Chapters 17-19 Summary

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As the children continue their journey, things seem to be going well except that Edek’s health is not improving. Ruth decides that they should take a break from traveling for a week and allow Edek to rest. They find a peaceful meadow where they make their camp and Edek and Bronia rest while Jan and Ruth find temporary work in a nearby village. Jan starts to return at the end of each day with all kinds of food in strange tins, which Edek realizes he must be stealing from somewhere. The next day, Edek follows Jan and watches as he meets a strange youth. After talking briefly, Jan continues to the nearby train track. Jan climbs the ramp to the tower that is used to signal to the train and begins to cut several wires. Edek follows him and demands to know what he is doing, but Jan yells at him to leave. Edek is afraid that Jan is trying to wreck the train and, when Jan scurries away, Edek stays on top of the signal tower trying to flag down the train. In actuality, Jan has simply changed the signal to red to get the train to stop. At that point, Edek hears someone yelling at him from below and sees an American military policeman aiming a gun at him and ordering him to come down.

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Edek is charged by the American military with being part of a gang that has recently been robbing trains in the area. Edek admits he was trying to stop that train, but not that he was part of any robbery attempt. As he is trying to explain his story to the judge, Captain Greenwood, Ruth suddenly appears along with Bronia and Jan. She forces a reluctant Jan to confess that he is to blame. He admits to helping the gang stop trains, but says that he was only given food in return. Captain Greenwood understands why he did it, but he...

(The entire section contains 506 words.)

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Chapters 20-22 Summary