Chapter 10: Wall Street Swastika: Nazis at Studland Beach
Dora stared at the belligerents on the other side of the room. How had they gotten here? Edward, Churchill, and Dora had sneaked off the ship earlier than the crew. No one had followed them, had they? At least Dora had not seen anybody. Maybe the Germans had a clue where Edward and Winston Churchill —- and even Lawrence when he was in Southampton! —- liked to eat in Southampton. The Pig was one of their frequent haunts. They should clearly have gone somewhere else this time. But then Churchill had made arrangements ahead of time to meet the Prof here. He did not have that flexibility.
If Dora, Edward, Churchill, and the Prof leaped up and ran out of the restaurant the thugs would follow them. So they had to face them down right here right now at the Pig and eat ther midday meal, their lunch, as if they were unconcerned about the enemy presence on the other side of the room.
Winston was good at playacting. Dora got a strong sense of it. He called the waiter and summoned him to his table with a bold wave of his arm. He wanted the special and he wanted it for everyone at his table right now. Soon he had everybody in the restaurant scurrying about. Another functionary he tipped to run and fetch him a cigar next door.
Dora got the idea and asked another waiter to fetch her postcards from the stand across the street. She would sit at the table and pen messages to her parents back in Pittsburgh .
The Prof sent his roast beef back to the kitchen to be cooked a little more. He claimed he liked it well done. They were all putting on quite a show except Edward who quietly ate his meal and watched everything that the enemy did.
Churchill ordered several rounds of drinks as if having a party and celebrating something. He ordered rounds of drinks for all the other customers, too. Of course Dora paid for everything very quietly. That was always her role —- to remain in the background and consult her pocketbook. But they were putting on a good show.
The waiters even offered the drinks to the enemy on the other side of the room. The thugs stared down at the cups in doubt as if they wondered if they should drink it. Was it poison or what? Was it all a trick? Winston waved at them to confuse them even more. The thugs looked at each other and whispered low, wondering what the Wares, Churchill, and the merry Prof were up to. They certainly were not used to this! Usually they ditched and fled at the first approach of the German spies!
Apparently the spies were not used to thinking for themselves. They were accustomed to obeying orders, and no one had thought of a surprise like this. While discussing what to do, one thug and then the next succumbed to the temptation to drink the wine and spirits. Before long, they were confronting a table of drunken Germans.
“Let’s get out of here now!” Edward rose to his full height.
Everybody sprang to their feet. They were only too anxious to leave. Dora did not even want to tabulate the bill. She took out a wad of hundred pound notes and tossed them on the table. It was clearly more than enough. The spare amount could be a big tip.
The waiters were eyeing the money and the spies hiccuping as they hurried out the door onto the street as quietly as possible. They leaped into the getaway car and were out of town before they knew it. Edward took the liberty of passing everybody in sight.
Instead of going back to Ware Hall which right now would no doubt be crawling with spies, Edward decided to head for his family beach house at Studland Beach. They drove west along the coast to a semi-wilderness area. Dora got chills in the shady areas where they drove through what looked like tunnels of trees covering the road. This beach was certainly out of the way.
No sooner did they enter the cottage and try to unpack their scant luggage, than Dora looked out the kitchen window onto the beach. The waves crashed against the shore. There stood the Commercial Attache from the German Embassy himself, the one who was responsible for hiring all those German spies, Hitler’s right-hand man and financier, Herr von Wessel. He looked up at just that moment and met Dora’s horrified gaze. There were Nazis at Studland Beach!