Twenty minutes later the raft slid softly onto an upward sloping beach being licked by the smallest of waves. The tide was a high ebb and they stepped easily onto the soft sand. Both sailors wore side arms that remained clipped to their chests while the Erster Offizier, in full uniform, had his clipped in a holster. Hefting the duffel over his shoulder, the man smiled in the darkness as the two young sailors hastily stuffed dry sand into their pockets – ‘sand from the shores of the enemy!’
Not a word was spoken as they rowed away into the darkness.
Alone again in all its completeness, upon a hostile shore, a feeling of calm at once enveloped him. The first few times in Poland and Norway, inserted prior to the invasions, he recalled being nervous and at times besieged with fear. Infiltrating France shortly thereafter, far less so and now here in America, not at all. Over the many years of clandestine operations, it became clear to him that one who travels alone, travels faster and far safer.
Unarmed with nothing but the cash in his satchel, diamonds sewn into lining of his leather jacket and his experience, he assured himself in that most solitude of moments, that he would prevail in this mission, for everything counted upon it. It would be here in America, that he would spend his 42nd birthday.
Now looking West through the hanging mist, with the dim lights of the Inn barely visible, he turned slowly East towards the breach way a mile away.
It was 2:38 am, Tuesday the third day of June.
The walk to the East end of the beach took a bit longer than he anticipated as his legs were fatigued by their inactivity during the crossing. When he had last visited this area briefly before the war under the cover as a marine engineer consultant (Berater für Schiffsingenieure), there existed a fishing cabin at the far eastern end of this beach. While surely destroyed by the ‘38 hurricane, he gambled that it would have been rebuilt by now. The shack had stood up in the dunes and abutted an inlet separating Weekapaug from Quonochontaug. It was an epic fishing spot where bait was sucked into the salt pond and flushed out to the abundant waiting morone saxatilis. Being a Tuesday in early June, he further reckoned, that it would be vacant.
Approaching with care and stealth under a lightly falling mist he observed jeep tracks in the sand leading to the darkened shack but saw no vehicles and smelled no smoke from the chimney. Lighting a match, he carefully inspected the sand near the cabin’s only door. He saw remnants of footprints blown over with sand and concluded on this windless night, that they were days old. He knocked, just the same, with a prepared story that he was a guest of the Inn hoping to fish the first light. Three times he knocked and waited, even tapping on the window twice. With the door locked, he check each shingle around the door and found the key, under the fifth to the right. The cabin was indeed empty with the ashes of the fireplace cold. He lit an oil lamp, built a small fire, found a can of beans and sat down and ate.
It was half past three am.
The cabin was well provisioned with supplies and it looked to have been stocked recently. Where the walls were not populated by mounted fish, there displayed pictures of older men with their catch. On the low rafters hung rods of all sizes, from bamboo fly rods to long heavy surf rods. Handmade lures and flies littered almost all of the empty wall space.
To the patter of rain against the window to his left, he he lit a cigarette and stepped outside. The wind had clocked from the East and the sound of the surf carried Westward with the smoke from the chimney. Stepping inside, he threw another log onto the fire and reflected on his fortunate landing and those recent tense days aboard U-1230.
To Be Con’t . . .