Pronghorns of the Third Reich (4 page)

He hugged himself and shivered and condensation clouds from his breath haloed his head.

Parker roamed through Angler’s library, hugging himself in an attempt to keep warm and to keep his blood flowing. There were no lights and the phone had been shut off months before. Muted light filtered through gaps in the thick curtains. Outside, the blizzard howled and threw itself against the old home but couldn’t get in any more than Lyle could get in. Snow covered the single window in the library except for one palm-sized opening, and Parker used it to look around outside for Lyle or Lyle’s body but he couldn’t see either. It had been twenty minutes since he’d locked Lyle out.

At one point he thought he heard a cry, but when he stopped pacing and listened all he could hear was the wind thundering against the windows.

He started a fire in the fireplace using old books as kindling and had fed it with broken furniture and a few decorative logs he’d found in the great room downstairs. Orange light from the flames danced on the spines of the old books.

He wanted a fire to end all fires that would not only warm him but also act as his shield against the storm and the coming darkness outside.

After midnight Parker ran out of wood and he kept the fire going with Angler’s books. Mainly the German language volumes. The storm outside seemed to have eased a bit.

As he reached up on the shelves for more fuel, his fingers avoided touching the copies of
Mein Kampf.
The act of actually touching the books terrified Parker in a way he couldn’t explain.

Then he reasoned that if books were to be burned,
Mein Kampf
should be one of them. As he tossed the volumes into the flames, a loose square of paper fluttered out of the pages onto the floor.

Parker bent over to retrieve it to flick it into the fire when he realized it was an old photograph. The image in the firelight made him gasp.

Parker ran down the stairs in the dark to the front door and threw back the bolt. The force of the wind opened both the doors inward and he squinted against the snow and tried to see into the black and white maelstrom.

“Lyle!” he shouted to no effect. “Lyle!”

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

The story is fiction but the photograph is not.

In 1936, in one of the odder episodes of the modern American West, Wyoming rancher and noted photographer Charles Belden did indeed catch pronghorn antelope fawns on his ranch and deliver them to zoos across the nation in his Ryan monoplane, including a delivery to the German passenger airship LZ 129
Hindenburg
in Lakehurst, New Jersey, bound for the Berlin Zoo.

The photograph appears courtesy of the Charles Belden Collection, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

I can find no information on the fate of the pronghorn antelope. They would have arrived shortly after the conclusion of Adolf Hitler’s ’36 Olympics.

—CJB, 2011

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this ebook onscreen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

copyright © 2012 by C. J. Box

This 2012 edition distributed by
MysteriousPress.com
/Open Road Integrated Media

180 Varick Street

New York, NY 10014

www.mysteriouspress.com

www.openroadmedia.com

 
BIBLIOMYSTERIES

FROM
MYSTERIOUSPRESS.COM
AND OPEN ROAD MEDIA

 

Available wherever ebooks are sold

 

 

MYSTERIOUSPRESS.COM

 

 

Otto Penzler, owner of the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan, founded the Mysterious Press in 1975. Penzler quickly became known for his outstanding selection of mystery, crime, and suspense books, both from his imprint and in his store. The imprint was devoted to printing the best books in these genres, using fine paper and top dust-jacket artists, as well as offering many limited, signed editions.

Now the Mysterious Press has gone digital, publishing ebooks through
MysteriousPress.com
.

MysteriousPress.com
offers readers essential noir and suspense fiction, hard-boiled crime novels, and the latest thrillers from both debut authors and mystery masters. Discover classics and new voices, all from one legendary source.

 

FIND OUT MORE AT

WWW.MYSTERIOUSPRESS.COM

FOLLOW US:

@emysteries
and
Facebook.com/MysteriousPressCom

MysteriousPress.com is one of a select group of publishing partners of Open Road Integrated Media, Inc.

Open Road Integrated Media
is a digital publisher and multimedia content company. Open Road creates connections between authors and their audiences by marketing its ebooks through a new proprietary online platform, which uses premium video content and social media.

Videos, Archival Documents,
and
New Releases

Sign up for the Open Road Media newsletter and get news delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up now at

www.openroadmedia.com/newsletters

 

FIND OUT MORE AT

WWW.OPENROADMEDIA.COM

FOLLOW US:

@openroadmedia
and

Facebook.com/OpenRoadMedia

Other books

Deception Point by Dan Brown
Best Black Women's Erotica by Blanche Richardson
Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter
Christmas Kismet by Grey, Jemma
The Tower: A Novel by Uwe Tellkamp
Howler's Night by Marie Hall
Liberty's Last Stand by Stephen Coonts
Rage Of The Assassin by Russell Blake