Return To The Theatre Chapter 4

Return To The Theatre

As the train slowly pulled into the station Alexandra remembered how nervous she was when she first came here more than thirty years ago and how Ludwig waited for her on the platform walking up and down the train every time she returned to the theatre it was so peaceful then she thought smiling. She looked at it now and seen scared people rushing everywhere and Nazis all over the place she grabbed Johns hand looking him in the eye and said “If we don’t make it, I want you to know something.” John interrupted “ Its been a pleasure,” he said to her shaking her hand and smiling “my god she thought, I was going to tell him everything.” John said to her “Are you ready?” Alexandra took a deep breath as the train stopped and said “ Yes Edward, lets go and visit our cousins.” He smiled and opened the carriage door they climbed out onto the platform and set off in the direction of the other passengers as they walked Alexandra noticed a boy selling newspapers she looked at the bill board next to him and it said “ Our glorious fuhrer has announced that our triumphant army today has invaded the polish border.” Alexandra nudged John quickly and pointed to the board John whispered in her ear “ We had better be quick then, looks like war imminent.” Alexandra trembled at the thought of it, she thought of Andrina and her grandchildren and if they got back alive she would no longer be afraid of meeting her after so many years. John and Alexandra walked on they joined the queue of people waiting at the checkpoint, the germans had checkpoints on every platform in the station and there was no way of avoiding them. Alexandra watched as a man stood checking the papers he was a tall man with blonde hair and blue eyes he would only be about the same age as Lawrence she thought he was wearing a black uniform with a red swastika arm band he had a black hat with a white skull and crossbones above the visor “he is SS” said John. Behind him were two guards holding rifles they were in grey uniforms and tin helmets, their very presence intimidated people and put fear into their hearts where peace and freedom had once lay. As the queue began to get smaller and the man in the black uniform began to get closer and closer until the lady in front of Alexandra and John was allowed through the checkpoint suddenly a voice came from the SS man “ may I see your papers please” he asked they handed him their passports he looked at them and saluted

“my dear countess, can I have your address please.” Alexandra calm as can be smiled and said

“ Certainly young man, its Herengracht in Amsterdam.” He smiled “ very good, all is in order. Are you here on business?” he asked as he handed her papers back to her. “No, I’m here with my son Edward to visit my cousins Baron and Baroness Von Gottard in the Graben.” The SS man smiled and replied “ We hope you both will enjoy your stay here in Vienna.” and he saluted them and they walked through the checkpoint and into the main hallway of the station, they still were in danger if the SS man suspected there could be a gestapo man on their tale so they calmly walked out of main doors onto the street John looked at her and smiled he whispered in her ear “you were marvelous back there, a brilliant performance even had me fooled.” he said Alexandra laughed as the tension slowly wore off and said “ thank you Edward, but I want lie to you I was scared, I don’t want to end up like the young woman in the town.” John instantly replied “ me neither.” John looked behind him through the main doors he could just see the officer that had questioned Alexandra on the telephone “calling gestapo head quarters” he expected they slowly walked down the street a man was behind them John thought they were being followed, a sudden surge of horror over took him, Alexandra spotted the tram heading to a stop she said “that is the one we need Edward lets cross quickly before we miss it.” they crossed the road Alexandra looked at all the buildings each with a giant red flag with a black swastika stamped on it suddenly John upped the pace as they headed towards the queue. The tram stopped and they climbed on board finding a seat they both sat down “what is it Edward” whispered Alexandra to John he then smiled “ I think we have a tail.” he whispered back Alexandra was about to turn round but John stopped her “that would be a stupid mistake,” he said “If we don’t notice him and go straight to our cousins then we will be safe.” John said. Alexandra looked out of the window the presence of Nazi uniforms were everywhere on the streets as the tram clinked and clanked along the tracks.

“He is probably just checking up”, he thought to himself, John turned his head quickly noticing the man yet not making eye contact, It was a gestapo man alright following them, he was sat at the back of the tram holding his newspaper trying to mingle into the crowd but his very presence made many on the tram uneasy nobody spoke.

John and Alexandra sat in their seats motionless and trying to act calmly they looked behind them carefully to make sure the gestapo man was still behind them, the tram pinged and rocked from side to side down the rails along the old cobbled streets of Vienna, making the passengers rock with it as if it was an orchestra playing music and enticing the audience with its tune.

Alexandra gazed out of the window of the moving tram and stared at the quaint surroundings and reminiscing on old happy times and staring at the harsh reality of the new dark times infront of her. The tram approached a stop, the driver began to slow the tram down, now was their chance to get away thought john, as it pulled to halt grinding on the rails the awaiting passengers began to get ready to disembark as they all pushed forward into the aisle a crowd had gathered john instantly sprung into action he grabbed Alexandra and pulled her into the crowd pushing forward towards the doors of the tram desperately trying to get away from their tale.

Within moments the tram doors sprung open and they jumped off they began to calmly proceed down the street, neither spoke as they were both aware something was wrong, with their arms linked they continued to walk on, when they had lost sight of the tram john turned around slightly to see if they were still being followed, he could not be sure but he thought they had lost him.

