Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Robert Hogan, Louis LeBeau, James Ivan Kinchloe, Peter Newkirk, Andrew Carter, Martin Burger/Anna Braun, Wilhelm Klink, Wolfgang Hochstetter, Marcus Kringle, Johann Schingelheimer
Fandom: Hogan’s Heroes
Genres: Angst, Drama, Mystery
Rating (this chapter): G
Warnings: Major character deaths; Descriptions of strangulations
Summary: Hogan and his men encounter the Hammelburg Strangler.
Chapter Summary: A dinner in Klink’s quarters ends unexpectedly.
Date Of Completion: November 25, 2015
Date Of Posting: March 3, 2016
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Paramount does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1412
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
All chapters can be found here.
DINNER AT KLINK’S
George "Matches" Macklin
The Boston Lantern
“So what’s on the menu for Klink’s dinner tonight, LeBeau?” asked Hogan as he looked at his reflection in the mirror over the barracks sink.
“Oh, some vichysoisse, beef bourguignon, green beans almondine, and mashed turnips with butter.” LeBeau stirred the pot of stew on the stove for their lunch.
“All very French except for the mashed turnips?”
“It’s what I could get in town. Don’t worry, the turnips taste great, especially with melted butter.”
“Okay, no funny business with the meal. Remember, I’m one of the diners this time.”
“Klink’s really bucking for that general’s stripe.” Kinch laid out a card as he played solitaire.
“Yeah, and he thinks Martin Burger is his golden ticket,” said Newkirk as he blew a puff of smoke from his cigarette. Both men were sitting at the common table while Carter darned a sock at his bunk.
“Well, Klink having Burger to dinner again helps us. Maybe I can get a clue as to what he’s up to at his factory in Rindelsgard.” Hogan smoothed his hair.
“Must be important stuff if he’s hanging around this burg.” Newkirk tapped a card but Kinch ignored him.
“Top secret, indeedy.” Hogan poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot on the stove. “Good thing Klink’s got a decent wine cellar.” He sat down at the table.
“For you to loosen Burger’s tongue?” asked Kinch with a smile.
“Both.” Hogan closed his eyes. “I just got hit with this tremendous craving for a hamburger.”
“Me, too.” Kinch grinned.
“A hamburger? Americans!” LeBeau brandished his spoon at Kinch and Hogan. “You would prefer a piece of ground beef between two pieces of bread to my beef bourguignon?”
Kinch said, “Yeah, but a burger covered with lettuce, tomatoes…”
“…mustard and onions,” Hogan continued as he opened his eyes.
“And mustard!” Carter chimed in.
“Pickles. Must have pickles,” Hogan declared.
“All with a side of fries. French, of course,” Kinch said as he smiled at a fuming LeBeau. “With a healthy dose of ketchup.”
“And if you’re eating Canadian-style, vinegar for those fries,” Hogan supplied.
The men of Barracks 2 laughed at LeBeau’s outrage.
Hogan sipped the wine that Newkirk had just poured into his glass. The meal had been up to LeBeau’s usual high standards. He was looking forward to dessert.
Martin Burger had been a pleasant dinner guest, and his girlfriend Anna Braun was even more pleasant in manner and looks. Klink kept clumsily dropping hints about Burger putting in a good word to the Fuehrer for him to the point where embarrassment warred with pity in Hogan’s perception. Some people simply were socially awkward, he thought. He was grateful that after his adolescent years, he had not suffered from such an affliction.
“Another excellent dinner, Klink,” said Burger. “Anna dear, you must get the recipes.”
She laughed. “For our cook, ja?” She smiled at Hogan. “I have no cooking ability whatsoever.”
Honey, you don’t need it.
Hogan smiled pleasantly. Anna Braun was a beautiful woman, and he was happy to share the meal with her.
Newkirk brought out dessert, and Hogan enjoyed the chocolate cake. His sweet tooth silently thanked LeBeau.
The telephone rang and Schultz came out of the kitchen to answer it. “Kommandant Klink’s quarters. Ja.” Schultz turned to Klink. “Kommandant, Corporal Langenscheidt wishes to speak to you.”
“Excuse me.” Klink rose from the table and took the phone from Schultz. “Colonel Klink here. What is it, Corporal?” His eyes widened.
Hogan marveled at the ability of the Kommandant to keep his monocle from falling out.
“Herr Burger, what do you think of American factory production?” Hogan’s curiosity was genuine. It was always enlightening to see how others saw his country.
