"So they were forced," Gray said.

Johann stared out into the storm. "It was complicated times. My grandfather held some strange beliefs."

"Like what?"

Johann seemed not to hear the question. He opened the Bible and flipped through the pages. Gray noted the hand-inked marks. He stepped forward and pointed to a few of the hand-drawn hash marks.

"We were wondering what those were," Gray said.

"Are you familiar with the Thule Society?" the old man asked, seeming not to hear his question.

Gray shook his head.

"They were an extreme German nationalistic group. My grandfather was a member, initiated when he was twenty-two. His mother's family had ties with

Johann held up the book. "The family tree at the back is gone."

"Let me see." Gray took the book. He examined the inside of the end cover more closely. Fiona and Monk flanked him.

He ran a finger along the binding, then examined the back cover closely.

"Look here," he said. "It looks like someone sliced free the back flyleaf page of the Bible and glued it over the inside of the back cover. Over the original pastedown." Gray glanced to Fiona. "Would Grette have done that?"

"Not a chance. She would rather rip apart the Mona Lisa."

If not Grette…

Gray glanced to Johann.

"I'm sure no one in my family would've done that. The library was sold only a few years after the war. After it was mailed back here, I doubt anyone touched the Bible."

Johann held up the book. "The family tree at the back is gone."

"Let me see." Gray took the book. He examined the inside of the end cover more closely. Fiona and Monk flanked him.

He ran a finger along the binding, then examined the back cover closely.

"Look here," he said. "It looks like someone sliced free the back flyleaf page of the Bible and glued it over the inside of the back cover. Over the original pastedown." Gray glanced to Fiona. "Would Grette have done that?"

"Not a chance. She would rather rip apart the Mona Lisa."

If not Grette…

Gray glanced to Johann.

"I'm sure no one in my family would've done that. The library was sold only a few years after the war. After it was mailed back here, I doubt anyone touched the Bible."

That left only Hugo Hirszfeld.

"Knife," Gray said and crossed to a garden table.

Monk reached to his pack and unhooked a Swiss Army knife. He opened it and passed it to Gray. Using the tip, Gray razored the edges of the back sheet, then teased a corner up. The thick flyleaf lifted easily. Only the edges had been glued.

Johann wheeled his chair to join them. He had to push up with his arms to see over the table's edge. Gray did not hide what he was doing. He might need the man's cooperation for whatever was exposed.

He removed the flyleaf and revealed the original pasteboard of the cover. Neatly written upon it was the other half of the Darwin family tree. Johann had been correct. But that was not all that was there now.

"Horrible," Johann said. "Why would Grandfather do that? Deface the Bible so?"

Superimposed over the family tree, inked across the entire page in black, dug

That left only Hugo Hirszfeld.

"Knife," Gray said and crossed to a garden table.

Monk reached to his pack and unhooked a Swiss Army knife. He opened it and passed it to Gray. Using the tip, Gray razored the edges of the back sheet, then teased a corner up. The thick flyleaf lifted easily. Only the edges had been glued.

Johann wheeled his chair to join them. He had to push up with his arms to see over the table's edge. Gray did not hide what he was doing. He might need the man's cooperation for whatever was exposed.

He removed the flyleaf and revealed the original pasteboard of the cover. Neatly written upon it was the other half of the Darwin family tree. Johann had been correct. But that was not all that was there now.

"Horrible," Johann said. "Why would Grandfather do that? Deface the Bible so?"

Superimposed over the family tree, inked across the entire page in black, dug deep into the backboard of the Bible, was a strange symbol.

Y

In the same ink, a single line in German had been penned below it.

Gott, verzeihen mir.

Gray translated.

God, forgive me.

Monk pointed to the symbol. "What is that?"

"A rune," Johann said, scowling and dropping back into his seat. "More of my grandfather's madness."

Gray turned to him.

Johann explained. "The Thule Society believed in rune magic. Ancient power and rites associated with the Nordic symbols. As the Nazis took to heart the Thule's philosophy of supermen, they also absorbed the mysticism about runes."

Gray was familiar with the Nazi symbology and its ties to runes, but what did it mean here?

"Do you know the significance of this particular symbol?" Gray asked.

"No. It's not a subject a German Jew would find of interest. Not after the war." Johann turned his wheelchair and stared out at the storm. Thunder rumbled, sounding far away and close at the same time. "But I know who might be able to help you. A curator at the museum up there."

Gray closed the Bible and joined Johann. "What museum?"

A crackle of lightning lit the conservatory. Johann pointed upward. Gray craned. In the fading light, veiled in rain, rose the massive castle.

"Historisches Museum des Hochstifts Paderborn," Johann said. "It is open today. Inside the castle." The old man scowled at his neighbor. "They'll certainly know what the symbol means."

"Why's that?" Gray asked.

Johann stared at him as though he were a simpleton. "Who better? That is Wewelsburg Castle." When Gray didn't respond, the old man continued with a sigh. "Himmler's Black Camelot. The stronghold of the Nazi SS."

"So it was Dracula's castle," Monk mumbled.

Johann continued, "Back in the seventeenth century, witch trials were held up there, thousands of women tortured and executed. Himmler only added to its blood debt. Twelve hundred Jews from the Niederhagen concentration camp died during Himmler's reconstruction of the castle. A cursed place. Should be torn down."

"But the museum there," Gray asked, directing Johann away from his growing anger. The man's wheezing had worsened. "They would know about the rune?"

A nod. "Heinrich Himmler was a member of the Thule Society, steeped in rune lore. In fact, it was how my grandfather was brought to his attention. They shared an obsession with runes."

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