Alexandra started the conversation as they continued down the street “has he gone?” she asked

quietly, John still watching behind said “ I think so, but we best be on our guard, something is definitely wrong with this.” he said cautiously. Unknown to them that a few foot steps behind them a man was following he was a young man dressed in plain clothes, he was tall and handsome with his smart blonde hair combed to the side his piercing blue eyes that stared straight through you and unnerved any one who came in to contact with him. He was eager to please his superiors at the gestapo head quarters a little unsure of these two people he continued to tail them hiding behind the civilians ahead of him, he knew they were not what they made out but he needed proof. John and alexandra continued to walk on they turned a corner onto a busy street as they continued in the distance an old grey bridge appeared and then the beautiful blue danube in all its glory glistened and flowed calmly underneath the bridge on its journey through Austria and beyond alexandra and john were awestruck by the beauty of the river as they continued to walk towards the bridge as if the river was calling them.

On the bridge the street lamps lined it with the swastikas hanging down from each one flowing in the cool breeze, the flag of fear thought alexandra how it made her heart race just to glare at it.

John and her began to walk on then suddenly in the distance they seen a group of young men marching towards them all dressed in brown, “ brown shirts” said john as they neared the marching men Alexandra noticed one of the men had a tin, he was collecting money for the cause and hurling abuse at those who refused to give any. The people on the bridge could only watch these young men with fear and they reached into their pockets and gave a few marks to them in the hope they would not be hurt.

John told Alexandra to put some money into the box when the men walk passed Alexandra refused to but john made her by saying “ if were are being followed it might look good.” Alexandra relented and reached into her bag she took out some money and had it ready for when the brown shirts passed. As they approached alexandra leaned forwards and placed the money into the boys box he smiled and said “ Your kindness shall be rewarded fraulein.” then he saluted with a heil hitler alexandra smiled and nodded to the young man and turned away she said quietly “ heil, you german bastard heil” and they walked away. John laughed at her outburst as they carried on over the bridge the sound of music greeted them, serenading them with the sound of `Strauss`s blue danube` being played to perfection. “A cafe” said Alexandra with excitement John turned “ the strauss cafe, would be a good place to loose our tail if we have one.” In agreement the headed towards the cafe when they were at the end of the bridge on the other side of the river they came to the main road and crossed before two clinking trams passed them heading in different directions “that’s the tram we will need to get to the theatre.” said John a smile came over alexandra and feeling of excitement at the thought of seeing her beloved theatre again but at the same time a fear came into her heart that they may be caught at any moment.

They approached the cafe its white courtyard looked towards them with beautiful white tables and chairs making the place resemble a scene from a postcard or a scrap-book , it was so stunning and it was breathtaking. At the door of the cafe John and Alexandra entered the old bell that hung above it began to ring, the gestapo man that was following them on the bridge was already inside it seemed that when they were giving the brown shirt the money he had passed them.

He sat in wait of their arrival, a smile came onto his face when they entered the cafe, Alexandra and John stood in the entrance of the cafe waiting to be seated by the waitress who came and showed them to a table. The walls were full of nostalgic pictures of past and present then alexandra seen the picture above her table it was herself when she was a lot younger and the toast of European society. The memories all came flooding back to her of the days when she was singing and acting in the theatres and Ludwig, how she missed his arms she longed for those days again. The waitress returned to the table and took their order for two coffees and returned instantly with it, from a booth further back in the cafe a lady sat dressed in a black fur coat and matching cloches hat with a white feather that sprung from the side of her hat, her dark brown hair and green eyes staring toward John and Alexandra with fear.

She stood up out of her chair and began to leave as she walked passed Alexandra she dropped her purse on the floor, the clasp sprung open and all her make up and things fell out, John instantly got to the floor to help the lady, as he got down she whispered “ your being watched, the man in the corner, I will meet you outside in ten minutes” John nodded and helped the lady to her feet she thanked him and left. John told alexandra as the drank their coffee they john noticed the gentleman in question carefully turning so as not to give the game away. John waited then the gestapo man went to the toilet he headed to the door next to the counter when it was closed john and alexandra sprung into action they left some money on the table and left watching

carefully in case the man came out, he did not.

Outside the woman in waited she waved to them and they followed her to the alley at the side of the cafe “quickly down here” she said and leaded them both away out of sight further down the alley way as they walked the woman spoke “my name is Marlena” John asked “ how did you know he was watching us?” “The same man arrested one of my friends two days ago the same way.”she replied.

Marlena smiled and continued to say “ I will take you to a safe house for now, until we are sure he has gone.” John was a little unsure of this woman who risked herself to help them but accepted her help and they carried on down the alley onto a quiet street.

In the cafe the gestapo man came out from the toilet opening the door he noticed that his two suspects had gone, he rushed out of the cafe to the street but they had gone.

He went back into the cafe and demanded to use their telephone the waitress refused then he showed the gestapo badge to her, afraid and fearful for her life she handed him the telephone, he called headquarters and informed them that they had vanished, he was ordered back to headquarters immediately to make a report.

Meanwhile Marlena showed John and alexandra to her apartment a few streets away they entered the white building and climbed up the old grey staircase, a brown door appeared then Marlena opened it and they went inside.

