Heroes for a Trooper Tot
Carolyn Waller

Acknowledgements:  The location of the Hauserhauf restaurant was taken from an actual Hogan’s Heroes episode entitled “Kommandant Schultz”.


          Walking leisurely to Barracks 2 with Hogan, Carter, Newkirk, and Kinch, LeBeau returned from work detail with a sudden craving for traditional French onion soup.  He took off his military jacket, beret, and scarf and put on his chef hat and apron.  At the stove that had just been cleaned the night before, LeBeau proceeded to make the broth, a beef-flavored base that had the same warm, taste-tempting aroma he grew up with.  The oil of the broth was made from fatty pieces of meat leftover from the previous evening’s dinner.  Authentic French bread to go with the soup was baking in the oven.  He requested Carter to cut up the onions for him.  The strong smell of the onions caused Carter’s eyes to well up and get weepy and red.  LeBeau looked at him, laughing at the sight.

LeBeau:  “You look funny when you’re crying. Like a little boy with a broken toy.”

Carter:  “Aw, shut up.  How do you French handle making this stuff, with such strong-smelling ingredients, like that garlic you put in that noodle sauce you make?  At least the bouillabaisse you made last Sunday night doesn’t smell like you could use it as tear gas against the Germans.”

Hogan, Newkirk, and Kinch all laughed together.  LeBeau just wrinkled up his mouth in a sarcastic half-smile, annoyed for the moment.  He wasn’t accustomed to anyone even mildly ridiculing French flavoring for food.  Kinch pulled out a tissue from his pocket and handed it to Carter.  Carter wiped his eyes and put the chopped onions in the pot of boiling broth.  LeBeau now realized that Carter simply for the moment underestimated how seriously he treated the fine art of French cuisine, including how French culture declares that the prized flavors and aromas involved, when handled correctly, just cannot be made fun of.  This includes the use of onions.  After a minute, LeBeau was no longer offended.  He knew Carter enjoys every morsel of his fine cooking just as much as the others do.  Hogan and his Heroes sat down at the wooden table to the savory French onion soup lunch.

          Later that afternoon during Stalag 13’s recreation part of the day, Carter approached LeBeau in the camp’s recreation hall, called the Kantine.  LeBeau was with one of Barracks 3’s prisoners playing ping-pong, an American game he discovered to be similar to tennis.

Carter interrupted him and LeBeau excused himself from the ping-pong table.

Carter:  “Louis, I’d like to apologize for making fun of the onion flavor of your soup.  The truth is, you cook the most wonderful food I’ve ever had.  You see, I was raised on typical American farm foods, ya know, stuff like corn, which you told me and the guys one time that the people of your country use only to feed pigs and chickens.  Though I may be a little unsophisticated about your culture, I have no problem with your cooking.  I’ll never forget the fancy gourmet dinner you made as a way of saying thanks for when me and Hogan and the others went on that mission to help you bring back your French Resistance friend Private Beurel from Stalag nine.  In fact where I come from, only the rich can afford to eat that kinda stuff.  Honest, Louis.  I’m sorry.”

LeBeau: “Merci, Andrew.”

Carter motioned LeBeau to follow him and walk with him outside and behind the kantine where no one else could hear them.  Carter tipped the cap of his dark gray bomber uniform.  LeBeau could see that Carter’s face at an instant went from a look of humility to an eager expression with a slight smile.

Carter:  “I’d like to make it up to you, buddy.  How ‘bout you and I sneak out of camp and have our own little night on the town, just the both of us, without Hogan, Newkirk, and Kinch?  I have a few German marks saved up from when Schultz paid me for the chocolate bars that came in my Red Cross packages.  I was thinkin’ maybe you and I can put on our civvies, go to the Hauserhauf in Hammelburg and have a couple beers, well, wine for you, meet a few girls and go polka dancing, have us a little fun outside camp.  My treat.  We can get back before morning roll call and the others won’t know we went out.”

LeBeau:  “But what about Colonel Hogan?  Don’t we have to have him with us in order for us to do anything outside camp?  Après tout, euhh, after all, he is our commanding officer, you know.  He’s the one who leads us everywhere we go.  You know that.”

Carter:  “Only when we’re on a spy or sabotage mission, ya know, some kind of assignment, not all fun ‘n games.  Tonight we’re not, and today’s Saturday, so there’s gonna be a good time happenin’ in town tonight.  Maybe you’ll get a date with a lovely frauline.  When was the last time you were on a date with a woman?”

LeBeau:  “Uh, since before the war.  Depuis avant la guerre - in my language, heh heh.  Yes, it does seem like a long time.  At least Hogan gets to go to Kommandant Klink’s office and see that secretary Helga for female companionship every now and then.  I saw it with my own eyes when he brought me to Klink’s office for the first time.  Don’t tell Hogan, but sometimes I do get jealous of him about that.”

