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The Fight For Freedom

By: LoveLiftedMe

Chapter 5,


The next morning went by slow and sorrowfully. Grieving the loss of her baby brother, Ingrid sat in the corner and cried. It was no longer necessary for the Martins and the remaining Goldschmidts to hide in the attic; the Klansmen knew where they were. 
     The funeral for baby Christian was going to be held that afternoon. Magda hadn't been found yet, and nobody but the evil Klansmen knew where she was.
     A low cloud of sorrow hung over the Martin household.
     "Why did it have to happen?" 
     Ingrid had never gone through such a terrible time as what she was going through now. She had never lost a family member as close as her baby brother. Ingrid remembered the death of her grandmother, but she was too young to really experience what it was like.
     "We've all got to go when it's our time."
     Elizabeth sat beside Ingrid. She tried to comfort her friend in her time of loss, but nothing seemed to cure the dreaded feel of death.
     "Someday, Ingrid, you, your mother, and your sisters, you'll all be reunited with him in Heaven."
     Samantha tried to give helpful advice, but it didn't seem to help.
     "And where is Magda?" Ingrid asked. "She's too young to have to go through all of this! I mean, being kidnapped and taken and all. If I could've, I would have took her place!"
     "We'll find your sister," Elizabeth said. "But I just don't know how. Maybe we can think of something."
     Everyone was silent, and all that could be heard was the sound of crying through the house. The grandfather clock ticked lowly from its place in corner, and birds could be heard chirping outside.
     Samantha looked around the room. She, Elizabeth, and Ingrid were the only ones in the living room downstairs. Mrs. Goldschmidt, Else, Gretchen, and Marlene were staying in a guest bedroom that was downstairs, and that's where they stayed for most of the day.
     Although the sun shone brightly through the windows, and all outside was bright and cheerful, it was silent and gloomy inside. 
     Samantha began to think of different things, such as the time she and Elizabeth rescued Elizabeth's puppy from the evil former pastor of her church. She thought about the Christmas when she ran away and how Elizabeth, Tommy, and Chrystal had found her. And most of all, she thought about when the Goldschmidts had come to town.
     Then, suddenly, Samantha got an idea. 
     We know who at least one of the Klansmen are, she told herself in her mind. Kenneth Rogers. We could go around to his place and see if we can bribe him into telling us who some of the others were last night. Then we could sneak inside the other Klansmen's houses and see if Magda is there.
     "Elizabeth, Ingrid," Samantha said. "I've got an idea on how to get Magda back."
     Ingrid perked up and Elizabeth turned to face Samantha.
     "Well," Samantha said. "We could go by Kenneth Rogers' house… Ingrid, Kenneth was one of the Klansmen who was here last night… and we could bribe him into telling us who some of the other Klansmen were. Ingrid, you'd have to stay here for your own safety, but Elizabeth and I could go."
     "Anything to get my sister back!" Ingrid exclaimed.
     "That sounds like a good plan," Elizabeth replied. "If you think Kenneth will give in."
     "Oh, he will," Samantha said. "What we'll do is we'll get him out of the picture for a little while, and then we can see what we can find."
     "What do you mean by 'get him out of the picture'?" Elizabeth asked.
     "I was thinking we could write a fake letter to him saying that a relative in another state needs help on their farm or something like that," Samantha answered. "And then, when he's gone, we could sneak into his house and see if there's any evidence. After all, folks 'round Atlanta don't lock their doors much."
     "You know, Sammy," Elizabeth said. "I think you might be getting somewhere with this. It just might work. Let's go write that letter. We need to find Magda before it's too late!"
     Elizabeth, followed by Samantha and Ingrid, raced upstairs.
     It didn't take the girls long to write the letter, and they mailed it as soon as they were done. Kenneth would probably get the letter the next day, and hopefully, he would fall for it and go where it said. But that could only be hoped for, since it was unknown to Samantha and Elizabeth if Kenneth had any relatives in Kentucky.
     "Mail's come early today…"
     Kenneth Rogers stepped out onto his front porch to get the mail. He had just eaten breakfast and was about to go to work at the ice cream parlor.
     Kenneth went through his mail quickly, but was puzzled when he saw a quaint envelope addressed to him, from someone named Lee Rogers from Louisville, Kentucky.
     Wonder who that could be… he thought. Kenneth ripped open the envelope and began to read the letter that was enclosed.