Upon closing the door John grabbed Marlena by the arm and pushed her into the door he pulled out his gun and cocked it placing it to her head and pushing her arm behind her back, she sighed in pain “who are you working for, your gestapo?” shouted John. Alexandra tried to intervene but john ordered her to be silent Marlena began to cry in pain as John pushed her arm further up her back torturing her “who are you?” he asked again. She remained silent John slapped her across the face then he pushed her into the sideboard knocking all the ornaments to the floor and crashing as they shattered. Marlena fell to the floor as she stood up John held the gun at her “tell me now or I will shoot you.” he demanded. Marlena nodded and holding her arm which was giving her great pain said “ my name is Louise Deauchamps, I am french intelligence, she took out her identity card and showed him, John apologized to her and Marlena accepted telling him she would have done the same, they sat down and began to talk.

Louise spoke first ” your probably wondering what french intelligence is doing here in Vienna?“

John answered ” the thought had crossed my mind?“ he said sarcastically to which Marlena replied ”Bizou“ John looked at her ”who?“ ”A code name for one of our agents here in Vienna he worked in gestapo headquarters and smuggled out documents to us, one document in particular was the diamond. He was a spy in Paris working for the germans, we caught him two days ago and dealt with him, I sent Bizou a message to meet me here in Vienna but he has disappeared, I was following his footsteps which led me to Helena.“ John sprung forwards ”nightingale“

he said. Marlena nodded ”I saw what happened to her and Ludwig, he was helping me with Bizou when he was caught, I now know what happened to Bizou as a few moments before you entered the cafe, the man that tailed you was the one who caught Bizou, The waitress told me and then you both arrived I did not want a repeat of my friend you understand.“ she said tearfully.

Alexandra comforted her as she cried and asked ” what will you do now?“

Marlena composed herself ” I must return to Paris, now tell me why are you here?“ she asked.

Alexandra and John told her about their mission and that they must succeed, Marlena smiled

”Von ostbruk is no fool, when he finds out you are here he will come after you both, it wont be easy for you either.“ John looked at his watch they had to go now to the `Von Gottard`s‘ before they ran out of time in case the officer did check up.

They both got ready and thanked Louise for her help and wished her a safe journey back to Paris then they departed. Once outside of the building they followed the tram lines to the stop around the corner that leaded to the Graben.

Meanwhile at gestapo headquarters in Vienna there was a lot of shouting going on from Von Ostbruk`s office which echoed down the long corridor and even the guard outside the office was trembling with fear for the person getting the lecture.

Inside the office from behind his desk Von Ostbruk stood shouting at the young gestapo officer infront of him, “you lost them!!” he yelled “how the hell did you loose them Legerhoff, you incompetent idiot, a young man and an older woman and you lost them, I will have you shot for this.” Legerhoff stood to attention in front of Von Ostbruk pale and white with a cold sweat pouring down his brow “I am sorry Herr Colonel but..” before he could finish von ostbruk immediately interrupted “ Your sorry!, do you know what you have done? I will tell you, you have made a laughing stock out of the gestapo , I can hear them now in England laughing and saying that their agents can come and go as they like in Vienna because their gestapo is not able to follow flies.” He paused the officer was almost tearful hoping that the colonel was finished but then it started again. “ I warned you that failure was no option, and now you have let two enemy agents free to roam the city, you idiot!” At that the colonel picked up the phone leaving the officer to stand at attention holding the telephone to his ear he said “ send Reinecker to my office now!” The colonel slammed the phone down and began again at the young officer who was trembling with fear “ You have made a fool out of me and the fuhrer.” said Von Ostbruk pointing to the painting of Hitler above the very grand fireplace. “Your penalty is death.” said the colonel. The door to the office opened and Major Reinecker entered in his black ss uniform holding his black hat under his arm “ you wish to see me herr colonel?” asked reinecker.

“Ah Reinecker take this incompetent idiot to the courtyard and shoot him he has made a laughing stock of the gestapo and the fuhrer.” said colonel von ostbruk.

Suddenly Legerhoff ran to the desk and pleaded with the colonel begging him for his life, the colonel ignored him and shouted for the gaurds who dragged Legerhoff away Major reinecker saluted the colonel and followed he closed the door.

Legerhoff was screaming and pleading all the way down the corridor even when they took him into the courtyard, Von ostbruk watched from the balcony of his office as Legerhoff was shot in the courtyard by firing squad.

Shortly after the colonel returned to his desk and then Reinecker returned to the office he entered to find the colonel completely unfazed by what had happened “sir, was that absolutely necessary?” asked the major. Von ostbruk stood up in a rage and clenching his fist said “ Yes! I have warned you all that failure is not an option with me especially when you loose to enemy agents so stupidly!” answered the colonel slamming his fist on the desk like a spoilt child who could not get their own way in a temper.

Then the telephone began to ring von ostbruk answered it immediately, “sorry to bother you colonel, Its captain Schmidt from the radio room here, we are just getting a message from our agent in London now, would you like to come down?” asked Schmidt.

