icon Previous summary icon Manga Summaries Page icon Next summary icon

horizontal bar

From Eroica With Love #9

The Alaskan Front

Part One

Dorian has insomnia. The reason? Night after night, he hears a mournful, wailing voice up in the attic, counting steadily and dolorously. Finding it impossible to sleep with this going on, Dorian finally puts on a robe and goes storming up to the attic, yelling "Mr. James!"

James is crouched on the floor amid a huge pile of currency. "One of 'em's definitely missing," he whimpers to Dorian. One 100-mark note, that is, of the 100 million marks which were scattered at the end of Veni, Vidi, Vici. James has painstakingly collected all the others, but one has eluded him and he can't rest in peace until the entire sum is in his hands. He curses the Major, who is to blame for the loss. "Why don't you get it directly from him?" Dorian asks, but James replies that the Major wouldn't give him the money: "He's actually very stingy." So, Dorian suggests that he steal the money instead -- "You're a thief, too, aren't you?"

James hasn't thought of this before, and he is immediately ablaze with enthusiasm for the idea. Much to Dorian's consternation (he hadn't really meant the suggestion that literally), James prepares to rush off to Bonn and steal the missing 100 marks directly from the Major.

Night, outside Schloss Eberbach: James, rather oddly attired in a patched cape, black half-mask, and top hat, prepares to assault the Major's home. Dorian, who feels responsible for his accountant and staff lunatic, has followed him, but James refuses his help as a matter of pride and sets off alone. Waiting, Dorian gazes up at the castle and wonders what the Major is doing.

The Major is doing push-ups. Klaus is working through his nightly exercise routine in his well-equipped gym. Completing the workout, he critically examines himself in the mirror, paying particular attention to his waistline, and gives a quick, self-satisfied smile. Then he showers and goes to bed, singing "Mary had a little lamb" to himself to induce sleep. It works quickly, and he is sound asleep at the stroke of midnight.

Dorian has dozed off while waiting for James, and is dreaming. He sees himself as a medieval minstrel in search of a sleeping beauty in a dense wood. He finds his quarry: Klaus, in a rather improbable nightgown, lying asleep in a bed amongst the foliage. "Now is the time to give thee my loving kiss..." thinks Dorian, bending over him.

At the last moment, Klaus awakes with a shout of "Nein!" Dorian protests: "It's my dream! I can do anything in my dream!" But to no avail; Klaus breaks away from him and suddenly is dressed in armor and mounted on a ferocious-looking black horse, whom he addresses as "Leopard". [See the Leopard tank in Iron Klaus.] Dorian, now on a white horse, follows him, but is puzzled by the loud metallic roar coming from Klaus' steed. He asks Klaus about it, but the only answer he gets is, "Shut up! I like metallic roars! If you complain, you'll be a flattened cuttlefish!"

[Click here to see scanned pages from this scene.]

There is an explosion, and Dorian finds himself falling. He really is falling, and wakes up just in time to grab a limb of the tree he's been sitting in. James appears down below and reports that he hasn't been able to break into the house -- he's been working on the front door lock for five hours. Dorian offers to open it for him, but James stubbornly insists on doing it himself. The point is rendered moot when they hear someone inside approaching the door, and they rush to hide.

It's early morning, and the Eberbach butler emerges to sweep the area in front of the door and check the lawn for weeds. Dorian, hiding in the nearby bushes with James, tries to decoy the butler away from the building by tossing pebbles into the shrubbery to create suspicious rustlings, but he doesn't notice and continues meticulously weeding and sweeping. Finally, Dorian grabs James' cloak and tosses it out on the lawn. The butler sees it and goes rushing over to pick it up, while Dorian and James dash through the door into the house. James is upset because the butler calls his cape "a piece of trash", but they are safely inside.

Dorian has been here once before, and soon finds the study full of art pieces where he first met Klaus. The latter suddenly appears down the hall, and Dorian and James dart into the study to hide. They peek cautiously out the door as the Major tromps by with his face buried in a newspaper, neatly evading obstacles despite this obstruction to his vision.

James starts to rifle through the study in search of cash, but Dorian enjoys looking at the art pieces again. One of them in particular: The Man in Purple, the painting which started Dorian's whole acquaintance with Klaus [see Iron Klaus], attracts his attention. The painting is as fascinating as ever and Dorian is tempted to steal it -- again -- but James protests, saying they're only there to take a 100-mark note.

A car pulls up outside, and they hear the butler announcing that "Herr Chief" has arrived. Dorian is interested to know what brings him here, and James figures that the Chief probably has money, so the two of them sneak out to observe.

In the dining room, Klaus greets the Chief with cold politeness. The Chief apologizes for interrupting his breakfast, but Klaus -- knowing the other has timed his visit hoping to be invited to stay for the meal -- says that he has finished, and orders the servants to clear the table immediately. The Chief is disappointed, but asks for a cup of coffee, saying he had to leave home early so his wife wouldn't wake up. Klaus grudgingly orders a servant to bring a cup.

The Chief begins needling Klaus on the subject of marriage, suggesting rather nastily that Klaus' lack of interest in finding a wife might be due to some physical problem. Klaus insists that he's perfectly healthy, and makes snide remarks of his own about the Chief's lecherous pursuit of Agent G. "I think the reason you haven't been promoted has something to do with that habit of yours," he adds. The Chief retorts, "It's been a long time since you became a major, hasn't it?"

Irritated, Klaus splashes coffee into a cup and shoves it over to the Chief, who eyes it dubiously. "Is this instant?" he asks, and Klaus tells him it's Nescafé. The Chief grumbles that instant coffee is bad for the stomach, but accepts it since the only alternative Klaus offers him is tap water. He then dumps ten sugar cubes into the coffee, which causes Klaus to feel extremely queasy. Klaus warns him that too much sugar is unhealthy: "What if your belly gets any bigger?" The Chief is unconcerned, commenting that one usually develops a belly after a certain age, as Klaus will find out in a few years. Klaus insists that it won't happen to him; he works out every night. However, the Chief points out that Klaus has an unhealthy habit of his own: his incessant smoking.

Dorian, outside the door, is enjoying the "really nasty comic dialogue" between the two when James bounces up, restored to cheerfulness by the 100-mark note he has just found in the Chief's overcoat. James is ready to go home, but Dorian wants to stay a little longer. Klaus and the Chief have finally finished exchanging insults (for the moment) and are discussing business, and Dorian is intrigued.

The Chief explains that the FBI has just contacted him about a German who had recently died in Alaska, having lived there for some thirty years. The man's diary contained some important information about a counterfeiting operation masterminded by Hitler during World War II. He had hoped to disrupt the British economy by spreading counterfeit British currency, but the plan was unsuccessful. Until now, it had not been known that he had planned a similar operation in the U.S. The German who died in Alaska had been a Luftwaffe pilot during the war, and his diary reveals that he was charged with transporting the printing plate for the U.S. counterfeit operation to Kiska Island. However, he encountered bad weather over Alaska and crash-landed his plane on what he had thought was a snow field but what was really Tazlina Lake. The plane promptly sank into the lake, and while the pilot managed to escape, he was afraid he'd be prosecuted for losing the plane and its cargo. So, he remained in Alaska for the rest of his life.

Klaus' mission is to go to Alaska, locate the plane, and destroy the counterfeit negative, all without letting KGB agents in Alaska know what he's up to. The negative was securely packaged in an air-tight container, and it could still be used to print counterfeit currency; hence, the importance of destroying it before it falls into the wrong hands.

