chapter  XV
16 Pages

THE VORTEX

TheVortex Astimepassed,myfirstrevulsionoffeelingfor

Chungkingfadedcompletely.Ilikedfilthandbad odorsnotawhitbetterthanIeverhad,butfamiliarity hadnowmergedtheseannoyancessosuccessfullyinto thebackgroundthattheynolongerinterferedwithmy appreciationofthegeneralscene.Perhapsthechief charmofthisportforanAmericanlayinthefact thatlifeheldnodullmoments.Activitywasunceasing andeverchanging,forinmanywaysChungkingwasa beginningandanendforallChina.Tothecoast, NorthChina,andtheentireYangtzeValley,thiscity representedthelastoutpostoftradewithCentral Asia,whiletothatvast,mysteriousdomainbeyondthat stretchedintotheheartoftheHimalayanrangesthe citywasthechiefgatewaytoastrangeWesternworld.