Miss Spiteful's War
The Dominafuhrer 1952
Miss Spiteful's Gold
Give My Regards To Bremen
Storm Takes A Bow
Two Long Winters
Bonnie Ingrid Of The Argylls
A Soldier's Wife For Me
What Became Of The Lively Ladies?
Castanelli Meets The Order
Kelly From Calgary
Three On The Bed
Solace For Solitaire
The Early Morning Tease Maid
The Chevvy With The Fritz On Top
J Edgar Hoovering
Signals From The Past
Gold In The Grave
Morning In Manhattan
Six Hatch A Plan
Back To Berlin
Two Little Girls From School Are We
Spoiling Miss Spiteful
The Taming Of The Slave
Kaffee At KaDeWe
Sugar's Stroll In The Park
The Checkpoint Chorus
The GDR People's Silvery Moon
Into The Tomb
The Festival Is Over
The Stasi At Night
Old Photographs Never Lie
A Fair Exchange For Freedom
The Night Porter
Surgery En Suite
A Stiffie For Sapphire
The Torturous Twins
A Stilletto Up The Back
News From The East
We're Going To Wedding
Down In The Dungeon
Nappies, Knots and Needles
Walkies With Alfred
Black Marcius For Miss Spiteful
The Return Of The Dominant 7
Grab Your Knickers And Run
Vive La France
Showdown With Seraph
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 19 - Back To Berlin
Sugar was waiting for us as we staggered through the arrivals gate at Berlin's Tegel airport. She looked as beautiful as ever, her golden skin glowing under the terminal lights and her statuesque body outlined in a calf length, halter necked, orange dress.
We however did not look our best. For four of us, it had been our second long flight in just over seventy-two hours and, apart from Miss Spiteful, none of us had slept well on the twelve hour transatlantic flight or the final short hop from Frankfurt.
Sugar's smile broadened as she greeted us in German.
"Well, the German Cows have finally come home."
"Hello Sugar," Miss Spiteful kissed her on one cheek and took hold of one of her hands, turning it over to look at the paler skin of the palm. "I see that you still haven't managed to scrub yourself white."
"Still the evil German bitch," Sugar responded. "And I see that you've been at the Swiss Chocolate." Sapphire gave Sugar one of her sad smiles as they embraced.
"Thank you again for coming to the funeral," Sapphire said as she reached up to touch Sugar's face. "I couldn't have got through it without you being there."
They hugged once more and then Sugar turned to Stiletto and Solitaire.
"Well, here's double trouble. General Hodges is still wondering why the advance of the US First Army was stalled for two days when you passed through their lines."
The pair giggled before throwing their arms around Sugar and kissing her. When it was my turn, her wandering eye glistened as she took my face in her hands.
"Hello Honey, You look so happy. Has that Scotsman of yours recovered from his wounds?"
My own eyes were wet with tears and Sugar gave me a kiss on the lips.
"And who are you?" Sugar addressed Kelly, who had been standing back, chewing gum.
"I'm Kelly," she replied laconically in English. "I'm just the slave."
Sugar gave her a shrewd look with her good eye. "Lighten up Honey," she advised. "Just looking good won't earn you a living unless you want to spend it bending over all the time."
Kelly looked as if she had been smacked in the mouth and I saw the corner of Miss Spiteful's lips twitch.
Kelly said nothing more as she collected our luggage, loaded it into the large limousine that Sugar had hired, and then slipped behind the steering wheel. Sugar gave her directions to the car park exit and the signs to follow to get to the hotel on the Kurfurstendam that we would be staying in.
Our excited chatter at meeting Sugar and being back in Berlin soon lapsed into stunned silence as we saw what had happened to the city that we loved.
Most of the devastation and rubble had been cleared away into Trummerberges, now overgrown, or removed altogether but great gaps remained where we could remember buildings had once stood. It was particularly sad in Charlottenberg, a suburb known for it's elegant houses.
New buildings were going up, the streets were full of people and vehicles and the shops and cafes were open and busy but, for us, something had changed forever.
It was particularly hard on Sapphire, who had been born and brought up in Berlin, and whose fleeting visit last year had not given her the opportunity to look around.
I was all right until, just as I was lighting a cigarette for Kelly, I saw a sign for the Tiergarten, near to where my lover Reinhard had had his apartment. I began to cry and Kelly put a comforting hand on my thigh, although she had the sense to stay silent.
Our hotel had had its wartime damage repaired but Miss Spiteful bemoaned the loss of her favourite, the Adlon.
"A much better class of people there," she sniffed as she looked around the lobby.
The hotel was quite busy as American and British servicemen mixed with visitors for the Festivals and people in white tennis clothes, waiting on the couches and in the bar for transport to the Berlin Women’s Open Tennis Tournament. The most striking thing for us was the widespread use of the English language in the heart of Germany's biggest city.
We registered, collected our keys and headed for our rooms to change out of our crumpled travelling clothes and refresh ourselves with a shower.
Two hours later we held a planning conference over room service refreshments in Miss Spiteful's bedroom. She began by recounting to Sugar all that had happened to bring us to Berlin and then asked her to report on what preparations she had been able to make.
"Did you have any problems getting the US Army truck and uniforms?"
Sugar lit a cigarette and waved a hand dismissively.
"None at all, I spoke to my contact in Bremen and all he wanted to know was where did I want them delivered to in Berlin. He says that he is going into the car rental business back in the States when his enlistment is up."
"And somewhere to store them?" Miss Spiteful made a couple of ticks on the list in front of her.
"A garage and workshop near the Bahnhof Zoo, rented for seven days," Sugar confirmed.
"What about the castings?"
Sugar frowned as she considered her answer. "I got the photographs and the specifications from Zurich by courier this morning and took them along to Erich. He said that they will not be a problem but, to make sure that they pass inspection, the bars will not be ready until tomorrow afternoon. I can pick up them up then and store them in our workshop. The trouble is that while I was there, his friend Rudi Tollwag appeared and immediately guessed that you were in town. He wants to talk to you."
"Verdammt!" Miss Spiteful threw her pen down. "Rudi's got a mouth as big as the North - South tunnel. The whole of Berlin will know that we are here."
I had opened my mouth to ask a question when Miss Spiteful caught my eye.
"Later please, Storm," she instructed. "Suffice to say that I have considered all the risks that this enterprise entails and, as you well know, I believe in having insurance against every eventually. We could be in danger from the Berlin Underworld and the Allies as well as the Nazis and the Communists. When I let you all know my plan in a little while, I will also explain what contingency measures I have put in place."
I closed my mouth and she went back to her list.
"What about the names that I gave you?"
Sugar shook her head. "I'm leaving those to you and Sapphire. There's a couple of characters on that list that even the Nazis left alone and I wouldn't know what to tell the CIA man. Tall tales are your department."
Miss Spiteful pulled a face as she scribbled a note instead of a tick.
"I'm afraid that we are going to need help to get the gold out of Berlin and only these people have the contacts to arrange it. The CIA name came from J Edgar Hoover and will only be contacted in an emergency. Costumes and invitations?"
Sugar looked strangely nervous and her wandering eye flicked from side to side. "I had a bit of trouble with the costumes. There wasn't a lot of choice for six of one kind at such short notice and I had to take a chance. No problem with the tickets though. When I went to the Organiser's office on the Unter Den Linden, they practically threw their arms around me when they saw my face. Of course they were disappointed when I told them that you wouldn't be doing anti-slavery Negro spirituals but, to fit in with the costumes, I've put you down as English anti-capitalist madrigal singers."
She dropped some printed tickets onto the little coffee table but Miss Spiteful ignored them as she made another tick on her list.
"We don't have to sing do we?" Sapphire asked.
"No," Sugar replied. ""You were too late to enter the competition. These tickets are for an impromptu demonstration in one of the side tents. You just turn up and wait in a line to perform."
I noticed a mischievous glint in her good eye.
"Your costumes are in my room. I'll let you have the boxes later."
"Torches? Cases?" Miss Spiteful carried on.
"Six flashlights and two trunks in the garage." Sugar responded.
"That's the lot, then." Miss Spiteful put her list down, spread a map of Berlin across the table and produced a pad of closely written notes. For the next half an hour, she told us her plan and we sat enthralled as she took us through it step by step, including her contingency measures, as she called them, if anything went wrong. When she had finished, she crossed her long elegant legs and sat back in her chair.
"How are we going to get into the tomb?" Solitaire asked. "From Sapphire's drawing, it looks very solid."
"Von Kreps did it with two prisoners of war," Miss Spiteful replied. "I can't imagine him doing too much physical work and the Unteroffizier was probably holding a gun on the POWs. There will be six of us. That should be enough to break in and move the gold out. But you are right. It is the one thing that we cannot check out until we get there."
"Won't we need tools?" Solitaire persisted.
"Sapphire says that it is a construction site now. That means builders, stonemasons and gardeners. They must leave their tools there overnight. All we will need is a set of bolt cutters for any locks or chains. We can buy one tomorrow." Miss Spiteful made a note on her pad. "Anyone else?"
"There is one thing that has been really bothering me," Sapphire's voice dropped as if she was afraid of being overheard. "Who was that second message from Von Kreps addressed to? It had to be someone who had grown up in Berlin, knew and hated us all, particularly you, and had access to SS communications."
