PAGE - 6
They took the dog inside the mill. We were scrambling up the hill as quietly as we could.
One of Ida's group raised his hand indicating for us to stop.
"The trees are thin from here. Move slowly, and follow my path," he ordered.
Anther of the group stayed behind.
After we made our way to a clearing near the top of the hill, the guy that stayed behind caught up with us.
"The dog has our sent. I'll stay behind and hold them off as long as possible," the man said to Ida, while trying to catch his breath.
"They will have to cross this clearing. Wojciech, you take the right side at the tree line, and Mateusz, you take the left. We will open up when they top the hill. When the rest of them are in the clearing, open up, if, you can get them all. If you can't get them all, fade away and we will meet at Hollow Three," Ida ordered. You three head down the ravine, we will be right behind you," Ida said to us, then added, "Jakub, Stanis?aw, Tomasz position at the ridge Stop them just before they reach the top Listen for Wojciech and Mateusz to open up. Help them as best you can. The rest of us will head for Hollow Three. If they don't engage, head along the ridge, but not down the ravine. If you get them all, collect as much of their weapons, coats, boots, papers, valuables as you can carry and still move fast. You know the drill," Ida ordered.
When we were near the bottom of the ravine, we heard intense gun fire that lasted of several minutes.
Ida pointed to four of her band, and ordered them set up a ambush about fifty yards back up the ravine where an overhang provided good cover.
"Come, we need to pick up the pace," Ida said.
When we were at the bottom, and a short way up the creek that wondered through the valley in front of us, Ida ordered us into the heavy brush. "Careful, step only on the stones the person in front of you steps on," Ida ordered.
About then the gun fire stopped. We waited, and shortly heard splashes coming up the creek. Ida, and the last two of her associates, readied themselves to fire.
The rest of her team came into sight.
"How did it go?" Ida asked, in a quick voice.
"We got them all, every last one of them, lots of ammo, and we didn't even get a wound," Wojciech said, between deep breaths.
"What the hell," Ida exclaimed.
"Oh, he likes us," said Stanis?aw, smiling from ear to ear, as he hugged the dog, adding, "His collar says his name is Bar."
"Fitting name. Feed him Nazis," said Ida, waving her hand and saying, "We go!"
We trekked several miles, mostly through thick brush, until we came a crossed a cabin covered in old tree limbs.
Ida turned to Hanna and said, "This is Hollow Three."
When we got inside, the cabin was warm and there was weapons wall to wall.
"Help me cook some pierogi. We'll have to do without berries I'm afraid.
Hanna stated that she loved dumplings, and she quickly moved to help.
"You are a lovely girl, how did you come to be here?" Ida asked.
Hanna hesitated to say she was Jewish.
"I know you are Jewish, but how did you escape?" asked Ida.
Hanna gave her a short version of the last two days.
Ida turned to me and stated that I should know that my father was one of the leaders of the partisans in this area. At first I was stunned, then a cold chill flashed my back.
"Leader?" I asked.
"Yes. He hated the Nazis, as I am sure you know. His experience in the last war was essential for establishing our group. Hans, I do not know your parents, but I suspect they were anti-Nazi. It's the only reason the Nazis want to arrest you. I'll see if I can find out more about their circumstances. The same for your parents Hanna," Ida said, in a concerned voice.
The others in the group were busy cleaning weapons and scouring a map.
"Where do we go from here?" asked Hans.
"First, we need to know what some of the others are doing. We don't want to interfere with their actions," said Andrzej, who was the one who brought Bar back with him.
"Do you mind if I ask how you came to lead a group of partisans?" ask Hanna.
The room fell silent, and after a long pause, Ida said without looking up from the food she was preparing, "My husband and son were tortured and hung by the Nazis a year ago." Ida wiped the tears from her eyes, and added," dinner is ready.
We waited a few moments before beginning to eat the most delicious dumpling I have ever tasted.
"We have all lost friends, relatives, and property to the Nazis, and before this is over, there will be many more losses. In the end however, we will win. Unfortunately for the good people of Germany, they will pay the price for that Hitler thing for a thousand years. Nothing like the Third Reich touted by the Nazis," said Stanis?aw, in a deep firm voice.
"How can you be so sure?" I asked.
"Only a small percentage of people can be manipulated like evil cattle. Most people, regardless of where they live, want their freedom, and will fight to the death to for it. That includes Germans, once they come to their senses, and realize what Hitler and his cronies have done," Marek said, while cleaning his rifle.
"The question is, how many people have to die, and how much destruction will there be, before that happens," Ida said, in an angry voice.