     Dear Kenneth,
         I am your father's uncle, Lee Rogers Sr. I need some help on my farm way up here in Louisville. Enclosed is a train ticket, round trip to Louisville. I will pay you for the work you do on my farm, and I sure do hope you'll take me up on this offer. Please reply soon.
                                                  Your great-uncle,
                                                                      Lee Rogers Sr.
     I could use the money, Kenneth said in his mind. And it would be nice to get out of this big old city, Atlanta. I think I will go to Kentucky.
     And so Kenneth Rogers posted a sign in his front window that said:
     He packed his bags and left Atlanta, but not before he stopped by the ice cream parlor, telling the owner that he had to go to Kentucky. The owner let him go, and told him that he'd better be back in a month. Kenneth agreed, then hopped on a train, non-stop to Louisville.
     Samantha and Elizabeth had made a special stop by Kenneth Rogers' home, checking to see if he'd gone to Kentucky. When they saw the makeshift sign that Kenneth had posted on his window, they were relieved.
     "Time to slip inside?" Elizabeth asked Samantha.
     "Yeah, I guess," Samantha answered. 
     She and Elizabeth stepped up onto the front porch. Of course, they hoped nobody saw them, because if someone did, that meant danger for both them and little Magda.
     Samantha slowly opened the front door. It creaked slightly. She and Elizabeth went inside, not forgetting to shut the door behind them. 
     They looked around. 
     It was dark inside the house, and the temperature was quite warm. From upstairs to downstairs, everything was silent. The clock's ticking was the only thing to be heard, and the bright July summer sun shone brightly through the windows.
     "Let's start looking," Samantha whispered.
     It was going to be a complicated situation, looking for evidence that they didn't know they needed. Samantha was hoping to find a list of those other Klansmen that were at the Martins the night before, but it was very unlikely for her to find such a thing. 
     Elizabeth searched the living room and the kitchen. In the living room, she looked in the places that she figured would be best for hiding things. She looked under the couch cushions, the lamp, in books, and even in the fireplace. Elizabeth found nothing in the living room, so she futhered her search into the kitchen. 
     On the kitchen table, there lay a pile of papers and things of the sort. That was the only likely place for evidence in the kitchen, so Elizabeth decided to go through them. 
     Elizabeth pulled out a bill, a shopping list, then another bill, then an unmailed letter. Although she knew the letter was none of her business, Elizabeth opened the envelope and read what was inside. It was a letter to Kenneth's cousin in Macon, nothing associated with the Klan and the kidnapping of Magda.
     Samantha was searching the upstairs bedrooms. Most of them were empty, because Kenneth was the only person who lived in the big house. There was nothing of evidential value in any of the upstairs rooms, so she went downstairs to where her friend was searching the pile of papers. 
     "Have you found anything important yet?" Samantha asked when she reached the kitchen table. 
     "Not yet," Elizabeth answered as she sat another envelope to the side. "Just bills and shopping lists and unimportant letters."
     Then, suddenly, Elizabeth pulled out a note from the bottom of the pile. Apparently, Kenneth had been in a rush when he had written the note, for it was quite hard to read, with the letters jumbled up.
     "I think I've found something," Elizabeth said excitedly. She read the note to herself first, then gasped.
     "What is it?" Samantha asked.
     Elizabeth didn't answer Samantha's question, but instead, handed the note to her friend. 
     Samantha began to read.
      July 21, 1917
     Meet Henry and the gang at Martin house at ten. Cross burning there, rid place of immigrants. Will not leave till lesson is taught. Cross burning, Martin place, ten p.m.
     "So Henry's behind all this!" Samantha exclaimed when she finished reading the note. 
     "I reckon so," Elizabeth replied, completely shocked. 
     "Then we'll just have to have a talk with him, won't we?" Samantha asked angrily.
     "You're right," said Elizabeth. "He thought he taught us a lesson, now we'll be teaching him one."
     "Yep," Samantha said. She slid the note into her pocket and added, "We'll keep this note for evidence." She looked around then said to Elizabeth, "Come on. We're going to straighten out that Henry Houston."
     Samantha and Elizabeth quickly walked to Henry Houston's house, which wasn't far from their own. Revelle Street crossed over Aberdeen Lane, where the two girls found Elizabeth's puppy two years before. Henry lived on West Revelle Street, in the greener part of the area, while Samantha and Elizabeth lived on East Revelle Street, the part of the road with no trees offering shade from the sun. Actually, it was only a short walk between the two houses.
