The Informer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

He is drafted. There is a spy in the barracks. Who is he?

 

 The Informer

 

 “Attention!” shouted the sergeant as he pointed to the long line of men in uniform.

He moved his head up, pressed his arms hard against his sides and tried to move his eyeballs towards the man in uniform who was arrogantly walking towards their line of young men standing at attention.

“At ease!” ordered the commander as he approached the beginning of the line where the relatively taller uniformed men stood.

Everyone quickly moved their legs apart, placed their arms behind them and waited in silence.

The man in uniform who had three stars on each shoulder board of his uniform was now walking slowly past the line of men, checking their clothes and their way of standing, to find and point out their shortcomings.

He took a quick glance at the man’s arrogant face approaching. He was rather young, thin, a bit taller than he was, wore a thin mustache and acted as if he were a sort of god.

“He looks much like the officer who released me from the Castle jail,” he mumbled to himself. “He maybe a family relation of that guy’s or something.”

The man’s face was right before his eyes now. “We’re going to let you out on one condition,” his voice echoed in his ears. “You must give us information about wherever you go, whatever you’re doing and… what’s going on around you!”  He paused for a second before he added, “We depend on people like you…for information! If you don’t wish to come back to your cell, you must cooperate!”

“Bullshit!” he mumbled to himself with disgust. “These punks never seem to learn anything about people like me!” 

 

The commander was now standing right before him scrutinizing his face. “Fix your cap, soldier!” he ordered as he stepped forward and tapped his head. “Look up, not down!” he added before he moved on.

“God! How am I to bear this horrendous place?” he mumbled to himself. “I wish they would put me back in that stinking jail cell instead!”

“It won’t be long darling,” he heard Mother’s voice say. “The whole family is working on this thing… The army should not and could not draft a political prisoner like you! It won’t even be sensible for its own safety!”

“Bastards!” Father’s voice echoed more loudly. “They gave us so much trouble to let him out of jail and now they sound like we owe them something!”

“Don’t worry Dad! Don’t worry Mom!” said his brother, Bobby, nodding his head philosophically. “I’ll get Hank out of there in no time! You’ll see!” he added, “All I need to do is to talk to my commander. I didn’t join the Army Security Department for nothing, you know!”

“Yes! Bobby is right, Mom,” said Fara. “I might be able to help a little, too. I know a number of people around, and everything!”

“Thank you, darlings,” Mother said as he looked at Bobby and then at Fara. “We’ve got a lot of people in the military, as you know, but they haven’t been able to do much…as yet!”

“Think nothing of it, Mom!” said Bobby firmly, “I’ll make sure that nobody can trouble him there in anyway…while I’m working on getting him out!”

 

The commander was now standing on a small round platform delivering a speech.

He turned his face a little to take the man out of his view. He could now see the gray, gloomy looking building of the place which was supposed to be his home for the next six months while getting military training.

“Don’t worry, Hank,” he heard a female voice say, “I’m sure your family can get you out of there very soon. You have plenty of high-ranking people in the family working on the matter.”

He smiled and looked in the direction where the girl was sitting.

“I’m not all that worried, you know, Silvia,” he heard himself say coolly. “What bothers me mostly is that I’m forced to waste a whole lot of my precious time over something that is not…”

“Worth a shit!” said the girl giggling. “That’s what you wanted to say, wasn’t it?”

“Not really,” said Hank laughing. “But I might have said something even dirtier if you hadn’t been around!”

They were both laughing loudly now.

“Mother says…that…you’re going to act as my wife or fiancé or something,” said Hank still laughing. “To gain me a better chance of getting out of that stinking garrison. Is that right, Silvia?”

“Yes, of-course!” retorted the girl with a wide smile. “After all, what are family relations good for if you can’t even depend on them for a tiny little bit of a favor like that!?”

They began shrieking with laughter again.

“We only have a few hours to get to know each other better,” said Hank looking at the girl with interest then. “Would you like to…ask me any questions about me now…or something?”

Silvia laughed a little before she answered, “Of-course, I do! But I already know…quite a bit about you. We are a family relations you know!”

They both laughed a bit again before Hank asked, “You know that I was…in jail…for about two years. Right?”

“Yep!” answered Silvia. “I also know that…they tortured you a lot…and even tried to brainwash you in a military hospital. Correct?”

