TITLE: Unseen War Chapter One
By David Huckabay Jr
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The rain drizzled down on the dark docks as the lone figure, cloaked in a brown wet trench coat and a wide brimmed fedora that shielded his face from the pelting rain made a determined walk toward his destiny. Rained pooled on the top of his hat then dripped off the brim like the clogged rain gutters of his small dingy house. He walked through the late night darkness, owning the docks with his courage. Perhaps it helped by the feel the weight of his Colt .45 in his pocket and extra clips in the other. Or perhaps his courage was up because he also knew these docks well, having worked them for many years as a merchant marine. Yet, he reasoned, bravery of his was coming from the fact that he knew his mission was a good one and that it was not only ordered from President Roosevelt, but the hand of God was there too.
Earlier that day, he had been in some meetings with the wheelchair bound president. He was handed some papers which he was to deliver to a princess. Well, she was not a real princess, which was the only name they knew her by.
Henry A. Woodring, the Secretary of War, who was the one and only other person at these meetings, instructed him on what to do if found out. Of course, the cyanide pill was a last measure and a personal choice, suicide was not a mandatory order. The papers, however, would have to be destroyed before they fell in the wrong hands. They discussed many details of the mission, which of course was not to be discussed outside the stately oval office.
At the dock, a lone street lamp was waiting at attention glowing on Pier 49 provided just enough light to see. Invisible sheets of rain drops became visible in the triangular beam of light as the wetness soaked the earth and docks.
The lone figure waited in a nearby shadow, watching for a while to see if anyone was around. At this time of night, there should be no one, yet, in this business, you had to be sure. Once he was satisfied no one was following, he stepped quickly across the pier and onto the ship, S.S. Dan Smith. His footprints in the wet surface faded away quickly with the pelting rain; the same was he hopped, his visit here had been, no trace.
The wheel house or bridge of the Dan Smith was in about the center of the ship, over looking the two cargo bays for and aft of the ship. Cranes and booms formed “V”‘s over the wet decks, which rested silently in the night.
The saturated man in the trench coat stepped into the dimly lit bridge. A lone desk lamp on the chart table shone dimly the maps and the weather worn, tanned hands of the ships captain. The captain looked up from his map, peered over the frames of glasses and through the pale blue smoke swirling from his pipe clammed between his teeth. His bright blue eyes raised in recognition as the light fell on the other man’s face as he removed his hat.
“John Eichorn!” exclaimed Capt. Jack Seaver. The old captain put down his pipe and removed his Greek fisherman’s hat then shook John’s hand vigorously and they both patted each other on the back in a manly sort of hug.
“Yes, Cap’n…” John began to reply when Capt. Jack interrupted.
“Been wait’n for a while; knew it be you a com’n. Come in, get dry and we’ll be on ‘r way.”
“Thanks, Cap’n. How’ve you been?”
“Good, how ‘bout yourself?”
“Here’s some hot coco and… Cavan!” the Captain now directing a crew member, “take my friends suitcase to his room next to mine, quickly now!”
“Uhm, Cap’n, that’s okay. All I have is this” and John showed him a small leather bag which hung over his shoulder and neck.
Soon, the S.S. Dan Smith’s boilers were hot and she was under weigh. Slicing through the dark stillness and rain swept atmosphere, she glided down the harbor, through the port and past the Statue of Liberty. John stayed awake long enough to see her on the port side of the ship. Her arm was reaching up towards heaven, shining the light of liberty for the entire world to see. Yet, on the other side of the ocean lay a people who did not believe in liberty, they believed in a lie, following a liar. Thus giving reason for John Eichorn’s mission; waging war against the deceiver, the one who could be seen, and the one who no one could see, or believe was there.
Back on Pier 49 a lone man stood, watching in the rain. Standing at the edge of the pier where the Dan Smith was docked, he ignored the pelting rain as it became rivers of cold water tracing down his coat and off his hat. A glowing flame flickered as it illuminated his face drawing attention to the scar that ran from the left side of his cheek to just under his left eye. The flame went out but the orange tip of a cigarette could be seen, his face was dark now.
“John Eichorn” he muttered to himself. “You’ve been compromised.”
John Eichorn was followed after all. The scared faced man took a couple of puffs from his disgusting cigarette, and then threw it in the harbor. He hurried away from the docks with his news.
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