The rain flowed down the spouting with the roar of a larger waterfall. Nellie decided the acoustics of the narrow alley made the rush of water sound louder than it should have. She’d only been in Prague for less than a day and already she hated the city.
She stared from under the brim of her hat at the side door of the three-story brick building with patience despite the chill of the rain. The collar of her trench coat was up and her hands were in her pockets. She saw Dr. Paine and Beau walk into the alley and she hurried to the side door and pulled out her lock picks. By the time they reached her, she had the door unlocked and the three of them entered. “Enter freely,” Beau whispered and a moment later Lucith and Sofia flew in as bats and then resumed their human forms. Without a word, the two quickly moved to a hall door and down the stairs while Beau and Nellie took up positions on either side with their handguns drawn. Dr. Paine waited a moment and then followed the vampires down the stairs. Moments later, the Nazi guards knocked out by saps to the back of their heads, Dr. Paine was kneeling over the unconscious Seth Adams. After he finished a quick examination, Dr. Paine whispered, “He’s fit to move.” Lucith motioned for Sofia to pick him up and then she led the way up the stairs followed by Sofia carrying Seth Adams and Dr. Paine bringing up the rear. At the top of the stairs, Nellie then Beau followed Dr. Paine out and down the alley and across the street to a gray lorry. The rear door swung open and all climbed inside.
The Chief snapped his watch case shut and slid it into his vest pocket. “Under four minutes and how many shots were fired, Mr. Jackson?” he asked as the van pulled away from the curb and away from the Nazi safehouse.
“None,” Beau said.
“How many dead Germans to explain to the authorities, Miss Thompson?” the Chief asked.
“Zero,” she said.
The lorry stopped at an intersection.
“Do you see there are other ways besides going in with guns blazing, killing everyone in sight, Dr. Paine?” the Chief asked with a hint of a smile though his eyes remained quite serious.
“I suppose your method might work at times,” the Doctor sniffed, his proper New England accent more pronounced than usual.
“How is Seth?” Adena asked.
“Hard to say without X-rays,” the Doctor replied. “He should be fine. I would say from the bump on the back of his head they hit him with a sap and knocked him out. I was just getting ready to try to bring him around.”
“Why didn’t you bring him around down there?” she asked.
“Wanted to get him out first,” Dr. Paine said. “We wouldn’t want him to be groggy and making noise if we had to sneak out.”
“Quite right,” Adena said.
Dr. Paine broke the smelling salts under Seth’s nose. A moment later he batted Dr. Paine’s hands away.
“Are you alright?” Nellie asked. Seth looked at her in surprise.
“What are you doing here, Nellie?”
Dr. Paine helped raise Seth up to a seated position. “How many fingers am I holding up?” the Doctor asked holding up two.
Seth focused, his eyes scrunched as if in pain. “Four?”
“You most likely have a concussion,” the Doctor said.
“Nah, he was always bad at math,” Wade said from the driver’s seat.
“Do you remember what they did with the book?” Lucith asked.
“What book?” Seth asked.
“Le Mysteres des Vampyres,” Lucith answered.
“No,” Seth answered. “I don’t recall seeing it.”
“You had stolen it,” Adena said. “Did you have it when the Germans captured you?”
“The Germans captured me?” Seth repeated groggily.
“That’s enough questions for now,” Dr. Paine said. “His memory might return with some rest.”
“What if I tried to hypnotize him?” Lucith asked.
Dr. Paine shook his head. “He has a concussion. I don’t know if that would be good for him or work any way since it’s not a question of him simply forgetting what happened, but suffering trauma.”
“It is still worth trying,” Lucith said.
Dr. Paine looked sternly at her. “I forbid it with my patient,” he said.
“Let’s see if he recalls in the morning after a good night’s rest,” Adena said diplomatically. “In the meantime we are here at the hotel.”
The hotel was a large, hulking affair. A doorman opened the door of the truck as Wade pulled up and the group entered together. Beau noticed the others also examined discretely the faces of those in the lobby sitting in the chairs chatting in pairs or reading newspapers singly.
They took their keys at the counter and then the elevator boy held the gate to the elevator for them. No one spoke until they entered their rooms. Beau, Lucy, Nellie and Dr. Paine, who shared a suite, said little even after they were alone. Lucy and Dr. Paine still looked as if they were ready to continue their earlier disagreement and Beau did not speak to either of them out of loyalty to the other.
“The last time we four shared rooms we were attacked,” Nellie said as she tossed the key onto a small table.
“Arkham?” Beau asked.
“No, Cairo, this past summer,” Nellie said.
“That’s right,” Beau said. “The attacks do tend to blur together after a while. I was shot in that attack.”
“No, you were shot in Arkham,” Nellie said.
“That’s right,” Beau said. “In any event, we should be staying some place less conspicuous.”
“Adena or Arthur or both are counting on the Germans locating us so they can try to recapture Seth so we can follow one of them back to where they are hidden,” Lucith said.
“Of course,” Nellie said. “Once again we’re live bait.”
“Hopefully Sofia will have success following the Germans when they depart the house where we rescued Seth,” Lucith said. “Then the Germans will be the prey and we will be the hunters.”