Suddenly the door of the office flew open.

"Klink!" Hochstetter growled.

Kommandant Klink jumped up in surprise. "What?! Oh, er… major Hochstetter! How very nice to see you!"

Hochstetter entered with ridiculously long strides for his length. "Klink!" he growled. "I will be away on business for a few days. And I have four prisoners locked in your cooler."

"Four prisoners, major?" Klink whinnied nervously. "In my cooler? Now if I may say so…"

"You may not!" Hochstetter snarled. "These four females are social security prisoners. Spies! They are a hazard to the Third Reich. So I want them kept under lock and key until I return from Berlin. Is that understood?"

Klink's head bobbed up and down. "Under lock and key. Yes, major, understood."

"And…" The major's voice held a disdainful, threatening note now, "do you think you can handle this assignment, Klink?"

Klink straightened and puffed out his chest. "Of course, major. You can rest at ease; no one has ever escaped from Stalag 13."

Major Hochstetter spat on the floor. "Paah! Males, yes. But females are a different kettle of fish, colonel. You better keep a close eye on them, or you'll find yourself picking icicles out of your hair before this week is over!"

Naturally, Klink shrank away under that threat, and Hochstetter stomped out of the room with a triumphant 'Heil Hitler'.

And Klink sank down in his chair, moaning. "Why do they always have to pick my camp?"


"Well, here we are," Linda said happily as Schultz shuffled away in the dark corridor. She looked around the bare concrete walls with interested curiosity.

Eva raised her eyebrows. "What was it you said? 'Sit back and enjoy'?"

Linda sighed. "Okay, so I didn't expect them to throw us in the cooler right away."

"And we haven't even seen the Colonel yet!" Denise complained.

"Oh, cheer up." Sue did her best to follow Linda's cheerful lead. "Remember Newkirk and LeBeau digging a tunnel in twenty minutes once they discovered three girls being held in another barrack? They'll be here soon enough. I bet they saw everything through their periscope in the water barrel. Considering how deserted the compound was, they were probably confined to the barracks."

"For us." Denise chuckled. "Come to think of it: why not help ourselves? Perhaps this is one of the cells that has an exit to the tunnels?"

It was worth a try.

So they examined the rough concrete floor inch by inch, as well as the walls…

"I've got it!" Sue cried out.

Indeed: it was hard to see in the vague light of the cell, but it seemed a square door of some two foot high was discernable in the thick wall.

"Let's try it," Linda ordered.

But try as they might, all they ended up with were scraped fingers and broken nails. The door would not budge.

"Try and wedge a toothbrush in between," Sue suggested at last.

But none of their toothbrushes was tapering enough to fit in the crack.

"I suppose it can only be opened from the other side," Eva concluded, and she sank down on the hard plank bed.

Linda and Denise were not ready to give up so easily, but after half an hour more, without even having moved the door for one millimetre, they decided Eva was probably right.

Now all they could do was wait. Wait for their heroes to come to their rescue – or wait for their fiends to come and… what?

Nobody knew.

And with nothing to do but wait, and nothing to hold onto save for a toothbrush, the future seemed to be terribly bleak.


"Colonel, it's girls!" LeBeau jubilated as the men watched the arrival through a crack in the door.

Immediately all the men of barracks 2 crowded around them, eager to get a glimpse of that rare species of mankind in this neck of the woods.

But: "I wouldn't get too excited, Louis," came Kinch's dampening voice. "They look pretty old to me."

"Not exactly my standard either," Newkirk had to agree. "But they'll do anyway. Beggars can't be choosers, you know."

"Well, there's still four of them. So we do have something to choose," Carter pointed out.

"What do you think they're doing here, Colonel?" Kinch asked.

Hogan had a shrug. "No idea. So let's find out."

"I can find out in which cell they are." LeBeau beamed. "I'll go take a look right away."

"No, LeBeau. Wait. I'll see what I can find out from Hochstetter and Klink first." He opened the door. "Make that: from Klink," he corrected as he saw Hochstetter pacing from the office to his truck.

Hogan waited a moment until Hochstetter's truck had disappeared out of sight. Then he quickly crossed the compound and entered the office.

"Hello dear. Is the Kommandant in?"

Helga's pretty face lit up in a smile. "Yes, he is here."

A quick kiss on her forehead, and on he went into the inner office.

"Hogan, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be confined to the barracks!"

"Sorry. I forgot." A disarming grin. "When I saw those ladies being brought in… Well, you know what it's like."

Klink sighed wearily. "No, I don't know what it's like. All I know is that you are disobeying your orders. Now please go away and let me do my work."

"But Kommandant, what are those ladies doing here? Are they Hochstetter's prisoners?"

"That's none of your business, Hogan. Besides, they'll only be here for a week or so. Safe and sound in the cooler, so you've got nothing to worry about."

Hogan straightened with indignation. "Nothing to worry about, you say?! Kommandant, according to the Geneva Convention the senior POW officer must be present at all interrogations!"

"They have not been interrogated here. They're major Hochstetter's prisoners; not mine. I'm just minding them for a few days."

"Well, at least the Geneva Convention states that I'm entitled to see them. And I'd like to. Right away, if you please."

"It does not please me. They're not prisoners of war, so the Geneva Convention does not apply. Dismissed, Hogan."

Klink bent down over his paperwork again, and Hogan expertly filched a few cigars from the humidor.

"But if they're not prisoners of war, what kind of prisoners are they?" he inquired innocently.

"I don't know," Klink answered distractedly. "Major Hochstetter said something about them being a hazard to the Third Reich."

Hogan raised his eyebrows. "Ladies? Middle-aged ladies?! Young and beautiful girls, perhaps, but these women can't be that tempting to a soldier, can they?"

Klink looked up. "I'm glad you see it that way, Colonel Casanova. That'll save me a whole lot of trouble, I'm sure."

Hogan had a mischievous grin. "Sorry. Can't promise you that. Beggars can't be choosers, you know, when there's so little womenfolk around."

With that, he did a sloppy salute and walked out of the door.