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By Slavomir Rawicz

The harrowing actual story of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ determined march out of Siberia, via China, the Gobi barren region, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.

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We have been all perilously susceptible and dangerously close to dying. All my visions of water have been of beautiful cool ponds and murmuring streams. The water that kept our lives used to be a virtually dried-out creek, the moisture compounded with the dust on the backside of a channel no more than a few yards extensive. We came around the final ridge and didn't see it. We have been trying to find water and this was once not more than a slimy ooze which the killing wasteland was once reluctant to bare to us. We have been virtually on it prior to we observed it. We fell on our faces and sucked on the dust and dabbled our fingers in it. For a couple of minutes we acted like demented males. We chewed dust for the moisture it contained and spat out the gritty residue. It used to be the yank who obtained the correct inspiration. He swung his sack off his again and thrust a nook of it down into the dust. He waited a few mins, pulled out the sack and sucked on the damp nook. We his instance. the volume of water we got during this method used to be infinitesimal in comparison with our raging, thirteen-day-old thirst, however it used to be whatever and it gave us desire. We started to speak back for the 1st time for days, to switch feedback. We made up our minds to stroll alongside the watercourse with the concept that if at this aspect there has been dampness, someplace there has to be genuine water. The creek narrowed till it used to be a trifling crack within the floor and right here we stumbled on water accrued in tiny swimming pools within the dust. via urgent down our cupped arms, arms uppermost, we have been in a position to drink, fairly to drink back, to consider water trickling down our parched throats. We drank it, sand, dust and all, in ecstasy. It was once most likely to boot that we have been avoided from gulping it down in huge amounts. After each one drink there has been a ready interval of numerous mins sooner than the little hollows crammed back with up-seeping water. My cut up, puffed and bleeding lips burned because the water touched them. I held the water in my mouth ahead of swallowing and washed it approximately my tongue, my smooth gums and aching the teeth. For a few hours we lay sprawled out exhausted shut opposed to the creek. Then we drank a few extra. past due within the afternoon Zaro pulled off his moccasins and sat along with his ft deep within the cool dust. He smiled via his damaged lips on the bliss of it and referred to as out to us to affix him. We sat around in a coarse circle. After these endless scorching days with blistered and cracked ft being driven on and on in the course of the burning sand, this was once an adventure of fantastic reduction. After some time I felt the water slowly trickling via into the depressions made by way of my ft. The balm of it appeared even to ease the aching bones. on occasion I pulled out my toes only for the enjoyment of losing them again back into the squelching dust. Sitting there within the purely convenience we had recognized because the some distance far away oasis, we started to speak, to resist our nonetheless bleak destiny and to plot. the 1st truth was once that we have been ravenous and close to the top of our energy. the second one was once that, on the other hand God-sent ribbon of moisture, we have been nonetheless within the wasteland and the possibility was once unchanged for as many miles forward as lets see.

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