Tag Archives: Duke and Duchess of Windsor

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Sixty

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they derail a train. Now they’re on their way to kill Hitler.
Wallis stuck her cigarette in her mouth to keep from laughing at the two men who obviously had been crawling around under a giant miniature train display so they could pop their heads up through a hole in the middle of it. Nothing seemed as ludicrous as crawling on the floor for a former king of England and the absolute leader of the Third Reich right before a magnificent tea party in the German Alps.
David extended a hand to Hitler to help him stand. The Fuhrer ignored it. Wallis grabbed her husband’s elbow and directed him out of the room.
“Am I mistaken or was there murder in your eyes?” she whispered.
“If you had been one second later, I would have stomped his head in.”
“Now, now, you know that would have been much too messy.” She jerked him toward the reception hall where all of the finest people gathered to participate in an authentically replicated high English tea. Wallis pushed him toward a bosomy blonde looking merrily quaint in her dirndl. She was in that marvelous time of life when no one could tell if she were twenty-five or thirty-five nor really cared.
“I must introduce you to our hostess, fraulein Eva Braun.” Wallis leaned into his ear. “She’s Hitler’s version of Freda Ward.”
“Does she speak English?”
“God, how would I know? Just try not to stare at her bosom too much.”
As David walked over to Eva, Wallis puffed on her cigarette and tried not to stare at Eva too much herself. Some time had passed since she felt an urge from her other physiology. She enjoyed the dresses and makeup too much. And nothing matched the exhilaration of bringing a man to ecstasy through the infliction of delicious pain. Every now and again, a woman—usually a blonde—would remind her of the condition she was born with. Most of the time she ignored it. Such a revelation would shock Aunt Bessie, and she was such a naïve dear. And of course, once the word got out she would not be invited to those divine parties. And sometimes she felt like she wanted to punish the sweet little blondes for reminding Wallis of what she was—not what she chose to be nor what society allowed her to be. The last time she felt such an attraction was for KiKi Preston, the girl with the silver syringe. Wallis found KiKi alluring yet such a bane to the existence of the Royal Family, which she had pledged to defend and protect. Eva, on the other hand, looked like a lost child wandering down a posy-strewn path to hell. Wallis was relieved she only had to kill Hitler and not his mistress.
Ach, duchess, you left before I had a chance to show you, as you so quaintly called them, my choo choos.”
Wallis made a quarter turn, then looked over her shoulder through the black fur of her fox wrap to flutter her eyes at the Fuhrer.
Hitler stopped, his mouth dropped and the words that managed to escape his lips made no sense at all.
Half-covering her face with her fur piece was a cheap trick but it worked every time. Wallis walked slowly to the Fuhrer and extended her hand to be kissed—the same hand, by the way, which wore the opal ring which contained the poison.
“I’m sorry, Herr Hitler, you must repeat your last question. My German, unfortunately, is very weak.”
“I was going to say you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. The newsreels do you no justice. It is a shame we are both married. You to the former king of England—
“But I thought you were single.”
“—and I am married to my beloved Germany.” He bent to kiss her hand again.
“No no.” She withdrew her hand. “No time for seconds. You must introduce me to all these fascinating people.”
Hitler stuck by her side as they made their way around the room for introductions. She remembered none of their names. Wallis was grateful none of them wished for piss on earth. German women, in particular, had trouble pronouncing the English word peace which turned into “piss”. Hitler, however, kept running his fingers up and down her back. It repulsed her, but she knew she must continue to lead him into her trap. Occasionally, she looked around at him, fluttering her eyes through the black fox fur.
“After the reception is over,” he whispered, “when these people have left and before your limousine arrives to take you back to the train station, you must see my choo choo set, up close and personal.”
“Shall I bring the drinks or shall you?”
Hitler gulped. “I will. What do you want?”
“A Cuba libre.”
“Of course, I will free Cuba too, but it will take time.”
“You don’t know what a Cuba libre is, do you?”
“No.” His dark penetrating eyes searched her face. “This is the first time I’ve told the truth to anybody. What is this strange hold you have over me?”
“Meet me in the choo choo room, and I will show you.” She winked.
For the next hour Adolf Hitler could not remember anyone’s name or title. He kept his hands to himself, now that he had been promised more than he could have hoped for. Finally, a short woman wearing too many pearls promised Wallis piss on earth. Hitler was still in his delirium and was unable to correct her pronunciation. Eventually the crowd began to drift away leaving only a core of diehard sycophants—field Marshall Hermann Goering who was in deep conversation with David, obviously about the train display; Joachim Von Ribbentrop who could not keep his eyes off Wallis; and Eva Braun who still wandered around like a lost waif.
“You must excuse me, Herr Hitler. I must freshen up a bit, if you don’t mind.” Wallis peeked through her fox stole again.
“Of course.” Hitler cleared his throat. I’ll be waiting for you in the—well, you know where.”
“And I’ll bring the drinks.” Wallis went directly to the cloak room where she had left her overcoat. She recovered from an inside pocket the drab gray uniform she had absconded from dress factory days earlier. She slipped it on over her fitted suit with the fox collar. After taking a moment to cover the fur with the uniform collar, she left and went to the bar. Along the way she commandeered a white servant’s cap. Poor girl was so intimidated by working in Hitler’s private residence, she said nothing when a strange woman snatched the cap from her head. Wallis properly adjusted the headwear before going to the bar where she ordered one Cuba libre.
The bartender presented it to her on a small silver tray. She then assumed the subservient posture of a servant as she passed through the reception hall. Wallis didn’t think even David noticed her. Right before she went into the train display room, she quickly opened her opal ring, emptied its contents into the drink and then turned it around on her finger so it appeared to be a plain band. Hitler was already positioned in the center opening.
“How dare you!” he barked. “How many times have you people been told to knock before entering?”
Wallis said nothing but tossed off her cap, unbuttoned the gray uniform and shimmied until it began to fall from her thin shoulders. She deftly switched the tray from one hand to another to allow the dress to land on the floor.
“I thought you were bringing two drinks,” Hitler commented in a dull school-boy voice.
“I drank mine at the bar. A double.”
“You don’t mind joining me in control central, do you? You have to crawl.”
“I won’t spill a drop of your drink. I’m quite agile, you know.”
Hitler let out a slight moan.
Wallis paused only briefly as she crawled under the table. She noticed the Fuhrer had already removed his pressed black slacks. Remembering her pledge to MI6, she trudged onward. Once she entered the central opening, Wallis rose like a navy-blue hyacinth. She heard Hitler breathe in deeply.
“You are one of the most fascinating women in the world, or am I repeating myself?”
“No. Earlier you said I was the most beautiful woman in the world. To be beautiful and fascinating blend together well, I think.” Smiling, Wallis added, “David and I must be back in town for the 6 p.m. train, so let’s get this choo choo out of the station.”
“You don’t have to worry about me.” He stepped closer. “I am developing a strategy I will call the blitzkrieg. The world will be astounded.”
“Well, before you astound me, please drink your Cuba libre. It may astound you.” Wallis lifted the tray.
The door swung open with a bang, and a wide-eyed Ribbentrop stood there like a frightened boy. “The duke is looking for the duchess, and is quite upset. They must leave now to make their 6 o’clock train.”
Wallis dropped the tray and glass to the floor before Hitler could drink it. The bastard couldn’t die now. The Germans would know for certain that she did it.
Wallis dropped to her knees. “I’m on my way.” She looked Hitler’s way. “The Fuhrer has a few things to put in order before he can join us.”
The Windsors were almost in the limousine when Hitler ran down the steps, smoothing out his trousers, reached for Wallis to pull her close for a kiss.
“You would have made a remarkable queen.”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary, Chapter Fifty-Nine

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they derail a train. Now they’re on their way to kill Hitler.
On the morning of their last day in Germany, David tried to relax in Adolf Hitler’s private train car on their way to the Fuhrer’s Wolf’s Lair in Berchtesgaden. He and Wallis would be guests of honor at an afternoon tea attended by every Nazi political leader in the German Alps. Perhaps the same dignitaries would be there who attended the military policy conference in January 1935 where David had secreted himself into the affair dressed as a waiter. He wearied of all the tours of the training schools for the elite death squads of the SS, the Berlin War Museum, the Pergamon Museum and finally a boring dinner at the home of field Marshal Hermann Goering who incessantly complained that the Fuhrer had stolen his model train set. Goering informed David that while he was attending the official tea, Hitler had restricted him from the train room. Goering wanted David–if he were invited to see the trains–to please report back to him on their condition.
All that was left to complete their mission was the most important task: to kill Adolf Hitler.
MI6 handed the assignment to Wallis, which nettled David. He could not understand how they could have passed over his plans for the murder for any method that the American woman devised. Sighing, David leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes to convince himself schwermut once again held him in its grip.
He wanted to complete this mission and go home, except he had no home to go to. If it were within his power he would return to his beloved Fort Belvedere and putter in its gardens, but the abdication made that wish impossible to come true. He didn’t even have family any more. George was always good for a laugh. Bertie could be sympathetic and supportive. Frankly, he didn’t give a damn about Harry. David was, for all intents and purposes, a non-entity. Most of all he missed his friend and confidante Louis Mountbatten. But his mother the queen ordered him and Wallis to be persona non grata.
