Mystery at the Cemetery
(Augsburg, Germany, 1970)
Our mouths met, in a long, loving kiss. It was sunrise—the time I figured she'd tell me about the mystery of why she walked through the Cemetery all the time. Her name was Sarah McCarthy, or so she said her name was.
She had taken the dirt path into the old cemetery to meet me, we walked through the cemetery leaving the footpath behind us, walking now through the tall grass, it was quieter she said.
"I love you very much Ted!" the statement came quickly to my ears, filling me with joy, "I love you, my dear husband, and always think of me!"
—I rested well, that night. I had gone to bed early after Sarah left for her house and me to my apartment. I got up at daybreak and after my morning push-ups, and coffee, rode off on my bicycle, back to the cemetery to meet Sarah. There, like always I left my bicycle behind one of the big Jewish monuments by the brook that went through the graveyard; without more ado, I looked about for her. It was quite early and I could spot the caretakers usually, or watchers of the cemetery—as they were sometimes referred to, just about anyplace within the cemetery, and today they were no place visible. As I did so, with apprehension, I saw Sarah coming from the other end of the cemetery. She was walking without a veil on, as she usually did. Down the path she continued in a state of dishevelment, or so it seemed. As I looked over and about the tall grass, it was quite evident—something was brought to her attention, something that appeared to put her into deep thought, before my arrival.
In spite of my concern, I was overjoyed to see Sarah coming closer, I got the feeling there was a trap in progress though. Call it intuition, or momentary second sight, but I got the chills for some reason or another.
As she neared, minute by minute I found my affection growing; we had only been married for a week or so, and had only known one another a month before that—it was love at first sight. I saw her clap her hands with delight at seeing me smile as she was no more than a hundred yards away.
In the mist of her walking, so she stopped. A dim light shadow came upon her face—paleness shaped its contours—you could see the white bones beneath her skin, dread; and her eyebrows went up. While she was standing, a fear grew upon me, lest being so far away and yet so close, might her enemies be nearby. She saw my distress, with a slow movement of her right hand—quick like a woman's wit, she signaled me to stay put, not to move. I heard her say, "Don't be freighted for me, dear." (I was in the military, in Augsburg, Germany, a Buck Sergeant, living off base—, on the German economy—it was 1970. She was a German Jew; only to find out later, a spy; gathering bits and pieces of information, seemingly not much but for profit, such things as blueprints of worthless items to see if she could get away with it; kind of a priming I think for bigger things to come, for the communist future). She then said, as three men seemed to come out of nowhere, backs to me; she had evidently seen them, “These are men I need to talk to dear! They don't wish to get involved with you if they don’t have to, but want to talk to me only for five-minutes or so…" lacking due respect for whomever they were, I started to leap forward with a stretched out leg, but stopped, as she grabbed the back of my belt, said “Please!...” I would learn later, they were some kind of Secret Agents. (I would never find out from what government: American, German or Russian.)
—That morning my heart beat heavily, as I saw the backs of these three men walking with Sarah across the tall grass of the cemetery towards a side entrance. I began to follow, but she insisted I do not, as she turned about a few times to see if I was following—perhaps at their request. Consequently, I stopped for a moment, but started back up again. Their path lead up to a car parked alongside the cemetery wall, waiting, and that was the last time I saw her, and the beginning of a long investigation.
Notes: The author was in Augsburg, Germany in 1970; at a time when many things were happening along the East German boarders and throughout West Germany. It was not uncommon for spies to be drinking beer with the GI's at the American Hotel in Augsburg (from all three countries mentioned in the story); at the hotel, the bar was in the basement, and across the street was a military compound; where the 1/36 Artillery was stationed. Even the press snooped about trying to find out who was who at times, at that American Hotel Bar. That is all I can say. 7/29/05 (No: 251) Reedited 2-2011 (Name change to "Mystery at the Cemetary," from "Mystery of the Cemetary")