Chapter 1: One Night Over Germany
Christopher Foyle walked the length of Brighton Airfield with his brother, sister-in-law, and his son’s Fiancé, Samantha Stewart. They were going to meet his son, Andrew, and his nephew, Charlie, near their spitfires. They were both pilots in the RAF going on a mission that night. That’s all he knew, but that was enough. It meant that his nephew and his son, his only child, were going to be in grave danger. Despite this, he kept a fake smile on his face to help encourage the others. His brother, Harold, who was a rather plump man with a large mustache, was going on and on annoyingly about how the government was wrong in recruiting teenagers into the military, as per regular,
“…Our son is 19! He should not be out on a secret pilot’s mission! He should be safe and sound within the walls of Cambridge! I say, this is madness—“
Then Sam interrupted him, “Mr. Foyle, sir, I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do about it. Not to mention that Charlie and Andrew are more than willing to do it. So do shut up, sir, it’s not very becoming…or helpful.” As she finished she put her arm around Andrew’s Aunt Nettie, who was trembling. DCS Foyle pushed his hands deeper into his pockets and chuckled under his breath. Sam always knew what to say in tense situations, it seemed. That didn’t used to be the case, but she had matured greatly since she had become engaged to Andrew. Even when Andrew was gone she was a great comfort to him. He could never truly feel like he was alone with her around.
As he walked, he looked up and saw his son standing by his spitfire, looking excited. Andrew was no stranger to incredibly dangerous situations, but it still worried his father. He could see that he was no longer the bright-eyed boy who had gotten into Cambridge but, rather, a strong man capable of serving his country to the death. Sam left Nettie and ran to Andrew, who embraced her. ‘Curse this blasted war!’ Christopher thought bitterly. He didn’t know if Sam and Andrew would even reach their wedding day at the rate they were sending his son out on missions. For he knew that one day, Andrew might not come back.
Sam was on-edge that day. She loved Andrew more than words could express, even though he was different from when they had first met. When she had first met him he was young and boyish and free. But now, although he was still young, he seemed years older and more mature and more strong. When he pulled away from embracing her, he looked at her face and studied it. He had often done this on the pretext of, “Just in case,” and she knew what he meant. He wanted to be able to remember every feature, every line, if worst came to worst. “Remember, Andrew,” She said quietly, “what Prime Minister Churchill said, ’It’s the courage to continue that counts.’” If this was the last time she would see him, she wanted to leave him with something powerful.
But just now, the words seemed to have become meaningless and she felt just about everything besides powerful and strong. She couldn’t lose him, she just couldn’t. Charlie was saying goodbye to his parents and uncle. Sam saw that the war was tearing families, and nations, apart. “Sam,” he said, calling her to attention, “I love you more than anything, you know that, right?” All she could do was nod because now she was really crying and she wasn’t sure she would stop anytime soon. Andrew wiped a tear off her cheek and kissed her.
The kiss was warm and tender, and she wanted this moment to last forever, but soon enough Andrew was saying goodbye to his family and receiving final orders from his C.O. Before climbing into the cockpit, he kissed her on the cheek one last time. Now she was trembling in fear, and it didn’t feel as if the sun was shining hot and bright anymore, it felt cold and dim and lonely. As Charlie and Andrew climbed into their respective planes, her boss and future father-in-law approached her and took her hand. “They’ll be home tomorrow,” he said, but she wasn’t convinced, and by the looks of it, neither was he.
Andrew Foyle was taking part in an airstrike on one of Germany’s many military bases that night around midnight. He was feeling nervous. Although he had done this same mission many times before, this time was different. This time he had a fiancé waiting for him to come back home. As he prepared himself to release the bombs, he silently prayed that the mission would go off without a hitch. He was with two other RAF pilots: His cousin, Charlie Foyle, and one of his C.O.s, Group Captain Pierce.
Andrew took a few deep breaths and sighed deeply. He was ready. He was pressing the fire button. He was wiping sweat from his brow because it was over. He was chuckling with relief. Just then, there was a noise, a loud noise. He recognized it at once: enemy fire. His heart skipped a beat as he realized that he was going into battle…in the dark. He took the picture of Sam he had out of his pocket, kissed it, and then quickly stuck it back in, saying, “Wish me luck, Darling.” He turned on his radio and said to his fellow pilots, “Ready, mates?” “Andrew, it’s already started!” Charlie yelled into his end of the radio. “Pierce is down!”
Brilliant. The best pilot in their group had been shot down already, now they were really screwed. Andrew predicted that the Luftwaffe would have them too in about four minutes. Suddenly, he heard rapid gunfire behind him and as he tried to turn around to confront the German fighter, his plane was hit. He spiraled, nose down toward the earth. This is it, he thought grimly. His cousin’s voice came over the radio as a faint crackle. “Andrew?! Andrew! Are you okay?!” “Charlie, We’re getting out of this. But, just in case, I love you.” A tear rolled down his cheek as he got nearer and nearer to the ground.
He tried to steer his plane as best he could to a safe landing. In the end, the little fighter plane prevailed, landing safely enough for her pilot to make a quick escape from her cockpit. Andrew hopped out of the cockpit and ran away from the burning plane as quickly as he could, but he wasn’t fast enough. The plane exploded from the fire fairly quickly and Andrew was propelled forward from behind, about 10 meters. When he dragged himself up he felt a sharp pain in his right leg. He turned toward the plane so he could see his leg in the light of the fire. He was pained to see that there was a large gash on the side of his leg that was bleeding.
He started to limp away from the plane again when he froze in horror. There was no telling if this field had mines in it. He wasn’t prepared for this. He knew that he would either be blown to bits by a mine or captured by the Germans shortly. He just stood there for a long time, his game leg shaking under his bodyweight. He finally decided that he would take one step at a time so that he would at least know if he was going to die by the sound of the mine arming itself. He was doing this for Sam, The love of his life. “The courage to continue…” He said aloud over and over again with every step, until he finally Screamed, “THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE!” He pulled out the picture of Sam and held onto it…it was going to be a long night.
