“Invitation” to travel back

When I asked why they had picked me, they said that I had been in Russia fairly recently and had knowledge of present life within the country, which would give me more than a fair chance of survival. I was instructed to keep my eyes and ears open for any possible collaboration between the contacts and the Communists. When I enquired how the hell I was going to get back, I was told, “Well you got out once didn’t you? So you can do it again.” A stupid question I suppose, which deserved and received a stupid answer. And so I was given very long briefings of possible ways to journey back, however they would not tell me how exactly I was going to get into Russia.

Shortly afterwards I was sent on a parachute course and, after a few jumps from a large static balloon, I decided this game was not for me as I was absolutely petrified. But, with the passage of time and a few more jumps, I overcame my fear and actually enjoyed it in the end. To my very great surprise, I was re-united with the battered garments I had come out of Russia in. They turned up in a sort of wax bag smelling of mothballs, having been chewed by mice or moths. Some joker had even put the remains of my shirt and long johns into the bag.

The clothes were all freshly laundered so that I could wear them again. Luckily, there was plenty of pre-war Polish-made clothing that had been brought into the country by our fighting men available to supplement my meagre items. It was essential to wear something that would not seem suspicious to the NKVD. Very soon I had a complete set of clothing that had all originally been made in Poland. But I still had no idea exactly where I was sent to or how and when I was going to get there.

Eventually I soon found out. It was decided to send me somewhere that Polish nationals could still be found. Many of our people were still running around Lithuania, after the massive evacuations of 1939, and that was to be my new destination. A decision to go there had been taken after learning that there was still radio contact with Lithuania and that it was also possible to make ground contact with agents there. The Colonel was very active in all my preparations and I had long confidential talks with him. From my past experiences of being searched by the NKVD, we decided that a written list of names I had to remember would be best hidden inside the lining of a badly worn shirt collar. They would be written in code using the Greek alphabet.

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