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Last episode taken from The Wizard issue: 1860 October 7th 1961.

On the steps of the Chancellory in once-proud Berlin lay a body wrapped in smouldering blankets—the body of the man whose name headed the Death List of the faceless men –

Adolf Hitler!

What was the name that made Rafferty drive like a demon?

In April 1945, the end of the Second World War was in sight. The Allied armies were steamrolling through Germany from the west, the Russians were smashing a way in from the east, and between them the remains of the once mighty Nazi war machine was relentlessly pounded and crushed into a fast narrowing shell and bomb torn corridor.

It was on the twenty-seventh of that month that a spearhead of American armour, advancing in the Frankfurt area, came on a German staff car that had been blasted into a ditch by a cannon shell from an aircraft. Beside the car lay an unconscious man in the uniform of a Colonel of the Gestapo, the Secret Police of the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler, Dictator of Germany. The leading Sherman tanks swept on by without a pause, but one of the wireless operators passed back a message and within twenty minutes Sergeant Rafferty was on the scene with a jeep and a medical orderly. Rafferty had command of two six-ton trucks which followed the column to take care of German officer prisoners taken during the day’s advance. Each evening these prisoners were driven back down the line and handed over to the Military Police for dumping into a prison cage. Sergeant Rafferty found things unchanged and the medical orderly made an examination of the unconscious Colonel, checking his pulse, prodding with a finger about a nasty gash on the skull and lifting an eyelid to peer into the glazed, staring eye beneath. “Mild concussion,” he announced, stripping the covering from a dressing to apply to the wound. “Most likely caused by the glancing impact of a fragment of shrapnel.” “Well, he certainly didn’t get it falling downstairs,” grinned Rafferty, searching the pockets of the Colonel’s black tunic. “In other words, the guy got bopped on the bonce by a chunk of shell.” “Frankly—yes,” admitted the medical orderly, dressing the wound and staring interestedly at the lean, hard face below it as he did so. “Tough-looking bird. Say them scars on his cheek are from a student duel, you know.” Rafferty exclaimed, “Jumping Catfish!” “It’s a fact,” said the orderly. “Before the war a lot of dueling went on in Germany. One student challenged another and then they got together and carved slices from each other’s pans with sabers. A guy was supposed to be rather a Droopy Dan if he left college without looking like he’d had his head in a mincer.” “Jumping Catfish!” Rafferty said again. The sergeant was staring at an officer’s identity book he had taken from one of the Colonel’s pockets. “I don’t believe it!” “I wouldn’t lie to you, Sarge,” the orderly said earnestly. “Why, them young Germans even had dueling clubs so that they could have carving fixtures with other colleges.” Rafferty said in a bellow. “Will you shut up?” and the startled orderly became silent. Rafferty seemed extremely excited. He stood up waving the book and said chokingly, “Let’s get him on the jeep.” “I haven’t finished dressing the wound,” protested the orderly. “You can do it on the road,” snapped Rafferty. He took another look at the identity book and shook his head in wonder. “Boy, oh boy—who’d have thought it?” They placed the unconscious Colonel in the back of the jeep and the medical orderly watched in amazement as Rafferty brought the dangling wrists together and secured them with handcuffs. The orderly started to inquire why, but, before he could frame the words, Rafferty was engaging the gears and taking the jeep along the road like a rocket. The orderly braced himself and resumed bandaging the Colonel’s head. Rafferty drove as though the tail of the jeep was on fire. He rammed the accelerator as close to the floorboards as it would go and kept it there. The outraged yells and bitter words of shocked drivers followed them all the thirty miles into the village of Solnastadt. An old barracks on the outskirts of the village had been taken over as a cage by the American Military Police. Rafferty drove into the courtyard, clamped on the brakes with a suddeness that almost sent the orderly through the windscreen, and seemed to bound out almost before the vehicle had stopped moving. “Keep close watch on that Colonel,” he commanded, and strode off into the building. The shaken orderly wiped an ashen face with the back of a trembling hand and mumbled, “Crazy, just plumb crazy!” Rafferty came out in half a minute, accompanied by a Major, a Captain, and two Military Policemen carrying sub-machine-guns. The two officers were holding drawn pistols. They gathered about the rear of the jeep and stared at the unconscious German Colonel. “Great Jumping Catfish!” said the Major. “I don’t believe it!” Things happened fast after that and the bewildered medical orderly stood on one side and gaped as more Military Policemen were whistled up and a medical officer and two stretcher-bearers appeared. “Put him in the strongest cell we have,” ordered the Major. “Take away his uniform, chain him to the bed, and have two men guard him at all times.” “Yes, Major,” said the Captain, saluting. “I’ll have the light burn in the cell all night long.” “Take a look at him when he’s secured, Doctor,” the Major went on. “Do everything you can for him. It is vital that this man does not die.” The medical officer bristled and said, “Major, I always do my best for the patient.” “Keep him alive,” the Major said pleadingly. “This guy has to stay alive. Otherwise we can’t hang him!” The German Colonel was hoisted on to the stretcher and the party swarmed around him as he was carried into the barracks. As they vanished from sight the medical orderly came out of his trance. “With all the fuss you’d think that guy was Hitler,” he observed. “Give, Rafferty, give—who was it?” “Not Hitler,” grunted Rafferty. But then he spoke a name and the orderly was stunned. His eyes bulged and he leaned heavily against the jeep. “Well, wrap me up and post me home,” he gulped. “If that don’t beat all. Say, they’ll write about us in the newspapers.” “Yup,” Rafferty said. “As of now we are famous.”


