W.R. HAMMONS .COM. THE MAN. THE LEGEND. THE WEBSITE.
“Welcome to Egypt, gentlemen. May I see your papers, please?”
Halstead stepped forward in front of his traveling companion and presented his passport with a smile. “Good afternoon to you, sir.”
The British army officer looked up from the newly issued German passport that was a symbol of the gift of German citizenship Hoffman had bestowed upon the Austrian immigrant named Adolf Hitler. He stared at the moustached man addressing him in English with a perfect American accent. “And what is the nature of your business, Mister Hitler?”
“Tourism. We’ve come to see the pyramids and such things,” Halstead replied with a wide smile.
“You people certainly don’t waste any time, do you?” the officer replied to the surface of his table set up at the landward end of the dock where the passenger steamer from Venice had come to a rest, a table set up beneath the shade of an Alexandria customs station awning. “Welcome to Egypt.” His stamp made a soft thud on the passport’s paper, next to the Austrian and Italian marks. “Enjoy your stay.”
As soon as Rudolph Hess’s own passport had been stamped, he picked up both of his suitcases and hurried to join Halstead on the far side of the customs station and on the edge of a street teeming with foot, pedal, and even a bit of motor traffic. “Mein Führer,” Hess began hesitantly, as Halstead impassively gazed at the humanity drifting to and fro before their position.
“If you don’t mind the asking, where did you learn to speak English?”