Munich Nights: Chapter 6: “Enter Leon Stavisky And Later An Unexpected Marriage Proposal”

Munich Nights: Chapter 6: “Enter Leon Stavisky And Later An Unexpected Marriage Proposal”

Over the next few weeks, Walter had eagerly accompanied Karin Auer to the parks as well as to those majestic Munich museums and the always popular coffee houses that this ‘city of charm’ offered in abundance and variety.  Always talking and learning so much more about each other’s both likes and dislikes.  They frequently admired and wandered through the ‘Englischer Garten’. This three miles of beauty situated of course along the flowing River Isar. And it was always a delight for them and with so many others enjoying this garden to witness amongst others; the amazing displayed steepled ‘autumn beauty’ sunflowers.  For Karin, it would be the splendour of the Hollyhocks that would delight and capture her attention.  In fact, the Auer garden adorned many of that distinctive black variety of this perennial plant tended by the always faithful family gardener Alfred.

Karin proudly accompanied him one morning to the stables where her own Lipizzaner horse christened Frederick was housed, groomed and pampered.  A magnificent creature remembered Walter with admiration and slight awe.

The animal had been a gift to doctor Auer some years previously from a grateful patient descended from the Austrian nobility. Yet Walter had no inclination to ride the animal himself that Karin openly adored.

“Walter?”, She enquired with concern as they returned to the park after a visit to Frederick: “Do you think there will be animals in heaven?”

(Karin’s beloved Frederick)

He pondered this question, then answering her said: “Well there will certainly be horses, that is according to some theologians.  Is that what you wanted to hear?”

She nodded.

“Well if my memory serves me correctly in Revelation 6 and 19 there is mention of an abundance of horses.”

“So my beloved Lipizzaner Frederick will be there… well one day that is I hope!”

This answer seemed to satisfy her. And they pursued the matter no further.

However, he had finally lodged a request to be allowed to sit the police candidate exams.  A suitable date was then duly arranged by his superiors.  He then naturally informed a pleased Karin of the impending date. Now they simply had to wait.

Later, a letter of encouragement concerning the approaching exam arrived unexpectedly from Carin Goring and writing informed him that ‘Both Herman and myself have the fullest confidence in the outcome and that you will certainly achieve the desired grade.  We are both thinking of you.  Do not suffer any anxiety Walter, remember I am praying for you, in fact, we both are’.

He was surprised at the kindness they were both showing him.

Karin had commenced sending short notes of encouragement herself as well.  Reminding him to remember what they had discussed in their long, meandering walks in the numerous parks of Munich’s greenery, concerning that crucial exam. She wrote: “Do not panic whatever you do”.

With all those ringing endorsements of encouragement along with the unexpected prayer offerings from the Gorings, how could he fail he tentatively reasoned? And amazingly he did not fail because he succeeded with an exemplary qualifying pass which surprised even him!

Soon afterwards he volunteered for the CID and was accepted as a junior detective and with a princely pay rise as well.

At the party headquarters some days later Heinrich presented him with a copy of ‘Germania’ authored by Tacitus and signed by Heinrich himself with a personal dedication to Walter. That rare edition apparently disappeared after the war and was later sold anonymously in 2014 for $16,000 on the Internet to a buyer in Paraguay.  And in his weekly airmail letter from Bolivia, Ernest Rohm added his own personal congratulations.  He was indeed very proud of Walter.

Over the next few weeks, a series of gruesome murders were perpetrated in Munich.  Three young girls were violently murdered.  What was withheld from public information was that the girls had been seriously sexually assaulted before their deaths, with parts of their bodies being taken, as tokens, presumably by the killer.

Walter had received a note from Heinrich suggesting a meeting in one of the local secluded parks. This unexpected request was all that he would convey.  When he arrived and after a brief greeting they began to walk and talk.

“Walter,” Heinrich began: “These disgusting murders of the three young innocent women interest me and I seriously suggest it should you as well.  Because this just might be the case that establishes your future reputation in the force.  You know I have long been an admirer of that dignified English private consultant (detective) Mr. Sherlock Holmes.  If you have not enjoyed reading about his penned cases and how he brilliantly solved them, then I suggest you do so.  And as I recall, according to his biographer doctor John Watson that when Mr. Holmes had a difficult case brought to his attention he frequently closeted himself in his rooms with copious amounts of tobacco of all things, to ponder the possible outcome.  This ritual he always referred to as a ‘three pipe solution’.  I myself have never been a partaker of that noxious weed.  However, when confronted with a similar problem in my own life that I am unable to solve, I have learned that numerous cups of sweet Turkish coffee eventually offers a satisfactory solution to me.  So I will undertake to see how those famed will hopefully assist you and me in solving these murders”.

