‘Runaway’ is the nickname of a boy who suffers from a strong desire to run away. He’s not bothered where he runs to, just so long as he can get away. Away from home, away from school, away from the village. But when he disappears to Paris and lands behind bars, it comes to an end: he has to go to sea, because you can’t run away from a boat, says his father.
Biegel interweaves throughout this story the tale of an Inca boy who, in the high mountains of Peru five centuries ago, has to take a case containing a vitally important state secret to Machu Picchu, the holy city in the clouds, and deliver it into the hands of the local ruler. The two boys live in very different centuries, but have a great deal in common.
They are very single-minded and both have a goal: for one boy the goal has been defined, for the other it becomes clear in an extraordinary ending. Biegel tells this original story in the exceptional and appealing way that is unique to him. A typycal Biegel hit.