It was early in the morning, a good time to hunt for rats on an old ship. The moon was setting in the West and the sun about to rise in the East.
It would have been a peacful morning on the Rhine River, expcet that workmen had been making noise all night and keeping Lili Marlene and Hans awake with the banging and clanging and sawing and hammering involved in putting some “special additions” on the old ship; and by order of Adolph Hitler himself the work had to be done by special crews sworn to secrecy under pain of death.
“What on earth are they doing?” Lili asked Hans, who was recovering well from his run-in with a bullet from the pistol of one of the fuehrer’s personal guards.
“I have no idea,” Hans told her.
“Some sort of project for the nasty little man who’s afraid of cats. But it appears the workmen have installed lots of small mechanical devices along one entire side of the ship. Come on, Lili, “Let’s go find a rat. There are some very large ones living on this vessel.”
Lili thought for a few moments.
“You go ahead. I may wait for Fritz to bring the breakfast scraps. They feed the crew very generously and there’s always a lot left over.”
Hans looked out toward the dock. “Is that nastly little man coming back? We dont’ want them shooting at us again.”
Lili began grooming herself. “Probably not till they start work again this evening. He comes and inspects what they’ve done the night before.”
It was daylight now, and several men were approaching. “Nothing to worry about. It’s Captain Kruger. I think he likes us. He tickled me under the chin the other day.”
Hans agreed and trotted off to inspect a dark passageway he knew led to the cabins where the crew ate.
Lili found a nesting place in sight of the dining area and curled up for a short nap.
to be continued…