‘The way was not dangerous or difficult, but it was sufficiently toilsome, and they had one very nasty moment when the figure of a Swiss gendarme showed up on the horizon for a moment. Swiss gendarmes at the frontier are armed and they have no scruples about shooting at smugglers, who, thereabouts, are a hardy, daring set of fellows, and as ready to shoot as the gendarmes. Luckily, something distracted his attention, and in the five minutes his head was turned they had dashed across the frontier into Switzerland. They were safe at last!’ - Elinor Brent-Dyer, The Chalet School in Exile
They kept running until they reached the edge of the pine forest, Gottfried having impressed on them previously that they must not stop in sight of the border lest they should be seen by the guards. After they had followed him a hundred yards or so into the trees, Joey felt her legs give out. Stopping, she leant against a tall pine, and slowly slid down its trunk until she was sitting on the ground. Jeanne followed her example.
“Please Gottfried,” Joey pleaded, gasping for breath, “Can’t we just stop here a while and rest? I don’t think I can go any further.”
The young doctor stopped and, lowering Miss Wilson to the ground, looked around the group. All of them were at the end of their tether, even Hilary and the two Americans who were sturdy young things as a rule. He desperately wanted to reach his Aunt’s house before nightfall, but he realised that they were too shattered to go on. He nodded to Jack Maynard, who lowered the Robin to the ground and crouched down, placing a concerned hand on his fiancée’s dark head, which she leant against him.
“Alright, we can rest, but for no longer than an hour, then we must be on our way again. We must reach Tante Anna’s before nightfall. Until we are there I shall not feel that we are safe,” Gottfried said sternly, looking around at them all again.
In fact, both he and Jack knew that they were perfectly safe now, but they had discussed it the previous evening and felt that it was important to keep a sense of urgency instilled in the others until they reached Frau Helsen’s house. They were afraid that otherwise the girls' resolve would give out and the strain of the past days would catch up with them, something they meant to prolong until they were safely in the domain of Gottfried’s kindly aunt.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I started writing this a long time ago, and posted the first few chapters on the CBB back in the day. I have always meant to finish it, and have finally got round to doing so. I hope you enjoy.