"It's hideous," Hans said dryly, looking at the dark suit. "It makes me look like a damn Brit. I still think you should get him the grey one."
"It's what he said he's supposed to have," Rachel said. "Change out of it, stupid Brit!"
Hans laughed and went behind the curtain in the back of the suit shop. Rachel paid for the suit and left, seeking out a dress shop. She needed new clothes, as well. Pants were frowned upon when one was not in hiding, and her one dress was beginning to wear thin.
"So where are you going again?" Hans asked, tossing the suit bag over his shoulder.
"Franz said somewhere in England, but I'm not so sure," Rachel answered. She took the suit bag and held it up beside her, afraid that Hans' carefree carrying would wrinkle the suit. She didn't know how to iron one.
"Can I come with you?"
"There isn't really room for a third. Besides, you're too young."
"But you're not a day over eighteen. I'm seventeen, plenty old enough. I could join the army if my mother would sign the papers."
"I'm 24, and seventeen is too young for any of that nonsense. Franz is 25 and still too young to deal with such things."
Hans fumed in silence, opening his mouth once to say that he liked the blue dres better than the red one, and once more to swear when he stubbed his toe on a protruding piece of the sidewalk. He and Rachel traded off carrying the new clothes, and he went straight to his bedroom when they arrived at the Kaufmann's house.
"What did you say to him?" Christina asked, half laughing when Hans stomped through the kitchen. Rachel hung the clothes over a kitchen chair and sat down.
"I told him that he was too young to accompany us to England."
"That must have been a sight to see. Did you get the suit?"
"Of course. I sized it on Hans, so it might be tight in the hips."
"Fabric stretches. Come, I need help getting up the stairs."
Christina stood up and leaned on Rachel's free shoulder, and inched up the stairs. Walking on level surfaces hadn't been difficult; Christina had spent most of the day building up endurance around the house and garden. The challenge was lifting her injured leg up high enough to clear a stair-step.
"We can leave tomorrow," Christina said, once the bedroom door was closed.
"Are you sure? You couldn't even make it up the stairs."
"Positive. It will be slow, but only a day's walk from here to the next train station. I have memorized all of Kaufmann's maps. Just be patient and we will get there."