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The plot thickens back in East Prussia. The Jewish scientists are led to the aeroplane but von Kys wants to say goodbye to his Dagold. Unfortunately, nasty things start to happen as the two become involved in the stables.
Enjoy -- Dave MacMillan
Von Kys moaned loudly. I cringed. Jorsten was definitely lost in their coupling and so, it seemed, was von Kys.
I pulled my gaze away hurriedly. It didn't feel proper to be spying on them at such an intimate moment, even if we there to protect them.
A horse whickered in the section of the stables between us and von Kys again moaned loudly.
I glanced to Kolawaski at the door. It was bad enough that I was forced to be a voyeur and have my friend's most intimate moments exposed to me; it felt even worse that he would also be exposed to this man from a country that was at best already an unfriendly neighbour.
I remembered von Kys as a student at university with Molloy and myself. He hadn't been especially discreet then, either. Thinking about it, he'd not been insistent his partners were of his class. Molloy and I were, but that was more the luck of the draw than anything else. I moved from memories of him at University to considering the possibility that perhaps von Kys and Kolawaski -- I knew instantly that it could have happened. It explained things so neatly.
"Lord Petersholme!" The Pole's voice was meant only to carry a few feet. It reached me and the men in the back of the stables hadn't heard him. I made my way silently across to the Polish agent and stood beside him, expectantly.
"It's as I feared," Kolawaski groaned softly and stood up.
"What is?" I demanded in a whisper.
"Look for yourself," he snapped at me, stepping back from the door.
I bent to peer through the crack in the door and immediately saw Gisele von Kys standing in the centre of the square made by the configuration of the outbuildings, a look of triumph on her wide face. She wore a coat made of a fur I didn't recognise and high boots that rode under the skirts of both her dress and coat.
A half step behind her was a brown uniformed, overweight man also in high boots. I knew him to be the Gauleiter, though I had not seen the man when he called at the Schloß earlier. His self-importance and determination labelled him as the boor I'd heard.
On either side of the square moved two overfed young men in poor fitting, civilian cloth coats and cheap trilbies. I couldn't make them out well but guessed they were the local Gestapo and nephews to the Gauleiter. They stepped from one building to the next, checking each door.
They had already passed the first four buildings and were moving towards us.
I stepped back from the door, rising as I did so. "They can't find us here!" I whispered to Kolawaski.
"Back to the stall then."
"What about von Kys?"
The Pole laughed rudely. "He deserves a bit of embarrassment, Herr Baron. If it were not for his need to have his paramour one last time, we would be well away from here by now."
"But we'll stop them from arresting them?"
"Of course. I just want him to understand he's threatened this whole enterprise and put every one of us in danger. Then we shall save the Graf."
We hid in the deepest shadows of the first stall and waited. Escape was impossible with the four of them coming towards us. I wondered if I would ever see England again. If I would see Barry again.
Irritation at von Kys rose like bile. I had become committed to his scheme -- his and Kolawaski's -- and I accepted that. It was what Max Molloy had set up and I had walked into when I accepted his assignment from the Foreign Office.
As I had come to accept that there would soon be a war, I knew that Britain needed the two scientists waiting for me to get them out of Germany. My country needed their information, no matter how dangerous securing it was to me. But being forced to wait for von Kys to have one last tryst with his lover? Waiting long enough to have the Gestapo appear at the door and endanger everything?
"They're here or in the barn. Open it," the Gräfin ordered the men outside the stables. I had heard her voice clearly and instinctively tried to move deeper into the shadows of the stall.
Wood screeched across wood as the bolt was lifted from its moorings. The large doors swung slowly inward. "They're in here," Gisele chuckled as she saw the light and stepped inside.
The Gauleiter and the two Gestapo agents followed her into the stables. A horse whinnied and von Kys groaned. The Gräfin led the men directly towards the light at the end of the stables and her husband's coupling with the young corporal there.
I watched as they marched directly up to the men on the blanket spread across loose hay. All four of them silently stood over the two men for several minutes and the silence of the stables was again punctured only by the sounds of love-making.
Kolawaski nudged me and gestured towards the tableau waiting to play itself out at the back of the stables. I followed him out of the stall, keeping near the outer wall of the building. I waited as he searched the outside square for more people and saw him nod when he determined there was no-one else. His pistol was drawn and I pulled mine out of my pocket as he motioned me to follow him back into the depths of the building.
"Dear, dear Janus," the woman told von Kys finally, her voice loud but syrupy, "you should be more careful than to be intimate with an enemy of the state."
Hidden in shadow, we were less than ten feet from the Gräfin and her men. I could see that young Jorsten was plastered against the back of von Kys' legs, though both men were beginning to struggle to uncouple and sit up.
The young, overfed, and poorly clothed Gestapo agents gaped as the corporal disengaged himself from von Kys. The Gauleiter laughed and pulled the belt of his trousers up over his gut. Jorsten simply curled into a foetal position and began softly to moan.
Inconsiderate or not, von Kys did not deserve this sort of treatment from a man who was little better than rubbish. I made to take a step closer but Kolawaski's hand on my arm stopped me.
"What are you doing here?" von Kys asked as he rose to his feet. "I made it quite plain that you were not to return."
"And you secreted those Jews away, Herr Graf. They were in none of the cars leaving the estate this evening. That is a violation of State security, one I imagine that is very close to treason." The Gauleiter laughed again, more maliciously this time. "With the help of the Gräfin, I now have you."
Von Kys picked up his trousers and calmly pulled them up his legs. "I seriously doubt that. You are a minor local functionary."
"And you're a nobleman?" The overweight man snorted. "You have aided Jews with important information to escape the Fatherland. You practise sexual perversion. A People's Court will have no problem deciding who to believe, Herr Graf."
"Do you think for one moment that Reichsführer Himmler, Reichsmarschall Göring, and General Jodl would allow you to bring charges against me, fool? You will be taken out at dawn and shot -- as will these two nephews of yours -- if you try. And I shall continue to develop the rockets that will win the coming war for the Fatherland."
"She may have involved herself one time too many in matters that do not concern her. She is supposed to get little German girls ready to spread their legs so that the Fatherland has all the German sons it needs to win the world through war -- not become involved in State security or war production." Von Kys finished buttoning his flies and reached for his shirt.
"I see you smirking, wife. Do you seriously think procuring attractive young girls for Himmler and his set, or for Hess, will keep you alive if you go after me?" he continued as he pulled his shirt on. "You are useful, Gisele -- but only as a whoremonger."
Von Kys began to button his shirt. "The Fatherland is on the cusp of the war that will determine its destiny for the next thousand years. Weapons that will win that war are far more important than your silly little hates or, even, how many German babies are born within the next year."
He turned to the young Gestapo agents and smiled. "I suggest you forget what you've seen here tonight. Forget everything you've heard. This is a matter of State security. The Gräfin and Gauleiter have breached military security and, unless they do exactly what I tell them to do, they will have to pay for it with their lives. Leave now and I shan't remember that you were here."
"You're insane!" Gisele growled. "You were engaged in perversion with an enemy of the State!"
Jorsten raised his head and turned to face her, his face a question mark.
Von Kys sniggered. "Reichsführer Himmler isn't likely to agree to that -- no matter how many young women you've put in his and his guard's beds, Gisele. He knows you for your insane pettiness."
She pointed to Jorsten. "This creature's brother was shot this morning. He and his family are enemies of the State." The lad jerked and his eyes bulged at the mention of his brother. He turned slowly to von Kys, seeking some answer there.
"You made sure of that, woman. After he wouldn't marry you and you carried his child. Even my marrying you and giving young Willi a name hasn't stopped you from hating him for refusing you. Gisele, the boy was a penniless student, on scholarship. Your father would never have accepted him; his family is Lumpenproletariat. You have the safety of my name, woman. Leave it alone. Or I shall have to stop you this time."
"My brother's dead?" Jorsten groaned, hiding his face in his hands.
"You pig!" the Gräfin growled turning to face the lad. "You and your perverted family! You have no right to live in the Fatherland -- no right to live."
"Gisele!" von Kys said and took a step towards her.
"Shoot the pervert!" she told the two Gestapo agents. "It's State security. Execute him now."