A rather avid set of wrong hands happens to be just outside the door. James is almost hysterical with joy at the idea of obtaining a plate which would allow him to create money. Dorian tries to calm him down, but is distracted by something else the Chief is telling Klaus: it seems the negative wasn't the only valuable cargo on the plane. An art collection belonging to Field Marshall Hermann Göring was being transported as well, in an attempt to hide it outside of Germany, and Klaus is also supposed to retrieve the art objects. Upon hearing this, Dorian is just as enthusiastic about it as James is about the counterfeit plate. Jubilant, the two of them leave Schloss Eberbach with one destination in mind: Alaska.

In the dining room, Klaus suddenly jumps up and charges out into the hallway, gun in hand. There is nothing to be seen, but he tells the Chief "I just felt something very bad." The Chief gloats a little about Klaus having to go to Alaska, where he has exiled so many hapless subordinates, but Klaus retaliates by announcing that he's taking Agent G with him, to the Chief's great disappointment.

The Chief starts to leave, while Klaus bellows to the servants to sanitize the cup he had used. A moment later the Chief returns, though, complaining that his "secret savings" -- a 100-mark note hidden in his overcoat -- has mysteriously disappeared. Klaus is supremely indifferent and the Chief storms off, his departure watched by Dorian, who is safely hidden in some bushes near the house. Dorian pities Klaus for having to deal with not only his subordinates, but a difficult boss as well: "No wonder his personality is so twisted. Poor man..."

Inside, Klaus is examining Mr. James' strange-looking cloak, which the butler had found in front of the house. "These colorful patches may be some kind of code," he muses. He questions the butler about the Chief's missing 100 marks, and decides that the uneasy feeling he had earlier really was due to intruders, who were responsible for both the cloak and the theft. "Must be the KGB!" he thinks, and realizes that he will have to be especially vigilant if they overheard the conversation.

NATO headquarters in Bonn is in mourning. The flag is at half-staff and the alphabets are bidding anguished farewells to their office, having been informed that they are all being sent to Alaska. They busy themselves writing wills and signing up for life insurance. Meanwhile, Mr. Z writes a letter to his older sister, telling her his job is sending him to a far-away country and he doesn't know when he will return. He sends his regards to his parents and grandparents.

In the midst of all the weeping and wailing, Klaus storms in and a hush falls over the room. "Did someone die?" he asks. Between sobs, his men tell him that they're going to Alaska. Klaus explodes at them: "There's no reason to lament! Don't you have any balls?!" and continues on in this vein, loudly and at length. Having reduced them all to terrified silence, he adds that they're leaving in four hours and tells them to go get ready. They dash off to prepare, stocking up on potatoes, sausages and sauerkraut. Mr. Z's barber gives him a special shampoo for a cold climate. Left alone, Klaus mutters "Wimps..." and sets about making his own preparations, which consist of calling his butler and instructing him to pack clothing for cold weather.

Dorian and his crew are en route to Alaska. Mr. James, still in a delirium of ecstasy over the prospect of being able to print his very own money, has become wildly extravagant and chartered a Concorde, staffed with champagne-bearing French waiters. He also plans to buy land when they get to Alaska, hoping to pick up a gold mine or an oil well. His uncharacteristic splurging is making the other members of the team nervous, but Dorian figures it will be useful while it lasts.

Klaus and his crew are also en route to Alaska. They travel in the bleakly utilitarian interior of a military cargo plane, and sit in dismal silence. Tiring of the funereal atmosphere, Klaus orders Mr. A to sing something. Mr. A obliges with a lugubrious rendition of "Nearer My God To Thee", and is told to shut up.

Arriving at a military base in Fairbanks, Klaus is greeted by Mr. J [apparently the same chap who was exiled to Alaska for being unable to recover the microfilm capsule from the Achilles statue back in Achilles' Last Stand], and by Investigator Smith of the FBI. Klaus accompanies Smith to the FBI office, noting that the Americans must have been doing research on him -- the car Smith is using is a Benz.

In Anchorage Mr. James has made a beeline for a real estate office, where the realtor says he has just the kind of land James is looking for and is quite enthusiastic about showing it to them when James offers to pay in cash.

And a third group has arrived in Alaska, at Anchorage Airport: a party of sinister-looking men in dark glasses and round, furry hats, who comment that the Alaskan cold isn't much different from that in Siberia. A flash of lightning reveals their leader: none other than Mischa the Cub, whom we met previously in Hallelujah Express.

At the FBI office in Fairbanks, Klaus is being briefed on where the downed plane is supposed to be. He doesn't regard the pilot's records as reliable, and wants to confirm the location before launching a full salvage operation. The FBI officers -- Smith and his chief -- offer their co-operation, but Klaus wants nothing to do with them, American territory notwithstanding. They are joined by Investigator Ford, a cheerful young man who introduces himself as the rookie of the branch and offers Klaus a cup of coffee: Nescafé instant. This further confirms Klaus' suspicions that the FBI has been investigating him. He doesn't like this, or the FBI men with their familiar, jocular talk. Young Ford casually jokes with his superiors, offending Klaus' sense of the proper deportment for fledgling agents. "Z's much better. He knows his place..." thinks Klaus. Telling the FBI men "Happy insider jokes give me heartburn," he starts to stalk out of the room but stops when Ford announces a phone call from Bonn for him. He takes the call in another office, leaving the American agents to grouse over how difficult he is to work with.

After suspiciously checking the phone for bugs, Klaus takes the call. It's from the Chief, and he has bad news: the KGB agent he arrested on the Hallelujah Express has escaped from his prison in Rome. Klaus rants about the incompetence of the Italian NATO office, but suddenly notices an odd sound on the phone and realizes that it's being tapped. The Chief brings up the matter of his 100 marks again -- it hasn't turned up, and the Chief suspects that Klaus knows something about it, which the latter angrily denies. Finally, the Chief inquires about Mr. G, to which Klaus retorts "He's dead!" and hangs up with a bang.

Klaus storms back into the FBI office and accuses Smith and his chief of having listened to the call. They are mystified, and Klaus finds nothing when he checks their phone, concluding that the tap must have been from another room. Announcing that he will never co-operate with "wops and Yanks" he departs, slamming the door behind him.

Mr. Ford follows Klaus, having been assigned to drive him back to the base. Klaus refuses to let him and continues to rebuff his repeated offers. Ford finally gives up after Klaus threatens to hit him for making an ill-advised joke about "a Ford driving a Benz". Disgusted with the "impertinent fledgling", Klaus meets A, B, and Z outside the building and tells them they're going back to the base. As he passes the ever-deferential Mr. Z, Klaus pats him on the shoulder and says "How are you?" Poor Z nearly goes into shock on the spot, and A and B confer with him in panicked whispers over what could have prompted such a gesture, until Klaus bellows at them from the car to get moving.

The FBI men watch from the window as Klaus' car roars away. "I think he's a violent epileptic," comments Smith. An underling brings in a search directive issued from the Anchorage branch, but the chief waves it away, saying he doesn't want to take on any more burdens until they get rid of "that German pest." We see that the search directive is for the "art thief, Eroica", complete with photograph. [Once again, an indication that Dorian's identity as Eroica is perfectly well known to the authorities.]

Dorian himself has accompanied Mr. James and the real estate agent to view the land James is considering buying. They have reached it by light plane, as it is out in the wilderness an hour's flight from Anchorage. Dorian and James are both taken aback by the isolation, but the realtor tells them that Alaska is a very convenient place to live if you ride around in a plane instead of a car. They spot what the realtor identifies as a bear dropping, quite fresh. He says that as long as you can handle a gun, there's really no need to worry about the bears, but Mr. James explains about Dorian's chronic klutziness with firearms.

Dorian suggests they stick to their original intention and look in the vicinity of Tazlina Lake, reminding James that if they waste too much time aimlessly looking at land, they're liable to be eaten by bears while the Major will get both the counterfeit negative and the art collection. This has the effect of shocking James out of his fit of extravagance, and he begins to wail over the money wasted on the Concorde and to harass the real estate agent over who's paying for the fuel for their current jaunt. Back to normal....

