a/n: This story has been taking up space in my head and hard drive since 2008. I finally figured out what I needed to do with help from my sister and typist, Ruth. So thanks. I would also like to thank my Dad for his help with the games and their British names. This website: http:/history/tokensdotphp was a tremendous resource. I have used the 9th edition in this story. Various sites discuss the use of Monopoly during World War 2 and finally: No copyright infringement is intended, anywhere...This is just for fun.
"Message from London , Colonel." The sentence was completed before the radioman hit the top rung of the ladder.
Hogan, coffee mug in hand, was leaning up against a bunk. "Wish I had a dollar for every time you've said that," he grinned.
"You'd be rich." Kinch handed the colonel a slip of paper.
"No place to spend it." Hogan glanced at the message. "At the moment..."
"New mission, sir?" Carter asked. "It's been dull around here, lately."
"Dull, but safer." Newkirk chided the sergeant.
"We do have a new mission," Hogan answered. "Seems simple enough. London is sending us an important message. We have to retrieve the message and deliver it to Snow White."
"Snow White," LeBeau grumbled. He had met Snow White. She was a formidable and vital member of the Underground unit, who could pass for his grandmother. "Don't say it." He glared at the other men in the barracks. "These code names are ridiculous,Colonel."
"Louis is right. We need to get these changed. How about sports?" Newkirk's idea got the men in the barracks talking.
"Umpire, ref," Carter suggested.
"Arsenal, pitch, goalie," Newkirk added.
"Babe Ruth," Olsen chimed in.
"I thought that was a candy bar," LeBeau remarked.
"Hold it!" Hogan shouted. The men froze. "I didn't set these. I'm just the messenger. Look, we have a bit of detective work to do."
"Sounds interesting." Kinch walked over to the table, moved one of Newkirk's cards, and received a slap on the wrist for his efforts. "Where's the message?"
"That's the point," Hogan replied. "We'll be receiving a shipment of leisure items – games, books, etc. - from the Red Cross. There will be coded instructions in the shipment, and that will lead us to the message. Then we take it from there." He crumpled up the paper and threw it into the stove.
"Aww. No explosions?"
"No. Sorry, Carter."
"Maybe they'll send some tiddlywinks, Andrew." Newkirk winked at Kinch.
"I'll have you know, Newkirk, I can beat you at tiddlywinks with one hand tied behind my back." Carter sat down on his bunk and pouted.
"I'm not staying for this." Hogan, who was still nursing his cup of coffee, headed outside. Most of the other men in the barracks followed, leaving Newkirk and Carter to their friendly argument.
"All present and accounted for, Kommandant." Schultz turned and waited for Klink to give his usual boring morning spiel.
"I have good news to report this morning."
"Berlin 's fallen!" Someone yelled.
"Who said that? Schultz, put that man on report," Klink ordered. Six men stepped forward.
Hogan ran interference. "Sorry, sir. It won't happen again. They're restless. Bad weather… stuck indoors. Bored." Klink stared. "Makes 'em ornery," Hogan whispered.
"I could order a work detail." The men groaned. "But…" Klink paused. "The men will no longer have an excuse to be bored. We have received a new delivery of amusements from the Red Cross."
A cheer went up. Hogan quickly squelched it. "That's great, sir." He stepped forward. "We'll start unpacking right away. Carter, Newkirk…"
"Hold it, Colonel Hogan. Isn't that a job for your morale officer?"
"Truthfully, Kommandant, yes. But…" Hogan lowered his voice. "He resigned. Not happy with his assignment." A few of the soldiers snickered. "Carter and Newkirk have applied for his position." On cue, both men stepped forward. "Look at it this way. This is like, like… their employment interview."
"Interview?" Klink, befuddled as usual, gave up. "The boxes have been delivered to the recreation hall. Unpack them. Diiismisssed!"
Schultz watched Klink disappear into the Kommandanteur. "Interview," he chuckled and shook his head.
The boxes were, as Klink mentioned, in the recreation hall. On the floor by the ping pong table sat two large packing crates.
"We won't need this, sir." Newkirk put down the tool he had brought with him to pry off the lid. "It's already open." He pulled off the lid that was askew on the top of the box labeled one of two.
"Same as this one." Carter opened the second box.
"They would check the contents before letting us have them. Probably two or three times. Find the information and bring it back to the barracks." Hogan looked at his watch. "I have a chess game with Klink to drag out. Barracks 4 has volunteered to clean up the rest of the stuff. And get me out of Klink's quarters when you're done."
