Spy Against the Reich
In the first days of the invasion of Poland
LAWRENCE FENTON, young Britisher, is purposely captured by the Nazis, and sometime later, back in England, his wife, Stella Fenton, reports the matter to elderly
SIR GEORGE FAWLEY, Chief of the Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office.
Months later, mysteriously freed from prison camp, Lawrence Fenton begins his work in Germany. Disguised, he meets
GRETA iVIAYER, a commercial artist who gives him a message from London mentioning a secret weapon about which he. is to collect information. En route one night to a café to meet Greta, he hears sounds of running feel in the blackout, a scuffling, and ß woman’s voice cry out in English.
He saves her from a group of men. The woman thanks him and promises that the authorities shall hear of his good work.
L rom Greta, Fenton learns that the woman is
ALTHEA REMINGTON, wealthy English convert to the Nazi cause, who is close to the Nazi leaders.
On the trail of the secret weapon, Fenton gets a job— through Greta—in a factory where a crippled scientist,
HANS ERHARDT, is being forced by the Nazis to work on an invention that will revolutionize modern warfare. Escorted to and from work and closely guarded, Erhardl has a breakdown from earlier ill-treatment, and his persecutors are forced to give him more freedom so that he may not die before they have obtained his secret.
VON ARNE, head of the Nazi Intelligence, comes to investigate the factory and Fenton is startled to see. the English woman in the official party. Hoping she may be with the. British Intelligence, he later poses as an American newspaper man and interviews her, coming away convinced that she is an ardent Nazi.
Greta Mayer learns that Hans Erhardl is living in a villa
in the Hoff manngarten, and manages to secure a position as the inventor-scientist’s housekeeper-secretary. She learns, too, that Erhardl hates the Nazis, and approaches him on the subject of his accepting payment for not completing his invention for Von Arne and the others. She is making good progress in the matter when the door is crashed open by a uniformed figure and she is overcome with sheer terror at seeing behind him a black-bearded man whom she recognizes as being of the haled Gestapo.
Arriving as Greta is being taken to an internment camp, Fenton is recognized by the English girl, Althea Remington, as the workman from Krobel's. Later he meets a fellow workman,
JAKOB SCHAFER, member of the Freedom League, also interested in the suppression of Erhardl’s invention, who tells him that Greta Mayer has been tortured for information and since has died.
Fenton and Schafer plan to examine the secret weapon at Krobel s, but that same day there is much commotion and the employees are called out to greet the Fuehrer, on a visit. Following the speech making there is wild jubilation as a British bomber is brought down in fames over the Krobc’, Works, and Lenton realizes that he has witnessed a demonstration of Erhardl’s secret weapon.
(This is the Sixth of Eight Parts)
THAT afternoon all foreign correspondents were summoned to the Wilhelmstrasse, and the German Press Bureau issued a thrilling account of the great aerial battle over the northern suburbs of Berlin. Three German fighters, it was declared, had shot down a British Blenheim, which had been attempting to bomb the great Krobel Engineering Works.
Photographs of the fighter pilot who had brought down the bomber and of the burned-out machine, with British
In which Secret Agent Fenton solves the mystery of the Three Good Monkeys and a woman learns that only country really matters
markings on one undestroyed wing clearly visible, were also issued for publication.
Crowds paraded Unter den Linden singing the Horst Wessel and Deutschland Uber Alles, but all messages sent out by foreign correspondents were carefully censored, in case any of them should have seen the aerial “battle.” Fenton grinned happily as he walked slowly through the blackout, feeling his way toward Altmann’s. He had a good idea now as to the nature of the secret weapon, and a talk with Jakob might make certain matters yet more clear.
AND JAKOB certainly had news, but he did not tell it to Fenton in Altmann’s basement café, nor did he appear at the secluded corner table at which they occasionally played dominoes. The Kellner who served that table knew the ways of his customers, and placed a box of dominoes in front of Fenton before taking his order.
After a while a man Lawrie could not recollect having seen before dropped into the seat which should have been taken by Jakob Schafer. When the Kellner came again for orders the stranger laid aside his paper and entered into an enthusiastic discussion with the waiter about the great air battle fought over the Berlin suburbs that morning.
Fenton, unavoidably drawn into tire conversation, was careful to confine himself to praise of the Nazi Air Force, but he wondered if the man was just a normal patriot, or a propaganda agent sent specially into the streets and cafes to play upon the easily roused enthusiasms of the German citizens.
Presently tire fellow leaned across the table and touched the box in front of Fenton. “Would you care for a game?” he queried.
Lawrie had no hesitation in taking up the invitation. If his opponent was a genuinely innocent civilian the game would serve to pass the time until Schafer appeared. If he was a spy, eager for further conversation, Lawrie felt that he himself would learn more than he was likely to give away.
“By all means let us play,” he assented, and, sliding back the lid of the box, he shot the contents out on the table.
The man’s eyes watched with a peculiar intentness while the dominoes were shuffled. When they drew for the honor of opening the game he laid his hand out palm up with the double six making an exact prolongation from the root of his middle finger. That might be no more than fortuitous circumstance, but when Fenton looked up casually the eyes that stared back at him seemed extraordinarily friendly.
The British agent became still more interested when his opponent set up his dominoes in a certain formation. Fie realized that the arm of coincidence may stretch to amazing lengths, but all doubt vanished when the man played a domino which stood for no logical opening gambit.
This indicated that he was a member of the Freedom League, and in all probability, thought Fenton, the fellow had been sent by Schafer.
