Thai black magic practitioners use the body parts of dead children. The fresher, the better!
"Gott im Himmel!" murmured the man, dressed in a fashionable woollen suit.
He stood open-mouthed, dazed by the sight in front of him. The burnished gold caught the sunlight, which flashed onto his dark blue silk tie. His neatly trimmed moustache twitched as he spoke.
"What are you going to do with all that?"
Most non-Thai men in the area wore military clothing, this European man felt undressed without his Nazi uniform.
"I should curse God. Why did you follow me?"
The man who answered was wearing a uniform. They made it in Tokyo. The Japanese officer quickly decided on his course of action.
The Nazi spoke first, "I wanted to see what you are doing. My god, where did you get all this?"
Trailers with tonnes of gold were being wheeled into a cave. Deep in the cavern was greater wealth, they stacked huge steel containers box on boxes of looted precious metal and jewels.
Thermometers were touching forty degrees C. The European insisted on keeping his tie knotted. He eased the damp material away from his neck. The Thai jungle was steaming. Tree frogs croaked after the early morning rain.
"I have no time for childish friendships. My life belongs to Imperial Japan. In the coming weeks, we shall be defeated whatever my leader tells us. I want to secure the future for all loyal Japanese by hiding this treasure."
"But how did you move so much?"
The Japanese soldier unclipped his pistol.
"Sorry my friend, but you have to die with the secret."
He raised his weapon, releasing the safety, and aimed. His target had thought of a simpler plan, to keep this wealth for himself, and the further away from the troubles in Europe the better.
With no second thoughts, calmly and surely the Japanese finger tightened on the trigger. An explosion shook the rocks, the pistol fired wildly; the ricochet went unheard, lost as rocks tumbled. Stone and dust filled the air, within seconds the two men were drowning in rock. The cave roof collapsed. Rocks tumbled from the top of the hill, bouncing and rolling down.
It silenced the frogs.
One hundred yards away, just outside the cave entrance, a cheer went up.
"Got him at last," said Pi Chit, a Thai special forces soldier disguised as a labourer. He peered eagle-eyed through his binoculars, savouring the sight of a known enemy, now surely dead.
Pi Chit preferred his country to be called Siam, as they knew Thailand before 1932. "When this war is over, maybe we can go back to calling the place I love, Siam again?" he said to himself.
His loyalty to His Majesty, the King of Thailand, was unswerving.
The gold was out of his field of vision, hidden behind mounds of rock. The unseen wealth was now buried deep in fractured stone and dust. His mission was complete.
The Seri Thai, or Free Thai Movement, an underground resistance group, were delighted at their victory. Small, in the greater scheme of war, but they hated all Japs, and that one in particular. He had forced Thais to work as slaves in their own country. The small group of fearless fighters took on the Japanese invaders during World War II at every chance they could. They were proud men and had been an important source of information. They were grateful for the chance to pass on any military intelligence to the Allies in the region.
"Who was the man with him?" asked the senior 'labourer,'. "A 'falang', who cares?"
It is believed that the word 'falang' comes from 'falangset', the Thai word for French, the first Europeans to visit the Kingdom.
The 'falang' was not French, he was an Austrian Nazi officer, who had been sent to India by Hitler to work alongside the Indische Legion, officially the Free Indian Legion an underground force determined to rid India of British rule. The German army was happy to assist in their aim. He had correctly guessed that the war was about to end. He could not stay in India. He hated the filth and crowded cities. But where could he go?
Definitely not Europe, where he would face war crime trials. Thailand was near, and as he was not Japanese, he assumed he could easily start a new life there when the war finally ended. He boarded a boat and sailed into Bangkok's Khlong Toei port and made his way to Kanchanaburi.
A week before his cave visit, he had met an English-speaking officer. Wearing his Nazi uniform, it was easy to pretend he was here to pass messages to senior Japanese officers from the Nazi's. He and Rikugun-Chūjō.
They had sat Hiro and Mat next to each other during a formal dinner. Too much saki was drunk. A few words slipped out. Enough to get Oberstleutnant Mat von Wolff's interest.
Mat made it his duty to himself, to find out more. Hiro was trying to be careful. He knew the saki had caused him to say too much. However, he had enjoyed the Austrian company.
"I will have to watch that man," Hiro said to himself.
None of the other soldiers stationed in that part of Thailand could speak German, very few could speak any English. Hiro's parents had insisted that in the future, speaking English would be of huge advantage in business when the war ended, they insisted their son took his language studies at university seriously. He did well, speaking accentless English.
Mat's parents had both been lawyers, they too saw the big plus for any English speaker, whenever the war ended. When Germany won, they would need people with language skills to take charge of smaller countries.
The two men enjoyed laughing at each other's jokes, especially as nobody else could understand.
Here we go with book number 4 in the series. If you vote, you not only help me, you also help readers find this story.
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