The Crooked X - Prelude to War
The boy smiled broadly, tipped his uniform cap and took the stairs down two at a time.
The telegram, being one of the most secure ways to communicate, was from Harry. It asked that they meet in the lobby of the State House at four P.M. and suggested Scott use the basement service entrance and work his way to the lobby to avoid any surveillance the Nazis might have on him. Scott realized that four o'clock would be the time people start leaving work and will provide a mass of bodies for cover. He would go home first, make the place look lived in, change to overalls and work jacket and depart secretly out the rear, cut through a couple of gardens and alleys to the rear of the State House.
As he searched his closet for a suitably old work shirt, Scott happened across the locked Mahogany box resting on the closet shelf. He started to push it aside but paused in thought before moving it to the dressing table instead. The key that was secreted away in the back of his sock drawer turned stiffly as he opened the box and took out his Colt M1911. The Colt, a carry-over from the war was all but forgotten. For several years after his discharge Scott kept his firing skill sharp at the B.P.D. pistol range; more out of habit than necessity. As he did often when in deep thought, he puffed heavily a couple of times and let a cloud of smoke slowly escape between his lips before placing the pipe gently in an ash tray. Scott drew the pistol from its holster and instinctively checking it for a left over cartridge, and then checked the firing mechanism. He loaded a magazine and tested the ejector. The gun was in unusually good order for the little care it had been given recently. Scott buckled the leather strap of the shoulder holster around him and reloaded the magazine and then a second; one for the pistol and one for his pocket.
Resting under a cloth in bottom of the box was a Webley Mark IV, the famous and powerful top-break, self-extracting revolver of the British military. Brigadier Ashley Moss, Scott's counterpart in British Military Intelligence with whom he once shared an office, presented the pistol to Scott the day he left France for home and separation. The revolver was beautifully engraved thanks to the Sergeant Major, a master gunsmith, in charge of the British armory in France who also fashioned a suppressor for the gun. Scott took the revolver in hand, hefted it, spun the cylinder and placed it back in the box. Perhaps another day, he thought.
Scott grabbed an old, overly-used and blackened pipe, a bulldog, as he left through a rear door and placed it in his mouth; pulled a battered brown fedora low on his head and vaulted the low fence into a neighbor's garden. Late afternoon at this time of spring brought an early dusk with lengthening shadows, helping to make his short trip to the service entrance of the State House un-noticed.
Earlier that morning at the Deutscher Klub a workman, repairing masonry around the foundation and the steps to the club for the past week, walked across the street to a public phone and made a collect call to a Chicago number. The workman, having taken many toilet and beer breaks during the week, was familiar with many of the members and listened to all that was said within earshot.
"As you order, Heir Gauleiter. I'll have a man on Wadsworth by mid-day and the devices installed by tomorrow morning."
At the State House, Scott found Harry leaning against the wall next to one of the large marble pillars, stopped next to him and lit his pipe. Harry quietly instructed him to follow and walked into a corridor to his left. Scott followed at a discrete distance slowly pushing a wide broom he picked up in the service area. Harry stopped by one of the many office doors and talked to a man until the hall was empty and quickly stepped through the door. Scott recognized the man as an agent from Harry's office. Scott followed quickly and closed the door behind them. The agent stood across the hall ostensibly reading from a file folder; all the while keeping an eye up and down the hall...
Harry looked tired as he slumped on the edge of a conference
table, sporting bloodshot eyes and skin drawn tightly across his sharp
The watering hole on the square, occasionally frequented by Scott, had a simple backlit white on red sign hanging high over the sidewalk simply announcing "The Bar". Before entering, Scott quickly surveyed the immediate area and made a mental image, particularly of the two men who walked behind him when he entered the square.
The bartender stood at the beer taps wiping down the copper serving area, while the only two patrons sat staring into their beer glasses. The damp odor of stale beer seemed stronger than usual. Scott ordered a Scotch on ice, knowing full well there was no point in asking for branded single malt. He read the paper lying on the bar and sipped the Scotch slowly. As he finished the drink, he wondered if he would spot his followers when he left.
Scott paused on the elevated step outside the recessed front door, buttoned his jacket, casually retrieved his pipe from a jacket pocket and lit it, taking three matches to do so. All the while his eyes scanned the area for the two men or anyone lingering in a shadowed doorway. Relieved that the square was clear, he backtracked on Beacon to the foot of Walnut and turned in. Despite the dimness of the old gas street lamps, he immediately noticed the Ford truck and crossed to that side of the street. He planned to walk past the truck, cross to his side farther up and enter an alley up from his house. Then he would re-trace his earlier steps and enter by the rear of his carriage house.
