'Hello, Adam. It's Abel Rosnovski. I have something very disturbing to discuss with the senator. Could you arrange an early meeting with him?'
'I'm afraid he's out of town today, Mr. Rosnovski. I know he'll be glad to speak with you as soon as he returns on Thursday. I'll ask him to call you direct. Can I tell him what it's all about?'
'Yes. As a Pole you will be interested. I've heard reports from reliable sources that the U.S. authorities in Germany assisted in the return of displaced Polish citizens to territories occupied by the Soviet Union, and that many of these Polish citizens were then sent on to Russian labour camps and have never been heard of since.'
There was a moment's silence from the other end of the line.
'I'll brief the senator on his return, Mr. Rosnovski,' said Adam.
Tomaszewicz. 'Thank you for calling.'
The senator did not get in touch with Abel on Thursday. Nor did he try on Friday or over the weekend. On Monday morning, Abel put through another call to his office. Again, Adam Tornaszewicz answered the telephone.
~Oh, yes, Mr. Rosnovski.' Abel could almost hear him blushing. 'The senator did leave a message for you. He's been very busy, you know, what with all the emergency bills that have to be acted on before Congress recesses. He asked me to let you know that he'll call back just as soon as he has a spare moment.'
'Did you give him my message?'
'Yes, of course. He asked me to assure you that he felt certain the rumour you heard was nothing more than a piece of anti - American propaganda. He added that he'd been told personally by one of the joint Chiefs that American troops had orders not to release any of the D.P.s under their supervision.'
Tomaszewicz sounded as if he was reading a carefully prepared statement, and Abel sensed that he had encountered the first of those closed doors.
Senator Douglas had never evaded him in the past.
Abel put down the phone and dialed the number of another senator who did make news and didn't evade sitting in judgment on anybody.
Senator Joseph McCarthy's office came on the line asking who was calling.
'I'll try and find the senator,' said a young voice when she heard who it was and his reason for wanting to speak to her boss. McCarthy was approaching the peak of his power, and Abel realised he would be lucky to have more than a few moments on the phone with him.
'Mr. Rosenevski,' were McCarthy's first words.
Abel wondered if he had mangled his name on purpose~ or if it was a bad connection. 'What is it you wanted to discuss with me and no one else, this matter of grave urgency?' the senator asked. Abel hesitated; actually speaking to McCarthy directly had slightly taken him aback.
'Your secrets are safe with me,' he heard the senator say, sensing his hesitation.
'If you say so,' said Abel and paused for a moment to collect his thoughts.
'You, Senator, have been a forthright spokesman for those of us who would like to see the Eastern European nations freed from the yoke of communism!
'So I have. So I have. And I'm glad to see you appreciate the fact, Mr.
This time Abel was sure he had mispronounced his name on purpose, but resolved not to comment on it.
'As for Eastern Europe,' the senator continued, 'you must realise that only after the traitors have been driven from within our own government can any real action be taken to free your captive country!
'That is exactly what I want to speak to you about, Senator. You have had a brilliant success in exposing treachery within our own government. But to date, one of the communists' greatest crimes has as yet gone unpublicised? 'Just what great crime did you have in mind, Mr. Rosenevski? I have found so many since I came to Washington!
'I am referring' - Abel drew himself up a little straighter in his chair - 'to the forced repatriation of thousands of displaced Polish citizens by the American authorities after the war ended. Innocent enemies of communism who were sent back to Poland, and then on to the U.S.S.R., to be enslaved and sometimes muxdered.'
Abel waited for a response, but none was forthcoming, He heard a click and wondered if someone else was listening to the conversation.
'Now, Rosenevski, listen to me, you simpleton. You dare to phone me to say that Americans - loyal United States soldiers - sent thousands of Poles back to Russia and nobody heard a - word about it? Are you asking me to believe that? Even a Polack couldn't be that stupid. And I wonder what kind of person accepts a lie like that without any proof? Do you want me also to believe that American soldiers are disloyal? Is that what you want? Tell me, Rosenevski, tell me what it is with you people? Are you too stupid to recognise communist propaganda even when it hits you right in the face? Do you have to waste the time of an overworked United States senator because of a rumour cooked up by the Pravda slime to create unrest in America's immigrant comm,unities?'