TWENTY TWO - Günter
“Fuchs died an hour ago,” says Frank.
Well, I’ll be damned! She did it. She managed to get rid of Fuchs.
“Has the Führer been informed?” I ask after Koch takes Klara away.
Frank answers in the affirmative. I need to come up with something to help Klara quickly, but I can’t appear to be trying too hard either. Fuchs was a monster and Frank is not a lot different. He will enjoy tormenting her even more if he thinks that I am still interested in rescuing her.
“Do you have a lead on the others?”
Frank gives me an oily smile. “I have someone working on it. I will have the information soon enough.” He then went on, “Are you planning to leave soon, Generalmajor? Now that you have offloaded the woman?”
“No. Please have a suit readied for me here.” I am going to stay here and remove Klara from the dungeon as soon as I get the chance. I also need to know what Frank finds out about the others. So, I tell him, “Keep me posted on how you go with the others.”
Frank narrows his eyes. I can see his devious brain working away, trying to figure out why this interests me so much. Well, he can keep trying. I am, myself, unable to say exactly why I feel that this woman needs to live.
I note that Frank has already ordered someone to prepare a suite for me, and I am looking forward to a bed after nearly twenty hours of being on my feet. I settle down on one of the couches in Frank’s office while I wait for my room.
It is well past midnight now, and a lot has happened today. When I finished sorting out Fuchs’ thievery in the afternoon, I was looking forward to spiriting Klara away to my estate in Dischingen. Then, Frank’s man arrived and I found myself coming back to Prague and handing Klara over to Frank. I need a few hours of rest before I can start thinking properly again.
As I wait, a soldier walks in. Frank addresses him directly, “Well, Müller. You have the information I hope.”
I can see why Frank has risen in power so fast, and I am certain he will go much further before the war is over. He has the cruelty and ruthlessness required for this environment in spades. I message hidden behind the words comes through loud and clear. You’d better have the information I want, Müller, or you will be the one paying the price.
The man snaps out a salute and says, “They are holed up in St. Charles Borromeo’s church on Resslova Street.”
A satisfied smile lights up Frank’s face as he nods, “Good, good.”
“Who did you get this information from?” I demand.
“Herr Generalmajor, from a man called Tomas Feigl, Sir,” the soldier reports.
“Who is he?” I ask. I need to understand how they got to Tomas. Was he, indeed, the traitor? And I sent him to alert Klara’s mother and sister.
“You may go, Müller,” Frank interrupts.
As Müller snaps out his salute again and leaves, I get up and pour a brandy for Frank and myself. It looks like I am going to have to go without any sleep tonight. No matter. I have had too many such days for it to bother me much. I hand him the glass of brandy and raise an eyebrow.
Frank seems relaxed now. Perhaps because he has found the whereabouts of the rest of the conspirators. He also seems to have decided in his mind that my interest in this incident is professional because he takes a seat and starts talking.
“As you know, Generalmajor, we announced a reward for whoever came forth with information on the conspirators. Last night, a girl walked up to the reception here, claiming that she had seen the mother and sister at her neighbors. A family called Fafek. On KolínskáStreet, in Vinohrady. I sent two of my men there. They found this man, Tomas Feigl coming from their house and nabbed him. Brought him here.”
He pauses in his narration to give way to a smug, self-satisfied smile and continues, “And, as you must know, Generalmajor, I am a man of quick action. It did not take long for me to get the whereabouts of the Barsch women from this Arschloch.”
Ah...so that is how they got Tomas.
"So, what are you planning to do now?”
“Why, go and get the two women, of course!”
Of course! I cannot imagine that this has gone forward so fast. I have to do something. There is no time to plan. No time to put a plan together. I need to at least try and see if I can help the two women.
Frank got up, replaced his glass back on the mantle and said, “But first, Generalmajor, a quick visit down in the dungeons is called for. You are welcome to join me.”
If I do join you, you Arschloch, you will not leave the dungeon alive!
“You’d better hurry minister. You have a big operation to mount. The woman in the dungeons is not going anywhere,” I warn. I hope I have bought her some time with this.
“Quite right, Generalmajor, quite right,” Frank muttered as he walked out.
I stepped out of the room and indicated the soldier posted at the reception to go and get Joachim for me. I had a very important job for him.
After that, I told the reception to let me know when Frank’s men went to arrest the other two women.
I return back to Frank’s office and await Joachim. He comes within minutes. I tell him what needs to be done. He is a very bright young man. I know I can trust him with my life. In a way, it feels like I am, indeed, trusting him with my life. I am no longer surprised by the depth and intensity of emotion this woman evokes in me. It is what it is.
I leave Frank’s office. I need to put my team together. There is a lot to be done.