“Yes! I can see that you know your lessons about the bad parts of my life,” said Hank, “So let’s talk about the good parts before we speak about you!”

“Yes, sir!” said Silvia as she sipped at her beer glass. “I know that you were abroad for some years, you studied at the university and …you took part in some evolutionary adventures, etc.”

“Well,” said Hank raising his eyebrows, “You apparently know all about me already. Are you sure you don’t belong to a secret service agency of some kind?”

They cackled for a minute before Silvia said, “You know! I made a bit of investigation about you…through our relatives…before I came here. Apparently, you’re one of the famous members of our big family and most of the people around me know a whole lot about you…despite the fact that my part of the family have lived far away from our home city…for some time.”

“Okay, then,” mumbled Hank nodding his head. “In that case, we can talk a little about you. I must know a lot more about your past…if I am interrogated by the intelligence officers. You are supposed to be my wife or at least my fiancé, you know!”

“Yes, sir!” said Silvia nodding her head, “At your service!” She giggled for some seconds before she continued, “As you probably already know, I finished university two years ago and I’m now working for a private company. Like you, I almost got married a couple of times…but never actually did it. In contrast to you, of-course, I'm not a politically minded person and…I prefer to have a peaceful and comfortable life…with children and all…”

She stopped, shrugged her shoulders and asked, “Is there anything in particular… you think you ought to know about…me?”

“I guess not,” mumbled Hank staring at her face. There was a pause before he asked, “May I be nosey enough to ask you a personal question?”

“Yes, of-course,” muttered Silvia as she nodded her head. “Don’t be shy! Go right ahead, and ask me anything you heart desires!”

“What I wanted to ask you was…” mumbled Hank raising his eyebrows, “whether you were…in love with anyone…or hoped to marry someone…right at this moment?”

“God! What a tough question to answer!” almost exclaimed Silvia.

 

“Attention!” a man shouted from somewhere around all of the sudden. “Turn right!” the voice ordered.

“Son – of –a-bitch!” someone mumbled as they turned.

“Who?” Hank murmured as he followed the young man in front of him.

“What’s the difference!” the lad babbled as he turned his face a little. “They all are!”

**

“God damned!” said someone rather loudly. “Is it really the time…?”

“What, Husain?” Hank asked. “Time for what?”

The man called Husain began to laugh. “You were so darned busy writing your letter that you didn’t notice the passage of time. They’re going to turn off the lights in a few minutes!”

“Really!?” asked Hank as he searched for his watch under his pillow. “God! You’re right!” the then said gloomily. “When in the hell I will get to finish this thing, I don’t know!”

“What is it…that you’re writing?” asked Husain hanging his head down the bunk bed.

“Oh, it’s…a sort of a…story,” answered Hank. “I like literature a lot, as you know. I sometimes try to increase the number of stories ever written …to help expand the world literature stacking…a little!” 

“I see,” said Husain laughing. “I have a suggestion for you, then,” he added after a pause.

“Huh, what is it?” asked Hank trying to put his things together quickly after the dormitory lights blinked a second time.

“It’s a very short story,” said Husain lying down.  “It’s called ‘The Informer’ and…it happens in a military joint…like ours.”

“Oh, yeah?” said Hank curiously. “I suppose we are the heroes of the story, too! Right?” 

“U-huh,” said Husain just before the lights went off.

“Should we continue our discussion or…you’d rather go to sleep?” asked Hank a minute later. “I know how tired you can be…after all those exercises we had…going up and down the high cement walls.”

“I can go on if you don’t mind staying up.” mumbled Husain

“Okay!” muttered Hank after a minute’s silence. “Will you come down here or…should I climb up to your sector?”

“Neither,” whispered Husain. “One of their spies around may see us and report it. You sit tight in your place. I’ll bend down my neck.”

“All right, as you wish,” said Hank pulling his body back in his bed so that he could lean to the wall next to the bed.

“Can you hear me?” whispered Husain a minute later hanging his trunk down. “Don’t worry!” he then said, “No one can hear us like this with a wall on this side and other beds so far away.”

“All right,” said Hank. “Go on! Shoot! I’m listening.”

“You see,” said Husain after a minute. “I’m pretty sure that…there’s an informer among us. At least…one! I think!”

“How…?” mumbled Hank. “What’s the reason…you think so?”

