Miss Spiteful's War
The New Recruit
Enslaved In Skirts
Ingrid and Fate
The Italian Job
The High-Heeled Contessa
Rolling With Pain
The Spy Who Never Was
Ingrid's First Date
For The Love Of Willi
Dressing For Work
The Colonel And The Nurse
Reinhardt The Rampant
The Bomb Under The Bed
Against The Clock
The Bomb Plot
Gunfight At The OKH
Up Against The Wall
City Under Fire
The End Of The Unit
The Toad Triumphs
Kill Miss Spiteful
Miss Spiteful's Revenge
Last Exit From Berlin
The Name Of The Goddess
The Dominafuhrer 1952
Miss Spiteful's Gold
The Stories of Yvonne Sinclair
The Sacred Feminine
The Story Of T
The Weight Loss
A Caning By Miss Spiteful
Always On The Bare
A Visit To Greenwich
At My Lady's Pleasure
Ball Shackle Story
I Met Claire In A Coffee Shop
Long Weekend Conclusion
Robin's Electrical Torture
Slave To The Cane
The Escape Artist
The Huntress Caning
The Language School
The Worm's View
The Bossy Bank Women
Episode 4 - Walter's Enigma
I had finished typing and was contemplating all this as I smoked a cigarette when the door opened and a stocky man in his mid thirties with a crumpled face and wavy black hair walked in.
“Spiteful!” He called out and my Mistress looked up from her desk, giving him one of her lovely smiles that lit up her whole face.
“Walter, you scoundrel.” She replied. “Come in, sit down and don’t touch anything.” Walter Schellenberg laughed, flopped into a chair, dropping his briefcase alongside it and reached into the pocket of his civilian jacket for his cigarettes and a lighter. Once he had lit one up and exhaled a plume of blue smoke, he gave his surroundings, including the mess on the floor, a long appraising look.
“So this is your famous dungeon. I’ve heard a lot about it. Not quite like the old days?”
Miss Spiteful laughed. “Yes, I always dreamed of having my own big, well equipped dungeon but I never thought that one day I would have a real one, let alone four of them. And, not so much of the old! It’s not that many years since I was a novice and a young SS lawyer came to Berlin and looked for a bit of discipline.”
They laughed together but I had the feeling that I was watching a sparring match with the two protagonists probing for each other’s weaknesses. When he realised that Miss Spiteful was not going to give him an opening he leant towards the desk and picked up my latest typewritten report.
“Is this more from our NKVD friend?” He asked and Miss Spiteful nodded. He slouched back in his chair and flipped through the pages, idly flicking his cigarette ash onto the floor. When Miss Spiteful pushed an ashtray towards him, he feigned not to notice.
“This is excellent, Spiteful!” he exclaimed. “All good stuff. We knew the Ivans had spy rings here in Germany but we didn’t realise how much information they were sending back. We will have to try harder to root them out. As you well know, no one here wants to believe it, even when they are presented with evidence like this. I’m afraid that Himmler still disapproves of you but, now that you’re no longer a secret, he will find it harder to shut you down.”
Miss Spiteful’s lips tightened as she nodded her head. I had already heard her views on the Nazi political and military hierarchy and how little regard some of them had for her and the intelligence that she provided.
Schellenberg continued reading. “This bit about a Russian source in Tokyo will be passed on to the Kempai-Tai. There cannot be that many there with access to our secrets, and there are these references to a terrible secret at Katyn. Do you know what he meant?”
Miss Spiteful shrugged. “He babbled a lot. Not all of it made sense and it was all in Russian.”
“Ach ja!” Schellenberg suddenly turned as if he had noticed me sitting on the sofa for the first time. “And this must be the lovely Ingrid that I’ve heard so much about.” He winked and flashed me a toothy smile. “May I say how excellent your Russian is. I’ve seen some of your work before and had it checked out by my own people and, apart from some obscure words and minor differences over grammar, it is very good.” I realised that he was eyeing my crossed and nyloned legs and, catching Miss Spiteful’s warning stare, just blushed and drew my skirt forward over my knees without replying.