Carter:  “There, ya see? The Luft stalag network doesn’t exactly make ‘that’ kind of provision for the prisoners.  And for you French fellas, that must be an awful thing.  Now c’mon, Louis, what do ya say?”

LeBeau was instantly excited at the idea.  He agreed to meet Carter at the underground room under Barracks 2 after lights out, with the agreement not to tell Hogan or anyone else about their outing for the night.  He was fascinated about what it must feel like to be outside the camp without Hogan leading them on a mission.  It would be the first time he would leave the camp without Hogan’s knowledge or consent.  He felt a tremendous feeling of anticipation that he was about to be Hammelburg’s French bon vivant for the night, enjoying a time of good old-fashioned fun on the town with his American friend and fellow POW Sergeant Andrew Carter.  Already imagining himself in civilian-style leisure outside the confines of the stalag, he felt in superb form to charm the ladies and also make sure Carter would be having a good time too.  For a moment he felt that it was a shame that Hogan and the others were not invited, but remembered that the night out was first and foremost Carter’s treat especially for him.  LeBeau put on his official civilian outfit that had been brought to him from when he was staying in a safehouse with his French Resistance unit before his capture by the Germans.  It was a smart, sporty ensemble from the 1930’s - a navy blue jacket and trousers with a matching cap.  The jacket had brown leather trimming along the buttons and up to the shoulders.  With it he wore a dark red plaid necktie he received as a gift from a woman who went by the code name of Tiger.  She was one of Hogan’s French Underground contacts who had a romantic affair with Hogan but as a patriotic Frenchwoman intended to show her appreciation for LeBeau’s help in one of Hogan’s missions for her.  He tucked the necktie under the collar.  Carter put on his civilian outfit – a green and blue plaid jacket with a taupe leather cap that was designed somewhat in the shape of an officer’s cap.  As they made their way through the tunnel, LeBeau asked him why not go to the Hofbrau, the nearest local canteen. Carter replied that the Hofbrau is typically where Schultz and the other Stalag 13 guards go when they’re off duty.  Besides, the Hofbrau was just a tavern, or pub, as Newkirk called it, whereas the Hauserhauf was a classy, romantic restaurant and Hammelburg’s very own example of German culture at its finest.  It was fully furnished with a dining room, lounge with a bar, and a special room for social functions such as dances and private dinner parties.  It was also a place where Klink was known to entertain lady guests and attend parties for important high-ranking officers from the war front.  For Hogan and his Heroes, it was also a place not unheard of for meeting a few of their important people every now and then. 

          They arrived in town and walked into the lounge of the restaurant first, noticing that, unlike the Hofbrau, which was mostly a place for men to drink beer and socialize among themselves, there were several young ladies present at the Hauserhauf.  Some with dates, some that came alone.  Those that came alone were there to casually meet local young men for the Saturday night polka dance, which was mainly why Carter suggested the Hauserhauf in the first place.  Carter went to the bar and ordered a beer for himself and a glass of wine for LeBeau.

LeBeau:  “How many marks did Schultz pay you for those chocolate bars?”

Carter:  “Enough for the both of us to sample the German night life in style.” Smiling,  “ What can I say, mon ami? The big ole’ Kraut is crazy about those chocolate bars.”

They both laughed and relaxed their backs against the bar in a state of fresh, exhilarated contentment.  They both began eyeing the female patrons of the lounge, who were dressed in the fashion of the times for a nice evening out.  LeBeau and Carter were smiling coyly and quietly, feeling like a couple of happy-go-lucky civilian buddies rather than POWs.  LeBeau caught the eye of a pretty blonde in a light blue dress.  Age-wise, she appeared to be in her late twenties.  She had her shoulder-length hair in ringlets and was wearing a decorative antique necklace with matching earrings.  Carter noticed she was staring at LeBeau and smiling in an almost bashful way.

Carter:  “Hey look, Louis, I think that pretty blonde over there would like you to come over to her.” Leaning over at LeBeau’s shoulder, pointing to her.

LeBeau:  “And how ‘bout you, Andrew? Mingle with the ladies, mon cher ami., chuckling in his own distinctive cute manner “Maybe one of them will ask you to dance when the music starts in the party room.”

LeBeau walked over to the girl and introduced himself simply as Louis, without giving any indication that he’s in the military.  She recognized his accent as French and figured that he must be just another foreign civilian passing through town.  In an unmistakably German accent, the girl introduced herself as Heidi.

Heidi:  “Ah, vous êtes Français.“ (trans.= “You are French.”)  But I see you speak English.  I learned English and French in school in Berlin.  Would you like me to speak to you in English or French?”

LeBeau:  “English is fine.”