Their game of dominoes was played to the accompaniment of a perfectly innocent conversation to which anyone might have listened. Finally Fenton won, by blocking all ends, so that his opponent could not go.
“Would you care for another?” smiled Lawrie.
“No, I thank you,” came the answer, accompanied by a meaning look. “Tonight I have my freedom, and in half an hour I am meeting a friend at Baumler’s.”
“Is that one of the expensive places?” asked Fenton. “I do not know the name.”
“Not expensive for the neighborhood,” came the answer. “Surely you must know Baumler’s on Tauentzienstrasse. It’s close to the Zoologischergarten and Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche.”
T seem to recollect having seen it,” said Fenton politely, as the man rose and took his leave.
DOR SOME moments the British agent pondered the advisability of making his way to the Zoologischergarten Bahnhof by the underground railway. But that problem was solved for him when he emerged from Altmann’s into the blackout and a hand was slipped through his arm. A moment later, to his relief, his guide whispered, “For Freedom. Jakob is waiting.”
Fenton never knew whether the person who steered him through the Stygian darkness with uncanny ease was
the man with whom he had played dominoes or another. Presently he found himself standing alone upon a doorstep, but he had no idea of the locality in which he had been left.
Jakob Schafer was waiting in a comfortable, old-fashioned room.
He was still in the working clothes which had been soaked through at the inspection in the Krobel Works stadium that morning.
“It was not possible for me to go to Baumler’s in these clothes,” he said, “and I’ve had no time to change, so I took the greater risk of having you brought here. Will you mind if I listen to the midnight broadcast from England?”
Fenton shook his head and grinned, but Schafer’s wife voiced a frightened protest, to which her husband paid no attention. Then, from a radio set tuned so low as to be barely audible, there came the heartening sound of Big Ben booming out the twelve strokes of midnight.
Lawrie suddenly felt lonely and longed for England and the good things for which England stands, among them freedom, kindliness, fair dealing, and the right to think for oneself.
“Til tell you what it’s all about,” whispered Jakob, as Lawrie, with an uncomprehending look, listened to the familiar introduction:
“Here is the midnight news.” He was thrilled in every nerve, for this would be the first familiar news to reach him from home since his
voluntary surrender to the Nazis in Poland. He wanted to cheer when the quiet, matter-of-fact voice of the BBC announcer read the Air Ministry’s official denial of the Nazi story that a British bomber had been shot down that morning over Berlin.
Fie noticed that Jakob was intent upon missing no item of trustworthy news. For that reason he hoped that the light which must have sprung into his eyes had not betrayed his knowledge of English. He had, however, forgotten Frau Schafer, who was far from being a fool. This she showed when her husband began giving Lawrie a résumé in German of the British broadcast.
“There’s no need for you to waste your breath, Jakob,” she broke in. “The Herr, whose name I do not know, understood every word that was spoken. Am I not right, mein Herr?”
“I understand some English,” Fenton admitted.
The woman, who seemed suddenly to have become suspicious, left them. Jakob came close to Fenton.
“You must have been in the open, Emil, when all this aerial activity was taking place this morning. What actually happened? Was a British bomber really shot down by our fighters?”
“It was not shot down, unless the Messerschmidts have new machine guns with an unbelievably long range, and I doubt if it was British. It is certain that none of the three machines that were up this morning engaged the bomber in the normal way of aerial combat.”
“Ah!” Schafer sank into an armchair with just that one sigh of sheer contentment. The smile on his fat face broadened as he stretched his slippered feet toward the stove. Fie slowly filled one of those quaint, old-fashioned china pipes with a picture painted on the deep bowl. Only a heavily embroidered velvet smoking cap was needed to transform him into the cartoonist’s conception of the complete pre-1914 German family man.
“From your obvious satisfaction,” smiled Fenton, “I assume you got back into the works and saw something of peculiar interest?”
“Getting back into the works by way of an ash shoot that is under repair was easy,” said Schafer. “After that my luck was right in I did not think so at first, for on rounding a corner I ran straight into the works manager.
‘Aren’t you one of the men on duty in the Electrical Department?’ he demanded, and on the spur of the moment I said, ‘Yes.’
“Then he took me along to Erhardt’s quarters to change some fuses and rearrange some wiring. After that he told me to get out. But, having got in by such an incredible piece of luck, I was not going to obey that order in a hurry.
“It wasn’t hard to find a hiding place, but I got only the briefest peep into Erhardt’s laboratory.”
CCFIAFER paused to relight his pipe with exasperating ^ deliberation, and Lawrie snapped out an impatient. “Well, get on with it, man !”
“There were only three people in the laboratory— Erhardt, an officer of the Air Force, and Krobel himself.” Jakob continued. “They were grouped round an apparatus that looked like a miniature searchlight mounted on a revolving table. They all wore goggles and stared at the table, through the transparent top of which came a ring of intense light. I think it had some kind of camera-obscura surface.
“From time to time Krobel cried out sharply, and then Erhardt moved certain levers, but not, I think, successfully, because each time he beat his hands together while Krobel raved and the Air Force officer smiled sardonically.
At last, however, the moving of the levers produced a concrete result, for a veritable flash of lightning flared through the ceiling window and the three men gave a great shout of triumph.
“The flash was nearly my undoing, for it completely blinded me for a long time. 1 was lucky to sneak back into my hiding place, and I had to stay there for hours before I could again see sufficiently clearly to find my way home.”
“Good work. Jakob,” approved Lawrie.
