Asher and David went up to The Chef.
Asher said, "We have the food you requested on board. "
The Chef replied,"Very well. As you know the Orient Express takes nothing but the best. The best food, the best chefs...".
"The best information?", asked Asher.
The chef replied, "And sometimes only for the best pay. Not in my case though. You see my motherwas a Pole and the Germans want to destroy our country-not just conquer it. Don't say it, I know who you are-don't ask how-and I know you are thinking that Poles would know a lot about 'destroying countries'. But let us put that aside-we have the same enemy now and we both need to survive.""Fair enough", said Asher,"What can you tell me?"
The chef replied, "Some of my information I got from just looking out the window. Other's I recieved from various sourses. Some I got from a friend of mine who runs a restaurant that caters to high ranking German officers. Naturally his name cannot be revealed."
Asher replied, "We do need more then that..."
The Chef said, "Sir, you fight your war from here. My friend fights his war behind German lines. One whisp of suspision and he will die slowly."
"I understand", said Asher.
"I do to", said David, "But our analysts may not."
The Chef nodded, "That is a difficulty. But do you wish my information?
The Chef said, "Large numbers of troops and supplies are heading eastward. My friend heared the talk from the German officers. Not all of them show the greatest of discretion. Also my own experience confirms. Several times at odd hours our schedule has been interupted for military traffic headed eastward. Here is my report. That idea you had for useing a recipe book as a codebook seemed sublime."
Asher said, "It was appropriate enough."
Then he continued, "You said eastward didn't you?"
The Chef replied, "Yes. The Two Theives are falling out. The answer to our prayers."
Asher said, "Indeed, cold, ice, and snow and endless wastes."
David said, "While I hate to interupt your pleasure at our enemies hypothetical sufferings, I would like to know if they had cold-weather gear? Large amounts of antifreeze? What have you?The Chef said, "Some, but little. I have heard that they are counting on pouring every thing on quickly and winning in the first year."
David said,"Others have counted on that before." Then he smiled grimly, "The things we wish for."
Asher then started muttering in Hebrew.
The Chef curiously asked, "What does that mean."
Asher replied, "That is the Half-hallel-the incomplete version of what you would call Psalms (113-118), said with the last days of Passover. My father always taught me it meant two things. The first is to rejoice over deliverence from our enemies."
"And the second?", came the reply.
Asher replied, "A lament for the Egyptians. The prayer is left incomplete be cause it is not seemly to rejoice over your enemies suffering. Somehow that seemed appropriate just now."
The Chef nodded, "Right, on both counts. But an odd thought. You are a strange people you know."
Asher said, "Quite. That's what Our Chief Sponser says too...
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