Around one in the afternoon I head into Johns' office where Aldo has called a meeting. I am the first to arrive so I lean back in my chair, kicking my feet up on the glossy table. I sing to myself as I wait. "While other girls attend their fav'rite cocktail bar, sipping martinis, munching caviar… There's a girl who's really putting them to shame…"
"Daphne is her name!" I whip around to the sound of Aldo interjecting in my song. He is grinning widely as he leads the rest of the Basterds into the office.
I pull my feet off the table, planting them firmly on the ground as Aldo sits across from me. He has a stack of papers clutched to his chest. Once everyone is seated, Hugo to my left and Ulmer to my right, Aldo begins talking.
"First off, I'd like to congratulate, Miss Daphne McGee here on becoming the first and only woman to impress upon me so much. Welcome to the Basterds." This prompts a mini applause from the boys. "Now, we came to you, in need of your special services…" He begins to explain. I wait quietly as he splays the papers across the table. "Several Nazi soldiers have been stationed in Paris."
I lean in to look over the photos of the Gestapo and files Aldo seemed to have collected on them.
"These boys can be our ticket to infiltrating camps as well as tracking down the commanding officers and maybe even the Führer hisself." He pulls an ever-present cigar from his pocket and lights it up. "I need you and Stiglitz to go in undercover." Hugo perks up; as this is the first time he is hearing this plan.
"Okay…" I nod, waiting to hear more.
Aldo shuffles his papers around until he finds a picture of a Parisian building with notes scribbled over it. "This is the Normandy Hotel where the officers and their families are staying. Stiglitz, you are going to pose as a Nazi officer, and McGee… I need you to be his… companion." He chooses his words carefully.
"And by companion… You mean?" I ask tentatively. I know what he means, but I want him to spell it out anyway.
"His French lover." Aldo shrugs. "You speak French, right?"
"Oui." I nod.
"Great! So… It's a plan." He announces, standing up, signaling the end of the meeting.
Later that night, I sit in my room, freshly showered and begin rolling my hair into pin curls, setting them with bobby pins. As I roll up each curl, I read over the papers, providing my new identity. I am now Cherie LaRue, former artist's model, and daughter of a wealthy banker, Henri LaRue and former dancer, Claudette Bordeaux-LaRue. As Cherie, I am a high society girl that was on break in Amsterdam when I met the industrious Lieutenant Friedrich Kaiser. We have been together since.
Once my hair is completely pinned up, I wrap my head in a bandana to keep them neat. I crouch on the floor and reach under my bed for a beaten old trunk. I pop open the latches, setting free a mass of women's clothing, pantyhose, skirts and high heels that I use for my undercover missions. I dig through until I find my satchel of makeup and lay it out on the sink for the next day. I have to be primped and perfectly Parisian by tomorrow morning at oh-eight hundred. When I realize there is nothing more I can do to prepare this evening, I climb into bed, willing myself to sleep.