And just a few heartbeats away, although the calender gave the year as 1939, J Alfred Prufrock replaced the telephone receiver and turned to Palestrina MacFarlane and Gertie Mountcastle and grinned, his rather wolfish grin which showed there was nothing to smile about, and said: "that was Hymie Rosenberg telling me that the two birds have flown – von Machfleine and Doopeltag – and Himmler has ordered Heydrich to cover it up, exterminate the witnesses and find the two birds, without anyone else being involved, which is good for us, it means we only have to track him and not a whole squad of SS: this should be a doddle – but we also have to apply ourselves to the real investigation!" and Gertie asked: "why?" and Alfred smiled genuinely at her, "because we must always remember that he isn't a detective, my dear, and both you and I are! the difficulty for political movements like the Nazis and the Bolsheviks and I'm sure there are plenty of others, is that they believe themselves; if Der Fuhrer announced that the Party scientists had developed trees which bore fruit of vegetable lamb, his followers would believe him, even against their netter judgement, but while in medicine there is the concept of mithridatization, by which through slow exposure to small degrees of a poison, the body becomes resistant to it, in politics, it turns out that by gradual exposure to lies and deceits, people come to accept whatever they are told, and to believe it, without ever realising that they are being psychologically poisoned and become dependant upon it, just as the drug addict cannot live without his regular doses of laudanum or opium; unfortunately for the Nazis, they quickly rooted out all the good philosophers and doctors and detectives, replacing them with party hacks who lacked the basic skills and capacity for reason so necessary to conduct their work effectively: oh, they have technicians who are effective – the printers of proclamations who do not care what they print, the torturers who squeeze out confessions and the executioners who care not one whit for whom they eradicate – but to learn the truth requires having an open mind, knowing the difference between inalienable and unalienable, so the people of Germany have lost what previously were considered Rights, only to find that Truth, Law, Justice, Liberty and Freedom are concepts which the Party has no truck with; but they have no comprehension of that loss – they have Bread and their lives belong to The State; I have a chum back home, Abraham Maslow, who has been working on a Theory of Human Need, he hasn't published it yet, so you won't have heard of it," and Gertie interjected: "but I have! remember I've come from the Twenty-first Century and I studied Psychology at Uni and we did a lot with Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Need and you are right: the basic ones are Air, Water and Food, Clothing, Shelter – and also Sexual Expression – for without these Physiological Needs being met, humans cannot exist!" and Alfred clapped his hands: "my dear, you are a Godsend and I'm pleased to hear my old chum Abe is still so well regarded – well Adolf also figured that out, and realised that he had to appeal to that most basic instinct: if people are hungry, tired, worn out by drudgery and unable to feed themselves or their children and keep a roof over their heads, they would not follow him – so that is what he promised; and it's understandable that in such a state and condition, who cares about philosophy and literature and art and Freedom and Liberty? the Freedom to die of starvation, the Liberty to weep over your dead babies? he promised them a glorious future, a Greater German Reich, but what they heard was Land and Bread, a roof over their heads, and that the first step was to rid Germany of those Parasites who devoured everything and gave nothing back – the Jews! oh, we can tell the lies and the deceits, but the Lumpen Proletariat heard what they wanted to hear and they raised the roof! but the whole point of what I started out with is: you and I, Gertie, are Detectives, but Heydrich was in the Imperial German Navy before he became a Party apparatchik, he's an administrator not a Detective, and ordering him to do it without enlisting any help from the Kriminalpolizei Detective Branch will hinder his investigation, but it's understandable, because the Nazis don't trust any of the old-timers, and any that are still working are under the supervision of SS administrators who don't know the difference between a Clue and a Gut-feeling; oh, and by the bye, written in one of the cells was Vlado War Hier! and you will remember who Vlado is? this time it was Palestrina who spoke with a deathly cold voice: "Vlado Chernozemski, the Bulgarian assassin!" and Gertie added: "if he really is in Berlin and planning to assassinate Prince Paul, maybe he intends to make von Machfleine and Doopeltag the patsies, that is certainly one of his hallmarks, finding a sap or even a couple of saps to put the blame on, usually by inciting the mob to beat them to death (if they aren't already) and the Fickle Finger of Fate would point directly at Himmler, Goebbels, Goering and, ultimately Hitler himself! it's certainly a sweet plot, but I think Goebbels would put his own spin on it, claim it's a Balkan, Czech, Slav and Bolshevik move, using the old Blighted Homo-Sexual Lovers Joint Suicide by Mob script and Hitler would use it as the perfect excuse to to move into the Sudetenland thereby providing the Land and Bread bonanza he's been feeding the Masses: 'Ich versprach ihr Land und Brot und hier ist es! der Führer hält immer seine Versprechen!'" and Alfred rubbed his hands in glee: "Heydrich and, unknown to him, I guess - if I know Himmler - a couple of Gestapo Leather-Boys, a platoon of the Waffen-SS and a couple of Kriminalpolizei draft-dodgers who spend most of their time looking for and finding Jews hidden in friends' cellars or Bolsheviks who've obtained false papers and are working at the docks or on a farm or in a newspaper print-room; that will all create such confusion that we will be able to cut to the chase and zero in on Vlado and his prizes on the one hand, and Hitler on the other, and between the two the picture gets very confused indeed," and it was Gertie who said: "have you read Macchiavelli's The Prince?" and poured them each another glas of Schnapps and chuckled as he replied: "it was me who translated it for the Doubleday edition in '35, I think that's Trumps and I win the hand!"