Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art

Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art

Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art

Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art

Excerpt

"Your name's not on the passenger list," said Craig when I walked into the waiting room of the Patuxent airport. "You'd better see what you can do about it." It was a hot spring night and I had just flown down from Washington, expecting to board a transatlantic plane which was scheduled to take off at midnight.

"There must be some mistake," I said. "I checked on that just before I left Washington." Craig went with me to the counter where I asked the pretty WAVE on duty to look up my name. It wasn't on her list.

"Let's see what they know about this at the main office," she said with an encouraging smile as she dialed Naval Air Transport in Washington. The next ten minutes were grim. The officer at the other end of the line wanted to know with whom I had checked. Had it been someone in his office? I didn't know. All I knew was that I had to get on that plane. I had important papers which had to be delivered to our Paris office without delay. Was I a courier? Yes, I was--well, that is, almost, I faltered to the WAVE ensign who had been transmitting my replies. "Here, you talk to him," she said, adding, as she handed me the receiver, "I think he can fix it up."

After going through the same questions and getting the same answers a second time, the officer in Washington asked to speak to the yeoman who was supervising the loading of the plane. He was called in and I waited on tenterhooks until I heard him. say . . .

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