Hunter



Hunter
By Andrew Macdonald

XIII

The Kaplan job was not difficult. Armed with a detailed knowledge of the man’s habits and weekly schedule, a description of his automobile, and a wealth of other personal data, Oscar quickly laid his plans.

Kaplan was addicted to pornography, Ryan had told him. He kept a stack of kinky photographs in his desk and regularly showed them around the office to the other agents, despite the fact that most of them did not share his obsession and looked at the photographs now and then only from a morbid curiosity to see what weird, new perversions the Jewish agent was drooling over at the time. Kaplan was so hung up on the stuff, Ryan had said in a tone of obvious disgust, that he stopped by a porno store just four blocks from the Hoover Building every Wednesday evening on his way home; the store normally received its shipments of new stock on Wednesdays.

The idea of using Kaplan’s vice as a means for bringing about his downfall appealed to Oscar. The porno store itself did not seem auspicious as a site, however. It was a narrow stall in the middle of an extraordinarily busy block, with no obvious parking facility. Furthermore, the timing of Kaplan’s afterwork visits to the store would make it necessary for Oscar to do his work in daylight. Nevertheless, he decided to be present at the expected time of Kaplan’s next appearance there.

Decked out in the same wig, fake glasses, and other paraphernalia he had used at the Shoreham and with a brand new silenced pistol - a duplicate of the one he had used on Jones and Jacobs, with the same silencer screwed onto the muzzle - in a shoulder holster under his coat, Oscar strolled into Hyman’s Novelty Book and Photo Shop for a quick look around, half an hour before Kaplan was due to leave his office. He had had to park more than six blocks away. He couldn’t understand why Kaplan favored this particular porno store. There were three others in the same block, all larger, better lighted, and with more stock. Perhaps the appeal of this place was that it seemed to have relatively little business, and so a customer concerned about not being seen in such an establishment might feel more secure, or perhaps it carried some line of filth that the others didn’t. Perusing the shelves he saw a sampling of just about every kind of perversion one could imagine: sadism, bondage, homosexuality, bestiality, interracial sex, and various other practices that seemed so bizarre to him that it was hard to imagine anyone deriving sexual pleasure from them. About all that seemed to be missing was material dealing with straight sex between men and women of the same race.

The man behind the counter, a grossly overweight, dark, greasy-looking specimen with a cigar in his mouth, was eyeing Oscar closely. Oscar glanced at his watch, strolled out, and took up a post two doors down, where he could appear to be absorbed in a study of the book titles in a crowded display window, yet still keep an eye on the entrance to Hyman’s place.

He spotted Kaplan nearly a block away as the latter emerged from his car, which he had just parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant. If Oscar were to hit the man when he returned to his car, there would be scores of witnesses.

He made a quick decision. He had been watching the sparse traffic in and out of Hyman’s door, and he knew that there were no customers in the shop at the moment, nor was anyone else likely to enter in the next minute. So Oscar himself quickly re-entered the store, about 15 seconds ahead of Kaplan.

Even as he came through the door he had his pistol in his hand, and he fired two shots into the proprietor’s forehead at a range of about four feet without breaking his stride. The latter toppled sideways off his stool into the dark, narrow space behind the counter. The noise of the body crashing to the floor was louder than that of the silenced pistol shots, but Oscar was certain that no one on the busy, noisy sidewalk would notice either sound.

He continued a dozen feet down the narrow shop’s single aisle, then turned on his heel just beyond a wire display rack of paperback books, which sufficed to conceal his gun hand. Oscar’s head was bent over the rack as if he were examining a book, but he was peering over the top of his glasses at Kaplan as the man entered the shop.

Kaplan glanced with curiosity at the unattended counter and halted for a moment before hesitantly walking further into the shop, toward Oscar. When he was eight feet away, Oscar raised his hand and shot the man six times in the chest and head, firing rapidly. Kaplan fell face down, and Oscar bent over the body and fired two more shots into the back of his head.

