Touch the Sky (Young Underground #8)

BOOK: Touch the Sky (Young Underground #8)
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THE YOUNG UNDERGROUND

 

#1/
A Way Through the Sea

#2/
Beyond the River

#3/
Into the Flames

#4/
Far from the Storm

#5/
Chasing the Wind

#6/
A Light in the Castle

#7/
Follow the Star

#8/
Touch the Sky

 

Touch the Sky

e-book copyright © 2012

Robert Elmer

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of the author.

 

Originally published by Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, Minnesota

 

Library of Congress Cataloging
-
in
-
Publication Data

 

Elmer, Robert.

Touch the sky / by Robert Elmer.

p.   cm.

(The young underground ; 8)

Summary: In Denmark in 1946, thirteen
-
year
-
old Peter, his twin sister, Elise, and their friend Henrik find themselves involved in a sinister plot to keep a group of Jews from reaching what they hope will become their new homeland in Eretz Israel.

ISBN 1
-
55661
-
661
-
9 (pbk.)

[1. Brothers and sisters

Fiction.  2. Christian life

Fiction.  3. Denmark

Fiction.  4. Mystery and detective stories.]   I. Title.  II. Series: Elmer, Robert. Young underground ; #8.

PZ7.E4794To      1997

[Fic]

dc21
             
97
-
4733

CIP  

 

 

To Joanie, Steve,

and their crew.

 

 

ROBERT ELMER has written several popular series for young readers, including the
Young Underground, Promise of Zion,
and
Astrokids
series. The
Young Underground
series was inspired by stories from Robert

s Denmark
-
born parents, as well as friends who lived through the years of German occupation. He writes from his home in the Pacific Northwest (USA).

 

 

Table of
Contents

 

1. P
anic at Three Thousand Feet

2. No One Believes

3. Mystery Cargo

4. Secret Ag
ent Ship

5. Rising Seas

6. Grandfather

s Idea

7
. He Knows What We Look Like

8. The Gift

9. Someone

s Watching

10. Over the Next Hill

11. Danger on the Lake

12. He Got My Attention

1
3. Waiting Through the Night

14. Unwelcome Visitor

15. The Journey Continues

16. Danger on the Beach

17. Touch the Sky

18. Out of the Waters

19. To the Pilot

Epilogue: The Long Way Home

 

 

1

 

P
anic at Three Thousand Feet

 

June 5, 1946

 

             

It looks just like a toy castle,

thirteen
-
year
-
old Peter Andersen said above the roar of the engine. He pressed his nose against the window of the little red airplane, trying to get a better view of the ancient Danish city of
Helsingør
below in the bright June sunshine. In the front passenger seat, Peter

s best friend, Henrik Melchior, was doing the same thing.

             

Look down there!

Henrik pointed. He was the same age as Peter, just not as skinny. Henrik looked more like an athlete. And Peter

s hair was blond, while Henrik

s was jet black

they were just like salt and pepper.

             

There

s your grandpa

s boathouse,

observed Henrik,

and the
Anna Marie
!

             

I see it.

Peter smiled at the sight of the fishing boat belonging to his uncle and grandfather.

And up that way is our school, see?

             

Don

t remind me,

answered Henrik.

This is summer vacation, remember?

             
Peter couldn

t forget. It was June 5, 1946, and they were free for the summer. No more school. The war was almost a distant memory. And this morning, if his stomach would just settle down, he would be able to enjoy his first airplane ride ever.

             
In the pilot

s seat of his De Havilland DH 80, Matthias Karlsson banked his plane down and to the right. His dark eyes sparkled, and he grinned beneath a neatly trimmed dark beard.

             

Hold on, boys,

he told them.

We

ll make another loop so you can get a better look.

             
Peter held tightly to the back of Henrik

s seat and wondered what would happen if the door suddenly popped open. If it did, there was nothing to hold him inside the cramped luggage compartment where he sat behind Henrik and Matthias, and it was a long way down.

             

I

d let you steer, Henrik,

continued Matthias in his cheerful tone,

but I had the passenger
-
side stick taken out a while back.

             

That

s okay.

Henrik moved his hand on an invisible steering stick just like Matthias, as if he were flying the plane.

I

ve been watching what you

re doing.

             

Really?

Matthias looked pleased.

             

Sure. Push the stick forward and we go down, pull it back and we climb. And you use those pedals, too.

             
Matthias nodded at his student.

             

Then to go faster or slower you pull out that black knob on the dashboard.

             

And that compass thing in the middle
...”
Peter leaned over and pointed.

That shows which way we

re heading, or whether we

re going up or down, and that dial is for showing how fast
—”

             

Wait a minute!

Matthias laughed.