The Colonel smiled “ I am on my way now captain.” he said and then he put down the telephone major reinecker was still stood in the office “come major, we have news from our contact in London, at least this one does not fail!” said the colonel. They left the office and proceeded down the corridor the guard outside stood to attention as the colonel walked passed .

Alexandra and John stood waiting in a queue of people for the tram to arrive that would take them to the theatre a few minutes later and the tram arrived they boarded and sat down waiting for the tram to set off, “I hope our cousins have coffee” said Alexandra

John nodded , when the last person boarded the doors closed and the tram began to drive away down the rails Alexandra began to think of Louise, she hoped she would get back to Paris in one piece. In the radio room Schmidt was stood holding a decoded message he handed it to Von Ostbruk who began to read it “Baron and Baroness Von Gottard british agents, arrest immediately, the two other agents are to go to the theatre to locate documents there........”

Quick to the mark von ostbruk ordered the arrest of the Von Gottards he climbed into his car and followed the truck of soldiers and headed off to the von gottards.

In his car Reinecker and Von Ostbruk read the message again reinecker said “ we searched that theatre top to bottom and found nothing and our document is supposed to be there!” Von Ostbruk smiled “Patience, Reinecker we shall let the two others lead us to the document, I want that theatre watched and if they spot anyone going near I want them to inform us immediately.”said the colonel smugly as he was about to arrest the aristocracy.

Before long they arrived in the Graben the tram was pulling towards the theatre slowly it slowed down as it was about to stop Alexandra had not noticed the theatre, John and Alexandra stood as they were getting off here they walked towards the doors and got off they waited as the tram pulled away then Alexandra turned round to face her beloved theatre, it was all boarded up and looked almost derelict as if her past was all a dream. She could not hold back the tears as she remembered the bright lights and the full seats it once had and how it had been the most famous theatre in all of Austria. “Come on the apartment is not far, its on the other side of the park” said John. Alexandra looked suddenly she spotted the statue “ look theres Jurgen” she said all excited as if it were the first time she had seen it and hoping that Ludwig would meet her there. It was a picturesque statue next to a fountain so beautifully sculpted set in white marble and was so elegant it made you respect the person who had taken the time to make this masterpiece. Alexandra remembered her rendezvous with Ludwig here all those years ago how she missed him and wished she could have turned back time but she could not.

John observed the gardens from where they stood noticing children playing with their parents and german officers with their girlfriends but thankfully no gestapo. They walked to the entrance of the park a sign met them it read ‘ It is forbidden for Jews to enter the park’ she looked around to some of the shops which had the star of david painted on their windows and the people desperately avoiding the shops for fear of being seen. Alexandra hated what she was seeing and the germans for their treatment towards the jewish people, “god help them” she thought.

They walked into the park and headed for the statue luckily her bench was still there so she knew now what to do “Edward sit there and keep watch.” she said John was quite shocked at her taking charge but he did as she asked and watched for anyone coming Alexandra walked over to the statue and began to observe it walking round it thinking to herself “oh Ludwig where have you hidden it.” she then observed the base of the statue where it was engraved, she noticed a mark on it she looked a little closer the engraved piece was new but made to look old , she moved her hand across it she found a grove as she placed her fingers into the grove John spoke “ someone is coming.” she stood up and observed the statue a german officer and his girlfriend appeared they walked right passed Aleaxandra and John and headed off along the path into the distance.

When they were out of sight Alexandra reached into the grove and pulled, suddenly the piece opened and a file appeared she quickly picked up the file and hid it into her bag she looked down again there was a letter addressed to her in Ludwig`s handwriting, she recognized it instantly stuffing it into her bag. She closed the fake door and then walked back to the bench where John was waiting, he stood up and said “we can’t look at it here, we need to get to the apartment now!” They linked arms and walked through the park to the opposite side they came to another gate, with the apartment in full sight they were about to cross the road when suddenly those sirens began the ones Lawrence had mentioned Alexandra froze then a car and two trucks appeared rushing down the road towards the apartment building they pulled over in front of the building the german guards jumped out of the trucks and swarmed into the building John and Alexandra stood still all they could do was watch. Suddenly the car that had lead the trucks opened one of its doors and a tall man stepped out he was middle aged very tall he had blue eyes and white hair he stood and watched. Alexandra gasped she instantly recognized him from the picture the colonel showed “Von Ostbruk” she whispered to John. They heard screams from a woman and then they saw two people brought out of the building and thrown into the trucks, “my god, they have the baron, we must go now, and warn the others” John linked his arm through Alexandra`s

and they walked through the crowd that had gathered “ where are we going?” asked Alexandra John who was very worried kept his cool and said “ we have another contact, incase something like this happened, he will put the word out and warn the others.” They walked calmly trying desperately not to cause attention they headed up the street and came to another building they went inside and climbed the stairs all the way up to the third floor. John leaded Alexandra into a hallway and at the end was a door. John rang the bell suddenly the door opened and a young woman answered she a young girl about seventeen she wore a white shirt and blue woollen jumper she had long blue trousers to match. Her black hair was hanging down on her shoulders and her white apron was covered in dust she had just finished polishing the furniture when they had arrived. “Hello” she said John smiled and asked “ Is your kettle on?” The girl smiled and nodded she let them in fast and closed the door she knew that was the code word. “ What`s happened”she asked “I need to speak to your father urgently” John said she nodded and walked them down the hall to his study. She opened the door “Father there are two people her to see you.” she said out of the shadows an old man appeared in a wheel chair, he could not walk now for age caught up with him and he had lost the use of his legs, he was in his pyjamas and smoking jacket for warmth “ Herr Professor, Colonel graham sends his compliments” said John. The professor looked up and smiled “ why John what a pleasant surprise, its been a while.” he said and then turning to Alexandra he smiled again “ I know who you are, Marta Hari, I remember watching you perform on the stage its a pleasure my dear” he said “ Gretal, bring some coffee for our guests wont you.” he said “Yes papa” she replied.

