Back in the Dutch Country

Lt. Helm eyed his brother’s new aquaintance across the dining room table in their parent’s home in the heartland of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. She spoke fluent smooth mid Atlantic English, but he could feel that she was not American. The way she smoked a cigarette was a give away. He turned to his date, a friend had introduced them. She was fun. Winifred was also a beauty, from Indiana. Friend of his friend’s fiance. Safe. He whispered to her, “Would you please take Roy’s girlfriend to the bathroom…to freshen up? I have to talk to my little brother privately.” Winifred perked up with her native curiosity and sense of danger and what felt like budding love. “Alright.” She said quietly. When they were gone, Russell reached across and grabbed his brother’s hand, long and pale, resting on the table. “What are you doing with her?” Roy’s prematurely bald head was flushed with excitement from the attention. “Nothing.” Lt. Helm moved his hand from his brother’s flattened hand and opened the woman’s purse, looking inside without touching anything. “What are you doing?” Roy protested weakly. “What you should have done the first moment you met her…She has an automatic pistol in her purse.”

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