afterwards, Karla said, “I also want you to be free and with me forever.”
Hogan mumbled an agreement as he drifted off to sleep. He was completely exhausted.
* * * * * * *
In the next room, Newkirk and Tiger spent some time talking about themselves, before having some fun as they indulged in the moment, but found that they truly enjoyed each other’s company. They cuddled next to one another afterwards. He didn’t mean to fall asleep, but as she spoke afterwards, it didn’t matter what she said, but the tone of her voice was so beautiful that he couldn’t help himself. It was the soft, soothing voice of a woman who he was very quickly falling in love with. Soon, he was fast asleep next to her on the bed. Tiger covered them both and closed her eyes to sleep as she snuggled against him.
* * * * * * *
The next morning, Carter woke early, dressed and started waking everyone else. Wolfram was first because he was the closest. He found Newkirk and Tiger snuggled together in bed in one of the bedrooms and grinned. Once they were awake and dressing, he went over to the room where he knew the two colonels were sleeping and knocked. When he got no response, he cracked open the door, poked his head in and said, “Colonel! Colonel Hogan!”
“Mmmmphh!” Hogan mumbled.
A blonde-haired head lifted at the sound of his voice. “What is it, Carter?” Karla asked her own eyes still half shut.
“We have to start back to Stalag 13 this morning,” Carter replied.
Hogan opened his eyes. “All right, Carter. We’ll be out in a few minutes.”
“Colonel? Your clothes are over here on this chair,” Carter said.
Hogan raised his head and was more alert when he asked, “What do you mean, my clothes?”
“These clothes are for you to wear for most of the trip back to Stalag 13. They aren’t as conspicuous as your uniform. We’ll all change to our uniforms just before we arrive at camp,” Carter replied.
“Thanks Andrew,” Hogan replied.
“You’re welcome sir,” Carter said and then closed the door.
By then, Newkirk and Tiger had come out of the other room, dressed and ready to go. Carter noticed they were awful friendly towards one another.
“Where’s Colonel ‘ogan?” Newkirk asked.
“Still half asleep,” Carter replied with a grin.
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” asked Newkirk.
“Give them a few minutes,” Wolfram said as he picked up the last of the bags, and went and put them in the trunk of the car. When he came back in, they were ready to go.
* * * * * * *
“I wish you didn’t have to go, Robert,” Karla said as she laid her head on his chest.
He slid his arms around her and held her close while lightly stroking her back. “I know. I wish I could stay.”
“You’ll be able to rest and fully recover your strength once you return to Stalag 13,” Karla commented.
Hogan said, “Uh huh. In between missions, I worry about you,
especially when I hear about
“Don’t worry about me, love. I can take care of myself. You made sure of that when you got me out of
“Until this war ends and we are
together, I will worry, no matter what.
However, last night before we retired, Wolfram told me we’ve only got a
small window where we can leave
“Thanks. I put it on just for you,” Karla said. “Don’t worry about what you smell like. You cleaned up well enough. We don’t want to endanger the story that the SS interrogated you. You can’t smell like you’ve just taken a fresh bubble bath and that’s why we didn’t give you anything to shave off your stubble.”
“I guess you didn’t mind kissing sandpaper last night?” asked Hogan.
“No. I’d rather do that than not kiss anything at all,” replied Karla. She moved off him then. They crawled out of bed and dressed before walking into the living room where everyone was waiting for them.
“Now you come out, after all the work is done,” Wolfram said sarcastically.
Hogan and Karla shrugged innocently and put on their coats. Wolfram laughed at their expressions.
“Are we ready to go to the plane?” Karla asked.
“No, but I guess I have to be ready, don’t I?” Hogan replied and put his arm around her shoulders. Karla felt the weakness in his grip but wasn’t about to say anything to him. There had been nothing weak about him last night when they made love.
“Yes, and so do I,” Newkirk replied as Tiger squeezed his hand.
They went outside and piled into the car. The trip to the airstrip was a quiet one. Carter and Wolfram sat in the front and the others were in the back, Karla and Tiger were comfortable on Hogan and Newkirk’s laps, respectively. An hour later, they arrived at an isolated airstrip. Carter parked the car and Wolfram went to begin his preflight check of the plane and he followed shortly as the two couples were standing outside the car trying to say farewell and Karla imagined that Carter felt uncomfortable around them at the moment.
Hogan kissed her tenderly and said, “Happy birthday Karla. I hope to see you again soon. At least now I know where you live and will come there after the war, I promise.”
“That’s a promise I’ll hold you to, Robert,” Karla replied softly. She heard the sadness in her voice as Hogan went to the plane, followed by Newkirk who had said his farewells to Tiger.
Before they closed the plane’s door, both men looked back at them and waved. Then the door was closed and the plane taxied to the runway. When it took off, Karla looked at Tiger and said simply, “They’re gone.”
“Yes. I’m going to miss him,” Tiger replied.
“I know how you feel. Will your contact continue trying to find out who is responsible for Hogan ending up in this situation?” asked Karla.
“Yes,” replied Tiger.
They got in the car and returned to
* * * * * * *
Back at the POW camp, Wing Commander Sedgwick called to inform the camp commandant of the current situation regarding his top security prisoner.
