Colonel Klink was a compassionate and efficient jailor. He steadfastly adhered to the Geneva Convention, kept his books and records meticulously organized and ruled his allied charges firmly but fairly. Fortunately for Sergeant Andrew Carter, he also provided appropriate medical care to the prisoners.
This morning, Carter actually wished that this medical attention had been a little hard to come by.
Three days ago, he had developed a horrendous sore throat and a fever. Carter was not a complainer, but his bunkmates could see he was ailing, particularly when he stopped talking. Hogan finally ordered Carter to check in with Wilson at the infirmary. Sergeant Wilson promptly diagnosed Carter with a severe case of tonsillitis. He escorted him back to the barracks and asked to speak with the Colonel. Before Carter could utter a protest, Hogan was in Klink's office negotiating for a doctor's visit or even better, a trip to the hospital.
The larger Stalag 4 was unable to loan any of its Allied medical personnel. Besides, Stalag 13 was not actually equipped to handle surgery. Klink generously offered to arrange for a nice trip to Hammelburg for Carter, complete with Schultz as an escort. Hogan of course managed to coerce Klink into letting him accompany the patient to "hold" his hand, already planning to skip out for a while to conduct reconnaissance and to see what interesting new people had shown up in the village.
So now Carter, minus his tonsils, found himself back in Stalag 13, utterly miserable, still saddled with a horrible sore throat and ordered not to talk. To make matters worse, his friends and co-conspirators were coddling him. This was utterly embarrassing. Newkirk kept annoying him with continuous games of gin. LeBeau kept trying to force feed him chicken soup and Kinch insisted on keeping him occupied by reading unintelligible passages from books he didn't understand written by authors he had never heard of. The other residents of Barracks 2 were also pampering him, although they at least had the common sense to keep their distance. Hogan was usually busy planning operations, but he still found the time to check in on Carter every so often. To Carter, who never got sick, having his C.O. treat him like an invalid was a disaster.
Schultz came in later that morning to check on the patient, acting like a mother hen checking on her chicks. One thing Schultz actually knew how to do well was taking care of sick children. He was in his element.
"How is my sick prisoner this morning?" Carter rolled towards the wall and groaned.
"Ah, Schultz, leave him alone, "LeBeau pleaded. "His throat hurts and he can't talk."
Schultz tsked. "When my children had their tonsils out, we gave them ice cream and they felt better right away."
" De la glace!" LeBeau got excited and his eyes sparkled. "I could make some. Some chocolate and sugar from the Red Cross packages and voilà!"
"Hey that's a great idea." Newkirk had overheard the conversation. "That would make my buddy feel better."
"Hold on,"LeBeau said. "I don't have an ice-cream maker. It blew up during that party." His eyes fell. "No ice-cream maker, no ice-cream, rien."
Hogan walked over. "You think you can get a hold of one of those for us, Schultz?" Schultz replied. "For Carter, I will check in town, if-"
"If what, Schultz?" like they didn't know what was coming.
"If I can try some of the ice cream."
"Don't worry, Schultz, I promise, I'll save you some."
"You hear that, Andrew," LeBeau said, "We're going to make you some ice cream!" Carter got out his pencil and pad of paper and wrote "Whoopee." He then turned over and went back to sleep.
Schultz returned from Hammelburg later that morning empty-handed." I do not have the maker." The men groaned. "I do know where I can get one. The owner of the Hofbrau will lend us one, but…"
"OK, Schultz, what's the catch?" asked Hogan.
"Günter says he will lend you the maker if you can get him some nylons for his wife."
"Schultz, where are we going to get nylons in the middle of a prisoner of war camp?"
"I told him you boys were resourceful. No nylons, no ice cream."
"All right, all right" Hogan ushered Schultz out the door. "We'll get back to you." "Didn't you give our last supply to Hilda, Colonel?" asked Kinch. "Well," said Hogan as he checked himself in the mirror, "I guess I have a secretary to butter up."