Not that Wallis was not entirely unpleasant as companions went. She could always make him laugh, and didn’t all the experts on marriage say a good sense of humor was vital? And he liked the way she would slap his hand if he picked up a leaf of lettuce from a salad bowl on which to nibble. His own mother would have said not a thing, raised her eyebrow and made a note to his governess to lecture him on table manners the next morning. The occasional slap at the dinner table was all the exchange they had which could be interpreted as love.
Of course, David had to admit this love conundrum was his fault. His romantic habits began with the insistence that his paramours be another men’s wives. That way he would never be bothered by those pesky notions of love. The closest he had come to a deeper emotional connection was Thelma and Freda, but they were so far in the past they were hardly worth thinking about any more.
Wallis nudged him. “Wake up. It’s time to go kill us a Nazi madman.”
A rough elbow to the ribs. A terribly insensitive joke. Close enough to pass off as love for right now.
A chauffeur in a black Mercedes convertible greeted them at the station. All sorts of SS guards on motorcycles and cockroach automobiles with Nazi flags unfurled surrounded them.
“God, I hope this guy drives better than Dr. Ley,” Wallis whispered as they slid into the back seat. “On these mountain roads he could drive off a cliff.
“That wouldn’t be good,” David replied.
“Damn right. It would wrinkle my dress.”
David laughed the rest of the way up the mountain to Berchtesgaden and the Wolf’s Lair which was ten times more elegant than it was when he valeted there a couple of years ago. Hitler himself waited on the grand front steps for their limousine to pull up to a gentle stop and let the semi-royal couple alight. The Fuhrer looked dapper in brown Nazi Party jacket, black trousers and black shoes, which did not quite match Wallis’s tailored navy blue suit draped with a fox stole dyed black, David thought, but everything could not be perfect.
After a round of hearty handshakes and fake kisses to cheeks, Hitler led them into an entry hall and through doors to the large room where the previous conference was held. “Before our other guests arrive for the tea, I would like a private word with his majesty,” he requested in a voice quite different from his usual oratorical glory.
Wallis smiled and nodded in acquiescence. Hitler led David through a couple sets of doors until he arrived at his model train room. David took a moment to stop and consider the magnificence of a collection previously thought to belong in the world of little boys’ dreams.
“Follow me.” Hitler gracefully went down on all fours to crawl under the immense miniature world.
David, without a second thought, did the same—drop to his knees, crawl and stare at the Fuhrer’s butt for the next twenty seconds. Because he was well bred in the house of Windsor, David made no reference to the inconvenience but did pronounce the layout of tiny buildings, mountains and choo choos to be the most glorious he had ever seen in his life.
“Yes, I enjoy it very much,” Hitler replied trying to sound humble. “Ach, you should have seen it in the basement of Herr Goering’s house. He had built it for his children’s amusement.” He looked at David and shook his head. “Can you imagine such perfection being ruined with awkward children’s fingers all over it?”
“A sacrilege.” David considered himself a superb liar, but his years with Wallis had polished his skills so they shone with the brilliance of the diamonds in the crowns on display at the Tower of London.
“As you well surmised, I brought you here for more than just displaying the ‘New Europe’.” He paused as he often did when delivering an important message to world. “I want to assure you that Germany has only one enemy in the world at this point in time, the Soviet Union….”
David tuned out the rest of the diatribe. He had heard it many times over the radio, but one phrase used by the Fuhrer did catch his attention. He described his model train layout of the “New Europe.” David casually looked around the huge diorama and noticed red tape marked the boundary of Germany. That red boundary included sizable amounts of Austria. He felt rage rising from his abdomen.
“No, no, no.” His declaration was not issued loudly but with a determination that even Hitler could not overlook.
“I beg your pardon, Your Royal Highness?”
“Umm.” His mind scrambled for an explanation. “Wallis and I just honeymooned in the Austrian Alps and the Austrian pine tree is not that exact shade of green. Not that bright. Not that garish. They are a darker hue, which is indicative of deep, strong roots.”
Hitler smiled. “You are well known for your attention to details. I didn’t know it went that far.” He guided David to another section. “Now over here you will not be able to pick out inconsistencies because it only exists in my imagination.”
A moment passed before David realized he beheld a new Berlin of marble and gold. Giant buildings and broad avenues. Stadia which could seat half a million people. Almost Roman or Greek except without the curved columns and recognizable symmetry. No. These giants sprang from architectural genius that created a new esthetic which bespoke massive strength and eternal domination.
“Isn’t it glorious?” Hitler whispered, entirely too close to David’s ear. “Our buildings will make more magnificent ruins than the Greeks.”
David stepped away. “Yes, think of the jobs they will bring to the lower classes. All German men will stand proud. Their families will never go hungry again.”
Like a well-trained border collie, Hitler herded David to one last niche of his “New Europe.” It was a replica of London. He had not changed it much. More open park space. David could not quite figure out which buildings were gone, but Buckingham Palace was still there. His eyes widened as he focused on the balcony where two figures in full royal regalia stood.
Himself and Wallis.
David was on the verge of twitching and he couldn’t figure out which emotion was overcoming him at the moment. “How wonderful. Thank you for showing it to me. I’m getting a bit claustrophobic in here. Perhaps we should rejoin Wallis for tea. She has such a ravenous appetite. For all things.” With that, David went to his knees and began crawling through the underground of “New Europe.”
“No, please,” Hitler stammered. “I must always lead.” He at once fell to his knees and scrambled to catch up.
By the time David made it through and stood, he could see Hitler’s head emerging. He fancied kicking the Fuhrer’s temple and as he rolled over moaning, David would stomp the leader’s throat with the heel of his shoe. David knew he would be instantly executed for assassination, but his schwermut told him “What the hell, life wasn’t worth living anyway.”
Wallis burst through the door right then. “There you are. We’ve been looking for you. Herr Goering thought you might be playing with your toy trains. David, you look so happy. I should buy you a choo choo for Christmas.”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-Eight

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they derail a train. Now they’re on their way to kill Hitler.
A glorious October morning crowned the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as they descended the steps of the Nord Express at Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse Station. They were not the first notable Britons to visit Germany in the last year. Former Prime Minister Lloyd George and prominent politician Lord Halifax had paid their respects to Herr Hitler as well. The station was festooned with Union Jacks and swastikas. A brass band played “God Save the King”. And, as a thrilling conclusion to the auspicious welcoming ceremony, head of the National Labor Front Dr. Robert Ley presented Wallis with a box of chocolates.
“Chocolates,” she murmured. “How quaint.”
David graciously translated it into German.
“I told them you said, “Chocolates, my favorite.”
“I expected as much.” She extended her hand to allow the labor leader to slobber on it. She subtly wiped her hand on David’s trousers. “How much worse can this get?”
Wallis received the answer to her question sooner than she thought when Herr Ley escorted them to his black Mercedes limousine which he drove himself—like a demon straight out of hell.
She leaned into David. “I swore my life to defend God, my Country and my King, but not to surrender it to some Nazi race car maniac.”
Fortunately they soon arrived at the Kaishorfhof Hotel and went to its most luxurious suite. After they unpacked but before they settled into a bottle of champagne, both David and Wallis checked the walls for minuscule pin pricks through which Nazis could pry on private conversations. Then they closed the curtains to the balcony and settled on a sofa to sip their champagne. David opened the box of chocolates to see what assortment it offered.
“Are you sure this powder of yours will work?” David asked as he bit into a square of dark chocolate.
“Well, it worked on Uncle Sol, didn’t it?”
“Well.” David smiled. “It fooled the Americans. Whether it will fool the Germans is quite a different matter.”
“You’re talking nationalities. I’m talking about men in charge of criminal investigations. For the most part men are stupid.”
“I suppose you’re right.” He took a napkin to wipe away a bit of smudged chocolate from his mouth. “They all seem to be fascinated with you.”
Wallis couldn’t decide if she liked that comment, so she changed the conversation a bit. “And what was your favorite form of assassination? Spitting some vile concoction into a man’s face which killed him several hours later over dinner? How was that better than my plan?”
David raised an eyebrow. “Well, I did have a backup plan.”
“And what was that?” She was reeking of self-righteous indignation.
“Well, there was a lovely belly dancer in the market place who was supposed to lose control of her sword, sending it twirling across the market where it would decapitate the man.”
“You think you’re so clever.” Wallis moved closer to him. “And I’m finding it altogether too charming a quality.”
That evening Dr. Ley drove them in his black Mercedes to several posh night clubs at a speed that made Wallis’ stomach queasy. David, on the other hand, found the ensuing theater of burlesque quite amusing.
The next morning the German officials took the two Windsors in different directions. Wallis visited the Nazi Welfare Society workhouse where drab women made even drabber dresses. Wallis smiled in approval but knew she would never be caught dead wearing any of them. She did ask for a sample to take back to London to show to English designers. The German matron in charge giggled in delight.
David toured the Stock Machine Works where cameras flashed about him with unending devotion. German newspapers prominently displayed stories through the years about the Duke’s defense of the common working man. At one point David felt obligated to lift his right hand in a somewhat vague variation of the Nazi salute.