He saw that Carter, just in time, managed to find a girl companion also – a typically German-looking blonde with her hair braided in back and wearing a purple dress with matching gloves and a white and purple-striped hat.  Her name was Liesel.  Her English was not perfect, but well enough for Carter to carry on a simple, ordinary conversation with him.  It wasn’t long before the two girls noticed that the short Frenchman and the American knew each other.  Following a small crowd of couples, they headed for the party room where a polka band started playing.  Carter and Liesel followed next to LeBeau and Heidi.  They started dancing and Heidi was teaching LeBeau to dance to traditional German polka.  After one song, he learned the steps so he could lead.  He glanced to the side, watching in enjoyment as Carter was dancing merrily with Liesel.  LeBeau and Carter both looked at each other, smiling in the excitement of their surroundings.  Then after a few more polkas a lady singer with the band sang a love song in German for the slow dance.  Heidi happily served as a gracious dance partner for LeBeau.  He was grinning and starry-eyed.  Though enchanted by the lovely time of the occasion, he was alert enough to refrain from talking about his personal business, so that she would not learn that he’s a prisoner of war.  For all he knew, if she found out, she would probably contact Stalag 13 and report him as a prisoner who escaped for the night.  He limited the content of his conversation to his background – details about his younger years, his family, and his experiences as a Parisian chef.  He excused himself for a minute to whisper to Carter privately near the wall, reminding him not to divulge any information that would reveal that they are prisoners of war who left camp for a night out, and warned that to do so would put them at a risk that would result in at least 30 days in the cooler for the both of them.

Carter:  “Yeah. Only thirty days if Klink’s in a good mood.”

They both smirked at the thought and gladly returned to a less-serious demeanor, walking back to the two girls.  As their last dance ended, LeBeau smiled and kissed Heidi’s hand, complimenting her on her dancing and charm with him.  Carter gave Liesel a polite little kiss on the cheek and told her he had fun dancing with her.

The dining room was closed by then, but that didn’t matter to LeBeau and Carter, who were improperly attired for an expensive dinner of luxury anyway.  They both decided that if they wanted to go out special to take their lady companions out on an elegant, romantic dinner date, they would have to plan it for another night, and preferably by the time they will have acquired a couple of fine-looking suits for the occasion.  They told this to Heidi and Liesel, who understood and appreciated their intention to come across as high-class gentlemen and treat them accordingly.  LeBeau and Carter simply took them to the lounge, which remained open for latecomers and the polka band.  They bought the two young ladies drinks, with the regret that they couldn’t have dinner too.  A consolation was that Heidi and Liesel both told them they had already eaten dinner at home before going to the Hauserhauf for the dance.  After half an hour of ordinary, harmless small talk between them, it was time for the girls to leave to go home.  The two girls gave them their phone numbers, and continued to be under the impression that LeBeau and Carter were just passing by in town and had no local residence.  After LeBeau and Carter escorted them to their cars, the two girls said goodbye to them and to be sure to call them if they’re ever in town again and would like to take them out for a nice dinner date at the Hauserhauf. 

LeBeau:  “It’s been a pleasure, mademoiselle.”  He slowly took Heidi’s hand and kissed it once again.

Carter:  “Same for me.  I had a wonderful time with you tonight, Frauline Liesel.”  He gave Liesel another kiss on the cheek.

After the two girls drove off, LeBeau had an idea.  He told Carter he would like to go back into the lounge and buy a bottle of wine to bring back to camp, as a nice surprise to go with one of his gourmet French dinners in the barracks.  He said it would make him feel better since Hogan, Newkirk and Kinch weren’t with them for the night out.  Carter went with him back into the lounge and to the bar, where LeBeau asked to buy a bottle of wine from the bartender.  The bartended told them they may both go down to the wine cellar and select which bottle of wine they would like, then bring it back upstairs to pay for it at the bar.  The bartender showed them to the stairs where the wine cellar was under the ground floor of the restaurant, but declined from going down there with them.  LeBeau looked at the array of wines on the racks, imagining that some of the French wine there has been plundered by the Germans and put on the Black Market since Hitler’s invasion of France.  Carter gladly let LeBeau, being the Frenchman and expert chef, select a fine wine of his choice.  Before LeBeau had a chance to look at the vintage date on the label, he and Carter were startled to hear the sound of a baby starting to cry.  The sound was coming from a corner behind a box.  LeBeau and Carter slowly went over to the corner to the crying baby – a 9 month-old that was dressed in light blue baby pajamas, covered with a blanket and laying down on a pillow that was placed in a cardboard wine box.  There was a baby bottle next to him in his makeshift pillow bed.  It was half-filled with milk.  Next to the bottle of milk were a folded up blue and white-striped baby overalls, a pair of simple white baby shoes, and a small blue cap to match the overalls.

Carter:  “A baby boy!  What would a little baby boy be doing all alone in a wine cellar under a restaurant?”

LeBeau:  “I don’t know.  It looks like we just woke him up from his sleep.  Quick, Andrew, see, there’s a baby bottle for him.  I’ll put it to his mouth, so he knows it’s there for him.”

