Friday, July 18, 2014

An Unwelcome Visitor

It was about 15 minutes after Heinrich left that Sarah, who was helping her Mom clean up the kitchen, glanced out the window and saw someone opening the gate to their fenced yard. Who would come here? As her mind processed the possibilities, Rebekah came to mind. She yelled to everyone in the house, “there’s someone coming - Rebekah, hide! Her Mom came to the window and confirmed they only had a few seconds to act; she took charge and started giving orders. “Sarah, you answer the door, but don’t let them in and stall for time. Rebekah! - where’s Rebekah? She went to the back window and saw the faintest wisp of a leg disappear behind the shed. Freyda headed to the front door just as hard knocks were demanding attention. Sarah opened the door to the sight of a man dressed in an official looking coat and hat. 
The man said, “Guten Morgen meine Damen.” (Good morning ladies.) “We have received a report that a Jewish lady is staying here; is that true?” Freyda’s mind went into all kinds of possible replies but settled on this: “And who, may I ask, gave you this report?” The man cleared his throat and said, “I cannot tell you that, but you understand there are laws about these things.” Freyda replied, “It is true that my son rescued a woman from danger in the town and brought her here for her own safety. It seemed like the Christian thing to do. She stayed for the night but is not here anymore. You can search the house if you’d like, but there is no one here but my daughter and I. My son is at work.” He replied, “I’m sorry, but I have my orders; I have to search your house and property.” With that, he stepped across the threshold and started to look around. What was bothering Freyda was that Rebekah might still be on the property. If the man went outside, how would she know he was coming? Freyda was walking behind the man as he looked into one room and then another. She wondered if there might be anything around which might feed his curiosity. He quickly made it through the first floor and headed for the stairs. There were only two rooms up there and then the attic. The attic! Had Heinrich shut the secret door? He quickly reached the second floor and looked under both beds and inside every closet. He said, “I need to go in the attic” So he opened the final door and looked up the very steep incline. With a sigh that intimated frustration he began the ascent. There was one small window under the southern eave that shed some light. He gingerly made his way around boxes and old pieces of furniture until he was satisfied that no one was up there. “All right, I’ll be checking out your shed and the yard and then I’ll be done.” He seemed tired of the whole affair.

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