That night as they prepared for a lavish dinner he bragged about his feat of legerdemain.
Wallis focused on her hair in the mirror. “Considering we’re here in Germany to gain the people’s confidence, I’d say you did a commendable job indeed.”
As David and Wallis stood in the receiving line at the beginning of the banquet, they endured one German after another trying to speak English properly enough to impress the former king.
“We applaud your efforts to improve horsing conditions for the cumin man.” A stout man with long white mutton chop whiskers sounded pleased with himself with not too much Teutonic inflection at all.
A pinched-faced wife of an industrialist bowed impressively low before Wallis. “All the world wants world piss which can best be achieved with an open-minded monarch on the English throne with a queen who is a gin-you-wine lady.”
Wallis could not contain herself. She let forth with what most of her fellow Americans from the Appalachian region would have called a horse laugh. Her hand went to her face as David patted her on the back.
“You must excuse the Duchess,” David began. “I’m afraid she is not familiar with the brilliantly brisk German air and may be coming down with a touch of a cough to be remedied later this evening by an over qualified German physician.”
As the Duke had predicted, her doctor prescribed a potent cough syrup which kept Wallis happy all the next day during their tour of a miners’ hospital where all the men were emaciated with a debilitating condition the doctors had not quite been to diagnose.
Wallis leaned into David. “I’ve seen this in coal towns in Appalachia. Tuberculosis. They’ll all be dead in two years.”
“Ssh.” David tried to quiet her. “They have the best coal mines in the world.”
“And how did you come to that conclusion?” Wallis’s voice filled with skepticism.
“They told me so themselves.”
“But of course,” she replied. “I should have known.” After leaving the hospital they sat in the back seat of Dr. Ley’s black Mercedes. “They’re not going to make us go through one of those black holes of hell, are they?”
At that moment Dr. Ley got behind the driving wheel. “I hate to disappoint you, Duchess, but I have cancelled our tour of the largest coal mine in the world. The Duke felt it unwise considering your frail health. The doctor turned the ignition and was about to speed down the dusty road when David pointed to a ramshackle building.
“And what is that?” David asked.
Dr. Ley looked over quickly then smiled. “Oh, that’s cold meat storage, nothing more.”
David whispered to Wallis. “I have it from the highest authority of MI6 that the building was actually an inmate facility.”
Wallis blew cigarette smoke out of the side of her well-rouged mouth. “Well, so much for talk about world piss.”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-Seven

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they derail a train. Leon is now a spy par excellent.
Wallis finished her packing their grand tour of Germany. Then she counted the trunks. Too many, she knew, but everyone would be expecting to see a spectacular gown for each of their eleven days, and Wallis did not want to disappoint. Finally, she double checked her jewelry box ensconced in one of the larger pieces of luggage. She sighed in relief when she saw the large opal ring with the secret compartment for her Blue Ridge Mountains poison, which, much to her displeasure, had not arrived yet. Wallis did not like for things to go harem-scarem. A place for everything and everything in its place. This time, “it” had not even arrived yet. She hear someone at the door of their Paris suite. Perhaps the delivery from America arrived. Unfortunately, it was only David returning from a meeting with Lord Beaverbrook at the British embassy.
“You look gloomy.” It was only an observation, not an expression of concern.
David walked to a small cabinet stocked with his favorite liquors and splashed some whiskey into a short glass. “Lord Beaverbrook told me once again how displeased my brother the king was that you and I were launching on this –oh, what did he call it?—yes, this lark to Germany. Most inconvenient, he added.”
“Well, isn’t that what we want them to think?” Wallis pulled out a cigarette and lit it. These moods of David were absolutely taking the fun out of murder and espionage.
“I suppose.” His muttering was on the verge of indiscernibility.
“You know I hate it when you look like a lost dog.”
“The doctors call it schwermut,” David replied.
‘Well, when I visit my friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains they say you can call it manure or fertilizer but it still smells like shit.”
He slumped into an ornate stuffed arm chair and didn’t say a word. He must really be in the dumps. Usually when I use American vulgarities around him they bring the giggles out of him. David also plopped one leg across one of the arms, putting his crotch on full display, a bad habit he had picked up from Ernest; however, Wallis had to admit, Ernest had more to display than the duke.
David gazed out of the window of their Paris suite as he sipped his whiskey. “I don’t think you understand the dynamics of the Windsor family. It is true I hated my father. Never shed a tear when he died. Hard-hearted stupid man and proud of it. Mother’s just about as bad but not quite. I would be quite sad if I didn’t see her at least one more time before she died. My brothers and sister are a different matter. We all got along well. I think our youngest brother John who was epileptic and died in his early teens brought us together as human beings. But even that’s all over now, isn’t it? They can’t be part of our lives and we can’t be part of theirs. No more big family Christmas celebrations. No reunions at weddings and birthdays. And I have to pretend I don’t care. But, dammit all, I do care. At first I didn’t think I would, but I do care, and there’s not a whit I can do about it.”
Wallis could not decipher what all that meant. Her closest relative was Aunt Bessie who was pleasant company but could hardly be called a solace to the heart. Whatever a heart really meant. She snuffed out her cigarette as though she were crushing all of David’s maudlin mish mash of moods. Surely he was in one of his melancholia—life was just a pile of shit so what the hell difference did anything make? That posit of existence bored Wallis to tears. Life was just too damn exciting, prickling nerve ending to the point of orgasm.
Her missing package from America numbed her sensory pleasures of espionage. She couldn’t compete her mission without her package, and completing a mission was one of the main ecstasies of her life. The mission she had been given would the greatest challenge of her career at MI6.
The assassination of Adolf Hitler.
Wallis had several options at her disposal. One favorite involved a proper, sturdy long hat pin. It was most effective, quick, left few marks and blood stains and, if administered at coitus, evoked orgasm at the exact moment of death. It didn’t do anything for her personally, but Wallis enjoyed witnessing a man die with a smile on his face. The one drawback to this method was that it linked Wallis to the scene of death, bereft of any alibis. As much of being a master of charming banter Wallis could not talk her way out of murder.
Another favorite reminded her of the good old days of torturing Uncle Sol—the needle up the manhood. Joachim Von Ribbentrop did not consider it torture at all however. His eyes rolled up to the back of his head. He moaned like an enraptured bull. One extra thrust of the hat pin or quick jerks of the pin back and forth would tear into veins and arteries, causing intense bleeding and inevitable death. Ah, but there was the rub. Too much blood left the possibility of too many clues and they would all lead directly back to Wallis.
Therefore, she decided to fall back on an old reliable source which she used for Uncle Sol’s final dispatch—the strange, tiny herb she found during one of her long walks through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia when she was about twelve years old. She often visited family in Warrenton to escape the evil of Uncle Sol. She didn’t even know the name for it nor what other plants it might be related to. All those scientific names sounded too much like botany and school, and she wanted no more formal education.
The pretty little blossom hid among the longer more impressive vines draping the tall oaks and spruces. Its delicacy lured young Wallis to pinch a bloom off and sniff it. Suddenly she experienced a strange dryness to her throat. While not particularly painful she realized within minutes she could not speak at all. Twenty-four hours later she developed a horrid headache which kept her in bed for the next three days. By that time she had returned to Baltimore and no one had a clue what had happened.
Every doctor who examined her questioned her mother about her activities of the last twenty-four hours. They never knew she had been in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Eventually Wallis recovered, and she had no doubts about the cause of her illness—the strange little flower hiding behind the big heavy vines deep in mysterious corners of the ancient Appalachians.
On her next holiday to Warrenton, Wallis wandered into the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her new little friend. When she found the blossoms, Wallis snapped several of them off their stems and put them into a small brown paper bag and folded it tightly. She did not smell them. When she returned to her host’s home she put the bag into another sack, repeating the process. Then she washed her hands with hot soapy water.
In Baltimore she left the bag in a dark corner of her closet. After about a month or two, she checked the bag to find the flowers withered to a point of disintegrating. Next she pounded the bag so the contents became a fine powder which she poured into an empty pill bottles.
Wallis had one week before leaving for boarding school. She was quite excited her last night home. She did not go to bed before midnight. What the others in the house did not know was Wallis went outside, extended her arm through the slats of the white picket fence where the neighbor’s dog—known for its incessant barking—licked a white powder from her palm.
The next morning, rested from a long quiet sleep, Wallis kissed everyone good-bye—even Uncle Sol—and mounted a carriage which took her to the train station. In her first letter to her daughter, Wallis’ mother wrote the neighbor’s dog was silent and moping around. Three weeks later Wallis received news the dog died. Wallis knew she had a winning recipe.
When they received the official invitation to Germany, she contacted General Trotter, using one of their usual circuitous routes to ask for her poison from the American mountainsides. She wrote meticulous descriptions of what the plant looked like and where it could be found. Wallis knew MI6 had connections with the American government which could find the flower, diminish it into a powder and send it on its way. She anxiously awaited its arrival. Without it she could not complete her mission.
