Dawn Watch in China

Dawn Watch in China

Dawn Watch in China

Dawn Watch in China

Excerpt

MR. SUN at my elbow murmured: 'Those very black objects you of course see. Quite near the shore. Pu pu pu! . . . to the left. I regret that they are mines.'

I stared out over the boat's rail, and I too regretted deeply that they were mines.

'Last week three ships were erupted,' said Mr. Sun pleasantly.

We were silent for a while, watching our prow glide toward the mine fields. The wide glassy mouth of the Kao River lay quite beautiful beneath the sun in mocking peace. I could not have guessed what lay in the land beyond that estuary. The bare brown mountains and quiet water gave no hint of the terror and beauty that was ahead. Behind us loomed a fleet of high-sterned fishing junks, heading into the wind beyond the inland passage. To our right a village clung to the cinnamon mountain cliff and its bandit tower sat upon the hilltop. A few miles up this estuary lay the little gray-walled city of Wenchow, port of the China Coast. Until the dynasty of Ming she had been called the 'Deer City' because there had once come to her gates a white deer bearing a flower in its mouth. Here was to be my first entrance into Free China.

A three-year longing had led up to this moment; three years of private struggle with Chinese history and background. I had . . .

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