“Well, for one thing,” answered Husain, “I heard our commander say this to someone …”

 “What did he…say?” inquired Hank getting interested in the subject.

 “He said…he was quite sure that…there was an informer among us,” murmured Husain.

“That’s strange!” mumbled Hank. “If there’s an informer here, the commander should be the first one to know about it!”

“Remember the day we met?” whispered Husain. “When we were standing in line in the morning?”

“Yeah, it was the first day of our program, over three months ago,” whispered Hank back. “I remember you called the commander a dirty name. That’s how we got to talk to each other.”

“Yes! But did I ever tell you why I called him dirty names?” asked Husain.

“No, you never did!” replied Hank. “And I didn’t ask you because I felt like calling him dirtier names myself!”

“Well! My reason was that I had seen someone looking exactly like him once before…arresting someone,” retorted Husain. “A relative of mine!A military man. I think this guy belongs to the army intelligence or something.”

“So?” mumbled Hank absentmindedly. “All the more! It goes to show that if there were an informer here, he would have known about it right from the start!”

They were hushed for some seconds before Husain said, “Right! That’s why…when he told the other guy that he was suspicious of someone being an informer…I began thinking that we probably had a SAVAK secret police agent here in our barracks on a special mission!”

“Huh!” mumbled Hank. “Your hunch may be correct, then. We’ve got to do…”

“Go to sleep!” someone said commandingly, almost shouting.

Husain gently moved his torso up and disappeared.

“What are we going to do?” Hank asked a few minute after the sergeant who was checking the dormitory had sluggishly walked out of the place.

“We must make a plan to catch the informer,” muttered Husain.

“That’s going to be hard,” whispered Hank in a sleepy voice. “We are about…one hundred of us in here. Do you have…any suspects?”

“No,” answered Husain, “but, since we know a whole lot of the guys around, we can ask them for help, and together…make investigations about… the few that  none of us know.”

“That’s a good idea,” mumbled Hank after a minute. “We can… go around…asking all our guys…to help out…in the morning…”

 “Yes,” murmured Hussein, “We can work on a common plan…to do a big…. Investigation…together.  We can even get our friends’ wives and fiancé’s…to help out…too.”

“Great…idea,” mumbled Hank before he began snoring.

***

“No one can go on leave today!” almost shouted the commander. “As long as I’m not happy with your work,” he added, “you’ll stay in the garrison …like prisoners! Remember that!” He paused for some seconds before he added, “Only those who are married…can go. No one else!”

“Son-of-a –bitch!” mumbled Husain as he stood at attention staring at the commander now walking back and forth before the formation of cadets. “This is the fifth week he has jailed us all!” he added, “We need our damned leaves!”

“Did someone say something?” asked the commander who had suddenly stopped walking.

“No, sir,” said Husain. “Only…, I have a question, sir.”

The commander was now standing still staring at him. “Speak up, soldier!” he commanded almost shouting.

“I wanted to ask, sir,” yelled Husain, “Could those with fiancés go …on leave, too, today?”

“Yes,” answered the commander with hesitation. “Only if…the fiancé comes to fetch you!” he added after a few seconds.

“Yes, sir,” shouted Husain. “There you go!” he whispered turning his head towards Hank a little. “I just got you your freedom after a month’s captivity! Let’s hurry up and get our things together to go!”

 

 “What are you planning to do with your 36 hours?” asked Hank as they left their barracks to go to the place where the women were waiting for them.

“There are a couple of films I’ve got to see with Fatima,” mumbled Husain. “Also I’ve got to ask my relatives if any of them can help in finding the informer.” He stopped for a few seconds before he asked, “What about you? What are you and Silvia going to do?”

“I’m thinking of telling her about the informer, first,” mumbled Hank, “She’s a kind of hot on such subjects. Then we’ll decide how we want to spend our tiny little free time together during the weekend.”

The door of the Reception Room was opened as soon as they approached it. They could now see a number of young women sitting and some standing, waiting for their mates.

“How much time do we have?” asked Silvia as they pretended to be hugging and kissing each other.

“Not much,” mumbled Hank. “We’ve got lots to do for the little bit of time we’ve got!”

“All right!” muttered Silvia. “Let’s get going then!”

They quickly said good-bye to the others and walked out.

“Are you going home to see the family, first?” Silvia asked when they were waiting for a cab.

