That was as much information as Janet could get out of Sabina regarding the Bukh. She was certain it was the one they were looking for, Daniel’s copy. It had to be. She immediately passed the information to Eric Schindler, who told her he was leaving for Romania in the next few days. Sabina hadn’t been able to supply the last name of her grandfather’s lady friend, Trude, but Eric had no doubt he’d uncover it with a little bit of research. He planned to meet with my dublura, Maria Danciu, who could offer a treasure trove of hidden facts if treated with the right gallantry. And Eric, from my experience, could charm the most deeply held secrets out of anyone, even a sly and cagey piece of work like Maria, who never for an instant let her guard down.
Meanwhile, I contacted my cousin, Eddie, who was busy fixing up houses in little towns in Transylvania. He must’ve bought six or seven properties and knew the area better than anyone I could think of. “Can you ask around?” I requested, telling him about Sabina’s hunch that the Bukh had ended up with an elderly woman named Trude something or other in a farmhouse in Transylvania.
That made Eddie laugh. “Don’t get your hopes up,” he said. “I’ll keep my eyes open, but most of what I find in those old abandoned houses is junk.” Turns out Eric had been in touch with Eddie, too; the two men would be having dinner together in Sighisoara the following week. How I wished I could be there as well! I wanted more proof that the book Sabina’s grandfather had read to her from was the same as the one that had descended down Daniel’s line. And that was entirely possible. Research had shown that when Daniel Gottlieb moved to Bucharest with his wife and daughter in 1901, he had worked as a biochemist for Neagu Pharmaceuticals, the company owned by Sabina’s family. Clearly there had to be a connection. And what about the results of Sabina’s Ancestry search? A study of her DNA revealed she was sixty-five percent Ashkenazi Jew. Part of that must’ve come from Daniel’s lineage. What I needed to do was take a look at the Neagu family, particularly Sabina’s great grandmother, Adela. Who was she and what had her marriage been like? To get more info, I contacted my guide from our trip to Romania last August.
With her excellent research skills, I had no doubt she’d come up with pertinent facts quickly. I needed time to be on my side. It may or may not have been my imagination, but I could sense Cecily Rose’s kidnappers closing in on us, hungry to learn the whereabouts of Bukh III.