The German Colonel passed the night lying with pallid face and closed eyes in glaring electric light. He regained his senses shortly after dawn. He did so without fuss, merely uttering a groan that was choked off and then lying quietly and gazing up unblinkingly into the harsh light.

One of the guards sent for the medical officer and the Colonel submitted passively to an examination. He showed no surprise or curiosity at the surroundings in which he found himself. The Major came in as the medical officer left. He was tousle-haired and red of eye, and he appeared much less alert than the silent figure on the bunk. He drew up a chair and sat down yawning. “I am Major Roger G. Bonway, of the American Corps of Military Police,” he announced in bad German. “How do you do, Major Bonway?” replied the Colonel. He spoke in perfect English. “I suggest we use this language. Your German contains many flaws and a talk would be difficult.” Bonway was mildly annoyed at having his command of German insulted. He said, peevishly, “Wise guy, eh.” “Merely helpful,” said the Colonel. “Wisdom is given to few of us.” “Listen, Nazi,” Bonway said coldly. “I know you guys think yourselves smart, but it don’t mean nothing to me. Take a good look at that door.” “There is no need,” said the Colonel, without turning his head. “I am quite well aware that a beefy guard is aiming a sub-machine-gun at me.” “And he’s ready to use it,” snarled Bonway. “The jig for you is up, Buster. You are now in he hands of the United States Army. “Does that mean I can have one of those big American breakfasts?” the Colonel said pleasantly. “Don’t get smart,” Bonway said harshly. He sounded upset. “I want answers and I want them fast. You are Colonel von Reich, Hitler’s friend, the second-in-command of the Gestapo. “I am Colonel von Reich,” the Colonel agreed. “So you admit it,” bellowed Bonway. “All right, start talking. Where is Hitler?” “Which Hitler?” Von Reich inquired interestedly. “I know a Karl Hitler in Potsdam, a one-eyed man who sells matches. I also know a Wilhelm Hitler, who is a poacher in the Black Forest.” “Buster,” said Bonway, breathing heavily, “You annoy me.” “American,” Von Reich replied mildly, “you begin to annoy me. Let me remind you that I am a prisoner of war and entitled to be treated with the respect due my rank.” “The rules don’t hold with guys like you,” Bonway said with sudden coldness. He kicked back his chair and rose to his feet. “Not after the things you Nazis have been doing in Europe for the past few years. The other day we liberated one of your slave camps and I saw sights there that’ll haunt me for the rest of my life.” The beefy guard had unbolted the door from the outside and was holding it open. Bonway moved to pass through then paused to stare long and hard at the prisoner. “You’re a gangster in uniform,” he said flatly. “You’ll be treated as such. You’ll have a fair trial, but you can be sure we’ll hang you when you’ve had it. Think it over!” He went out, the beefy guard following and slamming shut the door. Bolts rattled and presently the guard’s face appeared again at the barred spy-hole. Colonel von Reich was left in his chains to stare up at the electric light and be stared at by the guard. The Colonel’s expression was very composed for a man with such a lack of future. “Jeepers,” said the guard, removing his eyes from the spy-hole some ten minutes later and talking to his companion. “He’s asleep.” The companion came for a look, shook his head in wonder, and remarked, “Nerves like steel.” “He’s sure gonna need em,” said the beefy guard. The Colonel slept soundly until the medical officer came to examine him and change the bandage at eight o’clock in the morning. The visit of the medical officer was followed by one from a barber with a safety razor and soap, and Von Reich was carefully shaved as he lay helpless on the bunk. Rather to his surprise, he was then unchained, provided with a dressing gown, and escorted to a washroom where he was allowed to finish his toilet. “Your uniform,” grunted the barber, coming into the washroom with a black bundle in his arms. “Breakfast is laid out in the cell when you’ve finished.” The Colonel put on the uniform and was further surprised to discover it had been sponged and pressed, and the silver insignia polished. He was escorted back to the cell where he found waiting a tray loaded with flapjacks, syrup, fried ham, eggs, and a jug of coffee. “You ain't allowed to touch a knife,” grunted the beefy guard. “So you’ll have to manage with a spoon. But we’ve cut the ham up for you. The Colonel ate with obvious enjoyment, closely watched by the beefy guard and his companion, and when finished was escorted once more from the cell. This time he finished up in an office where Major Bonway sat behind a desk. The guards took up positions against the wall and the Major looked up with what might easily have been taken for a friendly smile. “Ah, good morning Colonel,” he said pleasantly. “Please sit down.” A comfortable chair stood in readiness on the opposite side of the desk. Von Reich