“Hurry, we must move fast.” Daniel whispered as he entered the room where Helena lay, Max following close behind.
“Whoa! Daniel? You look a lot different.”
Max grinned “That’s exactly what I said.”
Daniel had taken off his uniform and was dressed in civilian clothes. His dark wavy hair had been brushed forward giving him a boyish look, and, most surprisingly of all, he wore thick, dark rimmed glasses. That, if nothing else, gave him the look of a young university student and Helena was sure that no one, not even his parents would recognize him now.
“Daniel, the disguise is great but won’t Major Ramond suspect something when he realizes that you’re gone and we’re missing?”
“Not at all. Major Ramond knows I’m simply visiting my parents for the weekend. As for you two missing? He’ll assume the informer decided to leave and take you two with him.”
Max laughed. “He’d be right you know.”
Daniel grinned. “I know.”
As they were talking Daniel had been helping Helena.
“Do you think you could walk at all?”
Helena bit her lip. “I’m not sure. I haven’t even tried since I got hurt. And that was three weeks ago.”
“Well, you’ll have to try. Unless of course you want to have another meeting with Major Ubel.”
Helena shuddered. “Never. I’ll try, just don’t you dare let go of me.”
“I won’t, I promise.”
“Helena shakily placed weight on her left leg, the one that wasn’t injured. Holding tightly to Daniel, she took one small step then another.
“I can walk, but I’d need crutches.” Helena said, stating what seemed rather obvious.
“We won’t have time for crutches. If I help you like I am now, do you think you can make it?”
“How far are we going?”
We’ll drive as far as Surfaus, then it about another twenty miles to the border.”
“Twenty miles? We’re going to walk twenty miles?” Max exclaimed. “Why can’t we drive the whole way?”
“Because both of our favorite Major’s will be looking for any car that close to the border once they realize you are missing. But first, we need to go to my parents house.”
“Will our parents be there?” Helena exclaimed, her eyes shining.
Daniel shook his head. ‘I’m sorry, No. They went on ahead just two days ago. They are already safe in Switzerland.”
“So why are we going to your house?”
“To switch cars. You really didn’t think we’d go all that way in my car, did you? Hopefully we’ll get to Sarfus by tomorrow morning, then we’ll rest and go out on foot once night falls.”
“So we’re going into town?”
‘Once again, no. Just leave it to me. And we really need to get going before the Major’s get back from supper.”
Helena leaned back against the seat, closed her eyes and tried to sleep the ever-present jolting of the car making it difficult . As Daniel and his father mapped out the way and took care of the details, Daniel’s mother had fussed over the two getting them blankets, food, water, clucking over her broken leg and scolding Daniel for making her try to walk, even though they both knew there was no other way.
Helena sighed. It had been good to be fussed over after three weeks with only the Major. But it made the homesickness for her own mother even more acute and her excitement on being able to see her soon almost unbearable.
She turned toward Daniel. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Look behind us?”
Helena turned to see two sets of headlight behind them.
“Oh, Daniel what will we do!” she glanced over at Max, who lay sprawled out on the back seat, asleep.
“We’ll lose them. Then start out on foot.”
“On foot? How close are we to Sarfus?”
Daniel looked grim. “Still 10 miles. I’m not sure If we’ll be able to make this in a day and a half.”
Helena turned back just as the car turned another corner in the winding road.
“That’s what I was afraid of. A roadblock.”
“What will we do?”
“Only one thing to do. Stop.”
Daniel slowed the car and pulled it to the side of the road. A older officer approached the car, shinning his flashlight in through the window.
“Hello sir, we’re looking for two children who are reported escaped from an office in Innsbruck. We’ve been told to check every car headed toward the bor--. Sir, step out of the car. You and both children.”
Daniel opened the door and got out as did Helena and a sleepy Max.
“Wait here, jew.” the officer spat as he walked back toward the roadblock. Suddenly there was the sound of approaching cars. As they came around the bend, Helena swallowed hard as she saw who sat in the front; it was Major Ubel.
“Daniel! What if he recognizes you?”
‘We can’t have that happening.” he glanced toward the cars on both side blocking off any route of escape. . .except one. They were less than ten feet from the numerous trees that filled the hills of Austria.
Taking out his firearm, he quickly fired three shots toward the roadblock causing everyone to dive to the ground.
“Hurry, now!” he exclaimed, jamming the pistol back into the holster.
Max took off toward the woods with Daniel, who was helping Helena, not far behind.
They heard the shouts of the men as they hurried after them. Daniel, who was now nearly carrying Helena, suddenly turned and ducked under a grove of buses.
Max, who had been ahead, suddenly turned and realized they were gone.
“Max, here. quick!” Daniel urgently whispered.
Max ducked toward the bushed and the three were hidden beneath a leafy green camouflage.
“They must of stopped. The path ends.”
“How could you have lost them!’ a voice roared.
Daniel frowned, there was no mistaking that voice.
“Go back to Innsbruck and get the dogs. Major Ramond, Ralph and Myself will go to Sarfus to get some horses. We’ll catch these kids and that dirty jew if it’s the last thing I do!”The footsteps faded of as everyone hurried to obey the Major.