TITLE: Unseen War, Chapter 2
By David Huckabay Jr
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All in Time
The S.S. Dan Smith was steaming a North-East direction through the chilly, icy Atlantic Ocean. The next morning, breakfast was hot, eggs, bacon, and sausages. Flat cakes were also offered and smothered in butter and maple syrup; a hearty breakfast for a hard working crew. The sounds of kettles banging and clanging could be heard from the galley along with the murmur of sleepy talk which got louder at times, then lower like the rocking motion of the ship, up then down. Forks and knives dove into the fiesta as empty bellies filled up. The smells of the cooked food permeated the lower decks of the Dan Smith and greeted John Eichorn as he rose from his cabin.
The ocean swells were a bit noticeable, yet not too bad. Eichorn had years of experience aboard ships, so he had experienced sea legs, as they say in the nautical world. So the gentle rocking of the ship did not disturb him. However, Jake, a new crew member was very much of a landlubber. He was visiting the head frequently as the smells from breakfast and the swaying of the ship caused him to turn green and deposit his breakfast down the toilet.
Jake had run past Eichorn on one of his treks to the head as Eichorn walked down the narrow passageway to the galley.
¡§Excuse me!¡¨ exclaimed Eichorn as he was shoved to the side by Jake. Much of the crew present in the galley began laughing as Jake¡¦s exodus zipped by.
¡§Morn¡¦n John; sleep well,¡¨ Capt. Jack greeted his guest. ¡§Have some coffee.¡¨
¡§Thanks,¡¨ Eichorn replied taking a steamy cup and stepped into the galley. The sailors stopped laughing and grew silent when he stepped into the room. Crusty old salty stares beamed at Eichorn; some sipped on a cup of coffee while keeping their eyes on him. Who was this man? He was not on board when we left last night. They did not see him come aboard. Suspicious glances bounced between Eichorn and the Capt.
The Capt. sensing the crew¡¦s suspicions quickly introduced Eichorn to the crew. The Capt. explained that Eichorn was his Captain years ago while working for the US Merchant Marines. They had delivered equipment and doughboys during the Great War to England. He told the crew that Eichorn was now retired and sailing to England for a vacation.
¡§I know this is a free trip, lads,¡¨ explained Eichorn after the introductions. ¡§But please fell free to inform me if I get in the way, or if there is any help I could be at, I¡¦m at your service¡¨ he nodded with a smile.
The crew seemed to take to Eichorn and welcomed him aboard. Good, Eichorn thought, can¡¦t have a suspicious crew aboard. That won¡¦t do.
The course from New York to Portsmouth, UK would take about 13 days at a speed of 10 knots, depending on weather conditions. After leaving American waters, the storm they left in marched northward and they clawed in an easterly direction. Sunny days and calm waters were in store for most of the trip.
Eichorn busied himself much of the days staying in his cabin and studying his mission papers. In the manila folder were data sheets on certain people, good guys and bad. Photos of people were clipped to the sheets showing what that person looked like. One photo, picture of one of the most beautiful women Eichorn had ever seen was labeled only as ¡§Princess.¡¨ The data sheet about her was lacking, not much information about her. But enough to make contact and complete his mission.
Suddenly, Eichorn was thrown off his cot and onto the floor. The ship was rocking widely and groaned as it was making a sharp turn to starboard. When the ship straightened up, Eichorn rushed up to the bridge.
¡§What¡¦s going on¡¨ Eichorn inquired in a deeply concerned voice.
¡§We just dodged a fish!¡¨ Capt. Jack yelled back in excitement.
¡§Another fish Cap¡¦n, 2 points of the port bow¡¨ yelled Cavan the first mate.
The Capt. looking at this new threat, a torpedo coming right at him from some unseen devil submerged in the dark waters. The Capt. began to calculate the speed of the torpedo, its angle, and his speed and direction. All his calculations were done in a split second and he bellowed his orders.
¡§Full speed ahead and hard to starboard again¡¨ the Capt.¡¦s order went out and was immediately obeyed. The S.S. Dan Smith groaned again as they made a sharp, fast turn. Crew and those on the bridge braced themselves from being tossed around like rag dolls. Items not held down flew to the port side of the ship, as the men reached out to grab them from falling to the floor.
The turn continued for what seemed like an eternity. The trail of the torpedo was beginning to point away from the Dan Smith. Metal skin and framing moan loudly as the ship pitched up and down on the ocean swells. The torpedo was getting closer now, worried eyes of those who could see peered at the deadly fish, hoping and praying it would not make contact with them.
Those below decks were bracing themselves as the engineer tried to get more speed out of the engines. Others look up, toward the decks above, trusting those others working at dodging a torpedo to save their lives. The crew below decks was at the greatest danger. If the ship was to be hit, they would be the first to get injured or die.
He reread the telegram again. Sure enough, John Eichorn was coming here. The telegram read:
¡§TO MEIN FUEHRER STOP. PACKAGE IS ENROUTE STOP. ON BOARD THE S.S. DAN SMITH STOP. EXPECT DELIVERY BY 29 MAY 1936 STOP. HIEL HITLER¡¨
He put the telegram down on the dark wood desk. He turned around and walked to the large window behind the desk. He glared at the snowed toped mountains of the Austrian Alps. The snow would soon be melting, sending cold water down through this beautiful scenery of green pines, lush grass. In the alpine beauty he planned his ugly schemes. He stepped outside onto the stone patio overlooking the grand view. He placed his hands behind his back and rose up on his toes. His hat stood nearly perfectly straight up and down while the short black bill nearly covered his eyes. The sharp nose pointed out over the short, funny mustache; that was now becoming popular in the nation he ruled. His tan uniform was well pressed and on his left arm was a red arm band with a white circle. In that circle was a wicked cross, a swastika.
¡§General Eichman¡¨ Hitler called out to a crowd of uniformed officers.
Eichman stepped forward and said, ¡§Yes mien Fuehrer.¡¨
Hitler motioned for Eichman to step with him away from the others. He then told him in a low voice so the others could not hear, ¡§Be sure that we get that package on the S.S. Dan Smith before they do. Then you know what to do with Eichorn. He¡¦s not a relative is he?¡¨
¡§No mien Fuehrer, as much as I know, he is not. He is as good as dead.¡¨
¡§All in time, all in time,¡¨ Hitler responded and walked down the steps to his waiting Mercedes.
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