On the shore of Tazlina Lake, the FBI men are watching the activities of a search vessel Klaus has commandeered to hunt for the sunken plane. They warn off a curious fisherman who asks what's going on; the fisherman, who happens to be Mr. Bonham, reports to Dorian that the Major is on the job.

The real estate agent has suggested a cottage near Tazlina Lake. It sounds like what Dorian has in mind, so he leaves Mr. James to haggle with the realtor over the price and goes for a stroll around the town. Meanwhile, another customer arrives at the office and announces that he, too, is looking for a cabin near a particular part of Tazlina Lake. The realtor tells him that Mr. James has just bought a very nice place there, and the newcomer promptly offers to buy it from James -- for five times the price James paid for it.

On his way back to the realtor's office, Dorian sees a man leaving it and recognizes Mischa the Cub. Alarmed, he enters the office to be greeted by an ebullient James, who announces that he has just sold their new cabin to a Russian for ten times the price they paid for it. Dorian realizes that Mischa must also be interested in the salvage operation, and doesn't want him interfering before the Major gets the plane out of the lake. Summoning his team, he plots to get Mischa out of the way.

Dining at the New Alaska Hotel, Mischa and his subordinates discuss their mission. They have been in touch with "Comrade Karinka" and told him how to contact the cottage. The agents remark that Comrade Karinka is disguising himself very well as an American, and the FBI does not yet suspect him. One of the men speaks enthusiastically about taking vengeance on Iron Klaus for past wrongs, but Mischa reminds him that they are only fulfilling a mission, which must not be degraded by low emotions like spite and vengeance. This effectively quenches the subordinate, leaving Mischa to think to himself "However, I do hate that German's guts!"

The Soviets leave the hotel, but soon find themselves the victims of severely upset stomachs. An ambulance pulls up alongside them and asks them to stop; the attendants (pretty young men of a type familiar to anyone who has seen the Eroica gang before, and suspiciously similar to the waiters at the restaurant) explain that they're from the nearby medical center and that there has been at outbreak of cholera traced to food at the hotel restaurant; anyone who has eaten there must be hospitalized immediately. By now the agents, with the exception of Mischa, are in considerable distress, and they make no objection to being rushed to the nearby medical center -- which is completely staffed by Dorian's men, with "Doctor" Bonham in charge. Mischa alone shows no symptoms, but is told that his test results are also positive and he must stay in the hospital. He mulls over how to contact Karinka.

At the lake, Klaus is sending wetsuit-clad alphabets diving in shifts of three to search for the plane, which does not appear to be just where the pilot's journals said it was. The FBI men have dropped by to see what's going on, but Klaus rebuffs their chatter. Ford approaches Mr. Z, who has just emerged from his stint in the lake, offers him a cigarette and strikes up a conversation with rather pushy friendliness. Z is polite, but reserved.

Mr. G, dressed in a floral print parka and leggings, brings Z a sweater and Ford remarks with surprise, "The Major has a female subordinate?" Z explains, "Herr G is a man," and Ford is still more surprised. "That's G? Funny, the Major told his chief yesterday that G was dead." Z asks about this, but Ford brushes it off as a joke and is soon summoned by his superiors, who are getting ready to leave. "If you have some time, call me. I'll be waiting, Z," he says as he departs, leaving Z looking thoughtful. Klaus promptly questions Z about his conversation with Ford, and Z reports on the remark that's puzzling him.

We see Mr. Ford in a thinly wooded area near the lake at night. As he walks, he drops a bit of paper with apparent carelessness. Suddenly, he is startled by a voice behind him: "Not very good etiquette for an FBI investigator to drop trash on the road, is it? Or is there somebody coming after you to pick it up?" asks Klaus. Ford stammers and tries to retrieve the paper, but Klaus gets it first. He accuses Ford of being a KGB agent, and of having tapped the phone in the FBI office. Ford tries to make a run for it, but only gets a few steps before Klaus grabs him, knocks him down, and points a gun at him.

Just then, both men are distracted by a car pulling up. It's the FBI men, Smith and his chief. Klaus tells them that Ford is a KGB infiltrator; the two look embarrassed, and admit that they already knew that -- they had been letting him alone until they collected more evidence of what he was up to. Klaus is irked because they didn't tell him, and he ignores their protests and hauls Ford off to interrogate by himself: "The FBI might've let him swim, but I caught him!"

Klaus marches Ford to an isolated spot in the woods and demands information. Ford is defiant, and Klaus, wearing the expression of wide-eyed cheerfulness he gets during situations like this, carefully fits a silencer onto his gun, commenting that he doesn't want to disturb good citizens who are in bed by now. Ford remains nervous but cocky until Klaus fires several shots that narrowly miss him, then points the gun directly at his forehead. Ford capitulates, revealing that his code name is Karinka. Klaus demands to know his mission.

The wind is rising, but Dorian is comfortably settled in his new cottage near Tazlina Lake. (Well, it's technically Mischa's cottage now, but having deposited him in the ersatz medical center, Dorian has chosen to retain possession.) A phone call interrupts James' whining about the extravagance of buying the hospital, but when Dorian answers it he is puzzled to hear someone who sings a few lines of the Song of the Volga Boatmen and then hangs up. Before he can try to make any sense out of this, he hears a noise outside. While James hides, Dorian cautiously opens the door and steps outside.

Suddenly, an arm wraps around his throat from behind and holds him fast, while a group of men charge into the cabin and begin searching it. "Nobody's here, sir!" one of them shouts to their leader, whom we now see is Klaus, one arm still firmly locked around Dorian's neck. Klaus orders his men to keep searching, but now that he has stepped into the light he sees that they are all staring goggle-eyed at him and exclaiming in horror. "What?" he says, puzzled -- he still hasn't looked at his captive. The latter has recovered his poise and remarks cheerfully, "'S fantastic to have you jump on me from behind, but could you hold me a little more gently?" He turns to gaze up with large, adoring blue eyes at the stunned Klaus.

It takes several seconds for the realization to sink in, but when it does, Klaus flings his prisoner across the room with a howl. "You're just as usual, aren't you, Major?" says Dorian, smoothing his curls. "Good evening." Klaus feels like he's in the grip of a nightmare, and is too paralyzed with shock to reply coherently at first, but when Dorian politely offers him a cup of tea he finally snaps back into action, yelling "God damn you!" and shooting the teacup right off the saucer in Dorian's hand. "That was a very good cup; Mr. James'll cry," says Dorian. (James has been unearthed from his hiding place by the alphabets, and is now playing possum on the floor.) Just for emphasis, Klaus shoots the saucer which Dorian is still holding, and then starts spitting out questions: "What's your reason for being here? Where's Mischa the Cub? Give me my belt back." [See the stolen belt incident at the end of Veni, Vidi, Vici.]

[Click here to see scanned pages from this scene.]

Of Mischa, Dorian replies, "I caught him," and says he should be in a hospital by now. Klaus refuses to believe this, but his questions are interrupted by the phone ringing. Dorian mentions the earlier call, with the singing, and Klaus answers this one himself. No folksongs this time, though -- it's Bonham, reporting that Mischa has escaped from the hospital and disappeared, having shown no apparent ill effects from the heavy dose of laxative which felled his subordinates. He's taken one of the cars and let the air out of the tires on the others, so they can't pursue him. We see Mischa driving through the night, reflecting that the gang who waylaid him must be a very crude organization: "A big agency would have used real cholera bacillus."

Bonham, who hasn't realized that it's not Dorian on the phone, says "Can't let Uncle NATO know this, can we?" Klaus takes offense at this sobriquet, though Dorian tries to pass it off as a term of respect, and Bonham is terrified when he understands to whom he's been speaking. Setting aside that matter for the moment, Klaus indulges in a high-decibel rant about Dorian's interfering with his mission: "If you hadn't tried a stupid trick like that, I could've caught Mischa right now, right here!!" Dorian apologizes with a becoming air of innocence, saying he had no idea Klaus was in Alaska. "If I had known, I'd have called you up as soon as I saw him..."

