Font: Tahoma

Year created: 1994

Chapter: “Trading in His Shelter for Danger”

Book: And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away (original working title: And Jakob Limped)

Written: Probably April 2012

Computer created on: 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro

File format: Word 2004

I’d originally written and scheduled my T post to cover “The Torch Passes,” Part XVI of Cinnimin, but I decided to move that into my drafts folder and go with something a bit more recent and polished. I also love the title of this chapter. Bonus points if you know the song I got the title from!

“Trading in His Shelter for Danger” begins at the end of June 1943, when 17-year-old Jakob officially joins his friends’ partisan group, which specializes in assassination and sabotage. Though Jaap still has a heavy limp at this point, he’s very enthusiastic about his service. During this chapter, he finds his loyal dog Ben and has his first meeting with the girl who later becomes his wife.

Some highlights:

Jakob tossed his bag on the bed and began rolling up his clothes.  Many years ago, Ruud had taught him that clothes took up less space when they were rolled instead of folded.  He gently stroked the pair of pants Luisa had sewn a patch on, and the shirt she’d sewn up a tear in.  He was glad none of his shirts had any noticeable holes or yellow stains on them from having had those hideous yellow stars sewn on for almost seven months.

“Yes, Meneer.  I don’t mind spending days or weeks just sitting around playing cards and spying, so long as I still get to kill Nazis and NSBers.  Quality counts more than quantity.”

Jakob called to mind the ugly, evil faces of Ruud’s three assassins as they walked towards the road as though nothing were amiss.  In spite of the hot weather, they were wearing long lightweight jackets to cover the weapons in their holsters.  If one of Ruud’s assassins were among the enemies in the car or at the hotel, all he’d have to do would be to reach under the jacket, aim, and shoot.

“And remember, it’s not real murder,” Leendert said. “Only real murder is forbidden by the Ten Commandments.  Killing in time of war or in self-defense is allowed in the Bible.  God doesn’t want us to be pansies who don’t defend ourselves.”

Leendert noticed his discomfort and linked his arm through Jakob’s. “I’ll be your crutch on the right side, and you hold onto the banister with your left hand,” he whispered. “Just hop up on your good foot.  You can do this.  After we’re through here, you won’t have to navigate stairs for a long time, probably.”

The doorknob began rattling and two voices began shouting in German.  Leendert pulled out his gun as he got the door.  Jakob got up and lunged towards the fat one, squeezing his hands around his neck, pushing him onto a bed, and holding his knife against his throat.  With his other hand, he patted him down and felt no weapons.

Jakob looked up and saw Leendert had the other resident backed up into a corner at gunpoint.  This was sure enough the liver-spotted Nazi who’d ripped up the ter Avests’ picture of Princesses Juliana, Beatrix, and Irene.  The richness of the choice overwhelmed him.  Should he choose the easier target, the fat cougher, or make a name for himself by choosing the liver-spotted Nazi?

“That’s for what you did to my mother, you piece of sewage.” He put the smoking pistol back in his holster and limped towards the dying body to kick it in the head and kidneys several times. “I bet you never thought you’d someday meet your death at the hands of one of your intended victims.”

“I think he likes you,” Dries smiled as the dog licked Jakob’s face. “I’m not much into superstition, but I think it’s probably true that animals have a sixth sense and know when they’re around someone who loves animals.”

Jeronymus laughed. “Methinks the gentleman protests too much.  We won’t think you’re less of a man if you admit you liked the girl.  I’d actually think less of you if you’d never liked a girl by your age.  Did you ever have a sweetheart or do anything with a girl before we met you?”

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