The Mauser

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The Mauser
Wings of Honor episode

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Episode no. Episode 0
Date 1998
Game Master Carl Cramér
Characters Diana Dale
Episode chronology
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Wings of Honor episode list

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The story behind Diana's Mauser pistol.

It was early in the morning. The mist lay soothing around the small assembly of houses with only a few fields separating them from the South American jungle. The growl from engines steadily growing stronger announced the arrival of vehicles along the dirt track leading to the small village. The heavy rains had delayed the hunters arrival by three days. A young woman or rather a girl walked up to the lead car grinding to a halt in the middle of the square in front of the only two story house.

"So, where is the guide?" a large pale man who were sweating profoundly said, "I don't want to spend more time than I have to here. I really do hate this humidity." "Don't vorry Appleburrough. Vee vill get our trofés." the man driving answered him in broken English. "I am." Diana stated. The men looked at the her in surprise. "That's not possible! We were promised the best guide this side of the Atlantic." turning to the driver, Appleburrough added "She's too young." He wiped his forehead with a handkerchief. "I'm fourteen. I've seen more of any jungle than you have." she said to herself. The other man climbed out of the car, a model T-ford, bringing a rifle shaped bag and said "Yoo can start zen by helping us find our vay to ze hotel." curling his big mustache with his free hand. Diana pointed at the two story house behind them. "You're standing right in front of it." The man with the mustache shouted something in German to the men on the truck that had pulled up behind the car and joined Appleburrough entering the hotel.

Several blond muscular men started unloading while one of them walked up to Diana. "Soo... You are ze guide, eh? I am ze foreman. We will be vorking together then. By ze vay I am Johann. Who might you be?" "Diana at your service!" the girl said smiling. Johann smiled back at her saying "Auf wiederzeen, mein mädchen." walking back to the others working by the trucks. Diana stood confused and said silently... "What does that mean? What about me?"

Hire Diana...

The hunting expedition was ready. It was led by the German big game hunter and adventurer Ludwig Von Baum. He had invited his competitor Appleburrough on this jaguar hunt to once and for all show the world who of the two that was the best hunter. Most of the expedition were Germans except for Appleburrough, his two servants and the native carriers brought along. It was quite small, only numbering 20 men, of which half were Indians, and 6 donkeys.

They set out the next morning going into the jungle. Diana led the way, slipping between the vegetation, followed by a large German called Hans, hacking a way for the whole expedition with a machete. Behind followed the two hunters with their guns ready. The jungle was alive around them. Monkeys always announced their progress with loud shrieks. After a long day's walk they camped by a small stream. Diana played on a flute she had brought along and soon all were listening to her melancholic melodies. "What vas zat melody about?" Johann asked. "It's about a warrior who wants to become a jaguar to seek revenge on another tribe for murdering his wife." "Das he succeed?" "Of course not! Only medicine men can become jaguars." Diana answered smiling, then she rose and walked strait out into the jungle. "Vait! You can't just walk into ze jungle by yourself!" He rose and got his rifle but by then she was already gone.

Waking up the next morning they discovered Diana sleeping near where the camp fire had burned down. "Soo, You did come back after all. I thought you left us." Johann said waking her up. "But then I wouldn't get payed." Diana answered. They had a full breakfast cooking it at the relit fire. Afterwards Von Baum told them to continue. "No." said Diana. "We are in a jaguar's territory. I saw the tracks last night. The whole expedition will scare him away." "You are out of your mind, going out in ze jungle all by yourself lookink for jaguars. You vill not do zat..." "Enough!" Johann was interrupted by Von Baum. "Let us keep zis camp und go out into ze jungle to shoot us a cat." "May the best man get the kill." Appleburrough mumbled to himself.

Appleburrough, one of his servants, Ludwig Von Baum, Johann and Diana goes hunting.

Suddenly, with a roar a giant cat leaped from a branch above, right down onto Von Baum, folding him in half. With a quick bite the jaguar made sure it's prey was dead. Appleburrough stared transfixed at the beast unable to use his large bore hunting rifle as the jaguar turned to face the others. "Shoot it!" Diana's young voice seemed to catch the jaguars attention. It slowly circled the clearing staring into Diana's eyes. When it stopped Johann shouted "Nein!" and threw himself on top of her. The Jaguar leaped. A shot rang out. There were confusion, rattling in the bushes and suddenly all was quiet.

Johann rolled off Diana but gave out a cry of pain when he rolled over to his back. There were no sign of Appleburrough or his servant. The only blood on the ground was Johann's and Von Baum's. Diana's guess was that Appleburrough finally got off a shot but missed and then ran off into the jungle followed by his servant. It must have scared the Jaguar away, at least temporarily. She could try to find them, but then she would have to leave Johann alone. Johann? She checked on him. He had claw marks on his back but they were not deep. "How do you feel?" He sat up unsteady. "Like scheisse." After a while he added "Not good." "Can you walk" He tried to stand and succeeded on his second try aided by Diana. "Let's get back to the camp." "No. I have to stop ze bleeding or I vill not get far." He took out some bandages and started to wrap them around his chest. "Here. Let me help." Diana helped covering his wounds. Then they started back to the camp.

The screams of the monkeys seemed to increase. An almost deafening orchestra of noise. Something were wrong up ahead. Johann readied his rifle. "Wait here." Diana told him. "I can sneak ahead to check it out" "No it is too dangerous." Seeing Diana's reaction he added "At least take zis." drawing his Mauser pistol. "Take good care of it. It is very special. It vas my faders during ze Great war. It saved his life more zan once. I had it modified with ze new fully automatic mechanism. Good for giving your enemies a big surprise." He readied the gun while he spoke. Diana took the big pistol in her small hand, gave Johann a thoughtful look and disappeared in the undergrowth.

She moved stealthily out to the left of the path. When she was straight out from the commotion she climbed up into a tree. Slowly moving closer not disturbing the monkeys with the gun firmly held in her left hand she could see the vague path in front and below of her. There was something laying on the ground. It was boots sticking out of a bush. Appleburrough was now on his own, but he was at least heading towards the camp. She returned to Johann who were sitting next to a tree where she had left him. He was pale and sweating. "We have to move on. I don't want you spending a night out of camp in this condition."

Hardships back through the jungle.

Night camp. Johann sick. Story by the fire. Johann tells about his father in the Great war.

She gets him back to the village.

He lays in bed for weeks with fever. Talking in German.

The trucks were ready to leave. Johann, still pale and sweating but at least able to walk upright, walked up to the closest truck and got in. As he closed the door Diana stepped up on the runningboard and looked him in the eyes. "You have take care not to exaust yourself." "Now I vill just sit relaxink in ze car all ze vay to the boat heading back to Germany. It vill be easy." "Here's your gun back." Diana said holding it up for him. "Nah. You keep it. I have a feeling you vill need it more than me." As the driver turned the engine and it sputtered to life, Diana stepped down and backed away. Se watched the small caravan of trucks leave along the same bad dirt road they came. As she briefly saw the pale face of Johann looking back she waved her arm goodbye before it disappeared in the dust.