The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

By Slavomir Rawicz

The harrowing actual story of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ determined march out of Siberia, via China, the Gobi wilderness, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.

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She used to be the 1st girl I had met because I left my spouse and my mom in Pinsk. I felt awkward and unwell relaxed, painfully conscious of my gruesome outfits, my beard and my lengthy hair which curled over the neck of my jacket. i couldn't take my eyes off her. She stood up and that i observed she used to be tall for a lady. She wore a protracted thick skirt and a depressing woollen cardigan over a white, flower-embroidered cotton shirt. Her brown hair, tightly plaited and wound within the Russian type halo-wise round the head, had a reside, well-brushed sheen, and that i was once struck by means of the clearness of her pores and skin.

The scent of wood-smoke mingled with the smell of the pine. I lay on my most sensible bunk, arms clasped in the back of my head and listened to the debate of the lads round me. mendacity on his part dealing with me on one of many adjacent best bunks was once a guy of approximately fifty. We mentioned the huts. We complimented the developers at the excellence in their workmanship, we have been magnanimous sufficient to go with the Russians on their effective stoves. We noted one another. He informed me he were a schoolteacher in Brest Litovsk and a sergeant within the Polish military Reserve.

Within the mornings the floor used to be thick with white frost and it stayed for a very long time after the sunlight had risen. The skyline to the east used to be indented with the silhouettes of peaks white-tipped with snow. As constantly, we puzzled simply the place we have been. We came upon our first village a few 5 days after leaving the shepherd. We have been at the stream for approximately an hour after sunrise while I observed, over to the left of our path and as much as ten miles far away, a smear of smoke. We have been hungry, stiff and never particularly warm. We determined to enquire.

They smiled and bowed, maintaining their eyes on us the whereas. there have been a dozen or extra males, one camel, mules and donkeys. The animals have been flippantly encumbered and have been additionally saddled for using. in basic terms the camel was once being ridden now. Perched conveniently on it was once an previous guy with a wispy gray beard. the boys could have been a relatives occasion, of which the outdated guy was once the patriarch. All wore the common Mongolian conical caps with their lengthy ear-flaps became again along the crown, in fabric which ranged from leather-based to quilted homespun textile.

The relish of the aromatic leaves used to be overborne through the sickening tang of rancid butter which floated in glistening globules of fats at the floor. yet we acquired via it and that i needed to workout nice strength of mind to forestall guffawing out loud as Kristina gave out a few decorous lip-smackings. The Mongols’ hospitality was once rounded off with the reward of a bit tobacco and some nuts. all of us stood and made our farewells. We walked away and whilst I seemed again from fifty yards away they have been squatting down back, their backs in the direction of us.

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