Thais was my favorite chapter in the whole book! I hope y'all enjoy it!!
Helena sat in stunned silence as she heard Major Ramond talk to the Colonel. Is it possible?
Could he have not seen me? She wondered. Yet somehow she knew he had. But why isn’t he
telling the Colonel? Surely it would gain him honor in the Third Reich. She almost chuckled as
that thought was followed immediately by another. But then again, he was the one who wasn’t
watching when we escaped!
Listening, she heard the two men ride off. She sat silently, waiting for the footsteps she knew
would follow. Sure enough, they came. The Major brushed away the bushes and the moonlight
shone full on her face. He hesitated for a moment, then gently reached down and picked her up,
being careful not to hurt her leg. Neither spoke as he placed her in front of the saddle on his
horse, then he mounted up behind her and pushed the horse into a gentle canter.
“You think he was telling the truth, Arnold?” Stevan asked as soon as they were out of earshot.
“I believe him. He has no reason to lie to us.”
“So what are we doing now?”
“I’m pretty sure I know where Wilhelm is waiting, and I’m also sure that the kids will eventually go
“How do you know all this stuff?” Stevan asked, clearly puzzled.
“I watched. He helped others about two weeks ago. And he helped both of their families. Granted, he didn’t take them over the border, but he took them far enough for me to know what he was up to. Their over in Switzerland. Now what's more natural then for him to help they’re son and his cousin?”
“I hope you know what you’re talking about because I can’t make heads or tails of it.”
“Don’t worry about it. Finch will be along soon enough. Until then we get there and wait.”
Matthaus quickly ducked behind a tree as he heard the hoofbeats approaching. As the horse
passed he glanced out at the rider. What he saw nearly made him fall over. Major Ramond rode
past, and Helena sat in front of him. His mind began to whirl with questions. How in the world did
he find Helena? Suddenly a horrible thought hit him. Did she get hurt? Did something happen?
Quickly he turned around and hurried off back toward the creek to meet Kareena and Max.
Helena tried to tell what direction they were going in, but it was impossible. She couldn’t
understand it. Was he taking her back to the Nazi garrison? Inwardly, she sighed. She’d know
soon enough; at the rate they were moving they’d be there any minute.
Daniel suddenly froze, the sandwich halfway to his mouth. Hoofbeats. He exchanged a look with
Fremont, who quickly grabbed a pistol from the second basket. They both ducked behind the
car as the hoofbeats grew increasingly louder. As the rider left the trees, Daniel’s mouth opened
in shock. He motioned to Fremont to put the pistol down as Major Ramond and Helena rode into
Major Ramond stopped the horse just in front of Daniel.
“Ramond.” Daniel acknowledged.
“Vilhelm. Or should I say. . .Daniel?” He asked, motioning to the arm that was in a sling.
A look of shock spread across Daniel’s face, but he said nothing.
“I’m assuming you’re wondering how I found out?”
“That would be the obvious question.”
“I put two and two together.”
Daniel nodded. “Well, I figured you know soon enough. I’ll get ready and go back with you
quietly. I don’t want any trouble and I don’t want Helena hurt any further.” He walked over to the side of the horse. “Are you alright, Helena?”
Helena, who still was trying to process the fact that Daniel was still alive, nodded. “But you? How--”
“It just missed my heart. Wounded my shoulder instead. Fremont found me and fixed me up.”
“Oh, I’m so glad you’re still alive!” Helena exclaimed as she threw her arms around his neck.
“Whoa, careful now,” Daniel chuckled as he wrapped his good arm around her. “I’m mighty
happy to see you too, but I don’t think either of us need to get hurt any worse.”
He turned to Major Ramond. “If you just give me a minute, I’ll go and get my bag.” He turned to walk away.
”Now vait, just hold on a minute, Vilhelm.” He dismounted, then took Helena in his arms and set
her gently down in front of Daniel. “Here she is. She’s safe, and now she’ll be happy vith her
family. I’ll go and find Ubel, lead him avay from here and give you all plenty of time to get over
“Ramond, are you saying--”
“Yes, I’m saying she’s free. And you? Vell, I’ll expect to see Vilhelm back at vork on Monday
morning. In a proper uniform of course, and--vithout the glasses.” He smiled. “I’ve seen
something in you, ever since I’ve known you. You’re different. You don't vant honor for yourself.