Klaus sends a bunch of the alphabets off to arrest the remaining Soviet agents, and then returns to interrogating Dorian about his reasons for being in Alaska. Dorian freely admits that he's there to steal the Göring art collection, and Klaus is not pleased to discover that the information about its whereabouts has leaked out. Dorian won't tell him how he found out about it, though, thinking "If I told you it was at your own house, you'd definitely break down, wouldn't you?"

Trying to deflect trouble from his mission, Klaus comments with elaborate casualness that whatever Dorian's source of information is, it's not very reliable -- the art collection isn't anywhere near Tazlina Lake, it's at Tetlin Lake, 250 kilometers away. He says the Göring collection is outside his territory, and he doesn't care who knows where it is.

Dorian pretends to swallow all this, and says he wants to give Klaus something as a token of gratitude. He lifts up his sweater to reveal that he's wearing the belt he had earlier stolen -- Klaus' very favorite ox-hide belt. "Your waist's much slimmer than I thought," says Dorian, "though it's one hole bigger than mine. Just by thinking that this belt's touched you, just by wearing it, I can feel a part of your body, and oh, the way it feels on me..."

Klaus cringes at this and begs him not to talk any more. Dorian whips off the belt and presents it to him, but Klaus refuses to accept it and storms out, ignoring Dorian's offer to have the belt sanitized and firing a warning shot when James yells after him about paying for the shattered teacup.

Stomping away from the cabin, Klaus mutters about what a scary place Alaska has turned out to be. Still, he did pick up one useful bit of information from this unfortunate encounter: the folksong that Dorian mentioned is a KGB code warning agents to pull out of an operation. Klaus figures it was probably intended to warn Mischa about Karinka's arrest, and that means there is one more KGB agent between Mischa and Karinka, probably operating near the FBI. He orders Mr. A to check up on this with the FBI and the KGB agents retrieved from Dorian's hospital, and tells Mr. B to keep an eye on Dorian himself, making sure he really does go to Tetlin Lake.

Meanwhile, in the cabin, Dorian tells Mr. James (who is painstakingly trying to reassemble the shattered teacup) that they will leave and head for Tetlin Lake to allay the Major's suspicions.

At a gas station near the FBI office, three workers stand around chatting. They notice that the lights are still on at the FBI, and one asks the others if they saw "that scary German guy in uniform." This fellow, known as Billy, gets a phone call -- another song, but Billy clearly knows exactly what it means. Shortly thereafter, he drives off to meet Mischa, who greets him as "Kachusha".

The real estate agent in Anchorage is not at all pleased to see Mr. James in his office again, this time demanding a "cheap place near Tetlin Lake." He is secretly being observed by Agent G, who reports the purchase to Klaus. Mr. G, however, is also being observed -- this time by Dorian, who greets him cheerfully and asks him to deliver a package to the Major. "It's his belt that I borrowed. Got it sanitized for him, too." Dorian turns on the charm, and the infatuated Mr. G is easily convinced to carry the package.

Klaus receives the belt with ambivalence. On the one hand, he's not sure it hasn't been hopelessly contaminated by its contact with Dorian; on the other, Klaus has a sentimental attachment to this belt, which he bought with his first pay, and it does smell as though it's just been thoroughly cleaned.... He removes the belt he's wearing and replaces it with his old favorite.

Mr. A comes in with a report: a worker at a gas station near the FBI office has been identified as suspicious, and has been missing since last night. Mischa has not been located, and the arrested KGB agents aren't talking. Lord Gloria's associates have all flown to Tetlin Lake, and are presumably out of the picture.

"Don't relax yet; we're dealing with a sneak," says Klaus, and as he does, we see that Dorian is somehow listening to the conversation. Suddenly Klaus pauses, looking as if he's just noticed something; then he stands up and quickly whips off the belt he's wearing. Mr. A cringes in terror (the poor fellow apparently thinks he's about to get a whipping), but Klaus motions him to be silent and hands him the belt. Catching on to what Klaus is thinking, Mr. A dashes away with it.

Smith of the FBI arrives. He has come to inquire why Klaus' men have been sniffing around the FBI office so much lately. Klaus tells him about Billy at the gas station, and is pleased to see that the FBI man didn't know about this KGB agent. He can't resist rubbing it in a bit: "What a dangerous place Alaska is, a KGB lurking around right in front of the FBI, huh?" Smith asks for some appreciation of their difficulties, saying "It's the frontier of the East and West here, you know." Klaus is unimpressed. "So's my country," he responds.

Mr. A comes running back in with the belt and whispers to Klaus. "Just what I thought," says Klaus, and turns back to Smith. "A playboy art thief called Eroica is heading to Tetlin Lake with his subordinates. It's a good opportunity to arrest him," he tells the confused FBI man. Then he adds, "Thanks for bugging my buckle, Earl. If you don't want the FBI busting your ass, get the fuck out of Alaska." He finishes by crushing the transmitter Dorian had hidden in the belt buckle.

Dorian and James have been listening in from a nearby building. James wails over the Major's offenses: not paying for the broken cup, lying to them about Tetlin Lake, and betraying them to the FBI. Dorian isn't at all perturbed, reminding James that they aren't really going to Tetlin Lake anyway.

Back in the search ship on Tazlina Lake, Klaus orders every one of the alphabets into the water, threatening to leave them in Alaska if they don't find the sunken plane quickly. Dorian and James watch from the shore, as do the FBI men, the latter hoping that the difficult Major will achieve his objective and go back to Germany as soon as possible. And lurking behind yet another stand of trees are Mischa and Kachusha, also following the operation with interest. The alphabets persevere, and soon they do find the plane resting on the lake bottom. Now the real salvage operation can begin.

Klaus tells the FBI men that he will check the cargo as soon as it's brought up, and have it carried to the airport at once on an Air Force helicopter. The copter is duly loaded and departs; Klaus himself travels by jeep with several of the alphabets. Soon he receives a report from the helicopter: another copter, identity unknown, is following them. "Must be either the KGB or the Earl," Klaus responds, and tells them to shoot it down if it attacks. To himself he adds, "I got you, idiot! Chase an empty cargo box to your heart's content."

Meanwhile, we see Dorian directing his men: "Keep on pretending to follow it, but be careful not to get shot down." He thinks to himself, "I haven't been dealing with you this long for nothing, you know."

The jeep enters a rather rugged mountain pass, where Comrade Kachusha is observing from on top of a bluff. He reports the jeep's progress to Mischa by radio, and as it enters an especially narrow stretch, an avalanche is loosed to block the road just in front of it. The jeep halts, barely escaping being buried under the debris, and Klaus and the alphabets get out to check for damage. They hear a voice ordering them not to move: "If any of you attempts anything, Major Eberbach will have a hole in his head!" Kachusha has a rifle pointed at Klaus, and a gloating Mischa appears. He announces that he is taking the cargo, which he has deduced is in the jeep rather than the copter, to KGB headquarters -- and as a bonus, he's taking the Major as well.

Suddenly, the entire party hears a helicopter approaching. It's a US Air Force carrier copter, which zooms in very low and swoops over the men in the pass, forcing them to dive for cover. We see Dorian, Bonham, and Jones in the cockpit as the copter drops a grapple, seizes the jeep, and starts to lift off with it. Mischa yells at Kachusha to shoot it down, and the two of them open fire. While they are thus distracted, Klaus charges toward the jeep as it rises from the ground, makes a desperate jump, and ends up hanging by his hands from the window. The whole collection -- helicopter, jeep, and a determined Major -- flies swiftly away, leaving the Soviets frustrated and the alphabets horrified. Both parties dash off, hoping to follow the copter.

