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Flight of the Fowler - Excerpt 1

Everything was coordinated, in conjunction with the underground organization, code name: The Spider

Escape to the West


Heinrich Himmler wakes up in a hospital bed, doubled over in agony. Dr. Felix Kersten is attending to him.

KERSTEN: Commander, are you all right? Steady your breathing, sir. Try to relax.

HIMMLER (groaning): Please, Doctor, help me, won’t you?

Dr. Kersten takes hold of Himmler’s writhing body and, with his powerfully dexterous hands, begins to skillfully manipulate his stomach area. Eventually, he works his massage therapy magic on Himmler. Slowly, but surely, Himmler’s breathing returns to normal.

HIMMLER (weakly): Your skills never cease to amaze me, my dear doctor. Your hands really are quite miraculous, you know.

KERSTEN (with an embarrassed smile): Yes, of course. So I’ve been told. Then my work here is done for the time being. I’m off to my next patient.

Himmler nods, satisfied, and closes his eyes. The doctor heads for the door.

HIMMLER: Yes, of course you are. Thank you again, Doctor. You are truly an angel of mercy. And I am eternally grateful that you have decided to join our cause, after all.

Kersten stops and turns back toward Himmler.

KERSTEN: Join you? What on Earth are you talking about? Why would I ever do that?

HIMMLER (mumbling deliriously): South America … is so beautiful this time of year, don’t you think?

Himmler lies very still, sprawled out on the bed, eyes shut, his breathing heavy and methodical. Puzzled, Kersten turns and exits.


Himmler’s secretary, Lt. Rudolph Brandt, meets Dr. Kersten as he comes out.

BRANDT: Hello, Doctor. I trust everything went well. How’s the boss?

KERSTEN: He’s asleep or passed out. Either way, he’s talking crazy again.

BRANDT: What was he saying this time?

KERSTEN: He was thanking me for joining his cause. Can you imagine such rubbish?

BRANDT: Hmmm. That is odd. Anything else?

KERSTEN: Something about the weather in South America this time of year. Do you have any idea what he could have been referring to?

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Brandt shakes his head innocently.

BRANDT: No, I’m afraid not, Doctor.

KERSTEN: Well, call me if his condition worsens. In the meantime, keep an eye on him. I’ll talk to you later. I have a house call with an adorable brunette, and I certainly do not want to be late for that.

BRANDT (smiling): Of course, I understand, Doctor. Thank you. I will keep you informed.

Kersten turns and walks away. Brandt enters Himmler’s room.


Brandt finds Himmler beginning to stir on his hospital bed.

BRANDT: How are you, sir? Awake yet?

Slowly opening his eyes, Himmler focuses on his hovering vistor.

HIMMLER: Still groggy, I guess. I am still feeling very disoriented, out of sorts.

BRANDT: Oh? How do you mean?

HIMMLER: One moment I am doing one thing, and the next moment, I am somewhere else, doing something altogether different.

BRANDT: Sounds like you’re describing a dream.

HIMMLER: A nightmare, if you ask me.

BRANDT: What was the last thing you remember?

HIMMLER: I remember thinking about the weather in South America. I was curious what the weather was like this time of year. That, and wondering what my wife and daughter are doing, now that the Russians are raping and pillaging our beloved Berlin.

BRANDT (trying to remain analytical): That’s normal. You’ve been planning your escape to South America for so long now it’s only natural that you dream about going there.

Abruptly, Himmler sits up in his bed.

HIMMLER (puzzled): But wait! Kruger told me that the switch had already been made. I thought the procedure was successful, was it not? The transfer was made, correct?

BRANDT: Relax, sir. Please, lie back down. You need your rest. You’ve been under a great deal of stress lately. Dr. Kersten says you’re simply working yourself into nervous exhaustion. He insists that I see to it that you rest. What good is escaping with your freedom, if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it?

HIMMLER: Yes, Brandt, you are right. What am I thinking? I have got to try and relax.

BRANDT: That’s all right, sir. The experiments with the knockout drops are obviously beginning to effect your mind. Remember, the drug retards normal physiological function, thereby creating the illusion that the subject is no longer breathing. So the drug has been known to effect normal thought processes, too. You’re still disoriented, that’s all. It’s just a side effect of the drug. Remember?

Confused, Himmler looks up at his secretary.

HIMMLER: No, no, no. I do not remember.

BRANDT: Just try to relax, Commander. The effects will subside eventually.

HIMMLER: How long?

BRANDT: Usually no more than fifteen, twenty minutes after you come out of your rehearsal phase.

HIMMLER: My rehearsal phase?

BRANDT: Yes, sir, your practice sessions, your dry runs.

Himmler squints as he searches his mind, still unclear.

BRANDT (CONT’D): You know, Commander, your rehearsals for your escape to South America. You will be one of the first to be transported, followed by the others later. Everything is being strictly coordinated, by you, in conjunction with all necessary personnel of the S.S.’s secret underground organization, code name … The Spider.

HIMMLER: Yes, yes, I remember, of course. These God-awful experiments are beginning to annoy me, Brandt.

BRANDT: You said yourself you wanted to be damn sure that the drug worked with your … unique physiology.

HIMMLER: Yes, yes, I remember what I said. And now I am convinced. We have had enough tests. The drug works. Time to move on to the final phase of our operation.

BRANDT: As you wish, Commander.

So ends this Excerpt of FLIGHT OF THE FOWLER. To read more, please click on one of the following links:

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