The occupant of the Ford truck, overcome by boredom and warmth from the South Wind heater, was groggy and fighting to keep his eyes open. Concurrently, Boston Patrolman Sam Riley, approaching on the opposite side of the street, noticed the truck and started crossing to investigate. It seemed odd that a street vendor would be out at the dinner hour and, in this neighborhood. Through the rain spotted windshield it appeared to Riley that the driver was sleeping.
Scott, approaching from the opposite direction, was several yards from the truck's rear about the time he noticed the patrolman at the driver's side of the truck. The patrolman tapped the window with his night stick to gain the attention of the near sleeping driver. Startled from his near sleep and realizing he was on the verge of failing his first assignment the young man panicked, pulled his Lugar and rapidly put two slugs into the patrolman. Gaining some composure, he exited the truck and paused momentarily before starting to run, gun in hand, toward Beacon Street and directly at Scott. Scott dropped to one knee while retrieving his Colt and releasing the safety. He yelled for the gunman to stop. In his haste to get away, the gunman had not seen Scott approaching and was again startled and looked around for the voice while raising his weapon. The Nazi gunman, spotting Scott in the street some distance from the truck, brought the Lugar to sighting level. Scott's first round caught him low on the right side and was immediately followed by the second entering the center of his chest driving him back and away from the truck.
While the police surveyed the scene and emptied the Nazi's pockets, Scott and Harry sat in Scott's town house as Scott explained what happened and went over the new information since the State House meeting. As Scott filled and lit his pipe, Harry brought him currant on developments since they parted earlier.
The train from Chicago arrived on time at New York. Abe's tail followed at a safe distance as Abe casually made his way to his connecting Boston train, stopping for a cup of coffee along the way. Abe found a chair in the front of the Parlor Car, lit a bowl of Ehrlich's Bowdoin and thumbed through a magazine. The tail, satisfied Abe was on the way to Boston didn't enter but lingered on the platform until the train departed. Only a few people entered the car leaving it relatively empty when the train pulled out. As the steam engine made the first few chugs getting underway, the door to the car opened and a Young man struggling with a large suitcase and aided by a crutch entered. He stopped next to Abe's chair and attempted to lift the case to the luggage rack. Abe noticed his mass of curly red hair and the heavy rough tweed suit he wore.
Not waiting for a reply from Abe, he reached for a magazine on the small table that separated their chairs and knocked several magazines off in Abe's direction. They both reached below the table to retrieve them and the Irishman grabbed Abe's wrist.
Abe casually selected Field and Stream and feigned reading it. Finding the sheet of paper containing instructions, he casually looked around to see who might be watching and quickly slipped the paper into his inside coat pocket. Several minutes later Abe excused himself and walked to the men's room.
The instructions were brief but demanding.
Abe read the instructions several times, tore the paper into small bits and flushed them.
Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2011
<< Back to the Newsletter
|Archives:||Jan 11 | Feb 11 | Mar 11 | Apr 11 | May-June 11 | July 11| Aug 11| Sept11| Oct 11| Nov 11| Dec 11||Home|
|Jan 10 | Feb 10| Mar 10| Apr 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | Aug-Sept 10| Oct 10| Nov 10| Dec 10|
|Jan 09 | Feb 09 | Mar 09 | Apr 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09| Aug 09| Sept-Oct 09| Nov 09| Dec 09|
|Jan 08 | Feb 08 | Mar 08 | Apr 08 | May 08 | June 08 | Jul-Aug 08 | Sept 08 | Oct 08| Nov 08| Dec 08|
|Jan 07 | Feb 07 | Mar 07 | Apr 07 | May 07 | June 07 | Jul-Aug 07| Sept 07 | Oct 07| Nov 07| Dec 07|
|Jan 06 | Feb 06 | Mar 06 | Apr 06 | May 06 | June 06 | Aug 06| Sept 06 | Nov 06 | Dec 06|
|Jan 05 | Feb 05 | Mar 05 | Apr 05 | May 05 | June 05 | July 05 | Aug 05 | Sept-Oct 05 | Nov 05 | Dec 05|
|Jan 04 | Feb 04 | Mar 04 | Apr 04 | May 04 | June 04 | July 04 | Aug 04 | Sept 04 | Oct 04 | Nov 04 | Dec 04|
|** Contact SHPC Boston **|
Provided by: Spiderlinks.Org
|PREVIOUS : NEXT : RANDOM : SITE-LIST|