Epilogue

Christmas Eve, 1969

Bound Brook, New Jersey, USA

It was going on 11 pm, and as the man of the house was doing the rounds making all secure, he heard a knocking at the door.

Andrew Carter knew that knock, that code...he knew who was seeking entry at this late hour, and he flew to answer the door.

On the threshold was a tall dark haired man, pacing with impatience.

"Boy, oh boy! Sir, am I glad to see you!" Carter yelped, as he drew his former commander simultaneously into an embrace and the warm foyer.

"He's right upstairs, in the spare room at the back of the house", his host continued, helping his old friend out of his coat, walking and talking a mile a minute, "poor guy, keeps thinking that he's being a bother, but he's no bother at all, I mean he's dy- I mean he's so si- I mean he gets tired real easy, but he's always finding ways to help out, gee, he even addressed all our Christmas cards..."

"Thanks Andrew," said Hogan as they reached the last bedroom, "I can take it from here."

"Hang on, boy, I mean Sir, I mean wait a sec Rob, don't want to spook him, sometimes he dreams real loud." With that, before Rob could say anything, Andrew knocked and in his best Schultz impression, he said: "Herr Kommandant! Colonel Hogan is here to see you, as rrreee-quest-ted!"

A voice quavered: "Schultz, send him in." And Carter opened the door, and Hogan had his first look at his old Kommandant in two years...sallow skin wrinkled like parchment; thin bird-like body (all bone, no flesh); worst of all, three angry red bumps, tumors the size of robin's eggs, clustered over his brow near the crown of his head.

An instant of shock, then Rob's instincts kicked in - affecting his Senior POW mien, Hogan sported his most roguish smile, snapped off a sloppy salute, and said in his jauntiest voice: "You wanted to see me, Kommandant?"

"Yes, yes." A smile brought back some color to his face, as the old Colonel returned the salute and mock sternly, continued the sally: "Hogan! I have been hearing rumors again! Now they say that you are digging tunnels in the jungle. What can you be thinking? How silly of you! Ho-O-gan, have you forgotten? There has never been an escape from Stalag 13!"

It took three tries before Rob could reply: "You're absolutely right Sir; what was I thinking? I can never fool you, the Iron Eagle," and the younger man's smile faded, as he came closer to the sickbed and sat at Klink's bedside, silently taking the dying man's hand.

Neither man looked as Andrew quietly backed out of the room.

As the door closed, it could not quite block out a sob:

"Oh, Rob!"

A/N: The disclaimer – Not me, don't own the characters, everything belongs to Bing Crosby Productions and CBS and I'm not making money on a thing...

Many thanks to jodm, marie1964, konarciq and snooky-9093 for reviewing and marie1964 for favoriting...and for snooky again listening to my rambles!

I think I will be writing more, and letting you all see what Klink wrote in those un-sent letters...Happy New Year! Love Missy