TEEC NOS POS, ARIZONA DECEMBER 15th 1941
Teec Nos Pos is near the savage desert in the four corners region of the great Southwest about a hundred shitty miles North of Route 66.
Every now and then then some filthy trucker on a long haul will have to carry his load of supplies to the reservation.
A man gets tired after a long night on the road driving from the Schnoo Drop Inn, boozing on rotgut and passing some time with a pair of red-hot, gravelly-voiced transvestite hookers.
He wouldn’t even notice the sweat lodge as he drove by.
The two Indians, one young and one old, sat on the floor of the lodge, legs crossed, in loin cloths facing each other.
“Major ‘Keeps His Head’, you have done well, but I must tell you my dream.
I am an old man, I will not live much longer, but I have yet many visions.”
“Tell me Medicine Man, my grandfather what do you see?”
“We are Indian people. There will be a great War, and you will be taken by the enemy to a bad, bad place, my son. I have done a great wrong to this country and I fear the great Eagle will punish my grandson.”
“I was but 20 years old when I was last in battle against the very Army you now serve. It was a great slaughter and we killed the mighty blond long-hair war Chieftain himself. I knew when we killed so many of the blue braves that the spirit of the Eagle would seek his revenge.”
“I was scared for my wife and my baby and I thought we could keep the blue-coats on the run, but all it did was anger the Great Eagle.”
“The Great Eagle never, ever forgets and always seeks revenge. I took three scalps and I have offered my two sons to the Eagle, every twenty years, but you are the atonement for the third scalp.”
“I was once a great warrior, but now I am old and scared. I keep sending my sons and I thought that would satisfy the Eagle, but he calls you now.”
“The vision came to me that day, I saw that my sons and their sons would both serve in the Army who was then my enemy.”
“My first son, your uncle, I saw him on an island, in among the palm trees fighting people who spoke the language of the old Spanish missions.”
“Then my other son, your father, I saw him in a sea of mud, a sea of death in a strange land across the sea.”
“All my sons came home to me, but the Eagle came to me in a dream and spoke these things, but I fear for you unless these things happen exactly as I see them:”
One: An effeminate Eagle will lose its way and see your salvation from the sky!
The old man held up one finger.
Two: A great wall will fall and prisoners will be freed from bondage!
The old man held up two fingers.
Three: A black bird will strike a great war horse!
The old man turned his withered hand and held up three fingers.
Four: You will be saved from certain death by a red-haired woman warrior on horseback!
He waved his hand over his head, hiding only his thumb.
Five: You will cross a great swamp and fight a great battle!
He held up his palm.
Six: You will see a great City be destroyed!
He held up another hand with his index finger raised. A shaft of light beamed through the lodge door and right between the old man’s hands.
I see all these things. These things will bring my grandson back to me.”
“Don’t be afraid grandfather. I will come back to you.”
They sat a long time in the lodge, in silence.
OKALOOSA ISLAND, FLORIDA. 66th ARMY AIR CORPS AERIAL FILM DETACHMENT HQ
The Colonel stumbled through the sand. He stormed into the shitty little wooden green and white army CP that stood just behind an old lighthouse.
A group of airmen were holding a staff meeting.
“My name is Colonel B.M. Copperas. You are a bunch of sissy-Marys and I hate each and every one of you.”
“My name is Lieutenant Colonel Claude-Stephane St. Jean Beauregard, I command this Detachment. But sir, I sure don’t remember you when I FLEW WITH EDDIE RICKENABCKER IN THE 94th AERO SQUADRON!”
The airmen all chuckled under their breath.
The Colonel grew red in the face. He knew he was a shitty chair-jockey training pilot and he knew that the ‘fancy’ New Orleans Beauregard was a WWI fighter Ace.
“Listen up fruits! There are ten men in a Boeing B-17 crew. TEN! The pilot, the co-pilot, a bombardier, a navigator, a top turret gunner, a shitty radio jockey, a ball turret
gunner, a right waist gunner, a left waist gunner, and a tail gunner, you big sissies!”
“Well now you take shitty photos! I have news for you assholes! We are joining the 8th Army Air Corps, we are going to Europe and you ass-monkeys are going to crew a B-17 and I will be your Wing Commander!”
“Sir, I am truly awe-inspired, said Beauregard.”
“You watch your tone with me you big sweet-hot, fruity-pants, bayou moustache man, I will have your ass in Scotland!”
“Woo-woo” Shouted the men in unison.
