"Hello, sir."

Judith greeted the man at the door as though he was a neighbor or if they had known him before. He had droopy brown eyes, which reminded Judith of the dog an old woman down the road owned. He looked around expectantly, until his head dropped.

"Ah, I assume you aren't the only inhabitant of this house."

Judith looked at Stephanie for a moment. Stephanie looked completely fine, not a hint of worry on her fine face. And if Stephanie wasn't scared, Judith sure wasn't either! She opened the door all the way and pointed her finger past Stephanie into the sitting room.

"That's right. Mother is in the other room."

The man looked pleased, and easily shoved past the two girls who stumbled backwards as he breezed past.

As he entered the sitting room, it became very tense. The room full of ladies who stared up at him with a surprised and fearful look. Stephanie and Judith followed him inside. He adjusted his red coat a bit awkwardly before clearing his throat.

"Might I speak with the woman of the home?"

Mrs. Chauvet bit her lip and looked up. He acknowledged her and gave her a warm smile, getting down onto one knee.

"Allow me to introduce myself. I am Major John Handfield. And you are...?"

Mrs. Chauvet looked around nervously. That name was awfully familiar to her, so she thought it over for a second. It didn't come to her, and she gave up. Mrs. Chauvet adjusted Denise on her lap.

"Mrs. Irene Chauvet."

Major Handfield nodded and reached into his coat. He retrieved the same roll of paper Esther had thrown to the ground and ran away from.

"Well, Mrs. Chauvet, please have a look at this."

Her hand shook slightly as she reached for the document. Before she unraveled it, she let Denise down onto the floor to make it easier to read.

Everyone was silent as Mrs. Chauvet read the letter. With every paragraph, her eyes got wider, and soon she was close to tears. She re-rolled the paper and handed it back. She felt she shouldn't speak, but Mrs. Chauvet knew she had to ask one thing.


Major Handfield took the paper and slid it into his coat and cleared his throat once more.

"I have no idea. I've just been put in charge. I'm not to happy about it myself." He muttered. He turned on his heel.

"Thank you for your time, Mrs. Chauvet."

The door shut quietly, and Mrs. Chauvet picked up Denise. In an instant, Aline jumped up and rushed to her mother's side.

"What did he say? Tell me!"

Mrs. Chauvet put her arm around Aline's shoulder. Denise wrapped her little arms around her mother's neck too.

"You know that Olivier and your Father have been gone a bit longer than expected, right?"

Aline nodded, and Judith joined the small group.

"Well, Major Handfield has informed me that they are..."

She stopped to take a deep breath, trying to grasp a word that wouldn't cause her girls to cry.

"...being put to work somewhere else. On the sea, actually. They will be helping to man boats."

Silence. Mrs. Chauvet held her breath. Judith looked a bit sad, she wouldn't get to see her brother nor her father anytime soon. But Aline didn't look satisfied.

"There must be more, Mother."

Mrs. Chauvet sighed. Aline was a stubborn girl, and that she could admit.

"There is. We will be joining them soon."

Now everyone in the room was confused.

"What?" Stephanie cried from across the room.

"They can't possibly just take Judith or anyone away like that!"

Mrs. Chauvet shook her head.

"No, no. You don't get it. EVERYONE is going. The whole town is being deported."