John spoke “ Now professor we have trouble, Von Ostbruk has just arrested the Baron and his wife.” The professor looked with horror “Jesus we must warn the others now.” he said Gretal walked in with the coffee. “Do they know you?” asked John to which the professor replied “No, they don’t know anyone in this circuit, we knew they would possibly get caught so we had all their messages posted to them, after all even we must be careful.” The professor smiled and then frowned “ god! they do know one person John, Karl Von beck, if they get him were in deep trouble.” said the professor “he knows everyone in the Vienna circuits” John sat down then the professor had an idea “Gretal” “yes papa” she replied “I need you to do something for me, I need you to go to Karl Von Becks cafe now and say this too him immediately ‘Birds fly south for winter” he said Gretal nodded hugging her father and headed out the door.

John looked at the professor and asked “may we borrow your table?” the professor smiled

“certainly” he replied Alexandra opened her bag and pulled out the file she handed it to John who placed it on the table the professor wheeled himself closer and they began to read it. Alexandra then pulled out her letter from Ludwig. Suddenly John looked up “my god” he said “the snake! Stage is none other than George Leswood from the ministry”

As gretal left the apartment building she headed out on to the street the sound of children laughing and playing filled the air coming from the park opposite, she smiled remembering how she had played there when she was a child. She walked along the street passing the old buildings and the mass of swastikas that swayed in the breeze, at the end of the street she turned the corner she walked a little further and the cafe came into view. Unknown to gretal, inside the cafe the gestapo were waiting having already arrested von beck and his wife they were well on their way to gestapo headquarters, von ostbruk had placed a group of gestapo men inside the cafe dressed in civilian clothes so as not to rouse suspicion to any resistance contact who unsuspectingly entered the place. Gretal continued to walk towards the cafe she was trying to remember what to say to the man over and over in her head, a few paces further and she was at the door, she opened it the waitresses busy serving the customers and things going on as usual inside. A man stood behind the counter, gretal had never met von beck so she decided to take chance she looked round but he was the only man working, she walked towards him a waitress came rushing over “would you like a table madam?” she asked, gretal shook her head and said “ I need to speak to mr von beck please.” the waitress looked at her and nodded her head she was afraid to tell her the truth and she pointed to the gestapo man behind the counter and said “there he is.” Gretal smiled and walked toward the counter the man smiled to her as she approached “birds fly south for the winter.” she said. The man behind the counter nodded and grabbed her arm and slapped her face, she fell to the floor “saboteur” he shouted. Within seconds the gestapo had her by the throat and dragged her out of the cafe a gestapo car pulled up outside and she was thrown in the back seat next to von ostbruk, she began to cry and her lip began bleeding where the gestapo man had struck her, the red hand print still fixed to her face. As the car drove away in the direction of gestapo headquarters von ostbruk spoke “ I’m afraid my dear, you have fallen for an old trick, one that has now proven to be quite useful.” He then opened her jacket and took out her identity papers, she did not struggle as she was trembling with fear, von ostbruk looked at her card and said “Gretal buler, your the professor buler`s daughter aren’t you?” He had a commanding tone in his voice that made gretal nervous she nodded “very good, now I have you both.” said von ostbruk laughing smugly at his prize. Gretal trembled she felt stupid walking in to a trap “what will happen to me?” she asked shaking nervously with fear “In a few minutes you will be my guest at headquarters, I will bring your father to you and then we shall decide what to do with you?” said the colonel still laughing. As the car came to a stop the door opened and gretal was taken inside of the building, the colonel stayed outside and had the car drive to gretal`s apartment with the truck of gestapo men following behind the deadly sirens sounding striking fear in to those who heard them, thinking it was there time to be taken. The car continued along the street at great speed, time was of the essence he needed to get the professor and the two evading agents that had made a laughing stock of the gestapo.

Gretal was lead to a desk her fingerprints were forcefully taken like a criminal then she was handcuffed to one of the soldiers and leaded down some stairs into the basement along a corridor that was cold, the strip of lights that lined the passage made it unnerving for any one who walked along it. The officer walked at a fast pace gretal still trembling with fear had to keep up with him as he beat her when she slowed down, they came to a black cell door, the soldier opened it he then uncuffed her and she was thrown in to the room, the door slammed shut behind her. She seen her dark surroundings with the barred window in the corner that provided a little light. She began to cry she walked to the bed that lay under the window and lay down, she wished she would just die in that spot and be spared any thing that was to come, hoping John and Alexandra would get away and take her father with them so that von ostbruk would have that smug smile slapped off his face.