Moments after David freshened his drink, there was a knock at the door. Wallis answered it and took a small box from a courier arrived. Stamped on the box were the words “United States Department of Agriculture”. Wallis opened it to find a vial of white powder. With great care she transferred the powder to the secret compartment of her opal ring.
Now she was ready to meet Herr Hitler.

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-Five

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they derail a train. Leon is now a spy par excellent.
Leon did not fulfill his promise to kill Pookah upon his return to Eleuthura from Nassau because the dead plant in his pot was already askew when he walked down the dusty path to his home September 1937. The organization worked fast, he told himself, and it found him more useful alive than dead at this point in time. He found the note which instructed him to take the next ship leaving Nassau to Montevideo, Uruguay, and to await instructions there.
Before he left he whispered in Jessamine’s ear not to speak to Pookah until his return. She wrinkled her brow at first but then nodded. She stepped aside so Leon could say good-bye to his son Sidney. Leon extended his arms to hug him, but Sidney stuck his hand out. Leon didn’t hesitate to take it. His son was growing into a strong young man and hugs were beyond him now. Leon did take comfort that the handshake was strong, warm and held for a long time.
As had become his custom on ocean liners, Leon spent most of his time in his cabin, meditating and exercising. Leon still intended on killing Pookah when he returned, but this mission promised to be a very profitable one. It would fill his family’s bellies for a very long time. He rested his head on the pillow and thought of a conversation he had with Sidney before setting sail.
“Father, you’re always insisting it will be my job to fill my family’s bellies,” Sidney began in slow tones as they sat on the deck of Old Jinglepocket’s fishing boat.
“Yes, I’ve always believed that, and you must believe it too.”
“But you mean more than just physical hunger, don’t you, Father?”
Leon took a moment to reply to his son’s question. He had never thought of it that way. All his life his thoughts had never risen above getting actual food into his family’s bellies. But he had to admit he had created a life for his son in which just eating was not enough.
“Of course, Son, that’s what I meant. More than food. Safety. Security. Happiness.”
Those words continued to echo through his mind throughout the rest of the journey to Montevideo. When Leon descended the plank at port, a half-dressed native pushed a small pottery bowl into his hand.
“Here, here, what you need.”
Leon reached for his wallet to pay, but the beggar disappeared into the crowd. Leon took a note jammed into the bowl.
Hotel Carrasco.
Hailing a cab, Leon instructed the driver to take him to the hotel. When he arrived, Leon paid the cabbie, stepped from the taxi and noticed a small boy sitting on the curb. Leon took a few pesos out of his pocket and dropped them into the bowl which he handed to the child.
“Here, fill this with food for yourself.”
“Gracias, senor.”
Leon entered the elegant lobby as though he owned it, approached the desk and signed in. A bellhop took the key and his luggage and went to an elevator. On the way up, he muttered to Leon, “You should see the sunset atop Fortress Carro. It is quite impressive.”
The sun had just touched the far horizon on the observation deck of the fortress when a man came up behind Leon.
“Don’t turn around.”
Leon recognized the American southern accent he heard when he was tied up on the Nassau wharf. At least this time he didn’t have a sack over his head.
“The organization doesn’t know what to do with you, Mr. Johnson. Your insolence merits instant assassination, but you are our best agent. The commandant selected you personally for this assignment. Beginning tonight, you are to roam the casinos of Montevideo until you find a man named Amleto Battisti. I won’t waste your time describing him. If he is at the tables, everyone will be saying his name. He is known as a mathematician with the memory of an elephant. He is also vindictive, so don’t cross him. Senor Battisti lost a million dollars at Biarritz on the Atlantic coast near the border of France and Spain eight years ago. He came home to Uruguay to lick his wounds and hone his skills. Next week he leaves for Biarritz to break the bank. The organization, for a sizable cut, is bankrolling his endeavor using a syndicate of Cuban, South American and French adventurers as a front.”
“So what do you want me to do?”
“Biarritz Hotel du Palais casino has paid Spanish guerrillas to kill him if it looks like he will succeed.”
“And you want me to kill them as inconspicuously as possible.”
“But of course.” He paused. “Damn, the sunset over the mountains is spectacular. Anyway, find him, learn his habits, keep him alive, but never let him know you exist.”
Leon had a light supper in the Hotel Carrasco dining room before hailing a taxi to take him to the nearest casino.
“No need for me, senor,” the driver said with a smile. “The best casino in town is just down the street.”
Leon pressed some coins into the man’s hand, tipped his hand and sauntered in the casino’s location. When he arrived he saw a line of cabs waiting to unload their passengers. He passed two elderly, well-dressed men getting out of their cab.
“Do you know if Amleto is here tonight?” one said to the other.
“I believe I heard it rumored, yes,” his friend replied.
“Oh hell, let’s go someplace else where at least I’ll have a chance,” the first man said, pushing his companion back into their taxi.
Once inside the casino, all Leon had to do was follow the excited whispers to a faintly lit corner where men in tuxedos sat around a poker table. Stylishly dressed women leaned over all the players except one slender man who sat apart from the others. Two large men with their arms crossed in front of them flanked him. Leon had been in the business long enough to know that the men were bodyguards, probably from the Mafia. The man himself was thin, unassuming, approximately forty-something years old. Balding. Expensive suite but unaccompanied by any jewelry except for plain wedding band. He neither smoked nor drank.
Leon settled into the bar across the room but still in good view of Senor Battisti. Nursing a glass of champagne for the rest of the evening, he wondered why the organization would be concerned for the gambler’s safety if he were under the protection of the Mafia. Battisti rarely moved his face as he reached for cards and then discarded them. His eyes were dark and never revealed any emotion. As the game progressed, other players threw in their cards until only one remained, a silver haired gentleman in a white linen suit similar to what Leon wore. Eventually the old man conceded, stood and extended his hand. Guards stepped forward. The old man withdrew his hand and stepped away.
When Battisti stood to leave, the crowds moved back. One guard walked in front and the other followed behind. Leon leaned into a shapely blonde seated next to him, smiled and began a conversation. He smiled and extended his hand to her knee, and she didn’t flinch. In a few minutes, Leon noticed the whispers in the casino had subsided, indicating Battisti had left the establishment. He winked at the woman, paid for her drink, glided off his chair and left.
Leon slept in the next morning. He wanted to be fully rested when he arrived at the casino that evening. Over lunch he decided to buy a black tuxedo. His white linen suit was his favorite. It made him stand out, but Leon knew he did not need to stand out on this mission. He must blend in, be invisible. Good bodyguards would notice if the same black man in a white suit appeared every night at the casino. Leon even took the precaution to hire a native Uruguayan lady, whose complexion matched his own, to be his companion. She wore a filmy chocolate brown gown slit low to display her décolletage. If anyone in the casino glanced at them, they would assume Leon was more interested in his escort’s bosom than the gambling.
Battisti and his guards arrived promptly at eight o’clock and the maître‘d showed them to their corner table. Leon realized that from his seat Battisti saw the entire room, the entrance, the door going to the kitchen and the fire exit. His guards filled the space behind him and the wall. No one could pass behind the gambler. Battisti never drank during the evening. That would necessitate a trip to the men’s room sometime during the game, and he didn’t move from his seat. As far as Leon could detect, the gambler had no discernible tells. The mercenary was not worried, however; he still had several nights to observe before they moved on to Biarritz.
When Leon returned to his hotel that night, he requested the desk to send him every morning newspaper published in Montevideo. He ate his breakfast in bed as he read every paper where he found several accounts about Senor Amleto Battisti. While he was indeed a native of Uruguay, Battisti now resided in Havana, where he owned the largest, most opulent hotel/casino in Cuba, and was close friends with the president. He held interests in the transport of liquor and in the entertainment industry. Taking into account the nature of the syndicate members who were financing his foray into Biarritz, Leon judged with confidence Battisti was a leader in the Mafia. He also speculated the Spanish guerrillas had more than one reason to assassinate the Uruguayan. As communist freedom fighters against fascist dictator Francisco Franco, they would considered any member of the Mafia as a mortal enemy.
Leon arrived early at the casino that night wearing ordinary street clothes and entered through the kitchen where he bought a waiter’s uniform from an employee. It consisted of black tuxedo slacks, white linen shirt, black bowtie and red silk vest. As he moved from table to table, Leon concentrated on habits of the body guards.
Both were wide at the shoulders and thick of waist. One was as dark as Leon, but the other looked more Latin, perhaps from Cuba, Italy or France. The Latin was stolid, rarely moving his head either way. About halfway through the evening, The Latin motioned to his partner he had to make a trip to the men’s room. The darker guard’s face showed every emotion he was feeling as he scanned the room. Once in a while he lingered over the figure of a voluptuous woman. As a test, Leon let a glass slip from his tray and crash on the floor. The guard jumped and his left hand went involuntarily to a concealed shoulder harness.
The fourth night Leon returned in his white linen suit and sidled up to a blonde at the bar. Neither guard noticed him. Battisti used a handkerchief several times during the evening, but Leon couldn’t make out a pattern to his behavior. Perhaps he just had a cold. On the last night, Leon arrived in his tuxedo and the woman in the chocolate gown. Toward the end of the evening, as another experiment, he accused a man of brushing up next to his lady friend. The man was startled and stepped away, but Leon continued his loud, aggressive accusations. Battista and his Latin guard ignored the confrontation, but the black guard stirred and began to move in Leon’s direction when the gambler discreetly touched his sleeve. The accused man exited without a word, and the room resumed its normal atmosphere.
