The Chinese Bandit (The Far East Trilogy, Book 1)
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An ex-marine on the run for his life brawls his way across post–World War II China in this rip-roaring adventure story
That summer they hanged a fat man at the Western gate as a warning and example to all.
Kao was a traitor, a thief, a pimp, a black marketeer—and Jake Dodds’s partner. So what if he traded stolen military supplies with the Japanese, Jake wants to know. He never cheated me. But 1947 Peking is a savage, cutthroat city, and the United States Marine Corps sergeant is too busy saving his own skin to put up a fight over Kao’s fate.
Jake served his country with honor in World War II, but when he knocks an American brigadier general through a barroom window, no amount of battlefield scars or combat medals will save him from prison. So he sets out across the Gobi Desert with a caravan of Kao’s illicit goods—and plunges into a world of violence and treachery that will take every ounce of his strength and intelligence to survive. Pursued by Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Army and a bandit chieftain named Tiger’s Assistant Demon, Jake disappears into the mountains—but the chaos of postwar China is inescapable, and “peace” has never been a part of this two-fisted adventurer’s vocabulary.
The Chinese Bandit is the 1st book in the Far East Trilogy, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Wall and headed for the Yellow River. Jim was Jake’s partner, and there was a third partner for the lien of eighteen camels, because Jake could not be trusted to do a camel-puller’s work; this third partner was Chu-chu, a stocky dark man of about forty, bald as the moon and full of lore. He was a Mohammedan and the only honest way to translate his name was Pigpig. Jim called, “They’re all yours, Chu-chu,” and waved Jake into a trot. Jake was finding that he had marched for too many years to run
trouble and knowing he deserved trouble but not this trouble, “All right, Major. What are they? I really do not know.” And K’uang said to himself, This one is telling the truth. No question, he is telling the truth. A golden ox. The body of a warrior and the brains of a carp. He is telling the truth because his eyes say so, and the flush of his skin, and because he is not smart enough to lie successfully. His ears would turn blue, or his teeth drop out. They are as bad as the Russians, or the
sash and slipped into his shoes. He knew that he ought to be counting horses and camels, spotting weapons and making shrewd plans for a heroic escape. His eyes teared. He was not weeping but his eyes were tearing noticeably. His heart boomed. “A big one,” Handsome said. “Taller than I am,” Ugly said. “A buggering giraffe,” Momo said. Jake could summon up no bright remarks so kept his gob shut. Kao. This striped animal had spoken Kao’s name. “Tie his hands,” Ugly ordered, and Momo obeyed.
spilled. He sifted through them; dumped them; a mound of nails rose. “Nothing but nails.” He spat; he gathered handfuls of nails; they rained down, and another mound grew. “Check all four kegs,” Ugly said. Mouse was tossing cameras to the dunes. “These goods are worth money,” Jake said. “Not to us,” Ugly said. “We are not merchants. We are gentlemen and archers and travel light. We keep gold. Silver. Precious gems.” “Thousands of buggering nails,” Handsome said. “Tens of thousands.” Jake saw
are not for you. Or for us.” “Then you are no longer men.” Ugly stumped up and planted himself before Jake, plenty mad, neck drawn in and angry eyes blazing under a black frown. “But not yet eunuchs. You priest! They die every day, starving, twigs for bones and hands like birds’ feet. Or beaten to death,” his voice low and fast and bitter, so that Jake, looking into the dark eyes, knew that Ugly too had swallowed his share of the universal bellyache; knew that these others were nothing, beasts,