Gaijin by Marc Olden

By Marc Olden

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The farm was in a shallow valley lush with pine and linden trees and within sight of the snow-capped French Alps. It belonged to Peter Schulman, a Swiss-German who was an ardent admirer of Heinrich Himmler. A few minutes in Schulman’s chalet was time enough for Alexis to pick out the barrel-chested farmer’s most prized possession. It was a framed and prominently displayed photograph of himself and Himmler taken twenty-three years ago at a Munich costume ball. ” Schulman, in turban and black face, and a step behind, had come as Himmler’s slave.

We’re heading for certain victory, the OSS told Alexis. What we want to do is speed it up. Eliminating de Jongh is one way of doing that. Someone has to go to Switzerland, someone who knows de Jongh, his ciphers, and who speaks Japanese and German. Alexis would be given some OSS training, but not much. No time for that. Then she’d be flown to London to familiarize herself with America’s operations in Switzerland. In London she’d also touch base with the British taking part in this mission. A joint Anglo- American team would listen in on de Jongh’s code and after that the British would try to take him prisoner.

For a long time, she sat on the edge of his bed and stared east over the dew-slicked rain forest. Toward Japan. * * * Alexis Gladys Bendor was sixty-three, an exceptionally tall woman with a sharp watchful face, gray eyes, and dyed blond hair held in place by a headband she had braided out of Jade vines. In the July heat she wore a cutoff gray sweatshirt, white shorts, running shoes, and a pedometer strapped to her thigh for an exact record of her daily mileage. She had lived in Hawaii thirty years, was a widow, and owned a bookstore in a Waikiki shopping center.

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