Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.
"Think of it now, Kommandant… the lovely fraulein swooning over you, begging you to whisk her away somewhere," Hogan said, carefully watching Klink from the corner of his eyes to gauge his reaction. His ploy seemed to be working, but suddenly Klink broke away, shaking his head.
"No, Hogan, I cannot allow it. It would--"
"The envy of all the other Stalags, jealousy rampant," Hogan continued as if Klink had not said anything at all. "All of the other camp kommandants will be talking about General, I mean, Colonel Klink."
The phone fairly flew from its hook, and Klink was soon shouting orders for the tower to be built before Hogan could light the cigar he stole. He gave himself a congratulatory puff, saluted Klink, and strode out the door with a smile on his face.
It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
"What about him?" The German guard jerked a thumb towards Hogan, who continued staring at the ground without a flicker of expression on his face.
The other patrol laughed. "Him? He is deaf and dumb. Who is he going to tell?" They grinned unpleasantly, and the first walked up to Hogan, invading his personal space and shoving him with his rifle. He looked up, eyes wide with feigned surprise.
"Hello? Hello?" The guard shook his head. "Idiot villager." He gestured towards his head and shoved Hogan onto the ground roughly. "We will hold him until Captain Kleb gets here."
The other nodded. "Cigarette?"
"Ja. What have you heard from your cousin, Armin?"
complaining, complaining. He is stationed somewhere near, guarding
some new rocket near Dusseldorf. I tell him, at least you are far
from your wife this way."
The two laughed, and Hogan fought not to smile. Funny how it worked--he had came here to swindle them with his fast talk, and he was learning more by keeping his mouth shut.
When in doubt, tell the truth.
"Colonel Hogan, I demand an explanation," Schultz said, stomping his foot on the ground. The prisoners looked at each other over the pile of cotton and wires, refusing to meet the German's eyes. Kinch cast a quick glance at Hogan, who shook his head minutely.
"Schultz," Hogan said congenially, swinging an arm around Schultz's shoulders, "Would I lie to you?"
Hogan stopped, then inclined his head. "Fine. But only for your own protection--this is the truth, though, so listen up." He gestured for Schultz to lean forward. Lowering his voice, he said, "We're actually building a miniature train, concealing a bug, that we're going to place on a model of a train set in Klink's office as a decoration piece. The cotton is going to look like snow. You see, our other bug--"
"Please, Colonel, the truth," Schultz said.
"Fine. We're building stuffed animals to donate to the little German children for Christmas. The wire is to keep their heads up and such."
"Oh, Colonel," Schultz said with a smile on his face, 'That is so nice."
Colonel Hogan smiled back and nodded. "Mhmm. But we don't want anyone to know, so…"
"Of course, of course!" Schultz disappeared through the door.
"I can't believe you told him what we were doing and he didn't believe it," Carter said, pulling the railroad tracks out from behind him.
"I'm doing it and I can't believe we're doing it," Newkirk said. "No one's ever going to believe any of this after the war, you know."
"Who expects them to?" Kinch said, dabbing a bit more green on the tiny tree he was holding.
"London already told me they're binding my mission reports and selling them as fiction," Hogan said with a grin. "I think you need more red on that boxcar."
Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.
"Yellow bellied Klink showing his colors again, then?" Newkirk said, leaning forward on his elbows next to the coffee pot. LeBeau moved over to let him in the circle.
"Ssh," Hogan motioned for them to keep quiet. "We need Klink to let this guy go, or the Underground is up the creek without a paddle and the Gestapo right behind."
"Yeah, but what are the chances Klink's going to do that, Colonel?" Kinch said quietly. Hogan shook his head, not answering.
"Herr Theiss," Klink's voice crackled over the speaker. "I know that your stay in Stalag 13 has been most unpleasant--"
"I have been in the cooler, Klink," a second voice said dryly.
Klink laughed nervously. "I am sorry about that, but Major Hochstetter ordered…" His voice suddenly became serious. "Herr Theiss, you are to be shot tomorrow morning. The Gestapo is coming to arrest you as a traitor and spy to the Third Reich."
To his credit, Theiss's voice only shook the barest bit when he spoke. "I assumed as much, Colonel."
"I am not a brave man, but I cannot condone this. You must leave at once. Sergeant Schultz is waiting with a car outside. He will take you to the woods, and from then you must make it on your own. I have no other way to help you, or I would."
The prisoners stared in silent shock at the coffee pot while Theiss stuttered a reply.
"How about that?" Carter said. "Klink's not such a bad guy, after all."