How did you boys learn so much about this plane already?

             
Henrik leaned back.

We

ve been reading a few books.

             

Hmm.

Matthias looked down to the side.

Well, let

s get a closer look at the city.

He pushed the stick to the side once more, and Peter

s stomach seemed to stay behind in the clouds.

             
Take a deep breath, Peter
, he told himself, feeling hot and cold at the same time.
Don

t get sick your first time up
. Matthias hadn

t told them what to do if they felt queasy, but maybe there was a bag somewhere in the back compartment where he was sitting. As Matthias pointed out more of the sights below, Peter quietly searched through the holder on the back of the seat in front of him.

             
He found a first
-
aid kit, an apple and half a cookie in a paper sack, a couple of maps, and a bulky leather pouch. No air
-
sickness bags. As his stomach made another loop, he searched almost frantically.

             
I

m either going to have to open a window
, Peter thought,
or use this leather pouch
.

             
Silently, Peter pulled out and unzipped the leather pouch, then reached in to feel what was inside. His hand closed around something cold and metal. Without even looking, he knew he was holding a small handgun! He stopped, afraid to look down, but he was even more afraid to think Matthias might suspect what he was doing.

             

Have you ever seen Kronborg Castle like this?

Matthias asked, glancing halfway over his shoulder at Peter.

             
Peter kept his hands down and dropped the gun back into the leather pouch as if it were red
-
hot. His hand felt burned, and beads of sweat gathered on his forehead. Matthias gave him a second look, more concerned.

             

Peter, are you okay?

The man looked from Peter to Henrik, then turned back to watch where they were going.

Henrik, check Peter out. I think he

s getting sick. He looks pale.

             

I

m fine,

Peter assured them, slipping the gun pouch carefully back into its place.

             
Why would Matthias have a gun?
Peter wondered. There had to be a good explanation, but his mind only spun in confusion.
For protection? From who?
Matthias was just a man from Sweden, a Jewish friend of the Melchiors. The nice businessman who had helped them before and after Henrik

s father died. It didn

t make any sense that he would need a gun.

             

Are you sure?

Henrik asked, looking at Peter the same way Matthias had a moment before.

You

re shaking.

             

I am not,

replied Peter, forcing a smile. He gripped the handle next to him even more tightly.

I

d tell you if I were getting sick. I

m not getting sick. My stomach was just feeling a little funny. I

m fine now.

             
I am not sick
, Peter told himself.
And I am not going to get sick
. Somehow he hoped his stomach would listen.

             

Well, you boys tell me if you

re not feeling well,

Matthias said,

because I

m going to take us up a little higher. Is that all right, Peter?

             

Sure, I

m doing fine, I think.

Peter held his breath to keep from shaking.

             

Okay then,

said Matthias, leaning back in his seat as the plane climbed upward. He pulled out the throttle even more, and the roar of the engine grew louder.

I want to show you something.

             

What

s that?

Henrik asked.

             

We

re getting up to about three thousand feet,

the pilot said.

Now, look off in that direction.

He pointed out the window with his thumb.

South
-
southeast, that is. What do you see, Henrik?

             
Henrik looked over and through the window where Matthias was pointing.

Just the land. Denmark is pretty flat.

             
Matthias grinned and nodded.

Right. But there

s something more, if only we could get up higher. That way, just two thousand miles to the south.
Eretz Israel
.

             

Air what?

Peter wasn

t sure what Matthias was saying, but it sounded like another of the Hebrew words the Jewish man liked to sprinkle into his conversations.

             
Matthias laughed.

Eretz Israel.

Eretz

means

land

in Hebrew. You know, Palestine. Our Jewish homeland.

             

Oh.

Henrik

s face fell.

You were kidding about being able to see it, then?

             

Sure, I was.

Matthias kept the plane climbing steadily.

But just think. Our own homeland, if we just have enough courage to claim it. Thousands of Jews are going there. You want to go there, too, don

t you?

             
Henrik peered out the window again, as if he could decide simply by looking in the right direction. Kronborg Castle and the ocean were far below.

             

That

s
my homeland.

Henrik pointed straight down.

Right down there.

             

Let me tell you something, Henrik.

Matthias increased the speed and raised his voice to make himself heard.

The world is divided into two areas: countries where Jews cannot live, and countries where Jews cannot enter. Your father wanted to go to Palestine. We talked about it for hours when he was in the hospital last year, before he
...”
His voice trailed off, then he said more quietly,

Maybe you

ll change your mind soon.

             
Henrik frowned for a moment, and the only sound was the droning of the airplane engine. Finally, Henrik

s face lightened when he looked out the window again.

BOOK: Touch the Sky (Young Underground #8)
6.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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