The tunnel winded around for what seemed an eternity. Just when Masie was about to ask if they could sit, they heard Minnie, “Here’s the end of it, Masie, dear.”
Minnie opened the trap door and when to climb up when George tapped her on the shoulder, “Let me go first, Minnie. I will see if anyone is watching the car.”
Minnie stepped aside, and George peeked his head through so only the top of his head was visible.
As suspected, There were two men standing around the rental, both in long coats and hats pulled to hide their faces. George climbed back down, slowly lowering the trap door, “This is going to be harder than I thought. There are two people standing guard by our car.”
Minnie started pacing and stopped looking at George, “I’ll be right back.” She started walking with quick steps back toward the cottage.
”Grand, where are you going?” Masie shouted.
”To see if Ernst and I can come up with something. You wait here.”
George raised his hand to say something and Minnie cut him off, “No, you stay here with Masie. This is a job for the old fogies.”
She winked and went back to the cottage.
Ernst looked in horror as Minnie emerged from the hall, “Vat are you doing back?”
”If you look out the window, you will see we have a problem Ernst. We have to come up with something.”
Ernst looked out and saw the man who was knocking on the door and another standing next to the rental, “Ah, I see. What do you have in mind?”
She scratched her head and then stuck her finger in the air, “Do you still have food left over from lunch?”
”Yes, but what good vill that –MINNIE!”
Minnie opened the door and spoke German as she approached the men, “Come, come, you need to eat. It will not do to skip a meal. We have plenty.”
Ernst smiled as he walked out a toward the other man, “It was a long drive in the country you must be hungry. Come in! Come in!”
They tugged at the sleeves of the coats, causing the men to walk with them.
George was watching the whole time. Shaking his head he turned to Masie, “Your grandmother is going to be the death of me. She’s invited them into the house for lunch.”
Masie started laughing, “That’s Grand. When in doubt, act like a grandma and make sure they eat.”
George laughed with her as he motioned her to the ladder, “We’re going to have to be sneaky getting to the car. Can you duck below the windows?”
“Okay. Get to the top and hide behind the tree next to the trap door, Masie. I will be right behind you.”
Hands shaking, she looked back at her father as she made her way up. He nodded, but she could see the lines on his forehead from the worry he was trying to hide. She scurried the rest of way, crawling out of the trap door and behind the tree directly to the left of it. George was up seconds later and hiding with her. He peeked around the tree and sighed, “They didn’t see us.”
It wasn’t but a minute later that Minnie was scurrying behind another tree, “Let’s go. It won’t take them long to find out I am gone.”
”Right.” George punctuated the word with a firm nod, and ducked as he made a break for the rental with Masie and Minnie in tow. Four doors slammed shut, making George look up.
”If you think I stay to let them shoot me, you are-how you say-“
Minnie finished, “Crazy.”
“Okay, hold on tight.”
The wheels spun the rocks under them pelting the two men as they opened the door to give chase. One turned to avoid being hit in the chest. By the time they got to their car, George had already turned the car around and was following the directions Ernst was giving them. George looked into the rearview in time to see Masie aiming her phone.
”Masie, sit down and hold on tight.”
”I’ve never been in a car chase before.”
”Neither have I, and if you decide to take pictures and your mom sees them, you can kiss any future summer travels goodbye. It almost took a miracle to let her say yes to this trip.”
Masie sank in the seat and sulked as the car hugged tight turns on the way down the mountain and veered into a path that was not on the map with the pursuers behind them. Ernst led them down back road after dirt trail.
”Turn now, George.”
George jerked the wheel to right and narrowly missed rolling into a gully. The two in pursuit were not so lucky as the SUV the were giving chase in fell prey to its top-heavy nature and rolled off the road to land on its side.
There was a collective sigh in the Mercedes as shoulders slumped and the car slowed to a more normal speed.
George looked back at Ernst, “Where are you going to go now? I don’t think your home is an option right now.”
”Nein, I have a sister in town. I can stay with her.” He took out his phone and typed out a text. There was an answer a few moments later and then a call.
”We can take you there.”
The directions led them to a suburb of Nuremburg and a small house where Ernst’s sister was waiting for them.
She immediately ran to Ernst and starting looking him over, the German was flowing from her lips, “I heard they had found an overturned vehicle on the side of a road close to you, Ernst. Are you alright?”
He waved off her fussing, “Ja, ja, it wasn’t us, sister. It was the people I was telling you about.”
She waggled a finger at Ernst, “What have I told about living alone and that house? I told you people would come looking for information and that you were better off living in the city.”
”I can handle myself,” he responded as he made his way past her still waving a hand in the air, “Besides, I can’t stand living with all the noise and smog. It’s not good for the soul.”
His sister looked past Ernst and saw Masie, George, and Minnie, who she ran to and hugged, “Minnie! It has been too long.”
Uttering a tired laugh, “Yes, it has, Emma.”
”Come in, you look tired from the excitement, and who are these?”
Minnie pointed, “This is Masie and her father George.”
”Ah! Little Masie has grown so big from the pictures,” Emma framed Masie’s face in her hands as she looked at her and then hugged her. Minnie was translating the whole time.
Emma looked a bit confused, “No German?”
Minnie held up one hand and mimicked a pinch, “Very little.”
Emma nodded and motioned for all of them to enter the house, “You will stay here tonight, and the morning you will have breakfast. What are you doing here from the states?”
Emma stopped in the middle of the closing the door.
It’s your turn: What happened next at Emma’s house?
A. She knows what is meant, and asks them to drop the hunt.
B. She knows, is not happy about it, but allows them to stay the night making them agree to leave after breakfast.
C. She knows and decides to help them.
D. She knows what is meant, let’s them sleep the night, but is secretly on the side of the Nazis.
What happens? It’s up to you! The person who participated the most will get a copy of the completed book for free. Once this book is published, all sales of the book will be donated to http://www.buildon.org/. This means, every time this book is sold, the money will go to this charity and this charity alone.