You vere simply content to serve. Now I’ve seen the same in Max and Helena. The villingness
to sacrifice yourselves for the safety of others. There’s something different about you, and I vant
to know vhat it is.”
Daniel stood motionless as the full impact of Major Ramond’s words hit him.
“You mean. . .you’re helping us? You do know what will happen if someone finds out.”
Major Ramond nodded. “Just remember this, Daniel. I vant Vilhelm back on Monday. And not
appearing vounded or ve both know someone vill suspect something.”
Helena looked up at him, tears shining through her eyes. “Thank you so much, Major. Thank you
He smiled down at her. “I expect to hear that you are safely in Switzerland. And, Helena, never
lose the spark that you have. That vill to live through any circumstance.
Helena nodded, “I know that even if I die I will live. And no one can take that away from me.”
The Major gave her a puzzled look, “Vhat do you mean?”
“Ask Wilhelm to explain it to you.” She accepted Daniel’s offered hand and shakily stood, then
she gave the Major a hug. “I never thought I’d say this, but I’ll miss you.”
He bent down and gave her a gentle kiss on the head. “And I you.”
Then without another word he mounted his horse and rode back into the woods.
“Helena,? Where is she?” Max demanded.
“I saw her. . .with the Major.” Matthaus answered.
“What Major?” He grabbed the older boy’s arm and turned him around. “Which Major was it?”
“Ramond. It was Major Ramond.”
Max released his grip and slumped down on the ground, his head in his hands.
“Oh, Max, it’ll be alright! We’ll find her.” Kareena said as she put her hand on his shoulder in an
effort to comfort him.
“No, see that’s the problem; you don’t understand. I’m responsible for her, it’s my fault she’s in
this whole mess. Don’t tell me you understand; you don’t!” He shook her arm off, stood up and
walked back into trees.
“Well, I sure didn’t handle that to well.” Kareena sighed.
“Don’t worry, sis. I didn’t do too well myself.”
“So. . .what do we do know?”
“We need to get Dad. It’s beyond us now.”
Kareena nodded, “Alright, but we’d better go and get Max first.
“Good idea. Maybe I’ll tell him Daniel's alive. That might perk him up some.”
“Are you telling me you didn’t say anything to them about him?”
He shook his head, “It slipped my mind.”
Kareena lightly punched him in the shoulder, “The fact that their friend--who they think is dead--is
alive slipped your mind? You’re horrible!”
“Don’t remind me. Let’s go; it’ll be dawn in less than an hour. We’re almost out of time.”
Stevan glanced toward the Eastern sky as a slight hint of dawn played on the edge of the
horizon. “It’s getting light out, Arnold. He’d better get here soon or I’m out of here.”
“He’ll be here. Don’t you worry.”
“How do you know him, anyway?”
“Met him in Vienna, about the same time I met Wilhelm.”
“And you trust him?”
“I do. Now enough, I don’t want to hear another word!”
“Daniel, there’s someone coming!” Fremont exclaimed as he hurried back to the car.
Daniel turned around. “Oh, it’s okay. It’s just Finch.”
“Yeah, he’s a friend of mine. He’s okay, let him come.”
“It can’t be!” Arnold snapped.
“What is it?”
“It’s Finch. Look, he just rode in there and now he’s talking to Wilhelm. He must be with them.
That dirty double-crosser!”
“Are you serious?” Stevan looked doubtful. “What if he’s trying to help us?”
“He’s not.” Arnold stomped over to the tree they had tied the horses to, untied the reins and
hurriedly mounted. Stevan followed, grabbing up both of the rifles that lay on the ground and
tossing one to Arnold.
“What are we going to do?”
“Look, they’ve got the girl.” He said, riding to the top of the small hill they had stopped on.
“Arnold, what’s that over there?” Stevan asked pointing to the woods.
Arnold chuckled. “I don’t believe our luck. Thats the Autenburg’s boy and those two other kids.
We’ll kill them all together while Wilhelm watches.”
“What about Finch?”
‘What about him? He’ll die with the rest.”
They slowly made their way within fifteen feet of the clearing, then Arnold put up his hand. “This is close enough, we’ll kill from here.”
He raised the rifle to his shoulder, clicked back the hammer, and trained it on Finch.
Just as his finger pulled the trigger, a bird flew out of the trees and startled him causing him to lose his aim.
The shot went wild, hitting Finch in the right arm instead of the chest.