Coke listened for several seconds but he could not hear anything at all. And yet there was smoke coming from the chimney and there was a light on in the front room! "Why is it so quiet? Is it a trap? Are the police waiting for me in there?" he asked himself. He went to the front door and pushed it. To his surprise it was open! He went in very quietly. In the front room there was a fire burning in the fireplace. The room was clean, small and very warm. There was very little furniture in it - only a couch and a table in front of the fire and two old-fashioned chairs. There were also some photographs on the shelf above the fire. They were yellow and old. One of them was of a young man in a World War I uniform. There were also a few of the same young man and also a woman in old-fashioned wedding-clothes.
Suddenly Coke froze. There was someone else in the room. He knew it. He could feel it! He turned around quickly and, at the same time, put his hand in his pocket. There was a small knife there. He saw an old woman. She had a covered dish in her hands and there was a delicious smell of meat and vegetables coming from it. She did not look afraid. She did not even look surprised. "I'm sorry," she said, and put the dish down on the table. Coke could hardly believe his ears. Here he was, a stranger in her house and yet she said she was sorry!
"I'm sorry," she said again. "I didn't hear you. Did you knock? I'm deaf, you see." She pointed to her ear, shook her head and said "deaf" a second time. "People often come to the door and knock, but I don't hear them. I'm glad you came in." Coke stared at her for a second and then finally found his voice. "I ... I'm sorry. I just stepped in." He looked down at his clothes. His prison uniform was so dirty that it was impossible to tell what kind of uniform it was. Then he suddenly had an idea. "I'm a mechanic from a garage in town. I came to repair a lorry somewhere out here but the road was icy. I had an accident. I ... I fell off my motorbike." He had to say this several times before she finally understood him. When she did, she gave him some hot water and soap and afterwards some food. The only thing he needed now was a change of clothes.