said, “Thank you, Major,” and settled himself in it. Bonway was still smiling. He said in friendly tones, “I trust you enjoyed your breakfast, Colonel?” “It was excellent,” replied Von Reich. “That’s just fine,” said Bonway, the smile widening to a beam. “There’s nothing like a good breakfast to set a man up for the day, that’s what I always say. Cigar or cigarette?” The Colonel chose a cigar, and Bonway hurried round the table to clip off the end and help him to light it. Fragrant smoke swirled above the desk. Bonway bustled back to his chair and beamed at Von Reich through the haze. “I apologise for the way I acted this morning, Colonel,” he said handsomely. “I was wrong and I admit it. A high ranking officer such as yourself is certainly entitled to respect.” “What you really mean,” remarked Von Reich, removing the cigar from his teeth and delicately flicking the off ash, “is that you have decided I am not the type of man on whom to use threats. So I am now being buttered up.” Bonway’s smile shrank and the bit that was left became somewhat frayed about the edges. “Let’s not beat about the bush, Colonel,” said the Major in less friendly tones. “You’re a smart man and you shouldn’t need telling that your side has just about lost this war. So why not do yourself a good turn by telling us a few things we need to know?” “A good turn, eh,” Von Reich said musingly. “Does that mean you will hang me with a soft rope?” “Now look here, Von Reich,” Bonway began, but whatever words he was about to utter were silenced by the thunder of engines outside, followed by the screech of brakes. Bonway clamped his lips shut and sat scowling until the clamour had ended. “I’ll give it to you straight, Nazi,” he began again, only to be interrupted again. The door burst open and a uniformed clerk bounced inside, eyes wide open and bulging, jaw bobbing up and down as he tried to stutter words. Bonway yelled, “Get out of here!” “Major,” stammered the clerk, forcing out the words with a tongue-twisting effort, “The General, sir—” That was when they became aware of the voice outside, a nasal voice that bellowed in anger and indignation. “Is everybody deaf in this place?” demanded the voice. “Are they dead or deaf? Let me know, somebody.” “The General sir, mumbled the clerk. The voice swelled deafeningly as it drew nearer and then suddenly it died away and a short, stocky man was rocking in rubber-soled combat boots in the doorway. He wore a steel helmet, a canvas belt that sagged beneath the weight of two holsters filled with ivory-butted pistols, and a suit of combat fatigues with a cluster of three gold stars on either shoulder. The office vibrated as the two guards stamped to attention and the Major jolted upright behind his desk. Bonway’s face was pale and his mouth twitching. “General, sir, this is an honour,” he gasped. The General was staring at Von Reich. He snapped, “Is that him?” “Colonel von Reich, sir,” replied Bonway, drawing himself up importantly. “I am questioning him, sir.” “You look more like you’re trying to kill him with your kindness,” growled the General, heavily sarcastic. “I never thought to see the day when an officer of the United States Army would feed cigars to a thug like that.” “It is my way of questioning him, General,” replied Bonway, offended. “I am trying to win the prisoner’s confidence.” “Thugs are thugs,” snarled the General. “You don’t pamper ‘em with cigars. Take the thing off him and then hustle him out to my jeep.” “But, General,” Bonway said protestingly. “This man is my prisoner.” “What’s your name, Major?” inquired the General. He paced across to the desk and stared interestedly at Bonway. “Tell it to me. I like to know the names of junior officers who question my orders.” “Bonway, General, sir,” replied Bonway in an unhappy voice. “And I was not questioning the General’s order—” “Bonway, eh,” said the General, nodding and frowning. “I shall remember that. I have a good memory, Major.” “Guards,” rasped Bonway. “Escort the prisoner to the General’s jeep.” “And take the cigar from him,” grunted the General. “And take away his cigar,” snapped Bonway. Colonel von Reich was hustled outside and taken over by an earnest young Lieutenant who clamped handcuffs on his wrists and seated him beside the driver in the jeep. Two six-ton trucks were parked behind the jeep and each was loaded with some thirty American privates who stared wonderingly at the black uniformed Nazi Colonel. “My escort,” said the General, motioning towards the trucks as a crestfallen Bonway entered the courtyard. “You needn’t worry about that Nazi getting away from me.” The earnest, young Lieutenant was sitting with levelled pistol behind Von Reich. The General climbed into the jeep beside him, stood upright and gazed keenly around as though searching for Indians, then flapped his right hand and yelled, “Forward—yoh.” Engines burst into life and were revved up and Major Bonway came to the salute. The small convoy moved off, the jeep in the lead, the six-tonners following, driving out of the gates and west along the main street of the village.