“No, I don’t think so,” muttered Hank. “I’ve got to discuss something with you, first.”

“All right!” said Silvia as they walked towards a cab which was now slowing down to stop for them. “We’ll go to my place first, then. I’ll take you to your Mom’s house myself if I can get my car from the repair shop in time.”

“Fine,” mumbled Hank as he got into the cab.

 

“So! What was that you wanted to tell me,” asked Silvia as she brought two cups of tea and some pastry, and sat down near Hank in the hall of her apartment.

“I wanted to ask…if you knew someone who could help us…uncover a secret agent in our barracks?” said Harry looking straight into her eyes.

“Really…?” muttered Silvia with interest. “How interesting! But why did you want to ask me…?”

“I wanted to ask you,” mumbled Hank. “Because you once said that you knew someone …”

“Oh, yes!” exclaimed Silvia. “You’re right! I happen to know someone…who used to work for SAVAK.  I suppose I can ask him to make some kind of…an inquiry.”

“Are you…quite certain that…this guy isn’t still working for the…secret police?” asked Hank sipping at his tea.

“Well, I’m pretty sure,” replied Silvia. “As far as I know, he somehow got involved with an opposition student group or something and…was dismissed...” 

“It’ll be very funny,” mumbled Hank wearing a grin, “if he is still working for them! Asking one secret agent to uncover another one who, for all we know, may be working with him!”

“No, I’m pretty sure!” said Grace. “As far as I know, Al has been away from that sort of a thing for quite a while. He may still have contact with a few of his old colleagues, though, who might be of help to us.”

She then rose to her feet and began walking gently towards a console table where her telephone set was.

 Harry listened very carefully but she was speaking too softly for him to hear anything. “Is she whispering purposely or….?” he began to wonder. He turned his face towards her a few times and listened carefully but it was useless.

“Yes!” she finally said loudly as she began walking back. “He’s willing to cooperate,” she said as she came closer. “But he can’t come over here. He says if you want the information, you should give all the details about your military camp, what unit you belong to, etc. He will try to get the information from his old friends who are still working for the SAVAK agency and give it to me…on the condition that you never, ever talk about it to anyone! It will be a secret between us forever! Okay?”

She picked up the tray with the empty tea cups as she went on, “Let me know if it’s all right with you, so that I can ask him to begin the investigation. Of-course there will be a little charge…for this, too, but, since I am the go-between, it won’t be very much.”

“Fine!” mumbled Hank with suspicion as he got off his chair. “If you can take care of this, then, there will be no need for me or…for my pals to continue with…our search.”

“I guess not!” said Silvia staring at him with surprise. “None of this of course means that…you should leave this place right now!” she added with a meaningful smile. “Does it?”

“Huh!? No! Sorry!” said Hank shaking his head. “How stupid of me!” he added. “For a second I thought since our investigation will be done by somebody else, I have nothing more to do here!”

Silvia began to laugh. “You sure put it right!” she mumbled as she went on giggling. “For a second you forgot that…I’m supposed to be…your fiancé…going to be your lawfully wedded wife…forever!”

They were both laughing now.

“To tell you the truth,” said Hank after a few minutes’ sitting and laughing. “Because of all you said about your previous fiancé and your plan of marrying him, I was under the impression that…you were still a sort of…in love with the guy and…there was no hope for us at all!”

Silvia burst out laughing again. “You know,” she said after her laughter subsided, “You’re right, in a way! The fact is that…I’m still in love with the guy a little bit but…” She stopped, took a long breath, turned her face to look at the window before she added, “The fact is also that…he has already married somebody else and that…I’m beginning to fall in love with you …a little bit!”

She began laughing again.

“That’s very flattering!” said Hank in a rather serious tone of voice. “I’m quite honored to hear that! But we still know very little about each other. This is only the third time we are meeting privately, isn’t it?”

“Yes!” answered Silvia emphatically. “It’s exactly right! Of-course, except for the times we met with other people around which…were just as useful!”

“That’s great!” said Hank wearing a smile. “We haven’t had a chance to talk about our ideals yet,” he continued. “For example, about  what our favorite ways of life are, what we expect to get out of life, and whether we will be satisfied with the way we have spent our lives when grow old and…worn-out!”

Silvia began to laugh again. “You’re a very funny guy,” she said after a minute. “That’ one of the things I like very much about you. You are always fun no matter how difficult the situation is!”

