DEATH IN THE FACULTY ROOM- CHAPTER XIX

My first reaction to the trove of papers was that they were certainly accumulated for nefarious reasons. There were all sorts of dates on the papers variously from the 1940s to the 1960’s. I attempted to put them in some sort of order. I put them in groups like maps, memos, description of phone calls, and a group called “Other.” I looked at the audio tapes. I did not have a tape player in my home. If I wanted, I could probably borrow one from the school. I thought about that for a while and decided that I probably did not want to listen to what was on them. Sometimes it’s better not knowing. There is an old German expression that goes like this, “Macht nicht wissendich,” make out like you don’t know.
One of the maps was a detailed rendering of the Pentagon Building. There were hand inscribed arrows on a few of the offices. The Department of War was the name of the organization that housed our military. It was later changed to the Defense Department sometime in the early 1950’s. The Pentagon was built in 1943 to house all of the important centers of our military. It was thought that housing them all together would allow for a more streamlined military. Not sure that it really worked that way.
Many of the memos were from the precursor of the CIA, called the Office of Strategic Services, or the OSS. A very flamboyant man, Wild Bill Donovan was the chief of that service. Later, when John Foster Dulles appeared on the scene, as Secretary of State, he appointed Allen Dulles, his brother, as the head of the CIA. These memos were certainly classified at the time and had to do with our undercover spies in Europe and in the Far East. If they became public even now, it would stir up a great deal of trouble. Our country was dealing with some pretty shady characters and was still.
Someone, who had access to these documents, must have been pretty high up in the government from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. It could not have been a political appointee. It had to be a civilian worker or long time member of the armed services who accumulated these documents. If I was to guess, at that time, I believed it was someone just under the rank of a cabinet position. I had no idea of any of the possibilities, but I am sure that Baumgartner would have some ideas.
I called him that night and told him about the materials. He was anxious to get hold of them and asked if I minded if the dropped by in 30 minutes or so. I told him that I would still be up at that time. I was interested in what his reaction would be to these papers.
Baumgartner spent a full half hour perusing the materials. His conclusion was that we were dealing with a wide spread spy network that was run by some of our country’s enemies. He was loathe to say that Fleming Elementary School was the center of the operation, but it sure looked that way. At this point Hodges should trust no one, not even Mama Pags. Was it possible that there were a group of people on staff who worked together as a spy network? Is this why he felt that there were things going on that he did not feel comfortable with. Furthermore, how far up in the school district did this thing go? Could it be that the central office was involved? I got a headache just thinking about it.
I did not feel great about discovering the spy ring. However, this was my first assignment for the FBI. I went on my own to interview Mama Pags and found the papers by getting them from Louis Rookstool. Was I on my way to becoming a real FBI agent, or was I just lucky? Maybe it was a little of both.

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