It's been three weeks since the last installment: eight days of writing and two weeks of being on vacation and finding myself unable to get the time to put words on the page. Sorry for the long delay.
This installment completes Chapter 13. The next chapter will go back to Jozef, now training for the Austro-Hungarian cavalry. The total novel is now a hair under 180,000 words. Four more full length chapters to go and then three short concluding ones. I'm still hoping to put some serious work in and wrap up by the end of the calendar year.
Kiev, Russian Ukraine. September 30th, 1914. Breakfast in the Luterek household was not subject to genteel pretensions. Doctor Luterek was a believer in a hearty breakfast, as he often did not have time for a midday meal, and he insisted that it be served early so that he could be at the hospital by eight.
On Tuesday, the morning after Konrad’s memorial mass, Natalie has been hesitant to join the family at table, not sure what kind of greeting would await her. Instead she had taken a currant roll and a flask of tea from the kitchen to consume on the way to the hospital. That night it seemed that peace had returned to the household, and so she joined the family for breakfast Wednesday morning in time to see that peace shattered again.
Natalie was at the sideboard loading her plate with kanapki -- little open-faced sandwiches made of buttered toast set with either fresh cheese curds and a slice of tomato or else several paper thin slices of dry sausage -- when Borys entered the dining room.
“I just got news yesterday,” he announced. All eyes were immediately upon him. “I’ve received my temporary commission as a cadet and orders to report for training as an artillery officer.”
For a moment there was silence, then Madame Luterek burst into tears while the doctor and his daughters all began to talk at once.