Invisible Enemy

A Short Story by Ernest N.Whitenack


~ CHAPTER FOUR ~

The Frankfurt/Main Flughafen bustled as usual with business men and tourists. There were no delays at customs or immigration. Clancy was soon on the road. At Stuttgart the rental car agent made no visible reaction to his precise request for a better car. She apologized and passed him the keys to a white BMW. Ian signed the necessary papers and started for the door.

“The large Key opens the luggage compartment, sir.”
Ian turned. “Thank you. I'll remember that.”

Section IV, Paragraph 2. Words spoken to ones back after giving a recognition code are to be considered instructions. The words soon, after and today indicate immediate action is to be taken.

Many Years had passed since Clancy had thought of the P-section “Rule Book”. And yet, he knew he could recite it word for word. He knew that he would also recognize any of the codes passed to him.

Winding cobbled streets, beam and stucco buildings and numerous open squares hide the sophisticated atmosphere of those European cities that escaped the intensive bombing of the last world war. Freiberg was, for the most part, purely old world. You would never suspect this charming city of one hundred eighty four thousand to be a financial and educational center.

Jet lag settled in as Clancy climbed the stairs of the Gasthof Freiberg. The large leather suitcase found in the trunk of the rented BMW was heavy causing his legs to labor on the steep stairs of the old building. Once behind the locked door of room 15, Clancy removed his shoes, jacket and shirt before opening the big case. All of the clothes were exactly his size and slightly used. Labels from New York, New Hampshire and Washington substantiated residence and occupation for Gordon Frank, political journalist. The 32 caliber automatic in its leg holster was a surprise as was the half pound of Sherlock’s Choice. He had to hurry to hide the weapon, the box of shells and three empty clips, as the waiter knocked. Clancy never finished the lunch of Wurst Salad, hard rolls and Mosel wine. Sleep came fast and deep.

Somewhere in the distance church bells were ringing and stirred Clancy from fourteen hours of unconsciousness. The shrill tone of the telephone finished the job.

“Good morning Heir Frank. The hour is six.”
“Thank you” he responded.

Hot water pounded on his back and neck, kneading away the stiffness brought on by the long sleep. Clancy tried to decide which was best; a good night’s sleep or a hot, high pressure shower. He decided that the combination is one of the great pleasures in his life. Especially when followed by a good dry-off with a thick towel such as provided by the Gasthof Freiberg. He picked the gray tweed, blue shirt and brown brogues after strapping the “32” just above his right ankle. At exactly 8:20 he locked the door to room 15 and started down the stairs. The sign with an arrow pointed him to the Früstücksraum -Breakfast Chamber. It wasn't a large room although it seemed spacious because of the large window that supplied light for the many plants that hung and stood there. He remembered the screened porch so far away now in distance and, so he felt, time. The waiter brought a basket of crusty rolls and a plate filled with a variety of vacuum packed cold cuts, foil sealed butter and jam and asked if he would like coffee and for the number of his room. Clancy also ordered orange juice and answered all questions in unfailing German.

“Kaffee Herr?”
“Ja und ein Glas von Orangensaft bitte”
“Ihren Zimmernummer ist, bitte?”
“Fünfzehn”
“Danke”

“Good morning Heir Frank. A pleasure it is in seeing you again”.

Clancy looked up at the sound and a flash of recognition surged through his brain and was gone. The bow was stiff and the hand shake, one short pump. He was a big man dressed in a black silk suit, white shirt and a black tie with silver stripes. The black hair above his ruddy face was combed straight back and clipped high above his ears.
He had the presence of Prussian military.

“But who is this man” Clancy thought. “I have a feeling I know him from somewhere.”
“Please sit down – would you like some coffee sir? Clancy responded.
“No thank you” the big man answered. “But take your time finishing your breakfast. We will drive to the university when you are ready.”

Clancy ate in silence working his brain to remember who the man is.

“Who are you?” Clancy asked bluntly.
“I am the president of the university and my name is Carl Von Schmidt. I am sorry but I thought you might recognize me.”
“Under what circumstances have we met before?” Clancy asked.
“We will discuss that when we are in my office, please”

The drive through the quaint streets of Freiberg was interesting and pleasurable for Clancy while Von Schmidt pointed out all historical sights and important buildings along the way. The entry room of the Administration Building was lined with ornately carved dark oak panels adorned with large portraits running along the left and right walls. It was noted that the paintings were of previous dignitaries of the school.
A door opened at the far end of the room as the two approached it and were greeted by an attractive, though somewhat plump, woman introduced as Von Schmidt’s secretary. Surveying the room, Clancy noted there were no windows and only one door – very secure. He also spotted the round pipe rack surrounding a glass humidor that sat on the president’s desk.

“You’re a pipe smoker are you?” Clancy asked.
“Yes” Von Schmidt’s replied. “You may smoke if you wish. Do you still have the Ropp cherry wood from France?”

“Now, how do you know about that pipe?”

As Von Schmidt filled, tamped and lit his pipe, the scent of vanilla filling the room, he went on to answer Clancy and relate the events of that time.

“From Doctor Arsenault in France”, replied Von Schmidt. “We met in his office along with the German underground counterpart. The good Doctor was, very secretly, high in the administration of the French resistance. My assistant and I were officers in German Intelligence but, also double agents for Supreme Allied Command; all of which you did not know at the time. We worked through the German underground. Being a full Colonel in the German Army, my rank and position allowed extensive and unrestricted travel. Many good lives were saved and many bad ones taken due to the cooperation between the two organizations. Had we known more in advance about D-day, much could have been done to cut losses during the invasion. Misinformation fed to the German High Command along with sabotage could have been very effective. However, it is completely understandable that the American and British joint plans could not be shared too soon before D-day, under any circumstance, for fear of a leak.”

“Well, that explains a lot but what are you doing now that makes you my main contact for this, so far unknown, mission?”

“After the war I was asked to work for the new government as head of a group tasked to deal with agents and espionage flooding into the west from the Eastern Block Countries controlled by Moscow. I declined but took the job as contact bureau for the group as a post office, if you will, for information and instructions traveling between agents and Bonn. This allows me to remain at the university, serve the new Germany and Allied Occupation Forces, while having a perfect cover for my activities as well.”

Clancy listened intently and with great interest in the big man who sat quietly in Doctor Arsenault’s office so long ago listening to Clancy’s escape plan being formed. Thinking back to that time, he never thought from the man’s dirty blue work coveralls and passive demeanor that he was a high ranking German officer-double agent, and not just a French
underground member.

“That’s all very interesting and enlightening Carl and it gives me a connection between us and the USA. But what brings me here and what am I to do; other than deliver a couple of lectures to your students”. Clancy said somewhat impatiently.

Von Schmidt leaned back in his large office chair, looked slightly stern and replied;

“In good time Ian, but first I must tell you a story, give you some statistics, and relate disturbing facts regarding US occupation troops”.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2015

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 | Ch 17



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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