They both knelt down to feed the baby his milk.  LeBeau was now completely distracted from selecting a bottle of wine and felt a sense of emergency for this helpless baby they just found.  They both decided they should whisper to keep the baby calm.

Carter:  “What about your wine?”

LeBeau:  “Forget about the wine.  We need to find out where this baby’s mother is and bring him to her so we can get back to camp.  We’ll need to tell the bartender.  Maybe he knows where the baby came from, and why he’s in this wine cellar.  If we don’t find out very soon where this baby came from, we’ll have to bring him back with us and keep him under the barracks until we do.  We can’t just leave him here.”

As Carter stayed with the baby, LeBeau went back up to the bar and asked about the baby.  From talking to him, it was obvious to LeBeau that the bartender was not a Nazi, because the bartender openly informed him that the baby was kidnapped by a Nazi spy by the name of Friedric Von Schliemer, but also told LeBeau that for his own safety he does not wish to take it upon himself to get further involved than to keep the baby and care for him for a short period of time on the premises of the Hauserhauf.  From the bartender’s information, just two days before, the baby had been brought by Von Schliemer to the wine cellar and that the baby is British and his name is Ronald Hunt.  His parents were being held by the Gestapo, and were not told where the baby was being kept. The bartender said he was pretending to be a Nazi who complied with Von Schliemer’s order to keep the baby until further notice.  The bartender was not given the information of the whereabouts the baby’s parents.  As LeBeau figured, the baby’s parents have apparently been caught in the act of espionage for the Allies.  Then a question dawned on LeBeau about how the bartender knew so much information that a Nazi spy would not likely let him know.  LeBeau directly asked.  The bartender replied that it was from an anonymous British Underground agent who made a telephone call to the Hauserhauf after secretly following Von Schliemer during the entire kidnapping, when it was discovered by the agent that the Hunts were caught during an espionage assignment.  The bartender feared that the threat was that the baby would be killed if the Hunts refused to surrender their affiliation with the Underground and go back to England.  As LeBeau quickly figured out, the Nazi spy Von Schliemer obviously was working for the Gestapo.  To preserve his cover upon the eventual return of Von Schliemer to the restaurant to take the baby, the bartender could not provide LeBeau with the information of the whereabouts of the baby’s parents, as the agent was not supposed to tell.  The bartender admitted it would be up to LeBeau and Carter to find out the whereabouts themselves so that the baby can be returned to his parents safely immediately after the parents are somehow rescued.  Since there were no holding cells at Gestapo headquarters in Hammelburg, it was most likely that the Hunts were being held hostage in wherever they were staying while in Germany.  LeBeau decided not to tell the bartender that he and Carter are POWs at Stalag 13 and also not to tell of the secret mission team he’s with.  He didn’t want the bartender to know too much in case questioned by Von Schliemer.  The last thing he would want was for Von Schliemer to arrive at Stalag 13 to seek out the two POWs who foiled the purpose of the kidnapping.  

          LeBeau returned to the wine cellar and told Carter all the details he just learned, as well as what they have to do next.  It was also a fact to face that they would have to honestly explain to Hogan how they wound up coming back to camp with a baby.  They had at that instant just wondered if Hogan would get upset at them that they had snuck out of camp to go out for a night of fun to begin with.  Nevertheless, LeBeau and Carter’s sudden involvement with this baby launched a need for them to go on a mission for him, and it was the subject of their discussion between them during the entire walk back to camp and down through the tunnel.  The two of them, taking turns carrying the baby in the box he came in along with the baby’s clothing, agreed to brainstorm necessary and feasible steps of the mission.  In typical military mentality, it was assessed that they would probably be held completely responsible since they were the ones that brought on the involvement of a little baby, and that whatever help from Hogan would depend on his good graces after perhaps an apology from the both of them.  A baby in a Luft stalag was, after all, something that was rather unheard of.

          The baby was placed in front of the electronics transmission room under the barracks.  He was wrapped up in his blanket, waiting for whatever discovery of him was to be soon by Hogan, Newkirk, and Kinch.  The next morning’s roll call went as normal, but this time with LeBeau’s mind on caring for the baby in the barracks.  In addition to ordinary care for the baby, LeBeau and Carter realized it would be imperative that they use Kinch’s radio system to seek out the whereabouts of the Hunts from Hogan’s list of sources from the British Underground along with setting up a mission to free the baby’s parents as soon as possible.  Hogan kept a record of information of every Allied spy ring in Germany.  LeBeau and Carter knew the Hunts would turn up somewhere in the list of names.  LeBeau and Carter agreed that they would have to try to do it themselves until Hogan and the others eventually find the baby.  LeBeau searched through Hogan’s files, but found only code names.