“You fairies report to me at 0400, from the looks of it you all need a bit of fitness training!”
“bitch” Muttered Major Simon Sevigny under his breath.
The Colonel stormed out.
RIGHTER’S DINER, PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA, MIDNIGHT
Righter’s is the kind of shitty late night diner that’s the last refuge for the flotsam and jetsam of the grimy city. Somewhere in between the smoke and the haze they all come in: miserable cops from the night-watch, Slavic mill-workers, stinking bums, petty crooks, creepy pickpockets, shitty beggars, addicts, pushers, dope-fiends, hookers, pimps, losers, palookas, street punks, deserters and ratty, shitty, bedraggled characters like Paul Lorton who is down to his last pack of cheap, shitty squares.
Righter’s, it’s a place where Lorton can bring his tattered journal and write down his shitty stories about also-rans, second-rate bums dopers, adulterers, con-men, freak-show carnies and traitors. Yeah he pounds em out, sells a few a year and they end up in a shitty heap in a rotting wooden box in some shitty magazine store where you can still get a pack of real American-made Virginia Cigarettellos for a nickel a pack.
Lorton sat in a corner of the shitty dive. He put his shitty tattered black leather journal on the table and he tipped his hat back. A worn out but buxom waitress in her late forties sashayed up to Lorton. She had raucously dyed red hair, wore white stockings with a rib up the back. She was a dirty, filthy old tramp of a girl.
“What happened to you fella? You look like you just got the crap beaten out of you, but you smell like whoopie. I bet I could work you over better than the last dame did.”
Lorton removed his fedora. “Dames like you talk a lot of filth baby, but let me tell you this. I just made it with a Betty, then I had the crap kicked out of me by a bunch of thugs. But if think you’re ready for a shot at the title, meet me in my room when you get off shift. I show you what’s what if you think you can handle it.”
“Oh yeah? I can handle a character like you. Tell me what flea-bitten, crappy flophouse you’re roosting in and I might stop by. Maybe I’ll bring a slug of booze to get you in the mood.”
“I’m staying in a shitty one-room flop right above the Chaise Lounge, It ain’t much, but I’ve called it home for a couple of nights.”
She winked and looked back at Lorton. He eyed her heels and ribbed stockings. She was a dirty old gal and Lorton liked her just fine.
“What are you lookin’ at there Paul?”
It was Cicero with the Rokkoman and Browscz. All three of the mugs piled into one side of the booth.
“I see you keep fine company, Browscz, Naoshimi, how’s tricks?”
“Good boss, you look like you got worked over by a dame and then some of her friends.” Laughed the Rokkoman.
“Pretty sharp Watson what was your first clue? Hell you should be the detective.” Responded Lorton.
The three men looked over one menu.
“Eggs” said Browscz, eggs over mediuwm, wery good.”
“Pancakes” said Cicero.
“French toast and sausage” added the Rokkoman.
Lorton started talking and he started fast. Lorton usually didn’t talk much at all, but now he was talking. It seemed it was his caper too and he needed help. It wasn’t like him ever to work with anyone else. He almost always worked alone. Maybe he had a personal angle on all of this.
“Let’s talk turkey gents. This Biff Roosevelt is a real piece of work. They think he took out a family in Wisconsin back before the War. Everything about him is fake. The Russians think he belongs to them, but he really only belongs to himself. All I know is he works every angle-and wherever he shows up people disappear.”
Lorton took a long roak off his shitty cigarette.
“I think he’s only moonlighting as an NKVD spy. He really came here to kill. He’s very slick. Gets in with the right people. Very convincing. He talked himself into being the President of a Yacht club up in Cleveland for a while. He has a boat, a big boat, it’s called the Sagamore Hill. Find the boat and you’ll find Roosevelt. The question is where in the hell is the boat?”
Lorton leaned back and took another long roak on his Cigaaraat.
“Is that a Cigaaraat?” Asked Cicero.
“It sure is, fine tobacco grown in Frisjia, Holland”
Lorton took the pack out of his pocket. He gave each of the men a gold-trimmed Dutch Cigaaraat. He lit their cigarettes with a lighter, but he stopped at Cicero.
“Light your own, I never light three on a match.”
“Aah you were in the Great War then”, said the Rokkoman.
“We were all on the same side back then, us Japanese, you Americans. It’s a shame, I always admired the Americans. My country was stupid. Should have left the Americans alone. I should have been born American. I never fit in back in Japan anyway.”