At the break of dawn, Andrew finally made it to the edge of the field. He was breathing in short, shaky breaths, taking in oxygen with a new appreciation. It was intoxicating. He slowly sat down on the dewy grass and opened his hand. In it lay the crumpled photo of his beloved Sam. He carefully smoothed it out as best he could. He felt like crying and laughing all at once as he stared down at the picture. He had survived the possibility of mines. Now he had to survive the endless and terrifying rest of Germany.
He knew that he had to hide, but he also knew that he couldn’t move fast and that he needed food. Upon remembering the urgency of the situation, Andrew put the photo back into his pocket, pulled himself off the ground, and started limping toward a small patch of nearby trees. He knew that the British target of the bombing had been a military research center in Cologne, Germany. Surely he couldn’t be that far from there.
When he arrived under the shade of the trees, he suddenly felt exhausted, too exhausted to go on. He had walked slowly through a dark field all night, expecting to be killed any moment. This exhaustion was something he had never felt before. It was beyond description. He sat down behind a small bush, vaguely hoping that it would hide him from sight if someone came calling. His eyelids closed and he dropped off to sleep, imagining in his exhaustion that he was safe.
In the afternoon, Andrew was awakened by the sound of two men conversing in rapid German. For one petrifying moment, he thought that they had found him, but then he realized that he was near an often-used back road. The German men were dressed in brown military uniforms. They spoke excitedly to one another, “Kommandant Weissler sagt, wir könnten den Amerikaner heute Abend verhören!” “Ich kann es kaum erwarten, wieder an diese schmutzigen amerikanischen Hunde heranzukommen.”
Andrew didn’t know any German, but he could guess that they were talking about America or an American. He held his breath as they were passing, but then they came to an abrupt stop. His heart sunk as one of the two pointed to the faintly smoking wreckage of his spitfire in the distance. As they started to move quickly across the field with their backs turned to him, he wondered if he should make a run for it. But he knew, even then, that he wouldn’t be running, he would be moving very slowly, due to his injured leg.
He decided to try it, knowing that his inaction would only result in certain death. He stood up, made ready, and—BANG! He stood stock still and looked across the field. One of the soldiers had stepped on a mine. He had promptly turned white and was shaking violently. He had been right—it was a minefield. The remaining soldier was backing up slowly across the field, toward him.
Barring the detonation of another mine, Andrew knew that his chances of detection would soar if the German soldier got back to base and reported a crashed British fighter plane. He was ready to do something desperate. But then—BANG! He sighed shakily as he realized that he was safe—for now. He knew he needed to make it to the city of Cologne, and yet he felt he couldn’t muster the strength to do what was needed.
“Do it for Sam,” He chided himself aloud as he started to move down the road, pain burning through his body with every step.
Andrew arrived at a small, brick farmhouse just as darkness began to fall. There was a weather-beaten barn a few hundred meters away from it, so he decided to stay there for the night. He chose rather to try to get food in the morning, than that night when there was a higher chance that the Patriarch of the family would be at home. He slowly made his way to the barn’s entrance and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. He tried again and again to no avail. Finally, on what he decided was his last try, he slammed his entire bodyweight into the heavy door.
Andrew flinched as the door slide open loudly. He had been hoping to avoid detection at all costs, but he knew that he didn’t have the strength just then to try to close the enormous door and that even if he did, he would just have made more noise by shutting it. Then he noticed something unnerving out of the corner of his eye: The door of the little farmhouse opened and someone holding a lamp was walking briskly toward the barn.
The injured pilot made his way into the barn as quickly as he could and hid behind a bale of hay. The unknown person arrived at the entrance of the barn and entered. As the dark figure neared his hiding place, he held his breath.
Thanks for reading!! If you put the German phrases in this chapter into google translate, you'll get a sneak peek into later chapters! Happy (early) New Year, everyone!! XX
Chapter 3: On the Homefront
It was evening. Sam was sitting on Andrew’s desk in his childhood bedroom looking at the large climbing tree that stood just outside the window. She remembered the first time he had brought her up to this room. They had taken a walk that day along the beach and he had told her that he wanted to show her something. They had been dating only three months and he had only been there for two weeks worth of that time. He had been away so often that it made those quiet times alone together all the more precious.
He had taken her home and up the stairway to his old bedroom. He led her to his bed and as he sat down he patted the space next to him. She willingly sat down and said, “Why don’t you tell me about Andrew Foyle, the early years?” He had laughed and complied saying, “Oh, he’s not that interesting I can assure you. The only really exciting thing he ever did was climb out of his window and down that tree so that...now that I think about it, I’m not really sure what I was doing. It must have been ruddy stupid if twelve year old me was doing it.”
They had laughed and talked and laughed some more. Then he had said suddenly, “You’re so beautiful.” “Then why don’t you kiss me?” She had asked rather boldly, surprising even herself. And so he had. He had kissed her, golden sunlight streaming through the window, the world happy and normal and perfect. Then--CRACK! Sam’s brain snapped back to reality. A roll of thunder had just sounded over Hastings and now rain was coming down in buckets.
She felt alone and afraid. They were supposed to be back by now. They were supposed to be home. He was supposed to be home. She allowed herself to cry, supposing that if nature could, then she could too. She shivered and said quietly, “Come back to me…please.” A moment later she gave a start as the door creaked open. “Sam,” said a gentle voice, “do you want any supper?”
It was Christopher Foyle. She had been his rock through some difficult times before, and now she knew she would need to rely on him to be hers in turn now. “No, thank you, Sir.” “Sam, why do you keep calling me that? I’ve asked you not to,” he said taking a step into the room. “What do you want me to call you then?” She replied, wiping a tear from her cheek.
