Friday, 29 July 2011

Where is Sparrow?

Major Von Barner was pacing up and down within his office, Sparrow’s regular message was overdue and he worried about whether his agent had been caught. He had even sent Hans down to the Pommaine border with a couple of members of the Aufklarungskorps to keep an eye on the likely crossing points. There wasn’t much more he could do and shortly in his official role as Garrison Commander he would be entertaining the Mayor and the local councillors of Stonew. His older daughter Bettina had the situation under control and he had been ordered to keep out of her and the cook’s way. Even in his office he could smell the baking and he decided to take his mind off his problems and have a sneaky look at what had been prepared before changing into his uniform.

Descending to the kitchen level the delicious smell became stronger; maybe he might have a quick taste to check his guests would not be disappointed. Checking carefully, he entered the quiet kitchen, his daughter and the cook must be elsewhere.

To his surprise, he saw an urchin, eating their refreshments, who had obviously drunk most of a pitcher of milk. “You wretch” he shouted and looked around for a suitable club. Grabbing a large ladle he saw the urchin looking up at him.

“Hello father”

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Swept downriver!

In the early morning light, before most people were about, Juli walked into the village. There were a couple of barges tied up on the quay in Wacht, but they were fully loaded so there was little hope of stowing away on board, Juli worked her way northwards along the riverbank looking for any other boats. Looking over a wall she spotted the rear of a small boat peaking out from a boatshed. Checking carefully for anyone, she scaled the wall and crept over to the boathouse door. Locked, but Juli had kept her lock-picks and the door was soon open.

The boat was only tied up and there were a pair of oars resting on the wall, so in a matter of minutes Juli manoeuvred the boat was out on the Rhine and was heading north. On the opposite shore she could see barges working their way south against the current, but otherwise nothing to worry her.

With just the gentle sweep of the oars to keep her close to the centre stream the journey down river seemed too easy. Suddenly Juli recognised the spithead where the Farret fed into the Rhine, so she tried to steer towards Burndorf, the first town in friendly territory, but to no avail, the current swept her on northward.

Realising her problem Juli spent the next hour trying to draw close to the east bank, it was slow, but gradually she made progress and gradually she noticed a reduction in the speed she was travelling downstream.

Thankfully the bank was now a lot closer and she continued her efforts and came ashore at the fringes of a small town. Tying up the boat Juli disembarked and as soon as she moved, realised that her balance was unstable, but she was desperate to find food. The scent of some fresh bread led her into a room where freshly made rolls were cooling. No one was present so she grabbed one and started eating.