It was Ben Norman’s first time in Czechoslovakia. The surroundings were unfamiliar, but not the apprehension. The OSS operative was here to kill Otto Skorzeny, the most wanted Nazi spy of the war whose scar on his left cheek was an easy identifier and a telling symbol of the evil that lay within.
Ben’s sight of his destination was inhibited by the setting sun except as he walked through shadows cast by the many statues lining the Charles Bridge. Beneath him, the Vlatava river quietly flowed through the center of Prague. He wished for more noise to cover the invariable sounds of a silent kill. He was moments away from a deadly rendezvous.
OSS observers had been watching the scar-faced man for over a month. Most afternoons, he would leave his secluded flat in Lesser Town, stroll along the river and smoke a cigar. He passed by the Charles Bridge around four pm. Today, a man in non-descript clothes and a walking stick would be perched against the wall at the corner of the bridge along the path taken by the Nazi.
The proximity of the two spies narrowed; the OSS man gripped the handle of a dagger concealed in his walking stick. As Skorzeny passed, Ben saw the glint of a blade where a cigar was seconds ago.
The hushed flow of the Vlatava river was interrupted by the splash of Ben’s body breaking the surface. Otto Skorzeny relit his cigar and moved on.