Hi, all! Back with another installment of Echoes of Honor. If you missed the last installment, you can read it by going to the home page of this blog and locating Echoes of Honor Pt. 9!
~ SOPHIE ~
“You seriously want us to babysit kids!”
Sophie could have laughed at the look on David’s face if she hadn’t been too stunned herself.
So that was why Wilhelm was here? That’s what he had been up to when the soldiers had shot him?
“Calm down David.” Karl ran his fingers through his blond hair. He looked confused himself. Apparrently he was having a hard time figuring it out.
“Alright,” Philippe said. “Wilhelm, please explain again.”
Sophie breathed a sigh of relief. She was glad Philippe was running interference.
“I am serious, David.” Wilhelm sat straighter in his chair, wincing.
Sophie cringed at the way he had said David’s name. She knew Wilhelm was having a hard time trusting him.
“This resistance is all about helping people, right?”
“We tend to spend a lot of time discussing how to do that without taking any action.”
Karl opened his mouth to say something, but Sophie shook her head.
“There isn’t much we can do about the adults. They tend to be under more suspicion by the SS. Kids can usually walk about freely. The Germans think they aren’t likely to do anything that would hurt the government. That’s why they should be our prime target to help.”
“Really?” Sophie was interested. Helping kids sounded a lot safer than tangling with the German soldiers all the time.
Wilhelm gave her a somewhat thankful look. Sophie glanced away. He was never very kind to her, and she didn’t care for him smiling at her.
The moment she looked away, she caught David’s eyes. They smoldered. Now, what was his problem?
Wilhelm continued speaking. “Everyday, the German soldiers round up families. During the confusion on the streets as everyone waits to board the trucks, regular German citizens can walk right by without the soldiers glancing at them.”
“So what, we grab people and walk away?” David slumped in his chair.
“As quickly as we can, we walk past a family and whisper that we’re with the resistance. We take the hands of some of the children, the family usually realizes what we want to do, and they let us take their children. It’s risky, but no one has gotten caught yet.”
“How sad,” Sophie said.
“The parents realize that their children will most likely survive if we take them. It’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make.”
“Was that what you were doing when the soldiers shot you?”
Wilhelm shook his head. “We had a couple staying with us our family. When the soldiers broke in, I escaped with their baby. The soldiers took everyone.”
“I’m sorry.” Sophie’s voice was soft. Every one of them seemed to have lost someone dear to them.
“Is this why you contacted our resistance group?” Karl spoke up. “To help with the underground of saving children?”
“Yes. Children are the life-blood of this nation. If they are wiped out or indoctrinated, this country has no hope.” Wilhelm subconsciously rubbed his sore shoulder.
“And you think because we save one or two kids we’ll save Germany single-handedly?” David’s voice was laced with bitterness.
Wilhelm looked like he wanted to hit David. Sophie wanted to be next. David might mistrust Wilhelm because of his German background, but he had no right to keep being rude.
“We’ve been able to save hundreds of kids this way. There are underground groups everywhere called Echoes of Honor. The code word used when referring to individual children is Echo of Honor.”
“What does that mean, ‘Echoes of Honor?'” Sophie liked the name but what did it have to do with kids?
“The Echoes are the children. When they’re older, they can tell the story of how brave, honorable people like us saved them from certain death. Hopefully, the resistance’s sacrifices will be remembered, and these children will continue to help others and keep our country from falling into the hands of men like Hitler.”
“And, Petr is our first Echo of Honor.” Sophie glanced towards the little room where Petr was sleeping.
“This is ridiculous. We need to focus on bringing down the Hilter and his cronies!” David stood up, slamming the back of his chair against the wall. “Kids will get in the way.”
Ignoring David, Wilhelm turned to Philippe and Karl. “I already know what your sister thinks, but what about you? We have the chance to save the children of this country.”
“I’m in. I like kids.” Philippe’s dark eyes sparkled. “It’ll be like having one big family! Do I get to be a big brother though?”
Sophie couldn’t help the giggle that came out. All the boys looked at her, and she blushed. Maybe one of the kids they would save would be a girl near her age. Then they could be sister’s in arms against these boys. She wished Philippe’s sister Marie was here. Knowing Philippe, Sophie knew she’d get along with his sister.
“What about you, Karl?” Wilhelm’s face was starting to show the discomfort he was in. He shouldn’t be out of bed. She hoped Karl would make him rest after this.
“Considering what has happened in the last few weeks, I think this would help us stay under the radar.”
“Karl, come on! What happened to your fighting spirit?” David’s scowl deepened.
“I still have it, David, but right now we need to think about every part of this resistance group.” Karl’s eyes moved towards his sister. “Sophie needs something safe and productive to do. She’s great with kids. Have you seen her with Petr?”
“Oh—so she’s going to be in on this too?” David smacked his forehead. “Karl be smart. This is too dangerous for a girl!”
“Excuse me,” Sophie said. “I’m not afraid.”
All the boys looked at her again as if unable to believe it. She knew she hadn’t given them much evidence to prove it.
“I know that I’m not the best at being brave like all of you but Philippe and I have been reading that Bible.” Sophie looked at her hands folded tightly in her lap. “I learned that being brave isn’t about feeling brave. Sometimes we’re all down-right scared, but we still forge on ahead. I haven’t done much to help with the resistance, but I want to now.”
“So it’s settled? We’re going to babysit kids?”
Sophie glanced at David as he spoke. She was startled at the look in his eyes. Instead of a smoldering fire, there was a hatred burning there.
“Yes,” Karl said. “We’re going to, I can’t believe I’m saying this—babysit kids.”
Philippe laughed. “And I get to be a big brother!”
Sophie’s gaze didn’t shift away from David. Something was very wrong. Something that was going to lead to trouble.
Happy Friday—I decided to post today because tomorrow is going to be busy!