IN THE LATE AUTUMN of 1972 I traveled from England to Cracow by boat and train.

There had been only one other traveler from the Dover ferry on the Ostend quay that bitterly cold November. I had seen him get into the Polish carriage, but it wasn’t until we reached Silesia, on the afternoon of the next day, that he emerged from his compartment to stand in the corridor. The closer we came to our destination the more animated his movements, the more exaggerated his courtesy as he stepped aside to let other passengers pass. At one small station he pulled packages and cases through the high narrow windows as their owners heaved them upward from the platform; he hopped from one group to another, balancing a suitcase here, tumbling another to the corridor floor in his eagerness to help. Then, exhausted by his exertions, the train swaying as it pulled away from the station, he collapsed into the

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