As a final test, Leon stepped in front of Battisti and his entourage as they left. None of them broke their stride or glanced Leon’s way. He not made any impression on them, a good sign for the upcoming occasion in Biarritz. Leon felt satisfied he was ready for anything that might arise on the hot border between France and Spain.

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-Four

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they derail a train.
Life could not be better for Joachim Von Ribbentrop. He had the confidence of Adolf Hitler who constantly summoned him to the Wolf’s Lair in Berchtesgaden high in the German Alps. Ribbentrop hoped this time the Fuehrer wanted advice on whether to invite the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Germany in October. His body warmed at the thought of being close to Wallis again.
His black limousine arrived at the Nazi stronghold. A butler ushered him into a room in the bowels of the basement. The room, well-lit, was filled by a giant table covered with model train tracks crossing miniature Alps, over painted rivers and through carefully constructed villages. Scattered around the scene were army barracks and training grounds and air fields and all manner of military aircraft.
“Come in, Herr Ribbentrop.” Hitler stood in the middle of the square opening in the table.
Ribbentrop clicked his heels and raised his arm. “Heil Hitler!”
“Our Princess Stephanie thinks it would be a good idea to invite the Duke and Duchess of Windsor for a visit. What do you think?”
“I think it is an honor that you would want my opinion.”
Hitler bent over to examine an engine disappearing through a mountain tunnel. “Yes, I know.”
“Well, during my years in London, I entertained the duke and duchess many times in my apartment. Even the newspapers commented on the power of my influence over them concerning relations between Germany and England.”
“Frankly, I question the loyalty of Princess Stephanie. She’s Jewish, you know.”
Hitler brought up her heritage every time he spoke to Ribbentrop who placated the Fuehrer with the same explanation.
“One cannot choose one’s parents.” Ribbentrop hesitated. “As you are aware, she’s the lover of Fritz Wiedemann, your most trusted adjutant. Surely Fritz would not put you in a precarious situation with anyone with questionable motives.” Ribbentrop felt his heart hesitate like a rock was pressing down on his chest.
Hitler walked to another part of the table where the train was about to exit the tunnel. “Recently at a dinner party I sat next to Stephanie and noticed her purse. I commented about the secrets kept in such a pretty little bag. She laughed nervously and pulled out a small stuffed bear. Stephanie said it was a gift from Edward when he was still Prince of Wales.”
“Oh. Well.” Ribbentrop fumbled with his words. “A memento of the chase. Nothing more.”
“That’s what she said.” Hitler walked to the side where Ribbentrop stood. A miniature train rushed across a bridge. “I have another question about the duke.”
“What is it, mein Fuehrer?”
“Last month on their honeymoon, they stopped in Venice coming and going from the Austrian castle offered to them. On their way home they were feted at the Brazilian Legation where he sat next to our friend George Messersmith. At one point Messersmith was called away from the table. An Austrian chancellor’s emissary told him a German train derailed near the Austrian-Italian border. One of the sealed cars was cracked open revealing naval shells for our battleships in nearby Italian ports.”
“I didn’t know that,” Ribbentrop replied.
“Few people did. We didn’t want England or France to know of our buildup on the Mediterranean. When Messersmith returned, the duke asked him about the message and our friend told him all the details. By the end of the evening, the duke had whispered it to everyone in the dining room. The duke has a loose tongue, it seems. Do you think it would be safe to invite them to Germany?”
“More than safe,” he replied with great confidence. “The duke has made no secret of his advocacy of peace with Germany at any cost. He does not want a repeat of the debacle from two decades ago. The incident just reflects his naiveté on foreign policy. He thought it was just party patter. Nothing to worry about.”
“He was a martyr for our cause.” Hitler lifted his chin. “He lost the throne for my name’s sake.”
Ribbentrop doubted if that were the main reason for his abdication, but he didn’t want to impede his goal of making love to Wallis again.
“Then it is settled.” Hitler clapped his hands. “I shall send an official invitation tomorrow. We will treat the royal couple the way they deserve. I shall show them our factories, our armies, our aircraft and our battleships. Then the duke can speak as freely as he wants about the wealth and power of the Third Reich!”
“You can assure the duke he shall be king of England again with Wallis as his queen!” Ribbentrop was becoming aroused.
Hitler nodded. “I can do that. I’ve seen her photographs and the newsreels. She looks like a queen.”
Ribbentrop saluted and clicked his heels. “Seig heil!”
“Children will sing and dance for them!” Hitler paced back and forth in his enclosure. “Women will toss flowers at their feet! And I will show them this!” He motioned toward the model train layout.
“Yes. Hum.” Ribbentrop chose his words carefully. “I don’t remember seeing this the last time I visited.”
“It is a gift from Herr Hermann Goring, the head of the Luftwaffe. I saw it when I visited his country estate. I suggested it would make a most appropriate gift to me. Of course, he immediately agreed. He told me it was worth $265,000.” Hitler frowned. “Now I think about it, why did he give me cost in American dollars and not in deutschmarks? Hmm, I should have that investigated.” He looked at Ribbentrop. “That is all. You may leave.”
“Um. Yes. Of course. Are you sure you don’t have anything else you wish to discuss?”
“No. I have to go to the bathroom, and the only way to get out of this thing is to crawl under the table on my hands and knees. And no one must ever see me on my hands and knees.”
“Of course. I shall return to Berlin immediately.” As Ribbentrop opened the door, he heard a soft child-like voice behind him.
“Toot, toot.”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-Three

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and they marry. On their honeymoon they plan to derail a train.
David and Wallis sat finishing their lunch in a small intimate dining room in Schloss Wasserleonburg castle. The bay window exposed the Austrian Alps in its full August splendor. Wallis had been successful in extracting information from Ribbentrop about train activity. Regular deliveries were being made from Salzburg through Villach and across the Italian frontier to the port of Trieste on the extreme northeast border of Italy. Certain rail cars were sealed and marked as property of the Nazi government. David and Wallis relayed the information to MI6, and General Trotter arrived at the castle last week with their orders and preparation. They were to derail the engine and discover what was in the sealed cars. The train would be crossing the Gail River near Arnoldstein about 10 p.m. After a few moments of silent reverence, Wallis reached over to squeeze David’s hand.
“Are you sure we have to go through with this mission?” Her voice was real, for once, filled with apprehension. “Let me go out in the woods and pick the best poisonous vines. Give me a good sturdy hat pin. But carrying sticks of dynamite in a backpack across a mountain to a railroad track, well, it scares the hell out of me.”
David smiled. “Nonsense. Nothing could scare the hell out of you.”
Andreas, the majordomo, entered and bowed. “Was the luncheon to your satisfaction?”
“Of course.” David leaned back in his chair and puffed on a cigarette. His line of vision never left the view through the window. ”The duchess and I were just discussing the beauty of the Austrian Alps. We’ve decided we must be a part of this enchanting forest.”
“Well, not literally a part of the landscape,” Wallis added as she sucked on her own cigarette.
“We would like the kitchen to fix us a picnic supper. We plan to hike down to the Gail River, camp under the stars and return in the morning.”
“Ah,” Andreas exclaimed, “an excellent choice. Many of our guests say a hike to the Gail River is the highlight of their stay in Austria. May we organize your backpacks? Our maids are quite expert—“
“Oh no,” David interrupted. “The duchess loves to pack, don’t you, my dear?”
“Yes, I’m just dying for this adventure.” Wallis crushed her cigarette in what was left of her sunny-side up egg.
David and Wallis spent the afternoon packing. Each had German uniforms. David had an officer’s and Wallis a private’s.
“How come you get to be the colonel?”
“I speak fluent German. It’s my mutter’s tongue.”
“I speak German too.”
“Like what?”
Scheitze. Nein. Weiner schnitzel.”
“That would be fine if we were going to a German beer hall.”
Wallis picked up a revolver.
“And when do I use this?”
“As the Boy Scouts say, be prepared.”
Then she clicked on her torch to make sure the batteries were working. Its light flashed on. “Good. Don‘t stumble through the Alps at night without one.”
Late afternoon they left the castle and entered the Austrian forest wearing fashionable yet jaunty hiking clothes, each shouldering a backpack. As the sun set, David and Wallis sat on a boulder outcrop to eat their supper. They turned on their torches as they returned to the well-worn mountain trail. They had only gone a couple of miles when a grizzled old man pulling along pack mule appeared coming the other way. David waved at him, and he nodded.
“Nothing as invigorating as an evening hike in the Alps,” the duke announced.
“Except for a plunge in the Adriatic,” the man replied.
“I’m starved,” Wallis added. “Do you have sandwiches on you?”
“No.” The old man went to a bag tied around his mule. “But I have something much more satisfying.” He pulled out two sticks of dynamite and handed one to each of them.
“Will that be enough?” she asked.