Schellenberg laughed and tossed the report back onto the desk as he dropped his cigarette end on the floor. “I’ll get my copy tomorrow but, for the moment, I have an urgent and very secret job for you.”
“Can’t it wait?” Miss Spiteful asked, looking at her clock. “It’s been three very long days and young girls like myself need our beauty sleep.”
Schellenberg’s face suddenly turned serious. “No Spiteful, I need it done tonight before questions get asked.”
“What have you done, Walter?” Miss Spiteful’s voice rose and she glanced at the dungeon door as if she expected some avenging pursuers to burst through it. “Don’t involve me in any of your dangerous schemes.”
“Nein, nein!” Schellenberg waved a hand, which had a freshly lit cigarette in it. “This is top secret but it is only diplomatically embarrassing.” Miss Spiteful raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
“What it is, my dear.” He suddenly stopped and jerked his head at me.
“Ingrid has my full confidence.” Miss Spiteful sniffed. “She knows the importance of keeping secrets and the consequences of talking too much.”
Schellenberg pulled a face and sighed. “Very well. You know about our Schlusselmaschines?”
Miss Spiteful nodded and I almost snorted in derision. Of course I knew about our secret coding machines. As a Staff Officer, I could take one apart, reassemble it and could code and decode messages on it. Which, I was willing to bet, was more than he had ever done.
“Basically,” he continued. “It’s a secure system that uses rotors and plugs, set up in a certain way, to send messages that can only be decoded on another machine set up in the same way. There are millions of combinations and, to anyone else, it is just gibberish. The code is impossible to crack, or so we are led to believe. The Armed Services and the Foreign Ministry have used them, albeit with different rotors and daily code settings, since the twenties without any problems. We know the Poles and the French were sniffing around before the war and, when we got into Warsaw and Paris, we tore the places apart looking for any evidence that they had been reading our signals. We found nothing.”
He was going to drop his cigarette end on the floor again but caught the look in Miss Spiteful’s eye and stubbed it out in the ashtray.
“But, strange things started to happen. The British Spitfires knew when our Bombers were coming over the Channel in nineteen forty. We only captured Crete by the skin of our teeth because the British were waiting on the landing fields. Only yesterday, your prisoner said that Churchill had warned Stalin personally that we were going to invade Russia. We are losing too many U-Boats in the Atlantic and not finding enough convoys. The Italian convoys to North Africa are being intercepted and sunk too many times to be a coincidence. Individually, all these can be explained away by better British Radar, Radio Direction Finding, Aerial Reconnaissance, Spies and Traitors. But, put them all together and I get very suspicious. After all, we’ve been reading the British Naval and Mercantile codes on and off since the war began. We know the composition, cargoes, destination, route and escort strength of every British convoy as soon as it leaves harbour. If we are doing that to them, have the Tommies broken our codes as they did in the last war? I don’t know, and I need to be sure.”
He tapped his fingers nervously on the edge of Miss Spiteful’s desk but she remained silent.
“Then we got proof, we think.” He chewed his lower lip before speaking again. “Two weeks ago, Rommel launched his big offensive for Suez at Alam Halfa, aiming to break through the British line south of Alamein. He found that the new General, Montgomery, had blocked every line of attack. Eventually, Rommel had to call off the battle because he could not advance and he had run out of fuel and ammunition, all his reserves having been sent to the bottom of the Mediterranean. Well, we have a very good espionage network in Egypt and we soon found out that the Tommies knew Rommel’s battle plan in advance. How? Have they broken our codes or was he betrayed? Look at our convoys. We vary the routes, the number of ships and escorts. We’ve flattened Malta and yet, the supply ships are still being found and attacked. There is now a strong body of opinion that our codes are no longer secure.”
He shook his head and lifted his briefcase on to his knees. “As you well know, everyone in this city is frightened to give the Fuhrer bad news until every alternative has been eliminated and they have now reached the point that they must tell him that our codes might be compromised. However, I might have found another explanation and I need it checked out quickly.”
To continue this story, click The Italian Job