Didier was frantic. It was 2 am and the truck had been due at 10:00 pm.
He hadn’t seen Claudette in 2 weeks, he knew nothing of the plan other than to be at his warehouse in Montreuil, east of Paris at 10:00 and to avoid the Nazis on his way on his ancient velo. And he could do nothing but wait and fret.
At 2:20 he finally heard it in the distance, the unmistakable sound of a Renault AHS camion, this one without much of a muffler and missing on one of the 4 cylinders. How in the world did they get around the Bosch? He slid open the heavy door as the sound got louder, looking cautiously along the cobblestone street for any patrols and finally saw the old truck as it rounded the corner, headlights off.
Mon dieu, who were these mecs. Two thin truckers jumped from the cab in their greasy blue coveralls and Didier started to back into the shadows in anticipation of a trap. Then the nearest to him pulled the false mustache off his face, doffed his cap and long blond hair cascaded down to his shoulders. Claudette’s eldest sister Agnés cried, Bonsoir Cheri, don’t I get a bise? Didier finally laughed. As he kissed Agnes on both cheeks, the third sister, Beatrice, emerged from the driver’s side, always the one at the wheel.
“Didier, you look as frightened as a cat.”
“But where is Claudette”, asked Didier panicking.
“She is hidden under the load of firewood with the rifles and the wine. And we are lucky she was. The truck broke down near Sancerre and we were checked twice on the way by those pigs.”
As Claudette crawled out of the hidden compartment, dirty and disheveled, Didier finally breathed easier. She then turned and pulled a case of wine from the hiding place.
“Voila, not only arms for the Resistance, but a case of 2020 Complant Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon for us!”
Claudette pulled a bottle from the case, removed her boot, put the bottle inside at the heel and, with a few deft smacks against the bed of the truck, extracted the cork. As Didier raised the first glass to his lips, he remembered something.
“Wait, isn’t the Complant Cabernet from Mount Veeder?”
“Not anymore Cheri, it is now from an amazing vineyard in Oakville”
Didier was amazed. As good as the Mount Veeder had been, this was a whole other level.
“Mon dieu, it has a vibrant ruby color and an expressive nose of cassis, black cherry and dark chocolate! The entry begins with an immediate flash of luscious, fresh blackberry fruit and follows with a silky mid-palate with beautifully integrated tannins and a mouthcoating fruit sweetness. The finish is long and fresh and leaves me with a profound sense of pedigree and balance. Quel délice!”
Agnés, always the one in charge protested, “Didier have you lost your manners? You cannot drink without toasting.” She raised her glass and began the toast of the Resistance, “A la liberté!” she began
“A l’egalité” Béatrice continued
Claudette looked to her two sisters and winked, “a la Sororité”, she cried.
Didier recoiled in mock horror, “didn’t you mean Fraternité”, Cherie
Pas ce soir, mon coeur and Claudette pulled him to her and they shared a long Cabernet laden kiss. They were together, life was good and they had survived one more day.