The experts told me not to do it, it was too dangerous but of course been the stubborn person I am I decided that I was going to try any way.
The suitcase in my hand is very heavy as I board the ferry that will carry me across the bay but in a way the suitcase brings me comfort.
My wife told me not to do it but I had argued with her in the end I had left our home with her sobbing quietly in the bedroom. At the university the various professors and doctors had told me Mr Smith you must not do it under any circumstances you even think of trying it. I scoffed at these men of learning what did they know? The men in the group with me were of a similar mind some thought to try others more fearful decided against it so against the orders of the men at the university I would try the bay looked beautiful as I crossed it on this the start of my mission I wondered if I would see it again but I pushed these morbid thoughts from my mind. Soon I would be boarding the night train to Budapest on the second leg of my journey to destiny the fates had decreed that I would at least try.
Once the ferry had docked I made my way to the station bought a ticket for the night train and also a newspaper and some magazines. I wanted to blend in with the travelers I did not want people later to say they remembered me taking the train. I was to appear as a normal traveler making his way to the city looking like a large number of travelers did. My mission depended on me been an anonymous face in the crowed.
As I was standing on the platform I had a heart stopping moment as two policemen made there way down the platform inspecting travelers documents. Had I been betrayed where they even now looking for me was the cause lost? These thought rushed helter sckelter through my brain I stiffened slightly as the to officers drew near but then they shared a joke with a railway worker who stood near by and passed me by I waited a long time before relaxing and sighing with relief.
The train pulled into the station and every body on the platform moved towards the stationary train now seeking the best compartments I made my way to the rear end of the train to a coach just behind the second class.
I found an unoccupied compartment and sat down now the test of resolve would really begin about a year ago I made the same journey as dummy run for what I was about to do. I opened the paper and began to read appearing normal now became my main objective as an old woman with her grand child shuffled into the compartment. The head lines of the paper were full of the visit of the visiting head of states upcoming visit to Budapest also there had been some trouble in the region of the country which I was now leaving.
All of the above were the cause of my current mission I was going to do it I had to do it for my beloved countrys sake for to long now my country had been ruled by the corrupt officials in Budapest but if all went well that would change. If I failed others would take heart from my example and follow I would be remembered as a hero of the revolution this thought made me chuckle a little. The old woman began cutting up pieces of the sausage for which our region is so famous. She offered me a piece and I took it not that I was really hungry but if I had refused I would be drawing attention to myself and this I did not want to do. Going on holiday mother I said to her by way of conversation? Yes taking my grand son to see the city and the parade and you comrade? Yes to see the parade I said not really wanting to be drawn on the subject I returned to the paper.
It was not long before the conductor arrived to inspect our tickets I handed mine over and soon had it returned. I made myself comfortable and soon was dozing lulled to sleep by the sound of the train moving along the tracks. I woke with a start the train had stopped for some reason and this made me nervous had they after all dissevered what I was up to I looked out the window but could see nothing. What is going on I asked the old woman she smiled and said one can see that you are not used to traveling by train this is the water stop in the mountains where they refill the boiler she said. I had forgotten the previous time I had traveled I had failed to notice as I had been in the company of another member of the group and we had been in deep conversation most of the way to Budapest.
The train started moving again; I cast my mind back to almost two years ago when I had first been approached by some of the members of the group. There idea was radical and it was good soon we were meeting in back rooms planing and practicing exciting times they were and how young Stefan had laughed when he explained the plan to the rest of us. We had to agree that it was a good and workable plan of course when the academics at the university got wind of our plan they immediately objected it cannot be done they had said we forbid it they continued but we had continued any way despite there objections.
My wife of course had other objections they will get rid of you at the university if you do this they said but what did I care after all I was only a lowly janitor in there eyes. So now I find myself on this important mission on the night train to Budapest the conductor came back and started making up the beds. I shuffled along to the dinning coach seated myself in the half filled coach and ordered soup and black bread. Lighting a cigarette I observed the people around me not much just the usual factory workers returning to work after a holiday at the sea and of course the holiday makers going to the big parade.
The soup arrive good red cabbage soup and black bread how often I thought I have eaten this type of food and never longed for any thing more intrusting. But just maybe this would change my next meal in Budapest would be a big breakfast I decided just before I went out and completed my mission. I ordered some coffee before returning to the coach I drank the coffee and listened to a young boy playing the accordion songs of our land stuff to make one proud I thought.
I returned to my sleeping coach found that the old woman and grandson had already turned in for the night. I lay down but was unable to sleep the moon shining through the window every time we took a turn cast interesting shadows on the coach walls. I dont quite know how long I lay there but I did eventually drift off to sleep.
I was awoken the next morning by the sound of the train engine blowing its horn as we passed over the first bridge as we entered the outskirts of the city. Hurriedly I rose collected my suitcase abandoning the newspaper and magazines and made ready to leave my sleeping companions of the previous night.
Once again busy with the sausage the old woman passed a lump of this in to my hand and said you need to eat a good breakfast before the parade
I thanked her and left as the young child began to rummage through the paper and magazines.
I made my way from the station up the main thoroughfare of Budapest which even at this early hour was been swept clean of snow and the police were out checking any conceivable place for bombs. Not that this would stop me I was determined to do what I had planed for so long to do.
Firstly I said to myself that breakfast I had promised myself so I made my way to a small cafe which was open and ordered a full breakfast with orange juice, coffee, toast and eggs.
How I enjoyed that breakfast thinking that it might be the last good meal for quite some time I enjoyed every bit of the toast and egg. Once the food had been demolished I had my cup of coffee and this was heady stuff must be imported I thought they dont make this stuff so good in this country must be fore the foreign visitors I thought.
After breakfast I made my way down to the place where it was designated I would do what I had come to do the streets were still quite so I had to wait for an hour until my contact arrived. A small man with graying hair and a smiling face. He quickly ushered me into the shop opened some of the shutters then asked me what I wanted I told him I would like to buy a violin please as I handed over the twenty roble note to him. He hurried to the back of the shop and brought out a violin case placing it on the counter he lovingly opened it and took out a beautiful dark red varnished violin. Will this do sir he asked? Yes I said my voice choked with emotion after all the saving of roubles by the month after all the practicing on a borrowed violin. I would finally have one of my own. The others in the group were still saving to by there own instruments but I would have my own violin
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