“But that is not all, Emil,” protested Schafer. “Soon there were a lot of people in Erhardt’s quarters, and I could hear Krobel talking triumphantly. Then there was dead silence for a moment, followed by a furious tirade. That was Hitler. You can’t mistake his voice, or his manner, when he’s angry. But the only words I could
pick out sounded like ‘Nicht Hochl Nicht Hockl’ I could make nothing of that.”
“I think I can. In fact, it goes a long way toward confirming my theory about the secret weapon. I think that Erhardt has discovered the ray the electricians have been after for so long, the ray which will put the engines of an airplane out of action. And he’s done more than that, I fancy, for after the engine conks the machine catches fire.”
“But if that is so why should Hitler have been so furious?”
“ ‘Nicht Hochl' His own words supply the answer. That bomber stayed circling over Krobel’s for a good half hour, watched by the pilots of the Messerschmidts up aloft and Hitler and his pals on the roof. It circled lower and lower, until it was knocked out by the ray, but at a height of less than a hundred and fifty metres. No wonder Adolf was angry! The thing’s no use if its range is as limited as that. I ’ll bet what Hitler said was, 'Nichts Hoch genug!’ Not high enough! Don’t you see, Erhardt and Krobel would be satisfied with the experiment which proved the scientific soundness of the invention, but Hitler would be furious becau.se it is of no practical use—at present.”
He looked hard at Jakob as he added those last words.
“I agree,” said Jakob, as if reading Fenton’s mind. “Steps must be taken to prevent Erhardt’s secret weapon from reaching perfection. Now that the principle of the ray has been discovered it would be hard to assess the limit of its expansion.”
f “In fact, you wouldn’t think it a crime to kill Erhardt if by so doing we could prevent the Nazis obtaining the final formula?”
“Did they hçsjtate to send'two German airmen to their deaths today when the bomber crashed?”
“No! But only the pilot was killed. The observer bailed out at about four hundred .metres, and he;m|ide Straight for the works on landing. He was Va German, I fancy, byt the other was not.”
“Why do you say that?” ,,v , é
“I was able to recognize the pilot. He ! was thrown clear of the burning machine when it crashed.”
“Then obviously he was a German.”
“No. He was a Polish officer.”
“But, Émil, how could you tell? The papers-say that the dead officer was riddled by bullets and wearing the uniform of the British Air Force.”
“He was not. ” Fenton broke off abruptly * •" and got restlessly .from his chair. “Oh, what does it matter! The poor devil is dead. Listen, Jakob, for this is the important thing. As you say, we’ve got to work fast to prevent the Nazis from getting the full benefit of Erhardt’s invention.”
“The quickest, surest way to achieve that object would be to kill Erhardt,” said Schafer, with characteristic German brutality.
FOR A moment Fenton hesitated, glad perhaps that he had broken off with that “He was not.” There were other things to be said that might do good, but could bring no harm.
“There are two things to be done,” he said. “The first is to find out how long it will take Erhardt to make his ray effective at a sufficiently long range to stop a hostile air raid. The other is to consider the steps to be taken to eliminate Erhardt—and his invention too—if necessary.”
“It will need to be an inside job,” Jakob said thoughtfully. “There are several members of the Freedom League in the works, but you or I would have the better opportunities of getting at him.”
“You may have to do the work yourself tl
if it comes to a showdown, Jakob. I’m off to see what I can find out by my own means, and it’s likely that I shall be away from the works tomorrow, ostensibly ‘sick,’ but there is something of vital importance which must be done in certain circumstances.”
“Well, what is it? You know you can rely upon me,” said Schafer, as Fenton paused.
“Suppose I get nobbled during my investigations? Suppose you cannot find out what progress Erhardt is making in perfecting his ray?”
“If he could get adequate range and still keep the secret, the British planes would meet Hell the next time they come over in strength.”
“Then why not liquidate Hans Erhardt at once?”
“No. You said Krobel and an Air Force officer were with him in the laboratory. We don’t know how much they may understand. They might be able to go on now without Erhardt.”
“Then what’s the solution?”
“The Freedom broadcast.”
Fenton ceased his restless pacing and stood staring down at Schafer.
"Don’t you see, Jakob, we can't afford to risk waiting? Will you promise me that if you don’t see me again within, say, the next seventy-two hours you will put over a Freedom broadcast to tell the whole world the nature of Erhardt’s invention?”
“Yes. I’ll promise that, Emil. I think I see what you are after.”
“Then I’ll be going, but you must give me directions. I haven’t the least notion as to what part of Berlin I’m in.”
“There is a guide waiting,” answered Schafer.
After seeing Fenton out the German returned to the room in which they had talked. He went to a desk and sat for some time, staring unseeingly at a clean blotting pad. People who commit things to writing in Nazi Germany have a habit of burning the top sheet of the pad on which their writings are blotted. Presently he was joined by his wife, who sat down, folded her hands in her lap, and waited patiently. It seemed as though she was the factor required for Schafer to survey his conclusions by expressing them in speech. For a moment he looked thoughtfully at her.
“You said that he understood English, Marthe,” he asserted.
“Jaivohl, Jakob l”
“He palls himself Emil Dollinger! I wonder?”
“And'he must have been personally acquainted with the rpan.who flew the bomber which crashed today. Do odd-jób men understand English and know men of the Polish Officer Corps class?”
Schafer got up and patted his wife’s shoulder with patronizing affection.
