“And wayfarers went by roundabout paths”
The Pole’s extra belongings were piled up in the barn’s attic. We located a comfortable corner behind a piece of furniture. At last we had a hiding place inside a building. “Let’s take advantage of the opportunity and sleep a little,” my friend whispered to me. “I understood from the Pole that a difficult day lies ahead. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I believe what he said. I hope he’ll take us to a safe place and not hand us over to the Germans as your father’s friend did. He and his wife seem to be decent, sympathetic people.”
We stretched out in the corner we had set up for ourselves. I do not know how long I slept. The sound of the Pole clearing his throat woke me. I found Michael sitting next to me. “The Pole asked me to wake you. We’re leaving in a little while,” he said. “Where to?” I asked. “I don’t know. He said that he’ll take us to a place where there are no Germans.” I rose to my feet and felt my whole body ache. The attic ceiling was low and we had to walk bent over.
“The Pole asked that we wait here until he calls us. He’s concerned that someone might see us and inform the Germans. He wants to make sure that there is no one dangerous in the vicinity,” explained Michael.
After a short time, we heard the sound of the Pole’s footsteps and his heavy breathing. He held a cup of milk and two slices of bread. He served us the meal, asking us to share it between us. My friend gave me one slice and handed me the cup so that I could drink first. He suggested that I take a sip of milk and a bite of the bread. A sip and a bite. And so I did.