Munich Nights Chapter 68: “An Annoyed Doctor Nagel Arrives”

Munich Nights Chapter 68: “An Annoyed Doctor Nagel Arrives”

Several small facial creases were now finely etched around her emerald green eyes. Perhaps, suspected Karen, the young doctor had needed spectacles for close studies as an idealistic young final-year student studying from her medical textbooks. In maybe a draughty Berlin garret perhaps preparing for an important exam? Or maybe reading an advanced final text paper by a flickering melting candle or a dim flickering torch placed precariously at her elbow? As well as just about surviving on an empty stomach of stale bread and thin soup, Karen mused with a smile. She was aware of the fate of most students she had read and heard about from close friends but never had suffered such a fate herself.

“Good afternoon Doctor Nagel” said Karen, noticing the offered firm handshake that she graciously accepted after the doctor had carefully removed her expensive charcoal grey kid leather gloves.

“Nurse Hofffman has informed me all about your professionalism Doctor” Karen slightly gushed perhaps hoping not to overdo it.

“And we are all hoping you can perhaps solve this unexpected conundrum that has unfortunately presented itself to us” she complained with a now nervous smile. The doctor however did not hesitate in replying.

“Frau Kyper” she stated firmly. “I will naturally do what I can of course to alleviate your problem and” as if now remembering something important that had crossed her mind, she added with a smile: “Your husband informed me on the long journey here that you are the daughter of Doctor Auer from Munich” she stated looking at Karen inquiringly to confirm this.

“That’s right” Karen confirmed looking at Walter with a raised eyebrow. And wondering why he had mentioned this trivial nugget of family information to her.

“I do well remember” the doctor announced softly with some genuine affection adding, “When he kindly visited our hospital years ago in Spandau, to lecture us newly qualified doctors on the then hidden dangers of “septicaemia” of all things. It was fascinating to listen to and learn from him. And see the amazing detail he had prepared in his coloured slides for his lecture. And then during the lunch break, I was the only invited woman there as I recall. He took a personal interest in me and inquired about my plans for my future in medicine”.

“Then he informed me that he had a young daughter named Karen who had no interest at all it seemed in pursuing medicine as a future career or qualifying as a doctor much to his lasting regret. But happily, she had developed as a child, a serious interest in the study of musical performance and composition. So I take it that he perhaps meant yourself?”

She then looked with curiosity at Karen. Walter decided this was maybe the appropriate time to offer his quick apologies and with a subtle kiss to Karen and a half bow to the doctor, he silently departed the ornate hotel lobby that had now started to fill up with noisily arriving guests and fractious children.

Karen nodded and it did sound just like her father’s observation about her. Sadly this was indeed true. Instead, she had then happily opted for a life of generous dollops of music rather than medicine. Then adding apologetically: “Yes, I’m afraid so” she replied with her right hand on her heart in a somewhat mock apology gesture.

Then Doctor Nagel in all sincerity quietly requested of Karen saying: “But do please give him my kind regards.” She then paused saying rather thoughtfully as she laid her hand gently on Karen’s right arm adding: “He was very kind to me and it was a rare gesture then for any ambitious young woman like myself hoping to desperately qualify in the male medical world.” 

Then adding as perhaps an afterthought: “But I don’t suppose he will remember me…..” Karen quietly interrupted her saying sincerely.

“Well, I shall be talking this evening on the telephone to him. And I will certainly try and jog his memory which is still as sharp as a kitchen carving knife I’m glad to say….” 

She paused and added as an afterthought adding: “But why don’t you just say a quick hello yourself? I am sure he would remember you.”

The doctor seemed rather delighted by this kind of unexpected gesture offered to her and then happily agreed if hopefully any time permitted.

By now the decorated hotel lobby had inflated with even more guests arriving and departing, both seen and heard. It was all very noisy thought Walter, and very disorganised, with the management seemingly indifferent to the din and disturbance being caused to other guests.

Heinrich would certainly have something to say about this chaos when he established his work camps when they came to power. There Walter knew everything would march like clockwork according to Himmler’s ordered time and usual obsession with minor details.

As they were still talking to each other, Hermann had walked towards them inquiring with a laugh in his usual jovial manner at the sight of the three of them: “Hello, what’s this a union meeting?”

He inquired with a mischievous glint in his observant eyes and now speaking through blue cigar smoke swirling all around him, rather like the rising mists from a glacial alpine lake thought Dr Nagel with silent distaste.

Hermann then turned towards the Doctor. He had requested her hand and then kissed it gallantly saying very respectfully: “How do you do madam Doctor Nagel? I am Captain Goering and I’m absolutely delighted you accepted my offer to aid us in this rather unusual request. And I might further add that a great deal depends on its future outcome and success”.

He paused then added.” Oh, I do hope Colonol Kyper was a good host and that you had a pleasant journey here today?”

Without waiting for a reply he gently guided her towards the busy hotel foyer desk. There he spoke to the young desk clerk and then requested and collected the doctor’s hotel room key, which he then presented to her saying kindly: “Perhaps Doctor after you have freshened up you might care to join us for drinks in room 719 on the fourth floor? And I can then have the honour to introduce you to the Countess herself, my beloved wife Carin? Perhaps I could suggest maybe in an hour?” he inquired raising an eyebrow and then looking down at his Swiss watch. She then quickly agreed to his invitation with a polite nod of acceptance.

Walter and Karen had stood waiting just to see what would happen next. Then nurse Hoffmann who had just returned from powdering her nose, kindly offered to accompany the doctor up to her hotel suite to hopefully catch up with what had been happening before her sudden arrival.

To be continued…..

© G. Patrick Battell

All Rights Reserved

February 2024