"Excellent, my dear, Your opinions always are most helpful.”,,:
There was a smile of smug complacency upon his fat features as he sauntered from the room. It would have vanished quickly had he chanced to tum his head, for then he would have seen the furious hatred which blazed in the woman’s usually placid eyes.
Not until she heard a door close overhead did Marthe Schafer lift her skirts and draw a tiny book from the top of her stocking. In it she noted down every word that Jakob had said.
The Gestapo have their agents even in the bosom of a man’s family, and it may be his wife or his son or his servant A'ho makes the ultimate betrayal.
It was noteworthy that Jakob Schafer had not mentioned the Freedom Station to his wife. He had said nothing, in fact, that would betray him personally.
“I wonder,” he said again very softly, as he got into bed.
T AWRENCE FENTON did not go to his lodging nor return to Altmann’s. He took leave of his guide at the corner where the Kaiser Allee joins the Rheinstrasse in Schoneberg. There were people who might be useful to him living over in Neukölln, on the other side of Flughafen Templehof.
Fenton knew a great deal about these folk, but had deliberately refrained from making contact with them while Greta Mayer was at liberty. Now, with the way things were developing, he was in urgent need of immediate help. A message must be sent to Sir George Fawley, and Fenton did not anticipate much difficulty in finding a messenger, or, at all events, of sending his news through the channels which Secret Service messages sometimes have to take. The post-hox-promeneur-agent chain of delivery, however, would be much slower, and on the whole less safe, than if the word went by a single messenger. He consulted his Datas-like brain as he made his way through the blackout, which was already lightening, for the hour drew toward the dawn. The people he knew of were all small fry—all, that is, except an Austrian, Josef von Voss, who, although ostensibly serving the Third Reich since the Anschluss, was in British pay. A noted polo player at Oxford University and a completely reckless motorist in 1913-14, he had become Austria’s air ace during the Great War.
Therefore Von Voss had vanished until the Anschluss. Shortly after that rape of his country he met Sir George Fawley in London, and had said that he would get a ground-staff job with the German Air Force, but would serve Britain in secret and, if need be, steal a fighter plane and fly it to England or elsewhere.
Lawrie mentally earmarked Von Voss as a trump card to be held in reserve for the time being. None the less he wanted certain information which the Austrian might be able to supply. The directions Fenton had received from Greta for finding Von Voss in an emergency were minutely detailed, and had been carefully memorized by the British agent. Wherefore he found himself presently standing upon a balcony to which he had climbed without much difficulty. The French window, leading to a bedroom, was open, and the sound of even breathing audible. The series of taps that fell on a windowpane made up the code signal that Greta had taught him. Neither he nor the man who came and stood behind the half-open door saw the face of the other. Sign and countersign were quickly exchanged. Fenton added his Intelligence identity number and a means whereby he could be communicated with.
“Very good,” came the whispered answer, “what is it you want?”
“Immediate news of any genuine hint of an air raid on London.”
“Ach so! It is fortunate that you have come. Something important has transpired within the last four-and-twenty hours. We of the ground staff have orders to thoroughly overhaul what is known as ‘the London Bombing Fleet,’ which is always held in readiness. It is said that the raid will be sent over within a month.” “Good! G.F.Alt may yet need that plane of which you told him.”
“It will be a thousand-to-one-against chance, but I am ready to try.”
“Good man! That’s the spirit.”
From Neukölln Fenton went back to Schoneberg, and in the grey light of dawn came to a shop in a side street where the little grocer should have been taking down his shutters. But the shutters had not been put up overnight, the doorstep and the pavement were bloodstained, and across the shattered window was scrawled the one word Jude.
But the grocer had been no Jew, and Lawrie wondered if the Gestapo had preferred that excuse for eliminating him to revealing their discovery that the man had been running a “post-box” for Allied agents.
Now that the grocer’s post-box was closed Fenton tried an all-night café where one of two or three agents were always to be found, and with whom he could establish relations by the use of a certain sign.
That morning, however, not one of the people who were waiting for their early tea to cool attempted to approach him. Puzzled and uneasy, he moved on to the next rendezvous he had in mind, but with no better fortune. Three more places he tried where he might justly have expected to get into touch with agents of his own service, but in none was he successful.
Then it dawned upon him that there had been a rigorous roundup of foreign agents in Berlin. He wondered whether under the compulsion of torture Greta Mayer had given away more information than Jakob Schafer had known.
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Continued from page 22—Starts on page 20
To continue to seek active co-operation in the circumstances would have been sheer madness. But a messenger to go to England must be found. That was imperative, yet Fenton himself could not go for obvious reasons.
Nevertheless a warning of what was happening at the Krobel Works must be conveyed to Sir George Fawley. The messenger must be trustworthy and someone who could leave Berlin without arousing the suspicions of the Nazis. Was there anyone in Berlin who could fulfil the exacting conditions?
DENTON’S thoughts turned back to his earlier theory that Althea Remington might not be what she had made herself out to be. He realized that by arousing the hate and contempt of her countrymen she had created perhaps the finest cover for espionage yet devised by the human brain.
She was young, handsome, and completely persona grata with the heads of the Nazi Party. She could come and go pretty well as she chose, and even the so-called super sleuths of the Gestapo would hardly be likely to question the doings of one who had earned the odium of her compatriots by embracing the Nazi doctrine and taking up her residence in enemy country.
But, Fenton argued, she had become a rabid Nazi—one of a succession of crazes—not long after Hitler’s triumphant entry into Memel, and she had fled to Germany only just before the outbreak of present hostilities. In all probability—and always provided she was not in reality a British agent—she had seen National Socialism as something grand in theory.