“Oh, I don’t know. Just not that,” he replied quietly. Sam got off Andrew’s desk and said, “Listen, do you think that they are—“ she bit her trembling lower lip. “All right?” He finished for her. She nodded as the tears began to flow again. Christopher stepped forward and pulled her into a gentle embrace. “They’ll be home soon,” he said. Sam wasn’t so sure of that.
Christopher Foyle was about to snap. He was about to break into a million pieces and never be repaired. He had just said goodnight to Sam, having allowed her to stay the night in his house. He knew she didn’t want to be alone, and he knew how she felt. And yet, at the same time, he didn’t know what that felt like at all. He didn’t just want to be alone, he needed to be alone. He had barely had time to process the whole blasted thing.
He had never wanted his son to be conscripted in the first place; But when he had been, he had seen it as something to be proud of, though he had always had the nagging thought in the back of his head that, ‘something could happen.’ He knew that the recent addition of American pilots had been a help to the RAF for sure, but that couldn’t solve their understaffing problems: Their losing more pilots than they were training.
He tried to remember his son in every way possible: his voice, his mannerisms, his face. He couldn’t seem to remember much. ‘It’s funny,’ he thought to himself, ‘We seem to take not only time spent, but the way people look for granted.’ And as he thought this, he reflected on how it wasn’t funny at all. He sighed and went back to trying to remember.
Then, he remembered something…a memory. It had been May, only three months ago, and yet it seemed like there was an eternity in between. He had taken Andrew fishing and they had spent the whole morning without a catch. His son had often complained about these outings when he was younger, but as they got deeper into the war, he had begun suggesting them voluntarily on his leaves of absence.
Christopher supposed his son had foreseen a time when he might not come back. That day had been bright and sunny, and as they had talked freely, bouncing from topic to topic, Sam came up. “Dad,” he said happily, “I know it may sound sappy, but I love her.” He had smiled briefly and asked, “Have you told her that?” “Yes. Too many times to count. Hopefully I’ll get to tell her every day, when I’m not flying ops of course.” He had raised his eyebrows at his son and he had quickly answered his father, “I’m going to ask her to marry me, dad.”
It had been a moment of realization for him. His son was grown up. He had made the decision to ask for a girl’s hand in marriage and he had done that independently. He had smiled and said, “Well, congratulations. I hope you two will be very happy.” “I still have to ask her, you know. I’m not entirely sure I won’t make a fool of myself. But, as the great poets have said, or maybe it was just a stray bartender, ‘What could happen?’”
He had laughed at his son’s little joke. He had laughed. Andrew’s voice rang through his head again and again. What could happen? A lot. They had all been slightly afraid at the airstrip, but probably not enough so. They had taken for granted the safety of their family. Nothing could happen to them, because it would tear their families’ lives apart. That wasn’t very logical, and Foyle realized, before long, that that had been exactly what he had been thinking that day.
It had been a whole day. A whole day since he was supposed to return. Yesterday afternoon they were supposed to have welcomed their son home, safe and sound. Harold Foyle was extremely angry. He was angry with the government, the Germans, the RAF. He was also angry at his nephew, Andrew, for having set an example for their son, causing him to join the RAF.
The extent of his illogical fury was so powerful that he even blamed his brother, Christopher, for having produced Andrew, the reckless child. He had often been glad when the pair of cousins were younger, that his only son, Charlie, had had a playmate in Andrew, but those days were long past. Now he was ruthlessly wishing that his brother’s only son had never lived to see even a moment of time.
In fact, he had been so preoccupied with his blustering rage, that he had barely any time to acknowledge his wife’s own quiet anguish.
Harold had always been a brash and unfiltered man. That had been part of the reason she had fallen in love with him. And yet, Nettie was at that moment sorry that her husband was that way and was wishing that he was quiet and gentle. She had phoned her brother-in-law that morning and asked to meet for tea. She needed to talk to someone about everything and she knew that her husband wasn’t the one for the job just then.
She had pulled her brown coat on over her blue housedress and had tied a checkered headscarf under her chin and now she was walking away from her house down the quiet streets of Bexhill. She had often remembered a time before the war (as she was now), when the area surrounding her home was noisy and full of life. There had been street vendors selling their goods, little boys kicking cans down alleyways, and motorists smashing down their horns when you got in their way.
It was different now. It seemed as if the town was a lit candle, and the war, a hot breath that had blown out the flame. Servicemen with serious faces talked with one another in whispers and various residents hurried quietly to the grocer’s with their ration cards, hoping that they would be able to get some meat that day. When Nettie Foyle first saw her brother-in-law in the boardwalk teashop she had chosen, she wanted to run into his arms and sob into his shoulder: but she restrained herself.
Instead, she sat down across from him and said mildly, “Christopher.” He looked at her with raised eyebrows and she knew at once that he knew that she was in despair. That she was lost. “You always were so good at hiding your emotions, Nettie.” “Oh, I don’t think of it as hiding, more like allowing Harold’s emotions to take center stage so that I seem positively mild in comparison,” she replied once again, mildly.
She had, up to this point, been trying to blink away the tears but finally she lost the battle and she conceded, allowing her tears to flow freely, though silently. “I was so afraid that day at the airfield. That I might not see Charlie again, that I might never see his dark, curly hair or hear him play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on the piano again. I think I was so afraid, that I didn’t say goodbye adequately enough,” she finished softly, still crying.
“Nettie,” he began, “no one could have known that they wouldn’t come back. I mean, we all had our anxieties, but I don’t think that any of us actually thought that they wouldn’t.” He took her hand and said, “They could still come back.” She looked up with her mouth open. She had never thought of that. It had only been a day. Wasn’t it possible that they had stopped at another airstrip for repairs?