They talked some more about this crime that had captured Heinrich’s attention. They discussed party business and then departed from each other’s company.  Some days later Heinrich again requested a morning meeting with Walter in that same secluded location if possible one note of interest Walter recalled years later about that particular morning meeting was the sudden unlikely appearance of a large tortoise treading slowly by Heinrich.  He then slowly reached down, held it, examined it and paused for a minute, then informed Walter that he would be returning later to claim it and remove it to his smallholding, that is if it were still there of course.

(Thor)

Later that day with two young eager members of the ‘Jugenbund’ troop, Heinrich did indeed return and quickly located the reptile still residing near the same cluster of worn grass. He safely transported it safely to the farm without any problem that evening. Walter later learned from Heinrich who naturally, of course, studied the breed that it was a Burmese star tortoise.  He was very concerned about the reptile’s upper respiratory system later making a detailed study of its functions. It seems this was a fragile area of the anatomy for the animal’s health.

The reptile now christened Thor by persons unknown thrived for many years in its new country ‘Himmler” estate. Young Gudron Himmler herself made a great fuss of Thor.

(It was reported today 24th May 2018 that Gudron had died aged 89 in Munich).

Walter was to observe Thor himself many times during the war when he visited the farm and the family.  By then two distinctive S.S. runes had been painted onto the shell.

After 1944, he was never again to acquaint himself with the tortoise.  He suspected that Thor was still enjoying a lugubrious longevity somewhere in Bavaria. They can live to be 150 it is claimed, so it’s not impossible that Thor is still alive and well with or without the runes.

Then to complete his detective training examination, Walter with several others was dispatched to Berlin for a two-day health and I.Q. course.  He then naturally visited the tourist sights when time permitted and posted a card of the Brandenburg gate at night to Karin.  He also passed the Horche restaurant, paused to peruse the menu and departed quickly.

He had decided half-heartedly as a matter of courtesy to pay a call on Joseph Goebbels, but he was informed the doctor was away on party business somewhere in Hamburg.

When he later returned to Munich a note from Heinrich was waiting for him at the station.  He suggested another reunion with Walter the following morning if possible at the same secluded location.  He had it seemed some important information to impart concerning the three still unsolved Munich murders.

Heinrich was already seated and waiting for him the next morning with a flask of coffee and reading the morning newspaper.

“No stray tortoise today?” asked Walter laughing.

“I’m afraid not but I have been searching for a mate for him, however, he seems to be settling in well and enjoying his new environment and will be a welcome addition on the Himmler farmstead. You must come and visit him sometime and us of course.”

He then became serious.  And it seems he had been very active in the ongoing murder enquiry and not engaging in party business since their last arranged rendezvous.

Now using a contact in the Russian embassy in Berlin, he informed Walter that he was able to discover that a certain (Col.) Leon Stavisky had somehow arrived illegally in Germany and perhaps on a converted coal barge. Of interest to him was that Stavisky was an NKVD man, later a KGB paid operative and sometimes associated with the counterintelligence bureau in Moscow and answerable only to Stalin. His previous history had been chequered and cruel. Those who had toiled alongside the man remembered him as ‘doctor pain’ as he butchered his way up the blooded scared stained pole of the Cheka Police who patrolled the terrible Gulag/ labour camps. From every pore of the man emanated sadism that for him never seemed to be satisfied, but only to be enjoyed as he sought new victims to satisfy his thirst to inflict pain on the weakest of the Russian people.

(A police sketch of Stavisky given by a witness)

He, being one of the chosen party of Bolsheviks who had guarded and terrorized the Tsar’s captive family in Ekaterinburg until the family were murdered. How he must have relished the posting from Lenin in having the Tsar and his defenceless family now in his calloused hands to abuse and abash when the whim stirred in his evil heart. Pity was unknown to Stavisky only his warped Patriotism dedicated to the preservation of the Marxist communist state was all that he knew or cared about or adhered to.

Heinrich was now sensing a portrait of a dangerous sadist. He needed to acquire much more about this monster now somehow concealing himself here in Munich. He would have to be halted at all costs, a man without redemption it seemed to Heinrich, and Walter would have to aid him perhaps as an initiation test.