Hogan sauntered into Klink's office. "Fraulein."
"Colonel Hogan. Is there something I can do for you?" Hilda almost seemed to be purring. "Do you wish to see the Kommandant?"
"Actually," Hogan got real close. "It's you I want to see today."
"I'm busy, Colonel Hogan." Well she really wasn't busy. This was just part of the little dance they always played.
"I need a favor."
"Yes?" Hilda asked.
"Well, you know Sergeant Carter?" She nodded. "We want to make him some ice cream for his throat but we don't have an ice cream maker. "
"Colonel, I don't have an ice cream maker."
"Yes, but you do have nylons."
Hilda backed away.
Hogan continued to explain. "We can trade the nylons for the ice cream maker."
"Oh, Hogan, I'd like to help you but, I gave the nylons to my friends in town." Hogan looked positively crestfallen. He started to leave. "Wait, Colonel. Come back in half an hour. I will see what I can do."
Hilda picked up the phone. A while later, Hogan returned for her answer.
"Colonel Hogan, I can get you the nylons but my friends would like something in return."
"Something in return? All right, what?"
"You have records for the prisoners, yes, in the recreation hall."
"Yeah, we have records."
"My friends will give you the nylons for Tommy Dorsey records."
"Isn't that dangerous? " She shrugged.
"All right, I'll be right back."
Corporal Patterson was officially in charge of the record collection. He was relaxing in Barracks 6, when Hogan knocked and walked in. The men quickly came to attention.
"Sit down, at ease. Patterson?"
"Is there something I can do for you, colonel?"
"I need all of the Tommy Dorsey records."
"The Tommy Dorsey records, sir?"
"Yes, Patterson, the Tommy Dorsey records."
Patterson was obviously flustered. "Well, Colonel, I can get you Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman."
Hogan stood there, his arms folded across his chest. "Where are the records?"
Patterson mumbled, "I don't have them."
Patterson figured he might as well tell the truth. "I traded them, but it was for a good cause. Do you remember your birthday party? I gave them to a guard for some popcorn."
Hogan's patience was beginning to wear thin. "You traded the records for popcorn?"
Another prisoner came forward. "We didn't have any. The guards took the popcorn out of the Red Cross packages and well, we thought-"
"Never mind," Hogan interrupted. "Which guard was it? I'll see if I can get them back."
Hogan found out the name of the guard and left the barracks, slamming the door behind him.
Corporal Langenscheidt, though unaware of Stalag 13's more interesting secrets, suspected that it was Colonel Hogan who really ran the camp. He liked it that way. Guarding prisoners in a small POW camp was a lot safer than the alternative. He liked the suave American and he particularly appreciated Hogan's treatment of the enlisted men, both Germans and allied alike. So when Hogan appeared before him, looking somewhat dejected, he was concerned. "Is there something I can do for you, Colonel Hogan?"
Hogan replied, "I heard you have some of our records? I need them back. We can work out details later."
"Colonel, I'm sorry, I'd like to help you, but I gave the records to the Kommandant. He caught some of us being too friendly with some of the prisoners and threatened to put us on report and give us extra duty Then he saw the records and-"
"You offered him the records?"
"No, well, he took them, and forgot about us."
Hogan headed back to Barracks 2 where he found Newkirk outside, smoking. "Newkirk, I need you to break into Klink's quarters and steal back our Tommy Dorsey records."
Newkirk looked at his commanding officer with a confused expression on his face. Normally, he broke into safes to steal important things, like battle plans or weapon blueprints.
Hogan added, "We need the records to get the nylons from Hilda, to get the ice- never mind."
"Colonel, I can get the records, but I'll need to have Klink out of the office for a while."
"I'll take care of Klink." Hogan started thinking. "We'll get a signal to you in the tunnel, then go."
Newkirk entered the tunnel and waited by the stove entrance that opened up in Klink's quarters.
As Hogan entered Klink's outer office, Hilda whispered, "Did you get the nylons, Colonel Hogan?"