Von Kys turned to the two young agents, his face an angry mask. "If you touch this boy, you shall both answer personally to the Reichsführer. I'll see to that!"
Kolawaski nudged me and we inched closer to the tableau unfolding before us. I held my pistol against my waist as the Pole was holding his and aimed it in the direction of the Gräfin.
"Herr Graf," the Gauleiter said slowly as he studied von Kys and then his wife. "We are here only to detain the two Jews. That was our orders." He glanced down at the naked young Jorsten. "This other matter -- we do not have to have seen it, Graf von Kys. Perhaps, it is best taken up in Berlin -- between your friends there."
The Gräfin pivoted suddenly to glare angrily at the Gauleiter. "I gave you your orders, you stupid oaf! I delivered the detention order and the verbal one to kill the Kikes once you had them in custody." She turned to the two agents. "Why are you afraid of him? He's a weak-wristed queer. He's nothing! Now, shoot this perverted creature!"
"There is a guillotine in Berlin," von Kys said softly. "Or a wire noose. Which would you two prefer touching your necks when you are executed?"
Gisele von Kys grabbed the overcoat of the agent nearest her, her hand darting quickly into the pocket and pulling out his revolver. "Pigs!" she spat at both of them. "Worthless worms!" She turned back to Jorsten. "I'll show all three of you how to make your bollocks work. I'll also have you placed in the first wave of SS that enters Russia when we destroy the Bolshevik bastion there. Bastards! All three of you are as worthless as this queer husband of mine."
Jorsten stared at her fearfully as he pushed himself to his knees.
She pointed the pistol at him, holding her gun hand with her free hand to steady it. "You perverted monster," she growled.
"Please, Fraü Gräfin, have mercy on me." His hand reached out in supplication to her. I imagined in that instant that all thought of his brother was gone from the lad. His only thought was saving his own life.
Gisele von Kys laughed. "You are stupid as well as being a pervert, boy. Tonight, you find your brother in hell."
I watched spellbound as she slowly aimed the revolver at Jorsten's face. My heart thundered in my ears as it moved up into my throat. I couldn't breathe. My finger tightened against the trigger of my Luger, as did every other muscle in my body.
I heard the report of the pistol at my side and felt the recoil -- yet, I was surprised that the corporal still knelt, as I stared at him, his face unmarred except by his shock. I had thought the report was from the woman's weapon, though my hand tingled in surprised shock.
The Gräfin's arm dropped, the revolver falling from her hand, before she slowly began to collapse. Von Kys smiled thinly as she lost her footing. I stared as she crumbled to the floor and could not comprehend what had happened.
"Now you've done it," Kolawaski grumbled beside me and fired at the weaponless Gestapo agent before he could think to move. I gaped as he fell to the floor. Bloody hell! His face had landed in fresh horse droppings!
Both the Gauleiter and the other agent had their revolvers pulled and were searching for us in the shadows. "Start shooting, damn it!" Kolawaski commanded. "Otherwise, we're both dead."
The Pole dove for cover as the Gauleiter turned towards us, firing wildly in our direction as he moved. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw von Kys stand up straight, watching the duel unfold with what I thought was far too much detachment. I fell forward, firing towards the two Nazis as I did so.
The remaining Gestapo agent fired as he whirled around and began to fall forward. I heard a groan but didn't take time to see who had been hit. Kolawaski took careful aim and fired; the Gauleiter jerked. His hand came up to his chest and his fat face was covered with surprise.
He sank to his knees then, still staring down at his hand covering his chest. I saw that it was covered with blood just before the man toppled over.
The Polish agent rose and approached the brothers who had been the local Gestapo. He aimed at each man's head and fired one shot. I lay in shock as I watched him ensure that the Nazis were dead, moving from one man to the next.
I was only beginning to push myself up into a kneeling position when I heard von Kys ask the Pole: "Are they all dead?"
"The men are, Herr Graf," he reported from beside the Gauleiter.
"And Dagi? Is he alive?"
"I'm unwounded, Jani," the boy answered as he pulled together his clothes.
"I'll live," I answered for myself and stood up to survey the carnage before me.