Isabel looked blankly at him. What was so special about that town?
"Don't you know, mother?" he asked, as though she should know.
Isabel stared blankly at her son.
"Father told us that Chojna is the old German town of Königsberg in Neumark, and Königsberg is the German for Królewiec!"
Isabel hadn't remembered - such things had never been of interest to her before, but now, hearing Stanisław's explanation, she made a symbolic connection to her journey ... she was returning home to her name - Królewiec - and here was a town connected to it in some way. She saw it as a prophetic sign, and was thankful for Stanisław's alertness.
Once more they were crossing the Oder and a short while afterwards the train lumbered into Szczecin station. And even though she had to change trains again, Isabel was at peace. Everything was back on schedule, the way she liked things.
A few hours later, tired but happy, they were standing on the pier at Sassnitz on the island of Rügen where Stan and Anna had once stood holding hands. She remembered the time Stan had called her from his hôtel and the household had breathed a sigh of relief that they were both safe. Now she wanted to sleep - desperately - and was the first passenger to board the ferry and to fling herself down onto her bunk bed with the boys in the cabin. She hadn't noticed the cabin number - 333 - until some months later when Stanisław, with his eagle-like eye, spotted it on the ticket. But even if she had, she would have been too tired to note its import.
For 3½ hours Isabel slept soundly until woken by the intercom announcing the ship's arrival at Trelleborg. Sweden at last! But there was still a long journey up to Kopparberg, and home.