An hour later the sentry on duty at the entrance to a forward fighter strip glimpsed the General’s stars and hurriedly swung aside the hurdles for the convoy to drive in. The General paid a short and noisy visit to the administration block and stamped back accompanied by a Major of the American Army Air Corps. The Major was pale and perspiring.

“But it’s not my Dakota, sir,” he was saying. “This is a fighter strip, and it’s only here to bring supplies. I don’t have the power to put it on any other duty.” “But I have,” grunted the General. “The Dakota is here so I shall use it. A single-seat plane is no use to me.” “Bur, General, sir,” the Major said pleadingly. “Let me just have fifteen minutes to radio its base for permission.” “Major, tell me one thing,” rasped the General, glancing sideways with bleak eyes as he stamped along. “Exactly how long have you been in this man’s army?” They had reached the vehicles by this time. The General climbed into the jeep, the Major stood alongside it looking miserable. “I have been in the Army Air Corps exactly two years, five months, and – er – seven days, General, sir,” mumbled the Major. “I have been in the army twenty-five years,” snapped the General. “But before I had been in it half an hour I learned that an order may be questioned but only after it has been obeyed. I have given you an order, Major.” “Yes, sir,” groaned the Major, and his shoulders slumped in the way Bonway’s had an hour previously. He wearily hauled himself to a seat on the side of the jeep. “Take her straight on to the tarmac, driver.” Less than five minutes later, Colonel von Reich was sitting on a crate in the fuselage of a D.C.3, a Dakota transport, a puzzled pilot was strapping himself into his seat, and the General was standing in the hatch and gazing down at the Major, the Lieutenant, and the sixty men of the escort. “You men have done your duty and done it well,” bellowed the General. “I am proud of the way you have coped with an emergency. Lieutenant, you and your men are to have fourteen days’ leave. You will take them through to Paris, France, in the trucks, book them in at the Army hotel and see that the Army Paymaster makes them an advance in pay.” The Lieutenant saluted, but his crisp, “Yes, sir, General,” was muffled by jubilant cheers from the crowded trucks. A warm smile softened the General’s hard face. He waved for silence and called, “Bless you lads. Go and enjoy yourselves.” “Three cheers for the General,” shouted a G.I. in the leading truck. “Hip, hip—” The cheers were still ringing out when the Dakota trundled down the runway and took off. The Lieutenant had an expression of awe in his eyes. “That just goes to prove that even Generals are human,” he said quietly. “Deep down they’re just like you and me.” “Suppose you tell me the General’s name,” suggested the Major. “I’ll have to use it when I radio the Dakota’s base.” “I don’t know,” said the Lieutenant, gazing at the dot in the air to the west. “I’ve been trying to think of a way to find out all day. But you can’t very well tell a General you don’t know his name. “No,” agreed the Major, frowning worriedly. “That’s the kind of thing that would annoy a General.” In the Dakota the General was at that moment busied in talk with Von Reich. The Nazi no longer wore handcuffs and he and the General were lounging on crates in a surprisingly close and friendly manner. “I like Americans,” Von Reich was saying. “Serious and openhearted people. They might have hanged me, but they would have done so for my own good.” “They mean well,” the General said lazily, puffing at a big cigar. “Tell me something, Chief. You know that we have been together for many years.” “I know,” said Von Reich. “Since the days when we were both prisoners in Coburg Concentration Camp,” the stocky man went on. “The year 1939 when you led a band of us in escape from there and formed the League of Faceless Men. The letter “V” stands for red Vengeance against the Nazis, we swore. You became our leader, Jack One, I became Jack Six of the Faceless Men.” “So?” the lean man in black said inquiringly. “I have known you as Prisoner 7324,” the General, otherwise Jack Six of the Faceless Men, said musingly, “I have known you as Jack One, and also as Colonel von Reich, the role you took on after the real Von Reich had been killed and hidden. For six years I have played the part of your