Castle 4

`Why ain't he back`, yelled Leon as he looked at the closed door.

Henri looked at Craig.

`Where are the rest of your men? He asked

Craig walked towards him.

`I really don't have any idea `, he said truthfully. `Probably out there somewhere`, he gestured towards the courtyard.

Henri stood over Phillippe.

`Tell me the truth or I will shoot him again`, he said menacingly.

`I don't know ` said Craig. `They disappeared just like your man, for all I know the same thing's happened to all three of them and I have no idea what that could be ,

and shooting Phillippe won't change my answer`,

They both turned slowly as the door behind them slowly creaked open.

Henri moved slowly towards the door and Leon followed.

Craig turned to Actor and Casino and they both nodded , reassuring him that they were ready for whatever was about to happen.

….

Moonlight flooded the room.

Both men stood and watched fascinated as the figure in front of them raised his arm and pointed his finger at them.

`You are next`.it said spookily

Leon opened fire through the doorway and they heard glass shatter as he sprayed the room with bullets.

`Go take a look`, said Henri nervously.

Leon moved forward slowly to the doorway , not actually entering the room.

`Room's empty`, he yelled in a panic. `You saw him didn't you? He said I'm next, he's gonna kill me just like he did the others`.

Leon backed away from the room visibly shaking with fear.

`I'm getting out of here, and don't you try to stop me`, he screamed as he turned the gun on Henri

`Don't be stupid, there was nothing there, just saw your reflection and it freaked you. The Krauts will be here in a few minutes and then this will all be over and

we'll be rich, just stay calm`. Said Henri.

`You stay if you want to, and you can keep the money, but I know what I saw and I'm getting out of here before that thing comes after me`, said Leon running for the door.

He took only a few steps outside before he stopped and screamed as he saw Chief standing in front of him.

He fumbled with his gun , and then the scream stopped as he fell dead.

Henri looked towards the door , forgetting for only a second that his prisoners were behind him.

It was the only second Craig needed.

He dropped him with one blow while Casino raced passed him and picked up the gun he had dropped.

Chief slowly entered the room, not wanting to spook any one enough to shoot him.

`He dead? He asked quietly.

Craig just turned and looked at him.

`Well you sure took your own sweet time Injun`, grumbled Casino.

Chief looked at him and saw the grin .

`Well you're so welcome pappy`, he said grinning back.

`You seen Goniff? Asked Craig

Chief just kept grinning

`Yeah I found him and he found the secret passage`, he said.

`I did wonder about that`, said Actor `After all the mansion is full of them`.

`Where is he? Asked Craig.

The answer he wanted never came as Chief slammed the door shut and locked it.

`We got company and a lot of it`, he said.

Craig ran to the window , looked out and swore.

`They'll have the place surrounded before we can get out the back`. He said looking at Chief. `What about the passages, they lead anywhere ?

`Only been from the kitchen to here but they snake all round the house, it may not be a way out but it'd definitely a place to hide 'till they're gone`, he said.

Chief led them through to the next room just as Goniff was emerging from the doorway to the passage.

`Hey Warden , you'll never guess what 'appened . Said Goniff cheerfully.

`Goniff , don't let the door clo…..

Chief never finished his warning in time and they stood and watched as the door slammed shut.

`Ooops, sorry mate`, said Goniff sheepishly, `Never mind eh`.

`Naw , never mind, we only have half the German army out there but never mind`, groused Casino

`Well nobody told me that, now did they? Asked Goniff

Craig ignored him

`Let's try and get it open again, and fast`, he said.

Chief walked forwards and pressed the button that should have released the door.

Nothing happened.

`Anytime soon would be good Injun`, yelled Casino.

`Gee Warden I'd 'ave kept it open if I'd known,` said Goniff. Apologetically.

`Let's get these shutters closed at least that will keep them out for a few more minutes`, said Actor. As he pushed the heavy wooden panels across the windows.

Chief sighed and walked to the only other door in the room.

`It led to a small study with only one window, so Chief closed the shutters and then making sure he was alone whispered

`Cassandra`.

`He knew she was there before he turned.

`Come`, she said softly.

`She pointed to a picture on the wall that seemed to small to be of any use to him.

`Where? he asked

`Back to the tunnels`, she said

`How? He asked her.

`How what? Asked Craig from behind him.

`Can't explain now Warden, but just trust me will ya? He asked

`Always Chief`, he said simply.

