About three hours later the self-inflicted tortures, with which he did torment his own brain lost their grasp over him. She was back in his cell. He heard her melodious voice in the corridor, long before the door opened up and she was there – with him again.
A sudden change of mood befell him as he was watching her pretty face. The morbid anxiety, which overpowered him with ever growing intensity, left him right away. She is to stay with him; she isn't a fleeting shadow like the rest of them.
But yet, as if he could not believe his own eyes, he kept watching her in silence; taking pains not to upset her, with some foolish remark or some jerky movement. His true feelings were written all over his bewildered face. In fact he was too exhilarated, swept with joy and shocked by her return.
But how long would it last? Oh, what the hell! Enough! She's here with me, and nothing else matters! He thought excitedly, helping her to a chair.
‘Be seated yourself comrade, don't keep standing.’ She endowed him with a warm smile.‘ I’ve promised you a few things, haven't I? Well, I've brought you good tidings!’ She laughed contentedly, with good humor; putting down the pencil, envelopes and the sheets of paper she brought with her on the table.
Funny, She thought. How both of us are pleased to see each other again. I've enough reasons to be pleased with. The fact I've breached the regulations last night was not even mentioned! He likes me and approves of every step I take, the head commissar there is no doubt about that. The authority he has! The jail commander doesn't count much in this game; I've an absolutely free hand! I roam the jail's passages just like the tiger roams the jungle's underbrush. No one dares to affront me! Well, he brought me good luck the American, and just for that I might even like him a little bit.
‘What are the good news then?’ Reminded her Nick. He was tranquil and quite at ease, to his own surprise.
‘I’ve submitted your request to the authorities.’ She said choosing her words very carefully. ‘The answer was given straight away, it’s positive.” Watching his face very intently she made an emphatic pause, enabling him to grasp the full meaning of the generous gesture made for his sake alone. No other P.O.W could have enjoyed such incredibly favorable conditions and he knew it well enough.
‘You're aware of the difficulties that we have to overcome, I hope? There are special measures to be taken, and there is the matter of censorship of course. So, there might be some delay. You do understand that, don't you?’
‘Yes I see, thanks a lot, I do appreciate it very much!’ He answered with much gratitude, his blood rushing to his face.
‘All right then.’ She smiled to him cheerfully. ‘Now about that issue of censorship, it isn't as bad as it sounds, all you have to keep in mind is to avoid mentioning your surroundings and not a single word about us. To put it down clearly do not describe in your letters our base, neither anyone you've met in it, nor the circumstances that led to your captivity. Oh, lets forget the whole thing it’s so unpleasant.’ She added vehemently.
‘I'll keep it in mind, thanks comrade Nicole!’ He muttered deeply moved by her efforts to promote his interests, and her display of sincerity.
‘There is one more thing I've arranged for you.’ She told him, adding fuel to the fire, at the right time. ‘I'll take you out for a stroll under the sky, right after lunch. It’s time you should leave your room once a day for a short break, and stretch your big frame a bit.’
Meanwhile lunch was brought in, and they sat to eat together just like a happily married couple, although they knew each other no more than a couple of days. She was awfully sweet to him during their meal. She even left her seat once to stand by his side, while showing him the right way to use his chopsticks. All that while she kept a very close watch on him to detect the tiniest changes in his face or behavior, while she brushed her lithe body against his or while their fingers met in a light and delicate touch.
When the meal was over, as soon as the guards returned to clean up, they left the cell both of them this time. She led the way and he was moving freely behind her, as if he himself was one of the staff. Leaving the guards behind, to clean after them.
Oh boy, what a feeling! To come out of this hole in such a style! An exceptional sensation that what it really was, to be in the open air again, and above all, to have Nicole by his side! He had to curb the urge to rush her and pick her in his arms, and climb the cellar's steps running up to the lighted entrance.
Anyway he did run the few steps that descended to the yard – waiting for her at their feet, fighting back his tears of joy nearly shouting aloud, challenging the dense jungle growth towering over the yard's walls – the low hanging clouds, that filtered the sun rays above their heads. He could have swept her off her feet as she came smiling towards him down the stairs, and dance with her in his arms across the empty yard.
Agitated and breathing heavily, he kept throwing furtive glances in every direction turning always back to her, hardly seeing anything but her pretty face.
An armed guard stood on top of the villa's flat roof, but seemed to pay his attention somewhere else. Another one appeared at the far entrance once, popping his head outside curiously, but disappeared right away in the interior shadows. Out of the five wide windows that overlooked the yard, only one was open. Someone was watching their steps, no doubt.
The strange fit of mute enthusiasm, that gripped comrade Spree amused and worried Lee Chen Woe at the same time. She had never met with such forms of uncontrolled behavior before. He was walking beside her as if he was stepping on red hot embers with bare feet. Checking and rechecking his long strides, slowing his pace to stay at her side and not leave her behind him.
At first she had to bite her lips to prevent herself from laughing, such a pitiful sight he was. But it was no laughing matter. He was in the right state of mind to swallow anything; whatever she would want him to. In about an hour's time without consulting her watch, she led the way back, while he followed her as if he was a stray lamb, finding his way back to the herd at last.