The birds sang as if it were spring the next morning.
“He’s gone,” Steffi said, her voice distracted.
“Gone?” Helmut Schneider followed her inside, the notebook under his arm.
Steffi led the way to Wilhelm’s room. The window stood open and inviting.
“There,” Steffi said. “Her footprint.”
A small muddy footprint was pressed into the floor. Leaves and dirt surrounded it.
“It matches Erika’s shoes,” Steffi said and placed a woman’s high-laced boot next to it.
Helmut Schneider peered out the window. “But here I see two sets of footprints in the mud, both barefoot.” The footprints merged into one set of smaller ones leading out toward the forest.
A tear ran down Steffi’s face, but she smiled. “The others match the size of Wilhelm’s shoes. She came after him. So I know he’ll be fine now.”