“I see it as quite efficient, Colonel.” Burger put his fork down. “Your Henry Ford, for example, mastered the art of the assembly line and became rich. Little wonder that his factory could convert to aircraft bombers.”
“True.” Hogan took another bite of cake.
“Of course, once we conquer America, it will be even more efficient.”
Hogan kept a polite smile on his face. Never let them see how rankled you are. He sipped his wine.
“You might find Americans to be a bit more rebellious than your average German. We aren’t much for dictatorial authority.”
Burger smiled. “Yet your people have fallen into line with the Roosevelt war machine.”
“Well, yeah, after Pearl Harbor our people were galvanized. By the way, thank your buddy Hitler for declaring war on us so quickly. Our people wanted revenge on the Japanese and would have ignored Germany until it was too late. Presto, the Fuehrer did the job for FDR, solving his dilemma of how to get the American people to focus on Germany after December 7th.”
Burger’s smile was strained. “Perhaps you think it is a mistake, Colonel Hogan, but we Germans are not afraid of a fight.”
“Neither are we, Herr Burger, but we prefer to be smart about how many countries we take on at one time.”
“You are fighting a two-front war, just as we are.” Burger sounded huffy.
“Yes, but it was thrust upon us. Still, maybe it’s for the best. We will end this war.”
“All by yourselves?”
“With our allies.” Hogan sipped his wine again. “Considering you’ve started the last two world wars, it’s the least we can do.”
Burger was about to retort when Klink came back to the table. “Most unusual.”
“What, Colonel?” asked Anna as she tried to defuse the situation.
“The front gate reports that Major Hochstetter of the Gestapo drove into camp.”
“That’s not so unusual, sir,” said Hogan. Unfortunately.
“But he was followed by the local police.”
“Hmm, well, I guess we’ll find out any minute.”
Hogan’s prediction came true as thirty seconds later, Hochstetter burst into Klink’s quarters. The Gestapo did not believe in knocking, Hogan thought wryly. He drank more wine, trying to keep his nerves steady.
“Major Hochstetter, how may I help you?” Klink asked nervously as he stood.
Hochstetter stopped as Marcus Kringle and Johann Schingelheimer entered the room. Marcus nodded to Klink, not even giving Hochstetter a glance.
Cool customer, or maybe they already exchanged words outside. Hogan put down his glass.
“Pardon for interrupting your dinner, Kommandant. My partner and I need to speak to Herr Burger.” Marcus spoke pleasantly but firmly.
Burger tossed his napkin on the table. “What is this, Detective?”
“You need to come with us, Herr Burger.”
“Why? I have answered your questions.”
Burger looked defiant but obeyed. Hochstetter asked Marcus, “Mind if I come along?”
“Not at all, Major.”
Hogan rather doubted that but Marcus did not have much of a choice. The policemen hustled Burger out of the room, followed by Hochstetter, leaving a stunned silence in their wake.
“Well,” Klink said awkwardly. “Should I have one of my men drive you home, Fraulein Braun?”
Anna had been in shock, but now she shook her head. “I have a driver, danke, Colonel. In fact, I think I should go. Danke for dinner.”
“Yes, of course.”
Hogan and Klink rose as Anna stood. She looked around in a distracted manner and Schultz quickly brought over her coat.
“Danke, Sergeant.” She allowed him to help her put her coat on. “Good evening, gentlemen.”
The men responded in kind and Klink escorted her out.
“Well, looks like the police might have found the Hammelburg Strangler.” Hogan finished his wine.
“You think so?” Schultz held out a glass as Newkirk poured wine for him and Hogan.
“That’s their biggest priority right now.”
“Creepy to think Helga’s killer was sittin’ right here at table.” Newkirk swigged down his wine after pouring himself a generous amount. “Guess ol’ Klink’ll have to find another ‘itler crony to butter up.”
“Hey, where is everybody?” LeBeau asked as he came in from the kitchen, wiping his hands on a dishtowel.
“The Hammelburg police just ‘auled off Mr. Hamburger, mate.”
“Huh.” LeBeau poured himself a glass of wine after Newkirk handed him the bottle. “For the Strangler?”
“Could be.” Hogan polished off his wine and put his empty glass down. “Let’s clean up, fellas. This evening’s done.”
For Hogan and his men, it was done. For the men of the Hammelburg Police Department and Martin Burger, it was just beginning.