“A sheep was killed,” said Wilhelm. “I saw it—the body, I mean. A wolf had done it, but the neighbors didn’t believe me. I’ve studied the world of animals for years. The culprit was clearly a wolf.”
“How long had Erika been with your family?”
“Three months. She still behaved somewhat animalistic, but she had relearned many things.”
“No one saw the sheep get attacked?”
“It was in the middle of the night,” Wilhelm said. “Steffi and my princess shared a bed, and Steffi hears every sound in the night. She said the princess didn’t stir all night.” His gaze fell. “That’s when the problems began.”
“Everyone thought she would do it again.”
“She’s not guilty!” Wilhelm collapsed in a coughing fit.
“I don’t mean it like that. Calm down.”
The next few minutes passed in silence.
“This Mr. Schmidt who claimed she killed her aunt and uncle. It’s all his fault! He brought the whole village against her—even the mayor. They wanted to take her away from me!” Suddenly Wilhelm grasped at his left side. “It—it still hurts…”
“Steffi! Come quickly!”