Oscar ejected the empty magazine from his pistol and slipped in a loaded one, then leaned over the counter and fired four more shots into the side of the proprietor’s head before returning the weapon to its holster. Finally, he took two small plastic packets of white powder from his coat pocket, kneeled beside Kaplan’s corpse, and pressed the man’s dead fingers onto them several times before sliding the packets into a pocket of Kaplan’s suit coat. As an afterthought he took Kaplan’s wallet.

The cocaine - both the idea and the actual packets - had come from Ryan, who thought it would be better to muddy the water a bit by leaving a hint that Kaplan’s killing may have been connected to casual drug dealing instead of to his regular line of work. There was an average of two drug-related murders a day in Washington, and so the hint should meet little resistance.

Oscar buttoned his coat and stepped out onto the sidewalk. As he turned the corner at the end of the block he glanced back briefly. No one was near the entrance to Hyman’s store. Back at his car he noted that it had been less than an hour since he had left home. He still had one errand to do before meeting Adelaide, and he should be able to finish it without missing the 7:30 deadline he had promised her he would try to keep.

His next stop was the Library of Congress, where he had the amazing good luck to find a parking space only two blocks away. He had tried to obtain some of the books he wanted at the suburban libraries, but, as Ryan had indicated, they were not to be found there. Here he expected his search to be more productive.

He had spent the first four days after his encounter with Ryan just trying to become accustomed to his changed situation, turning over in his mind the various possibilities now open to him. It was something that needed getting used to. The skiing trip with Adelaide had helped him orient himself. He had spent several more hours talking with her about race and human quality, race and history, racial conditions in America, the racial prospects for the future, and his own need to act against the manifest evil of the genocide he saw taking place, all without getting into the specific details of what he had been doing.

At the same time he had been puzzling over a new element in the picture: the Jews. After hearing what Ryan had said about Jews, his first inclination was to dismiss the man’s remarks as cranky anti- Semitism, just as he had dismissed Keller’s views on the Jews earlier. He had seen enough of that sort of mindless bigotry, and he had no patience with it. Ryan, with his old fashioned, Irish-Catholic conservatism, had probably imbibed his dislike of Jews from some paleolithic Jesuit teacher in parochial school who still taught that Jews were “Christ killers,” in defiance of the new party line from the Vatican. And Keller was tied in with that neo-Nazi group, which explained his own theories about the Jews.

One thing that made it hard to put the issue out of his mind was that neither Ryan nor Keller fit his mental image of a religious bigot. Both men were obviously quite intelligent and well informed. Keller was a trained scholar, and even Ryan might be considered one; certainly the FBI official showed none of the religious narrow-mindedness and superstition Oscar had encountered among more primitive Christians, Protestant and Catholic. And Keller didn’t even profess Christianity. Keller especially, with his laid-back, easygoing manner, just wasn’t the uptight, neurotic “hater” Oscar expected an anti-Semite to be.

Beyond these considerations there was a certain plausibility to what both men had said, and that really bothered him. He was sure there was a “catch” somewhere - that the apparent sense their statements made would fall apart under closer scrutiny. So far, however, in going over their arguments in his mind and in referring to books in his own library, he had not been able to find the flaw. He had a list of a dozen or so reference books he wanted to consult in the Library of Congress in order to settle the issue.

It was during the long drive home from skiing Monday night, when Adelaide had gone to sleep with her head in his lap, that he had first been able to reflect on the reasons why Keller and Ryan’s anti-Semitism troubled him. More than the negative stereotype of Jew-haters he had accepted uncritically from the mass media, there was the conflict with his own ideas on race and history, which had not come to him easily and were not easily to be abandoned.