Dorian and his men look down at the jeep, only to see Klaus' face glaring up at them as he clings to it. They wonder what to do about him, but soon have a bigger problem to worry about: the gunfire from the KGB agents has apparently damaged the helicopter engine, and it is beginning to lose power. Dorian suggests they try to bring it down on a snowfield not far away, but the others don't think the copter can get that far with "two big extras" hanging from it. So, Dorian tells the other two to bail out, hoping that this will enable the copter to reach the snowfield. Bonham offers to stay in Dorian's place, but Dorian reminds him of Klaus' offense at the "Uncle NATO" remark, and Bonham chooses the better part of valor and parachutes out of the copter, along with Jones.

Dorian yells down at Klaus to hold on tight for an emergency landing. This does not reassure Klaus at all, since he knows about Dorian's lack of finesse with machines, but he isn't in a position to do anything but yell about it. ("I won't forgive you if you fail! I don't wanna commit a double suicide in a frigging place like Alaska with a frigging bastard like you!") They approach the snowfield, only to realize at the last second -- and too late -- that it isn't a snowfield at all, but a lake. There is one last protesting howl from the Major, and a very large splash...

Part Two

We see Dorian standing at the edge of a small lake, peering anxiously into the water. Bubbles appear, then ripples, and finally, to Dorian's relief, a soggy and furious Klaus. He bellows at Dorian, accusing him of deliberately dumping the jeep into the lake, but Dorian explains that he just pulled the wrong lever. The helicopter itself recoiled and flipped over into the snow nearby.

Dorian notices a bleeding gash on Klaus' upper arm and expresses concern, but Klaus refuses any help, saying "It'll heal if I lick it or something." He is also thoroughly chilled, after being dumped into the icy water. Dorian spots what looks like a cabin not far away and suggests that they go there to get out of the cold. Klaus refuses, sitting sulkily on a rock and saying he'll wait for his men there, but Dorian reminds him that the KGB might arrive first and if Klaus is half-frozen he'll be in no condition to fight them off. He finally agrees and heads for the cabin, rebuffing Dorian's offer of assistance.

The cabin turns out to be abandoned and derelict, but it does provide some shelter from the wind, and from the snow which has started falling. While Dorian builds a fire, Klaus stomps around trying to warm himself. Dorian points out that he's going to stay chilled unless he gets out of his wet clothing, but the ever-paranoid Klaus takes this as an indecent suggestion. He won't even take off his shirt to bind up the wound on his arm: "Can't do anything 'cause you're looking." Exasperated, Dorian goes to check out the other room of the cabin.

The scattered debris looks as though something, possibly a bear, had been rampaging in the cabin. There isn't much left of interest, but Dorian does find a bottle of whiskey which has somehow survived intact. He returns to the outer room with it, and finds Klaus sitting in front of the fire, bandaging his arm with his torn-off shirt sleeve. After a moment he turns to find Dorian watching him and says, accusingly, "You looked." Dorian responds, "That wound...want me to lick it?"

Predictably, Klaus' reaction to this is to draw his gun. Dorian just laughs and tells him to go on with what he was doing. He shows Klaus the bottle of Scotch, which Klaus promptly grabs, saying "It's the price for seeing part of my body." After examining the seal carefully, he offers to let Dorian drink first -- but insists on pouring the Scotch into his cupped hands rather than letting him drink from the bottle. Klaus himself waits several minutes, checking his watch, but when Dorian doesn't drop dead from the stuff he finally ventures to drink. Dorian belatedly realizes that he has been used as a poison tester and is offended.

Klaus cadges a cigarette from Dorian, griping ungratefully that it "tastes like paper," and the two of them sit by the fire for awhile, sharing the whiskey. (Klaus still insists that Dorian drink from his hands, so as not to get his germs on the bottle.) Finally, Klaus gets up and says they need to go conceal the wrecked helicopter to keep the KGB from spotting it. He steps outside but before Dorian can follow, Klaus yells at him to stay in the cabin. Not far away a pack of wolves has gathered and is watching them. Dorian builds up the fire while Klaus searches the cabin unsuccessfully for anything that might serve as a weapon. They have nothing but his handgun, loaded with a seven-shot cartridge.

[Click here to see scanned pages from this scene.]

A US Air Force helicopter is klacking along over the Alaskan wilderness. It's manned by Bonham and Jones, who find Alaska a very convenient place for stealing helicopters. Below, they spot the Major's men in a jeep, and note that it's going in the wrong direction. Sympathizing with the alphabets' predicament, they land and flag down the jeep to direct them. After some discussion, the two teams decide to combine forces: agents A and B will ride in the helicopter with Jones, and Bonham will join Mr. Z in the jeep. The alphabets are a bit nervous about this arrangement, fearing what will happen if the Major finds out, but they hope to keep him in the dark about it.

In a police station in Anchorage, the desk officer on duty is startled when a frantic and disheveled man runs in, begging for help. It's our old friend the real estate agent, now driven to the end of his tether by the reappearance of Mr. James. James says he no longer needs the land at Tetlin Lake and wants to sell it -- for as great a profit as possible, of course. He plans to stay until the transaction is completed, and has thoughtfully brought his lunch with him.

The FBI agents are about to leave for a "good-bye, German pest" celebration, assuming they've seen the last of Klaus, but are interrupted by a call from the Anchorage police. They report having arrested a suspicious man, scruffy-looking but carrying a large amount of cash, who was trying to sell land near Tetlin Lake. That location reminds them of what Klaus said about Eroica, but the FBI men were unable to find anything unusual at Tetlin Lake and suspect the warning was a ruse by the Major. James overhears them discussing this and chimes in with "That's right. Never trust what the Major says. He's a big liar and a nasty old man and a total asshole." The FBI men are stunned that James seems to be acquainted with Klaus, but James gives them a description which convinces them he's not bluffing. Further interrogation rather breaks down, however. James indignantly denies being a KGB agent; when asked for his full name, he replies "Mr. James, ever since I was born," and when asked where he got the money he was carrying, insists "All the money in the world is there for me!" The agents decide to detain him for psychiatric evaluation. As James is being locked up (in a cell which he complains is not sufficiently miserable), a report comes in that Major Eberbach is still in Alaska. The FBI men are not having a good day.

Neither, it must be said, are Klaus and Dorian. More wolves have joined the ones surrounding the cabin, and it's only a matter of time before they move in. The fire is burning low, and Dorian starts to move into the other room to look for additional fuel. Just as Klaus yells at him not to leave the fire, a wolf charges into the cabin, making straight for Dorian. A shot from Klaus' automatic fells it, and he fires twice more to kill two of its companions who have joined the attack. The remaining wolves halt a short distance away. Once again, it's a standoff.

Mischa and Kachusha have picked up reinforcements and are searching for their quarry. They hear two gunshots not far away, and shortly thereafter they arrive at the small lake and find the downed helicopter close to it. They also see a light in the nearby cabin, and one of the men soon detects gasoline on the lake water. Leaving some of his crew to locate the jeep in the lake, Mischa takes the others and heads for the cabin.

Klaus has just shot another wolf -- his sixth. The rest of the pack stands warily a short distance off, confronted by Klaus with his pistol and Dorian holding a flaming chunk of wood. The wolves turn and start to slink away. Dorian is delighted, but Klaus says the reason they left was that they heard many human footsteps approaching. He hears the sound of a rifle being cocked, and in one movement he shoves Dorian to the floor and fires his seventh bullet at one of Mischa's men, knocking aside the rifle which had been aimed at Dorian.

