|Murder: Almost Perfect
Author: hippiechick2112 PM
When Nurse Winifred Curtis is found murdered, the evidence points to Margaret and eventually to most of the personnel. With the camp accused, the 4077th team wonders who truly committed the crime. However, one man will stop it nothing to solve the mystery.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Mystery - Hawkeye P. & Margaret H. - Chapters: 24 - Words: 46,363 - Reviews: 50 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 04-17-13 - Published: 01-23-11 - id: 6680759
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Later that night, safe from harm and just on the outskirts of Tokyo in a crummy hotel (the escape plan working to their advantage), Hawkeye, Claus and Klinger sat together in one room, pouring over the files that Claus had sent over already. Old (and sometimes odd) pages upon pages on the organization of Nazi Germany and the descendents today flashed before their eyes, all of them familiar to Claus and waking up the memories of the other two. Even Winifred's biographical and career information passed through them, the biggest interest of them all. Even Hawkeye was amazed at the career of a woman whose life had ended in the most unlikely of places: Korea.
"Who do you think did this?" Klinger asked out loud, still confused as to why someone would murder an agent and why she acted the way she did. "We know that Major Houlihan was framed because this guy –"
"General Hannibal," Claus interrupted.
"Yes," Klinger said, annoyed. "Well, she was murdered most likely under the orders of General Hannibal, like we thought."
"It's not likely." Claus was convinced of his conviction.
"It seems so to us, if he doesn't like Margaret's family that much." Hawkeye seemed certain that this General Hannibal was responsible for holding Margaret incarcerated, but with the evidence mounting towards Winifred's Nazi career, he could have easily said that one of the other agents did the same, but could not find solid evidence for that, too.
Either way, it was one hundred percent certain (more so, in Hawkeye's case), that Margaret was innocent and that she was framed by this organization.
"General Hannibal is too smart for his own good," Claus informed them. "Remember that he commands many people, all of them for the return of the Nazis, but to have time to murder one agent and frame another nurse for it seems a little out of character for him. In trying to rule the world, he doesn't have time for one little nurse framing."
"How would you figure?" Hawkeye asked him, his blue eyes angrily staring Claus down.
"Well," Claus began, "General Hannibal himself would not risk one of his top agents to frame a woman he does not like, especially to ruin a family he does not like. He has better methods in doing that. Secondly, he loved Winifred before we married and still had feelings for her after we did, even going as far as giving her away at our wedding. He wouldn't murder the woman he loved. Lastly, and this is very important, he has our child, so why would he deprive a boy of his mother?"
"Winifred was a mother?" Klinger shook his head, not believing what he was hearing. "First he was married and now she was a mother. What is this world coming to?"
"Other than Lebanese men wearing dresses?" Hawkeye suggested.
"Well, he was adapted," Claus quickly amended, smiling at the light mood. "Winifred named him Saul, after her dead brother. But, he was a child nobody wanted. Nobody in the organization knew where he came from, but that he was left on one of the agent's doorways and she didn't want the baby and passed him along to every agent she knew. No person in their right mind would want a child. So, Winifred and I adapted him. He has Winifred's last name, to keep things quiet and unsuspicious, but he's mine to keep still."
"Why, don't you seem like a proud father," Hawkeye said sarcastically, thinking of why this conversation went from Margaret to Saul Curtis, Winifred's adapted son.
"My son is seven years old, thereabouts, and is the smartest child in his class," Claus related very proudly. "General Hannibal keeps him in a boarding school in the U.S., paying for the tuition and board. This allowed us to freely complete the mission that he wants. After all, what parents want a child in the way of creating a Nazi world?"
"You, apparently," Hawkeye replied bitterly.
"I am no agent, but one who is spying on them. I do not want Hitler's Germany back." Claus was defensive, knowing that Hawkeye was the same about Margaret. "I understand that you like this woman who has been framed, but we need to clear her name first. And I know that you all hate my Winifred, but she was mine. While she was nasty and lewd, I still loved her. And I miss her. She had a gruesome end, Gale told me. Nobody deserved that."
"Yeah, it kinda was," Klinger replied softly, remembering the body that he, Igor and Rizzo found only a couple of days ago.
"Now, back to the files," Hawkeye announced as he read through Winifred's personal agent file, trying to change to topic and get back to working. "It says here that Winifred was sent out to assassinate our old blood and guts, General MacArthur, but it's obvious that she never did."
"That's right." Claus was skeptical of the doctor's sincerity in getting back to work, but accepted it as a man fighting for a friend (perhaps lover) to be freed.
"Why didn't she?" Hawkeye closed the file on Winifred Curtis and placed it back with the package full of other agents' files.
"It was the timing," Claus admitted. "MacArthur was secured at all times and while he was in Japan, Winifred tried at all time to shot or stab him. As his aide, though, she also was close to him at all times and watched. Apparently, she wasn't close enough."
Klinger whistled. "But, why was she sent over a nurse?"
