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Chapter Four

Daniela had never been out of the her emotions swirled at the thought of traveling to such a distant land....and to finally meet her great-aunt Elzbieta.....and to find out the long-kept family secret.

When she stepped off the plane, she was surprised at how friendly everyone was.....and standing there, apparently waiting just for her....was a man!

"Greetings, Daniela!....I am Lenny, a friend of your aunt' to take you to her home."

Oh my goodness! She had never seen such a man in her life! His hair was thick, dark and wavy....his eyes sparkled.....were bluer than the sea...and seemed just as deep......his smile was broad and friendly....showing teeth that were perfect as pearls.....and revealing large dimples on both sides.....his body was athletic, strong, and tan......and her knees became instantly weak....and her mind just a tad blurry!

She trusted him instantly, if someone were telling her it was ok to......and on the hour-long drive to Elzbieta's home, he told her of having been a neighbor of her aunt's for quite some time now....and how he had helped the woman out doing chores and errands.....and taking care of her needs....since Elzbieta had never married and lived alone.

The village they lived in was a quaint one, very small, very friendly. Aunt Elzbieta lived at the east end of a small cottage-type home.....surrounded by so many could have been on the front of a picture postcard! As soon as she got out of the car, the aroma of lilacs hit her......the safe, familiar scent....and she immediately felt at home.

Standing at the door....a small, frail woman with a cane and an endearing face that strongly resembled her grandmother's.....Daniela recognized Aunt Elzbieta immediately from the few pictures she had seen on Grandmother's piano......and the two embraced.

"Come in, child. I'm so very happy to see you. I knew you would be beautiful! How was your trip?" She chattered on and on.......Lenny was still standing in the doorway carrying Daniela's luggage, smiling, and shaking his head. He did so love Aunt Elzbieta! He offered to leave, giving the two women a chance to 'catch up'....but neither of them would hear of it.

Auntie had fixed a meal of sausage and sauerkraut, home-made biscuits, scalloped potatoes, and several deserts. And the three of them sat down at the perfectly set table.....centered with a bouquet of lilacs.....and enjoyed each other's company for hours.

After hearing all about auntie's life.....Daniela finally came out with it.

"Tell me, auntie......about the German soldier".

"well, dearie.........."

Chapter by Penny

Chapter Five

"Tell me aunty......about the German soldier". "well dearie........As you already know, our whole family was in the camps during the war. I was with your grandmother during that time of darkness. I don't think I would have survived without her constant support.

The Germans were so cruel...they treated us like animals. All but one that is. His name was Carl...the man in the photographs. Carl had a kind heart. At risk of his own life he would bring us extra rations of food and simple but sorely needed things like bar soap and toilet paper. We used the paper for was all we had.

Carl and Agota fell in love. When news came of our parents death, Carl was grief stricken. He arranged for your grandmother and I to be taken from the camp to a place in the nearby village. I still don't know how he managed it.

Your grandmother and Carl were married illegally and they spend a few blessed weeks together, but then Carl was summoned to go and serve on the front. The last thing he did was to arrange us both safe passage out of the country.

We heard a rumor a few months latter Carl had died. Some of his relatives saw to it that his uniform and a few personal mementos were sent to Agota who was by this time with child.

Your mother was born in America. When the war was over, I wanted to return to our homeland but the memories were too strong for Agota and she decided to move to America.

Well, now you know the story...but not all of it. There is one thing I must tell you my dear...about your real Grandfather. You see it was said that part of his duties on the front was to keep safe all the plundered treasures that the Germans took as they swept through the land. This store house of wealth was never found upon his death...that is why the diary is so important........"

Chapter by Michael

Chapter Six

Just then, a loud crash came from the end of the kitchen table. Lenny, who had been leaning back in his chair balancing it on it's back 2 legs, leaned back too far, and he and the chair both had completely fallen backward, leaving Lenny and the chair both in a heap on the kitchen floor.

Auntie and Daniela both rushed to help him. As they helped him back to his feet, Lenny asked "Did you say 'treasures'?".

"Don't get too excited, Lenny. Let me finish my sentence" Aunt Elzbieta said with a little giggle. "While they have never claimed to have found the warehouse full of wealth, parts of its contents have shown up through the years...So obviously the warehouse had been located many years ago..No, the diary is important for another reason. My dear sweet Daniela, you'll probably want to sit back down for the rest of this story."

Lenny and Daniela took their seats once again at the table...Aunt Elzbieta had their full attention now.

"You see dear...the diary isn't missing. Your Aunt Anne sent me the diary shortly before she died, knowing you would contact me after discovering the contents of the trunk...It was the only way she knew to get you here so the truth could be given to you in the right way...So you could understand fully the importance of what you are about to find out, so that you could be here when you found out, and... so that you could do something about it...Your Aunt Anne was a smart woman...She knew this little bit of planning of hers would bring you to me.

"Please Auntie, tell me the rest before I burst!"

Aunt Elzbieta got up, walked over to her beautiful oak china cabinet, and pulled a key out of her apron pocket. She inserted the key into the lock on the bottom drawer of the china cabinet.."Click"..Auntie pulled open the drawer and lifted out an old ragged diary. She walked back to the table and set the diary onto the table and sat down.

"Dearie, the very last entry in this, your grandmother's diary, is going to change your life forever. It contains the name and whereabouts of the person you should contact for your inheritance, which was left to you, and you alone, by your real grandfather, Carl."

"But Auntie, how could he have known I would ever exist in order to leave me an inheritance?" Daniela said baffled.

"Dear, he didn't know you would exist...he only knew someone in your generation of his lifeline would exist, and you are that person. According to what your grandmother told me when she was living, Carl was forced to will his fortune to a future generation in order to to keep his real wife, Hilda, from getting everything..Of course he left her enough for living expenses... As a very young man , his parents had forced him to marry someone he didn't love and who didn't love him back...Carls family was paid a very large sum of money for the prearranged marriage by the brides family...As Carl would find out after he married her, Hilda was unable to have any children of her own, so willing everything to a future generation is the only way he knew to ensure that some day everything would go to generations that came from the real love he had with with your grandmother. He chose your generation because he knew that you would arrive long after his German bride was gone...Your grandmother was his one and only true love and he risked everything for her. Now Dear...Let's read the diary "

Chapter by Naji