She suddenly had a warm feeling inside her chest which could only be described as hope. She smiled at him and said brightly, “Thank you, Christopher.” As she walked out of the teashop, Christopher sighed and began to berate himself for giving her false hope. Andrew and Charlie alive? It was impossible. It was madness. It wasn’t true. And yet, he knew deep down that it was exactly what he believed, and would continue to believe, until they knew for sure that they were dead.
Chapter 4: The German Angels
Andrew’s breath came out in short, quiet gasps. The unknown person was breathing steadily, and as he started to round the haystack Andrew was hiding behind, the person, evidently a man, said angrily in perfect English, “If you’re one of those Nazi animals, I’ll burn this barn down on you so that you can’t report me to your authorities.” He spoke with a heavy German accent.
Andrew was considering his options. He could remain silent, but if the man found him, that would show a level of distrust and he didn’t know what he might do if provoked: Even if he’d found a member of the RAF. He quickly decided to try his luck and said steadily, “Well don’t do that. I’m with the Allied forces, you see.”
The man raised his lit lamp so he could see who had spoken.
In doing this he also illuminated himself so that Andrew could see him in the lamplight. He was a broad shouldered, gray-haired man, who looked to be about Andrew’s dad’s age. He looked shocked and stared down in disbelief at the injured Englishman for a moment, but when he noticed his injured leg, he sprang into action. He kneeled down beside him and began to examine Andrew’s leg.
“Don’t worry. I was a doctor, before all this madness,” he said waving his hand around the barn. Andrew winced in pain as the German ex-doctor jostled his leg a little. The man asked solemnly, “When did you get this injury?” “Last night, when my plane exploded. I wasn’t in it of course,” he replied quickly. The man sighed and said, “Well we’re going to have to go up to the house. I have bandages and medicines up there.”
The German helped him up, steadying the pilot and saying kindly, “We’ll get you out of this country soon enough.” They slowly made their way to the house and when they arrived at the door, the man tapped on it gently with his free hand. A small, blond woman in a dressing gown opened the door staring fearfully at her husband and the strange man he supported with his right arm.
"Es ist in Ordnung, Liebes. Er ist Engländer,” he said to his wife. Apparently she didn’t speak English. Her tired looking face immediately broke into a smile. She said something to him in German and her husband translated, “She says that we’re very happy to welcome an English soldier into our home.” Andrew smiled and reciprocated the sentiment, the woman’s husband translating as he helped the pilot into a chair at their kitchen table.
“What’s your name son?” The man asked examining Andrew’s leg once more. “Andrew.” “Well, we’ll keep you safe, Andrew. My name is Hans Hauptmann and this is my wife, Annika. The war has hit many hard, but us more so than others. Both our sons, Christian and Fabian, were ordered into Hitler’s army the first few months of the war. Fighting for things they didn’t believe in and then, they both died,” he finished bitterly.
When Hans had finished cleaning and bandaging his wound he said, “Now, you probably haven’t had any sustenance for a day. Is that right?” “Yes, sir. I was actually going to try to get food tomorrow from you.” “Well, no need for that. We’ve found you haven’t we? Annika is a good cook, but this war...it’s hard to find much to eat these days. We have a little pork and potatoes left from dinner.”
As he ate the cold but delicious dinner, Andrew talked to Hans about his life in Hastings, the German asking excitedly about every aspect of English life—living under a dictator had given him an unbridled enthusiasm for any free society and their ways of life. Hans had learnt English at the university in Cologne when he was Andrew’s age.
He finished eating and was allowed to wash before being sent to sleep in Fabian’s old room. As he lay on the comfortable bed, he thought about the Hauptmann’s plight and just how important it was to so many people that the Allies win this war. They were depending on them. He had just drifted off to sleep when he heard a noise at the farmhouse door. It was a distant, far-off sound. Tap, tap, tap.
Then it came again. Tap, tap, tap. Andrew got up, balancing on his leg, and opened the bedroom door slowly. He looked out to see Hans going to the farmhouse door, whispering back to him, “Go back into the room.” Andrew complied closing the door gently. He positioned himself next to the keyhole and listened. TAP, TAP, TAP. The door swung open noisily and Hans began to converse in rapid German with a serious-sounding man.
“Es gibt einen englischen Piloten in der Umgebung. Sein Flugzeug ist abgestürzt und wir möchten sicherstellen, dass er mit seinem Flugzeug explodiert. Hast du ihn gesehen?” The man asked Hans. Hans replied quickly, “Entschuldige, Nein.” Andrew wasn’t positive, but he knew that there was a good chance that it was a Nazi soldier looking for him.
The man at the door seemed to turn to go, but then stopped. He boomed out, “SUCHEN SIE DIESES HAUS! BRINGEN SIE DEN BAUERNHOF UND SEINE FRAU ZUM BÜRO IN KÖLN!” Then there was a crashing as soldiers made their way into the house overturning everything in their search for Andrew. “We don’t know where he is!” Hans protested in English for Andrew’s benefit since the soldiers only knew German.
He was telling him that they were willing to sacrifice their safety and freedom for his. He knew he had to get out of the house, and now, but the low window in the bedroom was guarded by a soldier. He wanted to help the Hauptmanns and as he saw it, that was his duty. They were Allies through and through, they had proven that. Now was his chance to show the same.
He look around the room for a weapon and found an old pocket knife that was in good condition. He said a prayer and opened the door. The soldiers had dispersed throughout the house and now there were only two between him and the door. But, if he was going to back them up, he need the element of surprise.
He shut the door once more and examined the window. It was large and looked like it could open easily. It was risky. By Andrew’s calculations, it was far riskier than going through the front door. He opened the window slowly. It slide open easily and silently. The soldier who had his back turned didn’t expect anything. One moment Andrew was on his back, his hand over his mouth, the next moment, the man was dead.