“You want to derail the train, not blow it to kingdom come. Happy hunting.” The stranger continued to pull his donkey into the darkness and soon disappeared.
“And what are we to do with these?” she asked.
David turned his back to her. “Ever so gently slide it into my pack. “
She followed his direction and then turned so he could put the other stick in her pack.
“Aren’t these things supposed to have fuses?” she asked.
“They’ll be given to us closer to the track.”
A couple of hours passed without much conversation. Soon they heard the sound of rapids from the river. Before they came upon the Gail they saw a portion of a flag hanging from a bush. It was the Union Jack.
“Hello,” David whispered as he took the cloth and stuffed it into his pocket.
“How dreadfully unpatriotic.” Wallis leaned over to look behind the bush where two rolls of fuse wire were nestled. “That’s a lot of wire.”
“Well, you don’t want to be too close when you light one of those things.”
Each took one roll and continued down to the river bank. When they arrived they looked up to see the railroad bridge silhouetted against a half-moon. David and Wallis climbed up to the track where they opened their packs and pulled out the two sticks of dynamite.
They laid the sticks between the two rails, attached the fuses and unrolled the wires back into the forest. Then they opened their packs, pulled out German uniforms and changed clothes. They sat on the ground and waited.
“So how are we going to light these things?” Wallis cracked.
“Don’t you remember the training General Trotter gave us when he visited the castle last week? How fast fuses run and how to calculate igniting the fuse so it explodes right before the engine rolls over it. He went over it several times.” He paused. “You brought your cigarettes, didn’t you? Light the fuse with the lit end.” David smiled at her.
“I could use one now.”
“Don’t you dare.” He looked into her eyes. “Now what can we do under the moonlight while we’re waiting for the train?”
Before Wallis answered, they heard the distant call of a train whistle. They turned off their torches.
“I hope we’re fast learners.” Wallis fumbled for her lighter.
The whistle blew louder. David put his hand on Wallis’s.
“Not yet.”
Soon they saw the engine light appear in the distance.
They lit their fuses and watch the sparkling line go toward the track. The train was now loud, the cars clearly visible.
“Dammit,” she hissed. “We didn’t light them too soon, did we?”
“No, no.” David’s voice did not convey confidence.
The explosion rocked the earth. The engineer threw on his brakes, causing them to squeal. David and Wallis covered their ears and grimaced at the sound. The train slowed a little but not enough to avoid the gaping hole in the track. It hit the broken rail with a heavy thud; the attached cars derailed and overturned. Nazi soldiers crawled out of the train windows and jumped from the doors. They scrambled about the wreckage like a bunch of disturbed cockroaches. David and Wallis put on their helmets, grabbed their revolvers and torches and joined the hysteria.
They had only gone past a couple of cars when they noticed one that had “Nazi government” emblazoned on the side and whose seal was broken. Wallis pointed her torch inside, lighting the contents. They saw piles of fifteen centimeter naval shells.
“They’re making sure their war ships have plenty of ammo when they move into the Mediterranean to fight the British and the French,” David muttered.
A voice behind them bellowed in German. When they turned around they saw a colonel with his revolver drawn. He spat something at them.
“I am Colonel von Seidleman!” David barked in perfect German. “How dare you leave this shipment of shells unprotected!”
“That was exactly what I was doing! How did you arrive here so fast?” the colonel asked.
“That is my job!” David retorted. “Why weren’t you here sooner?”
Seig heil!” Wallis spat out.
The colonel spun toward her. “How dare you speak to me in such a tone!”
“Oh, to hell with it,” Wallis said in English as she pulled out her revolver and shot him in the chest.
In seconds, they were surrounded by other German soldiers.
“We recognized this man to be a British spy!” David pointed to the body on the ground. “Who is responsible for this?”
The colonel moaned. David’s eyes widened before he regained his composure.
“Good! He’s alive. Take him off and interrogate him immediately. Let me know what you find out.”
The soldiers picked up the colonel and carried him to the back of the train. David and Wallis turned and walked up to examine the damage to the engine, then disappeared into the darkness of the forest.
“I thought I told you to say nothing,” David asked in a hiss.
“Oh sheitze.”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-Two

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. Wallis divorces, David abdicates and Leon declines to kill.
Wallis awoke in Chateau Cande the morning after the wedding to the sight of David wearing nothing but a winning smile as he stood over her.
“Well,” he asked, “what do we do now?”
She was taken aback because someone in MI6 always told them what to do next. It wasn’t up to them. “How the hell would I know? I’m only the simpering bride.”
“Why don’t we blow up a train?”
“Before lunch?”
“Oh no.” He sat on the bed and leaned into her. “We have three months of honeymooning in an Austrian castle to work out the details. General Trotter slipped a note into one of our wedding presents that I happened to open last night. The Germans are up to something and we have to derail a train before it reaches an Italian port.” He shifted his body. “Do you mind my being so close?”
“I didn’t know you cared.”
“I haven’t made up my mind yet.”
That afternoon they packed their bags and boarded a train to Venice where they spent a couple of days doing the usual tourist things, like riding a gondola trough the Grand Canal, meandering through St. Mark’s Square and touring the Doge’s Palace. The next day they continued on to Venice where they connected to another train to the village of Villach in the Austrian Alps where they were to reside in Schloss Wasserleonburg for the rest of the summer.
As they stepped off the train at midnight, a local children’s choir serenaded them. An attendant handed Wallis a dozen white carnations.
“Oh dear. I didn’t think Joachim would be trailing us like a lost puppy.” She sighed.
“Ribbentrop. This might prove serendipitous. If he contacts you, agree to meet with him.”
Her eyebrow arched. “On our honeymoon?”
David guided her through the crowd to a waiting limousine. “Remember. We must learn what’s on that train. Remember? So do it for the King.”
“The King?” A smirk crossed her face.
“You know, my dippy brother. Bertie.”
That night a lone white carnation arrived at the dinner hour. The note attached was addressed to Wallis:
“Organ concert, 8 p.m. St. Jakob-Kirche.”
She showed the note to David who smiled.
“At least you know he won’t try seduce you in a church.”
“You don’t know Joachim very well, do you?”
When Wallis arrived at the ancient church in downtown Villach, the pipe organ concert had already begun, and classic religious music echoed through the vaulted ceiling. If Ribbentrop didn’t arrive soon, she decided as she settled into a pew in the shadows, she’d return to the castle.
“You know St. Jakob is the oldest Protestant church in Austria,” a voice whispered into her ear from behind her.
“For God’s sake, Joachim,” she muttered, “if you want to talk, at least sit on the same pew with me.”
Ribbentrop wasted no time scooting in next to Wallis. “Did you get my carnations?”
“Yes.” She paused. “The white roses the mayor gave me were beautiful. Your carnations were, after all, just carnations.”
“You drive me insane, my dear.”
“How thrilling, the organ master, I mean.”
“The Fuehrer was indignant the Parliament forced King Edward from the throne because of his support of the Nazi regime.”
She looked at him and furrowed her brow. “I thought David gave up the throne for the woman he loved, and I presumed he meant me. I don’t remember National Socialism coming up in any of our conversations during the abdication.”
“That was what the newspapers said, but the Fuehrer knew better.” Ribbentrop’s breathing was labored.
“Of course, he did.” Irony licked her every word.
“I understand it would be inappropriate for us to spend special time together while you’re here in Villach.”
“Yes, it is my honeymoon.”
“But this October, if you and your husband could visit Germany, perhaps we could carve out a few hours just for the two of us.”
His proposal caught her attention. An extended visit with Adolf Hitler. Wallis, with her extensive knowledge of poisons and long sharp hat pins, could make a valuable contributions to the cause of peace in Great Britain. Of course, she could not appear too interested.
“Germany. In October. All you’ve got to offer me is a month of drinking beer?”
“Yes!” He tried to control his exuberance. “Of course, we cannot make it too obvious. I could use our mutual friend Princess Stephanie to place the idea of inviting the duke and duchess of Windsor for a visit in the mind of her current lover Fritz Weidemann, Herr Hitler’s adjutant. Your husband and the Fuehrer could discuss world peace and the plight of the working man while we discuss us.”
“World peace? That’s the best you can come up with?” Wallis scoffed.
“Don’t dismiss world peace, my dear. War is on the horizon. Germany is preparing.” His tone turned serious. “Even as we listen to this angelic music, munitions are on trains to the furthest corners of Europe. And England and France don’t even know.”
Wallis’s mind immediately went to David’s conversation the day after the wedding about blowing up a train. This was information which MI6 must have. She looked Ribbentrop and fluttered her eye lashes.
“What were you saying? I was distracted by this marvelous concert. He’s playing Mozart, isn’t he?”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty-One

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. MI6 to test him to see if he can be both king and spy.
On the morning of her divorce hearing, a crisp October day in 1936, Wallis could not see anything but the haughty contempt in the eyes of the judge, Sir John Hawke. Crimson and ermine robes and a white judicial wig obscured the rest of his shrunken elderly body. She was not sure he had a mouth or nose except when he sneezed and coughed up nasty clumps of phlegm.
