1st April, 1920
1apr20

My dearest! You see how right I was when I predicted that this will not be a "diary". Almost 14 days have elapsed since I wrote my last letter from the journey. Then, on the 16th March, we did not leave Zajgraevo, and we had to wait for our departure till 21st March at noon. We then travelled for about 100m and stopped again at a small railway station. The stay here was interesting because there is a colliery nearby which we inspected and where garnets and gold are found in the gravel and sand. I found a few garnets myself; we could not see any gold, but the Chinese workers offered us gold-containing sand for sale.

On 25th March we continued with our journey and at about 6 p.m., we passed the front between the parties currently fighting in Siberia, namely "the Reds" and the Semjonov party. At the Syrshelun station we saw military trains belonging to the Bolsheviks, 15km further in Khushenya those of the Semjonov's and Japanese. Our engine carries a big flag in Czech colours and we passed through the front unhindered.

In the morning of the 26th we are in Mogzon at 853km. A handsome clean station where the major part of our 3rd division has gathered. Everyday in the afternoon the musicians from our 9th and 10th Regiments play concerts, one at the station the other in front of our hospital train. In the afternoon of the 29th we continue our journey and in the morning we arrived in Adrianovka (1098km). Yesterday, the 31st, after lunch we were on our way again. This was one of the most interesting parts of the journey. The track goes over immense mountains, our train is pulled by two strong engines and in places a third is needed to assist them. At 10.30am we arrived here in Olovyanaya where we will probably wait 1 or 2 days again. However, the last 10 days were quite good, we have advanced by 700km on our almost endless way.

There remain still 2000km to be done and we estimate that we should be in Vladivostok by the end of April. There we may have to wait 3-4 weeks for the ship. But at least one "feels" that one is going homewards. My thoughts travel much faster than our train. During the journey I usually stand all day at the window, and yesterday I again thought much about home. Perhaps my watching the telegraph poles and wires passing by for hours influenced my mind; I saw myself in Trieste already and I formulated the words of a telegram for you. After many alterations I arrived at the wording: "Just landed happily in Trieste. I am flying to you; further details and data to follow. Kisses".

Little mouse! What a feeling to have such thoughts. Or at dusk, when I lie on my bunk (called bed) and hear the rumble of the wheels saying: I am going home! I am going home!. I have the secret hope that I will be with you on your birthday. Should I surprise you or should I send you a telegram from Trieste: "I am flying to you". I don't know yet. A few days ago I got hold of an English book; an American doctor was travelling with us. I was pleased that my poor English has not got much worse; we had a pleasant conversation. Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" I enjoyed enormously.

That's all for today, I must go and "mix the poisons"; there is a lead-mine here which I would like to visit, so I have to prepare things beforehand to be free in the afternoon. At 7.30 is the doctor's round and I am still in negligee. Till next time little mouse!

Many kisses!

© The estate of Otto Feldmann: Monica Lanyado, Tzafrah Shushan and Aya Shochat