Ruth, Jan, and Bronia have decided to head for Switzerland, the land of Ruth and Bronia's grandparents, and they wanted to find Edek. They knew that Edek was in Posen, so they headed in that direction before starting for Switzerland. As they started their trip, Ruth watched all the refugees heading in different directions and felt pity for them. However, she felt that she had a mission ---- a goal --- and she was sure that they could attain it.
"As Ruth looked at them --- the haggard old men, the bowed women, the children with gleaming eyes --- there was no room in her heart for anything but pity. but they did not disturb her inward contentment, for she had hope and firmness of purpose, and she knew where she was going." (pg 74)
When they get to Posen, which is in Poland, the Russians had just taken over, and the camps were in a state of confusion.They could not find Edek or his records. This frustrated Ruth until a doctor, who had overheard her conversation, told her he sent Edek to the Warthe camp because he had tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs. It is caused by a bacteria and generally attacks those living in filthy conditions. Many homeless people contract tuberculosis. Edek was both --- homeless and living in filthy conditions. Edek, however, was as anxious to find Ruth and Bronia as the girls were to find him. He had run away that morning, and no one went to look for him because they had too much to do to take care of those who had stayed.