“You are a lot of fun, too,” said Harry. “What about your ideals in life, now?” he asked after a short while. “How would you like to spend the rest of your days?”

“Oh, I don’t expect anything special!” answered Silvia in a rather serious tone of voice. “As I told you before, all I want is a comfortable place to live, enough money to spend my life without financial worries, a few kids, some traveling here and there in the world and…that’s about it!”

“Wonderful!” said Hank. “So, in short, you expect to have a peaceful life with a high standard of living…to take care of your kids and all. Right?”

“Uh-huh,” mumbled Silvia nodding her head repeatedly.

“If that’s the case, though,” said Hank in a soft voice, “Do you think you can have such a way of life…living with someone like me?”

“Yes I may,” answered Silvia softly. “People can always change, you know! Once you have a kid of your own, my Dad says, your view of the whole world will be different! Don’t you agree?”

“Well I’m not so sure,” said Hank laughing. “You know that I have neither lived as long, nor had as many kids, as your dad! So, maybe he knows something that I don’t know!”

They began to laugh again.

“How about going to visit your Mom now?” asked Silvia with a far and wide smile.  “I a sort of…love to visit her, too. I think she is a great woman!”

“All right!” said Hank loudly. “Under the present circumstances, that may be the very best idea!”

  ****

 “Where are we going?” asked Hank as Silvia turned left. “I thought we were going to my Mom’s house?”

“Nope!” answered Silvia as she slowed down the car. “Frist, we’re going to talk to somebody else. To the one you wanted to see.”

“You mean that secret agent, whatever is name was. Right?” asked Hank.

“No!” said Silvia as she slowed down the car, laughing. “That poor Al is no agent! I thought I told you that!”

“Who knows!?” said Hank chuckling, “Maybe you’re an agent yourself! Aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am!” said Silvia firmly, “As a matter of fact, I’m James Bond himself. I mean…his sister or his wife or something!”

They were both laughing as they got off the car.

“Where are we?” asked Hank. “I don’t think I’ve ever been here!”

“Yes, you have!” said Silvia still laughing. “As a matter of fact, this public park is pretty much near your mother’s house – that is, near the place where you live presently!” she added. “Not too far from where you were kept for almost two years,” she went on as she got off the car.

“You don’t say!” mumbled Hank. “You got me talking so much that I didn’t realize where we were going!”

“So long as you know now,” said Silvia as she jumped over a creek flowing along the park fence. “We’re going to meet my CIA man friend inside the park!”

“I thought he belonged to the KGB!” said Hank as he jumped over the creek.

“You decide for yourself whether he belongs to the CIA, the KGB, the Intelligence Service, or what have you. He’s standing right there, near the first bench inside the park,” said Silvia pointing to someone, still laughing.

As they entered the park, the man standing near the bench smiled and began walking towards them. He was tall, light skinned and wore thick mustaches. “Right on the dot, as usual!” said the man as he came close enough to them to hear him. “I got here just about two minutes ago. I knew you wouldn’t keep me waiting.”

“Hello, Al!” said Silvia not very loudly. “Here is my good friend…fiancé or future husband or something, Hank!”

“Glad to meetchu,” said the tall man as he moved his hand forward to shake Hank’s.

“Nice meeting you,” mumbled Hank as he shook the tall man’s hand.

“Shall we go sit some place?” asked Al as he pointed to the grassland near them.


“We haven’t got much time, Al,” said Silvia. “Maybe we can sit on a bench for a few minutes to have a short chat. We can speak more…some other time!”

“Fine,” said the tall man. “I’m at your service! Shoot!”

Silvia took a look at Hank and smiled as they began to walk together.

“Well,” said Hank, “My first question is…are you working for…the SAVAK agency?”

Al took a glance at Hank before he began to laugh. “No!” he then said. “But I wouldn’t say yes even if I were!” he added.

“But…you used to work for them sometime back, weren’t you?” mumbled Hank.

“Yes! That’s true,” answered Al wearing a smile, “But that was…a very long time ago!”

“How come?” asked Hank. “What happened?”

“Well, what happened was,” said Al frowning as he shook his head, “that I was dismissed after…after an incident.”

“Can you…tell me something about that…incident?” asked Hank with suspicion.

