Confusion by James Gould Cozzens

By James Gould Cozzens

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It is one thing to improve the racial characteristics of mankind. ” “Though there will be no need to sterilize Kotacek himself, I suppose. ” “Ah. ” “Tanner. ” His brow furrowed. “That is an unusual name for a German. ” “I am German. ” He nodded solemnly. “Then we can understand each other, you and I. To live in a foreign land and long for the glory of one’s true home. We Sudeten Germans were forgotten for years until the Fuehrer spoke out for us. No doubt it is the same with our countrymen in America.

You are too young to have served the Fuehrer, no? No matter. It is not easy to move a man out of Czechoslovakia. This filthy police state. Between the Slavs and the Jews, a decent German has little freedom these days. But it can be done, a man can be moved across any border. ” “Oh? ” “I am here illegally, with the police searching for me. My mission is here, in Czechoslovakia. ” “The Slovak? The papers have been full of it. ” “He did not return. ” “Yes. ” He nodded thoughtfully. “It is a noble task,” he said.

He lit a cigarette. I got to my feet, walked to the window, looked out. He took the bottle and filled his own glass. I turned, walked back to the couch, sat down. ” “Why? ” “The Boy Scouts,” he said. “No, that’s unjust of me. There are certain operations they handle rather well. But suppose the Agency did handle this one, Tanner. What would you have? You’d have an official agency of the United States government rescuing a little tin Hitler from a country that has every right in the world, legal and moral, to try him and convict him and execute him.

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