Invisible Enemy

A Short Story by Ernest N.Whitenack


~ CHAPTER THIRTEEN ~

Previously:

Clancy repeated the plan for Fox, and then told Otto to give the MPs the go ahead. Soon eight MPs were approaching the front of the hotel. Two went inside while the others bunched up on the walkway talking and laughing. Clancy went over to the group and asked for a light from sergeant smiled and laughed.

“Sergeant, four of you go inside and hang around the bottom of the stairs, as you are now, and then precede us up the stairs when we approach. Keep talking and laughing. The last two men will follow me in and up the stairs. Stahlmann is in 217 with additional bodyguards in 219. The first four will assault 219 on my signal. We will take 217 at the same time. We want all to be alive if possible, Stahlmann for sure. Be safe and good luck.”

With the help of utter surprise and two practice hand grenades (paper mache instead of fragments), it went off without a hitch and only one casualty, a broken nose. One bodyguard tried to run to the door and was stopped by Fox. The guard flipped out a knife and Fox, to the surprise of Clancy, gave the guard a lesson in hand-to-hand combat resulting in the broken nose for the guard. Everyone else surrendered without incident, were disarmed and relieved of I.D and official papers. A truck awaited the bodyguards at the front of the hotel and took them to M.P headquarters for interrogation and processing. Stahlmann was held at the hotel awaiting the arrival of Eulund. The local police arrived in the meantime and were filled in by Sergeant Otto. Most left shortly leaving four officers to keep hotel guests moving and away from room 217.

Eulund appeared soon with two large men who immediately moved to Stahlmann and stood by his chair. Eulund motioned Clancy into the hallway.

“Those two men will take charge of Stahlmann and escort him to Nurnberg and Spandau prison. His case is now out of our hands. He will probably be tried for espionage and escorted to Berlin where he will be turned over to the East Block authorities, more than likely, the KGB. With them there is no excuse for this kind of failure. My guess is, if he is lucky, he’ll spend the rest of his life in jail or Siberia.”

“Erich Graff is being very cooperative; has turned over reams of records pertaining to spying activities. Presently, our people are going over the names, and other info, of agents in
Garmisch-Partenkirchen. They range from prostitutes to prominent business people and everything in between. We are hoping to move on them both here and in Garmisch-Partenkirchen before word gets out of Stallman’s capture. Be at my office at 08:00 and we will talk further. Oh! How is Hans taking all this?”

“Without a word,” Clancy replied. “He just looked bewildered and I told him he was safe and would get extra pay for the day. I suppose he is still parked outside watching for whatever happens next.”

Eulund smiled and said, “Good man that Hans. You did the right thing.”

In the morning Hans, being apprehensive and a bit anxious about what today might bring, went to the Hotel Ghasthof and waited for Clancy. He sat thinking about yesterday and decided he must be more questioning with Heir Frank. He didn’t want anymore surprises.

“How are you today Hans”? Clancy asked as he entered the taxi. I suppose you would like an explanation concerning yesterday.

Hans turned in his seat, thought a minute and said, “No, what happened, happened and it is really not my business. However I would like a notice from you when it will, or might, happen again. That way I can at least prepare myself. It was quite frightening.”

“You can count on it. It’s the least I can do. You’re a good man Hans and brave. Some men would have driven off after we left your taxi. Now, please take me to the travel office”.

Hans smiled and started the taxi. It was a quiet ride to the travel office.

“Any news over night? Clancy asked Eulund, Has the word hit the streets about Stallman’s capture?”

“Not yet, but it won’t be long. More patrols have been put on the street; especially those leading out toward the eastern border. They have orders to do random stops of travelers, as well of any recognized agents, and check names against the list obtained from Graff. They’ll bring in as many as possible. Each patrol has two vehicles, so one can be used for that purpose. What are your plans for today, Ian?”

“I figure I’m about done here with the exception of looking over the park. This, incidentally, will probably be a wasted exercise. The place has been trampled on and dug-up for a long time without any result. If it were pristine I might have a chance. If anyone ever finds Hitler’s treasure it will be an accident, or a mass effort to methodically excavate the entire park one section at a time. I will probably move on to Garmisch-Partenkirchen when I’m through in the park. I’m curious to know what the Provost Martial, Major Fisher, has in store for me. I’m to report to him the minute I get there.”

“Yes I think your job here is over, Eulund said, you will have completed the bulk of your mission and were instrumental in bagging an imbedded spy in our organization, and two top commie spies in West Germany. On top of that, you received a promotion, Major Clancy. Speaking of that, Thanks for allowing us to be on an informal basis, considering I’m a Warrant Officer. It made both of our jobs easier.”

Clancy fished out his pipe, slowly filled and lit it. After a couple of good puffs, leaned toward forward to Eulund’s desk

“Well, Warrant Officer, I don’t feel like I am even in the army, and trust I’ll be released when this is over. I do agree with you, though. In this business it is much safer to forget rank when one is in the field. I hope you remember that. It also breeds loyalty.”

