Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zanter Klauzen (Part 6)

Stranded in a cabin deep in a Minnesota wood, a woman and her two children face an uncertain Christmas. With their supplies dwindling she began to pray that they would survive to see the new year. Then he appeared, a strange man lurking in the shadows of the snow covered firs. How long would he watch them before making his move?

The story begins HERE

Things could have been, should have been different, much different. Norma was long on convictions, but much too short on compassion. Wasn't it bad enough that she'd driven him away so long ago? No, she had to do the same to their daughter.

He wiped away a tear lest it freeze upon his cheek. Through forlorn eyes he looked back at the cabin. A blast of arctic wind pushed aside a few of the tree's branches. He could just make out the snow-covered roof of the small structure.

He had built the cabin. He had spent his life savings to purchase the land. With his own two hands he had cleared the land, had hewn the fallen trees into the logs, and had created a secluded home for them in the forest. He had built it for her.

They had made love for the first time in that cabin. How long ago was it? Thirty years? Time may have clouded his memory of the year, but he remembered that their tender embraces took place on that very date, on Christmas Eve.

What happened that night while they slept? What came over her? When the rays of the rising sun peeked through the boughs of the stately firs, it was as if he'd awakened next to a stranger. She had accused him of taking advantage of her ... that he'd raped her!

She'd allowed him to take her home through the woods in his horse-drawn sleigh. She had vowed that she would never speak of what happened on the condition that he'd never see her again. If he refused her wishes, she would report his crime to her father and to the police.

Rebecca and Jon were trembling in her arms. They could hear the footfalls of the intruders on hardwood floors of the main room. Marilee squeezed them tighter in an attempt to comfort them. She could hear the voices of the men and strained to make out what they were saying.

"Jim, I don't think we should have broken into this place," said one of them.

"Nonsense," retorted the other, "who will know?"

"I don't know. No one, I guess. It's just that the place gives me the creeps."

"Ha!" the second man snapped. "Billy, are you afraid of the old man?"

"Knock it off. Of course not."

Jim slapped his nervous companion on the shoulder and announced, "It's perfect, don't you think? It'll make a great hunting lodge."

"Well, yeah," Billy nodded, "but do you really think we can buy the place?"

"Yes. Money talks and we've got the money. We'll make them an offer they can't refuse."

"Okay, if you say so," he shrugged. "Look, it's getting late and I don't want to be wandering around in these woods in the dark. Let's get out here."

The one named Jim looked around the room and said, "Look at that, would you? We have fresh logs next to the fireplace. We can start a fire, spend the night and take off in the morning."

Marilee, her ear pressed against the wall, gasped when she heard his words. They couldn't stay in their hiding place all night. She had to take action. She had to drive them away, but what could she do against the two men? She couldn't just march in there and tell them to leave. Could she?

She could just barely see the flashing lights as she came out of the curve. She stepped on the brake and exhaled a sigh of relief that she managed to slide short of the vehicle parked in the road. Through the heavy falling snow she recognized that it was a New Ulm police cruiser.

Flashlight in hand the officer approached her and waved. "Ms Jorgensen, why are you out in this awful blizzard? It isn't safe."

"I might ask, why in the devil are you parked in the middle of the road in this awful blizzard, Sergeant Barker? I wouldn't call that very safe?" she quipped in her usual sarcastic tone.

He ignored her sarcasm and cleared his throat. "We have every available officer in New Ulm and Mankato out on the roads. We're looking for two men."

"Oh? ...And why are you after these men?"

He leaned closer to her open window and replied, "About two hours ago two armed men held up the Cooperative Bank in New Ulm. The bank manager thinks they got away with about twenty-five thousand dollars."

She raised her hand to her mouth, "My goodness, how awful. You think they are still in the area and near here?"

His face was grim when he answered, "They were seen heading in this direction. We found their car abandoned about a mile ahead. The idiots ran out of gas."

"I shouldn't think they'll get too far on foot," she mused, "especially in this weather."

"True, but the snow is covering up their tracks almost as soon as they leave them," Barker asserted.

"Oh, dear. I really must get home. My daughter and my two grandchildren are there. They won't know what's happening."

The officer stepped aside, "Be careful driving. I suggest you lock down your cabin and stay alert. I'll send a unit over your way to check on you as soon as possible."

( To be continued ... Part 7 )



Jack K. said...

OK, now I have enough information to make some comments about this tale.

1. Zanter Klauzen is Marilee's father.

2. The two men at the cabin are the bank robbers.

3. Marilee and the children will come out of hiding and be considered hostages.

4. Norma will arrive to join the group.

5. Zanter Klauzen will arrive to take out the culprits.

6. A deputy will arrive to take them into custody.

7. Or, none of the above is anywhere near close to your vision.

Happy new year.

Sandee said...

I'm on the same page as Jack. I'm thinking the very same things. I'm also thinking we both may be very wrong too.

Have a terrific day and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. :)

Hale McKay said...


1. Correct

2. Correct

3. Only in a manner of speaking

4. Yes, but not how you'd expect

5. Most definitely

6. No - the law will not figure

7. You scored pretty good

A belated happy new year to you as well.

Hale McKay said...


As for the very wrong part - you'd be right.