For All Nails #30: A Copenhagen Welcome to Visitors!
By Henrik Kiertzner
The club was dark and the music was loud. The band, three Jeffersonians (violin, bass and drums) and a German accordionist were noisy, rather than gifted, but the predominantly drunk crowd were indifferent; the swinging beat was sufficient for the purpose, which was to keep the Bright Young Things of Danish society stamping and spinning through the intricate measures of the Calabozo (a dance fad somewhat deplored by the older generation, which stuck to the more sedate and complex dances imported from the Appalachian mountains in the 1950s).
Towards the back of the club, where noise levels were better suited to the over-30s, two figures were closeted together at a small table, set back in a boot. The taller of the two, thirtyish, close-cropped, resplendent in a formal dark blue velvet tailcoat of unistakable Berlin cut, was smoking a pipe, the acrid odours from which strongly suggested that the transatlantic trade in marihuana was in full flow. The shorter was somewhat older, perhaps fifty and wore an immaculate evening suit.
The two remained together for an hour or more before the younger man got up to leave and threaded his way through the crowd to the exit. Pausing to collect his hat and cane from the garderobe, he made his way out into the summer night and set off across the great square towards the New Harbour. Passing through the circle of great elm trees in the centre of the square, he was oblivious to the dark shapes monitoring his progress from behind the columns of the Opera House and was taken completely by surprise when he was bundled into a passing Jensen locomobile.
Simultaneously, the older man, still in the night club, was startled as the light came up and a voice boomed through a portable megaphone, instructing the crowd to leave quietly, adding that this was a police request and that a search would be conducted of all patrons remaining on the premises in two minutes' time. The older man had got up to join the headlong rush for the exit when he felt a restraining hand on his arm.
"I think the Herr Baron would be well advised to remain where he finds himself", murmured a voice in his ear.
"The Herr Baron will doubtless wish us to communicate to his family that he finds himself indisposed and that the Royal Security Service has asked for the Herr Baron's assistance in a matter of some delicacy."
The cold snout of a Krag-Colt automatic against the Danish Foreign Minister's ribs gave a less sophisticated counterpoint to the entirely correct formulation of the speaker's rhetoric.
Some few minutes after the events at "Koketten" and Kongens Nytorv, the hinges of the front door of a middle-class apartment in the Lyngbygade shattered under the hammerblows of two shotguns firing solid slugs. Bulky figures erupted into the flat and fell on the sleeping forms of three men, holding them down while other shapes, clad in full ballistic armour and carrying Krag machine pistols burst through the apartment, clearing each room in turn.
The three rudely awakened figures were trussed with disposable cuffs, gagged and hooded and dragged down to the street and thrown into a steam 'bus, which set off immediately for Kastellet, the headquarters of the Royal Security Service.
- Room 106, Kastellet, 0730
"So, a clean sweep, then?"
"As you say, Oberst Friherr, we have them all. The entire German apparat in the Kingdom is in the cellars or underway there and the Foreign Minister and the others are in solitary cells downstairs as well."
"Good. I shall teleson Amalienborg immediately. His Majesty has asked that he be kept informed."
"His Majesty will no doubt be interested to hear that one of the Germans arrested appears to be called Garcia and is asking to speak to the USM Embassy."
"The poor fellow is no doubt confused. We would hardly disrupt our correct relations with the USM by distracting their embassy with some crazed German impostor. Best we trouble neither the German nor the USM Embassies with these people."
"As you command, Herr Oberst Friherr. We shall commence the usual procedures immediately. We assume firm regime for the Germans and a robust approach to the traitors?"
"By all means, Roberto, by all means."
Forward to FAN #31: Star of Wonder, Star of Light.
Forward to 27 August 1972 (Scandinavia): Ca Ira.
Return to For All Nails.