"It was a cover, Klinger, don't you get it?" Hawkeye stood up, excited. "Being a nurse was the cover story that Winifred Curtis needed. As a Nazi, she would need secrecy and all the paperwork she needed to show that she was one. Working as Mac's aide, she received nothing in that profession. She had to have been watched all the time."
"That I didn't think about," Claus said, amazed. "Her profession might also have made them very suspicious. A nurse, without even the Army knowing that she went to school for it, was enough to raise some flags. We can know why she might not have been able to assassinate General MacArthur."
"Now, who employed you at the C.I.A.?" Hawkeye asked Claus, curious as to who they were dealing with now that they knew who Claus was.
"Sam Flagg," Claus replied, but not without cringing.
"No wonder you haven't returned back to him." Klinger also cringed. "That man is a master of disguise himself. He blows worse than the wind."
"I have reported back to him," Claus informed Klinger. "And he accepted my role as husband to Winifred, even if he didn't believe that I loved her. He thought that I was still undercover and that one of these days, I'd catch her doing something and rat her out, as you Americans say. However, why he didn't get back up when I said that she was in a bed of conspiracy, I cannot tell you. It might have something to do with the fact that he wanted to take the organization down himself, but didn't have all the manpower he needed." Claus laughed bitterly. "He also wanted more information on them, I'd say. He wanted a whole history before putting them on trial before Mom and apple pie."
"And because Winifred was an American citizen and used the U.S. Army to cover up her misdeeds, then he could easily have had her shot," Klinger added.
"Right." Claus seemed proud of their deductions. "However, there's still the case of Margaret Houlihan, who is accused my murdering my precious wife." The husband of Winifred Curtis offered the other men no sign of grief, but his eyes started showing it to them, like he was also sad at the destruction of an Army officer, innocent of all charges.
Hawkeye knew right then and there that Claus Schultz was not just grieving for Winifred Curtis, but also for Margaret Houlihan.
"Well, we know that she had two sisters and a brother and one of her sisters died before she was born," Klinger offered.
"Her father took her on a life of crime, she left the family and joined the Army and went to Germany, where she joined this nut organization," Hawkeye added.
"She married me, we had our son adapted and our life together seemed separate, but complete almost." Claus again sounded saddened by the loss of years of marital bliss, but gathered himself together and tried to appear like he was rational.
"She was an aide to Big Mac, on an assassination errand –" Klinger began.
"– and she had no chance in hell, so as a registered U.S. Army nurse, was assigned at Tokyo General, where she was given the boot and assigned to us," Hawkeye finished.
"We had to deal with the consequences of it and then she was murdered not long afterward."
"While in the meantime, our lovely damsel in distress, Margaret Houlihan, was blamed and arrested by Major Floyd."
"And it appeared like she was going to confess something, I'd guess."
"And that, my dear Klinger, has the M.P.'s coming after us."
"Who is this Major Floyd?" Claus asked, interrupting Hawkeye and Klinger stating the facts back and forth. "I've never heard of him before."
"Oh, he's the guy in charge of this crummy investigation," Klinger said casually. "He's kind of a sucker, if you know what I mean."
"He wants something and he won't stop until he gets it," Hawkeye added when Claus showed them both a confused look on his face.
"Ahh." Claus still appeared confused. "Well, if the M.P.'s are after you, then it would be logical to say that Major Houlihan confessed falsely and now, you both are in trouble."
"Don't we know it already," Klinger groaned, knowing the obvious.
"So, we can't go back to camp unless we want to get arrested," Hawkeye softly said, crushed by the realization that he would either be arrested for murder or desertion. Either option was not comforting and would not allow him to go home to Crabapple Cove after the war ended.
"This Major Floyd character seemed a little shady to me, though," Claus announced. "I'm going to call a friend of mine and have him checked out. It just could be that he's nothing, but it also could be that he's a bigger danger than we thought. Already, he has his men out there, searching for you. What more is this man capable of?"
Inanely, Klinger picked up the package of files, flipping through them until he stopped on a familiar sight. "Hey, it's Sergeant Church!"
"What are you talking about?" Hawkeye demanded, tired from the day's events already.
Klinger was insistent on the identification. "No, look, Captain, this is Sergeant Church. When you do enough K.P. with the man, you can recognize his face anywhere."
Hawkeye looked at the file when Klinger handed it to him, seeing the same face (there were some different facial features behind it), but a different name. "Well, he wasn't Sergeant Aaron Church then, but he was Manfred Schneider, the man also chasing the same Nazi dreams as Winifred Curtis was. That is, my dear Klinger, if this is really Sergeant Church."
"Let me see that." Claus gently took the file from Hawkeye, eying it wearyingly. "Yes, this is Manfred Schneider. I didn't know that he might have changed his name and joined the U.S. Army, but it is possible. General Hannibal wanted as many as he could inside the U.S. military so that it could be infiltrated."
"And manipulated?" Hawkeye asked, aware that a bigger conspiracy was about to be uncovered and that he was stuck right in the middle of it.
"Most likely so," Claus replied gravely, studying the file of Manfred Schneider and sighing.