In a cold and damp cell a man lay face down on the floor unconscious, his body riddled with bruises from the brutal interrogation he had received, he had told them nothing outside of the cell a guard stood smoking a cigarette hoping it would help take away the image of what he had just heard done to the prisoner that lay on the cold floor. As he began to come round the man started to sweat he was in absolute agony as if every bone in his body was broken, he manages to open his eyes and notices he is on the floor, he crawls toward the bed and begins to lift himself up using the metal frame as a prop. Suddenly a sharp pain shoots through his body making him call out in pain it was as if a thousand knives were stabbing him at once, each time he felt the pain it was like the blade was penetrating deep into his body constantly. As he stands up a thought appears “Louise, I must get to her.” he staggers toward the cell door by now the pain was being replaced by the adrenalin rushing through him and giving him the extra strength he needed, he clenches his fist and bangs on the cell door alerting the smoking guard outside of the cell.

The guard warns him to cease but the man refuses too the guard becomes most annoyed by the prisoners defiance and opens the cell door, he tries to restrain the prisoner only to have his rifle removed and his head struck by the butt of it rendering him dead instantly.

After killing his captor the prisoner begins to make a run for it one thing driving him Louise he must warn her before he breaks and the gestapo catch her, he heads into the corridor nothing is going to stop him he rushes towards a staircase, unknown to him in the cell adjacent to his von ostbruk waited peering from the door that was slightly a jar eagerly he begins to follow the man he knows he will lead him to his accomplice. The man bruised and beaten holds his back for the pain is returning he climbs the staircase and the door to the courtyard faces him he gently opens it and peers through noticing two patrolling guards about to pass it, quickly he closes it silently and awaits, he hears the two men pass and their footsteps fade away, its now or never he thought he opened the door and ran into the courtyard taking cover behind the black gestapo car that was parked in front of him. Von ostbruk follows up the stairs to the door he hides in the shadow and watches as the prisoner climbs into the car, alerting the two patrolling guards when he shut the car door as it made a terrible thud. The keys were in the ignition he turned them and put his foot down on the accelerator the car raced forwards directly at the two guards who instantly dived out of the way as he made his escape. Von ostbruk rushed out of the shadows his car was parked on the other side of the courtyard he ran to it desperately trying to catch up with the escapee, the prisoner kept his foot firmly down on the pedal speeding towards the barrier only yards from him, the two sentries order him to stop as the car races right at them they open fire on the car making the windscreen shatter into a million pieces but the man is not hit he just keeps on going his determination is his driving force, nothing will stop him. Von ostbruk`s car speeds out of the courtyard in hot pursuit of the man a truck of soldiers follow they pass the barrier and out onto the street. The prisoner is driving like a mad man he dodges the other vehicles on the road in and out weaving passed them then he crosses the tram lines and heads on, behind him von ostbruk chases him in his car maintaining the speed of his assailant as he comes to the tram line he notices the tram coming from his left forcing him to break dangerously swerving to the side bringing him to a halt, the tram passes quickly the driver with a look of horror as he was almost killed in the collision. Up ahead the prisoner keeps his speed completely unaware that he is been followed and the whole thing is a trap, he turns a corner the another corner and onto the main road suddenly he gets a sharp pain from his back making him push the break in pain, the car heads straight on and crashes into a tree. A piece of the steering wheel shears off and traps his leg he manages to break free and from the wreckage he climbs out of the car and begins to stagger away blood dripping from his leg.

A few minutes later the car exploded, von ostbruk still giving chase from his car, turns the corner with the truck of soldiers following behind, he notices the burning car up ahead and pulls over, he climbs out of his car and runs towards the wreckage a crowd of people had formed watching the car burn, an old woman dressed in rags points in the direction the man had gone, he looks down on the street and notices the blood droplets, the man must be injured he thought he runs back to his car and follows slowly the blood.

The prisoner continues on his quest to warn louise, he begins to cross the danube bridge staggering and limping, his leg in agony spilling blood on the street he notices the strauss cafe and then the alley way unaware that von ostbruk is only a street behind him using the blood like a trail. He limps down the alley way he begins to pass out but he fights it, he must get to louise, he must warn her now. He heads out of the alley way and on to the street the apartment building in his sights he manages to get to the doorway and into the foyer, he notices the staircase, he can’t climb it he thought, he noticed a chair to the side of the staircase quickly he gets to it and sits down. Louise was still in her apartment she had watched from her window as Alexandra and John disappeared out of view towards the tram stop, she had made some coffee that sat cold on the sideboard as she tried to clean up the mess made by the crashing ornaments from earlier.

