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World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army
Envelope addressed: Mrs. R. L. Davis 1619 Boston Muskogee, Oklahoma Agent R. Davis 13 CID APO 170 c/o PM, N.Y. An additional handwritten note reads "Prague". Enclosed letter: Davis continues recounting Frank's description of his party, which Davis and Berg missed. Davis notes that he finds Frank's broken English very amusing as it is "really in the form of classic caricatures of Slav English". He mentions that Frank's has deteriorated since they last met. Davis writes that Frank made arrangements to repair the two flat tires he and Berg picked up along their journey. With Berg, Davis returned to the hotel to rent a room for the night. He describes the view from their room's window, and the evening meal they take at the hotel. Davis writes that in the evening he, Frank and Berg wandered through Karlsbad seeking a good "nite spot". The eventually spent a couple of hours at a club. Davis breaks down the days expenses, noting that had they drank more than they had or "met any interesting girls" it would have cost more. Davis writes that he and Berg rise late on the morning of the 19th and drive to Prague, where they check into another hotel. They meet two girlfriends from their last trip: Olga and Rosie. The four go dancing at a small night club. He again lists the day's expenses. On the 20th, Berg and Davis speak to Col. Koenig about the conclusion of their last case and the beginning of a new investigation. Davis relates a story of a previous encounter with the Colonel, wherein he accused them of wasting time and "the government's money" and carrying "unauthorized personnel" during "official business hours", after catching them sitting in their jeep with two young ladies. Davis mentions finding Koenig much more agreeable this time.
Agent R. Davis
13 CID APO 170
% PM NY Prague
U.S. ARMY POSTAL SERVICE A.P.O.
170 JUL 24 1946
VIA AIR MAIL Mrs. R. L. Davis
1619 BOSTON Muskogee, Okla
and Germany girls. All night we celebrated, and next day we all kamm boch to Karlovy Vary in car. We leave Germany girls there. Never mind Germany girls! Wanderful time!” (I found Frank’s Englisg i=one of the most amusing itens still in my mind from the first trip to Czechoslovakia. It is really in the form of ^classic caricature of Slow English; “I lōve to do that,” “That is all Rassia, now.” And once, when Berg and I were ehafing at the lateness ^tardiness of a meal we had ordered, “Never mind, that is so we will be hongry!” With Alongside the general backsliding of his English, with consequent loss of vocabulary, has emerged the natural countermeasure of falling increasingly employing certain key words and phrases. The principal one of these is “Never Mind,” which emerges ^appears in about every second sentence with the suddenness and force of an interjection and a meaning which only Frank can guess at.
That afternoon we arranged with Frank for the repairing of our two flat tires, drove back to the hotel ^Loib and got a room. The view from our room, which was on the front side, and overlooking a square, is very good. By sitting at the window one can see so much of the life there; the trudging German figures with their white , the Czechs, and the cumbersome Russian with their pudgy WAC’s, strolling and hurrying across the square. (The room cost 260 kronners, $5.20.)
For the evening meal we were the only customers in the mammoth dining room. Altho’ the meal was good (of course it should have been at 208 kronner), we had to wait 30 minutes at our table before even the soupe was served us. I must say that I have perhaps lost ^(never had) that traditional elegant patience and which most upper class Europeans being of returning to my room and sharing.
Frank and Berg and I wandered thru’ Karlovy Vary that nite looking for a suitably lively note spot, and not finding any. We finally sat for a couple of hours in a certain nite club, drank a couple two beers and ate some strawberries. And so to bed.
Total expenses for the day:
2 meals, $8.00; hotel $5.20; nite club $4.00; / $17.20
If we had met any interesting girls at the nite club, and drink a couple of whiskies or cognacs, it would have cost us more.
19 JUNE 1946
Berg and I slept late. Getting up at about 11 a.m., we picked up our two tires which we had at different spot places for repair. After the farewell with Frank, ^we did some shopping. Berg ordered china ware, and I bought one ready-made shirt and ordered four more white shirts to be tailored, ready in 10 at 3:30 p.m. we left for Prague with our convoy. Shortly after 5 p.m. we arrived, after hard driving. Immediately checked into the Sroubek Hotel, on Wenzel’s Square, the heart of Prague.
