Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
From Bad to Worse ...
There is an uneasiness in the VLRA 2 Military Truck as the men race toward Krüger. Each is isolated in his own little world of the imagination. No one says a word—no one indeed—no one needs to say anything. The fact that they have injured the remaining cub speaks volumes! There is no doubt about it ... the townsfolk of Krüger is in for a night of terror.
Alberich breaks the silence by giving a call to Gerhardt on his cellphone. He decides to put the entire dialogue on speaker—that way everyone knows what is being said on both ends of the conversation.
“Hello mein Freund, you are almost here?” An eager Gerhardt answers.
“Ja, and the news I have is not good.” Alberich admits.
“What is it?” Gerhardt steadies himself for the worse.
“We have accidentally hit the cub.” Alberich alerts him.
“Großer Schotte, are you serious?” Gerhardt almost drops the receiver.
“Ja, we were traveling down the road and the beast just ran in front of the vehicle.” Alberich replies.
“Maybe you missed it.” Gerhardt offers optimistically.
“Nein, we stopped and there was blood.” Alberich retorts.
“Hmm, perhaps it is only a flesh wound.” Gerhardt is encouraging. At this point, it is Hunter who voices his opinion.
“Hi, I’m Hunter McDonald and I don’t think so. There was a pretty loud thud before we stopped to investigate. I believe he’s hurt badly.” Hunter presumes. “Oh, and by the way, call me Mac.”
“Ok Mac, now what do we do?” Gerhardt is literally afraid to hear the answer.
“We prepare for Rache—Revenge!” Hunter proclaims. “No one, I repeat, No one is to be out after dark. That includes us, townsfolk, and your local drunks. Even though this tiger is huge, she is swift and extremely deadly. She will see us long before we see her.”
“For the present, it seems she only strikes under the cover of darkness.” Alberich adds.
“Let us hope this remains her modus operandi!” Matt rejoinders. However, if that cub dies—” His voice trails off and there is apparently an involuntary shiver that spreads throughout the VLRA 2 Military Truck.
“Verdammt!” Gerhardt roars, “How could you people be so careless?”
“Now wait a minute—” Alberich defends, almost swiveling when he hits an icy patch. Matthew puts his arm on the man’s shoulder and takes the phone away.
“This is no time to play the Shame and Blame Game, Gerhardt. We are all here to help your village. It’s obvious that the incident was unintentional so calm down. We are ALL risking our lives here.” Matt retorts with a calmness he really doesn’t feel.
“Es tut mir leid—I am sorry. You are right. It is just that I am having a hard enough time keeping things together here in Krüger. The people are becoming restless and since there have been no recent attacks—” Gerhardt is interrupted by Alberich.
“All the more to be on guard. We are pulling up near Hoffman Tavern. Meet us there and we can continue this conversation.”
“You are right, mein Freund! Again, Vielen Dank for all you and your men are doing for us here. We owe you much.” A copiously humbled Gerhardt acknowledges and the call is ended.
“I can understand his frustration.” Ben observes sympathetically. “Things just got a wee bit more deadly.”
“You think so?” Hunter remarks disdainfully and the men return to silence as the vehicle approaches Hoffman Tavern.
It is not long afterwards that Gerhardt and Emerson arrive at the tavern. All men exit their automobiles and enter the tavern. Before Hunter—who is the last one closes the door, he notices something that looks like an extremely large animal looking in his direction.
“der weiße Dämon!” He exclaims and then joins the others without making them aware of what he has just witnessed.
This Means War ...
A special meeting of the townsfolk of Krüger has just been called. The Krüger Community Center is almost packed to capacity as each individual listens nervously to the anecdotes that the men from Stäfa are relaying to them. Each man meticulously gives his interpretation of what has happened—emphasizing the need for the town to go from Code 4 to Code 6: Red Alert!
“I am officially announcing to you that I am putting our village on Code 6,” Gerhardt proclaims urgently. “No one is to leave their homes after dark for any reason. Make sure your pets relieve themselves sooner but if it is necessary to get out, do not venture any further than a few feet from your houses. And please, do it in pairs for your own safety. At no time should you exposed yourself to a surprise attack! This beast is cunning and will be looking for vulnerable behavior. Be Alert!”
Although the majority of the audience is in complete agreement and is willing to cooperate with Gerhardt, nevertheless, there are those who think that the Polizei are making too big a deal out of the entire thing.
“I do not think that it is as bad as you people say it is.” Hugo Erikson chimes out and his brother Adolphus agrees with him.
“Ja, I think this whole thing will blow over in a few days. The momma tiger will mourn the loss of her cub and then quietly move on. If not—we will capture her in the many snares we have in der weiße Wald.” Adolphus asserts and a couple of other Swedish huntsmen agree. Gerhardt shakes his head in utter disbelief.
“Verdammt!” Gerhardt explodes, “Are you people mad! Do you have a death wish?”
“Calm down, Officer Bernstein.” Lucas Olsson, another Swedish hunter interjects. “We appreciate your warnings but we are experienced Jäger—to use your terminology. We are willing to take the risk!”
“Ja, to have the head of der weiße Dämon mounted on our wall would be quite a trophy. You people are viel zu weich.” Axel Nilsson scoffs sardonically much to the chagrin of Gerhardt.
“Ich gebe auf! I give up—have it your way.” Gerhardt throws his arms into the air. “But understand this: if any of you venture out after dark and get into any kind of trouble—don’t expect either my men or Constable Babler’s to come to your rescue. You are on your own!”
After those comments are released from the lips of Gerhardt Bernstein, the meeting is adjourned.
The villagers of Krüger scamper around like frighten children looking for what they need in order to hunker down for the night. No one contradicts the orders of Gerhardt, no one except the men from Marstrand. They refuse to be dissuaded by the warnings of either Gerhardt or Alberich.
The lone female tiger has long since abandoned her surveillance of the townsfolk of Krüger and returned to her severely injured cub. She had been silently watching the men until they entered the Krüger Community Center. Now, she only leaves her cub briefly to hunt for food. On one such expedition she returns with a large animal. She has retrieved it from a snare left previously by one of the Swedish hunters—a snare that had been meant for her!
The cub refuses to eat the meal that has been presented to him. The mother tiger continues to furiously lick the cub’s damaged leg and hip, then helplessly observed as the creature seemingly struggles to breath. It is around midnight when he looks at his mother for the last time and then closes his eyes. His struggle seems to be over! Not willing to believe that it is the end—she returns to her cub over and over in a futile attempt to awaken him but is unable. It is then that der weiße Dämon lets out a roar that literally shakes the surrounding trees.
With the final resolve of a disconsolate mother, der weiße Dämon walks away from her fallen cub in the direction of the Village of Krüger. Her mind set on only one thing—Revenge!
To Be Continued ...
The Legend of White Forest 13
- The Legend of White Forest 13
When men ignore sage advice—someone is bound to get hurt. Hugo Erikson and his troupe decide to ignore the warnings of Gerhardt Bernstein and venture out in the wee morning hours. To late they discover that they are not alone!
© 2021 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 27, 2021:
Death stalks the village!