We heard about it on Paola's radio. I had turned it on because I was depressed by the silence.

There wasn't anything to say. In the rearview mirror, a last glance at the Festung Hohensalzburg. In front of us the blue signs announcing AUTOBAHN-MÜNCHEN. Border Control. Forests. Hayfields. The mountains on our left. I squinted through the three-pointed star, aiming it like a rifle sight, pressing the accelerator down. This was the same stretch we had driven the first time, on our quest for the key, clattering through the snow in the little Opel Kadett. The morning sun glittered across the surface of the Chiemsee. White cumulous clouds with thunderheads stood above the other side.

The good-byes had been anticlimactic. Freddie Minto was gone without a word, bag and baggage, taking our Volkswagen, so I had to explain to the Rasmussens why I didn't need a ride to the station. Mrs. von Schaumburg was driving home to Bonn, would drop me off at the Munich airport, where I could get a direct flight to New York.


I thought they were angry at me about Freddie's disappearance, and Brockaw's, but at the last minute, just as Paola's car appeared between the gateposts, as I turned to Nora -embarrassed for all the trouble I had caused- Rasmussen said, "Look, Graham, I know this may sound crazy, a man in your position and all that . . . But after all, you seem to like this place, and with Logan gone there is a vacancy, I really need help here . . . Would you give it some thought?"

Paola stepped out of the car because she wanted me to drive. She wore sunglasses, her hair tied back under a blue bandanna. Aschauer put my bag in the trunk, and then I shook hands with him and with the Rasmussens. I had said good-bye to the others at breakfast.

As we crossed the river Inn I turned on the radio, and we knew immediately that something was up.

Excited voices: Berlin. . . Volkspolizei (People's Police, the police of the German Democratic Republic) . . . Stacheldraht (barbed wire).

"Oh my God!" whispered Paola, leaning forward, impatiently switching stations. During the night the East Germans had closed their border in Berlin.

On Friday, there had been panic in East Berlin. Over fifteen hundred people came into the western sector. Through Friday night and all day Saturday thousands more had poured across the border. Just after midnight, trucks full of Volkspolizei troops and laborers appeared at the crossing points. Under the lights of the trucks, rolls of barbed wire were spread across the streets. The pavements were torn up. By morning every crossing point was barricaded. Russian armored divisions were moving down from the Baltic coast.

"Can they do that?" I asked. "I thought there was something in the Potsdam Agreements, Berlin is supposed to be under joint occupation--"

"Well, they do what they like if nobody stops them!" she said angrily. "I don't know if the Potsdam things meant that Germans can go all over Berlin. Let me listen now."

There was a great deal of talk but little new information. Walter Ulbricht's government released a statement. They had closed the border in Berlin at the request of the other Warsaw Pact nations, not to keep anybody in, but rather to keep out the swarm of Nazi and American spies operating from West Berlin. East Berlin was now integrated into East Germany.

What about the Americans? What were the Americans going to do? wondered the commentators. They talked about the 1948 Blockade. They talked about the Airlift. They talked about Dr. Theo Pressburger, former secretary to Walter Ulbricht who had turned up in Munich, seeking asylum. Dr. Pressburger refused to be interviewed.

I touched the lacquered wood and silenced the jabbering voices. Paola turned away, looking out the window. We were in pine forests again, past Holzkirchen, approaching the southern suburbs of Munich.

"It was too late anyway," I said.

She looked out of the window.

"Pressburger didn't know what they were going to do," I said.

"You must turn off when you get to Ramersdorf," she said, looking at the forests flashing past. "The airport is out this side, at Riem."

"I know where the airport is. They were going to destroy the Academy for a useless thing."

She turned around and looked at me. There were tears in her eyes. "How could they know that, Graham? All these men . . . They do their best you know. Everybody just does his job, as best as he can do it. What more can you ask of them? People think about different things. You think about your dead friend Peter. Hans thinks about Germany. He has dead friends too. Was soll aus Deutschland werden? You understand that, Herr Unteroffizier? I think your father, he would understand it."

"What do you think about?" I asked.

"This is the turnoff for Riem," she said. "Stay in the right lane."

The airport restaurant was outdoors, among the trees. Big umbrellas, white tablecloths, white-jacketed waiters, trays of pastries, Bavarians in their Sunday best, drinking beer, watching the jets landing and taking off. Loudspeakers, announcing flights to London, to Copenhagen, to Athens.

She had ordered a sandwich and a pot of tea for herself, and a beer for me. "Did you have to stand in line?" she asked as I sat down. "There is not much time now, is there?"

"Guess who's in the waiting room?"

She looked at me. "Professor Minto?"

"How did you know that?"

She shrugged. "What did he say? Where has he been?"

"Been in Vienna, he says, with Boswell Hyde. I was just standing there, in line to check my bag, and this voice behind me said 'Hi' and here he was, green Bavarian hat with a Gemsbock brush. Smoking a cigar. He just flew in from Vienna an hour ago. He found out in Vienna that I was going to be on this flight and he decided to join me. Know what he said? He said, 'You've got your ass in a sling, you're going to need a good lawyer.' What do you think of that?"

"I think he is your friend," she said. "Why did he go to Vienna?"

"To catch up with Boswell Hyde, apparently. Trying to convince Hyde that he wasn't mixed up in this thing with Hans and Devereaux. And now there's all hell to pay about this Berlin business, nobody had a notion they would do this, everybody's caught flat-footed, Hyde was on the phone to Washington all night, he's on his way to Berlin right now - Did you hear they're building a wall? A stone wall right through the middle of Berlin?"

