Now what’s this other assignment you have for me?”
“It’s a ghost story,” said the president with a straight
“I beg your pardon, sir?” asked Redmond politely. “I thought
you usually told us those at Halloween over the roasting hot dogs and
“Actually, those are just old Manley Wade Wellman stories I
ad lib,” Morgan confessed. “But this is a real one. A ghost from our past has
come back to haunt us.”
“Does this ghost have a name?” asked Redmond.
“She does,” replied Morgan. “Trudy Greiner.”
Don, stunned, leaping to his feet in amazement, his cigar ash falling onto the
“I said Trudy Greiner.” Morgan opened his desk drawer and
handed Redmond a piece of paper encased in clear glassine plastic that he took
from a folder. “This is a letter that my office received yesterday, supposedly
from the Los Angeles metroplex, although there’s no way to tell where it
“There’s no mail service between the Republic and Aztlan,”
pointed out Redmond, holding the encased letter up to the light. “From what I
gather, there’s precious little mail service in Aztlan. God, this is crap paper! The eco-freaks down there must
have recycled it six or eight times. It’s about to fall apart! Well, at least
she’s still speaking English and not Spanglish. Proper Mexican Spanish, now
that I can speak and read and write from my language training at Sandpoint, but
I still haven’t quite mastered that shit half-language the Americans speak now,
for all the stuff I have to read in it that comes across my desk. It’s even
worse than Puerto Rican.”
“I know there’s no mail service from Aztlan,” responded
Morgan. “This letter was carried by one of the private courier companies who
specialize in smuggling mail into and out of the NAR. The Mexicans generally
overlook it. They treat it as a kind of necessary evil and they have sense
enough to know they can’t completely suppress all contact. As to the paper, she
was probably lucky even to get that if she’s really living in L. A., with all the
constant shortage of the basics down there.” Redmond read the paper out loud.
To the Honorable John
Northwest American Republic
You may be surprised
to hear from me after all this time the Republic has spent trying to hunt me
down and kill me. I am writing to tell you that you can stop looking.
I’m tired of living
among strangers. I’m tired of running and hiding all my life for a crime I did
not commit. I am going to put an end to it. It is my intention to exercise the
right that belongs to every other Aryan man and woman the world over. I am
Coming Home. I have gotten an exit visa from the Aztlan government, never mind
how. On October 22nd of this year, the anniversary of the Coeur
d’Alene uprising, I will walk into the Republic at the old Interstate Five
border crossing at Mountain Gate, California. If you want to shoot me down on
sight or hang me from the first tree on the white side of the border, then go
ahead. I don’t care any more. You’ll be murdering an innocent woman, but I
would rather die in the country I gave my youth and my heart to bring into
being than live in this mud-colored horror down here for one more day.
If you don’t kill me
outright, then I demand a public trial or court martial on the charges against
me. I did not betray the Olympic Flying Column. I would have given up my own
life for Tom Murdock, for Melanie Young, and for any one of my beloved comrades
without a moment’s hesitation. Even though forty years of hell have passed, I
still mourn them all every day. I can no longer live with this lie, this
terrible accusation. It is wrong. I don’t deserve this. I can’t stand it any
more. I swear to you by my immortal soul that I am innocent. As a soldier of the
Northwest Volunteer Army (I was never officially discharged) I demand the right
to live and to die by the laws of my beloved country, and to clear my name
should God in His infinite mercy grant me that deliverance. If not, then let
His will be done.
Volunteer Gertrude Greiner
P. S. I am attaching
something below that I have always
been willing to give for the Homeland, even during all the years you were
hunting for me.
Below the PS was a brown thumbprint in blood.
“Holy Christ!” muttered Don, stunned.
“And here I thought you were a National Socialist?” asked
Morgan with a grim smile.
“I am. That means I can swear by Christ and the Aesir both
with a clear conscience,” said Redmond. “Trudy Greiner, the last of the
revolutionary traitors, is coming out of hiding after more than thirty years?
She must have lost her mind!”
“That would seem to be about the only way we might manage to
catch her,” replied Morgan dryly. “No other target has been so successful in
escaping our hunters. We hadn’t even caught a lingering scent of her for years.
It was as if she’d dropped off the face of the planet. BOSS and WPB had about
come to the conclusion she was dead and buried secretly somewhere under a false
“How do you know it’s not a hoax?” asked Redmond. “I assume
the bloody thumbprint was for identification purposes, but both DNA and
fingerprints can be faked. The Office of Northwest Recovery and our own War
Prevention people do it all the time. Or it might be the woman who wrote it is
one of their damned genetically engineered doubles, like that clone of Bill
Vitale they tried to slip past us.”
“I know. Granted, it’s possible that this is some kind of
stroke from the ONR. But the Bureau’s forensics lab gave the document a good
going over, and the fact is that both thumbprint and DNA actually do match,” replied Morgan.
“Are they sure?” asked Don.
“Positive. The Greiner woman was fingerprinted and DNA-typed
by the FBI in Oregon after she was arrested for felony hatecrime over forty
years ago, when she was a teeny-bopper. As you may recall, when ZOG officially
pulled out of Portland some of the local red-white-and-blue yay-hoos decided
Longview didn’t mean them. We had to go in heavy and fight our way into the
city street by street for three days before we cleaned them out. You remember
the Battle of the Bridges?”