The Rokkoman paused in contemplation, blowing smoke rings.
” By the way these Dutch Cigaaraats are great, I copped a few off of some nurses back during the war.”
Lorton jumped up and grabbed the Rokkoman by the collar.
“Listen up you shitty punk, no more talk of that or I’ll slap you silly. Anyway your kraut buddy really worked me over and what did you know about it.”
“Okay okay Lorton-san you’re wrinkling the material! Here’s what I know. The Kraut and I had a falling out a while back. We were in Peoria trying to work a deal. There’s a character there named Fafafini. He’s a prize fighter. Said he was managed by a guy named Roosevelt. But the Kraut got in deep with this guy. Seems the Kraut and Roosevelt had a mutual acquaintance in Leipzig, on the east side of the curtain… if you get my drift. This fellow has the Kraut’s property and even though it’s gone commie, the Russkies are hands-off. Roosevelt-that’s not his real name, is actually from Bavaria, he’s itching to get to the states. Roosevelt or whatever his real name is fought against the Kraut in ’19 in some street battle in Munich. They ended up boozing it up together and got to be fast friends. Roosevelt disappears back in ’39 around the time of the whole Von Ribbentrop deal, and some say he went into the Soviet Union, but it’s hard to tell what side he’s on.”
Browscz then chimed in: “The next time we see hiwm, he’s in Mostar, Bosnia…This is the storwy.
MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA,Vikikovaciaska Cafe, Velez Mountain, 1944
The British agent sat across from Browscz in the little cafe. Browcsz handed him a dossier. Browscz looked out across the city’s little red-roofed houses. It was serene, with Mount Velez snow-capped peak high above in the distance.
“Herwe are the papers.”
The Officer took a long roak off an English cigarette.
“Good Browscz, we have heard from your contact in Sarajevo. It is a simple matter, the Reds are on the way into Croatia, it can’t be stopped now. Anyway, dear old chap, here’s the deal-we all of us get out together. Tell your German friend Von Schliffereman to make his way as soon as possible to Dubrovnik-3 Brgac Way, second floor, apartment B above the restaurant. An American Colonel will meet us at the restaurant. He has a boat to take us to Bari. Once we are in Bari, it’s off to America.”
They had a small black cobalt phone at the restaurant.
Browscz managed to get through to his contact in Sarajevo. His contact got in touch with Von Schliffereman in Romania.
They departed the cafe to Dubrovnik in the back of a milk truck. They all had fake papers. They arrived in Dubrovnik in the middle of a cold rainy night. No-one saw them come in. They all filed into the apartment. Two weeks they waited. They drank schliwwa, ate Chorba, played cards, smoked Croatian Ziggaretac and waited.”
Then my Von Schliffereman showed up. There were two quick knocks on the door, then two slow knocks…
“Aah come in!” Said Browscz.
“I see you are not alone! It is my fellow gypsy! ”
Browscz leapt up and embraced his countryman in his hairy, shitty grip.
Tomascz, we are goinwg to Amewrica!”
“I see.” Said Tomascz.
“Why so sad?”
“I left someone in Budapest.”
“It’s the girl, you do not want to leave Europa without her, but what hope is there? They are killing everybody.”
“Anyway, it is good to see my friend Von Schliffereman again as well.”
COMBAT AIRSPACE, NAZI-OCCUPIED POLAND
“BEAU’S RED CARNATION” B17 Bomber, 8th US Army Air Force
The Carnation circled in what seemed endless orbits to the crew. Each orbit in the clouds was terrifying in a slow, monotonous way.
The pilot yelled to the navigator, Major Sevigny over the crackling, shitty intercom.
“Bruce, where the hell are we, all I see is silly, puffy white clouds!”
“Colonel Beauregard, Sir, we are somewhere along the Polish-German Border, but I can’t see either!” Responded the Navigator in an agitated tone.
The commo sergeant Louis-David Perez was showing signs of stress.
“Stop it! Stop it, we’re all under the same pressure! You’re acting like a bunch of bitchy understudies!”
“Oh for god’s sake don’t be so dramatic!” Said the waist gunner, Herve Montant as he tried to see through the thick clouds.
“We’ve got to bomb something, and we’ve lost track of the rest of the squadron in that silly flak!” Shrieked the Bombardier, Captain Jerome St. Charles Delacroix.