Mischa and his men approach the cabin. Klaus, admitting that he's out of ammunition, tosses aside his gun, and he and Dorian submit to being searched. Noticing the wound on Klaus' arm, Mischa slaps it jocularly several times, to Klaus' thinly concealed annoyance. Mischa then begins asking the whereabouts of the counterfeit negative and the Göring art collection. He tells Klaus not to bother answering, since they both know it's useless to interrogate him, but assumes Dorian will be easier to intimidate. Dorian, however, also refuses to talk, complaining that Mischa's subordinate had just tried to kill him and that Mischa therefore can't think he has anything important to say. Mischa tries to pass this off as a mistake, saying that Dorian is considered very important by the KGB, both in his own right and because of his "relationship with Major Eberbach." Klaus angrily denies that any such "relationship" exists, but Mischa ignores him and suggests that Dorian is in love with Klaus, which Dorian readily admits.

While one of Mischa's men holds a gun to Dorian's head, two others grab Klaus and pinion his arms behind his back. Mischa reminds Klaus of their battle on the TEE [see Hallelujah Express], and says he will return double what he has received. Mentioning cheerfully that he is a former gold-medal Olympic boxer, Mischa proceeds to demonstrate his technique on Klaus with three solid punches. He then suggests that Dorian can either talk, or watch Klaus be beaten further. Klaus, shaky but still defiant, gives him a look, and Dorian decides to try to bluff Mischa. He tells Mischa he would actually enjoy seeing Klaus being beaten: "The sight of the man I love greatly looking pathetic satisfies my aesthetic sense. There's a ghastly romanticism in the blood of an iron man. I see an unearthly beauty in it..." Mischa tests him by hitting Klaus a few more times; Dorian continues to extol the beauty of it, while Klaus suggests that Mischa should hit Dorian instead. Increasingly frustrated and confused by these two, and unable to figure out exactly what is going on between them, Mischa finally decides that whether it will aid the interrogation or not, he really wants to knock Iron Klaus down. This, he proceeds to do, with one gigantic punch that knocks Klaus across the room and into an unconscious heap on the floor. Pleased with himself, Mischa contemptuously shoves Klaus over to Dorian, and turns to receive a report from his men who've been searching the lake. They report that they've recovered the cargo quite easily from the shallow water.

Mischa prepares to leave, intending to take Klaus with him. Klaus is just sufficiently conscious to swear at him a bit, but is not capable of offering any resistance. Before Mischa can lift him, though, Dorian steps between them, brandishing the gun Klaus had dropped earlier and threatening to shoot if Mischa tries to take Klaus. Mischa laughs at him and tells him not to play with the empty gun, but is taken aback when Dorian, a deadly look in his eyes, says "Did you seriously think a man like Iron Klaus would use up all his ammunition? Leaving at least one bullet in the cartridge is the professional's rule, isn't it?"

While Mischa tries to make up his mind whether this is a bluff, his men report that a US Air Force helicopter is approaching. Mischa decides to abandon Klaus and leave with the negative and the art collection. As he walks away, he is followed by Dorian's threat to retrieve the items, no matter what.

Klaus, who has recovered to some degree, demands to know why Dorian didn't just shoot Mischa instead of going through all that talk. It turns out that the gun, which Dorian thought was empty, did in fact still have one bullet in it -- Klaus routinely loads one bullet before inserting the cartridge, so with a seven-shot cartridge he can fire eight times. Dorian says he was only able to manage the threat because he believed the gun was empty; he's too nervous with firearms to have done it otherwise. Klaus is stunned to realize it was all a bluff on Dorian's part.

[Click here to see scanned pages from this scene.]

The men in the approaching helicopter see the KGB's jeeps leaving, but decide to let Bonham and Z follow them overland while the helicopter crew checks on Klaus and Dorian. Klaus is back on his feet now, though not too steadily, and is in a thoroughly foul mood. He vows to repay double for every blow Mischa gave him and stomps away from the cabin, refusing Dorian's offer of help and falling on his face within a few yards. He blames Mischa for that, too.

At the helicopter, Mr. A reports that Z and the others are chasing the KGB. He stumbles when trying to explain how he got the helicopter and what Jones is doing there, but Klaus isn't really interested. He demands a cigarette, and then vanishes into the copter, saying he's going to rest for awhile and to wake him when Z gets in touch. A and B ask Dorian how the Major's face got bruised, and Dorian -- knowing Klaus wouldn't appreciate anyone knowing the truth -- says he just slipped on a hard ice patch. Dorian reflects that he feels as exhausted as Klaus must.

Mr. Z reports that he is still following the KGB jeeps, heading west. He mentions that he's switched cars three times since starting the pursuit, to keep the KGB from spotting him, but avoids telling the Major that Bonham is with him (and has been adroitly stealing the replacement vehicles.) The KGB men's destination appears to be the Bering Sea, and the NATO and Eroica teams rendezvous on the shoreline.

Looking out over the sea, Klaus and Dorian discuss the situation. Klaus warns Dorian to get out of the operation now, since it's becoming too dangerous a job for a civilian, but Dorian refuses, saying he wants to get the Göring collection back. They drift into some rather companionable chit-chat about which of them is likely to live longer, who has the unhealthiest habits, and how weird certain bosses are who take ten sugar cubes in one cup of coffee.

Z has been tracking Mischa, and now reports that he and his men have climbed down a rugged cliff to the sea. Dorian and Klaus follow, hiding behind rocks to see Mischa greeted by a group of Soviet soldiers. They seem to be waiting for something, and soon it appears: a Soviet nuclear submarine, surfacing just offshore. Suddenly, there is a flash of light -- Klaus and Dorian have been spotted.

When the Major fails to report in as expected, Mr. Z and Bonham scramble down the cliff with some difficulty. They arrive at the shore to find no sign of anyone, but the Major's hand-held radio is lying crushed on the ground. Looking out to sea, Mr. Z spots the submarine departing. He and Bonham rush back to report to the others that Klaus and Dorian have been captured.

On board the submarine, the two are herded into a small cabin which will serve as their prison. Mischa bids them a cheerful good-night, and locks them in. Dorian examines the lock, but says it's a computer-operated lock of the latest style, which even he can't open. Klaus says his men won't be able to take any action to rescue them without getting orders from Bonn. The KGB will want any information he has, and they may plan to force Dorian to use his skills for their benefit. They both express determination to get away, and Klaus says that if he could just get a gun, he'd be able to escape somehow. The trick will be obtaining one without Mischa's knowledge, and so far Mischa has been doing quite a good job of anticipating their movements.

No plan of action springs immediately to mind, so Klaus decides to get some sleep and work on the problem of escape in the morning. He takes the upper bunk, warning Dorian not to even think of trying anything funny during the night, and puts himself to sleep with a couple of bars of "Mary had a little lamb" -- very quietly, but Dorian still thinks he hears something, and is puzzled.

At a naval base in Alaska, the NATO and Eroica teams have gathered and are waiting for any news of the Soviet submarine, which is being sought by the US Navy. Mr. A receives a phone call from Smith of the FBI, who wants him to take custody of Mr. James on the basis of James being acquainted with Major Eberbach. It's difficult to say who is more horrified at this prospect, the alphabets or Bonham and Jones. Despite all Mr. A's protests, Smith says that James is on his way in a helicopter.

James arrives with a flourish, to be greeted solely by Mr. G (who is only there himself because he lost when they drew lots for the job.) He updates James on the situation, and James is appalled to learn that the Earl and the precious counterfeit plate have disappeared into the sea. He resolves to rescue them.

It's morning on the sub, and Dorian is bemusedly watching Klaus do pull-ups (40 of them) on a conveniently placed pipe in their quarters. A ferocious-looking steward arrives with their breakfast, saying he's been ordered to watch them during their meal. Dorian comments that a cute cabin boy would be preferable, but the steward replies that they cannot let adolescents with a bright future be corrupted by Western decadence.

