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Meanwhile, Jack and Gottfried had crossed over the road and were making their way down the valley towards the village on the shelf below.  The grass was very green and their legs were tired, so the going was slow.

“Do you think we’ll be able to get motors here?” Jack asked doubtfully, his hand clawing the air as his foot slipped.

Gottfried shook his head.  “I do not think a car would be the best thing anyhow.  There are too many of us for one motor and I fear it will be far harder for us to procure two. It would mean two journeys and I do not think we can leave half of the party behind to come back for them. It would not be fair now.  But I can see one or two farms down here, perhaps one of them will be able to make a loan of a haycart and horse to us.”

“But will that not take an age to get there?”

“Perhaps, but it will get us there, at least, and all together.”

Jack nodded at the wisdom of this, and then changed the tack of the conversation.  “Gottfried, will your aunt know of a medical man in Bad Ragaz or Chur? We really need to get Nell’s ankle seen to immediately.  I know she’s being incredibly stoic, but she is in considerable pain and we don’t have the supplies to be able to tend to it ourselves.”

“I am sure that she will. We will ask when we arrive. And if not then I have a cousin who works in the League of Nations.  He is sure to know of somebody who can help us.  And we shall ask his help to get a message to the Sonnalpe and to the girls’ parents also.”

“Good plan.”  He chuckled, “Jo wasn’t as far out as she thought when she said we could enlist the help of the League was she?”

Gottfried smiled and then they fell silent, as they negotiated the rest of the grass slope leading down to the village.  They reached the road ten minutes later and set off towards the nearest dwelling.  The first door was slammed in their face, as was the next, and there was no answer from the next three, though they could tell that people were in.  They were so used to the friendliness of the people in the villages around the Sonnalpe, that this attitude was a great shock to them.  They were forgetting that even though the villagers in Tirol may have been strangers to them, everyone had heard of the English school at the Tiernsee and the great Sanatorium, and they were welcomed as old friends by the locals wherever they went.  Here they were complete unknowns, and although Switzerland was at no threat from the Nazi Regime, people were still tense and suspicious of strangers.

Jack sat down on a fallen log at the side of the road and sighed. Even Gottfried was starting to feel dispirited.  They had been so sure that their difficulties were over. That they would run up against this had never occurred to them.




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