In the high walled corner of the now crowded busy square, a simple wooden stage had been hastily erected. With many jovial actors in bright homemade coloured costumes, now performing a comedy of sorts. An amusing, decorated jester added to the afternoon as he stumbled drunkenly in and out of the laughing audience. Most unaware he was actually part of this live performance.
Although the square was bustling and noisy with the moving crowds, nurse Stanics eyes then turned towards an elderly seated man with two sleek white greyhounds seated obediently on either side of him. What also caught her attention was the matching red fitted coats that both dogs comfortably sported. They certainly looked distinguished, she thought and very unusual. A delightful pair of animals.
She listened toward the bathroom but could only hear the countess humming as she soaped herself so nothing to worry about for her. Then below her in the square, one of the dogs now seemed slightly agitated licking its right paw perhaps suffering some discomfort. Then she noticed arriving from the nearby audience a young man was now speaking intently to the owner. The dogs also listened with concerned interest and attention to the soft timbre of his voice.
His age seemed somehow undetermined. He was certainly tall and wasn’t stooping and a thin wisp of fair hair was noticeable upon his unlined face. Yet his sunburned, aged, mottled hands when examined, showed of past toil in fields or forests or maybe toiling on a ship’s trawler as a simple deckhand.
But it was the unusual cloaked attire that he sported that seemed to be a throwback to another lost era. A floor-length black cloak, perhaps a former military item, seemed to have been frequently repaired. And now covered him from shoulder to toe. The heavy bulges above his hips seemed to show deep lined inside pockets stitched onto the inside of the cloth containing who knows what he was carrying?
What rather distinguished its design, was a high scuffed collar that was almost flamboyant in its height. His well worn sturdy leather, scratched military boots seemed almost worn down at the heel. But still seemed somehow serviceable for many more miles on many long lonely roads. His head covering was a thick knitted woollen black hat. Long loose hair strands had escaped from its crown only to lie on his shoulders. He carried a large canvas bag as well as smaller grips bunched around his shoulders. A smaller leather pouch was also hanging around his neck. A long thick, gnarled oak staff was held firmly in his right hand. This to be used for navigating dangerous rocky terrain and also being used skilfully she suspected, as a handy defensive weapon when required if attacked. The dog’s concerned owner looked rather cautious as he listened to the stranger’s words and now nodded in eager approval to the stranger’s request.
But the crowd was becoming slightly restless it seemed. They had become bored with the pantomime performed on the stage. Some were now hoping for something more exciting, maybe dangerous? Perhaps a dancing bear? Or fighting dwarves? Who knows.
The stranger now knelt down and placed himself before one of the dogs and gently examined the animal offering a damaged paw as well as whispering something into the animal’s cocked ear. The dog showed no fear of what was happening. The man or healer examined the wounded paw carefully, then seeing some exposed wounds asked the owner an unheard question and an affirmative nod was returned. The stranger immediately reached for his heavy canvas bag and searched for several minutes before withdrawing a small yellow tube and some wooden tweezers. Then he quickly pulled out several sharp items, maybe glass, or some splinters or stone chippings from the wounded paw. He then washed the wound carefully and then liberally applied some of the creams to the exposed bloody wound. Then when satisfied he ripped off a piece of cloth and gently wrapped it around the infected paw, tied it up and sat back. It had taken less than a minute. And the onlookers who had stood gawking now certainly lost all interest and started looking around for another form of free entertainment to enjoy for this day in Bamberg town.
She was somehow touched with emotion by this unrequested concern from the stranger for the injured dog. Then her mind moved for some strange reason to what awaited these people of Bamberg in the political years ahead.
If Hitler’s pitiful party gained significant electoral gains in the coming general election as some predicted, and as she somehow suspected herself they would, then Germany would begin to witness what a shock awaited them. And especially for the Jewish race, her own persecuted people of old.
She had some weeks earlier deliberately not informed doctor Auer of her own Jewish roots or pedigree as she liked to think of it. Her family birth name was Waxman, but instead, she had opted for the safer name of Stanic that she had chosen at random from a fashion magazine named “Popular Photographer.”
If the doctor had suspected anything about her deception as she rather suspected he might, about her demeanour, when they first met, happily he remained silent about her race. And this kind gesture had then been much appreciated by her.
This doctor she suspected was a genuinely kind man and this could only be beneficial to her own future advantage. And maybe future survival if she should perhaps ever require his professional help.
Some years ago she had annoyingly contracted scarlet fever, of all things and as a precaution, she had been placed into an isolation ward of the local infirmary. There in the well-stocked sanatorium library, she had come across a rather surprisingly well-thumbed copy of “Mein Kampf” authored by a certain Adolph Hitler, a failed artist it seemed from Vienna
His immediate poisonous vitriol against the Hebrew race was evident as she discovered with horror as she ploughed through the book and how he planned to decimate her own race really sickened her even more. This man is mad and dangerous she thought. Wanting and organising a dangerous crescendo of violence and murder to be prepared. And to be legally unleashed by him and his cohorts onto an unsuspecting indifferent Germany. But am I the only one to see this, she had wondered as she read between the lines of the book, and shuddered as a demented Hitler spouted through the many pages about his Darwinian/Luciferian bitter bile?
She had correctly reasoned that when and if this man ever came to power all those Jews employed in the academic, medical and legal professions would be the first to be weeded out and arrested by his watchdog police. Then all racial profiles would then be examined and peered at by the powerful magnifying glass of the wicked state and by his merciless minions.
She of course would be one of the first, as a paid state registered nurse, to produce evidence by order of her own racial lineage. Her genealogy tree might come crashing down around her. And it would be critical if not impossible for her continuing employment in her own nursing career. She was convinced somehow that her own fabricated name would be discovered very quickly. Then it would be a hasty farewell to the profession she loved and had sacrificed so much of her young life in the wonderful study of medicine. Then he suddenly faces arrest and is dragged to a hidden prison. Perhaps never to be returned to her family again. This had infuriated her yet had sadly caused her also to feel so helpless and sickened but unable to cease its future terrible arrival bringing with it destruction and death.
She had never been psychic in any way, but she had often felt uneasy about what was happening now all around her. Now those finely tuned hairs on the back of her neck were a rising alarm, and she would and could not ignore this warning of unease that had settled in and around her.
But hadn’t her chosen people survived six thousand fearsome blood-soaked years? And this had offered her some small hope for the uncertain future still yet to arrive. She recalled her dear aged grandmother then living in Dortmund. Who had these special words placed in a gilt frame in her hallway for all visitors to see and read as they entered her home:
“Start with God. Start with God, the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning” (King Solomon)
Bella now shivered and turned to go inside and search for a cardigan to place over her shoulders.
To be continued…
(C) Copyright G. Patrick Battell