Foreign News: The Deserter

"Come indoors," said plump, good-hearted Yvette Bleuse on that November evening in 1944. "You can sleep here. There's no sense in spending your money on a hotel." Wayne Powers, an awkward, bashful G.I. who was AWOL from his Quartermaster unit, gratefully accepted her offer—and stayed for 14 years.

Outside Yvette's tiny house in the tiny hamlet of Mont-d'Origny (pop. 1,500), the Battle of the Bulge raged a hundred miles to the east in the snowy Ardennes, Hiroshima was bombed, China fell to the Communists, bandits stole a million dollars in Boston, the Korean war began and ended, General Dwight Eisenhower became President...