Within 15 minutes following our arrival at Wenzel’s Square we saw two of our girl friends from the last trip; Olga the 16 year old blond who told me she was 16, and Rosie, the secretary friend of Sol’s.
Rosie met at in the Sroubek, and since Sol’s ”best girl” was out of town, he asked Rosie for a night out. We went dancing at the Tabrin night club. A small place, pseudo- decorated, with a few extra known charge for the drinks. This extra charge, I presume, was what made Rosie like to go there. Impoverished secretaries like a little luxury and pretension when they go out with Americans.
Expenses for the day, which I have noted in my note book; breakfast; 65 kr; lunch. 167 kr; dinner, 200 kr.; night club; 525 kr. Total, 960 kr. Or $19.20, of course not counting hotel money, which comes unto the picture viciously enough once a week.
20 June 1946
Diaries, daily that is, have a tendency to defeat their own purpose ^good, which is namely to written at all. It is now 29 June, and I have not written a word. I shall try to vaguely reconstruct our activities of the period. Some of the events are quite clear in my memory, but I days and dates are harder.
On the 20th we really didn’t do much. We reported in to the American Embassy, ^(where we) talked to crusty old Col. Koenig about aspec our satisfactory conclusion of the last case, and our new investigation. KOENIG was a Brigadier General last May when we were here, and proved himself a tough nut to talk to. One unfortunate afternoon of our first visit he drove by as Berg and I were sitting ^grandly in our jeep with two young ladies. (Millie and Ellen.) The next day we had occasion to visit him in his office, where he informed us that we might as well clear out of Czechoslovakia, we were wasting our time and the government’s money; and that he had caught us carrying “unauthorized personnel in the jeep during official business hours. I don’t know whether to court-marshall you both or not.” Having bludgeoned us into uncomfortable abasement with this curt observation, and without waiting for a defense ^reply (I was widely wondering what sort of a spur of the moment alibi Berg would spout out, and hoping he would keep his mouth shut. Berg is no fool tho’. He kept his mouth shut, only hurt, which was probably how I looked.) he went on to say he has a deserter on his hands, for whom we were just the boys to look after. His parting advice was to leave as soon as we could arrange it, and “keep your noses clean.“ Berg’s discomfiture was caused me to go into one of my irrational laughing sprees as soon as we were alone. He didn’t appreciate the humor of it for weeks.
The “General” proved more tractable this visit. When we tell him we were here on order of “Major-General Gay, C.G. of the Constabulary,” and explained the nature of the “Top Secret” investigation, he was, if not helpful, at least reasonable. After a prickly ^(though favorable), 10 minutes talk with him, we said our farewells. After a short phone call to Walter Israel, our Chief Agent in Munich, we left the Embassy and gave ourselves up to the luxury of riding around in the TATRA.
That afternoon I laid lazily in a chair on our balcony, sunning myself. (Our balcony, very good on sunny days, is a fourth floor one abutting out over Wenzel’s Square. For a view of the whole square it is excellent. We pay about a dollar a day extra for it, I suppose.) Berg entertained himself with Rosie.
^Kitty town in Manavske lazng (MARIENBAD), and was not expected home in Prague until late this evening. (Today was another Czech holiday) Altho’ I had warned him of possible repercussions with Kitty in the event of her finding out his flirtation with Rosie, he decided to kill the time with Rosie, anyway. (Naturally enough, to make a dirty ^admission , I confess that the idea of Sol, with his immensely easy-going ways, his casual-made-serious affair with Kitty, being put in a predicament was by his attentions to Rosie was extremely attractive to me; Particularly if I could see ^witness the conversation scene that ensued. Kitty I did ^do not like particularly. Therefore, ^I did not allow my advice on the subject to be seriously convincing. It did wasn’t and did not deter him.) Berg is such a pleasant