"I'm working on it. Is Klink in?"
"I'll announce you."
Klink was at his usual position, behind his desk, signing papers. "Hogan, I didn't send for you. What do you want? I'm busy." Why does he always sound like he's whining, thought Hogan.
"Are you too busy to visit a sick man, sir?" Hogan began to use his best conman voice.
Klink looked up. "A sick man? What do you mean?"
"Well, it's Carter, sir." Hogan paused for effect. "It would mean so much to him if you would pay him a visit." Hogan stepped in for the kill. "He can't talk. He's sick. He's lonely. He's scared being away from home. No mother to take care of him."
Klink wasn't quite buying it. "Hogan, are you serious? Carter's a grown man."
"He thinks of you as a father figure, sir."
"Really? "Klink asked, as he began to puff up like a male peacock.
Bingo, Hogan thought. "Oh, yes. He's mentioned it several times."
Klink reconsidered. "Since you put it that way, Hogan. I will go visit Sergeant Carter." He followed Hogan out of the office, telling Hilda he would be back shortly. Hogan mouthed to Hilda, "back soon."
The prisoners notified Newkirk that Klink was leaving with Hogan. Within minutes he had snuck into Klink's quarters and located the records.
Carter now wished he had escaped with one of the rescued flyers. Just when he thought things couldn't get much worse, he woke up to find Klink sitting by the edge of his bunk mentioning something about a father figure and regaling him with stories about "The Great War." He quickly came to the realization that Hogan had somehow convinced Klink to leave his office to spend time with him. Although his thinking was a little fuzzy, Carter figured that some important operation was in the works and that it was imperative that Klink be here instead of his office. So he gamely tried to pay attention to Klink's ramblings.
Meanwhile, Newkirk passed the albums on to Hilda. "Here you go, luv. The colonel wants to know if you can get the nylons and give them to the owner of the Hofbrau." Hilda agreed. "We'll send Schultz to pick up the ice cream maker."
Hilda thought. "I will tell the Kommandant that my father is ill and I have to go home."
"Right, then." Newkirk left and headed towards the barracks. He opened the door and signaled to Hogan that the plan was in place. Hogan and Kinch went over to Carter's bunk and quickly started to usher Klink out the door. "Sir, I think Carter is tired and needs some sleep."
Carter nodded and croaked, "Thank you for visiting, Kommandant."
"I'm glad you enjoyed my visit, Sergeant." Klink, his ego stroked, was beaming. "I will check on you again tomorrow."
As the Kommandant exited the barracks, Hogan motioned to Schultz. "We have everything in place, Schultz. Can you get into town and get to the Hofbrau?"
"Yes, I can. I will be back as soon as possible with your ice cream maker." And on that note, he left.
Hogan relaxed. His plan was in place. All his men had to do was to wait for Schultz to return.
LeBeau began to gather his items. He sent some men to the mess hall for some ice. Sugar was in short supply, but fortunately he had stockpiled some with the emergency food supplies in the tunnels. Newkirk impatiently watched for Schultz.
"Here he comes," Newkirk said. Schultz triumphantly strode over to the barracks with the ice cream maker.
"I have it, but you must be very careful with it and it must be returned in tip-top shape when you are finished," he said.
"D'accord, said LeBeau. "I will be gentle. I promise."
Schultz handed the maker to LeBeau and then started to leave. "I must get back on duty. You will call me when it is ready?"
"Stop drooling, Schultz. We'll call."
"Shhh", Kinch said. "You'll wake up Carter."
LeBeau, ever the temperamental chef waved the men away. "Colonel, I need my space."
"OK, LeBeau. All right, everybody out."
"Merci." All of a sudden, LeBeau froze; a terrible look came over his face.
"Oh, Mon Dieu."
Hogan ran over. "Louis, what's wrong?"
"We forgot the cream!"
Hogan let out a sigh. He opened the door. "Schultz?"
"Shultz, do you know where we can get a cow?"