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Byline: The Element of Water by Stevie Davies

SAME look. Same lad. They all envied her this perfect child, with a sprinkle of freckles over his nose, his milky innocence.

Paul saw his killing duties as the necessary dark side of his mission to procreate. Get rid of the trash; replace it with perfect SS specimens. Lovely inseminations of his loins, ejaculations of blondness.

'I'm going to have a son,' he crooned. 'A son.' 'How do you know it's a boy?' 'Got to be. A man knows. Didn't you know, Quantz? With your Wolfi? There's nothing like it, is there, absolutely nothing in this world?' Tears in his eyes. 'It all fits together, Quantz. Those criminals being cleared away and our tiny baby coming to take their place.' Paul got a daughter. Michael commiserated: 'Better luck next time.' But the fellow was besotted. 'No, no, I wouldn't swap my little one for anything in the world,' he raved. 'Come and see her, Michael. I wish you would. She has the most ravishing violet eyes.' He mentioned that they had thoughtfully returned the ashes of their executed Party comrades to their womenfolk in pasteboard cartons.

*** MICHAEL would have lost track of Paul, had it not been for the Little Admiral. At Intelligence HQ at Tirpitz-Ufer, aghast briefings in the sanctum sanctorum of Canaris' office voiced what was hushed up outside.

'I hear you have a pal in the SS, Quantz.' The admiral sat behind his desk, looking less than legendary. Michael was conscious of the scruffiness of his chief, his roundshouldered unmilitary bearing.

'You must mean Paul Dahl, sir. I'm not sure if I'd care to call him a friend, exactly. We were close as boys.' 'Uh-huh. Still ...' Across the sleek, dark wood of the desk sailed a scale model of the light cruiser Dresden. A trio of bronze monkeys, picked up on Canaris' exotic Japanese excursion, conveyed the triple injunction: see all, hear all, say nothing.

> The Element of Water by Stevie Davies is published by Parthian in the Library of Wales series CONTINUES TOMORROW

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 24, 2019
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