Two weeks later on a beautiful spring Friday, Major Ramond strode down the hall. A pleased smile on his face, as he stretched out his hand to shake that of his longtime friend Major Ubel.
“It’s good to see you! trust you had a safe journey?”
Major Ubel nodded. He stood a couple inches shorter than Major Ramond, but his a thick and muscular build and hard, steel gray eyes dared anyone to stand in his way.
“I did. It seems there’s nowhere I go that this uniform isn’t honored!”
Major Ramond grimaced. “Vell, that may change now zat you’re here in Austria. Ze people here aren’t to excited about the Anschluss. Or zeir new German protectors. Have you see Wilhelm yet?”
“No, I haven’t How’s he doing?”
“He is doing vell. We have been working together for the last couple veeks to try and find the informer that is working here.”
“Have you found him?”
Major Ramond sighed. “No, not quite yet. Ve are still monitoring everyone.”
“And what about those two kids? Helen and Max? “
“Helena and Max.” Major Ramond corrected. “Zey are still here. Perhaps you can try to talk to them. I’m under the impression zat zey are still hiding something. “
“Well, we can’t have that! They must learn that they are to obey the Reich! Unquestionable obedience is all that Hitler asks!”
Major Ramond nodded. “I know you are right. But enough about the children. How are you doing? Vhy are you here?”
“I was sent here to help you.”
“Yes. We were notified, as you have already said, that there may be problems with the Austrians accepting us. I was sent to be a help to you in getting them to submit. How are the plans going?”
“Vell, they have been put on hold because ve were trying to find the informer. Ze last time ve planned a raid, someone varned them and nearly everyone escaped.”
Major Ubel frowned. “We can’t have that happen again.”
Their talk was interrupted by approaching footsteps.
“Major Ubel? What are you doing here? It sure is good to see you!” Lieutenant Wilhelm walked over to them, his hand extended in greeting.
“Wilhelm. It is good to see you again.” Major Ubel exclaimed.
“Why are you here, Major? Last I heard you were working in Berlin.”
“I was. But as I just finished telling Ramond here, I was sent to help out in Austria. Actually quite a few new troops were sent.”
“Well, welcome! What is your first order of business?”
“We were just on our way to see Max and Helena. Ramond here said that both of you have had trouble getting them to say anything. And Ramond think’s they’re still hiding something.”
At this Daniel inwardly groaned. Yes, as Lieutenant Wilhelm, he counted Major Ubel as one of his friends. As Daniel, the Major was one of his worst enemies. No one had a more infamous record of getting people to talk. . .and making sure they would never talk again when he was finished. He was one of the Third Reich’s most trusted and dependable Majors. He was dedicated to Hitlers cause, and nothing would get in the way of “A pure aryan race” if he could help it.
It’s time to get going. He thought Helena and Max will never survive long around this man. He is the complete opposite of Ramond.
But even with that thought, Daniel knew. If it came to siding with him or the Reich, Major Ramond would choose the Reich. He may not have been as notorious as Major Ubel, but he was still dedicated to the cause.
Putting on a smile, he gave an acceptable answer. “Well, I’m sure that if anyone can get them to talk, it will be you.”
He turned to Major Ramond. “Just wanted to let you know that I won’t be here this weekend. I’m visiting my parents.”
Major Ramond nodded. “So you’re leaving now?”
Daniel shook his head. “Tonight. I’ll be back Sunday night.”
“Okay, vell let’s get Major Ubel in to meet the children before you go.”
Helena sat on the bed, reading another book Major Ramond had gotten her from the library. Her back had improved, and she could now sit up without any pain. Her leg was another matter. It was still in a cast, and the pain was still there. The doctor had said she could start using crutches, but even as much as she hated depending on Major Ramond, she hated the thought of falling even worse.
At that moment, the door opened and Daniel walked in, followed by Max. As Helena looked at Daniel, she realized this was different from the other times he had come. There was an urgency in his eyes that hadn’t been there before.
“Okay, listen quickly.” Daniel began. “There is someone new here. Major Ubel.”
Helena and Max both looked confused. ‘Another Major? Why?” It was Max who asked the question.
“He’s here to help Major. And his first assignment is getting you two to talk. They’ll be here any minute. I just thought I’d warn you. Remember, I’m Lieutenant Wilhelm. No one else.”
Both children nodded their heads as the door opened.
“Ahh, good, Wilhelm. You brought Max here.” Major Ramond noted.
Major Ubel took his seat in the chair next to the bed.
“So, you two are the children who were ou the night Austria and Germany became one.” Major Ubel said with a sneer in his voice. “So, question number one, why were you out?”
Helena sighed.. “Sir, we’ve already been through all this with Major Ramond.”
Helena flinched, startled by the anger in his voice.
“If you ever address me again, it will be by my proper title, MAJOR UBEL. That’s not so hard, is it? Secondly, I didn’t ask If you’d been asked this before, I simply demanded an answer. Is that clear?”
Both Helena and Max nodded.
“So, what were you doing?”
“Just getting fresh air.”
“Just getting fresh air.” Major Ubel mimicked. “We both know that’s not true. But, never mind, we’ll move on to the next question. Who were you warning and what were you warning them about?”
“Warning, Major Ubel?”
“Yes, Warning.” Major Ubel repeated in a menacingly low voice.
“We. . .we were just enjoying the beautiful night.” Helena whispered. “Surely you remember that night, Major Ubel. It was beautiful.”
“Yes, I remember it well. It was a night of great rejoicing for me as I saw my country unite with another, all one step closer to a New Germany, one without the jews.” He spat out the word.
A shudder went through Helena as she listened to him. This man was nothing like Major Ramond, this man was pure evil. He was for everything her father was against.
Major Ubel leaned back in the chair. “So, you don’t want to answer my questions.” He stood and placed a hand on his holster as he said. “Well, I’ll be back. And I’ll get the answers out of you one way or another.”
Closing the door behind him, Major Ubel turned toward the other two men.
“You were right. These are remarkable children. Had all that stubbornness been for Germany instead of against we could have greatly used them to our advantage. But never mind, I’ll get it out of them before tomorrow is over.”
Not if I have anything to do with it. Daniel thought.