If you were reading my blog before the hackers, you probably remember catching a glimpse of Jack Emmitt. Randomly, as I work on his story, I share bits and pieces that resonate with me, or that resonate with something else I’m working on, and this bit seemed fitting. He’s left his bride of less than seven months, and arrived in a far distant land, his first assignment. A wisp of a man, barely out of puberty himself, this part of his life educated him for what came later.
* * *
I expected Olga to be a shrew at least seven feet tall. She was a wisp of a child, barely five feet tall, and if I were a betting man (I’m not), I’d even have bet she weighed less than a hundred pounds. Her blue eyes bored right through me as we stared each other down. I blinked first.
Morgan swung his bag to the deck and shoved Olga after it. He followed. I stepped off the train just a moment later, but not before it moved, leaving the station. My bag remained on the train. Morgan had landed on his feet and grabbed Olga before she could run. He picked her up like a sack of potatoes and threw her over his shoulder. Her fists pounded his back and she kicked and squirmed until he had to put her down, but he didn’t let go.
She hadn’t said a word. She didn’t scream. I leaned against the rail half wondering how I’d manage to find more clothes, and mostly wondering why Olga wasn’t making any noise. For a twenty-five year old woman, she was feisty and small.
Morgan stood six feet tall with the shoulders of a line backer, muscled out like a body builder and a shocking mass of coal black hair. His face was weather lined and tan above the collar of his ribbed white sweater. I might have guessed him to be nearing fifty, but I’d read somewhere that he was sixty-two. Keen and bold. Those were the words I used to describe him in my mind as I watched him deal with the tormented child we’d just kidnapped.
“Olga, damn it! This is my only sweater and it’s going to get cold out here.” Morgan spat at her as she ripped at his clothes. “Stop struggling. I mean you no harm.” His voice softened a little.
She continued the fight.
“Jack, get the bag,” Morgan wrapped her arms across her chest and held her hands behind her back, shoving her forward and making her walk on her own.
Her eyes flashed, yet still not a sound.
I slung Morgan’s bag over my shoulder and started walking. About six steps behind, I could watch the exchange between Morgan and our ‘victim’ if anyone wanted to call Olga a victim. I had a different name for her, but I wasn’t ready to reveal it, nor would it be of any importance. I trudged forward. Together we traveled nearly ten miles before Morgan aimed Olga at a small clapboard sided house edged into the trees and we followed her inside.
“This is it?” I asked.
“This is it.” Morgan sat Olga in a kitchen chair and told her not to move.
I wondered if she’d listen, or if she’d try something. I didn’t move far from the door.
The bag was lowered to the floor and I stood my ground.
Morgan proceeded to open cabinets and pull out pots and canned goods in preparation for a meal. I watched. Olga stared at Morgan. I don’t recall her ever looking in my direction. Her eyes gave nothing away. She said not a single word.
* * *
Jack Emmitt, some of you knew in another time and place, as someone quite different. This story is about his life as a spy behind the iron curtain. I would love to read your comments on the bits of his story that I share here, and hopefully, sooner (rather than later) I’ll be able to share a link to the whole book. This one has taken a few spins over the years, since I started writing it, including a break when “Jack” passed away, and another when my Mom passed away. Writing the story from the pages and pages of notes I took, instead of from personal discussions is difficult, because of those many items I forgot to ask when taking the notes… I either have to make up the reality – really and truly fiction – or scan the pages for something that fits there.
Life for Jack took a few interesting turns, and I’m ever grateful he chose to share his story with me.
Introduction is HERE.