His Berlin contact had also offered the information that two of the princesses had been sexually assaulted by Stavisky before their murders in the Ipatiev House.  He was also involved in searching the family’s dead bodies for money and jewels.  Later the bodies of the Royal family, some still alive, had been unceremoniously dispatched into the deep well shafts that were then littered around the woods of the city.

This was disturbing to hear but confirmed something of the man’s psychopathic tendencies.  But what was this communist doing in Munich of all places and for what purpose?  Heinrich’s famed sixth sense, of which he was very proud, convinced him that Stavisky was the guilty murderer of the three young Munich girls. Of that, he was now convinced and then an ironic smiled spread across his face.

He had grappled with this conundrum of why ‘comrade’ Stavisky had been dispatched to Germany? Was it just to commit these sexual murders? This seemed unlikely, there had to be some other motive.

“It is a puzzle to me Walter as to why and what motive Stavisky had for arriving here and who dispatched him?  It simply does not make sense. However, I will definitely try to discover a motive because there has to be an answer somewhere, somehow.  As I have often stated before, always recognize your enemy because your enemy watches you and often only too well it seems to injure or destroy you”.

He then changed direction and politely enquired about Walter’s Berlin visit.  Walter recalled that Heinrich had a dubious opinion of the city depicting it as decadent and depraved.  Heinrich had no desire to visit Berlin now or at any time in the future.  In fact, after 1933 Himmler would be positioned most of his time in Berlin as head of the feared Reich police.

The park meeting then ceased, with each man departing for his future destination and agreeing to keep in touch.

The search for new evidence in revealing the serial killer was tedious and tiring.  Walter was now learning what the work entailed. Yet he thrived on its routine and the responsibilities that were offered to him. One of his superiors remarked that he seemed a natural, as the investigation painfully proceeded and usually drawing a negative response.

Several days later Heinrich requested copies, if possible, of the autopsy morgue photographs depicting the dead girls.

This Walter was able to provide him with. He heard nothing for several days after he had delivered them to the party headquarters for Heinrich’s private perusal.

Then another morning meeting in the usual morning location, if possible, was requested.

When he arrived, he witnessed Heinrich sitting alone and tempting a young sparrow with crumbs from his open hand. Sitting down and observing the now fluttering bird departing he enquired: “How were the morgue pictures? Was anything noticeable?”

Heinrich turned and informed Walter that after examining them in detail he had noticed that there was a slight jagged tear in each of the wounds, leaving him to speculate that this was possibly caused by a fisherman’s knife usually used for skinning fish.  Stavisky was known to always carry such a distinctive weapon, leaving Heinrich to speculate that the same tool of death had been used both in the Russian murders and the current Munich murders as he had suspected all along.  He was still waiting for the autopsy morgue photographs from Moscow to confirm the same weapon had been used there.

He had also drawn up a map of where the bodies had been located. All were discovered close to each other. This, speculated Heinrich, was that the man resided perhaps near the victims and maybe was employed in that suspected area.

It was suggested to Walter that he start searching the station incident paper card index system and if possible refer to other colleagues’ notebooks to satisfy if anything or anyone unusual had been reported in their local districts.

Then he paused and becoming sedate, saying with some conviction: “You know Walter one day in the future we will all have this valuable information at our fingertips and it will be condensed into to a small box with typewriter keys.  In America, I hear there is a company using successfully a ‘punch card system’ whatever that is.  This can store dates, names, figures and other analyses in its inner files.  I also suggest Walter that motorists one day will be able to speak into a small disc requesting their destination and the car somehow will take and deliver you there.”

Walter laughed at his friend’s preposterous proposal saying: “You will be claiming next that there will be driverless cars and trains”.

Heinrich laughed and slapped his thigh saying: “Even I’m not foolish enough to predict such an insane notion as that, however never say never, somebody once said”.

They eventually stood up, shook hands and discussed some late party business and future internal promotions before departing on their separate ways.

Karin had also managed to become aware of and fascinated by this serial killer’s reign of terror in her city. Always seeking the latest police information if any of the killer’s identity from Walter. But he was unable to further her with anything new that she had not already learnt about in the morning newspapers.

Some days later Walter was unable to attend Henrich’s request for the usual park rendezvous.

