Present Day: June 1944
In mid-June where the days are almost arctic in length, Gunther rose with the sun, having slept for two hours. The rain and fog, once to be his cover, had ceased to be. Thus he decided to walk the North sands of the salt pond towards town – with the cool dawn mist swirling around him. On his back, his duffel weighed some sixty pounds, yet his stride was swift in the soft sand as his confidence was high.
It was 5:05 am.
Having not seen a soul upon reaching Rt 1-A, he then doubled back on Noyes Avenue to the South to kill some time and paused at the end, where he saw a ‘room for rent’ sign obscured by growing grass.
On the porch, a woman swept with silent efficiency, deep in thought.
“Good morning ma’am . . .sorry to disturb you, but I saw the sign and am looking for a room, several weeks to a month, I should imagine.” His accent was thoroughly British, perhaps even Oxford educated in tone. The woman was impressed, “I am Sarah, good morning.”
The room was above the rafters in the garage and was spacious with two South facing windows to the sea, which was perfect. Sarah apologized for the dust and explained that sometimes the nephews, when not playing baseball in the front yard, like to come up and play ping pong. Gunther, who had by now introduced himself as Terrence Riddle, a writer from England on assignment to capture the essence of a war-torn America, said that he would much enjoy a game ‘here and there’.
Satisfied, Gunther paid forward a month in USD cash and for the first time since leaving Kristiansand, he rested his head on a musty pillow and relaxed.