Death in Breslau

Death in Breslau by Marek Krajewski

Book: Death in Breslau by Marek Krajewski Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marek Krajewski
damn it, is killing me. I can’t think any more.) He sat down comfortably in his armchair next to his telephone. First Hans Hoffmann, then Mock. In a dry tone, he gave both one and the other a number of instructions. The tone of his voiceshifted towards the end of his conversation with Mock, from the cold tone of a superior, to the yelling of a madman.
    Mock had decided that he would leave for Zoppot that evening. He had made that decision after his visit to Winkler. Kraus’ phone call tore him from his afternoon nap. The man from the Gestapo quietly reminded Mock of his dependence on the secret police and demanded a written report on Anwaldt’s work for the Abwehr. Mock calmly refused. He said that he was due some rest and was leaving for Zoppot that evening.
    “And what about your girlfriend?”
    “Oh, those girlfriends … Here one minute, gone the next. You know what they’re like …”
    “I do not know what they’re like!”
    BRESLAU, THAT SAME JULY 8TH, 1934
THREE O’CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON
    Hans Hoffmann had been a secret agent for the police since time immemorial. He had served the Emperor, the Republic police, and now the Gestapo. He put his considerable professional success down to his warm-hearted appearance: a slender figure, small moustache, carefully combed, thin hair, honey-coloured, kind, laughing eyes. Who would have thought that this sympathetic, elderly gentleman was one of the most valued of secret agents?
    Anwaldt and Maass, who paid no attention to the neat old man sitting on the neighbouring bench, certainly did not suspect. Maass in particular was unconcerned about the presence of other strollers and pontificated loudly, somewhat irritating Anwaldt not only by his squeaky voice but, above all, by the drastic contents of his confessions which were mostly focussed on a woman’s body and the rapture it entailed.
    “Just look, Herbert – indeed, I may call you that, may I not?” Maasswent so far as to smack his lips when he saw a young and shapely blonde strolling with an older woman. “How wonderfully that thin dress clings to the girl’s thighs. She’s probably not wearing a petticoat …”
    Anwaldt started to be amused by this satyr’s airs. He took Maass by the arm and they began to walk along Liebichshöhe. Above them rose a tower, crowned with a statue of the winged Roman goddess of victory. Spurting fountains refreshed the air to a certain extent. The crowd milled around on the pseudo-baroque terraces. The little old man ambled just behind them, smoking a cigarette in an amber cigarette holder.
    “My dear man,” Anwaldt, too, allowed himself a degree of familiarity. “Is it true that women become pushy in summer?”
    “How do you know?”
    “From Hezjod. I’d like to verify a twenty-seven-century-old belief with a specialist. The poet claims that in summer they are mahlotatai de gynaikes , aphaurotatoi de toi andres .” Anwaldt quoted in Greek an extract from Hezjod’s The Works and Days . †
    Maass paid no attention to Anwaldt’s sarcastic tone. He was interested in knowing where the Police Assistant had learned his Greek.
    “My secondary school teacher of Classical languages was good, that’s all,” Anwaldt said.
    After this brief entre’acte , Maass returned to the main topic of his interest.
    “Secondary school, you say … Did you know, my dear Herbert, that the schoolgirls of today are pretty well acquainted with the facts of life? I spent a blissful afternoon with one in Königsberg recently. Have you read the Kama Sutra? Have you heard anything about swallowing the mango fruit? Imagine that this seemingly innocent girl was able to force my steed into obedience when it was just on the point of tearing out of control. I didn’t give her private tuition in Sanskrit for nothing …”
    This mention of a lascivious schoolgirl irritated Anwaldt a great deal. He removed his jacket and unbuttoned his collar. He thought intensively about frothy tankards of

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