V • For The Sake Of English Honor

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She had never stolen from anyone before, and would have never dreamed of stealing from her own dear father.

It's just borrowing, she told herself, I'm going to bring it back. Well, most of it.

That still did not make it feel right.

As she had done the night before, Cecilia slipped her work boots on over her bare feet and tied her robe close. From the backdoor in the kitchen, she stepped into the veggie garden and into the cool August night. A gentle breeze shook the treetops. An owl hooted in the distance of Chaney's Field.

Chaney's Field.

Cecilia bit her lip. She looked back at her house. She looked down at the goods she was holding tight to her chest. She shut her eyes. In heaven's name, what am I doing?

But it was too late to turn back now. Her choice had been made. And once Cecilia Oliver set her mind to something, she hardly ever changed it. Pushing all doubts aside, Cecilia gripped her bundle tighter, pushed open the garden gate, and bolted towards Chaney's Field, towards the Barn, towards the enemy.

Never had her heart beat so rapidly and never had she been more afraid. What would she find? What was in that stall? As she climbed over Chaney's fence, she began to reconsider.

Why am I doing this incredibly stupid thing? Didn't I hate this man an hour ago?

You still do, you ninny. The night winds whistled. It's for the sake of English honor that you must do this.

Right. Got it. English honor. Cecilia thanked the wind, and continued walking until the roof of the Barn came into view. She gulped.

I still have time to turn back.

"But I won't." She promised herself, "I won't."

Go, girl. Go to the barn. The winds sighed. Be brave.

"I'm losing my mind." Cecilia march onward. She laughed timidly, "Figures."

Soon she was directly in front of the Barn's crumbling stone walls and its faded wooden door it was still unlocked. Somehow a familiar sight, yet somehow unknown. Electric torch in one hand and bundle tucked under her arm, Cecilia took a deep breath and hesitantly pulled wide the door. Moonlight and torchlight again filled the old building, sending a shiver down Cecilia's spine. Goosebumps sailed down her arms as she took a step forward. The Barn appeared just as it had the previous night. No mice, no Harry. Nothing but silence and shadows. But where was that man?

Perhaps fate has smiled on me tonight! Cecilia thought, peeking into the stalls ever so slightly. Perhaps Fritz has taken the high road!

Cecilia's dreams were soon crushed as she neared middle of the Barn. Breathing. Low breathing. Just like before. Except it wasn't coming from any of the stalls. It was coming from above.

The loft. Cecilia warily looked upward. He's in the loft.

She trembled at the thought. Taking a deep breath, she flashed her light up into the loft.

"I know you're up there!" She called, trying to make her voice as loud and clear as possible. "Show yourself!"

The silence seemed to suffocate her.

"I said, show yourself!" She demanded. Time seemed to freeze as she awaited an answer. And then--

"I can't."

Cecilia jumped at the sound of the German accent. His voice sounded weak and dry.

Steadying herself and taking a breath, she asked, "What do you mean? Explain!"

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