“Well, what took place was that…one time when we were sent on an assignment, I saw a few things that…I didn’t quite like,” he stopped, took a long breath and added, “I protested and…they kicked me out.”

“Can you tell us anything about…that incident?” asked Hank softly, as they sat down on a bench.

“Yes, of-course!” muttered Al. “What happened was that they sent us to the city’s main university to make sure that the students would not cause any problems when the American President would come to visit the country a few days later. The students protested and began a sort of a demonstration. The military guardsmen besieged the university, attacked and beat up the students very badly. And when they threw a couple of the students out of the window of a classroom on the fourth floor and raped some of the girl students, I couldn’t stand it anymore and…protested.”

“I see!” said Hank. “I’ve heard about that incident,” he added. “Could you tell me what took place after that?” 

“Oh, not much,” answered Al shrugging his shoulders. “First they told me to go on leave for a while and rest, and, a short while later, they gave me some money saying that my services were not needed by the state any longer.”

"As simple as that, huh?” Mumbled Hank.

“Yes! As simple as that!” said Al looking at Hank’s countenance, smiling.

“Do you think,” asked Silvia, “you can help out Hank, considering your own standing at present?”

“Well, I gave it some thought when you told me the story,” answered Al nodding his head. “It may be a bit hard…considering that it is a military complex and all. But I still have a few friends here and there in the Security bureaus and in the military compounds. There is a chance that I’ll be able to find someone who knows a few things about that training base, too. Only you have to give me a bit more information about the particular compound and military unit, its commander, etc. I’ll see what I can do.”

“There isn’t much that we want,” said Hank shaking his head. “It isn’t all that important, either. It’s more like satisfying our own curiosity and, of-course, watching out for someone who may be keeping us under surveillance.”

“Fine!” said Al looking at the trees and flowers around him. “I’ll see what I can do…for you. Please give Silvia all the information that you can. I’ll try to find out something by next week. I’ll tell her about it as soon as I come across something.”

“Thanks a lot,” said Silvia as she gently rose to her feet. “I really appreciate it, Al! We have to go now because Hank’s Mom may get worried. I’ll call you tonight or tomorrow morning to give you the information you need.”

 

“Are you satisfied?” Silvia asked when they were getting back into her car.

“I guess,” Hank mumbled. “I just hope that his friends will not go ahead and inform the informer in our company that we’re trying to find out his identity!”

“Come now,” said Silvia, smiling, “The poor fellow is doing his best to help!”

“Okay! If you say so,” said Hank shaking his head, “We’ll soon find out for ourselves.”

  ****

“What happened to you two!?” inquired Mother looking worried. “You’ve been on the way for hours!”

“Not hours, Mommy,” said Hank as he kissed her cheeks. “We just went to take a look at the Public Park nearby on the way. It took us on hour at the most!”

“We were doing some investigation, Mom,” said Silvia with a smile. “We’ve got to find out who the Informer is in Hank’s company. The guy may be dangerous.”

“What informer?” asked Bobby, as he kissed Hank and shook hands with Silvia.

“Hank says there is an informer in their barracks…connected with the SAVAK organization or something,” said Silvia as they sat on a sofa in the hall.

“Huh,” mumbled Bobby, “I could’ve found that out for you in no time…if it were connected with the military Information Bureau, you know. But with SAVAK, it’s a bit hard.”

“I can ask your Uncle General, to help,” mumbled Father.

“No, no,” said Hank. “This whole thing is not that important. I just thought it would be useful if we knew who it was. That’s all.”

“Fara may be able to help, too! He knows a few SAVAK members here and there,” said Hank’s sister, Gloria, looking at her husband.

“No, please don’t get him involved, honey!” said Mother anxiously. “He has his own problems…”

“There is no need for any assistance,” said Hank. “We have already asked an old SAVAK agent to help us out.”

“But honey,” said Mother standing in the middle of the hall taking a tray filled with cups of tea and pastry from her servant.  “How can you tell that…he will not report you to…his old colleagues? Don’t you think it might cause you a lot of trouble…with your background…and all?”

“Don’t worry about him, Mom,” interfered Silvia. “The guy is a relative and an old acquaintance of mine. He owes me a great deal. He’ll do that with enthusiasm to show his gratitude. I’m sure!”

Everybody was staring at her face now. “Do I know him?” mumbled Bobby after a few seconds’ silence.

