A Short Story by Ernest N.Whitenack
~ CHAPTER SIXTEEN ~
The old man returned to see if they wanted more drinks and Gisela immediately said no. She turned and whispered that she lives here and has a very good bottle of Schnapps in her apartment and they should go there.
Clancy, although expecting it would come to this, was surprised at the
abruptness of the suggestion and could only agree with a simple, ”Yes.”
Gisela returned from her tiny kitchen with the Schnapps and glasses and sat them on a small table next to Clancy. She smiled, gently patted his cheek and, following the old cliché, suggested he have a drink while she gets comfortable. Clancy had early on decided he wasn’t going to drink any of her Schnapps. God knows what might be in the bottle with the Schnapps! He poured a glass, moved the easy chair back a foot or so, dumped all but a small bit of the alcohol where the chair had been and returned the chair to cover it. He just finished when Gisela entered wearing the flimsiest of some kind of nightwear and sat on his lap. She wiggled to get comfortable and suggested he have another drink, noticing the small amount left in Clancy’s glass.
Clancy was beginning to feel like he was in a Class B detective movie. It took a great effort not to laugh.
She settled herself on his lap again, making sure to press herself tightly to him and started showering him with kisses. After a while Clancy gently separated himself.
Clancy vaguely answered, or dogged the questions by asking a question. After fifteen minutes or so he told Gisela that he must leave and helped her off his lap.
In the meantime, Otto stood outside the door to Gisela’s apartment listening and being very amused. He previously unscrewed the small bulb from the ceiling as a caution to being spotted. When he heard Clancy say he was leaving, Otto quickly moved down the hall to a very dark corner and waited.
When the door opened and he saw Gisela hanging onto Clancy with her thin attire strongly backlit he had to cover his mouth so as not to laugh out loud. He stayed concealed until Clancy started down the stairs. He followed soon and went to the car. Fox made a u-turn and pulled over after a couple of blocks to pick up Clancy.
The next morning Major Foster informed the three men that the break-in at the Silver Skates was set for that night at 01:00 hours; that Otto and Fox would not be needed. Lieutenant George Davis and his crew of specialists will look the place over earlier in the evening and you will assemble at this office an hour prior to that time.
Clancy, Otto and Fox visited the post PX and did a little shopping including three pouches of Walnut tobacco recommended to Fox by Clancy; thinking, after enjoying Sherlock’s Choice, he might like a tobacco with very light added flavoring and a little punch.
After lunch, the three men and Major Foster boarded Foster’s car and traveled several miles through thick forest and turned at a large sign reading Range 5--Restricted Area in large red block letters; with two MPs on guard duty. Another mile or so on the narrow dirt road brought them to the rifle range and a plywood replica of the Silver Skates building; rustic sign and all.
A little before midnight, Clancy and Otto entered the outer office of Major Foster. The door to Foster’s office was open and he, sitting at his desk, looked up and waved them in.
Shortly, the sound of boots coming down the hallway heralded the arrival of Davis and his team. Davis entered, came to attention, saluted and reported in while his crew remained in the outer office. Foster directed him to be at ease; that this is a planning session and, for the best idea exchange, should be informal. He introduced Clancy and Otto and gave Davis a brief run-down of their background and experience; stressing Otto’s skill with German locks and that he should be called on if a problem arises with locks.
A large diagram of the building, with dimensions, hung on the wall of
the conference room and smaller versions were given to each man.
The trip and concealment of the Jeeps went well. All the men were in order at the rear door as the specialist picked the lock. Clancy entered first followed by Davis, and Otto. As Clancy stepped in he saw, in the din light of the closed restaurant, a figure quickly rise from a table shouting to get out or he will shoot. Clancy took shelter behind one of the large timber supports holding the building up as the rest backed out the door. He removed his 1911 from its holster and cautiously looked past the other side of the timber to find the man backing away, a small revolver in his hand. Clancy jumped from behind his cover, his automatic in hand and cocked, and shouted:
Clancy walked swiftly to the man, and noticed as he got closer that the man was old, near seventy he guessed and shaking badly. Fear was apparent in his expression.
By then the inside front door guards were standing on each side of the old man as Davis and Otto were approaching.
Clancy told him to relax, that he will not be hurt and turned to Davis.
He then motioned the guards back to their posts and sat opposite the old man as he sipped his brandy and seemed to calm down.
The watchman nodded his head yes as he gulped the last of the drink.
Clancy called a guard again and asked him to place the watchman under arrest and handcuff him to the table. The guard did so speaking German.
I must do this, he told the watchman, don’t be afraid. Nothing bad will happen to you. You are being detained for our safety and to answer more questions. I will be back soon.
Clancy entered the mystery room to find the team looking through open file drawers and the two desks. Otto worked on the combination lock of the large walk-in safe in the back wall, while Davis stood reading a thick bunch of papers and occasionally handing some to a corporal manning a small copier sitting on desk two.
Otto in the meantime was scouring the inside of the safe for any anomalies and suddenly shouted he had found something.
Clancy rushed in and Otto showed him a small section of paneling that didn’t fit the pattern of the rest. He pushed on it and it slid to the side revealing a leaver. Pulling the leaver down caused a door sized section of paneling to rise and lights to go on in what appeared to be an arsenal room. Weapons were neatly stacked in racks with open ammunition boxes arranged beside them. Crates of rockets and grenades lined the other wall. The back wall looked as if it had a laundry shoot door in it close to the floor. It turned out to be the opening to a short, wood lined tunnel to the outside ending behind a rubbish collection bin.
Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2017
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