LeBeau:  “C’est evident (trans.- “It’s evident.”).  We have no choice but to come right out and tell Colonel Hogan.  He’s the only one here who would already know the code name of the Hunts.  Hopefully he’ll be willing to help us locate them, even if just you and I are sent on the mission by ourselves to rescue them and return the baby safely.”

Carter faced the reality of the situation and joined LeBeau to approach Hogan about the dilemma involving the baby, with a plan to explain that the baby would be better off in their hands than staying in the wine cellar of the Hauserhauf.  That morning in the barracks after breakfast, LeBeau and Carter both asked Hogan to sit down with them and hear about it.  Newkirk and Kinch were standing behind them at the table, listening attentively.  LeBeau was the first to speak, knowing Hogan would definitely want to know how it came to be that a baby showed up in Stalag 13 overnight.  LeBeau told their story in detail, including everything the bartender told him.  Hogan abruptly stood up from his chair.  LeBeau and Carter gulped nervously, waiting for Hogan’s reaction.

Hogan:  “A baby in a stalag!  A dilly-dally night on the town and you wind up bringing a baby back with you!  A baby!  You guys know this place is no nursery!”

Carter:   “And a cute little fella he is.  Wait till ya see him.  He’s got the most adorable little eyes and cute little nose and –“

LeBeau turned to Carter and glared at him for his inappropriately trivial comment that embarrassed the both of them in front of their obviously angry colonel.  Carter put his head down for a moment, cleared his throat, and lifted his head back up, realizing he should have waited until Hogan calms down and takes kindly to the idea of the baby’s presence.

Kinch:  “No use getting upset about it now, Colonel.  What’s important now is how to rescue the baby’s parents and return the baby safe and sound.  You know which code name the Hunts go by in your list of local British Allied agents?”

Hogan:  “Yes. I have the corresponding names memorized from when I got the list through our very first message from London.  Remember?  That was right after we first established a radio connection so we could receive messages from London periodically.  The code name for the Hunts is Little Bo Peep.”

LeBeau and Carter could tell that this thought process for important planning was beginning to sooth Hogan’s anger about the baby being there.

Carter:  “Hey, that’s it!  Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them.  The sheep is their baby!”

Newkirk and Kinch chuckled in amusement at the coincidence, but realized he didn’t say it just to be funny.  He was making an interesting point so that they would know how to refer to the baby in a secret message or something to that effect.  Hogan recognized the usefulness of applying the code names Little Bo Peep and Sheep for when it comes time to make necessary radio contacts.

          As LeBeau and Carter imagined, Hogan placed most of the responsibility on the both of them.  With Kinch and his radio system standing by, Hogan was willing to take it upon himself to find out where the parents were being held, all by contacting British Underground headquarters in London and obtaining information on where the Hunts were staying, where they would probably be held captive by the Gestapo.  It was agreed and understood that it would be up to LeBeau and Carter to go on the actual mission to rescue the parents from the Gestapo, even if it that included sneaking them into camp to arrange for them to flee Germany and go back to England, which Hogan had already figured out and suggested.  Newkirk volunteered to be the one to watch over the baby during the mission. 

LeBeau was happy to take care of the baby in the meantime.  He arranged for fresh cow’s milk to be delivered from a farm not far from Stalag 13.  Like for most of the food supplies for his fine cooking, LeBeau met the food contact at the tree stump tunnel opening and brought it in to Barracks 2.  LeBeau ceremoniously put on his chef’s hat and apron to become the little baby’s chef.  He diluted the milk so that it would not be too rich for the baby. Then he heated it in a pot on the stove, stirring it like soup.  Heating the milk and then letting it cool, as LeBeau happened to remember from his help with his mother’s care of his siblings, was a healthy step in preparing milk for a baby so that the amount of the bacteria would be reduced.  He thought of Louis Pasteur, his fellow countryman who had invented pasteurization and became world-famous for it.  The following afternoon, LeBeau and Carter were too preoccupied with the baby to participate in the usual inner-camp recreation during their free time.  LeBeau invited Carter to help him and take turns feeding the baby his bottle of milk down under the barracks.  By the light of a candle-lit lamp, LeBeau went first.  He cooed Baby Ronald in a high-pitched French accent while holding him snug in his arms.  Then he started to softly sing a lullaby in French.  Carter looked on, smiling.  He had never before seen LeBeau so tenderly sentimental as he was when he was feeding the baby there under the barracks.  It warmed his heart to see it.  After about two minutes of gently singing to the baby, something inside the Frenchman suddenly came up in him.  It was a heavy, uncomfortably serious feeling.  He broke into tears and started sobbing.  Carter quickly took the baby and the bottle, startled at LeBeau’s sudden emotional outburst.  LeBeau stumbled toward the wall and leaned his forehead on his arm against the wall, sniffling.

LeBeau:  “My wife Babette.  She was killed before we could have our first child.  Killed by the dirty Bosch, right before I joined the Resistance forces in France.  She and I could have had a baby of our own.”

