From the look on Schroeder's face, it was obvious to Peis that Schroeder had never heard of Professor Dyer.
Unless there were two Professor Dyers, which was highly unlikely, Reichsminister Speer desired the company of a man who had one foot in a Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) and the other on a banana peel.
"Forgive me, Herr Reichsminister," Schroeder said. "Professor Dyer?"
And then, Peis thought, Schroeder finally put his brain in gear. "Perhaps Obersturmführer Peis can help you. Peis!"
Peis marched over and saluted.
Speer smiled at Peis. "There was supposed to have been a message sent" he began.
"I sent it, Herr Speer," the woman said.
"--requesting Professor Friedrich Dyer to meet with me."
"I have received no such message, Herr Reichsminister," Peis said. "But I think I know where he can be found."
"And could you bring him?" Speer asked.
"If I may be so bold as to suggest, Herr Reichsminister?" Peis said.
"Of course," Speer replied.
"While you and your party accompany the Gauleiter, I'll see if I can find Professor Dyer for you and take him to the Fulmar plant."
"Good man!" Speer smiled and clutched Peis's arm. "It's quite important. I can't imagine what happened to the telegram."
"I'll do my best, Herr Reichsminister," Peis said.
Peis hurried to the stationmaster's office and grabbed the telephone. He dialed the number from memory.
Gisella Dyer, the daughter (and the only reason Professor Dyer was not making gravel from boulders in a KZ somewhere), answered the phone on the third ring.
"How are you, Gisella?" Peis asked.
"Very well, thank you, Herr Sturmbannführer," she said, warily. Peis understood her lack of enthusiasm. But she wasn't the reason for his call today.
"Do you know where I can find your father?" he asked.
He heard her suck in her breath, and it was a moment before she spoke again. She was carefully considering her reply. Peis knew that she would have preferred that Peis direct his attentions toward her not because she liked him (she despised him), but because as long as Peis liked her, her father stayed out of the KZ.
"He's at the university," she said finally, with a slight tremor in her voice. "Is there something wrong, Herr Sturmbannführer?"
"Where exactly at the university?"
Gisella Dyer considered that, too, before she replied.
"In his office, I imagine," she said. "He doesn't have another class until four this afternoon." She paused, then asked again, "Is there something wrong?"
"Official business, Gisella," Peis said, and hung up.
It would be useful for Gisella to worry a little, Peis thought. She tended to be arrogant, to forget her position. Periodically, it was necessary to cut her down to size.
Peis found Professor Friedrich Dyer where his daughter had said he would be, in his book-and-paper-cluttered room in one of the ancient buildings in the center of the university campus. He was a tall, thin, sharp-featured man; and he looked cold, even though he was well covered. He wore a thick, tightly buttoned cardigan under his many-times-patched tweed jacket and a woolen shawl over his shoulders. The ancient buildings were impossible to heat, even when there was fuel.
Professor Dyer looked at Peis with chilling contempt, but he said nothing and offered no greeting.
"Heil Hitler!" Peis said, more because he knew Dyer hated the salute than out of any Nazi zeal of his own.
Reprinted from THE SOLDIER SPIES by W.E.B. Griffin by permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 1986 by W.E.B. Griffin. Originally published under the pseudonym Alex Baldwin. First G.P. Putnam's Sons edition 1999. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
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