     Finally, Samantha and Elizabeth reached Henry's house. They stepped up to the door and knocked firmly. Henry came to the door and opened it.
     "Good morning," he said.
     "I don't see how it can be good," Samantha said, "when the night before, you and your 'friends' go around burning crosses, killing innocent folks, and kidnapping little girls."
     "Why, I don't believe I know what you're talking about," Henry replied.
     "You know good and well what I'm talking about!" Samantha exclaimed. "You, Kenneth Rogers, and some others came and burned a cross on Elizabeth's front yard last night. Then you killed the immigrant girl's baby brother before you left. And not only that, you kidnapped her five year old sister, too. I have proof."
     And proof is a pretty powerful word, for Henry stood there completely shocked. "What proof?"
     Samantha held out the note. "This."
     Henry skimmed over the note, then asked, "Where did you find that?"
     "We found it in Kenneth Rogers' house," Samantha answered. "Elizabeth and I sent him to Louisville, Kentucky, to work on a farm for an  uncle that doesn't exist."
     Henry had nothing to say. He stood there amazed for a couple of minutes, thinking about how the girls had gotten Kenneth out of town. He wondered if it would be best to admit what he had done or to skip town. He chose both.
     "All right, all right," Henry said. "I admit to all those things you accused me of, even the killing and the kidnapping. And I've got the girl with me right now, locked in a closet. But you won't get her back, and you definitely can't stop me!"
     Samantha tried tackling Henry, but before she could do so, Henry threw a glass vase at her. The vase hit Samantha on the head, and she tumbled backwards on the steps. Her forehead was cut slightly, but Elizabeth caught her before she fell. 
     "You are a terrible person, Henry Houston!" Elizabeth shouted.
     Henry didn't answer. He ran back into his house and threw some clothes into a suitcase. He took Magda out of the closet and untied her hands. Henry grabbed some money and shoved it into his pocket. Then he hurried out of the house, and ran as fast as he could towards town. He took Magda with him, and that meant no good.
     "And unless you can outrun a train," Henry yelled, "you can't catch me!"
     Elizabeth and Samantha watched as Henry made his escape. 
     "We have to stop him!" Elizabeth exclaimed. "Follow him or something!"
     "You're right!" Samantha said. She stood up slowly.
     "Are you sure that cut is okay?" Elizabeth asked. 
     "I'll have to make due," Samantha said. "I've been hurt plenty of times in my life, but I'd rather be hurt once more than for little Magda to be hurt for the first time. We've got to stop Henry. Fast."
     "All right." 
     Samantha and Elizabeth ran back to the Martins' and burst inside. Everyone was sitting around the kitchen table when the two girls came barreling inside the house.
     "What's wrong?" Mr. Martin asked, jumping up from the table.
     "It's Henry Houston!" Elizabeth exclaimed. "He's got Magda and he took off towards the train station!"
     Mrs. Goldschmidt stood up quickly. "My daughter!" she exclaimed.
     "Dad," Elizabeth said, "Samantha and I have to follow Henry or who knows what might happen to Magda."
     "I agree," Mr. Martin said. He gave his daughter some money, enough to buy two train tickets. "You go and stop that evil person."
     "And please, bring my sister back home safely," Ingrid said.
     "All right." It suddenly struck Elizabeth that Ingrid had just called America 'home'. It was a good feeling.
     Samantha and Elizabeth rushed to the train station. They hoped Henry was still at the station, but that wasn't likely. He could be halfway to New York for all they knew.
     The two girls quickly stepped up to the ticket counter.
     "Hello," Samantha said. "Has a young man about the age of twenty came here with a little girl about five years of age?"
     "Yes," the ticket lady answered.
     "Can you please tell me where they were headed?" Samantha asked. "I'm his sister, and this is his wife." She pointed back at Elizabeth.
     Elizabeth gave Samantha a disgusted look.
    "They were headed for Savannah," answered the ticket lady.
     "All right. We'd like two tickets to Savannah, then," Samantha said. She paid for the tickets, and then she and Elizabeth hurried to board the train.
     It was nonstop to Savannah for them, and neither Samantha or Elizabeth were going back to Atlanta without Magda. Henry Houston was going to be stopped. They were sure of it.

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