Her arm was still aching with pain but not as bad as it had been before, her hat had fallen on the floor with the white feather bent to one side that had stood so profoundly to the side complimenting her coat, she walked towards the sideboard again and opened one of the drawers that creaked as it opened making a sharp noise. As she pulled it back gently to reveal its contents she collected her swiss passport and pistol she placed them on top of the sideboard then went into the bedroom, another handbag was hanging off the door handle of the wardrobe, she collected it and returned into the lounge, picking up the pistol and passport and placing them into the bag quickly. She then put on her fur coat, leaving the damaged hat on the chair and walked to the mirror. She smartened her hair and brushed her jacket down to look normal and not like she had been in a street fight. She smiled thinking of John and Alexandra and hoped they would succeed then she left the apartment holding her hand bag in her hands, she closed the door and locked it then she walked to the staircase and began to descend to the ground floor.

Unknown to her that in the foyer of the building a man was hiding behind the staircase watching for her, Louise continued to come down the stairs, she heard the noise “psst” come from beneath her she ignored it at first but then “psst, don’t look down, carry on walking” said the voice.

Louise did as she was asked and continued , the voice was familiar to her, as she reached the last stair the man that had been hiding came out of the shadows, he was bruised and beaten, he looked awful like a corpse he had suffered at the hands of the gestapo. “Bizou” said Louise as she noticed him he collapsed in to her arms unconscious, she lay him down gently to the floor “Bizou, Bizou,” she said slapping his face gently trying to resuscitate him, he started to come round from his unconscious state “what has happened to you?” she said anxiously tears filling in her eyes he held her to his mouth “ Run!! the gestapo are coming here, you must go now.” he said then he kissed her, he went cold and motionless, Louise laid his head down on the floor, he had died. “Bizou, Bizou!” said Louise. It was hopeless he was dead, she quickly stood up and began to run out of the building, outside in the distance she heard sirens approaching her but not in view, she noticed the alley that she had leaded Alexandra and John down earlier, she risked it and ran towards it, a knot in her stomach and a fearful grey colouring came over her face aware that any moment she could be caught. As she ran down the alleyway the sirens got louder and then at the other end of the alley way she noticed the trucks and gestapo car pass, she hid in the shadow waiting for them to pass, then she made a run for it out onto the street and back at the cafe, the bridge came into view and she ran, her tears for Bizou poured down her face but she could not stop, she had to get away, nothing was going to stop her she kept running and running.

In the distance she heard a band playing and a street parade with crowds of people cheering as the brown shirts marched celebrating their fuhrer suddenly from behind her a gun shot the bullet passed her and the gestapo gave chase, she had to make the crowd she knew she could loose them there. Her heart racing and the guns still going off she opened her bag and pulled out her pistol she returned a shot from the gun killing one of the gestapo men on her tail, she crossed the bridge and ran up the street in front of her at the top it was cordoned off by the germans for the street parade she noticed the barrier and climbed over it, still the bullets came towards but missed her she was well ahead of her pursuers. She ran into the crowds of people all cheering and giving the nazi salute to the marching men in brown.

In the crowds she noticed the trams had been stopped across the road a thought occurred in her head and she chanced it looking for a clearing in the crowds of people then she ran across the road in front of the brown shirts with the gestapo men behind her.

She made the tram which was starting to pull away and she jumped on just as the doors closed and it began to pull away. the gestapo men banged on the side of the tram but the driver did not see them and speeded up leaving them stood in the parade of brown shirts.

Louise waved to them as it pulled away they began to run away towards a car but she knew she would get away before they caught up with her, she sat down in a seat her heart racing and sweat pouring down her face. As she tried to steady her breathing, tears began to pour down her face for Bizou, she could not work out how he had got away to warn her they were after her, but she was thankful he had.

Back at the professor`s apartment unaware of what had just happened on the other side of Vienna with Louise and Bizou,... Alexandra stood up and said “ I knew it, it was him, it makes perfect sense as all those years ago here at the theatre, I hid behind a column whilst he argued with Ludwig all I could see was a beard he was wrapped in rags on the run Ludwig would not help him, the swine killed Ludwig.” John spoke “ Von Ostbruk knows where here, but not who we are no wonder security is tight he is playing cat and mouse.”

The professor looked at them both and said “ your in grave danger, if the baron talks your cover will be blown and the germans will pick you up.” He then reached down and opened a drawer he asked for their passports and then revealed two new ones from the door he swapped the passport pictures over and gave them two new Austrian ones. “You did right to come to me” said the professor. Alexandra left the room and waited outside she was worried for Gretal in case Von Ostbruk had her John joined her for a second “Will she be alright” asked Alexandra concerned for Gretal John then spoke “ She will be fine, she knows what to do.” John went back into the room and joined the professor Alexandra waited in the lobby she opened the letter from Ludwig she began to read.

Dearest Lilly

“When you get this my life will be over but my love for you will keep going.

Why did you leave me? In the column you will find something I have left you I wanted to give you it all those years ago but you vanished and left me without a good-bye.

My darling I forgive you but I hope you forgive me I have to go now but I will always love you and be with you.”

Yours Ludwig

Alexandra cried a little gathering herself together she stood up John returned with her passport “here you go frau schuler” Alexandra smiled and the John read aloud his identity “max velts” we are mother and son here in Vienna sight seeing.

John then took charge and said “ we must go to the theatre now, we can’t keep fire fly waiting” they then said good-bye to the professor who wished them both luck and they left the apartment Alexandra had hidden the file and letter back in her bag they headed down the hall and went down the stairs they left the building and began to walk down the street hoping to see Gretal walking back but instead they heard the sirens and then the trucks appeared and stopped outside the building luckily John and Alexandra were a good distance away John held her arm “ there is nothing we can do Alexandra” he said as she wanted to run back to warn the professor, she started to cry and said “ Gretal must have been” John interrupted and said “don`t say it Alexandra” and then the sound of glass smashing echoed from the apartment and they then watched as the germans brought the professor outside in his wheelchair, he had blood all over his face the german had hit him with a rifle butt when they found the dutch passports, they lifted him into the truck, and drove away the sounds of the sirens began to disappear in the distance.

John and Alexandra took a deep breath their arms linked together as they reentered the park they walked through it and out of the other side they then crossed the road Alexandra noticed a car parked at the corner of the park “ Look Gestapo” she said John peered and thought for a second “their watching the front” he said Alexandra smiled “they don’t know about the back then.”

Meanwhile outside the train station in Vienna the tram began to pull away and Louise began to cross the road breathing a little easier and wiping her tears for Bizou away from her face.

As she came to the steps she looked around carefully in case the gestapo were approaching but there was nothing but a peaceful calm breeze flowing making the hanging swastikas sway back and forward. “I must be ahead of them” she thought as she descended the staircase and entered the station, she took out her swiss passport from her bag and held it in her hand she walked into the busy foyer towards the ticket office joining the small queue of people who were waiting to be served. She did not have to wait long before it was her turn to get her ticket, she bought a single ticket for the Switzerland train and walked onto the platform she continued towards the barrier and showed her passport to the officer who was checking the papers of the passengers trying to prevent any criminals from leaving. The officer smiled and said “swiss,” she nodded to him “we hope you have enjoyed your stay here.” he said. “I have, thankyou, it was delightful.” she replied. and she walked toward the train, she opened the carriage door and boarded the train and sat down on the seat, Unaware to her, outside the station the gestapo arrived with the trucks they swarmed into the station and out onto the platform, Louise spotted them and quickly thought fast.

Directly adjacent to the train was another train slowly leaving the station on its journey for Paris she went out into the corridor of the carriage on the opposite side of the train and opened the door gently climbing down onto the rails and running towards the moving train she opened the door. Two gestapo men had boarded the swiss train through her carriage they ran into the corridor but she had vanished, then one of the men turned and seen her waving to them as she was heading away from the station on the Paris train, the angry gestapo man shot his gun toward the window she was waving from, she took cover under the window as the glass shattered and the bullet entered the wooden partition wall behind her.

She stood up again waving and smiling as the train pulled away disappearing into the distance

the two gestapo men returned to their commanding officer and reported that she had escaped on the other train. The Officer walked towards the ticket office and demanded to know where the next stop of the train would be?,

The lady behind the desk shaking with fear answered “I`m sorry sir but it is the direct train to Paris and only stops at Paris and I am afraid there is no way it can be stopped the driver is under strict instructions sir.” This made the officer extremely annoyed he placed his revolver in the face of the lady and said “you will make it stop or I will blow your head off, you useless bitch!” The woman suddenly began to cry and nervously picked up the telephone in front of her, then she called the signal box to try to stop the train but it was too late the train had passed the signal box and was well under way to the border. She apologized to the officer who was even more angry by this time and he struck the woman a cross the face with the pistol he then ordered her arrest “for helping an enemy agent escape.” he said.

She was man-handled and forcefully brought out from behind the desk by the same two gestapo men and thrown in to the truck, blood dripping down from her nose that had been broken by the force of the gun hitting her, and spilling all over her white blouse.

She screamed and screamed as they dragged away but the people in the station could only watch with horror and were powerless to help her for they would receive the same treatment if they dared to interfere, some women waiting quietly in the queue began to weep,

but what could they do, the germans had made it quite clear just who was in charge in Austria?

They were the law and the executioner now and the Austrian people had to obey for to oppose the germans was to sign ones own death warrant! When the gestapo returned to the headquarters with their prisoner who was still bleeding and crying with fear, the officer had her brought into the interrogation room and beaten further until she lay dead in a pool of her own blood in the cold and damp room, her screams had been heard all through the chamber into the other cells striking fear into the other prisoners awaiting their interrogation, until her screams became a deathly silence and the screams were no more.

As the train slowly approached Paris Louise sat on the seat, as the train rocked from side to side forcing her to rock with it, for now her part was over in this dark chapter she thought of Bizou lying dead in the apartment building, and she thought of Alexandra and John how she hoped they would get away safely to for Von ostbruk was no fool and would be on their tale regardless, his reputation for never failing was known throughout the intelligence bureaus in Europe and those who came into contact with him had to be smarter than him, for he knew all the tricks of the trade, a knot came into her stomach as she thought of them both, still in Vienna and she was safely away.

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Comments 2 comments

LoriSoard profile image

LoriSoard 4 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

Well, just great. This was so good that now I have to go back and read the other three chapters and the upcoming ones. Seriously, though, really nice job. I enjoyed it. Exciting plot.


calpol25 profile image

calpol25 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner) Author

Thank you Lori I hope that you enjoy them :)

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