Chief walked to the picture and watched as Cassandra pointed to the centre of one of the ornate roses that decorated the frame. Chief pushed it and the door opened.

It was smaller than the others but big enough that they could crawl through.`

Hey Chiefy, you did it`, yelled Goniff.

Get in here now and make it fast`, ordered Craig.

The picture closed as the front door exploded.

….

`What the hell do we do know? Asked Casino irritably.

`We keep quiet`, said Craig unless you want the Krauts to find us`.

Casino shut up, kicking himself for not thinking that one out himself.

Chief ignored them.

`This way`, he said softly.

`Who's he talking too? Asked Goniff.

Actor and Casino looked at Chief who really did look as if he was talking to someone.

`You two okay with Phillippe? Asked Craig.

Actor nodded.

`Then let's go`. Said Craig.

`You just gonna follow him? Asked Casino.

`Unless you have a better idea? Asked Craig.

Casino shook his head and grinned

`Guess I don't`, he said.

They followed Chief through the maze of passageways for over an hour until he suddenly stopped.

`Wait here`, he said.

`Bout bloody time, me feet are killing me`, said Goniff.

`Better your feet than the Krauts`, grinned Casino. `And at least you don't have to carry him`,

`I'm sorry to be such a burden`, said Phillippe.

Casino grinned broadly.

`What my friend means is that is our pleasure to be of help`, said Actor.

`Yeah, what he said`, said Casino.

Craig left them and followed Chief.

`Any idea where we are? He asked.

Chief nodded.

`Almost out of here`, he said .`Look`.

Craig followed his gaze and took a few steps forward.

`Seems to be getting lighter`, he said.

`Yeah , gonna check it out`, said Chief.

Craig followed him once more.

They arrived at a closed door and Chief carefully turned the handle and pushed. The door slowly opened and he let in a little light , letting his eyes become

accustomed to the brightness.

Chief opened the door little by little and then crawled through when the space was big enough.

Craig waited impatiently until a few moments later Chief reappeared.

`Goniff's gonna freak`. He said laughing.

They opened the door fully and Craig stepped outside and immediately joined in with Chief's laughter.

They were standing in the middle of a graveyard.

….

It was early morning and the sun was beginning to rise

`Didn't think I'd see that again`, said Goniff, looking at the red sky.

`See what? Asked Casino.

`Sunrise stupid`, said Goniff

`That ain't the sun, sun's coming up behind you,` said Chief.` Reckon that's the Krauts burning the castle`.

`Sure glad we ain't stilll in there then`, muttered Goniff.

Phillippe staggered through the door with Actor at his side.

`I know where we are`, he said smiling.` I can get you to a safe house in a few hours and with any luck arrange for your transport home tomorrow`.

Craig nodded thankfully

`Just tell us which way to go Phillippe`, he said.

The last owl of the night hooted and Goniff jumped, causing them all to smile.

`Yeah, home would be good mate`, he said grinning back at them.

….

They arrived at the mansion two days later in the early morning, and Angel had breakfast ready for them and watched as they ate and then all piled into their

beds exhausted.

She didn't expect to see any of them for the rest of the day so she left them supper and headed back to the cottage content in the knowledge that they were all okay.

It wasn't until after supper when Actor had retreated to his room to listen to his music, and Goniff and Casino had escaped to the Doves that Chief was able to

talk to Chief alone.

`You want to tell me what really happened? He asked as they sat in the kitchen drinking coffee.

Chief shrugged.

`You wouldn't believe me if I did, you'd think I was crazy`, he said.

`What did you see? Asked Craig.

Chief looked at him.

`Why would you believe I saw anything?

`Well for one thing I've never known you go around talking to yourself before`, he said grinning.

`But it's okay for you to believe I can talk to spirits? Chief asked.

`I believe that there are a lot of things that I don't know about you yet, things that you think I will not believe or try to understand`. said Craig seriously.

`Never trusted anyone enough to talk about things, last thing I need is people thinking I'm a crazy Injun`,

Craig nodded

`I can understand that, and I don't think you're crazy, and I really hope one day that you will decide you can trust me as much as I have come to trust you`, said Craig.

`You're one of the very few people that I do trust`, said Chief quietly.

Craig refilled the coffee cups and sat down again

`What did you see? He asked softly.

Chief sighed and looked at him.

`Saw a woman, said her name was Cassandra and that she was there to help me cos I was the one that took care of you`.

`So she was the one who told you how to open the panels? Asked Craig.

Chief nodded.`

I was as lost as the rest of you, she showed me the way through the tunnels`,

`Did she say why she picked you?