Andrew swallowed and sighed. He hadn’t been trained for this. He had been trained on how to kill at a distance. It seemed all the more costly in person. He made his way to the front of the house where the Hauptmanns were being held. Hans saw him and discreetly waved him away, but Andrew shook his head. He rushed for the nearest soldier. The soldier tried to fend him off but too late—he fell down, dead.
Andrew had now revealed himself and there were soldiers surrounding him, their guns pointed at his head. The Commander came out of the house, sneering. He laughed and said haughtily, “You really thought I didn’t know English? Restrain him.” A solder grabbed him and roughly tied his hands behind his back with a thick piece of rope.
Now he knew they were in trouble. He tried to accept that this was the end, but he couldn’t. There was still Sam, and —Oh!— his father. What would he do?
Would he suffer greatly? He had already lost his wife, could he bear losing his son too? Now the enormity and stupidity of the decision he had made came to full realization in his mind. How could he have been so stupid?
The Hauptmanns had been willing to die for him. Why couldn’t he have just let them? ‘Because that would be wrong,’ said a voice in the back of his head, and he knew that it was Sam. The German commander marched up to Hans and said simply, “Hans Hauptmann, I charge you with treason against the Fatherland. Kill him.” “No!” Andrew shouted at the soldiers. “Don’t worry, you’ll have your turn…eventually,” the commander said to him, sneering once again.
Hans’ jaw tightened and he closed his eyes, ”I’m prepared to die, Andrew.” And those were his last words. The commander himself took a revolver from one of the soldiers and fired the shot. And there Hans Hauptmann died in the country where he was born, killed by his own countrymen, for a cause he believed in--Freedom.
Chapter 5: Prisoner of War
Andrew looked at the body of the faithful old man. He hadn’t deserved this. He was caught in the middle of two strong emotions—rage and anguish. He had only met the man, but they were bound together by the same cause, by the same side of a war. Annika Hauptmann fell to her knees and sobbed loudly. Andrew couldn’t help but feel that it was his fault. If he had stayed hidden, if he had made a quick escape…the Nazi Commander would have had no reason to pull the trigger.
They could accuse them, but they had had no evidence. Though, he supposed angrily, they probably didn’t care much about that sort of thing. “Don’t worry,” the Commander said to Annika with a note of finality in his voice, “you’ll be joining your husband soon.” “She doesn’t speak English, you swine,” Andrew heard himself say nastily to the Commander. He had shocked even himself with this statement, and though he felt no remorse for it, he had a feeling that he would pay the price for it in due course.
“Oh how I would love to kill you, English Filth, but Herr Hitler has commanded that any foreign spies or soldiers are to be kept for…information purposes.” The color drained from Andrew’s face as he realized that very shortly he would be facing torture. “I’m prepared to die,” Andrew said, echoing Hans Hauptmann’s last words. The commander chuckled evilly and said, “And die you will…eventually.”
That was last thing he heard before he felt the butt of a gun hit the back of his head. Then darkness pervaded his senses.
Andrew opened his eyes, squinting in the bright light. When his eyes adjusted, he realized that he was tied to a chair, all alone in a dirty, brightly lit room. He sat there for a moment trying to figure out where he was and why he was tied up. Then it all came flooding back to him: The nightmarish reality of the situation. He was in Germany; Far, far away from his family, far, far, away from his beloved Sam.
He looked up quickly as someone strode into the room. It was the Commander who had shot Hans. “Well, how do you like it? Being able to see I mean, not the room, the room’s filthy.” Andrew’s heart rate quickened. The Nazi laughed and opened the door, turning to leave. “Oh, and meet your new friend, Gerhardt.” As the Commander left, he allowed someone to pass him.
It was a young soldier with blond hair who couldn’t have been any older than Andrew himself. He glowered at Andrew and walked up to him slowly. “FÜR DAS VATERLAND!!” He exclaimed loudly hitting Andrew in the mouth. He spluttered. There was blood running down his chin now. Then the soldier hit him again and again and again. ‘I guess this is it,’ Andrew thought solemnly.
He wanted to cry, yell even, but his face was too numb. After a while, the man stopped. He left the room loudly and the British pilot was left all alone with his wounds. His breath came out in shaky gasps. He felt like he was barely hanging onto life. Suddenly, he heard a voice. He slowly looked up and his eyes met with Sam’s. “No, no. You’re not really here,” he said shaking his head slowly: the pain in his head was almost too much to bear.
She said nothing for a few minutes. Then she repeated what she had said to him on the airfield, "Remember, Andrew, what Prime Minister Churchill said, 'It's the courage to continue that counts.'" “I don’t think I’ll be continuing much longer, Darling.” Then she faded from view. Though he knew that it was just his mind playing tricks on him, it was good to see Sam one last time.
Hours later, the door opened and a soldier, a different one this time, untied Andrew from the chair. He roughly guided him down a maze of dirty, dimly lit hallways, finally stopping at a small, wooden door. The soldier unlocked it and led him inside. There, at the back of the room, was a small prison cell with rusty bars. The soldier unlocked this door as well and pushed Andrew inside so forcibly that he fell down onto the concrete floor.
The soldier slammed the prison door, leaving him gasping as pain flooded his body. He wondered vaguely if he would ever eat food again and blacked out once more.
Chapter 6: The American
He didn’t know how long he had been out, but by the time Andrew had fully waken out of his stupor, he found himself propped up against the rough, stone wall, a man he had never seen before standing over him. “Woah, I thought for a minute there that you had decided to buy the farm.” Andrew blinked and saw in the dim light a young man with a rough, unshaven face, younger than he was, staring down at him curiously.
