Excerpt from Balls of Leather and Steel
1943 – Revenge is Sweet
Left alone with Malcolm in the Brodnik living room, Chez calmly summarized their predicament.
“The Germans will be here shortly, my friend. You must hide in the passage and wait for Savo and his men. They’ll get you into Semic and freedom by tomorrow.”
“Sounds like you’re not coming with me,” Malcolm said, frowning.
“If we both leave now, the Nazis will be suspicious of an empty house and might search and find the passage. There might not be enough time for Savo to get back here and rescue us. I’ll keep them occupied here for a while before I...”
He broke off abruptly, swinging to squint into the blaze of headlights that suddenly flooded the interior of the house.
“... join you in the tunnel,” Chez finished calmly.
“Shit! Time to scramble!” Malcolm said.
They both headed upstairs to get a better view from the front bedroom.
“You sure you want to play the hero?” McClain said uneasily. But then, he’d never look into the eyes of a close combat adversary. Flying Officer McClain had been used to killing his enemy from 20,000 feet.
The odds were not insurmountable as far as Chez was concerned. Outside, on the flat forecourt, only two Krupp troop transporters had drawn up, joined by the two motorcyclists; a patrol of fourteen soldiers in all.
“Hardly a full magazine load,” Chez judged coldly. He’d been up against worse odds, and the Spider had always managed to survive.
Then suddenly, the odds against them lengthened as another pair of headlights materialized behind the Krupps. One of the bikes revved up and turned back towards the new arrival, its headlight clearly illuminating a staff car with an SS major in the front passenger seat.
“Well, well, well,” Chez mused softly. “It looks like our favorite Sturmbahnfuhrer has decided to follow this lead himself. That makes it personal for all of us... and in turn, leaves me rather looking forward to the next few minutes.”
The soldier who had remained to observe the house was reporting to SS Major von Keller who remained seated, ramrod straight, in his Mercedes.
“Herr Major, two elderly people and two younger men headed up the valley in a small bread truck about twenty minutes ago. I judge that at least two other men remain inside the house.”