`No, just said she had to keep me safe so I could help you, said she owed a friend`.

`Nothing else? Asked Craig.

`Nope, now you know as much as I do`, said Chief, `I'm just grateful she was on our side, whoever she was`.

`You are okay with this, aren't you? Asked Craig with concern.

`Yeah Warden,` said Chief smiling. `Been seeing spirits all my life, used to scare me, but not now`.

Craig took his cup over to the sink and washed it and then turned back to Chief.

`If you need to talk anytime I'm always available, you know that, don't you? He asked

`Thanks Warden, appreciate that`. Said Chief.

Craig nodded.

`Night Chief`,

`Night Warden , and thanks`, said Chief

He watched as Craig walked out of the kitchen and suddenly felt relief that he had shared his secret with a friend.

Chief stopped the car and walked to the cottage door and knocked before he walked inside, calling Angel's name.

`Won't be a minute,` came the reply.

Chief sat down and waited.

Angel walked into the room putting on her coat .

`Thanks for this Chief`, she said.

`S'okay`, said Chief.

`Don't like funerals much but I have to go to this one ,and it's easier to go with a friend`, she said.

`Was she a good friend? He asked.

Angel smiled

`Strange, but yes she was, and I only knew her for a few days. She got caught in a raid and was hurt real bad, the doctors did all they could for her and she wasn't in any

pain, but there wasn't ever any real hope. She had no family that could get to her so I stayed with her, just talked, just so she wouldn't have to be alone`, said Angel.

`Sounds like you really liked her`, said Chief.

`I did, I think we could have been great friends`, she said. `We just sat and talked for hours like we'd known each other for years`.

Angel looked at him and smiled,

`Only felt that kind of friendship once before`,

Chief smiled at her.

`Broke the rules too`, she said.

Chief looked puzzled.

`What rules? He asked.

`Started to talk about our families, Told her about David and Sarah and how bad things were with Craig afterwards. Then I told her about you and the guys and

what you all did, and what you were doing now. Like I said , broke the rules`,

`Well I won't tell if you don't`, he said `But that's not what's botherin' you is it?

`You'll think I'm crazy if I tell you`. She said

Chief laughed.

`Lady I've thought you were crazy for a long time, so tell me anyway`,

Angel took a deep breath.

`I told her how much I trusted you, How glad I was that you were always there to watch his back, keep him safe. I told her that this time I had the feeling that something

wasn't right. She looked at me, held my hand and said don't worry, I'll keep them safe, I'll get them home to you. Then she closed her eyes and slipped away. So calm,

so peaceful. `She said sadly.

Chief looked at her in amazement.

`Told you , crazy aren't I?

`Lady that could very well make two of us then`, he said softly.` What she look like,?

Angel rummaged through her bag.

`Got a picture here somewhere, she asked me to keep it, not to let them throw it away after she was gone`, said Angel as she handed him the photograph.

Chief's hand trembled slightly as he took it.

`She kept her promise`, he said.

Angel looked puzzled.

`She came to me, helped me, she kept us alive, I didn't understand until now but when I asked her why she told me she owed a friend`, he said as he handed

the picture back to her.

`You saw her ? Really saw her? She asked incredulously.

Chief nodded.

He looked again at Angel who was studying the picture.

`We'd better go or we'll be late`, he said.

Angel just nodded.

`I'll get the car started, okay? He asked.

`Yeah , I won't be a minute`, said Angel still staring at the photo.

Chief went outside , realising that Angel needed a little time to try and understand what he had just told her.

Angel walked to the table and propped the photo against the one that was already on there.

`Thanks Cassy, I don't know how or why, but thank you`, she said smiling.

She heard the car start and walked out of the cottage.

`You okay? He asked.

Angel nodded.

`Will you tell me everything? She asked.

`Anytime you want`, he said.

`How about tonight, after supper? She asked.

`If you like, the Warden will want to here it too, he's been nagging without actually saying anything all morning'.

`The look? She asked

`The look`,` Chief repeated laughing.

`Could always make it a great Halloween story for all of them if you like`, she said

`You think Goniff could stand it? He asked.

`Think Goniff might just enjoy the fact that he's the hero for finding the tunnels in the first place`, she said `But maybe you should leave out the part about him

screaming like a girl when you found him`.

`Yeah , I'm okay with that`, he laughed.

`It wasn't until later as he watched her talking at the graveside that he wondered just how she knew about Goniff's scream.