He had light brown hair and blue eyes, but that wasn’t what stood out most about him: his accent and olive-colored uniform clearly betrayed that he was an American. “And what in Heaven’s name does ‘buy the farm’ mean?” Andrew asked, feeling his bruised face gingerly. “Y’know. Bite the dust. Meet your Maker. Die. I guess it’s a kind of American expression. Anyway, I’m Danny Brewster of the United States Air Force. Who are you and what brings you to this corner of Hell?” He asked, sitting down against the prison bars.
“My name is Foyle, Andrew Foyle. I’m—at least I was—in the RAF. My plane got shot down over Cologne a few nights ago and I eventually found a hiding place with some Germans sympathetic to the allied cause. And…we got caught…” He faltered, the scenes of that night flashing before his eyes. “Hey, I’m sorry, Foyle. I can call you that, right? It’s just, that’s what me and my boys back in the 112th did. Called each other by our last names.” Andrew nodded his head in assent and asked in turn, “And what’s your story…Brewster?”
He gave a sad smile. “Now that…that story starts on December 6th, 1941.” And so he began.
Daniel Brewster was a quiet, mild-mannered man of 20 who would rather read a book than go out dancing with girls. His older brother, Martin, was the wild one, always up for a party or a drink or a dance. Both of the brothers were born and raised in Hawaii. They lived about ten miles from the nearest military base, Pearl Harbor. A year or two after he had graduated high school, Daniel’s brother decided to pursue a career in the military. After he had graduated from training, he was stationed on a ship in Pearl Harbor on December 6th, 1941.
Its name was the USS Arizona. The day after Martin had been assigned was Sunday, December 7th, and he had been planning to hang out with his brother who had been somewhat elusive as of recent, but he never made it there. He never got to see his brother again. He never got to say goodbye. Some said he drowned. Others said he got back to land and died of severe burns, but whatever happened that day to Daniel’s brother, it ignited a spark inside of him that caused a burning.
A burning for revenge and closure. A burning to fight for freedom. He had joined up that day, much to the chagrin of his parents. Danny Brewster turned into a different man that day, a harder man. Six months later, he had flown on many, many dangerous missions and had come out alive, which was exactly why his superiors selected him for his most dangerous mission yet—willfully dropping him behind enemy lines to spy on the Nazis.
Danny had quickly accepted what was clearly thought of as a suicide mission (he had had a choice) and said goodbye to his family, his girlfriend, and his best friends in the 112th fighter squadron: Weaver, Redd, and Masters. They had all thought him irresponsible and foolish, so he had flown off to Germany feeling unsupported and utterly alone.
He had lasted a whole two months before then Germans had caught on and captured him. He had retrieved some important intelligence and was able to send it to base before being taken to their underground ‘interrogation’ room. There he realized that they didn’t want him for information, they simply wanted to abuse him because they could. He had tried to make the best of it, but it was a lonely existence living underground with no one to talk to but mice.
Danny sighed, looked up at Andrew and cracked a smile saying, “That’s where you come in Foyle. Now you can keep me company.” “Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be trapped in an underground Nazi prison with a smart-arse American,” he replied sarcastically. “Hey, be grateful for what you have. At least I’m not from Brooklyn. I had a girlfriend from there once and let me tell you; You do not wanna have a girlfriend from there. Those people can talk for years,” he returned laughing.
“Speaking of, do you have a lovely lady in your life, Foyle?” Andrew nodded slowly and sighed. Oh how he missed her! “Samantha. Sam, for short. She’s my fiancé. I guess we’ll never get the opportunity to be wed though, now will we?” “Don’t talk like that. We’re gonna get out of here.” “And how do you know that?” “I’ve been working out a plan, Foyle. It requires two people so I couldn’t do it before, but now I—we can.” Andrew had lost all desire to escape, to live.
He had already resigned himself to his capture and one more sliver of hope that would more than probably be squelched within the hour would have been more than he could bear. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have an injured leg. I can’t move quickly.” “Then we’ll wait for it to heal.” “We don’t know where we are.” “We’ll find out soon enough.” “We’ll get caught.” “Not if we’re careful.” “I don’t want to do it, alright?!” He finally yelled at Brewster. He was sick of arguing and wanted to be left alone.
“Foyle, why on God’s green earth would you pass up an opportunity to survive?” The question startled Andrew, and he didn’t quite have an answer for it. “Is it because you feel like you’ve failed and if you went home you would be regarded as a useless coward who couldn’t even complete his mission correctly?” He asked quietly. Andrew looked him in the eye and stared. “How did you know?” “Cause that’s how I feel.”
“But,” he continued, “that doesn’t mean you give up. You press on. You fulfill you duty to your country, to your family, and to yourself.” A single tear escaped the corner of Andrew’s eye and he looked away. How could he have been so stupid? How could he have thought of abandoning Sam? “Just…think about it,” Brewster finished. “I’ll do it.” “You will?! WOOO! We’re going HOME!” He lept up joyously and offered his hand to Andrew.
He took it and leaned against Brewster so that he could stand up. He clapped Andrew on the back and said, “We’re gonna make it home.” Just then came a loud—BOOM! And the wooden door that separated the prison room from the filthy hallway flew open revealing two sneering soldiers. They strode over to the Allied pilots and yelled harshly at them in German. Andrew didn’t understand a word of it, but Brewster clearly did because the color drained from his face and he looked at Andrew despairingly.
“I know German from high school…my loony Aunt Wanda insisted. They-they have or-orders to interrogate me…again.” Andrew’s breath caught in his throat and he felt like he couldn’t breathe. So much hope, so much joy, snatched away once again. As they dragged the brave American away Andrew yelled encouragingly after him, “THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE, REMEMBER THAT, BREWSTER!” “I will, Andrew, I will.”
Chapter 7: Hope
The soldiers unceremoniously dragged Brewster down the dank, foul-smelling hallways and towards the ‘interrogation’ room. He was breathing heavily but that didn’t stop him from allowing a quick prayer to escape his lips: “God, protect me from loss of life, and protect Foyle from loss of hope.” When they arrived at their destination, they roughly pushed him into a chair and began to tie him up.
