The Emerald Horizon (The Star and the Shamrock Book 2) by Jean Grainger

The Emerald Horizon (The Star and the Shamrock Book 2) by Jean Grainger

Author:Jean Grainger [Grainger, Jean]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub
Published: 2020-01-02T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter 18

Ariella was rooted to the spot. Every fibre of her being told her to run, but she couldn’t.

Willi’s strong arm pulled her inside, and she noticed that he walked with crutches – one leg was gone from the knee down.

She struggled to take in the scene. Frau Braun was in the kitchen, nursing a wound on her face – the door from the hall was open so Ariella could see her. Willi went to her, examined the cut and held a blood-soaked cloth to it, but that was not what was most shocking.

On the floor, in the middle of the narrow hall, was Herr Braun, blood congealing on his head. He’d been shot and was clearly dead.

‘What…’ Ariella asked, unable to formulate additional words.

Willi looked at her while still tending to his mother. ‘I came back to find him attacking her. I just…’

She could tell he was going into shock. He was deathly pale, and his hands were trembling as he dabbed his mother’s wound.

‘Frau Braun.’ Ariella skirted around the body and the blood oozing onto the tiles. ‘Are you all right?’

The woman who had kept her safe for four long years seemed strangely calm. ‘He found your letters and the bed in the attic. He knew I was hiding someone. He demanded that I tell him where you were. I didn’t know…’ She spoke as though she were in a trance. ‘He attacked me, and then Willi…’

Ariella thought quickly. ‘He’s a Nazi official. Someone will come looking for him. We should get rid of the body.’

‘No.’ Willi seemed calmer now. ‘Mrs Bannon, my mother told me what she did.’

Was he going to hand Ariella over, even after killing his father? He must have noted her look of terror.

‘I’m so proud of her, and I’m so glad she was able to help you. Please, don’t worry.’ He pointed at his uniform. ‘I hate this, I hate them, everything they’ve done. You have nothing to fear from me.’

Relief flooded through her. There was something about him; she trusted him.

‘Now, let’s see what we can do. I’m not sorry – he was a terrible person and the world is better off without him – but you’re right, they will come looking for him. We could drag him out into the street, as there are so many dead bodies these days, but we might be seen. I have a plan.’

As Willi outlined his idea, both Ariella and his mother listened incredulously. When he’d finished, Ariella was the first to recover. ‘And you’re sure this friend’s house is empty?’ she asked.

‘A hundred percent. He and his family have fled the city. He gave me the key in case I needed it. We are both involved with the White Star, a resistance movement, so he knew an empty apartment might come in useful.’ Despite the gravity of the situation, Willi grinned. He was as she remembered him, a cheerful boy, now a man.

‘And we just go and set up there, leaving your father’s body here?’ Ariella was trying to figure everything out.


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