“I want to talk to Fox and Otto before I start my tour of the park. Please make arrangements for them to meet me at the Violin Museum at 1200 hours today. Until then I’ll be at my hotel.”

Clancy slept in and had a leisurely breakfast at his hotel before Hans picked him up in time for the meeting at the Violin Museum. Otto was several minutes late and Clancy took the opportunity to praise Fox for his part in the capture of Stahlmann, especially his efforts to subdue the bodyguard.

“You continue to happily surprise me Lieutenant. You have shown me you can do the job; a far cry from our first encounter”.

They chatted about the Platoon, the army and Fox’s ambitions for a while before Otto arrived and apologized for being late and unlocked the museum. They settled in the main lounge again and Clancy spread out the graphed map of the park on the violin shaped table, lit his pipe, and proceeded to explain his plan for searching the park.

“I want you men with me and armed. Otto you will precede me in by a couple of minutes and on my right flank. Fox, you enter the park at the same time as I do but on my left. Stay at a distance as not to be conspicuous but not so far that any action you might have to take would be hindered by that distance. I estimate twenty five to fifty yards to be adequate; depending naturally, on the density of trees and the terrain. The forest is well ordered and conspicuously free of undergrowth and the natural litter of broken limbs and twigs. You will have to use your own judgment. Why am I being this cautious? My instincts tell me to, and any attempt at me will be safer for an assassin in such a remote area; unless, that is, the place is crowded with people searching for old Adolph’s treasure. From what I gather, the word about Graff and Stahlmann hasn’t gotten out yet, so considering more than one assassin is on the job, it’s wise to take precautions. Any questions?”

Clancy looked from one to the other waiting for a question and noticed that Fox had been chewing in his pipe and tossed his L.L. Bean pouch on the table in his direction. Fox nodded back and lit-up.

“I think we all should carry short range radios, Otto added. I’ll requisition them this afternoon and leave three with Eulund. What time do you plan to start?”

“Eleven A.M. tomorrow seems good. That will give you the rest of the day to get the radios to Eulund and test that they have the range to communicate with him at his office. You can get transportation to and from the park arranged through him. No civilian cars in the park parking lot. No point in having several cars setting there to be noticed if the lot isn’t full that is. Fox and I will get our radios from Eulund tomorrow. I suggest, if you intend to carry anything larger than a sidearm, that you get it stashed somewhere just inside the park for easy retrieval. You don’t want to be seen carrying it around. Be there a little early and get concealed at a point where you can see me enter by the main path from the parking lot. Otto, you understand that you have to be two minutes or so into the park when I enter precisely at eleven. I’ll press the transmit key on the radio just as I enter. OK, let’s get going and make it work.”

Clancy was waiting at the travel office when Eulund arrived. Eulund sent an employee across the street to get coffee and pastry for he and Clancy and they settled in the office. Clancy briefed him on the plan and then added:

“I have a feeling this exercise will bring out another attempt to get me out of the way. If so, I think we will be ready for it. Tomorrow I’ll give you a report that you can send on to whoever needs to know, or integrate into your report. Then I’ll head for
Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Now I have to go. There is just enough time to stop at the hotel to pick up a couple of things and have Hans drop me at the park.”

He arrived at the park with a couple of minutes to spare and noticed a young couple sitting on one of the logs that mark the boundaries of the parking lot. They didn’t appear to even notice him; being very attentive to and entangled with each other. Clancy sat on a large rock across the lot and feigned adjusting his boot laces while keeping close tabs on the time.
He stepped onto the main path of the park at exactly 1100 hours and quickly gave the lever of the radio two quick squeezes.
Clancy surveyed the ground, as he methodically worked his way through the area allotted for today’s search, looking for evidence of any unusual mounds, depressions, or disturbed earth and noting them in the corresponding grid of the map. On occasion, he got a glimpse of Fox when the trees were sparse and hopped Otto was had not gotten too far ahead.

After three hours, he was on the last leg of the section when he heard the zwip-zwip zwip of bullets cutting the air as they passed near his head and thudded into a nearby tree, a distinguishing sound he heard all too often during his previous service . Instinct caused him to dive into a slight depression to his right, probably too shallow to afford much protection, as the unmistakable sound of a Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle, also known as the buzz saw, reached his ears seconds later. He wiggled along the depression to a large tree where he could perhaps take a discrete look in the direction of the faint report of a rifle that followed the sound of the slugs. Soon he spotted a man emerge from behind a tree some hundred yard away carrying the Sturmgewehr 44 fitted with a scope and quickly heading in Clancy’s direction.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2016

Chapters: Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 | Ch 10 | Ch 11 | Ch 12 | Ch 13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch 16



Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired.


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