“So, you’re the American?” The older-looking soldier said to him in German. “I’ve been looking forward to this,” said the other. Then he punched Danny in the stomach. He gasped, struggling to breathe after having the wind knocked out of him. The soldiers laughed and hit him in the face. They hit him again and again and again. Eventually, they hit him hard in the back of the head. So hard, in fact, that he suddenly felt weightless and free from pain.
Danny Brewster opened his eyes. He was standing on the top of a cliff. The salty sea air stung at his eyes as he looked down the edge of the precipice and into the depths below. “So,” said a strangely familiar voice behind him, “you’re here.” Danny shivered and slowly turned around. Tears freely fell from his eyes as he recognized the boyish grin on his long-dead brother’s face. “But-but…” He began.
“It’s been far too long. I’ve been waiting for you. Aren’t you glad to see me Danny-boy?” “D-don’t call me-me that,” he stammered at his brother. He was shaking uncontrollably at this point. “You k-know I hate it wh-when you call me t-that.” “Why are you being annoying? We reunite and this is how you treat me?! ANSWER ME!”
“You know,” Danny began, all the while steadying his voice, “I thought for one blessed moment that this was truly heaven. I guess I was wrong. You’re not Martin, you’re nothing like him. I’m not dead am I? And to think, I kinda wished I was… Well we can’t always get what we want. You know what you are? A figment of my imagination. My mother always said I had too much of it. Maybe she was right. But let me tell you: I will fight to see my family again.”
The man masquerading as Martin gave a small smiled and started to clap slowly. Then he said in a British accent, “Very good, Daniel. Now, what are you going to do to get out of this…vision?” “I suppose anything you know I know because you’re in my head. Isn’t that right? So tell me how.” “Quite right, quite right. You really are as smart as they say you are, aren’t you?”
“Brewster? Brewster!” The young American slowly tried to open his eyes, but found that he couldn’t. “Foyle.” He coughed up what he assumed was blood and gave a dry chuckle. “What are you laughing about? There isn’t anything funny about this! Both your eyes are closed shut from the beating they just gave you and your arm looks more than broken!” Andrew raged. Brewster began to laugh again, this time a happy, hearty laugh.
“Stop that!” Andrew insisted angrily. “Foyle, listen to yourself. We’re not finished yet. I’m alive, right?” He sat up gingerly and felt his left arm from which was radiating excruciating pain. Foyle was right: It seemed more than broken. “Okay, you’re going to have to reset my bone,” Brewster said as calmly as he could.
“What?!” Suddenly Andrew stopped himself and sighed. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid I’ve made rather an arse of myself.” “Stop berating yourself and help me. Then we can call it even. K, Foyle?” Brewster assumed that his ally had nodded, because a moment later he was seated next to him and was gently taking the wounded arm into his hands.
“Foyle, your mother ever make you learn that poem, (don’t remember the author) but y’know, ‘Hope is the Thing With Feathers’?” Andrew smiled and replied, “Yes, she did. The Author’s Dickinson, Emily Dickinson.” Brewster actually had remembered the author, but he wanted to calm Andrew down, if only a little. He wanted to make sure that the unofficial doctor before him didn’t have shaking hands when he reset his bone.
Andrew slowly began to move the bone, and Brewster spat out through the pain, “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul; And sings the tune without the words that never stops at all… What’s next?” Andrew sighed and picked up where his friend had left off, “And sweetest in the gale is heard, and sore must be the storm;” Then came a particularly massive moment of pain and Danny screamed out, “T-that could abash that little bird, that kept so many warm!”
“I’ve heard it in the chillest land..” Andrew continued. “And on the strangest sea,” Brewster cried out wearily: He felt the bone positioned back in place now. And as Andrew tied a makeshift tourniquet around his arm, they quietly finished together, “Yet never in extremity, it asked a crumb of me.” “We’ll make it out of this country alive, Foyle, just hold onto hope.”
About a month after Andrew's squadron disappeared, all hope had been dashed that the young pilots would ever be recovered. The family had eventually developed a kind of slow, melancholic daze through which they found it particularly hard to settle back into the lives they had led before the tragedy had occurred.
Sam had easily slipped into the role of Christopher Foyle's daughter; She had helped him cope as best she could, but she was barely coping herself. She had found it easier to deny reality than to accept it, so she had created a strategy to allow herself an escape. Whenever she was feeling especially down, she would pretend that Andrew was simply staying at the base, or that he was on special assignment in America, or that he was in London that day...and on and on it went.
She had continually impressed herself with her ingenuity at the creative excuses she had come up with for his absence, and it had almost turned into a game. Somewhere in the back of her mind, there was an ever so small thought that maybe this current course on which she was set was unhealthy, but whenever this thought came near the surface of her psyche, she would push it down and come up with her next brilliant excuse.
Her Father-in-law-to-be was struggling, she could tell. She knew that if she hadn't had her little game, she might be of no comfort to him anymore and that would hurt them both: she would struggle even more than he was now and he would have no one to lean on. So she held onto the game, twisting reality for her own purposes.
One chilly, September night, Sam stepped out for a drink. As she slowly made her way to the nearest pub, she was playing her game again. Tonight, Andrew was visiting his Aunt and Uncle just a few miles away. He would be back tomorrow, safe and sound. She hadn't been paying any attention to her surroundings which quickly became evident as a tall man looked slightly amused by her attempts to walk into him. "Oh, I'm sorry," Sam quickly apologized to the stranger.
"That's alright, love. If you let me buy you a drink we can call it even." Sam looked up into the man's dimly lit face. Andrew's dead, enjoy yourself. This insensitive thought startled her into speech, "I'd be glad to get a free drink."
