PAGE - 17
The Gestapo slowly walked along the crowd, scrutinizing each and every person.
The person in front of me turned and sniffed. I knew she could smell rocket fuel. Damn, I thought to myself. That's why the Gestapo was walking slowly, he was smelling for rocket fuel.
Before they got to me, two men broke from the crowed, and ran into the small nearby shops.
The Gestapo, and the soldiers backing them up, were right behind them.
I crossed the road, as did Madalyn.
"Their looking for anyone smelling like rocket fuel," said Madalyn, giving me a deep sniff.
"You smell more like that dead guy then the rocket fuel." I replied, giving her an equally intense sniff.
"You weren't no bed of roses before," she answered back with a laugh.
"I think we should take our stinkiness over there," I said, pointing the tree line.
About then we heard a volley of gun fire. We knew the Gestapo had shot those two men. They came back to the crowd, looked around, and left.
"I think we should try and get a room. There's a lot of people there for a bus," Madalyn suggested.
"Well, we can try," I said, looking around at a lot of people milling about.
After going to a few places, we finally got a small back room from a lady who looked like she could really use the money. She suggested, in a polite way, that we use the shower and washing machine as soon as possible. She let Madalyn use some of her clothes, and myself, some of her deceased husbands' clothes for the process, a much welcome event.
"Dinner is ready, such as it is," the lady said, as she shuffled around.
"That really smells great," Madalyn stated.
"Oh, it's just Sauerbraten, and briskets. With the war, it's all I could get, and not much of it.
"This great, just great," I said, and I was not exaggerating.
"Really, this is the be best Sauerbraten I have ever tasted," Madalyn added.
"You two must be partisans," the woman said, with squinted eyes and a smile.
"Us. Why no, we are not," Madalyn said, in a less then convincing voice.
"My late husband's brother was belonged to a group of partisans. He got them both tortured and killed. I recognize the same overtones in you two Don't worry, I would just like you to eliminate the Nazis. Sleep well, I think I will retire now. Guten Abend," she said, in a tired voice.
The next morning, we left her enough money to live well for a while, and headed for the bus stop.
"More and more people heading for Switzerland," Madalyn said, when as the bus stop came into view.
"The bombing is much closer to day," I uttered, looking over my shoulder.
"Let's stay on this side. Maybe walk past it a hundred feet," Madalyn said.
"Good idea Next to barbershop," I said.
"Looks like Nazis to me," Madalyn answered.
"I think it's too late to turn," I said, with a note of worry.
"The upside, is now we will know how good these papers are," said Madalyn, with some weak optimism.
Moments later we were in front of the staff car. We waved politely. They watched us very closely, but did nothing.
We decided to keep walking through the town, rather than heading back to the bus stop.
"More plains than usual. A lot more," Madalyn stated.
We were standing in line to get a table at a small caf when that staff car, going slowly, drove by. A woman in front of us looked around and said," You're not Jewish are you. There looking for Jew's," she said, adding, "Oosh," and putting her handkerchief over her mouth and nose.
"There's that smell again," Madalyn said, pulling her coat over her nose.
"They're burning more bodies. When the wind blows this was, we get that stench. It sticks to everything," the woman in front of us said, without removing the handkerchief.
"There seems to be a lot of Nazis around, for such a small village." I stated.
"They're getting out of France and Germany to avoid the bombing," the woman replied, still holding the handkerchief firmly to her face.
I began to notice the bombs again. They are only sort of there, I had stopped noticing. I thought that kind of odd, bombing becoming a kind of normal inconsequential activity.
When we decided to take the train, we had no interaction with the Nazis on our way back to the Baroness, until we got near to Tubingen. For the first time, I seen the damage the bombings had done. It sent a chill up my spine. Building after building reduced to ravaged hulks.
Now the bombings were in front, behind, and on the sides of me. I did not think it possible to feel so small.
The conductor told us the rails were out on the regular route, so we were having to take a few side lines. We eventually wound up in Hannover.
There were no rooms to rent, so we bought an old car, and several used blankets. We paid people to use their showers as we searched for a radio, or a way to the Baroness.
On our third day in Hannover, we witnessed our first fight between plains.
"There's a restaurant! I'm starving," I said, taking Maralyn by the arm.
There were several Nasi staff cars park near it, but we decided to risk it. When we walked through the door a waitress said, "May I seat you?"
With that, an army officer stood up stared directly at us. We were holding hands, and we both felt our them grow cold. We both nearly passed out.
"They can have this table," I must leave, the officer said, clicking his heals and giving us a short bow.
"Polite. I hope I get a chance to kill him," I said, smiling. At least I think I was smiling.
"Well, that put ten years on me," Maralyn said, with a stiff jaw.
The officer rushed through the door, and walked swiftly to our table.
"Excuse me, I forgot my gloves," he said. He snapped in a turn, and left.