He realized that in the past he had had a tendency to be one-dimensional in his thinking on the subject. The dimension was intelligence. In Oscar’s scheme the races of man were ordered in a simple hierarchy of intelligence. Individuals differed, of course, but on the average one could with reasonable accuracy judge the intelligence of races by noting their historical accomplishments - or by observing the performance of a large enough sample of individuals in the present. By either standard Blacks were an inferior race, and interbreeding between Whites and Blacks could only pull the former down. Jews, on the other hand, were clearly as intelligent as any other Whites - perhaps more so, if one judged them by current performance rather than by historical accomplishment, which, he had to admit, was rather scanty, despite their own vainglorious boast of being the inventors of monotheism and a moral light to the nations down through the ages.

The more he examined his racial scheme, the more he saw its inadequacies. It really was too simple. There were too many facts it didn’t account for. Orientals, for example, clearly were different from Whites, both physically and psychically, but was it accurate to say that they were inferior? Certainly not on the basis of intelligence, as measured by standard IQ tests. How, then, to fit them into his racial hierarchy?

Clearly, the reality of racial difference was multi-dimensional. Average intelligence was only one of many, many characteristics which differed from race to race. In fact, what he called “intelligence” undoubtedly was a composite characteristic, which ought to be resolved into a number of components; some races seemed smarter in one way, others in another way.

Blacks, for example, had a capacity for verbal and behavioral mimicry which often concealed a real inadequacy in cognitive intelligence. He had seen through this protective coloration in school, where he had observed a number of Blacks with remarkably well-developed social skills, who were able to move comfortably in White circles and gave the impression of being alert and capable. They talked like Whites and dressed like Whites; they had separated themselves from the bulk of their race and seemed more like Whites than Blacks, if one ignored the obvious physical differences.

When put to the test, however, not one of them could measure up to White intellectual standards. Most of them seemed to be aware of that fact themselves, and so steered clear of situations where they would be put to the test. They avoided the rigorous disciplines like the plague, concentrating themselves in the pablum curricula, and the very few who did take mathematics, engineering, or science courses performed with uniform mediocrity.

So if one were evaluating races on the basis of the kind of intelligence required to be a good actor or public performer, Blacks would have a much higher relative rating than if judged on the basis of their ability to deal with abstract concepts and solve problems. One had to be very careful in talking about “inferiority” and “superiority.” The terms made sense only when referred to a specific, well defined characteristic. A race judged inferior on the basis of one characteristic might be superior on the basis of another.

That was all well and good. He needed to refine his views substantially. He had been too simplistic in the past. Instead of analyzing things carefully and dispassionately, he had reacted hotly to the obvious fraud being perpetrated by the news and entertainment media, which tried to persuade everyone that Blacks were “equal” to Whites in intelligence, creativity, originality, and enterprise: that their feelings, tendencies, and thought processes were exactly like those of Whites - or were exactly like those Whites would have if their circumstances were the same as those of the Blacks. And in reacting he had focused on the most easily refutable element in the fraud: namely, that Blacks had the same cognitive intelligence, on the average, as Whites.

So what were the implications of a more realistic, multidimensional view of racial differences? How should that affect the role of the Jews in his scheme of things? Both Keller and Ryan had disagreed with his assumption that Jews were racially White. A couple of the books he was seeking dealt with the racial history of the Jews. He wanted to absorb the facts first and then think about the implications.

And what if the Jews’ origins in the Middle East and their subsequent history gave them a significantly different genetic heritage from Whites of European ancestry? Keller and Ryan had suggested that the Jews possessed a special sort of inborn malevolence, a genetically based hatred of the world, which expressed itself in an all-encompassing, though cleverly concealed, campaign against their White neighbors. To Oscar that seemed fantastic.

More specifically, Keller and Ryan had made some allegations about the Jewish control of the news and entertainment media and the way in which that control was used. If true, those allegations would go a long way toward supporting their whole case against the Jews. If false, Oscar could fairly easily dismiss the case. Several of the books he was seeking at the Library of Congress were concerned with the men who ran the mass media.