What she had been shown in pre-war Nazi concentration camps would be just what the Nazis wanted her to see and no more. But she must have seen far worse things since the devastation of Poland and the declaration of war by the Allies. The question was, to what extent had her ideas based upon the abstract become altered by her subsequent concrete experiences?
There remained the personal element. Upon three occasions Fenton had made contact with Althea Remington, and, despite her shameful reputation as a traitress, he had been greatly attracted by some hidden streak of good-hearted kindliness, which perhaps she herself did not suspect.
She had said, moreover, that if ever he was in trouble or wanted help he was to go to her at the Meurice.
Fenton paid for his meagre midday meal and made his way to the fashionable hotel quarter of the city. But he had no intention of laying a too obvious trail, if that could be avoided. On reaching the Meurice he applied at the staff entrance, and, casually showing only a corner of his Dienst Karte, stated that he was an electrician who had been sent to remedy a defect in the radio set in Suite Forty-two. The porter turned to the house telephone and merely enquired if an engineer might be sent up to Fräulein Remington’s Sitzkammer. Fenton went up in the service lift smiling secretly, for he had passed the first obstacle without misfortune.
There was no sign of Althea Remington when he entered the reception room, and the maid, who had been arranging a bowl of flowers on a side table, showed him the wireless set, from which he proceeded to trace the special interior aerial that had been installed.
Left to his own devices, Fenton began to feel foolish. Obviously he could not potter about indefinitely with an imaginary radio job, and he could hardly knock at the girl’s bedroom door to demand an interview. With some wild notion of breaking a vase to bring her into the room he cast a glance over his shoulder. And then he saw her.
The door leading to her bedroom was
wide open, and she stood leaning against the left jamb with her right hand at shoulder height pressed against the other v post. She held her head slightly on one . side, and there was a whimsical smile on her lips.
Fenton felt that she knew perfectly well who he was, and when she took the cigarette from her lips he expected speech to follow. But she merely shrugged her shoulders, crossed the room, and, seating herself, took up a book. It was then that he recognized her cleverness.
Naturally the arrival of a radio mechanic for whom she had not sent had interested her. In the circumstances ninety-nine people out of a hundred would have said at once that there must be a mistake. Was it to be assumed, therefore, that this hundredth woman was well accustomed to receiving mysterious visitors? Or aware that she was being watched, had she taken this opportunity of meeting face to face one of the people who kept her under observation?
Moreover, she had recognized Emil Dollinger twice already as the man who had come to her help in the blackout. Surely she must have guessed the identity of the man who was now busy with the radio?
Rather baffled by her peculiar conduct, Fenton solemnly traced the course of the aerial round the room. But he almost gave himself away through sheer surprise when he reached an open escritoire. Upon the lowered writing flap lay a half-written letter, and on the top of the desk reposed a worn Bible and the Chinese Trinity of Good Monkeys, who speak no evil, see ro evil, and hear no evil. That dull brass effigy fascinated Fenton.
For a moment he stood very still. Then he turned his head slowly. The girl was watching him intently. The whimsical smile was gone, but there was a certain tenseness in her attitude, and a hint of fear seemed to lurk at the back of her eyes. Yet her voice was steady when she spoke.
“Your name is Dollinger,” she said. “I do not understand the need for the subterfuge you have employed to obtain access to my suite. I told you I would always receive you. Are you in trouble, and for that reason did not wish to give your name?”
DENTON perched himself on the arm of T a chair and smiled with the familiarity of an equal. He. realized that he was banking upon what might be nothing more than sheer coincidence, but he felt that the gamble was justified. If Althea Remington had sent to Sir George Fawley’s friend the cryptic warning upon the back of which was sketched the Chinese monkey who had separated his fingers and so seen evil, then it seemed quite certain that all feelings of loyalty to her own country had not been entirely eradicated.
“It would not have been dangerous to give my name,” he grinned, “unless you have been putting ideas into Von Arne’s head about the workman who attracted your attention at Krobel’s, and who was hanging about when Greta Mayer was arrested at Erhardt’s house in the Hoffmanngarten. Had you told him how that workman was more than half disposed to go to the unhappy woman’s rescue I think I should have been experiencing the amenities of a concentration camp long before this. I suppose you know what that means, and because I helped you in the blackout you have not given me away to Von Arne?”
“Don’t,” she said, and Fenton saw her shudder. “I cannot bear to think of what that poor soul musí be suffering.”
“I think her sufferings are over,” he answered quietly. “And, knowing Greta
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Mayer as I did, I believe she was well content to die for what she held to be a just cause. I like to think that she may not have taken to the grave any memory of the betrayal to which she was forced by the brutality of torture.”
“She was a Jewess.”
“Her father was a German Jew, but her mother was English. Are you of those who would cast the first stone at the Jews?”
“No, no! Not now, I meant that she was persecuted for her faith, because, being a Jewess, she strove to harm the Third Reich.”
“You are wrong. The Nazis deprived her father of all nationality. She gave her loyalty to her mother’s people. She did not serve the British for money, but because she knew that they are fighting for the clean things of life. She knew the risks she was facing; she took those risks gladly; and she died as nobly as did Edith Cavell— both were victims of the same German sadistic brutality, which is unchanging.” Fenton, although carried right out of himself, still spoke in German. The woman watched him, wide eyed, fascinated, wondering.