She nodded. "They just announced it on the loudspeaker. Two thousand people are massing at the Brandenburg Gate."

"Freddie says the Germans -your Germans- want us to do something . . . God knows what, though. Tear down the barricades?"

Paola looked out across the runways. A blue KLM turboprop came in for a graceful landing, little pugs of smoke squirting from the tires as they touched. "So Hans was right," she said. "We have a war this summer."

"No. I still think he's wrong. Because were not going to do anything. I don't think the people back home want to go to war over a wall in Berlin."

She stared out across the airfield.

A waiter appeared.

"Won't you have one last drink with me?" I asked.

She shook her head. "I have to drive all afternoon, and there is no time now anyway. I have had some tea."

The waiter went away. Paola suddenly turned and put her hand on top of mine. "You are happy about Professor Minto, aren't you?"

"How did you know he would be here?"

"Just guessed. He brought you. He is your friend. You quarreled, he thinks you are wrong, but now you need his help."

"He shouldn't walk out on the Academy before the session's over," I said. "But it worries me that he's worried. What's there to worry about? There's not a damn thing Devereaux can do to me. Is there?"

"I don't know, Graham."

"The only thing is, somebody has passed back the word that I cracked up over here . . . drunk all the time . . . orgies . . . Once people start looking at you sideways, it's hard to- Oh, I don't know, I guess he thinks I need a defense witness more than a lawyer."

"Deutsche Lulthansa gibt bekannt," announced a girl's voice on the loudspeaker, disembodied, bilingual. Lufthansa German Airlines Flight 122, Transatlantic service for Hamburg and New York. Passengers are requested to--

We looked at each other.

"Well!" She stood up, taking her purse from the table, and I stood up too.

"Will you take those sunglasses ofF for a minute?"

She took them off.

"Do you want to come and say good-bye to Freddie? He thought we wanted to be alone--"

"No. I go back to the car now."

"Listen . . . What are you going to tell Hans about all this?"

"You don't worry about that. That is for me to worry about!"

"Of course I'm going to worry--"

"No! You worry about the other thing. The thing we talked about after your trial. You remember what we talked about? What you promised to me?"

I nodded.

"You are going to remember? All the time?"

"I'm going to remember you," I said.

"Yes. I will remember you, too. But will you remember who you really are?"

I nodded again. "Hey, listen--"

"And you remember what we say in Austria?"

"In Austria we say Servus."

"That's right," she said. "Servus, my dear." She put her hand on my shoulder and closed her eyes and kissed me on the mouth and was gone without another word, walking quickly among the tables and disappearing through the revolving door into the airport building. The waiter was watching. I paid the check, picked up my raincoat and my dispatch case, and went to look for Freddie Minto.

previous chapter



1961 - A Point of View
[1] The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Boatwright Corporation
[2] What are you going to do about Boatwright and what are you going to do about yourself?
[3] Have we learned anything this evening, Doctor?
[4] Producing results?
[5] Alexander's Feast
[6] How'd you like to go over to Salzburg for a month with me?

1947 - An Island
[7] You're not going to Berlin. You're staying here.
[8] All right, we're the Military Government.
[9] The Americans are teaching us to be democratic instead of fascistic.
[10] Well, this is Fasching.
[11] Letters after Ash Wednesday
[12] Say Boris is at Schloss Fyrmian.
[13] THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN EUROPE - Prospectus for the First Session
[14] Learn to think of people as individuals.
[15] Parlez-moi d'amour, redites-moi des choses tendres.
[16] Not one thing left to show that you've ever been on earth? - "Sources of Soviet Conduct"
[17] A Countess, a Prussian Officer and a Ländler
[18] Now this part of your life is over and I'm sending you home.
[19] A father who's too busy to watch his son die. - The Spring of 1961
[20] I cannot sell Schloss Fyrmian to the Academy.

1961 - A Change of Air
[21] The first thing I saw was the Festung Hohensalzburg far in the distance, silhouetted against the shadowy curtain of the high mountains.
[22] Next day at the Academy we got to work - Graham, you know what Fleischer did?
[23] Im weißen Rößl am Wolfgangsee
[24] Brockaw writing a thesis on Austrian baroque architecture? - Boatwright Corporation and Boris Fleischer, plaintiffs
[25] You know there a Mr. Devereaux? Mr. Armistead Devereaux?
[26] I think always of Peter Devereaux.
[27] It sounds like an act of desperation, and it won't hold up in court.
[28] In those Oklahoma Hills WHERE AH WAS BOW-AHHHN!
[29] ... that we should meet again like this . . . I think perhaps there is a reason.
[30] "Is there here an American by name of Brockaw?"
[31] This is Boris Fleischer!
[32] "Does Hans work for Gehlen?" Paola shook her head. "More the other way around."
[33] Won't you please come home? Everybody needs you, I most of all.
[34] With this Waffenstillstand you have time now.
[35] You're going to regret this for the rest of your life!
[36] We Europeans would not do it. None of us. - People think you need medical attention.
[37] Will they trust you?
[38] Some things about the U.S.A. are perhaps rather important, and to us impressive.
>[39] You're going to need a good lawyer.

version: March 2, 2004
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Arthur R.G. Solmssen, Joachim Gruber