The Red Rose
An hour after the train crossed the Polish border en route to Poznan, Captain Hall had removed her makeup to present her younger self. She wore a red boat neck, wide shouldered, day dress with push up sleeves, slim fitted at the waist with swinging lines. The dress fell far enough below the knee so that her prosthetic would not be obvious. She noticed Pavel giving her an eye up when he rejoined them. “Your farm laborer’s attire becomes you, Pavel. Much more appealing than that SS uniform.” He smiled and winked at her.
“Is—what’s his name—that Werner fella? Is he likely to be still on the train? Richard moved along the seat to make room for Captain Hall.
“Why would you think otherwise? Were we not clear about his intent?” Queenie asked.
“Quite clear. I just thought that now we’re in Poland he’d lost his advantage. That’s all.”
“Lost his—oh now I understand. I only wish that were true. Within two days, Germany will invade and likely overrun Poland. Werner assumes that that will be his advantage.”
Richard’s eyebrows raised. “Isn’t it. Aren’t we caught-up in his trap not the other way around?”
Captain Hall sat beside Richard and placed her hand on his forearm. “That’s what he needs to believe. And that’s Queenie’s job, to ensure he believes it.”
“What is this plan anyway? I don’t feel very reassured with all her mumble-jumbo.” Elsa indicated Queenie, then snuggled tightly against Richard.
“I understand your concern,” Pavel said.
Captain Hall was uncomfortable with the progress of the conversation. “Pavel. They have a right to know our plan. Don’t you also agree, Queenie?” She nodded. “Good. Go ahead, Pavel.”
Pavel drew in a deep breath and began. “Until a few days ago, if anyone asked me if I believed in this hocus-pocus my answer would have been an emphatic no. But all of that changed for me in Harnack’s apartment. So, here it goes. Werner has extraordinary powers of telepathy. He not only can send but also receive thoughts. That’s why we’ve kept knowledge of our trap for Werner among the three us. Queenie mentally supervises him, so-to-speak. Holds him at bay.”
“Are you saying this Werner is capable of some kind of mind control?” Richard asked.
“I am,” Pavel replied. “I know it’s hard to believe. I certainly didn’t until I saw it in action.”
“How do you hope to hold him at bay then?” Elsa asked.
“I think Queenie should answer that,” Pavel replied.
“Do you remember Leopold Trepper and the two men he brought to the Harnack apartment?” Elsa and R...