A Rare Diamond in the Rough
Not Your Routine Assignment …
Diamond Covington has been working as a journalist for a dynamic newspaper called The Gainsbourg Chronicle for seven years. The Chronicle is a hard-hitting publication whose focus is on uncovering corruption in the political arena.
Diamond’s editor, Cheyenne Gipson is planning to send her to Germany. There is good reason to believe that the German Ambassador to America, Erdmut Richter, is engaging in activities that are less than reputable. He makes frequent trips to Germany and it is suspected that he is involved with entities who have very dubious motives.
“Diamond, I am sending you to Düsseldorf.” Cheyenne begins.
“Isn’t that where Ambassador Erdmut Richter has been hanging his hat as of late?” Diamond queries.
“Yes it is. And, sources say that he has been keeping company with some very ambiguous cohorts.” Cheyenne smiles.
“You are not indicating that the old boy might be involved in a wee bit of espionage are you Cheyenne?” Diamond puts her cup of tea down and stares inquisitively.
“I thought that would get your attention. Don’t you have a connection in Düsseldorf?” Cheyenne inquires.
“Yes, a young man I met when I did that spread on Ambassador Richter getting this position.” Diamond thinks back to the very pleasant encounter.
“Well—why are you sitting there? Pack up your toothbrush and get yourself over to Germany. I know you speak the language well so there will be no need of an interpreter.” Cheyenne reaches into her desk draw and pulls out an envelope. The contents reveals: a round-trip ticket to Düsseldorf, a reservation at Holiday Inn Express and $8,000.00 in travelers checks along with an American Express card. Diamond smiles.
“You’ve sweetened this assignment pretty well, haven’t you?”
“I just need you to get the goods on Richter and get your fanny home. And listen—” Cheyenne pauses.
“Yes, what is it?” Diamond is still studying the envelope.
“In case things get a little dicey—have the brains to run home. You are only my best reporter, not Mata Hari!” Both women laugh.
Meeting With Erhard …
Erhard Huber is a member of the ambassador’s staff as well as a friend of Diamond. He is willing to meet with her under immunity. It is better for him that the ambassador has no prior knowledge of his prearranged meeting with Diamond. A little bistro outside a village near Düsseldorf is where they will rendezvous.
It is noon when Diamond arrives at the Düsseldorf Airport and she takes a rental to the small village of Nitra. Diamond is intrigued with the landscape and decides to do a little walking. It’s not long before she reaches her destination. She is greeted by a young woman.
“Willkommen bei schroders!” (Welcome to Schroder’s!) The young woman says.
“Ich bin hier, um einen Freund von mir Erhard zu treffen.” (I am here to meet a friend of mine, Erhard.) Diamond explains.
“Ja, Erhard. Auf diese Weise bitte.” (Yes, Erhard. Right this way, please.) Then Diamond follows the maiden into a separate part of the bistro where Erhard has been waiting for her, sipping on a vodka lemon. He smiles when he sees her approach.
Erhard puts down his drink and rises to meet Diamond.
“hallo mein Freund!” (Hello my friend.) Erhard greets Diamond extending his hand warmly.
“Es ist gut, Sie zu sehen.” (It is good to see you.) Diamond replies accepting his hand and shaking it firmly.
“Wenn Sie es vorziehen, können wir auf Englisch sprechen.” (If you prefer, we can speak in English.) Erhard offers.
“Ja, I would prefer it.” Diamond answers.
“I have been observing Herr Richter. He leaves the embassy at exactly a quarter to five every day.” Erhard retorts.
“What time is his normal tour of duty?” Diamond inquires.
“As you Americans would say—working nine to five!” Erhard chortles.
“Then why does he have to leave so early?” Diamond moves closer to Erhard.
“I have seen him take files from our archives and put them into a case. Then he goes downstairs to our copier machine and duplicates these files.” Erhard informs, feeling like an espionage agent.
“What time does he make these copies, Erhard?”
“About 4:30 pm. Then he leaves me in charge and heads out the back exist.”
“He doesn’t suspect you know anything?” Diamond marvels.
“Of course not.” Erhard brags.
“It just seems like if he is doing something as underhanded as duplicating and transporting government data, he would ensure that no one is noticing.” Diamond surmises.
“He is a person that is very sure of himself. He also welds a how do you say it—a big stick.” Erhard says.
“Hmm, Where does Ambassador Richter go for suit cleaning?” Diamond’s mind is moving in fast-forward.
“There is a woman who usually comes to pick up his suits and bring them back in a couple of days, why?” Erhard inquirers.
“Because I would love to get a device sewn in. How well do you know this woman?” Diamond asks.
“She is my aunt.” Erhard smiles and Diamond returns it.
In Some Pretty Deep Pooh …
After finishing their drinks, Erhard and Diamond prepare to leave the bistro. As they rise to exist the Schroder’s, they realize that they have been the focus of two men who have been constantly observing them.
“I don’t like the looks of this Erhard. Do you recognize those men?” Diamond questions.
“Yes, they are the ones that Ambassador Richter has been giving the copies to.” Erhard answers nervously.
“Then, I really don’t think they are monitoring us for the cover of Time Magazine.” Diamond tries to make light of a very volatile situation.
“What do you think we should do, mein Freund?” Erhard has reverted to German.
“We are going to need to split up. Whatever you do—don’t get caught. I will see you momentarily.” Diamond warns. Slowly the duo heads toward the front exit. The conspirators rise to pay the young waitress, then proceed to follow Diamond and Erhard.
Diamond sees an empty receptacle and immediately dives in while Erhard surrounds himself with some wooden crates. The two men seem perplexed as they pace in both directions, unable to find either Diamond or Erhard.
“Wir müssen die junge Frau und ihren Begleiter finden.” (We must find the young woman and her companion.) The first man says.
“Wir müssen herausfinden, wie viel sie wissen.” (We must find out how much they know.) The second man replies.
“Ja, aber wohin sind sie gegangen?” (Yes, but where did they go?) The first man queries.
“Ich weiß nicht, aber es gibt das Auto der Frau.” (I don’t know but there is the woman’s car.) The second man says and he walks over to the rental and places something underneath the front bumper. Diamond sees this but dares not reveal her present location.
“Jetzt warten wir nur noch.” (Now we just wait.) Replies the first man and they both leave. Then both Diamond and Erhard emerge from their hiding places.
To Be Continued …
A Rare Diamond in the Rough 2
- A Rare Diamond in the Rough 2
A deadly secret is soon to be revealed. Who can be trusted? Why is Erhard in such a hurry to leave Germany? Diamond is slowly discovering that this could be the story of her life. The only problem is … will she be around to write it. That is anybody'
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS