Raven’s Run 137

Now their eyes were weary, glazed, and often drunken. They sat together in national groups; Americans, or British, or Germans seeking the familiarity of their own kind. No more reaching out to strangers. No more open acceptance. Somewhere along the line, each one had found his own personal disillusionment and nursed his own personal betrayal.

Innocence would not ride the trains again until June returned next year.

*          *          *

Since early May, when West German television had shown Hungarians beginning to remove the fence that lay between their country and Austria, East Germans, smarting from their own stolen election, had been going south on “vacation” and not returning. Now uncounted thousands of East Germans were refugees, scattered all over Hungary. The Honecker government wanted them sent back. Hungary demurred, but had no way to deal with such an influx.

I knew it was a major event, but I didn’t realize how important it would become. I decided if I didn’t find Raven in Innsbruck or Vienna, I would stop in at Budapest to see things for myself.

I never got that far. 

In Innsbruck, I called Will from the train station, while I watched the hikers in their Tyrollean hats and lederhosen waiting for the next train. They brought a smile. Their outfits were outrageous to American eyes, yet they were as genuine for the locals who wore them as Stetsons were in Texas.

“Ian,” Will said as he came to the phone, “they found her. Some tourist saw her in Oslo.”

*          *          *

I could fly out of Innsbruck, but connections were bad. I could take the train to Munich or Vienna to fly to Oslo, but that was get me there at two AM. It made more sense to get back on the next northbound express and take the train all the way.    

At three in the morning, I was awake watching them put the train on the ferry at Helsingor, and at four I was wide awake watching out the window as we rolled up the Swedish coast. A month ago it would have been daylight at this hour, but in mid-August the long days of summer were fading and the long, cold nights of winter were not far ahead.

The last hour coming into Oslo seemed to drag on forever as the train worked its way slowly through the dense sprawl of tracks. I was the first one off the train; swinging along the concrete apron, I could feel the tension jumping in my stomach. Even if Cameron Davis kept his agreement, Raven would not be safe until Susyn was called home.

I rode the slide ramp into Oslo’s Sentralstasjon, crowded with people arriving and departing for every part of Europe. Outside was an open square of cobblestone and marble, surrounded by nineteenth century buildings. Taxis were coming and going; busses waited across the street. In the center of the square was an ultramodern steel and glass clock tower, and beneath it was my contact. more tomorrow


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