“Good morning, Commander,” Archer replied.
“Good morning, sir. I have news with regards to the fate of your prisoner,” Sedgwick began.
“Oh?” asked Archer.
“Yes. You will continue to keep him in solitary confinement until I come and get him two days from now. He is to be brought before a tribunal of the Allied High Command,” replied Sedgwick.
“But...but…” Archer stammered.
“But what?” Sedgwick asked.
“I thought you knew. He was taken from here by the German inspector because she claimed he was being mistreated according to the Geneva Convention,” replied Archer.
“What? He’s escaped?” Sedgwick asked, incredulous.
“Not exactly escaped, just taken to a hospital,” replied Archer meekly.
“Which one?” demanded Sedgwick.
“They didn’t say,” Archer replied.
“WHO didn’t say?!” Sedgwick demanded. He was losing his patience with this bungler.
“The German inspector and the air commodore accompanying her,” replied Archer.
At the other end of the line, Sedgwick closed his eyes in disbelief. Someone would have his head for this bungle. “Wait a minute! An Air Commodore was here? What was his name?” demanded Sedgwick.
“He claimed his name was Air Commodore Newkirkson,” Archer replied.
“You idiot! There is no Air Commodore in the RAF by that name. There will be an investigation into your bungling of this matter, commandant!” Sedgwick said angrily as he slammed down the receiver.
Archer didn’t know what to say. “Good bye, Commander,” he replied, then hung up the receiver before muttering, “This mess will probably end my military career.”
* * * * * * *
The plane landed at the airstrip just outside of Hammelburg and Oscar Schnitzer and several other members of Wolfram’s underground group were waiting for them. They piled into Schnitzer’s truck, rode to the farm where the truck in which they would return to Stalag 13 was parked inside the barn. Upon their arrival, they entered the barn and changed clothes. The three prisoners changed into their uniforms and Wolfram changed into his Gestapo lieutenant colonel’s uniform. The men with Schnitzer put on their Gestapo uniforms as well and brought the truck to transport Hogan, Carter and Newkirk back to Stalag 13 out of the barn.
To make it look as official as possible, they handcuffed the three prisoners and Wolfram said, “Good luck, Papa Bear.”
“Thanks. Let’s hope that Tiger and her contacts can find out who’s responsible for putting me into that position. Can you contact Mama Bear, explain what is going on and see to it that he contacts me?” Hogan asked in reply.
“I’ll try,” Wolfram said. Then, to the man in front, “All right, let’s go to Stalag 13.” The man started the truck, put it in gear and began the short trip.
Schultz greeted the truck upon its arrival at Stalag 13 and asked, “What can I do for you?”
“We have three prisoners in the back of the truck,” the driver replied.
“Take them to the Kommandant’s office,” Schultz ordered.
The truck parked in front of Klink’s office. The lieutenant colonel came down from the rear of the truck and found Schultz and Klink standing there.
“Herr Oberstleutnant, I’ve been told that you have three prisoners for me,” Hogan heard Klink say.
“Jawohl. Out of the truck, schnell!!” Wolfram ordered.
First Carter and Newkirk left, and then Hogan stood and climbed down from the truck. The look on Klink’s face was one of surprise when he saw Hogan climb slowly down from the truck.
“Is there anything else I can do for you, Herr Oberstleutnant?” Klink asked.
“No, Colonel,” Wolfram replied.
Klink saluted the man and dismissed him. Wolfram got into the front of the truck; the driver started the motor, put it in gear and left camp.
“Schultz! Remove their handcuffs!” Klink ordered.
“Yes sir!” Schultz replied.
“Well Colonel Hogan, I see you survived whatever the SS threw at you,” Klink commented.
Hogan nodded. His mind was elsewhere. Then, he blinked and asked, “Am I dismissed, sir?”
“Yes Hogan, you and your men may return to the barracks,” Klink replied, then turned and went into his office.
Carter and Newkirk had already returned to the barracks. Hogan followed their example. When he entered, he found Carter reading a book and Newkirk writing a letter. The others looked at him as though they’d seen a ghost. He went into his quarters and found Kinch waiting for him with a small piece of blue paper in his hand.
“Hi, Kinch,” Hogan began. “What’s that? News from headquarters?”
“Yes, a message from Mama Bear. He said that the agent who reported that you were a traitor mistook you for someone else,” Kinch replied.
“I went through all that over a case of mistaken identity? You gotta be kidding me!” Hogan exclaimed in frustration.
“No sir,” Kinch said. “Apparently, they have the
“Thanks for the update,” Hogan said and then paused before continuing, “Uh, Kinch?”
“Yeah?” asked Kinch in reply.
“Thanks for coming after me. You did well with that plan. And with seeing to it that you got the right
“You’re welcome. I knew she would. I replaced everything here just as I found it when I got her address from the letters in your locker,” Kinch replied.
Outside, they heard Schultz bellowing for the prisoners to come out for roll call as he crossed the compound. “Well, I guess it’s back to the dull routine of prison life for us,” Hogan commented as he and Kinch went outside for roll call.
Text and original characters copyright 2002 by Diane Maher
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.