“In God’s name why do you tell me these things?” she cried. “You know who I am, what I have done. You know that I have forsworn my own people to follow the Nazi gospel. The Nazis are clearing cant and humbug from the world by the medium of force to make way for the establishment of the cleanness of sheer strength. Can you deny that Adolf Hitler has rebuilt Germany upon the clean physical fitness of the boys and girls of the Third Reich? Don’t you know that my bare word would suffice to send you to a concentration camp?”
“And that is your idea of justice? Condemnation to torture upon the unsupported word of an alien—for that is what you are, Fräulein Remington.”
He paused, but she did not reply.
“You do not answer,” he went on, “but you have spoken of Adolf Hitler’s work, of the clean physical strength of the Hitler Youth. Physical, yes, but moral, no! Have you forgotten the bloody Saturday of the 30th of June, 1934? Have you forgotten that the practice of vice was the reason given to the world for the Blood Purge and the murder of Ernst Roehm, the Fuehrer’s closest friend?”
And still she had no answer to give. “You ask me why in God’s name I tell you these things,” he went on remorselessly, “and you say you have forsaken your own country because you are a Nazi. But as a Nazi have you the right to call upon the name of God?
“As to why I tell you these things, placing my very life in your hands, I suppose, I tell them to you, and I take the risk, because I think you must have had your fill of Nazi horrors by this time. Because I do not believe that in your heart you have ever forsaken your country. Because I am sure you would go to England tomorrow if you thought you could get out of Germany.”
“I could do that all right,” she answered, with an almost childish desire to save her face by boasting of her power in Nazi Germany. “But why do you think I still have any love of England?”
“I do not think, I know—because of this!”
T TNNOTICED by Althea Remington, Fenton had stretched out his hand behind his back until his fingers touched the top of the escritoire. Now he set down on a small table close to her the little brass Trinity of Good Monkeys.
For some moments she stared at the group without sign of comprehension. Then she rose slowly to her feet, one hand caught to her mouth, the other stretched for support to the table on which stood the radio.
She whispered: “Who are you? What do you know?”
“Certain quotations from Isaiah—oh,
yes, you are not so far lost that you have forsaken your Bible as well as your country —certain text references you sent to a friend of yours at home, who passed them on to the head of the British Intelligence Service. On the back of the paper upon which you wrote the references was the sketch of the middle monkey in the trinity, the one who normally sees no evil. In your sketch the little creature had his fingers separated, so we knew that the sender of the message wished us to know that he, or she, saw evil which was directed against England.”
“You speak of ‘home,’ and you say ‘we knew,’ ” she interposed. “Does that mean you are a British agent and therefore a German traitor?”
“A British agent, yes, but a German traitor, no. I happen to be an Englishman !” He answered her now in the tongue which was native to both of them.
“Oh!” she cried. “You dare to tell me that, to deliver yourself entirely into my hands, knowing me for what I am, for what all England, nay, all the world, knows me to be?”
“Perhaps I know you better than England or the whole world knows you at the moment. You are English, and, however much you may have grown to dislike England and hate the social structure, your birthright is ineradicable. You are as much English as a certain German inventor is German. Hans Erhardt loathes Hitler and all he stands for, and yet he will give his secret weapon to the Nazis rather than see the German people defeated.”
“The secret weapon! Dear heaven, is there anything you do not know?”
“A whole heap. But certain information I have acquired must go to England, and that’s where I want you to help—if England is to be saved.”
Althea’s trembling fingers absently turned the selector knob of the radio to the forbidden BBC station, and, as if in answer to Fenton’s anxiety for the safety of their country there rang out in the stirring notes of a clear, sweet voice the words “There’ll Always Be An England.”
Next instant someone was hammering furiously on the door of Suite Forty-two. Althea signed to Fenton to hide himself in her bedroom.
T) Y THE time Althea was ready to admit -L' her most unwelcome caller the thunderous knocking upon the door of Suite Forty-two was accompanied by bellows of insensate rage.
Meantime Fenton was fairly safely concealed. Althea had donned a negligee and deliberately disarranged the eiderdown on her bed. Her eyes still looked drowsy and her limbs moved languidly as she opened the door.
“Why, Julius, what on earth do you want at this time of day, and in such a violent hurry?” she exclaimed. “There are many things that I could pardon far more easily than the terrible faux pas of disturbing my siesta.”
Von‘ Arne’s frog-like mouth worked horribly, but much of the fury faded from his venomous little eyes as he scanned Althea’s inscrutable and unsmiling face.
. “Well, what do you want?” she repeated coldly.
Von Arne’s sallow features flushed, and
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Continued from page 28
he shifted his small feet adout uneasily.
“I—I want to see you alone,” he muttered, with all the petulance of a spoiled child. “You are alone, aren’t you?” “With whom did you expect to find me? Paul Joseph, Hermann, or the Fuehrer?” “Ssh, ssh, Althea! I have warned you before. Even you must not talk that way. Walls have ears, and your joking may be misinterpreted. Where is the mechanic who came to adjust your radio?” he added suspiciously.
Althea bent her head while she lit a cigarette. She saw that his eyes were probing every corner of the sitting room, and also such parts of the bedroom beyond, the door of which she had purposely left open, as came within his line of vision.
‘Would you like to search my bedroom and bathroom?” she asked sarcastically. “Or shall we have a couple of your plainclothes men to protect you from an assassin? How absurd you are! The man was sent here by mistake. I found him pottering about in this room and sent him away—so that you are the second person who has disturbed my siesta.”
“I wonder if he was someone who has been put on to watch you without my knowledge?”
