Chapter 6: Wall Street Swastika: Nazi Goons Walk The Plank:
Dora glared at the four goons at the other table. Oddly enough despite the fact that they had not succeeded in throwing Rita Jolivet out the window at the lighthouse and oddly enough even though they did not possess a single Lawrence map, the German spies looked as if they were wining and dining themselves tonight as the ship headed out to sea to begin the transatlantic crossing. They kept on calling for more bottles of champagne and inviting pretty waitresses to sit down at the table with them and join them. They appeared to be having a grand celebration right on board the Mauretania ocean liner, the sister ship to the Lusitania that the Germans had sunk at the beginning of the last war.
“Bring on some candles!” one spy cried out in broken English with a heavy German accent.
Another tossed deustch marks at a passing waiter. “Bring us some matches and some big wine cups. These are too puny,” he looked with disdain down at his crystal wine glass.
“Isn’t that fellow the one you shot, Edward?’ Dora leaned closer to her fiance. “Wasn’t he lying dead on the floor when we arrived to rescue Rita?”
Edward nodded as if half paying attention to what Dora was saying. He seemed focused on studying the table of spies before them.
“I was wondering why he was already so stiff lying there. I didn’t have time but I should have examined him more closely,” Edward said. “I bet it was planned. If they met any opposition they were to throw down a mannequin with a suit on and a gun and papers in his pocket. He even had that obnoxious note for us.”
Dora nodded. She could see what they were up to. It was all an act just to get their attention about the maps and let them know how serious the Nazi Party leader was in obtaining them. If Dora and Edward did not hand them over, she might lose a friend or two.
Her hair stood up on end when one of the spies waved at her and smiled.
As they left the dining room after dinner, they had to pass by the table of goons. Rita spat at them. But they waved at her, too. Unbelievably they cheered. By then Dora assumed the goons were more than a little drunk with all the wine, women, and song.
They retired to their rooms. The crew had managed to arrange for adjoining rooms for Rita and Dora. Rita kept on bursting through the door so many times that Edward excused himself and went to join Churchill in his cabin down the hallway. But when Dora came back from saying good night to her fiance, she paused at the door. At the end of the darkened hallway that had become still after midnight she could make out a figure of a man. He was so far away she could not make out his features. But his height and silent ways, his very soberness, did not remind her of the table of goons who had been drinking themselves silly a couple of hours ago. The silent form made her shiver.
She did not want to tell Rita about the man lurking in the hallway when she got back to her room. She had to try to settle her old friend down in bed. She did not want to pick up the phone and call Edward either. Rita might overhear. Maybe after the lady went to sleep. All Dora did was make sure that her door was locked.
She took her drink and sat down by the porthole gazing out at the blackened Atlantic Ocean with only a silver moon overhead with gathering clouds. She listened to Rita settling down to sleep. Then a hand from behind suddenly cupped itself over her mouth.
A gun pointed at her temple. “Give me the Lawrence maps, or I will push you overboard.” He dragged her out of her cabin —- she could not imagine how he had gotten in her to begin with, but he no doubt had all the talents of a spider —- and dragged her down the silent hallway past Edward’s room. Dora tried to warn her fiance by reaching out to kick the door. She did not do it very loudly before the creep swept her out on the open deck with no one else about.
He was raising her to throw her overboard when suddenly the man fell back. Edward had taken his gun from him and thrown it overboard. He was pointing it at the gunman. Dora fell into Churchill’s arms as the goon freaked. He climbed up over the railing himself and leaped down into the waves.
There was a ship shadowing them just one hundred feet or so away. Had the spy been picked up? Dora trembled uncontrollably as Edward had made the Nazi walk the plank when it could have been her instead.And there was nothing on earth so lonely as the vast Atlantic Ocean with no other soul about for hundreds of miles and a darkness so incredible it was positively hellish.