driver, S.S. Trooper Hans Baumer.” “A long history, Baumer,” said Von Reich. “What is your question?” “Are you an Englishman?” asked Jack Six. “Excuse my asking, but over the years I have often wondered.” “I am Aylmer Gregson, an officer of the British Army,” Von Reich said slowly. “At least, I was all those years ago when the Nazis kidnapped me and threw me into Coburg. Now it is your turn. How is it that in the space of a day you have changed from a Nazi trooper to an American General?” Jack Six grinned impishly and said, “Promotion is rapid in war.” He went on to explain how on escaping unhurt from the wrecked car he had laid the unconscious Von Reich at the side of it and had gone for help. On his way back with a new car he had run into a sudden American advance and had been forced to ditch the vehicle and complete the return across country. “I made it just in time to see you lifted into a jeep and driven off,” he told Von Reich. “So I kept to the fields until I came to a side road in which was parked a jeep. I heard voices from beyond the hedge and discovered the little man and his driver eating lunch.” “Little man?” Von Reich said inquiringly. “The General,” explained Jack Six. “The owner of this uniform and these pistols. He said some very hard things to me when I was tying him and his driver to a tree.” “Go on,” said Von Reich chuckling. The Faceless Man explained that he had dressed in the General’s uniform and driven into Frankfurt in the General’s jeep, calmly lodging himself in an American transit camp while he made inquiries about his missing leader. The Americans had been most helpful. “They fell over themselves to do things for me,” he told Von Reich. “Though all the shouting was rather a strain on my tonsils. They found out where you were being held and in the morning I demanded a suitable escort and set off to release you.” “With a Lieutenant, sixty men, and two trucks,” Von Reich said dryly. “Don’t you think that was overdoing it just a little?” “US Generals like to travel in style,” Jack Six said with dignity. He rose to his feet and polished his shoulder stars with a handkerchief. “Would you excuse me while I attend to a small matter?” “You are excused,” Von Reich said courteously, and Jack Six said, “Thank you.” as he went forward into the cockpit. The pilot looked round with a nervous smile. “Son, I am going to give you an order that you will find mighty puzzling,” Jack Six said gravely. “So while you are obeying it I want you to tell yourself that in war there are often secrets which cannot be explained to a junior officer like yourself.” “General, sir,” the pilot said, just as gravely. “I know how to do my duty without asking questions.” “You’ll go a long way, son,” said Jack Six, nodding approvingly. “Now put this aircraft under the automatic pilot.” The pilot promptly obeyed, and sat back in his seat. The General leaned over his shoulder to inspect the controls and said, “That’s just fine, son. The next thing I want you to do is to move aft along the fuselage to the hatch.” The pilot said, “Yes, General, sir,” and began to unfasten his seat straps. Jack Six went on smoothly, “Then I want you to open the hatch.” “Yes, sir,” said the pilot. “And jump out,” said Jack Six. “It might be as well if you took your parachute with you.” The pilot swallowed noisily, his eyes bulged and he gasped, “But, General, sir—” “That’s an order, son,” Jack Six said sternly. The pilot stared with shocked eyes at the grave, kindly face above him. Twice he opened his mouth as though to object, and twice he glanced at the General’s glittering golden stars and closed it. His shoulders slumped as had Major Bonway’s and those of the Air Corps Major. He stumbled from the seat, hung the parachute over his left arm, and began to work his way aft towards the hatch. Seconds later, the pilot had baled out. “A fine young fellow,” Jack Six remarked a little later, sparing a glance through the windscreen as he settled behind the aeroplane’s controls. “I said he would go a long way.” “Jack Six,” said Von Reich, joining him after closing the hatch. “You are a genius in a low and cunning sort of way.” “Some men are born gifted,” Jack Six said modestly. He was putting the Dakota into a tight turn. “Where would you like to go?” “You know the answer to that,” said Von Reich, edging his way into the co-pilot’s seat. “Head for Berlin.”


