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

By Slavomir Rawicz

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

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No longer so friendly was once the adventure of an afternoon or later. The time was once afternoon while the recent sunlight in an unlimited blue sky was once starting its lengthy decline to the west. Marchinkovas mentioned a number of miles forward an excellent brown relocating cloud and requested what it can be. now not one among us might enlighten him. there has been without doubt it used to be relocating and that i suggestion it would be a dirt typhoon, other than that the air used to be slightly agitated by way of the lightest of breezes. This factor was once protecting floor swiftly, getting higher and bigger as we appeared. ‘It’s a locust swarm,’ Mister Smith known as out unexpectedly. ‘It’s no reliable strolling into it. We’d larger cease right here. ’ We sat down at the hard-baked earth, slipping our jackets on and masking our heads with our nutrition sacks. The glare of the solar used to be blotted out because the locust myriads reached us. We became our backs to them and huddled down. The sound as they struck our outfits was once audible. They have been everywhere us, round us and above us. The air used to be alive with the throbbing hum in their beating wings. ‘Thank God they can’t consume us,’ acknowledged Zaro. ‘I wouldn’t be too certain approximately that,’ spoke back the yankee. ‘They’ll devour nearly something. ’ Kristina grew to become a worried-looking face to him. ‘I am merely joking, child,’ he reassured her. It took at the least hours for the swarm to omit us. The sunlight shone via back and the casualties of the good migration littered the floor approximately us. a few have been relocating, others looked to be lifeless. We shook them in dozens from our outfits. they'd stumbled on their method into our wallet, up our sleeves, within our trouser legs. One comfort used to be they had no longer obtained into our nutrition sacks with their helpful small shop of dried fish. to narrate time and distance has been the best of my problems in recording the tale of this bid for freedom. rather is that this so about the passage via Mongolia, the place we had no universal speech with the population and the place, whether we got the names of rivers, villages or different landmarks, there has been no technique of environment the sounds right down to aid the reminiscence in later years. yet i think our growth via inhabited Outer Mongolia to the wastes of internal Mongolia occupied us from six to 8 weeks. This a lot I bear in mind: The access into the Gobi was once no longer an abrupt transition. two times we concept we have been in it as we traversed lengthy sandy stretches, yet on each one social gathering a variety of rather tall hills intervened, and on the foot of the second one diversity there has been the boon of a shallow, sandy rivulet, beside which we camped for the evening. That was once our final drink of clean water for a protracted, very long time. in the direction of dusk of the following day we encountered a caravan path at right-angles to our direction, along that have been seated 4 Mongolians looking at over a steaming iron cauldron suspended from a steel tripod over a fireplace. all of them elderly among thirty and 40, however the seniority of 1 was once marked via the ownership of an impressive previous rifle, long-barrelled, short-stocked, the just about black woodwork extending alongside the barrel and held to it through bands of glowing brass.

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