"Yeah, but the Gestapo are going to ship him off to the Russian Front if he loses this prisoner. Carter, get me a small bomb--put it in the cooler and set it for ten minutes. Newkirk, LeBeau, we need a diversion. Kinch, you grab Theiss before he gets in the car and take him to the tunnel."
As the men scurried to carry out his orders, Hogan frowned at the coffee pot in thought.
"Didn't think you had it in you, Klink."
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear.
Colonel Hogan glanced down from his perch on the top bunk, pausing in his scribbling for a moment. "What's up, Carter?"
"Colonel, can I talk to you for a minute?" The young man shifted, tugging at the hat in his hands and clutching the edges of his jacket sleeves.
Hogan hopped down gracefully, gesturing for Carter to take a seat at his desk and sitting across from him on the lower bunk. "What is it?"
"Colonel…" Carter stared at the floor, then back up at Hogan, who waited patiently for the problem to come out. "Sir, are you ever scared?"
Hogan blinked. "All the time. A man would have to be stupid not to be."
"But you never show it."
With a wry smile at the memory of a certain "dud" bomb that landed in camp, Hogan shook his head. "Oh, not always."
Carter pressed on. "But you don't show it to us or anything. I mean, you're always brave and everything."
"Carter, you weren't here when I first arrived in camp, were you?"
"No, sir," Carter answered, obviously confused at the turn of conversation.
"The only people I knew really well was Kinch. We met when we first were shot down, and both of us clicked. When we first started this, I made a mistake. Something went wrong during the mission, and I forgot that the first rule is never to let your men see you panic, because they know then it's time for them to panic. Right?"
Carter nodded. "Sure, Colonel."
"I beat myself up for days about it. I just couldn't believe that I had nearly jeopardized the entire mission because I was scared. Finally Kinch slapped some sense into me and told me that his father once said that courage isn't the absence of fear, but the mastery of it."
"So what'd you do?"
"Well, it made sense. I was scared, and the guys knew it. You guys should know it, too. Sure, I'm scared. Any one of us could be caught and shot as a spy. But it's worth it… and if we can go out and do something anyway because it's right, even though we're scared of it, well, that's something, isn't it?"
"No guessing, Carter." Hogan stood up and laid a hand on the Bible he kept on his shelf. "If doing good were easy, everyone would do it. It's not that simple."
"You're saying courage is just doing right, even though we're scared to?" Carter said doubtfully.
"That's right." Hogan pulled the Bible off the shelf. "Here. Read a few passages tonight."
Carter took the Bible and looked up at Hogan. "Thank you, sir."
Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
One word, spoken in terrified whispers, traveling through dark alleys and silent meetings.
In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.
"But the Fuehrer--"
"Why do you follow him?"
"Well, because he--"
"Do you agree with him?"
"Do you think that Germans really are the master race? And if you are, doesn't it behoove the master race to protect the other races, not destroy them?"
"I don't think--"
"Are you proud of your country?"
"Then why are you proud of this man, who is destroying what it was?"
"… I don't know."
There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
"Sir, I say this in the utmost respect, after three years of serving under your command and obeying your every wish with pride, duty, and willingness, unquestioning, and with the full force of my character and intellect--you're flippin' mad."
"Newkirk, flattery will get you nowhere," Hogan said, his lips quirked at the sides.
"I hate to say this, but I agree with Newkirk," LeBeau said, shaking his head. "There is no way even the Bosche would fall for such a plan."
"They're right, Colonel," Kinch put in. "Sorry, sir, but it's just not going to work."
Carter looked up from peeling potatoes. "Well, I think it's a good plan."
Newkirk threw down a card. "There, now we know it won't work!"
"Skeptics. Have you no faith?" Hogan snatched his hat and propped it on his head. "Be back in a jiff."
"Yeah, because Klink'll think you're mad, too," Newkirk said.
Hogan shook his head. "Oh, none of you ever played pirates when you were kids? Or dug up the backyard, looking for skeletons or treasures?"
All the men in the barracks looked away sheepishly. A few winced, undoubtedly remembering a few choice words from angry mothers over their rosebushes.
"Maybe a few times, but Klink's a grown man. Even he won't believe a treasure map," Kinch said.
Colonel Hogan grinned. "There comes a time in every red-blooded male's life that he wants nothing more to build, destroy, or dig something. We're just going to play upon the third." The door slammed after him.
"The sad thing, chaps?" Newkirk said, waiting until everyone's attention was on him. "He knows it's going to work."
"Officers," LeBeau grumbled.