The ordeal began several weeks earlier when news of the divorce broke in newspapers around the world. William Randolph Hearst in particular was interested in any photographs of her hair blown astray, her fingernail disentangling a bit of roast beef in her teeth or of her getting out of an automobile in such a clumsy manner that her dress rose up to her thigh. Wallis, fortunately, had spent years practicing the finer arts of good manners so no pictures of that nature would ever appear in print.
A week before the hearing she took a small cottage in Felixstowe in Suffolk. All the London divorce dockets were filled so she had to look to a country court to finish this business as quickly and as efficiently as possible. David told her the smaller setting would make it easier to control the crowds. Screaming fans tossed flowers at her and newsmen flashed their cameras as Wallis walked out of the cottage that morning. She thought it couldn’t have been worse if she had been in Piccadilly Circus.
Her lawyer, Norman Birkett, tried to guide her through the proceedings as gently as possible. He produced a letter from Mary Raffray declaring her love for Ernest Simpson. Mary, of course, wrote the note at the urging of Ernest, who had conveniently left it on Wallis’ dressing table. Birkett handed it to the judge who blew his nose before reading it.
“I can’t make heads or tails of this,” Judge Hawke grumbled in the style of an irritable old English squire. “I can’t even vouch that this is a woman’s handwriting.”
Birkett quickly presented a typed transcription to the judge who just then had a coughing fit. It was all that Wallis could do not to gag a bit herself. She watched the judge squint at the document.
“What kind of evidence is this?” he demanded. “It’s not even romantic. Why anyone would get excited over this bunch of puffery is beyond me.”
Wallis knew she should have insisted MI6 send an emissary to the judge’s home last night to impress on him the importance to national security to approve the divorce decree. Hell, she muttered to herself, they should have threatened to kill the old bastard.
“After finding that letter,” Birkett continued, “Mrs. Simpson employed a detective agency to follow her husband on a weekend trip to the Hotel de Paris at Bray on the Thames during Ascot week. They observed Mr. Ernest Simpson accepting a breakfast tray from a hotel employee at his room which he shared with a woman who was registered as Buttercup Kennedy but was almost certainly Mary Raffray.“
“You mean to tell me you don’t know if the woman sharing Mr. Simpson’s room was indeed Mary Raffray rather than this Buttercup person?” the judge bellowed.
“Whether the woman was Mary Raffray or Buttercup Kennedy makes no difference,” Birkett countered. “It was not Mrs. Simpson. Mr. Simpson was consorting with a woman who was not his wife.”
Judge Hawke blustered for several minutes without saying much of anything of consequence until Birkett interjected all that was left for the judge to do was issue a decree nisi, divorce with final adjudication in six months.
The old man blew his nose again. “I suppose I must under these unusual circumstances. So you may have it.”
Several reporters accosted Wallis on her way out of court.
“Do you plan on returning to the United States?’
“Why should I? The press there has been atrocious to me.”
“Did you know your first husband Win Spencer was divorced from his second wife?”
“No, and why should I care?”
“He released a statement that he hoped you were happy. He was sorry he could not provide the social life that you wanted. He particularly stressed he wished you all the happiness in the world.”
David relaxed in his favorite chair in front of the fire at Fort Belvedere awaiting the arrival of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. It was the first week of December, and snow was on the ground. Nursing a glass of brandy he thought of the many happy times he had spent at the old place—fixing it up, creating the garden, hosting parties. He tried to remember how many women he had bedded in his boudoir but he couldn’t quite come up with an accurate number.
Baldwin had spent the day with members of Parliament and with David’s mother, brother Bertie and the tweedy types that hovered around them. They were going to make a list of demands and consequences for David if he followed through with his threat to resign and marry Wallis—or, as his mother called her, that adventuress.
He wouldn’t miss the official duties at all. As long as he could have an occasional dinner with his mother Queen Mary and go riding with his brothers, George, Bertie and Harry, all would be fine. He could do without the Duchess of York Elizabeth. He was rather fond of Lillibet and Margaret Rose. David looked around the wood-paneled parlor of Fort Belvedere and smiled. Yes, he had been willing to risk his life on missions for the empire, then enjoyed coming home to the Fort to recuperate.
He heard a knock at the door, and the butler allowed Prime Minister Baldwin to enter and guided him into the parlor. David could not tell by the look on Baldwin’s face how the negotiations had gone. He knew for certain that the prime minister himself was against it. David didn’t care what the old prune-faced gent thought about the situation.
“Would you care for a brandy, Prime Minister?” David asked, as most congenial hosts would have offered.
“No, thank you.”
“Then please have a seat.” He pointed to a comfortable padded armchair across the fireplace from his own.
Baldwin took his time settling in before looking directly into the King’s eyes. “I would be remiss if I did not make one last plea that your majesty to relent in your pursuit of Mrs. Simpson and continue in your duties as our monarch.”
“There are more reasons than I am willing to elucidate at this time why that position is untenable,” David replied, returning eye contact with the prime minister.
“Well then, let us get down to the details. The abdication news will be released tomorrow to all outlets, which are expected to comment editorially. Read them or not, that is your privilege. Your majesty shall prepare a statement to be read on the public airwaves sometime in the next few days. Shortly after that you will sign six copies of the Act of Abdication.”
What the prime minister was saying blurred in his mind. He had no problem with the procedure. He wanted to get back to his life of espionage.
“Now we have the financial situation to consider. You and your brother the Duke of York own Sandringham and Balmoral. Arrangements have been made for the duke to buy them from you. You have considerable income coming from the Duchy of Cornwall which has been invested. However, you have never paid income tax. As a private citizen your tax rate would be seventy-five per cent. The alternative is,” the prime minister hesitated before stating, “that you never live in England again.”
“That wouldn’t be so bad.” David paused to consider the consequences. “Wait a minute. What about Fort Belvedere?”
“Of course, it would go back to being part of the Royal preserve. What the trustees do with it is anyone’s guess.”
David stood and walked around the room. This place had been his refuge for many years. After the abdication, the fort would no longer be his. David took pride in his existential views of life, that nothing much matter, people, castles, friendship, love. But he did love this home. He felt a lump in his throat.
“Very good.” He smiled at Baldwin. “One place is as good as another.” He lied.
The news from England spread to the Bahamas quickly. All the passengers on the ferry from Freeport to Nassau talked about the abdication of King Edward VIII and his move to France to be near his lover Wallis Simpson. Her divorce was finalized in the spring, so everyone expected the couple to marry sometime in the summer of 1937.
Leon sat by himself, puffing on a cigarette of Egyptian tobacco, and listened to but not engaging in the conversation. He wanted to give the impression that he cared nothing about the private lives of the former king of England; but in reality, he was deeply involved with the newly created Duke of Windsor and his lady. He knew for certain the duke was an international spy and his fiancé Mrs. Simpson was surely his accomplice. He spared their lives once on a dock in Corsica, and he wondered how many other times he would compromise his own orders to repay the duke for sparing his life many years ago in Canterbury.
The sun set by the time the ferry arrived in Nassau. Leon looked forward to seeing the blonde card dealer in the casino at the Rialto. When he returned from his walk that morning, Leon took a note from the disheveled plant pot in front of his Eleuthura house. The organization had a new assignment for him. He hoped it was on the other side of the world from the duke and his paramour.
Leon was about to hail a carriage to the Rialto when two men grabbed him and rushed him into a warehouse on the docks. They pushed a burlap sack over his head, shoved him down onto a chair and tied him to it. So this is my end, he thought. So be it. Leon wished he could have lasted another couple of years so his son Sidney would have completed his training and taken his place with the organization. But this was the way of life.
“The organization is not pleased with you.”
Leon recognized the accent to be from the American South although he could not ascertain the exact region from which it came. It was not the earthy drawl of Texas. It did not have the sweet lilt of Mississippi. Nor the soft glide of the Georgian tongue.
“You didn’t complete your mission in Corsica. Are you able to explain why?”
“They moved too fast. I couldn’t get a shot off.” Leon was pleased with himself with his justification, although it was blatantly a lie.
“You would have already been dead, but the organization’s commandant has a high regard for your previous work.”
“I am flattered.”
“You have been given one last chance to vindicate yourself.”
“How generous.”
“The former King of England Edward VIII now known as the Duke of Windsor will marry Wallis Simpson at Chateau de Cande near Tours. A large wooded park surrounds it, so there’s maximum security. However, we have contacts within the staff of Cande’s owner, industrialist Charles Bedaux. We can supply you identification papers to infiltrate the wedding party. Once inside you will assassinate the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.”
Leon gathered his thoughts before he spoke. “Very good. My congratulations to the operative who originated the plan. I have only a few observations.”
“Why kill the couple? Once he abdicated he was of no use to anyone.”
“You know why.” The voice turned sinister. “We know you deliberately chose to spare his life and that of Mrs. Simpson on Corsica. You must prove your loyalty by killing them now.”
“Hmm.” Leon cocked his head. His mind raced. Pooka must have told someone. If he survived this night, he would take pleasure in killing her. But his captors did not need to know his plans. “And why do you think they would allow a black man into the wedding party?”
“You will be dressed as a servant, of course.”
“Does Monsieur Bedaux have other black servants?”
