By Arthur Koestler
A brand new variation of Arthur Koestler's gripping story of arrest, imprisonment, and next get away to London from Nazi-occupied France.
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A. okay. have been speedily melting away and légionnaire Albert Dubert started to take form. within the café I had practised my new signature, and expert G. to name me ‘Albert. ’ I had additionally began to develop a moustache—a Vercingetorix-walrus moustache comparable to should be obvious at the ads for Celtique cigarettes. in the course of our melancholy, we felt unusually exhilarated. Tragedies in France have continually a marginally of vaudeville; and where the place they play the tragedies is named the Comédie Française. VII The diary which I had left at the back of consisted of numerous bulging note-books, unfastened pages and newspaper cuttings; it all started with the Spanish conflict and ended at the day prior to Paris fell. whilst my moustache started to develop I additionally started a brand new diary, scribbled into an unobtrusive pocket-book. This little pink note-book, a black fountain pen and a blue and white carnet of Paris bus tickets have been the single possessions which I controlled to avoid wasting from France. the subsequent pages are copied from that note-book; a couple of gaps, marked within the diary by means of cue phrases, have been crammed in later, and some passages reeking of the sentimentalité de l. a. misère blotted out. Monday, June seventeenth, 1940 (capitulation day) Packed in a panicky hurry. Left valises with books, files, G. ’s outfits, and so on. , with Mme. R. , telling her we might come again to fetch them ‘some time. ’ Mme. R. in tears, cheated us out of 30 francs at the invoice. jogs my memory of the peasants who offered a pitcher of water for one franc to exhausted refugees. Dragged our suitcases and 3 baggage to the railway station. Railway station closed. The sergeant used to be correct. All railway site visitors suspended all over the place France. thousands of individuals tenting round the station on their baggage. surroundings unusually resembling Spanish civil struggle. comparable fatalistic apathy of the gang. comparable smear-faced little ones crawling round among baggage tons like drained flies. It was once overdue and turning out to be darkish. ready was once no need, so determined to take municipal tram to its southern terminus at the highway to Périgueux after which try and hitch-hike. by means of then it was once thoroughly darkish, and no vehicle could cease. Met a guy simply arrived from Châteauroux; he acknowledged at four p. m. the Germans had no longer but reached Châteauroux (about 80 miles north of Limoges); so felt reassured that they wouldn't get the following to-night and went right into a eating place via the roadside for dinner. great backyard eating place overlooking River Vienne, yet crowded with refugees from the north. G. remarked approximately nuisance refugees. informed her: refugee your self. even with our baggage around the desk, she was once now not but aware of having develop into a tramp between tramps. Shared desk with a scientific officer in uniform. stated it used to be the entire fault of Blum and his associates; that it had began with Briand, and that Daladier and Gamelin have been the puppets of Blum and the Jews: ‘They creep in in all places, they corrupt every thing. ’ We exchanged beverages and he turned formal and brought himself: ‘Lieutenant Something’—‘Légionnaire Dubert. ’ humorous pang. didn't dare examine G. We had extra beverages, mentioned possible armistice phrases and he stated: ‘Il fallait en finir.