(for some reason this didn't show up in my newsreader at first posting -
apologies if everyone's already seen it)
Copenhagen, Kingdom of Scandinavia, 25 August 1972
"Koketten" Night Club, Kongens Nytorv, 0230
The club was dark and the music was loud. The band, three Jeffersonians
(violin, bass and drums) and a German accordionist were noisy, rather than
gifted, but the predominantly drunk crowd were indifferent; the swinging
beat was sufficient for the purpose, which was to keep the Bright Young
Things of Danish society stamping and spinning through the intricate
measures of the Calabozo (a dance fad somewhat deplored by the older
generation, which stuck to the more sedate and complex dances imported
from the Appalachian mountains in the 1950s).
Towards the back of the club, where noise levels were better suited to the
over-30s, two figures were closeted together at a small table, set back in
a boot. The taller of the two, thirtyish, close-cropped, resplendent in a
formal dark blue velvet tailcoat of unistakable Berlin cut, was smoking a
pipe, the acrid odours from which strongly suggested that the
transatlantic trade in marihuana was in full flow. The shorter was
somewhat older, perhaps fifty and wore an immaculate evening suit.
The two remained together for an hour or more before the younger man got
up to leave and threaded his way through the crowd to the exit. Pausing to
collect his hat and cane from the garderobe, he made his way out into the
summer night and set off across the great square towards the New Harbour.
Passing through the circle of great elm trees in the centre of the square,
he was oblivious to the dark shapes monitoring his progress from behind
the columns of the Opera House and was taken completely by surprise when
he was bundled into a passing Jensen automotor.
Simultaneously, the older man, still in the night club, was startled as
the light came up and a voice boomed through a portable megaphone,
instructing the crowd to leave quietly, adding that this was a police
request and that a search would be conducted of all patrons remaining on
the premises in two minutes' time. The older man had got up to join the
headlong rush for the exit when he felt a restraining hand on his arm.
"I think the Herr Baron would be well advised to remain where he finds
himself", murmured a voice in his ear.
"The Herr Baron will doubtless wish us to communicate to his family that
he finds himself indisposed and that the Royal Security Service has asked
for the Herr Baron's assistance in a matter of some delicacy."
The cold snout of a Krag-Colt automatic against the Danish Foreign
Minister's ribs gave a less sophisticated counterpoint to the entirely
correct formulation of the speaker's rhetoric.
Some few minutes after the events at "Koketten" and Kongens Nytorv, the
hinges of the front door of a middle-class apartment in the Lyngbygade
shattered under the hammerblows of two shotguns firing solid slugs. Bulky
figures erupted into the flat and fell on the sleeping forms of three men,
holding them down while other shapes, clad in full ballistic armour and
carrying Krag machine pistols burst through the apartment, clearing each
room in turn.
The three rudely awakened figures were trussed with disposable cuffs,
gagged and hooded and dragged down to the street and thrown into a steam
'bus, which set off immediately for Kastellet, the headquarters of the
Royal Security Service.
Room 106, Kastellet, 0730
"So, a clean sweep, then?"
"As you say, Oberst Friherr, we have them all. The entire German apparat
in the Kingdom is in the cellars or underway there and the Foreign
Minister and the others are in solitary cells downstairs as well."
"Good. I shall teleson Amalienborg immediately. His Majesty has asked that
he be kept informed."
"His Majesty will no doubt be interested to hear that one of the Germans
arrested appears to be called Garcia and is asking to speak to the USM
"The poor fellow is no doubt confused. We would hardly disrupt our correct
relations with the USM by distracting their embassy with some crazed
German impostor. Best we trouble neither the German nor the USM Embassies
with these people."
"As you command, Herr Oberst Friherr. We shall commence the usual
procedures immediately. We assume firm regime for the Germans and a robust
approach to the traitors?"
"By all means, Roberto, by all means."