A Match Made in Hell


It was about 3 a.m. when we set out, the master and his willing apprentice. We followed a route that paralleled the road heading east from Jaslo. Several hours remained until sunrise, but we had a lot of ground to cover in order to intercept the train before it began filling with its human cargo.

We moved quickly and silently in the dark. Kopec led the way. I clutched the camera case tightly by my side. It had been loaded with film earlier in the evening--either by Kopec or by one of his unseen co-conspirators--and that camera, along with my ever-present Luger, did not leave my side.

After a time we came upon railroad tracks and followed them for a short distance. Twenty minutes later, we saw what we had come for: a locomotive and at least twenty-four boxcars, standing silent and empty, portentously awaiting their fragile payload. Part of the train was dimly illuminated by the flickering light of a small fire on the track, built to keep the switch from freezing.

The train stood on a siding just outside Moderowka station, named for the small, nearby village situated between Jaslo and Krosno. I understood I would be on the train for a day or two, depending on its destination. Then, if the train did indeed turn around as anticipated, and if I survived, it would take the same time to return.

Well, I would not be on the train, exactly.
I would be under it. The plan was as daring as it was dangerous...

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