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21

Wednesday, April 4th 2018, 3:33am

Bread and Butter

The Deutsche Oper, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Sunday, 4 September 1948

As he sat on a bench outside the opera house, Alfred Burcough found himself fidgeting – and willed himself to cease. The arrival of another postcard from Blofeld had summoned him here; and the British naval attaché was certain that at some point the Abwehr would tumble to what was happening. He was not really concerned about Blofeld’s fate; and having diplomatic cover he himself would suffer nothing more than being declared persona non grata. But blowing the source of such good intelligence would reflect badly on the Royal Navy generally and himself personally – and his naval career might be over.

He tried not to be looking expectant, or otherwise looking for someone; Blofeld’s arrival thus caught him unawares.

“Good day Herr Burcough,” he said, sitting down on the bench next to him with not so much as an invitation. “Have you read the latest edition of the Danizger Echo?”

“No,” Burcough admitted. “I haven’t found a news agent that carries it.”

“You should. It is full of information. Here, you can have my copy.” Blofeld passed a folded newspaper. “It has an interesting article on recent Kriegsmarine exercises. If you find it interesting, please send five thousand marks, per usual.”

And with that, Blofeld departed, and lost himself in the crowds hurrying into the opera hall.

Burcough made his own way back to the embassy, where he examined the newspaper. Hidden in its fold was an envelope containing several thin sheets of paper detailing amphibious exercises recently held off the island of Rügen, and the negatives of several photographs – one showing a Kriegsmarine transport discharging into amphibious lorries and another, and aerial shot, of a Wittelsbach-class amphibious ship exercising with landing craft.


London, he was certain, would find this interesting enough.

22

Thursday, April 12th 2018, 3:33am

The Big Leagues - Preparations

Berlin-Müggelheim, Monday, Saturday, 11 September 1948

One of the challenges Ernst Blofeld enjoyed was pitting his wits against the hidebound and bureaucratic police forces of Europe; it had begun as a game in his youth, and now was a part of his psyche. His underlings and associates he deployed on a mental chessboard, using to his advantage all the information he had garnered as editor of the Danziger Echo. With greater resources at his disposal he began to scheme anew.

The door opened to admit Kruger, the forger.

“You wished to see me Herr Blofeld?”

“Yes Kruger, sit down.” The little man did as he was ordered. “I want you to print the remaining nine million lire as soon as possible. How long will it take?”

“If I proceed with due care in the printing, three weeks.”

“Care is far more important that speed. I want you to start work immediately.”