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Dangerous Days

Chapter 41
Anna Klein stood in her small room and covered her mouth with her hands, lest
she shriek aloud. She knew quite well that the bomb in the suit-case would not
suffice to blow up the whole great plant. But she knew what the result of its
explosion would be.
The shells were not loaded at the Spencer plant. They were shipped away for
that. But the fuses were loaded there, and in the small brick house at the end of
the fuse building there were stored masses of explosive, enough to destroy a
town. It was there, of course, that Herman was to place the bomb. She knew how
he would o it, carefully, methodically, and with what a lumbering awkward gait he
would make his escape.
Her whole mind was bent on giving the alarm. On escaping, first, and then on
arousing the plant. But when the voices below continued, long after Herman had
gone, she was entirely desperate. Herman had not carried out the suit-case. He
had looked, indeed, much as usual as he walked out the garden path and closed
the gate behind him. He had walked rather slowly, but then he always walked
slowly. She seemed to see, however, a new caution in his gait, as of one who
dreaded to stumble.
She dressed herself, with shaking fingers, and pinned on her hat. The voices still
went on below, monotonous, endless; the rasping of Rudolph's throat, irritated by
cheap cigarets, the sound of glasses on the table, once a laugh, guttural and
mirthless. It was ten o'clock when she knew, by the pushing back of their chairs,
that they were preparing to depart. Ten o'clock!
She was about to commence again the feverish unscrewing of the door hinges,
when she heard Rudolph's step on the stairs. She had only time to get to the
back of her room, beside the bed, when she heard him try the knob.
"Anna?"
She let him call her again.
"Anna!"
"What is it?"
"You in bed?"
"Yes. Go away and let me alone. I've got a right to sleep, anyhow."
"I'm going out, but I'll be back in ten minutes. You try any tricks and I'll get you.
See?"
"You make me sick," she retorted.
She heard him turn and run lightly down the stairs. Only when she heard the click
of the gate did she dare to begin again at the door. She got down-stairs easily,
but she was still a prisoner. However, she found the high little window into the
coal-shed open, and crawled through it, to stand listening. The street was quiet.
Once outside the yard she started to run. They would let her telephone from the
drug-store, even without money. She had no money. But the drug-store was
closed and dark, and the threat of Rudolph's return terrified her. She must get off
the hill, somehow.
 
 
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