"Could it have been Walter Schellenberg?" I asked, but Miss Spiteful shook her head.
"No, Walter was a Rhinelander and he wouldn't have been in league with Von Kreps." Miss Spiteful reached out and put her hand on Sapphire's arm before she could speak again.
"We do not need to worry about that now. We have more important matters to get on with."
She looked at her wrist watch.
"I suggest that we have dinner in the hotel restaurant and then have an early night. Tomorrow morning, Sugar and Kelly can do a reconnaissance of the Volkspark while Sapphire and I go and meet some very shady characters. The other three can pretend to be tourists or shoppers. That shouldn't be too difficult for you."
Just as we were emerging from our bedrooms to go down for our evening meal, Sugar came along the corridor and handed everyone a cardboard box which no one had time to open because she said that she was hungry and wanted to eat.
Later, we sat together in the hotel lounge, digesting our meal and enjoying our coffee and brandies. Kelly had realised just how much she could learn from Sugar and was questioning her on every aspect of the craft that we followed. Finally she raised the subject that had brought us to Berlin.
"When we get the gold, what will you do with your share of the money?"
Sugar wrinkled her long nose and hugged her knees as she considered her answer.
"I'm going to buy a club or a bar in Amsterdam. If I can get one now while property is cheap, I could make a fortune from English and German tourists. Travel is getting faster and people have more money to spend. Then I shall find a handsome Dutchman to marry."
"Why leave Germany and why do you want to marry a Dutchman?" Miss Spiteful wore her wicked grin as she asked the question.
Sugar rose to the challenge.
"Because I am still a Schwarzer here and I hate being made love to in German. It's a horrible language. No matter how tender the sentiments, it still sounds like the man is commanding a parade or clearing his throat. Didn't someone once say that he made love in French and only spoke German to his horse?"
We all laughed and looked to Miss Spiteful for her witty response but she was frowning as she gazed into the middle distance.
"I'll be frank. I need the money. I don't know about the rest of you but I have spent everything that I took out of Germany in 'forty-five. To attract my clients, I have to maintain an extravagant lifestyle and funding this little adventure has virtually wiped out my bank account."
She smiled wistfully and nodded to Stiletto to continue.
"I need the money as well," Stiletto said emphatically. "Argentina is in a mess under Peron. Inflation out of control and, to stay in power, he is giving the Unions everything that they ask for. I'll put the money in a New York or Swiss bank and give Antonio the choice of leaving the country with me to make a fresh start elsewhere or staying there on his own."
Solitaire immediately spoke up
"Well, I've had enough of my husband. I shall pay off the mortgage on the farm, fund good educations for my children and then move out to Cape Town. I shall buy an apartment there and go back into business. Hendrick can have his cattle and his black girls and I will be able to live with whoever I want to join me if they care to!"
She gave Stiletto a challenging stare and there was an embarrassing silence until I broke it.
"David doesn't want to leave the Army yet. We should know soon whether he is going to get his promotion to major or if he will be ‘bowler hatted’ as a captain. If he does not get it we will have to consider what else we can do. We have both thought about taking degrees and I would love to teach languages or history. Money would put off any worries about the future. We have talked about adopting children but I have to do something about this first."
I pointed in the general direction of my lap and my hidden male genitalia.
"Same here," Kelly interjected. "I'm going to find a surgeon who can give me the best damn pussy in the world!"
We laughed and all raised our glasses to toast 'Storm's and Kelly's new pussies'. Sapphire, however, seemed very distracted and Miss Spiteful gave her a playful prod.
"I suppose that you are going to invest in tennis lessons?"
We had all noticed that Sapphire had kept glancing at a nearby group of female tennis players from the tennis tournament and, in particular, a tall, leggy ash blonde in her mid twenties with strong but handsome features. She was not unaware of Sapphire's interest and, although she was talking to her companions, her eyes kept meeting those of our friend.
Sapphire sighed and turned back to us.
"Ach! I could do with the money as well. Living in Switzerland is not cheap, Bibi's medical bills were expensive and I haven't had the heart to do much work for the last couple of years."
Suddenly, her eyes twinkled in a way that none of us had seen since we had met up in New York.
"Still, you never know what will turn up."
Miss Spiteful signalled for the waiter to bring the bill.
Well, I'm off to bed," she announced. "Is everyone else going?"
Sapphire held up her half-empty glass.
"I'll stay and finish this."
A few minutes later, as we waited in the lobby for the lift, we could look into the lounge and see that the Ash-Blonde was sitting in the armchair next to Sapphire and the waiter was standing alongside them, noting down a new drinks order on his pad.
To continue this story, click Two Little Girls From School Are We