Police investigations now involved much of his time and energy, even more so as the frustrated and exhausted detectives toiled to discover that elusive key to reveal the killer’s true identity. However, he did arrange by telephone to be at the party headquarters that evening.

On arriving he was encouraged to observe two sentries placed on either side of the outer door.

He paused briefly to talk to each man, then noticed another seated inside at a small desk with an open diary listing the names of all visitors and the time of their arrival and departure.

The office now seemed fortified against any external attack. This new regime and its security of the office suited him.

Heinrich was studying a large detailed wall map of the city whilst nibbling a homemade nut granola bar at the same time. Walter noticed the other staff members and volunteers had departed for the day.

“We have made remarkable progress Walter I am proud to inform you.  Do sit down,” he said as Walter arrived.

Now eager to hear as to what he had discovered about the unfortunate young girls’ still unsolved murders. The two men made themselves comfortable.

“Walter, when those photos arrived yesterday from Russia with regard to similar murders, I was able to ascertain that the same method and knife incisions had been used both here and in Russia.  However what was of interest to me was that enclosed in that diplomatic envelope, whether by accident or not, were personal details of the prime suspects.  Our man Stavisky was one such serious suspect hauled in for serious questioning by the Moscow police just recently, but later released on orders from someone important in their central committee and I can only speculate to whom that person was.”

“On learning details of his background, I stumbled across the important information that as a young boy he had been apprenticed as a printer. With a trusted trade such as that, you’re always employable”. “However was he seeking new employment here in Munich I wondered?  And again, I asked myself why? Then I became aware that those killings were situated close to print shops and one in particular interested me”.

“So I decided to send in one of my men’s wives with a simple printing request.  I had thought of asking Miss Karin’s assistance for this purpose but I thought better of it you understand.”

Knowing Karin’s nature and agreeing to anything to assist in this matter, he was certain she would have unhesitatingly agreed. Yet he respected Heinrich’s decision to decline in asking her.

“So what happened?” he enquired finding himself more caught up with the excitement of the narrative now being related to him. As usual, Heinrich would and could not be hurried. Then slowly standing with his chest wound obviously causing discomfort he entered the compact kitchen diner and returning some minutes later with two glasses of apple juice.

He then continued: “Well this suspect printing shop had come to our notice some years ago with detailed information that they would and could print counterfeit money, this according to my usual reliable police informants.  So that was my first certainty”.

“So had Stavisky arrived here to offer his professional service in this illegal operation and why?  Then like that proverbial flash of lightning, it dawned on me.  He had arrived here on orders from Moscow to prepare plates for printing illegal currency.  I realized this man had brought his own bespoke prepared plates and tools direct from Moscow.”

“By completing his task here in Munich he could swamp this counterfeit money both here and elsewhere in the country if he so wished. Then the legal currency and value would not be worth the paper its printed on, or just toy town money as they say. Naturally then panic would ensue, aided by organised crime, with families fighting maybe killing each other to protect their money.  And who would be blamed in this orchestrated cash carnage?  We would Walter; we would be blamed … Then through further primed propaganda fuelled by the communist press.”

He paused and looked out of the window, his diatribe was now complete it seemed.  Walter suddenly recalled what Lavrenti Beria had famously uttered years ago to Himmler: “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

And Beria certainly knew about crimes he remembered and where the bodies were still being buried and being placed on top of each other.

“And of his wicked killing spree on these Munich young women,” enquired Walter?

“Oh just for his sadistic entertainment I suppose?  An evil man with evil intentions.”

Heinrich then added: “But that is human nature is it not? After you get what you want you to desire more.”

“Some say after you get what you want you don’t want it,” interrupted Walter.

“Well sometimes, but the criminal keeps reliving his crimes in his mind and later in different circumstances and with different victims, he re-enacts them physically”.

“And the young lady, or the decoy?”

Walter was still unsure where this was all leading and hoped to change the subject.

“Simple Walter, I asked a young lady to enter this particular place that interested me to act as a decoy you might say.  Once inside to flutter her eye lashes and enquire very sweetly if someone in the shop could produce some specially worded birthday cards in Russian for her indisposed invalid mother here, to post to her brother in Moscow”.

“I took a gamble of course that no German employed in the print shop would be able to fulfil this unusual request. However, if Stavisky was etching counterfeit money from the back of the shop and was required to so as a favour by the owner and that he would be paid handsomely for doing it, he would definitely agree.  After all, what was a simple birthday card to this man?”