During breakfast, Dorian manages to drop and break a teacup, causing a moment of panic as the steward and a couple of guards rush in to clean it up. After they have left, Dorian shows Klaus that he has kept a piece of the broken cup, a triangular shard about an inch long. Klaus demands to know what good that will do, and Dorian replies, "I'll do something Mischa hasn't even dreamed of."

Over the Bering Sea, a US Navy plane is searching for any sign of the submarine. They spot something odd on the surface: a rubber raft, much battered and patched, with one occupant. As the plane moves in to check it out, we see that it is Mr. James, his calculator and account book clutched firmly under one arm, yelling through a megaphone for Lord Gloria.

At the naval base, an officer reports that James insists he'll find the Soviet sub all by himself, and refuses to listen to any arguments. Bonham begs him to just ignore James, and Mr. A says that if they have to do something, the FBI will gladly take care of him. The officer calls the FBI office, where Smith and the Chief are just about to leave. Hearing an agent take a phone call concerning a Mr. James, they both depart at top speed. Unable to get anyone to take responsibility for him, the Navy decides to just leave him alone on his raft.

James settles down to balance his accounts, but soon gets a feeling that he's being watched. He looks around to see a periscope emerging from the water, followed by the surfacing submarine. Mr. James has indeed found the sub, or it has found him. He is taken on board, to be met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm by Dorian, Klaus, and Mischa. James, however, greets Dorian joyously and immediately starts trying to haggle with the captain of the submarine, to the latter's great confusion, in an attempt to purchase the sub for a bargain price. Klaus suggests that they isolate him somewhere, quickly. James protests that he doesn't want to leave the Earl, but Dorian explains that he and Klaus are sharing a room. Not liking this prospect, James runs to the puzzled sub crew and begs them to isolate him, preferably in a "miserable place".

Mischa tells the captain to put up with James; they'll be arriving at their destination that evening, so it won't be for long. Dorian says he has a big favor to ask: before they get to the port, he wants to have just one look at the Göring art collection which he's tried so hard to obtain. Mischa asks Klaus what he thinks of the request, and Klaus snaps that the collection is a cultural heritage of Germany, and it would be degrading to show it to someone like Dorian. Pleased at the thought of annoying Klaus, Mischa agrees to let Dorian see the collection and orders the crew to unpack the paintings.

The collection is indeed impressive, and Dorian is enthusiastic. He points out one painting he especially admires (it looks like a Rubens, or something in that style), and Mischa agrees that he likes it as well. Klaus is unimpressed and complains that the woman in the painting is unhealthily fat, but grudgingly admits that it's a "national cultural heritage" nevertheless.

Dorian tells Mischa that he thought he'd be able to forget about the paintings if he could just have a look at them, but now that he's seen them, he realizes that he wants them more than ever. Mischa says that they're Soviet property now, and Dorian should abandon his vain hopes. "If that, too, is beyond hope..." replies Dorian -- and then suddenly turns and slashes the painting with the shard of the broken cup, yelling "If I have to see you take it away, I'd rather destroy it with my own hands!"

A general mêlée breaks out, with Mischa ordering the guards to seize Dorian and take his weapon. Klaus recognizes his cue, and leaps to attack the guards. There is a mad scramble, but one of the guards manages to hit Dorian over the head and stun him, and Mischa draws a gun on Klaus as the latter manages to grab a rifle. Klaus drops the rifle and allows himself to be taken back to his cabin, carrying Dorian over his shoulder.

Back in the cabin, Klaus dumps Dorian unceremoniously on the bunk, drawing a protest from the latter. Klaus is quite cheerful: "Did it well, didn't you?" he says. "Felt it on my shoulder." Dorian pulls up his sweater to reveal a gun tucked in his waistband. "I've got one, too," says Klaus. For once, he is appreciative and openly admiring of Dorian's abilities, complimenting him on both his subterfuge and his skill in stealing the gun. Dorian, however, is deeply upset over having had to sacrifice the painting. Klaus can't really understand why anyone would get depressed about something like that, but he offers a certain amount of rough sympathy, giving Dorian a wet towel for his sore head and telling him he has an hour to rest.

The submarine approaches the Russian coast, and is met by a helicopter which transports Mischa and his prisoners (including James) to Uspensky Base in Siberia, where they are greeted by Nikolaivich, the base commander. Klaus is interested to see a MiG-25 fighter plane at the base; the commander says it has just stopped there temporarily because of bad weather, but will be leaving to return to its home base shortly.

A jeep has been loaded with the art objects and the counterfeit plate. Klaus signals Dorian that it's time to take action. Approaching Mischa, he says that he's making a return for the twelve times Mischa has hit him (he's carefully kept count), and launches a terrific punch which knocks Mischa to the ground. In the ensuing confusion, Dorian forces the driver out of the jeep while Klaus grabs the base commander and holds a gun to his head, telling the guards to drop their weapons or their commander will die. Taking the commander as a hostage, the erstwhile prisoners pile into the jeep and take off across the base, followed by Mischa's cries of rage.

Klaus orders the commander to lead them to the ammo dump, where he picks up some additional weaponry, including a grenade launcher, and then destroys the dump. With Dorian driving the jeep, Klaus proceeds to blow up the planes on the base -- except for the MiG, which he's decided to take for himself. He tells Dorian and James to grab one of the helicopters, and to leave the counterfeit plate in the jeep. James protests, but Klaus pulls out a grenade and tells him he'll be blown to pieces if he doesn't obey. As Klaus turns to move away from the jeep before hurling the grenade, he fails to notice Dorian and James hustling away with its cargo. Seeing that everyone is clear, he hurls the grenade and destroys the jeep.

Klaus runs to the MiG, dispatches its protesting pilot with a punch, and climbs into the cockpit. Taking off, he sees that Dorian has safely lifted off in a helicopter, along with James and the hapless base commander. The MiG quickly outstrips the copter and leaves it behind, Klaus chortling happily to himself over his completed mission, Mischa's consternation, and the fact that he no longer has Dorian to deal with. Then, he hears voices on the plane's radio -- Dorian and James are congratulating each other on having escaped with the art collection and the negative, all intact, and Klaus suddenly realizes that his mission has not been accomplished after all.

Back on the helicopter, Dorian's and James' cheerful chatter is cut short when they notice they are being pursued: a whole squadron of helicopters has taken off from the base and is coming after them. Klaus sees it, too, and realizes that if Dorian is captured, the counterfeit negative will go right back to Mischa again. He grouses, gripes, and swears about it, but he turns the MiG around and flies back to help, much to Dorian's delight. The Soviet copters make an attempt to scare him off by firing at him, but the MiG can out-fly and out-shoot them and Klaus clearly enjoys putting them on the run. Dorian orders the pursuing copters to stop attacking the MiG, reminding them that their commander's life is in his hands.

At a US Air Force base in Alaska, radio operators are picking up a strange conversation. Dorian and Klaus are discussing their situation, with the inevitable bickering. The puzzled Air Force officers soon pick up the MiG and the helicopter on radar, with the Soviet helicopter squad still following them, and the whole lot heading for Alaska. Not knowing what to make of this, they attempt radio contact. Klaus responds and identifies himself, telling them he's just grabbed a MiG from Siberia and that the helicopter accompanying him is carrying a hostage from the Soviet army.

The Air Force officers have heard that Major Eberbach of NATO was taken prisoner on a Soviet submarine, but they have a hard time believing that he has not only escaped, but stolen a MiG. They send out a squadron of planes to intercept the approaching aircraft, and contact Washington.

In Bonn, the Chief gets a phone call from the US Chief of Staff. He confirms that Major Eberbach is indeed his subordinate, and admits that the Major might manage to take a MiG-25: "He's really dedicated to his job, you see." Putting down the phone, the Chief whimpers, "The reason I never get promoted is...him!"