LeBeau lifted his head and Carter decided to say something in a way that would make him stop crying and make him feel at least a little bit better.

Carter:  “Ya know, Louis, you look funny crying like that.  Like a little boy with a broken toy.”

LeBeau turned toward him, smiled warmly and sniffed, recognizing that he made that exact comment to Carter when he was preparing the French onion soup.  Except this time it was said in a much more pleasant tone.  LeBeau did not feel mocked.  LeBeau sniffed once more, wiped his tears on the sleeve of his red sweater, and silently looked on as Carter gently swayed the baby from side to side in his arms to bring on the baby’s afternoon nap.  Newkirk came down and presented them with two cloth diapers that he made from one of the white towels from the shower room.  LeBeau and Carter motioned him to be as quiet as possible so as not to wake the sleeping baby.  The both of them whispered a “thank you” to the Englishman.  Newkirk quietly went back up to continue his free time in the recreation compound.

          That evening in the barracks immediately after dinner, Hogan was down in the radio room trying to seek out information on the spy residence location of Little Bo Peep.  Kinch was standing by, intending to help if needed.  Up in the barracks, the baby was snuggled in his box, which was placed safely in the middle of LeBeau’s bunk.  LeBeau and Carter invited all the other men in Barracks 2 to come visit Baby Ronald.  The baby was awake but very quiet in the comfort of his blanket.  Several of the men were gathered around, smiling and eager to get a chance to hold him for a minute.  LeBeau and Carter decided it would be nice if they all held the baby as a brief but fond imitation of family life back home, and the men realized it with appreciation.  All of a sudden, Schultz walked into the barracks, for nothing more than out of random curiosity to see if LeBeau had any leftover morsels of food from dinner.  He was startled to see the crowd of men gathered around what he noticed was a little baby.  The big German sergeant was instantly astonished, and even too astonished to get angry.  He couldn’t express disapproval about it anyway because he couldn’t scold the men that a baby in the barracks was “against regulations”.  LeBeau immediately walked up to Schultz.  Naturally, the sergeant needed an explanation for a sight so unusual as a baby in a Luft stalag, and LeBeau was ready with his famous “ammunition” against a possible reporting of the baby to Kommandant Klink.

LeBeau:  “Hey, Schultzie, I’ve got a nice big slice of apple strudel from tonight’s dessert.  Fresh, too!  It has something to tell you.  It says there is no baby here.  Right, Schultzie?”

Grinning broadly, LeBeau held up a good-sized slice of fresh apple strudel to Schultz’s nose and watched him sniff the aroma with a loud, energetic “Mmmmmm, mmmm!”

Schultz:  “I see nothing!  Nnnnnnnothing, cockroach.”

Schultz happily took the strudel from LeBeau’s hands and walked out.

A few seconds later, Schultz walked right back in, as if he forgot something.  He smiled at the baby, who was at that time being held by one of the American prisoners, a Corporal John Stanley.

Schultz:  “Could I please hold the little fella, just for a minute?”,  in a sappy-sweet tone of voice.

LeBeau permitted Schultz to hold the baby for a minute, watching as he played with him in his arms with gleeful German-accented baby talk and his finger stroking the baby’s cheek.  Schultz couldn’t keep from smiling at the cute little baby.  He asked what his name is and LeBeau simply told him “Ronald”, then Schultz asked if he could burp little Ronald.  Schultz patted the baby’s back a few times to burp him, and the others in the barracks let out a giggle as the baby spit up a mouthful of the milk he drank, which dribbled to Schultz’s shoulder.  Schultz didn’t mind.  It reminded him of when his own little boy was a baby, and said so to the men gathered around.  He handed the baby back to Newkirk and then walked back out, finishing off a bite of his strudel snack.  Hogan and Kinch came up from the radio room.  LeBeau told them Schultz came in and saw the baby.  He let them know that Schultz was so mesmerized by the precious little baby that he didn’t bother to ask where they got him or what he was doing in Stalag 13 to begin with.  Then he added that Schultz does not plan on reporting the baby to Klink.

Hogan:  “I take it the leftover strudel came in handy?”

LeBeau:  “Oui, it certainly did, mon colonel.”

          Hogan told LeBeau and Carter that he found out that the Hunts were staying at the Kubermeyer boarding house in Hammelberg, which explained why the one of the local restaurants in that particular city was the chosen hiding place for the kidnapped baby.  Both places were within just a few blocks from each other in town.  Hogan drew them a map of the location of the boarding house, and where they could secretly make their way back to camp with the Hunts.  As the baby fell asleep in its box down under the barracks, it was now time for LeBeau and Carter to come up with a plan for their mission.  Carter thought up an idea to disguise themselves as German Luft stalag guards and create a distraction with the Gestapo captives while LeBeau helps the Hunts escape out of the house.  LeBeau came up with a plan to do most of the sneaking while Carter pretends to be a guard who was informed that an escaped POW from Stalag 10 is hiding out in the Kubermeyer boarding house.  Carter was to urge the Gestapo captives to help him search the inside of the house thoroughly, while the Hunts would be forced to search around the outside of the house, and separately out of the sight of their captives.