“Well, I’m pleased to report that my scheme bore fruition with a fawning owner only too pleased to have this young ladies desired cards printed in Russian.  And Stavisky agreed and this ultimately led to his downfall, all for money, or filthy lucre. What do they say?  Money is the root of all evil…how true!”

“Amazing,” Walter replied laughing: “Then what?”

“Simple Walter. From then on I was convinced we finally had our man.  I then ordered four of Ernest’s finest men to wait for him to eventually leave the building and then to waylay him by force and remove him.  And that is exactly what we achieved”.

He didn’t know what hit him!  It was entertaining to observe I must say”.

Walter had the impression Heinrich somehow had been there directing and watching the snatching of Stavisky.

“And Stavisky?”

“Oh, we detained him immediately as he departed the building probably heading towards the nearest tavern for some refreshment.  He is now happily being secured in a dilapidated farmhouse in Landshut.  He has been questioned and still is and so far unfortunately has offered little of interest to us.”

He then paused selecting his words carefully: “Now Walter, I want you to listen to what I am going to request you to undertake for me and the party.  In fifteen minutes time, a fast car will take you directly to the farm where Stavisky is being secured.  Once there I want you to personally interrogate him.  Stavisky will be a difficult fellow to break but I am confident you will extract from him what our enemy is plotting and planning against our coming future. In other words, I must have results and I don’t care how you achieve them or what methods you use”.

He stood up and pulled a chair next to Walter then placing his hand on his shoulder he said quietly: “Walter, when you sense you can learn nothing more from him I want you to simply terminate his useless life … KILL HIM!  And in a way, you will doing the world a service.

I do however need for him to suffer before he slowly dies. Then I want you to carry him out into the fields and dispose of his body, hopefully still alive and dispatch him into one of the disused wells when you are finished.  Rather like what they subjected those helpless Russian princesses to whilst drunk and the many cruel indignities the Tsar’s family were subjected to before being murdered by villains like Stavisky and his ilk.”

“The party and myself look to you to avenge their deaths Walter … and I know you will never fail us … or me… or them, the Royal family of all Russia.”

Himmler of course had always been a respected Monarchist with personal family connections to the Royal family of Bavaria. His father had indeed tutored members of that illustrious Scion.

(Coincidently as I write this today on July 17th 2018 it is the 100th anniversary of the butchery by the Bolsheviks of the Tsar’s defenceless family in Ekaterinburg. I have before me on my desk a black and white picture of Princess Maria Romanov the third daughter of the Tsar. Her photograph always reminds me of the innocence of youth that is taken so quickly and the evil of unsaved men that is sadly never lost).

Heinrich finished and waited for a reply. It quickly arrived from Walter and he was not disappointed he had after all expected nothing less from his friend.

Walter nodded, said nothing, stood up and shook Heinrich’s hand.

He neither felt pain or pleasure of what he had been ordered to achieve, he was just simply obeying orders.

Walter later departed as ordered to the secluded farm.  Once there he interrogated and subjected controlled pain upon Stavisky, and in doing so later gained much needed information of the names of Moscow spies domiciled in Germany and others being dispatched to Germany from Moscow. Most of the named suspects were all quickly rounded up in the following weeks. All later disappeared without a trace. This was of course noticed in Moscow and reported directly to Stalin. And as usual, waited and planned his revenge on whoever the perpetrator had been in the disappearance of his favoured agent. In the mean time, he would wait and plan, after all, he had always enjoyed patience.

Walter’s techniques were self-taught but they succeeded to his satisfaction and to Heinrich’s. And this was all that mattered to him. He had been offered a task and of his own free will and he had performed his duty. He neither enjoyed it or revelled in its ‘bloody’ outcome. He would never in the future allow the party to be perverted or be derailed or attacked. He had now become a loyal servant and where the party was destined to go he would journey with them. This now was his vocation, his calling and he would support all future challenges placed in his hands carrying them out to the best of his abilities … whatever the cost!

Days later for his service beyond exemption to the party, Walter was initiated into the burgeoning selective S.S and awarded the party number 382.

At a selected ceremony hosted in the flag room of the party headquarters, Walter was presented with a Silver Totenkops ring, a ceremonial dagger with matching belt and dagger. He felt very humble and proud as he clutched these items during the presentation of the award.