They started to walk together and he said, holding out his hand, "My name is Jacob Richmond. May I ask what yours might be?" Sam bit her lip. She didn't know if she wanted this man to know her real name.
She vaguely wondered if she would regret this later.
After an hour or two, Sam and Jacob walked out of the bar together, clearly drunk. She turned to face him and said, "Well, I best get going."
"Samantha, wait, I think I'm in love with you." The words quickly penetrated her mind and moments later she found herself wrapped in Jacob Richmond's arms, kissing him. She didn't know why she did it; Maybe it was because she felt lonely, or maybe it was because she was incredibly drunk, but one thing was for certain: It wasn't because she thought Andrew was actually dead.
But by the time she realized that she didn't want anyone but Andrew, the damage was already done, the guilt evident. She pulled away from Jacob and briskly walked away from him, tears streaming down her face in an all-encompassing moment of guilt. She had betrayed her fiancé. She had down wrong by him. The man called after her but it was no use: She was determined that the only man she would ever kiss again would be Andrew Foyle.
Oof. So it's been almost a year and I'm inspired again. What can I say? I'm sorry XD Nice to see you again<3<3<3
It had been a long while since Brewster had been beaten. It had been a long while since he had healed. And most importantly, it had been a long while since either of them had talked about escaping. Andrew had dreamed of Sam every night, only to wake up and realize the horrible truth that she was far away.
One night, (or at least he assumed it was night, one can never tell underground) Andrew woke up screaming. He ran a hand across his dirty, unshaven face. He needed to get out. But how?
"Foyle? Are you alright?"
"We need to escape."
"Yes. My thoughts exactly. But when?"
"Now," the American stated nonchalantly.
"What about your plan?"
"It's already all worked out. Wanna hear it?"
"That would be brilliant."
"Ok, here it is."
So they followed Brewster's plan. Andrew was to lean against the wall and pretend like he was dead and Brewster was to call out for the guards in German. "Hilfe! Hilfe! Der Engländer ist tot!"
They waited for a few moments, but no came. "It doesn't seem to be work-"
"Shut up, Foyle! You're supposed to be dead," he replied with suppressed laughter. He called out again, but still, no one responded. Then he called out something different in German.
After a few seconds, a couple of guards came in. Andrew wanted to know what Brewster had said but knew better than to say anything. The Nazi Soldiers came into the room and began yelling at Brewster.
"Was hast du getan?! Mörder!"
He was quick to respond: "Ich habe nichts getan! Dieser Mann ist tot!" The guards opened then opened the prison cell door. They roughly pushed past Brewster in an attempt to reach Andrew.
Then, the pilots sprang into action. Brewster grabbed the first guard's gun and knocked him out with the butt and Andrew used his vantage point to trip the other guard up so Brewster could knock the second soldier out as well.
They were both breathing heavily. Then Brewster started to laugh as he always seemed to in distinctly unfunny situations. He had said once, "My father said, 'Always be prepared to laugh a little' I'm afraid I've taken that to heart."
Andrew grinned at his friend. He had gotten used to Brewster's quirks in preceding weeks and his good humor was starting to rub off on Andrew.
"Part one down. Ready, Foyle?" Andrew nodded. The two pilots took the other guard's gun and their set of keys. Then they locked the Germans in the cell, then the room that contained it.
They went out into the grimy, dimly lit hallway. "Here's the other gun, Foyle. It's a shame we couldn't kill them, it would just draw attention. I'm pretty sure one of them was Gerhardt."
Andrew looked up. "Gerhardt? That slimy bastard! He's the one who beat the stuffing out of me ages ago."
"I know. I assume he beats up everyone here. What a job," he finished dryly.
They continued down the hallway taking turns as they saw fit: they didn't exactly know how to get out. They almost ran into a guard or two, but overall they were confident that they would get out of the prison alive.
They turned a corner and found themselves in front of a heavy door. Could this be the exit? Then— they heard a man scream from a nearby room. Andrew started; Where had he heard that voice before?
"Foyle, let's go."
Andrew's eyes widened in realization. It wasn't a particular person necessarily, it had been the tone of his native tongue. "He's English!"
"We have to rescue ourselves first."
"No! Come on!" Brewster groaned but followed Andrew to the door of the room where they listened for a moment. Nothing.
"Foyle, please," The American pleaded with the English pilot. "It could be a trick."
"It could also not be."
"You're right, guns out. Open the door in 3...2...1!" Andrew flung the door open. The pair quickly entered the room and saw a man tied to a chair, his tattered RAF uniform just barely recognizable in the dimly lit room.
"Who's there?" The man was visibly shaking.
Andrew lowered his gun. "Group Captain Pierce?"
Andrew and Danny went around to the front of the chair. Andrew was momentarily horrified, though not surprised by what he saw. Pierce's eyes had clearly been burned to blindness— it must have been the crash landing. "Sir?"
"Foyle." Tears leaked from his cloudy eyes.
"We're getting you out, Sir." Andrew cut his bonds and extended his hand for Pierce to take. The Group Captain clutched his hand like a frightened child.
They left the room slowly and came once again to the heavy door. Andrew momentarily let go of Pierce and helped Brewster quietly swing over open the obstacle.
In those few seconds, Pierce began to tremble and said, "F-Foyle?"
"Here, sir." And he took the blind man's hand again. The anticipation began to build as they ascended the stairwell. They would be free. Then they were there, at a trapdoor. Then Brewster opened it and they emerged out into an open field.
It had been so long since they had breathed clean air that the fresh oxygen felt rich in their fragile lungs. Brewster and Andrew immediately gazed up at the night sky. Millions of stars gazed back. The sight was breathtaking.
Andrew turned his gaze to his superior and swallowed hard. Oliver Pierce would never see the stars again and Andrew felt guilty for enjoying something that his countryman would never get to.
Thanks for reading!! xx Erin