Opis

An Eye for an Eye: The Untold Story of Jewish Revenge Against Germans in 1945, which states that some Jews in Eastern Europe took revenge on their former captors while overseeing over 1,000 concentration camps in Poland for German civilians. The book provides details of the imprisonment of 200,000 Germans „many of them starved, beaten and tortured” and estimates that „more than 60,000 died at the hands of a largely Jewish-run security organisation.”

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Liczba stron: 369

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Contents

I. THE MYSTERY MAN.

II. THE PENNY IN PAPER.

III. AN APPOINTMENT.

IV. THE THREE CARDS.

V. THE SECOND WOMAN.

VI. WHAT I SAW IN THE PARK.

VII. EVA GLASLYN.

VIII. SOME REMARKABLE EVIDENCE.

IX. THE LOVE OF LONG AGO.

X. ON THE SILENT HIGHWAY.

XI. BEAUTY AT THE HELM.

XII. THE DEFORMED MAN'S STATEMENT.

XIII. DICK BECOMES MYSTERIOUS.

XIV. THIS HAPLESS WORLD.

XV. THE NEAR BEYOND.

XVI. IN THE CITY.

XVII. A VISIT FROM BOYD.

XVIII. "YOU WILL NEVER KNOW—NEVER!"

XXIX. EVA MAKES A CONFESSION.

XX. A NIGHT ADVENTURE.

XXI. UNDER THE LEADEN SEAL.

XXII. IN DEFIANCE OF THE LAW.

XXIII. HER LADYSHIP.

XXIV. THE TRUTH REVEALED.

XXV. CONCLUSION.

I. THE MYSTERY MAN.

“HUSH! Think, if you were overheard!”

“Well, my dear fellow, I only assert what’s true,” I said.

“I really can’t believe it,” observed my companion, shaking his head doubtfully.

“But I’m absolutely satisfied,” I answered. “The two affairs, mysterious as they are, are more closely connected than we imagine. I thought I had convinced you by my arguments. A revelation will be made some day, and it will be a startling one–depend upon it.”

“You’ll never convince me without absolute proof–never. The idea is far too hazy to be possible. Only a madman could dream such a thing.”

“Then I suppose I’m a madman?” I laughed.

“No, old chap. I don’t mean any insult, of course,” my friend the journalist, a youngish, dark-haired man, hastened to assure me. “But the whole thing is really too extraordinary to believe.”

We were seated together one June morning some years ago, in a train on the Underground Railway, and had been discussing a very remarkable occurrence which had been discovered a few days before–a discovery that was a secret between us. Scarcely, however, had he uttered his final denunciation of my theory when the train ran into the sulphurous ever-murky station of Blackfriars, for the electrification of the line was not then completed: and promising to continue our argument later, he bade me good-bye, sprang out, and hastened away in the crowd of silk-hatted City men on their way to their offices.

He was rather tall, aged about thirty, with a well-cut, clever face, a complexion unusually dark, a well-trimmed black moustache, and a smart gait which gave him something of a military bearing. Yet his cravat was habitually tied with carelessness, and he usually wore a light overcoat except through the month of August. His name was Richard Cleugh, one of the sharpest men in Fleet Street, being special reporter of London’s most up-to-date evening paper, the Comet.

When alone, I sat back in the ill-lit railway carriage and, during my short journey to Cannon Street, reflected deeply.

The affair was, as he had said, absolutely bewildering.

Indeed, this chain of curious facts, this romance of love and devotion, of guile, intrigue, and of the cardinal sins which it is my intention to here record, proved one of the strangest that has ever occurred in our giant London. It was an absolute mystery. Readers of newspapers know well the many strange stories told in courts of justice, or unearthed by the untiring “liner” and the reporter who is a specialist in the discovery of crime. Yet when we walk the streets of our Metropolis, where the fevered crowd jostles in the mad race of life, there is more romance around us, and of a character far more extraordinary than any that has ever appeared in the public prints.

The secrets of London’s ever-throbbing heart, and her hidden and inexplicable mysteries which never get into the papers, are legion.

This is one of them.

In order to understand the facts aright, it is necessary to here explain that I, Frank Urwin, am myself a member of that ubiquitous and much maligned profession, journalism, being engaged at the time of the opening of this narrative as special reporter of a highly respectable London daily newspaper–a journal which was so superior that it never allowed itself to make any sensational statement. Its conductors as studiously avoided sensationalism as they did libel, and although we were very often in possession of “startling facts,” and “sensational statements” which would have sold the paper, and caused it to be quoted next morning up and down the country, yet we of the staff, forbidden to write anything so undignified, kept our information to ourselves, or, as was once rumoured, the office boy, a thrifty youth, went forth and calmly sold it to one of our more enterprising rivals. Hence, owing to the heaviness of its articles, which usually contained “chunks” of foreign quotations, and the paucity of its news, the paper was dubbed by its staff “the Magazine.”

