Chapter 51 continues
The story so far: Deal for prisoners is a “leap of faith.”
As the men in suits wrote in their notebooks, Lily said goodbye to Anton. He held the wriggling Gregor close.
Katka and Paul made their way toward the corner of the room, furthest from the guards. They sat on two chairs, their knees touching.
“On Monday, in just two days, when court resumes, they are to set you free. We will be together.”
Paul nodded. “I don’t know what the judge will do, Katka. I’ve been to these hearings before. When you’re a Wobbly, they make some funny stipulations. I’m not saying it will happen, but it might.”
“What do you mean?”
“Listen. I don’t know how much time we have. It’s important that you do something for me. Don’t tell a soul. Do you remember the proverb I asked you to deliver to Anton when we were at Ellis Island? What do you do after you tell the truth?”
“Run. To the fields.”
“And do you remember the message?”
“About the broken lock on my trunk?”
Paul nodded. Then he gave her some specific instructions. The extra guards came in to haul the prisoners away. Before they manacled Paul, he thrust a tiny slip of paper in her hand. “See you, Monday, my little tiger,” he whispered.
The trip back in Elizabeth Gurley Flynn’s motorcar was a quiet one. Lily and the baby sat in front. At first, Gregor laughed at the feel of the air blowing in his face as the motorcar sped by. When they approached Island Lake, three eagles flew overhead. “Should we stop so the baby can see them?” Elizabeth asked. “Eagles are good luck.” Lily shrugged, so Elizabeth kept driving, humming a familiar Wobbly tune. Katka unfolded the paper Paul had given to her. The script was messy, written quickly. “Come with me,” it read.
When they arrived home it was dark and most of the boarders were asleep. Katka hauled the water and heated it for Lily’s bath. While Lily and the baby soaked, Katka cooked a pot of rice and added chopped tomatoes. She and Lily sat in the kitchen eating. “Needs paprika,” Lily said, smiling slightly. “You’d think you’d be a better cook by now.”
“My teacher has been away.”
Lily looked like a new person. Her hair was neatly braided, her face was clean and she moved with ease in her dressing gown. Gregor was asleep in her bedroom, nestled between two pillows. “Do you want to talk?” Katka asked.
“My heart is too full.”
Tomorrow: Chapter 52 continues.