At the Navy base, the alphabets, Bonham, and Jones are overjoyed to learn that the Major and the Earl have escaped and are headed home, and rush to greet them over the radio. (Nobody wants to talk to James, however.) Dorian tells Bonham he's thinking of going salmon fishing when he gets back to Alaska, and asks him to get things ready. Bonham and Jones wink at each other, and quickly take leave of the alphabets, pointing out it wouldn't be a good idea for them to still be around when the Major arrives.

As the US Air Force planes approach the group coming from Siberia, Mischa -- back on the devastated Siberian base -- receives orders from the Kremlin, calling off the pursuit. The Soviet helicopter squad is told to return home. Philosophically, Mischa admits that the Kremlin's decision is correct: it's not worth creating an international incident by following the stolen aircraft into US territory. He excuses himself and goes outside, leaving the base officers marveling at his calmness. Out in the cold Siberian wind, however, Mischa takes off his round, furry hat, throws it on the ground, and stomps on it viciously. Raising his face to the sky, he bellows "Iron Klaus! I will retaliate!"

Back over Alaskan soil, Dorian decides that he no longer needs a military escort and changes course, flying away from Klaus' MiG and the Air Force planes. Klaus roars at him over the radio, ordering him to return with the negative, but James replies defiantly and Dorian just sends an affectionate farewell. When Klaus wants to chase the helicopter and shoot it down, the Air Force pilots warn him not to do anything violent and point out that his fuel will be running low anyhow. Reluctantly, he returns to the Air Force base, but radios ahead to Mr. A, telling him to search the mountains for the Earl and the negative, and threatening to leave the whole alphabet in Alaska permanently if they don't find him.

The helicopter has landed safely near the seacoast, and Dorian and James leave it and the Soviet base commander there, carrying off their loot. Dorian is having a bit of difficulty with the large crate containing the paintings, but James -- clutching his precious counterfeit plate -- is in no mood to help him. James has reached his own conclusions about what went on between Dorian and Klaus while they shared a cabin on the submarine, and is in a jealous snit about it. Dorian's attempts to argue with him are interrupted by the arrival of Bonham and Jones, who promptly take over hauling the crate. They all head for the shore, where their escape vessel awaits: a dingy-looking fishing boat, crewed by other members of the Eroica gang. James immediately sets to work making the ship look even more dirty and decrepit, which puts him in an excellent mood. Thinking about printing his own money when he gets home makes him positively ecstatic. He doesn't even object when Dorian decides to stop in Hawaii and give the crew a vacation on the way home. They set sail, Dorian looking back at the Alaskan shore and thinking wistfully of Klaus.

Klaus is also thinking of Dorian, but not wistfully. He's stomping around the base commander's office (making that individual very nervous), chain-smoking and pouncing on the phone when it rings. Mr. A ushers in Smith and his chief from the FBI, who have brought a photograph they recently obtained. It shows Dorian, resplendent in furs, on the deck of his fishing boat. Furious, Klaus charges off to the naval base, while the Air Force base commander telephones to warn them. As a result, when Klaus arrives he is told there are no ships available for him. However, he spots one which turns out to be a school ship, with a crew of young cadets about to take a training cruise. Overriding objections from the navy officers, Klaus commandeers the ship, unloads the cadets, and takes off after his quarry.

Smith and his chief watch the ship depart with relief -- at last, they hope, the German pest is gone. The two of them decide that they've had quite enough stress recently, and need a vacation. Hawaii sounds ideal, and they start making plans to go there immediately.

Klaus is impatiently waiting for Dorian's ship to be spotted, and terrorizing the alphabets in the meantime. He is indifferent to reports of a tropical storm approaching, even though the sea is becoming so rough the alphabets are having trouble staying upright. Finally, the fishing boat is spotted on radar, and Klaus orders a full-speed pursuit, storm or no storm.

The gang on the fishing boat are being plagued with seasickness as the waves increase, but Dorian and James seem to be immune -- James, hugging his precious negative, is too happy to be disturbed, and Dorian is daydreaming about his pirate ancestors. Suddenly, Bonham bursts into the cabin in a panic: a military ship is approaching with the storm, and they all know who must be on board.

Dorian is delighted. He finds this an ideal opportunity to play pirate, and orders his men to run up the flags in defiance. (They don't have a skull-and-crossbones, but fly every other scrap of cloth they can find.) Klaus orders his men to ready a depth charge, but they remind him that this is a school ship -- it doesn't carry any live weaponry at all. Determined to complete his mission, Klaus sends the ship head-on toward Dorian's, aiming to ram it without doing serious damage to his own vessel.

Bonham, feeling Klaus' deadly glare even from that distance, quickly hands over the helm to Dorian, who is perfectly confident that he can dodge Klaus' ship at the last moment. The two vessels approach on a collision course, sparking panic in their respective crews, all of whom run for cover. The evasive actions they try to take match each other perfectly, and the two ships meet with a grinding crash.

Massive commotion ensues. Both ships are hopelessly damaged, and their crews scramble about readying life rafts and getting ready to evacuate. The two leaders meet on the deck of the fishing boat, where Klaus casts aspersions on Dorian's supposed pirate ancestry. One of Dorian's gang reports that they can't find Mr. James anywhere, and Dorian and Klaus both set out to look for him, ordering the rest of their followers to evacuate to the life rafts at once.

They soon spot James, clinging to the top of the fishing boat's mast, with the precious negative clutched to his body. He refuses to budge, despite orders from both Dorian and Klaus, and Klaus finally pulls out his gun. Dorian begs him not to shoot, saying can get James to drop the negative. Calling out to get James' attention, Dorian throws his arms around the startled Klaus in an embrace. When James sees this, he is so upset that he lets go of the negative -- and Klaus fires, blasting it to smithereens before it hits the deck. This time, his mission really is accomplished. All of this has delayed them a little too long, however, and the ship breaks apart and capsizes, dumping the three of them into the raging sea.

[Click here to see scanned pages from this scene.]

The storm passes, and the ocean is calm again. We see two large rubber rafts, plus a dinghy, all crowded to the very edge with people. There are even some hanging off the sides of the rafts, or floating nearby in life preservers. Mr. A and Bonham report that all their respective groups are present and accounted for. (Dorian's gang has even managed to save the art collection.)

A short distance away, another raft is floating. In contrast to the severely overcrowded first two, this one has only three occupants: Dorian, stretched out in one corner; Klaus, sulking gloomily in another, and James, hanging over the side and bewailing his lost negative. Klaus rants about Dorian's interference in his mission, and demands to know how Dorian found out about the negative and the art collection in the first place. Figuring that it would be just a little too upsetting for Klaus to learn about the eavesdropping in his own house, Dorian is elusive and refuses to answer. He threatens to tell the alphabets about how Klaus was beaten up by Mischa if he presses it any farther, and Klaus subsides into sulking again, muttering "That's why I hate you with a passion!" Dorian responds, "I like you with a passion, though...Major...," with a seductive gleam in his eyes. This drives Klaus to panic, and he yells across to the alphabets' raft that he's coming over there at once. They don't want him, though; Mr. A tells him that if anyone else tries to come aboard, it will sink. Klaus offers to trade places, but A won't hear of that: "You keep the comfortable place, Major. We're only subordinates." The rafts drift onward, accompanied by Klaus' snarls and James' wailing.

Two vacationing families are relaxing on a Hawaiian beach. They're our FBI acquaintances, Smith and his chief, with their wives and children. In the distance, they see something on the ocean -- a group of rubber rafts. As the two men stare with growing misgivings, the rafts drift closer, heading for the shore. And in the closest one, they see Dorian, James, and the irksome Major they had come to Hawaii to escape.


horizontal bar

icon Previous summary icon Manga Summaries Page icon Next summary icon