Before being appointed to this pseudo-newspaper, where, by the way, work was light and remuneration good, I had been for several years engaged upon one of those enterprising evening journals who print their “specials” on tinted paper, and by reason of my constant investigations I had become well-known to the police, and perhaps something of a specialist in the revealing of hidden facts and the unravelling of mysteries.

Dick Cleugh was my most intimate friend, for we shared chambers in Gray’s Inn, a rather dingy and typical bachelor’s abode, be it said; but it had the advantage of being in close proximity to Fleet Street, and situated as we were, flying all over London day after day, we could not afford to live out in the peculiarly journalistic suburb of Brixton. Our little flat contained a very sad and shabby sitting-room–in which stood a couple of writing-tables whereat we often worked, joining in, and re-echoing, each other’s imprecations–a couple of bedrooms and a small box-room which, containing a gas-stove over which the diurnal chops were fried, was termed by the Inn authorities a kitchen. We, however, irreverently termed it “the sink.” Old Mrs Joad, a worthy old soul who lived across in Fetter Lane, “did for” us, and was known as “the Hag,” on account of her passé and extremely bizarre appearance. Her duties were not very onerous, consisting of preparing our morning tea, “doing up” the rooms, cooking the eternal chops or the everlasting steaks at six, when, our respective “special editions” having gone to press, we both returned hungry to our dens, and lastly in drinking our whisky. She preferred gin, but took whisky in order to put us to no inconvenience.

Cleugh was one of the queer figures in journalistic London. Essentially of the Bohemian type, easy-going and possessed of a quaint, dry humour, many were the stories told in Fleet Street of his utter disregard for the convenances. Shrewd, witty, clever, well-educated, he was no respecter of persons. If he went forth to make an inquiry for his journal, he hesitated at nothing. With the constant companionship of an extremely foul briar pipe, it was his habit to “interview” people and obtain “latest details” of the day’s sensation without removing it from his lips, and it was well-known down at the Press Club, that dingy but interesting institution in Wine Office Court, that on one field-day at Aldershot he had actually chatted with the Commander-in-Chief, pipe in mouth, and afterwards put the conversation “on the wire” in the form of an interview. When having nothing to do he would clean that pipe for recreation, and such operation usually caused a rapid exit from the vicinity. Known to all in Fleet Street as “the Mystery Man,” he was clever-looking and dignified, and could snuff out an uncommunicative secretary, or a pompous policeman, with his marvellous control of expressions, sarcastic without being abusive. He was undoubtedly “a smart man”–and to be smart in journalism nowadays requires a good deal more than ordinary intelligence. An ex-Jesus man, he had been a True Blue, been ploughed for the Army, studied medicine, and travelled pretty widely, until having been a brilliant failure he had drifted into journalism, like so many other men have drifted, commencing as an outside contributor, or “liner,” and eventually, by dint of the swiftness and marvellous tact and ability with which he got at the bottom of the inquiries he made, he joined the regular staff of a popular evening sheet–which, by reason of having once tried the experiment of printing on scented paper, was known in press circles as “The Stinker”–and subsequently became chief of the reporting staff of the Comet–as smart a staff as could be found in London.

In common with many other men in Fleet Street, that never-sleeping world of tape and flimsy, Dick had one failing–he had a penchant for a particular brand of whisky sold at the Cheese, the ancient house of steak-pudding fame, but he was always moderate, for his great pride was that his sub-editors could place the greatest reliance in him, as indeed they could. Dick Cleugh was certainly smart, even though his hair was often unkempt and a bundle of copy-paper usually poked out of the side-pocket of his well-worn overcoat. Over and over again had he proved himself a very brilliant pressman and had startled London by the “latest details” he had elicited where the police had failed.

I had arrived at our chambers about six, after a heavy day. I had visited Barking and Wandsworth, and had made an inquiry at Hammersmith, three districts far afield from one another, therefore I felt fagged and hungry. The Hag was engaged in fizzling the usual daily steak in the gas fumes, filling the place with a decidedly appetising odour; nevertheless, between Dick and I there was an arrangement that neither should eat without the other, unless a telegram arrived announcing a protracted absence. Therefore I lit a cigarette, cast myself into the trifle rickety but very comfortable armchair, and waited by the open window. I was just a trifle melancholy that evening, for there had come back to me recollections of a love-bond long since severed, of a face which was once very dear to me. But I was a lonely bachelor now. All was of the past. Soon, however, as I sat thinking, I saw Cleugh hurrying across the square, his silk hat, a trifle rusty, tilted at the back of his head, and a few moments later he burst merrily into the room, saying–

“Sorry to keep you so long, old chap, but we brought out an extra to-night. There’s a bit of a row down in Parliament.” Then, calling to Mrs Joad, who was pottering in the “sink” beyond, he said, “Come along, mother. Look sharp with the horseflesh!”

We sat down and commenced our meal, while he, overflowing with spirits, told me how he had been out on an inquiry near to the Welsh Harp, spending a very pleasant afternoon there, and how he meant to “write it up” for the “mornings.” The old instinct of the “liner” was still upon him, and on his littered table he always kept his agate stylus and oiled tissue, known as “flimsy,” his “blacks” and his square of tin whereon to write. The sub-editors of the morning papers, the judges of next day’s intelligence, could always rely on Dick Cleugh’s “stuff,” therefore they used it, and he profited at the rate of a penny farthing per line. He was, in brief, purveyor of sensations to the newspaper-reading public.

“I’m going to take Lil out to-night,” my companion said between mouthfuls of steak, for he was ravenously hungry. “Smart girl, Lil.”

“Yes,” I answered. “She’s really awfully nice. By Jove! old chap, I envy you.”

The Mystery Man smiled contentedly with a piece of meat poised gracefully on his fork, then he began humming the latest love-song which the barrel-organs had made popular, beating time with his fork, at the same time placing his hand upon his heart in true operatic style.

This proceeding was, however, interrupted by the entrance of the Hag bearing a telegram for me. On opening it I found it contained only the one word “Come,” signed by the initial “P.”

I tossed it across to my companion without comment, and as I did so was surprised to notice a strange, puzzled look upon his dark face.

He glanced at it, then handing it back to me, exclaimed–“Wonder what’s up at Kensington?”

“Something unusual, or Patterson wouldn’t have wired,” I said.

“You’ll go, of course?”

“Yes. I’ll just see what it looks like, and if there’s anything in it I’ll let you know.”

“Well, old dawdler,” he laughed, “if it’s a good thing, leave a bit of the latest intelligence for me to pick up for my early edition to-morrow. To-night I can’t disappoint Lily, you know. She’s a good girl, and never worries.”

“I’ll tell you all about it when I come back; then you can write up something in readiness for to-morrow. If it’s a mystery my people won’t touch it, you know.”

“Of course,” he said. “Your staff is only paid to look pleasant.”

The mysterious telegram had come from the police headquarters at Kensington, an early intimation that something unusual had occurred. In years of reporting in London I had become friendly with many police inspectors and detectives, and had long ago made arrangements with some of them whereby they would send me a wire by day, or a line by boy-messenger at night with information of the latest “sensation.” The reason why all were signed with initials was because such intimation was contrary to the order of the Chief Commissioner.

I therefore left Dick sucking his foul briar, and, taking a motor-bus to Kensington, entered the police-station, which stands back hidden in a courtyard opposite St. Mary Abbot’s Church. In the charge-room, with its bare, grey-painted walls, its steel-railed dock for prisoners, its loud-ticking clock, and its desk, whereon the oblong charge-book lay open, I found my old friend Inspector Patterson in earnest conversation with two men of the working class, who spoke with a strong Cockney accent and addressed him familiarly as “guv’nor.” They were evidently policemen’s noses, or, in criminal parlance, “narks.”

“Good evening, Mr Urwin,” the inspector exclaimed, putting forth his big hand. He was a tall, fair-moustached, easy-going fellow, an excellent officer, tender-hearted where the deserving poor was concerned, but harsh and unbending towards the habitual offender. From constable, as I had first known him in the T or Hammersmith Division, he had been moved to St. Luke’s, to Paddington, to Leman Street and to Bow Street, until, owing to the marks which various magistrates had made upon his charge sheets, he had now at last risen to the rank of first-class inspector.

He was discreet in his every action, therefore he did not refer to the telegram he had sent me lest any of the men should overhear, but when we had chatted for a few moments he whispered–

“Go over to the bar at High Street Railway Station and wait there for me. I want to see you very particularly.”

I nodded. Then, after some further conversation, I left him and wandered across to the refreshment room he had indicated.

II. THE PENNY IN PAPER.

ABOUT twenty minutes elapsed before Patterson rejoined me, but expressing a fear that we might be overheard there, we went forth together and strolled along High Street, until, coming to a quiet turning which, I think, led past the workhouse, we strolled along it, and there he commenced his explanation.

“The fact is,” he said in a nervous, hushed voice, “there’s been a most extraordinary occurrence here to-night. The mystery is the strangest in all my experience, and I’ve made inquiries into one or two in my time, as you know.”

“Tell me all about it,” I said, my curiosity whetted.

“I wish I could, my dear fellow,” he answered.

“I mean, tell me all the known facts.”

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