The Bridge to the Moon:
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6||Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
Emma took a sip of tea and turned a page.
The doorbell rang.
“Guten Tag, Frau Peel,” Steed said cheerfully, entering the flat and placing his burden down on a convenient table.
Emma raised an eyebrow at him. “Guten Tag, Herr Steed,” she replied.
She joined him at the table and glanced through the first few books, reading the titles aloud. “German For People of Average Intelligence. The Smarty's Guide to German. Quite Quite Fantastic German.…”
She laid the last tome down and raised her eyebrow at Steed. “You’d have done better to bring me some books on bridge, Steed.”
“Not a bit of it, Mrs. Peel…considering you’ve written enough articles on the game to fill a book, yourself. But you don’t know how to speak German, do you?”
“I know enough to be able to order dinner at a restaurant. That’s all I need to know, surely?”
“Mrs. Peel, I’m surprised at you," Steed said in a surprised tone. "I thought you never let a chance go by to learn some new subject.”
“I don’t, but why German? I’m only going to be in the country for a week.”
“Ah, but what a week it might be, especially if you know the language. Things are going on over there, Mrs. Peel. In Berlin, especially. Interesting things.”
Emma’s other eyebrow rose. “Ten words a day? At that rate I’ll know a grand total of 300 words by the time I get to Berlin. That’s not going to get me very far.”
Steed grinned. “Well, you know your own skills best. I’m shooting for ten words a day, myself.”
“I thought you already knew German? You spent so much time in and out of there during the war.”
“Fifteen years ago, Mrs. Peel. My German served me in good stead at the time, but I admit that I’ve gotten tremendously rusty now. It will be fun to sharpen my skills again.”
“So, you’re going to be joining me?”
“Both in learning German and in Berlin next month, yes indeed, Mrs. Peel. Here…I don’t think you saw this.”
Steed ran his finger down the stack of titles in the stack, selected a sheaf of papers, and tried to pull it out quickly, without tipping the stack over. It was an attempt that failed. While he was busy picking up the books that had fallen to the floor, Emma gazed at the papers he had just given her.
“Erste Reise nach dem Mond,” Emma murmured. “I know enough German to know what that means… First Trip to the Moon. What is this, a Jules Verne novel?”