Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
An Unexpected Turn of Events ...
It has been relatively quiet in the Village of Krüger and the townsfolk are beginning to lax their guards. Since the curfew has been instigated, there has been no further deaths. However, Gerhardt continues to urge the inhabitants to remain on high alert. He has a conversation with Everett Müller at Hoffman’s Tavern.
“Gerhardt, how long are we going to be subjected to this curfew.” Müller complains.
“Until the beast is either captured or killed.” Gerhardt throws back at him.
“Meine Güte! It has almost been a week since there was a sighting of der weiße Dämon. Maybe he has moved on to greener pastures.” Müller chuckles.
“Or maybe he’s waiting for a plump fool like you to venture out. You’d make a mighty tempting feast.” Gerhardt rejoinders, referring to Müller’s hefty frame.
“Now that was uncalled for, Gerhardt.” Müller acknowledges slightly hurt.
“I’m sorry Everett but better hurt feelings than being a corpse. At least you can do something about the former. However, there is nothing you can do about the latter.” Gerhardt affirms.
“You’re right.” Müller proclaims grudgingly. Then he finishes his Apfelsaft, nods politely, and heads back to Müller and Schmidt Ltd. Millie, having observed the entire interaction, slides over to the far end of the bar to speak with Gerhardt.
“You don’t think Everett might do something foolhardy, do you?” Millie quizzes.
“I don’t know. Ever since Eric Singleton transferred the production of Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost to his facility, Everett hasn’t been the same.” Gerhardt shakes his head in wonderment.
“The word is that Eric Singleton is Baron Schröder’s minnow.” Millie whispers.
“Really? Imagine that.” Gerhardt tilts his head toward Millie in interest.
“Ja. Ryker tells me Everett pushes the men mercilessly. And with the strict curfew—several men have had to be laid off.” Millie states as he eyes several gentlemen who have just entered his establishment. “Excuse me a moment.”
After seeing to the needs of the men, Millie returns to his conversation with Gerhardt. Of course the Constable is curious.
“What’s that about?” Gerhardt inquires.
“They are from Stäfa. Said they’d heard about the incidents here.” Millie informs him.
“I think I’d better have a talk with them. Alberich Babler and his American Associates aren’t due here for another day or two. What we don’t need is a reoccurrence of what happened to Richter Fischer.” Gerhardt rises from his seat and moves in the direction of the men. He extends his right hand.
“Guten Morgen, I am Constable Gerhardt Bernstein. Welcome to the village of Krüger.”
“Guten Morgen, Officer Bernstein. I am Oliver Schneider—no relations to the late Colonel.” Oliver retorts and everyone laughs.
“And what can we do for you and your colleagues, Mr. Schneider?” Gerhardt asks.
“It is what I can do for you.” Oliver states smiling. “No, I am definitely not offering my services as a hunter.”
“Then—what?” Gerhardt is confused.
“Information. I have it on good report that there may be more than one white tiger.” Oliver relays to a stunned Gerhardt.
“Are you sure?” Gerhardt tries not to let the panic become evident in his voice but Oliver recognizes it instantly.
“Positive. My friend Justus can tell you what he knows.” Oliver responds then the tavern becomes deathly quiet as everyone wants to hear what this man Justus has to say.
“Ja, I think it was a few days after your Krüger lockdown— I had myself an encounter with der weiße Dämon.” Justus begins his story.
“Sie scherzen! How’d it happen?” Gerhardt is intrigued.
“Für den Anfang, I own a nice herd of sheep. Sometimes, I allow them to venture beyond my farm to refresh themselves at the spring. Well one day, I noticed my flock acting really strange. Then I saw what all the commotion was about.” Justus pauses to take a sip of his mixed beer. Wiping the foam from his lips, he continues.
“One-half mile away was the biggest tiger I’d ever seen, but she wasn’t alone.”
“She?” Gerhardt eyes widen considerably larger—his pupils dilated as if struck by a great light.
“Ja! There were a couple of cubs with her.” Justus retorts.
“What did you do?” Someone in the tavern bellows. No one turns to see who the questioner is. Everyone is waiting for his response.
“I tried not to get trampled to death by my sheep—that’s what. I’ve never, ever seen a bunch of docile critters move so fast. Of course, I was moving pretty fast myself.” The laughter that follows is almost deafening.
“How many sheep did you lose?” Is Gerhardt’s response.
“About three. We weren’t too far from the farm so the rest managed to get in through the gate. I yelled for my two sons—this is them here—and they came out with our best rifles.” Justus confirms this time he takes a longer gulp of the smooth concoction.
“Did you shoot any of them?” Gerhardt inquires.
“I killed a really healthy male. Must have been leaving der weiße Wald to periodically feast on the local’s herd. Now, momma’s got a taste for revenge!” Justus’ son Richard answers.
“Ja, you killed her cub.” Gerhardt asserts flatly.
“I felt you people needed to know what you are up against. A mad momma and her remaining cub.” Oliver adds.
“We’ve not seen a cub— how big would you say that it is?” Gerhardt questions.
“From what I can remember—just a little smaller than his mom. However, when he’s fully mature, he’ll be a monster! His features seemed younger—that’s how we came to the conclusion that he was a cub. Plus the fact that males usually don’t travel in a pack.” Justus enlightens Gerhardt.
“Thank you men for coming out. This information is invaluable. Hopefully, the father, whoever he is, has moved on. At any rate, we have two extremely dangerous predators to deal with. “ Gerhardt concludes as all men arise and shake hands.
“Then we will be heading back toward Stäfa. Justus has his farm to attend to and I have my duties as Mayor.” Oliver replies, surprising all the spectators.
When the men have gotten into their vehicles and are well on their way, Gerhardt rushes back to his office. As soon as he is situated, he makes an urgent telephone call to Alberich Babler.
“Hallo?” Alberich responds.
“Hallo mein Freund. It would seem that our problems have just intensified.” Gerhardt asserts.
“Gerhardt? How so?” Alberich moves forward in his chair.
“It appears that der weiße Dämon is female and one of your local farmers killed one of her two cubs. She’s out for blood!” Gerhardt acknowledges chillingly.
“Verdammt!” Alberich exclaims and drops the receiver.
To Be Continued ...
The Legend of White Forest 10
- The Legend of White Forest 10
Alberich and his comrades find themselves facing a dilemma of dire consequences. Not only are they up against one of the most dangerous beast on earth, but to learn that she is not alone—she has a cub!
© 2021 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS