“Victory was to be bought so dear as to be almost indistinguishable from defeat.”
Winston Churchill, The World Crisis
Everything went well. The Russian officer stood by his word and saw to it that we got on the military train. This time we traveled with Father. Although she no longer bore the same heavy responsibility, Ita continued to maintain firm control over the situation; and Father, who had always known she was reliable, admired her performance. He was also very impressed with the level of our cooperation. Ita issued few instructions; a facial expression or simple hint was sufficient for everyone to understand their task. After four years of wandering, we had learned to obey her.
Each sibling knew what to carry and which place to occupy as we walked. Sara carried one bundle, Zipporah the other and I, of course, also had something small to carry. Our walking pattern was also clear. Ita was always in the rear, with me in front of her and Sara and Zipporah ahead of me, holding hands. Ita carried the heavy traveling sack and occasionally held my hand. I walked next to, or in front of her.
This system gave Ita full control of the group, allowing her to maintain constant eye contact with us. This is how we now walked to the train station in Kutaisi, although this time, Father carried the heavy bundle.
The train departed and we breathed a sigh of relief. The trip to Lodz was not short and it took many days to travel the almost 1,250-mile distance from Kutaisi. We had to get to Warsaw first and then board another train to Lodz. It stopped at many stations along the way and we had to change trains occasionally, sometimes being forced to wait several days until the next one arrived.