LeBeau and Carter both felt confident that if all goes as planned on the mission, the actual mission outside camp would require only the both of them, while Hogan, Newkirk, and Kinch would stand by in the radio room.  It was understood that Hogan, Newkirk, and Kinch would only leave camp to join in the mission in the case that LeBeau and Carter be in need of emergency rescue.  Failure to return to camp by a designated time, and with the Hunts with them, would indicate the need for LeBeau and Carter to be rescued by the others.  Taking into account Hogan’s secret route, LeBeau gladly invented a plan for a timely escape from the boarding house and back to camp.  He was so preoccupied with the thought of bringing Baby Ronald’s parents safely to camp that the fact that for the first time they were about to go out on a mission without Hogan’s presence didn’t dawn on him.

          Three nights later, as soon as two stalag guard uniforms were completed in the Heroes’ tailoring room under the barracks, LeBeau and Carter thanked Newkirk for making the uniforms and for volunteering to watch over the baby for them.  Dressed in the uniforms, LeBeau and Carter kissed the baby on the forehead just before heading through the tunnel.  They reached the Kubermeyer boarding house, which, as it turned out, was not inconveniently far from the Hauserhauf.  They rang the doorbell and the Gestapo agent answered, with the Nazi spy Friedrich Von Schliemer standing behind him.  Carter faked a German accent and a German name, announcing that they were there to search the house for an escaped prisoner from Stalag 10.  As planned, LeBeau was put in charge of pretending to force the Hunts to help search outside and behind the boarding house.  As Carter shouted orders to the Gestapo agent and Von Schliemer and led them into other rooms, LeBeau led the Hunts outside and behind the house and whispered that he’s a French corporal from Stalag 13, that the guard uniform is just a disguise, and that he and his friend and fellow POW Sergeant Andrew Carter had found the baby in the wine cellar of the Hauserhauf and are keeping him safe and comfortable in their barracks.  Mrs. Hunt, a woman wearing a plain, light brown skirted suit and her brown hair rolled up in back, breathed a sigh of relief.  She immediately trusted her short rescuer upon noticing that his accent is French, not German.  She quickly and informally introduced herself by her first name, Mary.  She was eager to be led back to her baby, thankful that he’s safe in the hands of Allies, even if in a Luft stalag.  LeBeau saw it in her eyes.  He reassured the Hunts that his commanding officer Colonel Robert Hogan has secret contacts to the British Underground and has agreed to arrange for them to flee with their baby to England, where they can be safe from the Gestapo agents and Nazi spy who detained them.  They were overjoyed, but carefully quiet about it.

LeBeau snuck around to find a window to find where Carter was so that he could give him the signal to sneak out of the house while the Nazi captors are busy searching back rooms without him.  Once LeBeau tapped on the window to get his attention, Carter was ready to make his move.  It was no more difficult to accomplish than to simply creep out of the back rooms alone and step out of the house to join LeBeau and the Hunts, who came to the front of the house for Carter.  At once, with no time to lose, LeBeau, Carter, and the Hunts all together ran swiftly away from the Kubermeyer boarding house, heading out of Hammelberg, somehow noticed by only a small few passers-by in town.  LeBeau whispered to the others that those who did notice probably thought they were just two stalag guards on foot who had to walk back to camp with their newly arrested escapees because their staff motor scooter was in disrepair.  Once at a safe distance as far away from the boarding house as they could get away with, the group of four slowed to a walk, with the Hunts following LeBeau and Carter’s lead through the same route that was used to go to the Hauserhauf from Stalag 13.

          The group walked through the tunnel to Barracks 2 and joined Newkirk, who was sitting in a wooden chair entertaining the baby in the radio room, reciting a traditional English nursery rhyme he had learned and remembered from his childhood in England.  LeBeau and Carter removed the helmets from their heads, to look appropriate for the occasion of the little baby’s return to his parents.  LeBeau was eager to see Mrs. Hunt’s eyes light up at the sight of her alive-and-well baby son.  LeBeau was pleased to see that, cleverly, Newkirk somehow managed to time the baby’s evening nap so that baby Ronald would be awake especially for the arrival of his parents.

LeBeau:  “Hey Newkirk, why don’t you show little Ronald one of your famous card tricks?”

Newkirk:  “I did that in order to lull him to sleep for his nap.”

LeBeau:  “I guess that means it was not one of your better card tricks, eh?”

Newkirk smirked with a touch of humor to his expression as the others laughed in a relaxed, polite way.

Mr. Hunt:  “How has the little tot been with you kind chaps here, in a place like this, no less?”

