The English Girl 4 (Chapters 23-52)


What is happening in Vienna is really changing Estella. She is not the innocent, shy girl she arrived in Vienna some months ago.

The first sample of change comes from her friend, Anneliese, the woman she admires. As things go so well with Harri, she decides to introduce him to her friend. Things don’t go well. From the first moment Anneliese treats her coldly and rudely. When they excuse themselves to go to the toilet, Anneliese shows a side Estella didn’t know. Anneliese despises Harry because he is a Jew, and she tells Estella that Jews are dangerous and there is a conspiracy between them and the Bolshevics. Estella is outraged and insulted, and it is then that her friendship with Anneliese finishes.

Then at Marthe’s birthday party, she meets an English man, Frank Reece, and he feeds her a party about wanting to pick her brain about his daughter’s musical possibilities. Estella knows that this is a lie, but she still meet him. What Frank actually wants is for her to spy on Rainer. Frank believes that Rainer is a Nazi sympathizer. Estella refuses to help her as she thinks it’s wrong for her to spy on the people who have been so good to her.

Then two event shake her. First, when they are in Harri’s mother’s toy shop, a couple of men throw a fire bomb through the window. Harri is quick to put out the fire. Had they not been there, the shop would have burn down and the disaster would have been worse. After this fright, Estella can’t stop from telling Rainer and Marthe what had happened. Naturally, she can’t hide the fact that she is more than friends with Harri. Marthe and Rainer’s reaction is similar to Anneliese’s. They are disapproving, and even though they are not so direct as Anneliese, they tell her that she should select her friends more carefully. All Estella keeps saying is that Harri is a good man.

The second incident that happens is after she and Harri have been to the ballet. Three men attack Harri. They beat him up, stab him, and even one of them urinates on him. They leave him there, bleeding, and even though Estella tries to find help, people go past her and poor Harri indifferently. Then a car stops. It is Frank Reece, who takes her and Harri to the hospital where he eventually recovers.

Then Frank searches her out and asks her to help him again. At first, she refuses, but then she realises that what Frank knows about Reiner is right, and she is so scared about Harry, she finally runs after Frank and agrees to help him. They go to a room where he shows her a few photographs. He identifies a few men from the meetings Reiner has, and he also mentions a man she met the last time. Marthe has told her he came from Berlin, and he was supposed to be a big fish. Despite what has happened to Harri, Estella doesn’t feel right helping Franks. It is as if she were betraying Rainer and Marthe, which in a way it is. Estella thought this will be the end of her collaboration, but I think this is just the beginning, and I suspect that Frank’s requests will be more daring and difficult as time goes by. She might even be requested to go into Reiner’s study, which she was clearly told the first day she should never go in.


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