III
CHUNGKING'S ORIGINS

THE OFFICE of the Canton Gazette was then nearly two miles from the Canton Bund. Armed with the name of the newspaper and the street address written in Chinese by one of the American consular staff, I boarded a rickety bus, and away we went through the crowded thoroughfares at a careening pace that would have dismayed even a Paris taxi driver.

The bus was merely a Ford upon which a Chinese carpenter had foisted a topheavy frame structure with side benches, and it was crowded to suffocation before we had gone half a mile. All the passengers were men, and they talked in Cantonese singsong, and coughed and spat almost continuously. I sat crowded next to a huge, shiny Chinese who was fat enough to have posed for a new statue of the Laughing Buddha. He wore only sleazy, baggy trousers and cloth shoes, and fanned himself incessantly with a coquettishly small paper fan. His trousers had slipped down below the line of his navel, and from there up he was sweating nakedness itself.

To my surprise he seemed to take an amused fancy to me, for he snapped his fan shut, tapped me on the knee, flashed it open and then presented for my inspection a delightful landscape painted in water colors on the flattened paper. The reverse side, as he showed me, was a blur of Chinese characters in gold and black ink. While I was expressing my appreciation in smiles and pantomime, he snapped the fan shut and then flipped it

-16-

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My Life in China, 1926-1941
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Book I. China Awakes 3
  • Book I. China Awakes 3
  • II - Imperialist Outpost 10
  • III - Chungking's Origins 16
  • IV - Summer of Discontent 35
  • V - Peking, Old Style 43
  • VI - A Plum Lands in My Lap 55
  • VII - Martial Interlude 66
  • VIII - Off to the Wars 73
  • IX - The Life That Was 89
  • X - Officially an Outcast 102
  • XI - A Truce and a Perfidy 120
  • XII - Intolerance and Deception 138
  • Book Ii. Japan Marches 147
  • Book Ii. Japan Marches 147
  • II - Pattern for Conquest 161
  • III - Dirty Yen and Itching Palms 174
  • IV - Thirty-Five Thousand Die 186
  • V - The Years Between 194
  • VI - Trying Conspiracy First 212
  • VII - Summer, 1936 217
  • VIII - Betrayal and Triumph 226
  • IX - Trouble with Moscow 236
  • X - Chiang Kai-Shek Listened 242
  • XI - Terror and Death 257
  • XII - Japan's Worst "Bad Boy" 268
  • XIII - The Heavy Hand of Power 286
  • XIV - Ominous Interlude 294
  • Book Iii. the World at War 301
  • Book Iii. the World at War 301
  • II - Faint Hope for Peace 311
  • III - Another Feeler 320
  • IV - The Nipps Get Nasty 324
  • V - Confusion in High Places 332
  • VI - Terrorism 336
  • VII - Plot and Counterplot 348
  • VIII - Disillusion and Dismay 354
  • IX - China for the Chinese 363
  • X - Europe Will Be Easy, by Comparison 375
  • Epilogue 383
  • Index 391
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