Phillip saw his wife asleep on the chair and wondered how she was able to do that. He would normally like a cup of tea and some bread, but there was nothing. He had to be in camp and had no time to waste, he slept till the last possible moment.
Marta heard him moving about the cabin. She had no plans to engage him this morning. She had said enough and the big lug hadn’t done a thing, except the kind act of bringing home some food, suitable but not overdone.
He surprised her by trying to pick her up and carry her to the bed, she put her arm around his neck and let him place her there and cover her with the blanket. She feigned sleep and he left.
She got up and dressed warmly, she was going for a walk, exploring what was going around in the area. It was cold, she really needed boots, she would be foolish to walk aimlessly. She decided to walk just beyond the cabins she visited the day before.
There was an Inn and she went inside. A warm fire was burning in the hearth and when the woman approached her she didn’t quite know what to say.
“You one of the officer’s wives? What can I do for you?”
“Please ma’am,” she responded. “I have no money and I am in kind of a situation. I need work, just mornings where I can be home ”'”
“Before the Sergeant gets home.” she guessed.
“Yes, but it’s not like that exactly. I need some money of my own, the pay is too few and far in between.”
The woman left, but soon returned with some porridge and a hot drought and an apron. “Finish up and you can help me in the kitchen.”
Marta couldn’t believe her luck. The woman was very supportive of the military living so close to the barracks that she often donated food and rooms at the Inn. Marta worked hard and Mrs. Borgen was pleased.
When Marta left Mrs. Borgen had given her some food to prepare for her husband when he came home. Marta was looking forward to the expression on Phillip’s face when his resourceful wife was able to put dinner on their table.
Phillip arrived home with some more fare from the officer’s club. Marta looked at him with disbelief.
“It worked so well for you yesterday, that you thought you would try it again?”
“No, Marta I cannot just come and go as I please. I have to put in my day’s work before I can come home.”
“Well sit down and join me, you can watch or try some of the meal I have prepared.”
“Where did you get this?”
“I got the ingredients from Mrs. Borgen at the Kinski Inn, she let me work there for the morning and I earned the food.”
She looked at Phillip who was about to explode, but was trying to choose his words carefully.
“Phillip, don’t leave.” she pleaded. “Don’t leave me here alone all night again!”
“If I don’t leave I may hit you and I don’t want to do that!”
“Hit me?” Marta was stunned.
“You are willful and disobedient, I will have to discuss this with my commander and see what he suggests to corral in my new bride.”
“Please Phillip, we don’t need anyone else to determine how we should live!”
After he left, Marta surmised that he just wanted to spend another night at the officer’s club drinking and carousing with the men.
She had somewhere to go in the morning and she was going no matter what and if she had to save some money for an emergency getaway she would have that too.
Phillip was back and had company. One of his fellow officer’s wanted to meet the woman that had Sobienski in such a state.
Marta was sitting in the dark at the table as the fire was dwindling. When the two men entered. She stood up and knocked the chair over in surprise. She didn’t know what to expect.
She did her best to welcome the stranger in such conditions. She picked up the chair and offered him to sit and she offered what she had remaining of the meal she had prepared and had grown cold.
“Sergeant Sobieski, you didn’t tell me how pretty your wife was.” Sergeant Kilkov offered.
“Yes, I am afraid I have been negligent in more ways than I care to admit. Phillip revealed.
Marta just stared at them not knowing what the occasion was for this late night visit. “Will you be on your way?”
“Marta, don’t be rude, we only just got here.” Phillip rebuked her.
“I see your point Phillip.” the Sergeant reacted.
“Phillip, we have hardly the comforts of home for ourselves, how can you bring company when I have nothing to offer, I have no lantern, I barely have enough heat to keep the ice off the windows!”
Kilkov stood up and went to the door. “You have a problem, but I am not sure it is your wife.”