Regretfully, the plump playboy Emperor Bao Dai had bade adieu (in faultless French) to the pleasures of the Riviera. He had dallied awhile amid the charms of Hong Kong's taxi dance halls. Last week, with French guns behind him, he arrived at last to reclaim his ancestral throne in Indo-China, and to sit uneasily as the new ruler of the State of Viet Nam.

He was France's uninspired choice, and perhaps the West's last hope, to win a rich domain and some 21 million people away from Communist Chief Ho Chi-minh and his...

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