“Oh what a situation. We were all in the best theatre productions in New Orleans and the Gulf, from Houston (shudder) to Okaloosa Island. The 66th Army Air Corps Aerial Film Detachment. Who would have ever thought they would turn us into a bomber crew?” Said the co-pilot, Lieutenant Henri Belchance.
“Well, we all had talent, some more than others!” Said the tail gunner, Corporal Gerard St. Denis.
“You bitch!” Shouted the navigator over the radio. “You shitty little stand-in, you filthy little twat! I am the grand diva, and yes you always hated me for it! Bitches, bitches! You will never live to be as old as you look!”
LTC Beauregard continued his orbit, surveying the clouds for that one opening.
STALAG No. 37, EAST OF BRESLAU, NAZI GERMANY, February 1945
Arbuthnot sat in Kommandant Krieger’s office, sipping Sliwa as always.
Krieger sat behind his desk, polishing his Luger.
“It is unfortunate, Herr Doktor, but the remainder of you prisoners will be SHOT this very afternoon! Ve Haff our orders, und orders is orders. Ach der smell of it! I like you Arbuthnot, you are upper klass like me, but oh how I love ein good shooting!”
Arbuthnot put his feet up on the Kommandant’s desk and took a sip of Sliwa from a small, metal handcrafted Pewter mug from Regensberg.
“Excellent Sliwa, old boy. Are we allowed last requests?” Asked Lieutenant Colonel Arbuthnot, III, M.D., a true Massachusetts blue-blood and registered flat-lander.
“Vat is dies last request? Du have been seeing too many Hollywood movies, I bet, Ja! Always ein last request, und so weiter, you shitty Americans are so boring and predictable! Very American is a Cowboy und every American is a Hero, Ja for sure!”
“I just want to hit a bloody golf ball again for gosh sakes, you know? Go out like a champ, righto?”
“Any other last requests, Herr Oberst?”
“For the other fellows, how about a pack of genuine Polish Czigaretcyz!”
“Aah der fine Polish Cigarettes. Good choice! Dr. Arbuthnot, vait her for der golf bag und dieser Czigaretcyz, Ja? Und get dein scheissen feets off of mein desk!”
The Kommandant swept Arbuthnot’s feet from the desk knocking a Parabellum right into Arbuthnot’s lap.
“Very nice, is this yours, or did you get it from a gumball machine?” Said Arbuthnot, eyeing the piece, then tossing it to the Kommandant.
“BEAU’S RED CARNATION”
The pilot was not fearful, but it was just too long, they were separated from the bomber group and there was a limited supply of fuel. He checked his gauges. This wasn’t his first cart of melons. He remembered the dogfights of the Great War. His dashing red scarf. His delicious Spad XIII. He could get this beast back no matter what, but not without fuel.
The navigator, Major Bruce Des Ormeaux, leaned into the cockpit. His little table, was covered with maps and colored pencils. His sketches were perfect, just like his set design and story-boards.
“We can’t orbit again, we need to get an idea of what we want to bomb.” “We still aren’t sure where we are, that could be Breslau.”
The bombardier peered through his sights. He could see a break in the clouds.
“That looks like a concentration camp down there? What do you say we bomb it back to the stone age?” Said the bombardier.
“Let’s do it girls! Drop those shitty bombs and let’s get home!” Said the flight surgeon, Captain Dr. St. Claude DeBlois of Plaquemines Parish.
The bombardier sighted in. The bomb bay doors opened. He released the massive load and the giant, hard, phallic, glistening bombs plummeted deliciously towards the camp. The bomb bay doors slowly closed and the B-17 pulled up hard to the left. They looked back to see the east side of the camp crumble.
“Bombs away! Taste that you krauty, brutal, hot, leather bitches” Yelled Delacroix into his headset.
The big eagle turned back into the clouds. Beauregard missed the cold air over France in the Big One. He missed dressing up like Queen Victoria and taking over the Squadron. Another successful mission for Beau’s Red Carnation and her crew of big sissy-marys, he thought.
The Indian sat in the corner by the wall, a deep look of sadness on his craggy face.
Arbuthnot took a long roak on a smuggled soviet Сибирский сигареты. The finest Siberian brand of cigarette he had won off of a Russian soldier in a card game. He glanced at the dour Indian.
“Keeps, my old boy, don’t look so glum. It’s a beautiful day, and we’re about to get smokes!”
Keeps His Head looked up at the blue-blood. He never understood blue-bloods, but he had always admired them.
“But Doc, we’re about to get shot!”