“Quite possibly! But that need not prevent you explaining why you have come to see me at a time of day when you know that I hate being disturbed. So for heaven’s sake come in and get it over.”
She turned her back on him and threw herself bad temperedly upon a broad divan. Von Arne took the opportunity of turning in the well-oiled lock the sittingroom key, which he promptly slid into his pocket. Then he crossed to the divan, and would have seated himself beside Althea, but she told him sharply to keep his distance. He sat down sulkily in an armchair.
“Perhaps you’ll be more kind when you’ve heard my news,” he growled. “You hate the English, don’t you, and you’d give a good deal to know that Hermann Goering had fulfilled his boast that he could lay London in ruins?”
“That’s not very likely to come off,” sneered Althea. “Even if it did the devastation of London would not bring the British to their knees. I may hate Great Britain, as you suggest, but that does not alter the fact that they are stiff-necked and stubborn to the point of stupidity. I told you from the very beginning that the British people as a whole would fight to the bitter end, but all of you preferred to listen to Ribbentrop. I don’t think Goering’s London raiders will ever reach their objective, but I hear that another British bomber was over Berlin yesterday.”
“True, my dear Althea, but it did not go back. Perhaps no bomber that comes over our German frontiers in future will ever go back. But our big bombers which are to raid London so very soon—ah, that will be a very different matter !”
Althea’s sea-green eyes were again inscrutable as she studied her conceited little guest. She was puzzled and apprehensive. Hitherto Von Arne had been so coldly calculating in both speech and action that she could not understand why he should suddenly become informative. Apparently he sensed the nature of her speculation.
“You are wondering why I have chosen to reveal to you State secrets,” he smiled. “Well, my dear Althea, so far you have been more cold than kind to me. Can you truthfully say the same of your relations with other leaders of the Party? Or am I right in assuming that favors granted by you to a high personage have secured his promise of a free passage for you out of Germany when you so desire?”
“What on earth are you talking about?” Althea demanded angrily.
“Do not worry, mein Liebchen,” said Von Arne, ignoring the question. “Leaving Germany will not be so easy as all that—where you are concerned. You know too much. Moreover, if I can state
that you are in possession of such a vital secret as the date of our proposed raid on London—it will be within a fortnight— even the Fuehrer could not get you out of the country. And so I tell you these things; but meanwhile I have taken certain measures to prevent you slipping away.” He paused, his little eyes watching her greedily. “I think you will find it wise to be more kind to me, Althea,” he added softly.
'\TOT ONE word escaped Lawrie Fenton, ^ but, to his vast annoyance, the nature of his hiding place prevented him from seeing into the sitting room. So that, although he noted the purring note that crept into Von Arne’s booming voice and he heard the last suggestive sentence, he could not see the ghoulish smile that accompanied the words, the sinuous stealth with which the man slid out of his chair, or the stiletto which suddenly appeared in his hand.
“And so you see,” he heard Von Arne continue, “I’ve established the right to what I want, and you will find it painful, perhaps fatal, to resist me. After all, should you be so unfortunate as to die, one of these Italian stilettos is quite a usual weapon for a woman to use if she wishes to commit suicide.”
The lid of the box-ottoman that stood at the foot of Althea’s bed had been raised only just sufficiently to allow Fenton to overhear the conversation. Now he opened it wide and sat up.
For her part Althea was watching the satyr-like approach of Von Arne with a fascination that held her spellbound. She had always dreaded the touch of cold steel, and could not tear her gaze from the knife he held. She shuddered, but she did not cry out. Then as she seized his wrist in a frenzied grip and tried to wriggle away, the knife point grazed her cheek twice, and instantly she screamed. For the sadistic Von Arne had lightly coated the tip of the weapon with capsaicin, and the burning agony of even a tiny scratch was unendurable.
The scream and the Nazi’s hoarse chuckle of laughter brought Fenton right out of the box-ottoman. He was not filled with any spirit of knight-errantry, or the desire to rescue a self-confessed traitress.
The real reason for his intervention lay in the fact that Von Arne looked like queering Fenton’s plan of sending Althea Remipgton to England as his messenger. Now that so many agents in Berlin had been rounded up, Althea was the only person who could make the journey with any chance of success. Within the last few minutes it had become even more imperative than formerly that she should make the attempt, for Von Arne had confirmed Von Voss’ story that London would be raided within a fortnight.
By the time Fenton reached the door Althea was lying back on the divan with sobs shaking her body and her hands pressed to her burning face. Von Arne was bending over her. The knife had dropped from his hand. Once again Fenton noted the great, wobbling head, the enormous breadth of shoulder, and the absurd inadequacy of the spindly legs.
Fenton could move as lightly as a leopard, and Von Arne received no warning of impending peril until the side of Fenton’s hand descended on the back of his neck in the terrible chopping stroke which poachers use for dispatching rabbits.
It was a lovely blow, but it did not kill the victim.
Fenton lowered the body to the floor, while Althea got up, still holding her burning cheek.
“Blast!” he exclaimed almost regretfully. “That means trussing the fellow up and tucking him out of sight. He may as well take my place in the box-ottoman. I wonder how many people know he is with you.”
Despite the pain she was in, Althea smiled at Fenton’s nonchalant way of handling the situation. Then she picked up the receiver of the house telephone.
“Is that Reception?” she enquired. “Yes! Fräulein Remington speaking! I shall be at home to callers in an hour; until then I am not to be disturbed. Has anyone asked for me while I have been asleep? No one? Thank you.”
