night, sixteen men went through the tunnel. Bingham and two or three others
were captured almost immediately. The rest made their way to a small wood on
the Baltic shore near Rostock. Here a yacht
flying a particular burgee
awaited them. When the only German-speaking member of the group went to make
contact, he found the harbour cordoned off and was arrested when he attempted
to gain entry. They sent a second to try
to get supplies, but he too was caught. Cold and hunger eventually made them
give themselves up. The Kriegsministerium in Berlin were incensed by the escapes and
instituted a harsher regime in the camp. The guards were no longer as amenable
and life was full of privations and reprisals.
morning, the pilot sought out Conrad. Anxiously, he enquired what had been done
with the letter Conrad had written the night before. It had been posted. The
censor, he was told, now had a fumigating box which would reveal the secret
message. Conrad would be facing a firing squad as a spy. The letter must be
retrieved at all cost. Conrad caught the censor on his way to luncheon.
for lunch, Herr Censor?"
you care for a can of butter for your bread?" asked Conrad amiably.
agzept mit bleasure." (DM p. 49)
knew that the food parcels were held in the censor's office. He opened the door
allowing Conrad into the room with the fumigating cupboard. There on a clip
hung the letter. As the censor retrieved Conrad's parcel, in a flash the letter
here is your box, Herr Kapitain. You have just one can of butter left."
entirely welcome to it, Herr Censor," said Conrad smiling warmly, the
letter safe in his pocket. Not long
after this, the belligerents agreed that all POWs who had been three years in a
camp were to be interned in neutral countries. Conrad was sent to Holland where he remained until the
Armistice in 1918.