“Well, you might,” Silvia muttered. “But he has made me swear not to tell his name to anyone…including the close family relations.”

“That’s a bit suspicious, isn’t it?” mumbled Fara. “The project is so trifling that it won’t concern anyone in the country. Why should he…take it so seriously?”

The place was dead quiet for some seconds before Hank said, “We shouldn’t make the problem bigger than it is. Even if the SAVAK authorities find out about it, I don’t think they’ll bother to take any action, not to speak of making a fuss.  It’s quite natural that we want to know who’s keeping us under watch.”

“I think Hank is right,” Bobby said as he put his cup of tea back on the small round table in the middle of the hall. “The thing is too trivial for anyone to waste any time on. But their stupid commanding officer kept them prisoners for over a month because of it! I think I should make an inquiry about it myself to make sure that it won’t happen again, and to reduce Mom’s worries.” He paused for a few seconds, before he cleared his throat and added, “So, let’s bring this meeting to an end and go to the dining room. I think our lunch is on the table. I can clearly smell its appetizing odor.”

*****

“How did it all go?” asked Hank as soon as he saw Husain, entering their barracks. “Did you have a good weekend? Did you have a chance to…get some information about our stool pigeon?”

Husain shook his head. “Not really,” he mumbled. “Of-course Fatima and I saw a couple of movies and…had a rather good time, but about the “stool-pigeon’, as you put it, I didn’t accomplish much. The only success I had during the weekend was to meet someone last night, in our family get-together, who said he knew quite a bit about our military base. He …promised to make a secret inquiry and inform me about its outcome as soon as possible…maybe tonight!”

“That’s a great accomplishment, then!” exclaimed Hank. “That’s exactly what we were after, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” mumbled Husain wearing a smile as he put his sack in its place.

“How is he going to contact you, though?” asked Hank standing before his bed gazing at the entrance of the barracks.

“He said he would have the sergeant who is in charge of this joint inform me,” he mumbled confusedly. “How he’s going to do that, I’m not sure!”

 “Are they going to give us dinner?” Hank asked as he looked for something in his sack.

“I don’t think so,” answered Husain. “We’ve come too late for that. But I’ve brought a few sandwiches. You’re welcome to have a couple of them.”

“Thanks,” mumbled Hank. “I think I’ll take one. I haven’t eaten anything since lunch time.”

They had almost finished eating when the sergeant appeared. “Cadet Husain Talebi?” he asked.

“Yeah,” mumbled Husain as he chewed.

“You’ve got a letter!” the man said putting his hand in his pants’ right pocket.

“A letter? What do you mean?” asked Husain absentmindedly.

“Here!” the man said taking out a small envelope out of his pocket. “Don’t tell anybody where you got it from. Understand?”

“Yeah,” mumbled Husain.

“I did not come here tonight,” the man said firmly before he turned around and walked away.

“I guess he made sure there was nobody around before he entered the place,” said Hank. “He acted like he was giving us an atomic bomb top-secret document or something!”

“Well, it doesn’t look much different from…something like that!” mumbled Husain as he scrutinized the little piece of paper he had taken out of the envelope.

“What does it say?” asked Hank. “Can I see it?”

“You sure can!” mumbled Husain. “But I doubt it if you can get much out of it, either,” he added shrugging his shoulders as he handed Hank the piece of paper.

The note was very short. It said, “The commander of the Third Company treats cadets very badly. He should definitely be disciplined. BH 555”

“What the hell does this mean?” asked Husain a second later wearing a frown.

 “It makes no sense, does it?” mumbled Hank. “Maybe…he meant to…give it…to somebody else.”

“Hand it to me!” Husain ordered hastily stretching out his arm. A minute later the note had been torn into pieces. “I’ve got to go to the loo!” he then said as he began walking quickly away.

Hank let out a sigh of relief. He gently lay down on his bed and rubbed his face with both hands. “Such a lot of commotion for nothing!” he mumbled to himself. "That tricky brother of mine told me that any letter with address “BH555” would go to a friend of his who belonged to their Security Bureau. He somehow forgot to mention that his friend actually worked for SAVAK, and that, anything I dropped into our military base mailbox addressed ‘BH555’ would automatically go to the SAVAK Security Police Organization.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: November 14, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Herman Azadi. All rights reserved.

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