She turned to Fenton, and her smile deepened. “It is as I thought. He always did prefer undetected entrances and exits by the back stairs. He has that kind of mind, you know.”
Fenton chuckled with delight, for he loved what he called a “game chicken,” and this girl certainly was carrying off both shock and humiliation with a high hand. “When they had put the bound, gagged, and still unconscious Von Ame in the boxottoman she smiled sweetly at Fenton.
“I suppose,” she said, “that by these alarums and excursions you consider you have made me burn my boats? But think again, my friend. If I release Von Arne when you have gone and protest to him that we were both knocked out by a workman from Krobel’s named Dollinger, who must have been hidden in the suite, what happens next? Or, if I won’t fall in with your plans, will you also truss me up and leave me here?”
“Why bother to ponder upon the improbable?” smiled Fenton. “We’ve got to talk, and talk quickly.”
“Fire away, but first give me a cigarette,” she said serenely.
AS SHE lit it her mood changed. Her sea-green eyes regarded Fenton solemnly.
“Before you begin,” she said quietly, “I’ve something to tell you. If you want the truth, it is not the beastliness of Von Arne, nor even the horrors I have seen in wartime Germany, that have changed me. It is you and Greta Mayer who have made me realize that England means something big and clean, something tremendous and vitally necessary to the happiness of the world—just that, and the truth of those words which cama over the air, ‘There’ll Always Be An England.’ ”
Fenton nodded, but he was in too much of a hurry to discuss Althea’s psychological upheavals.
“Listen, then. Last night, over in
Neukölln, I heard vaguely of an impending raid on London. Today we have both had confirmation of the rumor from Von Ame.” “But why is so much importance attached to this particular attempt upon London?” interjected Althea. “Surely we are ready for it?”
“I’m not worried about the actual raid,” replied Fenton. “It’s the subsequent
repercussions that matter.”
“But how? Do you mean there will be reprisals on Berlin and the bombing of open towns?”
“Even the danger to the civil population is not the main consideration at the moment. Now listen carefully. You know about the alleged British bomber brought down yesterday?”
“That was partly a fake. In reality it was a test witnessed by Hitler and his experts of the power of Hans Erhardt’s secret weapon.”
Again Althea interrupted. “D’you mean to say there really is a secret weapon? I thought all the talk of it was merely propaganda.”
“There is a very real weapon; hence the intention to raid London. It is some kind of ray which will put an aero engine out of action and set fire to the plane.”
“But how is that to be used against London?”
“It is not. But if Germany puts over a big raid on London, England is certain to reply with a far bigger raid upon Berlin. I don’t believe that a single British machine would escape the effects of Erhardt’s deadly ray. If not one returned to say how the others had been destroyed
our people would be left completely in the dark, more and yet more raids would be sent over, and such devastating losses might well give Germany complete command of the air. Continued losses which could not be explained would have a demoralizing effect upon the British Air Force.”
“That I can understand. But why must the Nazis wait a fortnight to launch the attack which will lure the British Air Fleet to destruction?”
“They may have to wait longer than a fortnight. At present Erhardt’s ray is effective at no more than five hundred feet altitude. But I fancy he anticipates having it effective at an adequate range almost at once, and he has allowed a month for the necessary manufacture.” “And what is it you want me to do?” “Return to England as a successful agent and not as a shoddy little traitor who could not stay the course.”
“Oh!” An angry glint came into Althea’s eyes.
“First you must memorize all I have told you—it would be far too risky for you to carry a written message. Then go to England and ask at the Foreign Office for Sir George Fawley. Give him your message and explain why, no matter how badly London is bombed, no reprisal raids against Berlin must be made until he hears further from me. If you can get away with the Fuehrer’s blessing, as Von Ame so delicately hinted you could do, that would constitute a joke at which Sir George would never stop laughing.”
But Althea was not amused.
“Von Arne declared also,” she said thoughtfully, “that he had taken certain measures to prevent me slipping away.” “In that case,” answered Fenton, “watch your step, and if you see the least hint of any attempt to restrict your liberty go straight to a certain Von Voss at his apartment in Neukölln—I will give you the address—and tell him he is to get you away in the plane he promised to steal as a last resource. Or, better still, I’ll slip round there and warn him that you may possibly apply to him for help. I daren’t trust the telephone, and I notice that even you have a tea cosy over yours.”
After giving Althea a few more instructions and supplying her with certain essential passwords Fenton took his departure by way of the servants’ staircase and back entrance. It was pitch dark by that time, and he blundered right into the arms of a man who seemed to be keeping watch over a lean, racing Lancia which was parked in ■ the narrow side street. A torch was flashed in his face, but he was not hindered, although the fellow left him barely room to pass.
Half an hour later Fenton was feeling his way patiently through the blackout to Von Voss’ apartment close to Flughafen Templehof. When he reached the place he received a nasty shock, for the front door hung drunkenly on one hinge, and on a couch in the living room a girl, with whom the ex-Austrian ace had lived, lay sobbing her heart out. At the sound of Fenton’s footsteps she turned in fury.
“You have taken him away,” she cried, “and now you can do what you will with me!”
“Steady, steady,” soothed Fenton. “Von Voss was my friend. No need to ask who has got him. I’ll have to take the risk of using your telephone.”
He rang half a dozen times and waited patiently, but there was no reply from the occupant of Suite Forty-two at the Meurice.
“Listen,” he said to the girl, whose sobbing had now become a mere series of intermittent hiccups, “you may still help Von Voss. If a girl comes here before the Gestapo return tell her to get away as quickly as possible.”
To be Continued