By John Meaney
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I got up and went into the kitchen. In the cupboards were two sets of crockery – red plates and blue in identical patterns – for separating chalavi from b'sari dishes, dairy from meat. There was instant coffee in the pantry, so I filled the kettle and put it on the stove. There were no matches in sight for lighting the gas. I fetched the box from the sitting-room, and Shana followed me back in. " I tugged open the fridge, took out a bottle of milk, and poured her a glass. " She took it in both hands and drank like a well-behaved child.
Remember the Swastika. And there was a second connection. Moshe had been working in Czechoslovakia – and was possibly still there, poor bastard, in a cold cell or beneath even colder soil. The Czechs are sitting on the largest uranium deposits in Europe, second only to Poland: all behind the Iron Curtain. Nazis and uranium. Nice combination. A. or New York. " Our plane banked to port and descended, accelerating as we entered the air corridor leading to Berlin. Farther and farther into the night and away from Fern, as if that made a difference.
Above all I learned the meaning of endurance. Expecting muscular heroes, what I found were small, lean, quiet men with watchful eyes and inhuman discipline. Men who never, ever gave up. " "He knew his stuff. " Dangling over a precipice by one hand with a devil-may-care grin on his face. Waterfall crashing below, fingers crimped around slick wet rock, nerves and muscles already at the limit from eight days trekking across fog-bound mountains with minimal rations. And his innocent laughter when I hauled him up.