>The Third Reich was in turmoil. All through the corridors of the Parteikanzlei that morning something was afoot. Bormann paced the cold floor of his office, muttering endless streams of invective. His hands wrung themselves constantly behind his back, a habit he had not remembered starting. When Frick and Himmler finally arrived, he had worked himself up into a serious kinetic fret, jiggling like a crazed sparrow.
“So what is it?” hummed Frick. He had put on his suit rather too quickly, and it had yet to settle around his shoulders. He seemed to be constantly shrugging, and maybe he was.
Bormann spun on his heel, whipping a sheaf of paper from his desk and brandishing it in the air before him. “This,” he said fervently, “is the matter!”
Himmler, whose suit was well-pressed and spotless, even at the early hour, approached Bormann. He did not take them, however, and so Bormann found himself lifting the pages the better for Himmler to see.
Bormann watched Himmler’s face as he read the words on the paper, waiting for a reaction. Himmler’s cheek twitched slightly, his tiny scar turning slightly with his skin, but then his face resumed its usual unnerving calm.
“What is it?” demanded Frick, the tall man whacking the back of one hand into the other palm.
Himmler waved him away, his eyes never moving from the page. “Turn, please,” he said calmly to Bormann, who dutifully shuffled the paper over. When he had finished reading, Himmler removed his wire glasses and rubbed them against his lapel. “What we have here, gentlemen,” he said, “Is a serious threat to Nazi Germany.”
Motioning impatiently, Frick grabbed the papers hungrily from Bormann’s hands. While he read, Himmler paced the room, and Bormann’s fingers resumed their manic twitch.
Frick swore loudly. Reading from the page, he said, “Ein Volk, ein Führer, zwei Rieche?!” He stormed towards Bormann. “What is the meaning of this?”
Bormann held out his hands passively. “Don’t shoot the messenger.”
“He wants to split the empire? Preposterous!”
“Careful, Doktor,” said Himmler. “There is infinite wisdom in new thinking.”
“But a Fourth Reich?”
Himmler replaced his glasses. “It is unusual,” he agreed. “But there is already letterhead.”
“He apparently has talked of this for some time,” said Bormann.
“We must act!” said Frick.
“We must talk,” said Himmler.
“Yes,” agreed Bormann. “We must.”