Carter:  “He’s been a real trooper.  Considering all the usual discomforts expected in a Luft stalag, LeBeau and I made it almost like home for him.  And it looks like our Corporal Newkirk here didn’t do too badly himself while we were away rescuing you two.”

In a truly grateful spirit, Mrs. Hunt happily took the baby from Newkirk and cuddled little Ronald in her arms.

Mrs. Hunt:  “He looks well-fed, well-rested, and looks very happy to have been in your care after you rescued him from the Hauserhauf wine cellar you told us about.  The wine cellar of a restaurant is no place for a baby, and certainly not in the hands of a Nazi spy.  We think Von Schliemer would have left him there until we agree to surrender to the Gestapo.  Corporal LeBeau, Sergeant Carter, I now take this opportunity to declare that you two fine gents are truly his heroes.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

LeBeau:  “Merci, madame.  And yes, Madame Hunt, you are right.  It’s true.  If Carter hadn’t have invited me to the Hauserhauf that night, and if I hadn’t have wanted to select a bottle of wine to buy there, we would not have discovered little Ronald in the wine cellar, and he would probably still be kept under the Gestapo’s threat against you.”

          As planned, it was now time for LeBeau and Carter to gladly help Hogan set up a connection for the Hunts and their baby son to meet with one of the British Underground agents who would help them flee to England.  After offering the Hunts something to eat while they wait, LeBeau joined Carter, Hogan, and Kinch.  Kinch contacted the London headquarters and asked about the spy assignment of Little Bo Peep in Germany, and the contact replied that the British Underground agent that was sent to follow Little Bo Peep was one who went by the code name of Simple Simon, named as such for the simplicity of the tasks for which he was sent.  On call when requested by headquarters, he was assigned to simply follow behind on selected spy missions in Germany and report by radio to London whatever happens to the spies on every step of the mission.  Headquarters informed Kinch, who then told Hogan that Simple Simon was the one who knew about Little Bo Peep’s mission.

LeBeau:  “That must be him!  That must be the anonymous British spy who the bartender said called the Hauserhauf about the Hunts’ capture and the baby!  He had to remain anonymous in case the Gestapo ever questioned the bartender.”

With help from headquarters, using the Heroes code name of Goldilocks, Kinch made contact to Simple Simon and reported him to arrive at Stalag 13, and that the code name for Little Bo Peep’s baby is to be Sheep.  Hogan took the microphone.

 Hogan:  “Simple Simon, this is Papa Bear.  Goldilocks has found Sheep and now has rescued Little Bo Peep who has lost her Sheep.  I repeat, Goldilocks has found Sheep and now has rescued Little Bo Peep who has lost her Sheep.  Over.”

 Carter did his part in helping Hogan by arranging transportation from a London contact for the Hunts to flee Germany and return to England safely, including for Simple Simon to meet the Hunts at the tunnel entrance, who would lead them to a contact person to take them to report to London and escape the Gestapo.  LeBeau helped Hogan by gladly making sure the Hunts remain comfortable under the barracks with their baby while they wait for Simple Simon, because the Hunts learned that they had to wait until the following evening to safely leave Stalag 13, when they could have time to secretly travel out of Germany by night and make their way to England as safely as possible.  The next day, the Hunts hid out under the barracks with food provided for them as well as the baby’s necessities, courtesy of LeBeau.  Using the code name of Little Bo Peep, Mr. Hunt was invited to use Kinch’s radio to inform London headquarters that they and Sheep were being taken care of by Goldilocks and were ready to meet Simple Simon by nightfall.  LeBeau and Carter both realized it would soon be time to say goodbye to Baby Ronald.

           Early that evening immediately after dinner, Newkirk presented a special surprise he made for the baby, as a sort of goodbye gift.  It was a dapper little gray suit very much in the typical British fashion for a baby boy’s Sunday best.  It had a matching cap that fit his head perfectly.  He announced that the suit and cap should fit because he took the baby’s measurements as he was looking after him during LeBeau and Carter’s mission.  Newkirk said that he worked on the little suit during the recreation time of the day and enjoyed creating it.

 Newkirk:  “It was the least I could do for a fellow English chap.”

 The other Heroes and the Hunts smiled as Newkirk gave the baby a pinch on the cheek and a wink.  The baby smiled and gave a happy giggle.  LeBeau, tilting his head to the side with a meek, mousy expression on his face, felt like he was going to cry again, but this time he was able to hold it in as he knew Baby Ronald was about to go back home with his parents where he belongs.  Carter grinned at LeBeau and LeBeau grinned back, proud of what they’ve done for the baby and his parents.  Hogan, the Heroes, and the Hunts, with the baby and his provisions came down to the tunnel area.  Hogan and his Heroes showed them to the tree stump exit, where Simple Simon was standing, having arrived at the designated time.  The Hunts waved goodbye and Hogan and his Heroes waved back.


Text and original characters copyright by Carolyn Waller

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.