Shortage of fuel caused the Dakota to put down in a field close to Wittenburg. It was not a smooth landing, heavy twin-engined Dakotas not being designed to come to earth in a ploughed field, but the two Faceless Men were unhurt and managed to scramble to safety before the aircraft brewed up in a geyser of flame.

A patrol of Werewolves—the German guerilla force formed to fight against the Allies even after Germany’s defeat – escorted them to the local Gestapo headquarters, where Von Reich used his powers as second-in-command of the Gestapo to obtain a car. “And I would like a German uniform,” said Jack Six. “I have a feeling that Berlin is not the best place to visit in the dress of an American General.” Berlin was only fifty miles away, but the roads were packed with refugees fleeing from the Russian advance, units of grey-haired reservists tottering along to meet it, and the wrecks of vehicles destroyed by the strafing of the Royal Air Force fighter planes. A night and a day went by before they reached the outskirts of Berlin on the evening of the twenty-ninth of April in the year 1945. Jack One and Jack Six entered the city that had been pounded by bombs until it looked like part of the moon, a vista of ruins twisted into fantastic outlines, mile upon mile of rubble from which rose gaunt crags that had once been the walls of buildings. Before long they had to abandon the car and move into this man-made wilderness on foot, travelling slowly because of the lack of landmarks. “I hate Nazis,” murmured Jack Six, shocked into gravity. “But I pity the man who had to live through this.” Shortly after dusk they found themselves on a wide space covered by the stumps of small trees. “The Tigerarten,” said Von Reich, recognising the park Berliners liked to visit in the summer. “We are getting close.” They pressed on until they reached the street holding the famous Alhambra Restaurant, which was the secret headquarters of the Faceless Men. There was a jagged mound of rubble where the Alhambra had stood. “We shall be all right if the lift shafts are not blocked,” said Von Reich. “Headquarters are deep down.” They delved among the ruins, but a bomb of the power of a thousand-pounder had smashed the building flat and nothing looked the same. It was an hour before Jack Six’s foot came down on a slab which gave so suddenly that he had barely time to leap clear before the yawning black opening of a coal chute appeared. It was a steep, grimy scramble down a ten-foot shaft and then they were in the boiler-room and moving through into the cellars, using matches to light their way past bins and crates of stores cloaked in a ghostly white by fallen plaster. In one of the cellars a touch on a knob projecting from a wall produced a rumbling sound and the sight of a section of wall sliding back. The two men sighed with relief. “The power is still on,” murmured Von Reich. The hidden lift dropped them fifty feet below ground level and into the centre of a system of bunkers that was the main headquarters of the Faceless Men. It also operated a warning signal that brought five Faceless Men flocking to the glaringly lighted concrete corridor into which Von Reich and Jack Six emerged. The Faceless Men stood in a semi-circle about the lift, sub-machine-guns in grey-gloved hands, eyes glittering disbelievingly through slits in the smooth, grey rubber masks fitted to each of the five faces. “But, Chief, we thought you were dead,” said one of the Faceless Men, his voice distorted to an eerie whisper by the mouthpiece of the mask. “It was announced on the radio.” “The report was not quite accurate,” Von Reich said drily. “Please tell me about the situation here.” “We five are looking after headquarters,” replied the one who had spoken. “The others are out dealing with those Nazis who are marked on the Death List. All over Germany we are striking.” The Death List of which he spoke contained the names of the Nazis whom the Faceless Men had sworn to kill. It was printed in red type—and a red line drawn through each name as its owner met with a just fate. “Jack Two ordered us to stay here,” said one of the others. “He left half an hour ago with a section of ten men. They intend to break into the Chancellory Building by way of the sewers.” “Hitler!” Von Reich said quickly. “Then he is in the city?” “Still skulking in his bombproof bunker,” nodded the