“Buck up old boy, my family came over to America on the Mayflower. I fear no man. I am a true American.” Smiled Dr. Arbuthnot.
The Indian set to a slight grin on his face.
“Doc my people were in America when your people came over on the Mayflower.”
The good Doctor looked at his сигареты. He handed the roach to the Indian.
“Quite right, righto, my lad. At any rate, there’s only eight of us left, so let’s go out with a bit of class alright? None of this infighting, chin up righto?”
The two of them heard the rhythmic, hypnotic marching of stern nationalsozialistischen. They both looked up at the same time.
Der Kommandant marched to the group of prisoners in the yard. His uniform was perfect. A single silverine Skull and crossbones adorned his perfekt kap. He stood in front of the Doctor and the Indian.
“Ah, Zwei Amerikan field-grade offizieren, was ist dass, ein PLOT!” He shrieked, then broke into subtle laughter.
“I have Czigaretcyz for all. Und for you, mein Good Doktor, here is your so-kalled ‘golf’ bag.”
“Golf, dat annoying Scottischen contagian. Ich never understood it.”
The Doctor stood up, gave a lame Gatsby-style salute and accept the golf bag. He drew out a 1-wood.
“Delicious! Thanks old chum! I shall put one on the tee and see if just maybe, I can clank one off the old wall!”
The firing squad milled around, smoking Leipzigaretten, rolled from a fine Leipzig tobacco. The seven prisoners were lined up to be shot. But not the Doctor.
Arbuthnot took a few practice strokes, then he magnificently drew back the 4-Wood.
At that precise moment, the wall came down in a cloud of dust right on top of the German firing squad.
Arbuthnot struck the golf ball, with the perfect swing, the kind all golfers dream about and the ball rose in a high magnificent arc, the farthest he had ever hit.
Through the dust of the falling wall, he could see the ball, in an explosion of feathers, strike a Jackdaw from the sky some 500 yards away, it fell and violently struck a horse right between the eyes. At that same moment, the towers of the camp and the now-empty barracks exploded in balls of fire sending brick and wood flying in all directions.
Keeps His Head looked up and his eyes fixed on a single small dark object among the clouds.
“It is just like in my dream!” He yelled as he spotted the lone B-17 high in the sky. “It is a miracle! Grandfather was right”
The horse reared up and galloped out of control right towards the hole in the POW camp wall. The rider neared the wall, raised a Belgian Moisan sniper rifle and shot the stunned Kommandant right between the eyes. The rider dismounted in front of the eight POWs. The rider pulled a cap of her head and long, luxurious Russian red hair spilled out.
“Братья! (Brothers!) You are to have been liberated by the 23,467th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the glorious Soviet Socialist People’s Red Army! I am to have being Лейтенант Катерина Смоленская Михайлович! (Lieutenant Katerina Smolenskaya Mikhailovich) You will join my reconnaissance troop to help us take Berlin! But first we will eat! I would like you to have been meeting the Владивосток сибирской конницы разведку войск (Vladivostok Siberian Mounted Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop!)”
The other drab green soldiers rode up on horseback. They were all clearly Mongolian, if not Siberian.
The soldiers dismounted and gathered around Keeps His Head. The hugged him, and carried him aloft.
They looked at his Navajo features and mistook him for a Mongolian. “Вы один из нас! “They shouted in Russian. “Вы один из нас! он подписывает с большим ястребом!” (You are one of us! It is sign from the great hawk!)
Katerina ambled over to Dr. Arbuthnot. “You are to have been being the Kommander of this group of Amerikanskis?”
“Да, моя красивая русская девушка лошадь.” (yes my beautiful Russian horse-girl) Said Arbuthnot in perfect Russian. I am a medical Doctor. I spent time helping the Russian Army in World War I, before old Wilson got us involved and they drafted me back with the Yanks, righto, back in ’17.”
“You are to have being a Medical Doktor?” Said Katerina shuddering and nearly passing out with ecstasy. “I love Doktors. Your hair, is…perfekt! Your are to be so distinguished, and manly. I must welcome you, Smolensk-style.”
“You remind me of my third wife!”
The Doctor said, dropping his massive club as the Lieutenant moved to embrace him.
After their long embrace, Katerina said:
“You will to have been coming with us glorious socialist American brothers! We will liberate Berlin from the National Socialist Entity…together! Are you still married Doktor?”
“Why no, little miss, the third was quite enough for me! Righto. Cigaretu?”