III
DIRTY YEN AND ITCHING PALMS

HUNCHES," we call them, in the newspaper profession. They are strange things, and to me, at least, cannot be explained. Some people never have them, and some people persistently have the wrong kind. There was one luckless correspondent in Shanghai who seemed always to guess wrong. When we heard he had gone south, the rest of us, gathered at some club or bar, would say we'd better start north, just on speculation. And we were not entirely jesting either. Perhaps newspapermen, as a class, are superstitious. I'm notexcept maybe about hunches.

In January of 1932 there was brisk military and political activity in Manchuria and in North China. Fighting continued around Mukden, around Tsitsihar, and westward. Pu Yi, former "Boy Emperor" of China, was obviously being groomed by the Japanese for some kind of an exalted puppet role. There were disturbances, and some fighting around Tientsin, and the anti-Japanese movement, given new force by events in Manchuria, was creating a dangerous situation all over North China. Obviously, the thing for a foreign correspondent to do was to stay in the north.

But my hunch was to go south. I felt an overpowering pull toward Shanghai, and finally, against my better judgment, on January 20th I engaged passage southward from Dairen on a Japanese-owned coastal ship. We sailed at noon on the 23rd, and by dinner time that evening I was secretly exulting over

-174-

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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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