Faceless Man. “Hitler and a few of his closest followers. Jack Two went because of a rumour that they intend to escape by taking off in a light aircraft from the square in front of the Chancellory. “We shall join Jack Two,” decided Von Reich. “All of us—this is no time for any Faceless Men to stay in headquarters.” “But in proper clothing,” put in Jack Six, beginning to unbutton his black tunic. “Someone fetch me a couple of grey suits.” A few minutes later, led by Jack Six, the small party of grey-clad men was moving by the light of powerful torches through the dark network of sewers that lies below the city of Berlin. Two hours before dawn on the morning of the thirtieth of April, the steel rungs of a ladder built into the wall of a conduit brought them to an open manhole and the muzzle of a sub-machine-gun held by a Faceless Man who guarded it from the outside. He drew back at the sight of their masked faces and they climbed one by one into the grounds of the Chancellory. “The others went in ten minutes ago,” the guard told them. “There was quite a lot of shooting at first, but now it’s stopped.” Russian shells were falling not far off in the city and occasionally they heard the splutter of a distant machine-gun, but about the Chancellory all was quiet. They entered the battered building and began to pass signs of recent and vicious action, Faceless Men and black uniformed S.S. troopers lying still in death. Four grey-clad figures came to meet them in the entrance hall at the front. “Jack Two is dead,” said one of them. “I am Jack Fifteen. I have to report that we were too late.” “Has Hitler escaped?” snapped Von Reich. “He escaped,” agreed Jack Fifteen, turning and moving towards the main entrance. “Come—I will show you.” Acrid smoke began to irritate Von Reich’s throat and nostrils as he followed, but Berlin was a burning, dying city and he thought nothing of it. He only began to understand when he reached the open and saw a mass of smouldering rags heaped between two of the marble columns of the portico. “He took poison,” Jack Fifteen said quietly. “Then his followers heaped petrol-soaked blankets on the body and set them on fire.” The Faceless Men gathered behind their leader and stood staring at the funeral pyre of the man who had plunged the world into war and brought suffering and death to millions. “So it is over,” murmured Jack Six. “It is over,” agreed Jack One, and they watched him as he brought a wad of folded paper from a pocket. He opened it out and the fading embers of the pyre glowed on vivid red lettering. “V FOR VENGEANCE,” said Jack One, reading aloud. “The Faceless Men strike for the Freedom of the World. It is the turn of the Nazi Tyrants to perish. Nothing can halt the Red Vengeance of the Faceless Men.” They continued to watch as he folded back the front sheet and studied the long list of names filling the attached sheets. This was the dreaded Death List, the record of those Nazis whom the Faceless Men had judged, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Jack One brought a fountain pen from his pocket and poised it over one of the names. “Hitler, Adolf,” he read out, and knelt closer to the pyre for light as he scored out the name in red ink and wrote in the margin beside it. “Died Thirtieth of April 1945.” There was silence when he finished and Jack One folded the paper and tucked it away in his pocket. He felt weary now, hardly able to believe it was over, and he had a feeling there was something else to do, one important command to give. He realised what it was. “Take off your masks,” said Jack One to the Faceless Men. “The tyrants have perished!”


V For Vengeance 24 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1333 – 1356 (1951 – 1952)

V For Vengeance 11 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1363 – 1373 (1952)

The Voice from Berlin 12 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1494 - 1510 (1954)

M Marks the Spot 12 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1517 - 1528 (1955)

V For Vengeance 15 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1565 – 1579 (1956)

V For Vengeance 24 episodes (repeat of 1951 series) appeared in The Wizard issues 1716 – 1739 (1959)

Red Vengeance 20 episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1841 - 1860 (1961)


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Vic Whittle 2006