During World War 2
The Balicki Family Joseph (Father, Headmaster) Margrit (Mother) Ruth (Daughter, almost 13) Edek (Son, 11 years) Bronia (Daughter, 3 years)
Chapter 1. The Escape. :
The Balicki family are spilt up during the invasion of Warsaw in World War 2. Joseph escapes from a Nazi prison camp in southern Poland.
Chapter 2. Journey through the air. :
Joseph escapes across the valley in a cable car.
Chapter 3. The Hiding Place :
Joseph meets and is cared for by an elderly Polish couple. The Nazis came searching but Joseph hid up a chimney to avoid being shot or captured.
Chapter 4. The Silver Sword.:
Joseph returns to Warsaw to find it destroyed. He meets Mrs Krause. Joseph finds the silver sword and gives it to a young boy.
New characters: Mrs. Krause
Chapter 5 The Goods Train.:
Joseph meets the boy again. The boy whose name is Jan introduces himself to Joseph. Joseph gives the silver sword to Jan. With Jan’s help Joseph gets on to a goods train.
New character: Jan
Chapter 6.The Night of the Storm Troopers.:
Margrit is taken away by the Nazis. Edek shoots at them and the tyre of their van. The Nazis return to blow up the house. The children escape by running along the rooftops.
Chapter 7. Winter and Summer Homes:
Ruth, Bronia and Edek make a summer home in the woods and a winter home in a bombed cellar in Warsaw. Edek goes missing.
Chapter 8. The Newcomer:
The Nazis are under attack from all sides by the Allies (England, America and the Russians). Bronia finds a sick boy lying on the street. They care for him. A girl finds a wooden box that belongs to the boy. He told them his name . It was Jan.
Other People in Chapter 8:
Marshal Rokossovsky (Russian Army) General Bor (Polish Army) P.M. Churchill (England) Stalin (Russia) Yankel (a boy in the street) Eva (one of the school children)
Chapter 9. The Russian Sentry:
Ruth visits the Russian control post. She meets Ivan at his sentry post. She passes him and requests school supplies from the lieutenant. She makes friends with Ivan who visits them.
Chapter 10. More help from Ivan:
Ivan provides boots for the children on their long journey to Switzerland War does strange things to young people
Chapter 11. The Road to Posen:
The children travel to Posen on the way to Switzerland. They are hoping 1. To find Edek, 2. To get some food, 3. To get a lift. Edek who has T.B. has ran away from Warthe Camp.
Chapter 12. The Hand:
The children get food. They are reunited with Edek. Jimpy the cock dies in a stampede.
Chapter 13. Frozen Journey:
The children travel by train towards Berlin. Edek tells everybody about his adventure. Some did not believe him.
Chapter 14. City of the Lost:
They reach Berlin at the end of May. They go to a camp where they are cared for. Jan runs away to go find an escaped chimpanzee.
Chapter 15. Jan finds a new pal.:
Officer Mark writes a letter to his wife Jane and daughter Jenny. He tells her about the state of Berlin. Jan and the Balicki children. The escaped chimpanzee and it’s antics.
Chapter 16 Through the Russian Zone:
As they pass through the Russian Zone Edek tells them many tales of his adventures
Chapter 17 The Signal:
The children rest to take care of Edek. Ruth and Jan get jobs. Edek is arrested at the train signal while following Jan who was stealing food from the trains.
Chapter 18 Captain Greenwood:
Ruth defends Edek in court. She tells the judge, Captain Greenwood that Jan was guilty of the crime. Jan prompted and scolded by Ruth tells the judge about stopping trains and stealing food. Jan is sentenced to detention for a week.
Chapter 19. The Bavarian Farmer:
The children rest in a barn. While searching Kurt is struck by turnips thrown by Jan. The children eat breakfast and tells of their journey. Kurt tells them of the Burgomasters work to send all refugees Kurt puts them all except Edek working on the farm back to their own countries
Chapter 20. The Burgomaster:
The Burgomaster crashes while coming to visit Kurt. Edek, who pretends to be German helps to replace the burst tyre. Bronia interrupts and speaks in Polish.
Chapter 21. Orders:
The Burgomaster returns to tell Kurt that the children are to be collected and sent back to Poland. Kurt appeals on behalf of the children and shows him the Silver Sword. The Burgomaster is not impressed.
Chapter 22. The Farmer hits on a plan:
Using two canoes repaired by Kurt the children escape. Jan hides Ludwig (the family pet dog) in his canoe. They plan to go as far as the Danube.
Chapter 23. Dangerous Waters:
The children travel in two canoes along the Falkenberg River. They meet dangerous rapids, boulders and rocks. A soldier shoots at and attempts to grab Ruth and Bronia’s canoe. The canoes are separated but the children are reunited.
Chapter 24. Missing:
The Silver Sword goes missing. Edek is seriously ill. Jan and Ludwig go missing during the night. A lorry driven by Joe Wolski stops and offers help.
Chapter 25. Joe Wolski:
Joe Wolski, an American G.I. of Polish parentage transports the children to the Red Cross camp on the shore of Lake Constance. He talks happily to the children and tells them about the hyena and the bear in the back of the truck. They turns out to be Jan and Ludwig.
Chapter 26. News at last:
The superintendent tells Ruth that he has received messages from their father and from Kurt Wolff. Father is in Appanzell (on the Swiss side of the lake). He promised to phone Ruth. Kurt forwards the Silver Sword.
Chapter 27. The Storm:
The children are caught up in a storm. Edek is seperated from the family. They find a boat and climb aboard. Ludwig runs away. Jan makes a big decision – the family or Ludwig.
Chapter 28. The Meeting :
Ruth wakes up in the cabin of a boat. She is concerned about the children but meet them later. No one understand her except one person who is her father. She is reunited with her father and mother. Jan tells about all the treasures that he has lost but still has the Silver Sword. Jan asks to be adopted by Margrit.
Chapter 29. The New Beginning:
An account of the families new life 1946-7. Margrit and Joseph are in charge of the Polish House in the International Children’s Village. Bronia drew many pictures of war. Edek suffered from TB but studies to become an engineer. Jan mends his ways and is often called to care for sick animals. Ruth eventually becomes a teacher and marries a French man. She is in charge of the French house.