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Do you know what my favourite part of an interrogation is? It's when someone is so badly broken that you have to do nothing. People become so scared of you that they go down on their knees and beg. They see my face and they soil themselves in pure terror. Try to imagine that, Marc. Try to imagine being so scared of me that I just have to walk into a room to utterly humiliate you.
~ Bauer taunting Marc Kilgour
The war's almost over, Hortefeux. Russia's practically finished, Britain won't hold out for long and scum like you will be captured and killed.
~ Bauer while under interrogation

Oberst Karl Bauer is the main villain of Henderson's Boys book four, Grey Wolves.

Biography

Shortly after the stabbing of a German soldier, Bauer finds thirteen-year-old Marc Kilgour, who is a spy posing as Marc Hortefeux, hiding among some dustbins and takes him into custody. As the soldiers' killer was drunk, this gives Bauer an excuse to arrest racketeer Madame Mercier on a trumped-up charge of inciting violence. Back at his headquarters, Bauer tortures Mercier by dunking her head in an ice bath. During this interrogation, Bauer is informed of an attack on a train depot. Believing communist partisans to be responsible, Bauer orders a crackdown on local communists and has one prisoner shot for every train damaged, as well as having the depot guard hanged with piano wire alongside the aforementioned murderer.

Bauer was next seen visiting Madame Mercier's barman Charles Henderson, who is a British spy posing as Marc's father Charles Hortefeux. Bauer uses Marc as a bargaining chip, insinuating that he may be tortured or even killed if Henderson does not give him information about resistance activity in the area. When Henderson reluctantly agrees, Bauer has his men break into Madame Mercier's house to strangle her cat and smash her furniture. He then has Marc brought to his office and orders him to sign a confession to black market trading on behalf of Madame Mercier. However, Marc questions Bauer's authority, enraging Bauer enough to physically assault Marc and force his wrist into a clamp that he then begins tightening. Bauer then begins taunting Marc while the clamp is on, saying that it could take his hand off if left on for long enough and threatening to leave it on for one hour if Marc defies him again. Bauer then releases Marc from the clamp and promises to let him go if he signs the confession. Although Marc complies, Bauer goes back on his word and has him sent to Rennes Prison, a prison for adult murderers and paedophiles, so he can continue blackmailing Henderson. Eventually, Henderson and Luc Mayefski break into Bauer's apartment and torture him to discover where Marc is. When asked this question, Bauer lies and says that he broke Marc's arms and impaled him on a spike. After the commandant of Rennes prison seems to corroborate Bauer's story, Henderson gives Luc a poison syringe and allows him to kill Bauer, making it look like a heart attack.

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