"Will do, sir. Shouldn't take long." Carter and Newkirk watched Hogan leave.
"I say let's start with number one. Probably where they left the instructions."
Newkirk sighed. "Undoubtedly. After you."
"No, after you, Peter. It's from the British Red Cross. See?" Carter pointed to a stamp inside the huge crate.
"Oh. All right, mate. Let's see what we have in here." Newkirk eagerly dug in and began to pull out scraps of paper.
"Don't throw that out!" Carter screamed.
Newkirk jumped. "For heaven's sake. You nearly gave me a coronary!"
"Sorry, Newkirk. I need it for Felix's bedding."
"Oh, for Pete's sake. Put it over there. What's this?" Newkirk pulled out a large sheet of paper.
"Bingo!" Carter explained.
"No, not yet. No Bingo. A letter and a packing list."
"No, I meant Bingo as if you found… Oh, never mind." Carter peeked over Newkirk's shoulder. "What's it say?"
"Hold your horses, I'll read it." Newkirk leaned against the ping pong table. "Listen..."
To the brave prisoners of Stalag 13. We, the members of the St. James Women's Auxiliary, have carefully collected and packed these 21 items for you in hopes that it will make your time in prison more bearable.
"That's it, Newkirk, bearable. Papa Bear!"
"Shall I continue, Carter?"
"Please. St. James sounds so… so… British."
"Yes it does." Newkirk cleared his throat. "Where was I? St. James, bearable. Oh, yes, 'ere… Please play nice, read the instructions and follow the rules?" He shrugged.
"Go on," Carter urged. "Where's the message?"
"I don't know, mate. The rest is a packing list of twenty-one items."
"Maybe it's in there. Let's check it over." Carter grabbed a pencil.
"Good idea," Newkirk agreed. He and Carter emptied both crates and piled the contents on the table.
"Toss me the pencil. I'll read the list," Newkirk said. "You find the items."
"Got it. Pencil ready?" Carter asked cheerfully.
"Ready. Draughts … two." Newkirk looked up.
"And that would be...?"
"Why didn't you say so?" Carter moved some items. "Two games of checkers. Check. Checking the checkers," he chuckled.
"Marvelous." Newkirk rolled his eyes. "Next. Snakes and Ladders. One."
"Oh, you mean Chutes and Ladders. Here it is." Carter picked up the box and placed it next to the checkers.
"Why would they send that? It's a kids' game," Newkirk grumbled.
"I like it," Carter mumbled.
"Biff Bats. Four."
"Speak English, Newkirk!"
"I am! It's those; there." Newkirk pointed.
"Oh, paddle balls! Hey, we could have a tournament." Carter picked one up and began to count.
"Lovely. Next … crayons. Two boxes."
Carter walked around the table. "Nope. No crayons."
"That's odd. Here they are." Newkirk walked to the other side and picked up the boxes, then put them down.
"Those are pencils, Newkirk. Colored pencils."
"We … call … them … crayons… and this… is … a British inventory …. From the St. James Women's auxiliary…"
"Gee, don't get testy. Sorry, go on."
"One box of dominoes."
"One box Ludo."
"Sorry, mate. Parcheesi."
"One set badminton paddles and two birdies."
"Here birdie, birdie... Found it!" Carter shouted.
"Hurray! Two yo-yos."
"Found them, but they're tangled together." Carter held up a mess.
"Give you something to do. Untangle them. One Monopoly game."
"Two jigsaw puzzles - 1000 pieces each."
"Over here." Carter opened the boxes. "Already put together. Look." The puzzles were indeed put together and folded up neatly in the box. "The Krauts checked these over already. They wouldn't sneak anything in there. Too easy to check. That's twenty. Is there anything else?" Carter asked Newkirk.
"Oh. Last one. Pack of cards for pontoon. Pontoon... Over there."
"Oh," Carter's face fell. "Cards. Like we have no cards." Carter tossed the deck on a shelf. "Well, where is it?"
"Where's what?" Newkirk had picked up a yo-yo, quickly untangled it and was expertly walking the dog.
"Hey, that's good. The message, or where to find it."
"Oh, I forgot," Newkirk laughed. "Let's see." He glanced at the list. "Not many clues here…"
"Hold it. Where did you say the ladies' auxiliary was from, Peter?"
"That's it! Monopoly! There's a property called St. James on the board."
"I'm not familiar with the game. You sure?"
"Absolutely. Besides, you know they've hidden all sorts of things in those games."
"Of course. Good thinking, Carter. Let's grab the game and this message and take it back to the barracks!"