“I—I don’t know.”
“My guess would be no.” Leon hurried on to his last point. “Finally, why put me to a test of loyalty since this is obviously a suicide mission. Simply put a bullet in my head now and let the Duke and Duchess lead their merry, meaningless lives. I mean, you truly don’t believe MI6 will continue to use them as agents now that their cover has been exposed?”
A long silence ensued. Leon had made his point.
“They told me you were smart, very smart it seems.”
“I know.”
“Untie him. Send him on his way. I have to confer with the commandant on how to proceed.”

David, Wallis and the Mercenary Chapter Fifty

Previously: Mercenary Leon fails on a mission because of David, better known as Edward the Prince of Wales. Socialite Wallis Spencer, also a spy, has an affair with German Joachim Von Ribbentrop and marries Ernest. David becomes king. MI6 to test him to see if he can be both king and spy.
Wallis and Ernest sat across from each other at a table covered in white lace in the gardens at Buckingham Palace one humid afternoon in July 1936. David invited them to his first garden party as king in honor of the season’s debutantes. However, he preferred that the Simpsons sit in the back so as to not attract too much attention.
The couple sipped their tea and ate biscuits but did not speak to speak to each other. Wallis thought if she heard Ernest crunch into one more biscuit she would scream. She was about to issue an icy retort but then she noticed the merry glint in his eyes as young ladies passed by in their frilly dresses and flowery hats, and her heart melted. He was such a child at royal events like this. Rather sweet, Wallis conceded.
What a shame she was about to ask for a divorce. It might break his heart; on the other hand, Ernest was involved in a long-distance affair with their friend Mary Raffray in New York. David, who had been king for almost six months, issued an invitation to the both of them to join him on holiday in August along the Dalmatian Coast on the Adriatic Sea. Wallis had visited the western coast in Italy but had never seen the eastern side, which consisted of tiny fishing villages of Croatia. Ernest immediately informed her he could not go because of important business pending in New York. Wallis knew the only pending business he had in New York was to continue his affair with Mary. That thought convinced Wallis that she didn’t care if she broke his heart or not.
“I keep remembering how much fun we had last fall when Mary came back from New York with you,” she said. “It was great seeing her after all this time. She was the one who introduced us. You remember that, don’t you?”
“Of course.”
“Don’t you just love her?”
“Um, I suppose.” He crunched into his biscuit again.
“Ernest darling, we need to tell the truth.” Wallis smiled. “Well, you tell the truth. I’m incapable of telling the truth.” She paused. “I’ll make it easy for you. You just yes or no. Mary Raffray is a beautiful woman, isn’t she?”
“You see her frequently when you’re in New York, which you are, frequently.”
“You two have been copulating like rabbits, right?”
Ernest hesitated before replying, “Yes.”
“Well, do you love her?”
“If you had your way, you’d marry her and live happily ever after.”
“But you won’t stop being my friend, will you?”
“Good.” She sipped her tea. “Now do something I can use as proof of adultery so we can start this divorce going.”
“Anything you say, darling.”
“Pass the biscuits, please.”
By the first week of August at the port of Calais, Wallis boarded the Orient Express train with David and a host of their most intimate friends—Herman and Katherine Rogers, Duff and Lady Diana Cooper, Mrs. Joseph Gwynne, Archie Compston, John Aird, Godfrey Thomas and Tommy Lascelles. Some were old friends of Wallis, like the Rogers and Mrs. Gwynne. Others were friends of David, the Coopers and Compston who was his favorite golfing companion. Aird was David’s new equerry, and Thomas and Lascelles were his private secretaries. The boon companions began drinking as their private car on the Orient Express pulled out of the station so the all the picturesque scenery of Austria and Yugoslavia was a blur to them. They finally arrived at the port of Sibenik, Croatia, where Lady Cunard and Lord and Lady Brownlow joined the party. How the hell were they going to pull off even a minor spy mission baffled Wallis, but she put on a brave smile and played the perfect hostess.
They boarded the large sparkling yacht Nahlin to proceed down the Dalmatian Coast. Most of the time, David toured the Mediterranean on the royal yacht Victoria and Albert but he decided it was too moldy and cramped for this occasion. He chartered the Nahlin which was practically brand new and shinier than the family boat with large awnings, teak decks and wicker tables and chairs.
Local peasants, dressed in their finest native garb, gathered on the pier to wave good-bye. Everyone leaned against the railing to wave back.
“What if one of them was supposed to be our contact?” Wallis whispered to David.
“Too late now, isn’t it? Anyway, Sibenik isn’t officially part of the Dalmation Coast, is it? Frankly, I’m hoping to miss the connection altogether. Being king is beastly, all these people around.” David pointed out to the bay to the Adriatic Sea. “See those two navy ships? They’re the destroyers HMS Grafton and Glowworm, assigned to protect us all the way to Istanbul.”
“How dreadfully unromantic.”
Most of the cruise down the Dalmatian Coast was dreadfully unromantic to Wallis. At this point the rumor mill ground away, wondering if or when the royal lovers would ever announce to the world they planned to marry—to hell with the quaint customs of the English monarchy.
The first morning of the cruise, the Nahlin docked in one of the many sun-drenched coves in the Balkans, and everyone enjoyed breakfast on deck. As was her custom, Wallis never sat during a holiday meal like this. She was too busy making sure everyone was happy.
“Where is that dear sweet husband of yours, Mrs. Simpson?” Compston asked, a wicked smile lurking in the corners of his mouth.
“He’s off tending to his shipping line in New York.” Her tone was light and airy, and she didn’t break stride as she focused on her closest friends, Herman and Katherine Rogers. She slipped into a chair next to Katherine.
“Archie can be such an ass,” her friend whispered. “You know his wife has moved permanently to their seaside cottage in Brighton.”
“Yes. Well.” Wallis exhaled cigarette smoke. “At least he still has his balls to play with.” Across the table Mrs. Joseph Gwynne tittered. Wallis widened her eyes. “His golf balls. He loves to play golf with David. You know, he had to give up soccer because of his health. So his golf balls are the only balls he has left.”
Mrs. Gwynne snickered as Wallis left the table to inquire of Duff, Lady Diana Cooper and Lady Cunard if they were enjoying their breakfast. Before they could reply, David appeared on the deck wearing comfortable sandals, beige shorts and a hairless bronzed chest.
“I don’t think I shall ever become accustomed to seeing an English king sans shirt,” Lady Cunard announced before taking a sip of her Earl Grey tea.
“My dear, if you had seen King Edward or David’s father King George, stripped to the waist, you wouldn’t mind David so much,” Wallis replied and turned to hug David.
Each day began with the same ritual. The entire party strolled down the gangplank and waved to the natives who gathered to greet them. David always led the way, enveloping himself into the crowds, much to the chagrin of his equerry and private secretaries.
“The King must be mad, pressing flesh in such an aggressive manner,” Aird muttered to Wallis.
Wallis sucked in cigarette smoke and exhaled through her nose. “Well, I think he’s more like Hamlet than Richard II. There’s a method to his madness.”
“Huh?” Aird was befuddled.
Wallis walked away and caught up with David to shake as many hands also. Soon both of them disappeared into the crowd. To no avail, she decided, because no peasant-clad native shoved a note or anything else into their hands.
In the afternoons David and Wallis slipped off with Tommy Lascelles to secluded beaches where they could swim and fish without enduring the usual courtier chinwag. But they were never approached by a wandering peasant with a note.
When they reached their final stop on the Dalmatian Coast at the fishing village Cetinje in Croatia, they decided they had missed their contact which was fine with them. They found it inconvenient to be shadowed by two large naval destroyers. After supper with the whole gang, David and Wallis strolled down the plank one last time. They found the village mystical and ethereal after sunset.
“Please remind me never to travel with such an entourage on holiday again,” David announced with a sigh.
“Oh shut up.” She elbowed him. “You grew up around people like this. You enjoy it and don’t deny it.”
David laughed. Wallis surprisingly found herself pleased with his laughter, as though they actually did love each other.
“And what did you grow up around?”
Wallis flicked the cigarette into the dark waters of the Adriatic. “Drunks and hillbillies.”
David laughed again. The streets of Centinje lit up with hundreds of torches. The entourage walked down to the pier where they saw local citizens dressed in their finest attire approaching as they sang their favorite local folk songs. Wallis couldn’t help but put her head on David’s shoulder. It was the first time she had ever shown that much affection towards him, and she didn’t know why.
A peasant man ran toward them, waving a note. By his side was a Catholic cleric. David’s equerry and two secretaries appeared from behind the couple to thwart the oncoming strangers.
“No, no, that’s fine,” David ordered. He smiled and motioned him forward, thinking that this was the message they had been awaiting.
The humble minister spoke. “My parishioner speaks no English so he asked me to write the note for him. I hope you understand.”
David took it from the man who just stood there, as though anticipating a reply. David read it, looked at the man, shook his head and said, “Thank you, but no.”
The peasant walked away, slumped in disappointment against the minister who put his arm around him. David handed the note to Wallis. She read it in the lights from the yacht.
“Don’t marry the skinny old woman. My daughter is young and fully rounded. She can give you many children.”