After three weeks, TIME Correspondent James Bell returned to beleaguered Quemoy last week:

SUMMER had broken, and the slim cedars along Quemoy's roadways bent before the first buffeting gusts of autumn. In the fields, the silver, feathery heads of mao-tsao, a grain used for fuel and fodder, swayed like the plumes of medieval knights. At night the moon was almost full, and the pearl and coral-colored bluffs loomed like phantoms above the beaches, pounded by a foamy sea. In other times it was the loveliest of seasons, it was the loveliest of sights. But this year autumn on Quemoy was a nightmare.


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