By Hilda van Stockum
“HALT! WHO IS THERE? Who is out after curfew?” Leendert Schenderhans! Joris didn’t think twice. He kicked his clogs into the bushes and ran. “Wait till I catch him!” The thought gave extra energy to his legs. Joris was running as fast as his lungs would let him, and thinking furiously. He must not let Schenderhans find out who he was. He had to get home, and yet Leendert must not see him go in. If he was captured, all was up, with that piece of aviator’s map in his pocket.
The Watchman … the Watchman. Joris looked at it in despair. Winged Watchman … guardian angel. His breath came in wheezy gasps. He heard Schenderhans’ footsteps coming closer. Soon he would not be able to run any more; there was a stitch in his side.
Then he saw he was near the moving wings of the mill, dark and vague but unmistakable. He grabbed one of them and jumped on it, melting into his shadow. He had to move fast to keep his head up as the wing carried him higher and higher, far out of the reach of his pursuer. Joris felt a momentary exhilaration, but he hadn’t time to think about it. He had to keep changing his position. A wrong move might send him plummeting to the ground with a broken neck, but that danger seemed nothing compared to the thought of Schenderhans. He had to hold tight to the slippery wet gates as he moved, for he felt gusts of wind tugging at him, slapping the rain about his ears. Slowly the wing was going down again, down, down, down.