In attendance was naturally Carin and Herman Goring, and Karin Auer of course accompanied her father. Heinrich later offered words of affection and proudly welcomed Walter to the brotherhood of the legion of the SS.  Later light refreshments were served. Both the ladies seemed emotional during the ceremony and tried to suppress their tears. Carin kindly presented him with an engraved pair of silver cufflinks with his initials and the swastika engraved on them. He was very touched by this gesture from her.

Later that evening after they had departed the presentation he and Karin walked to her waiting car. He then paused; turned to her saying the selected words he had been rehearsing all evening.

Now his moment had fortuitously presented itself to him. He took a deep breath and looked with some degree of confidence at this beautiful women now standing silently waiting before him: “Karin..I..I” He looked over her shoulder realizing that his courage was slowly deserting him rather like an ebb tide.

“Yes Walter,” she said smiling at him with that delightful look on her face that he had come to know oh so very well.

“I think I’m…in love with you.” His eyes held hers as he desperately waited in agony for her reply fearing it would be rejection.

“Oh, I know you are Walter … I’ve known that for some time!”

“You do,” he asked surprised at her response.

Now he really felt that the tide was turning and in his favour. He decided to proceed with his quest: “Women always know about these mysterious matters of the heart … is there anything else you want to ask me perhaps?,” she enquired edging closer to him.

He was so startled by her nearness that he stumbled over his words saying: “Darling Karin … will you give me the glory of being my wife … after our engagement of course.” He foolishly had meant to say ‘honour’ but that mistaken word had escaped his lips due to his nerves.

She paused relishing the moment and he then somehow mistook this as her refusal. This forced him to fall down to one bended knee saying nervously as he clutched her hand thinking he should be perhaps more formal in marriage proposal: “Miss Auer, I repeat from the bottom of my heart that …” She silenced him by lifting him to his feet saying quietly: “Yes Walter, you need not say any more, not unless you wish to of course, and yes I will be honoured to be your wife, however”…. she paused and selected her words carefully: “I would request only that I may retain my maiden name. I am and always have been very proud of it and the past achievements of our family. And also that you please seek my father’s consent, he is very old fashioned about these matters I’m afraid to say.”

No Karin, the honour must and will always be mine, and yes I concur to both of your requests”. He had done it. He had crossed that mountain of uncertainty and the journey had been exacting but he had succeeded.

Then he kissed her hand and walked with her to the waiting car feeling elated. Yet there was so much more he had wished to confide in her yet sadly somehow that appropriate moment never arrived. Yet she had accepted his proposal of marriage and much to his surprise.

For Karin however, this was not really a revelation for she had after all sensed somehow for weeks that Walter would eventually reveal his true love for her.  She just had not known when or how he would proceed. He had it seems overlooked an engagement ring and she wondered why?  She said nothing about this, thinking maybe he was going to surprise her.

She then thought wistfully of her mother and desired so much for her to hear about the family’s exciting news of her pending marriage.

But it was not to be. Her mother had departed and would not be returning. After the devastating news of the cancer that would eventually claim her life within a matter of weeks, domestic life in the house seemed to be performed in slow motion.  Her mother then just seemed to silently slip away when her time arrived, rather like a summer wind that heralded the coming autumn frost. When the expected news of her deteriorating condition from the hospital had first been confirmed, there had been a painful period of pain, then the demise of the ‘shadow’ of the woman that had once been her joyful loving mother who now sadly had departed without even a goodbye and far too soon thought Karin with a shiver.

Now quickly tapping a staccato with a lacquered fingernail on the window that separated her from her driver, she told him to drive faster.

She decided to phone Carin with her news. Of course, Carin would remark with a laugh, that she had witnessed it in her tealeaf consultations.  She was usually accurate as to what she claimed to be able to decipher remembered Carin but Karin herself still remained somehow suspicious of this primitive procedure.

More importantly, she thought, that she may have now agreed too quickly to Walter’s sudden proposal, but she felt so comfortable with him and she was certain that he would always cherish her as her father had done so lovingly with her own mother.

Removing her coat she walked towards her father’s study and was pleased to notice that the door was open, always a good sign she remembered from her childhood. Her father looked up smiled at her and gestured to her sit down saying with a smile: “Do you have some news for me my darling?” He then relit his already dying cigar being eager to learn about her expected reply.

She smiled and proceeded to inform him of the evening’s events as a dutiful daughter should and would be expected to do.

To be continued….

(C) Copyright G. Patrick Battell

July 2018