AT first the men did not dare step into the stream," one of the searchers recalled. "But the sun was going down and we finally entered the water, praying to the dead to pardon us." The men who were probing the shallow creek in a gorge south of Hue prayed for pardon because the dead had lain unburied for 19 months; according to Vietnamese belief, their souls are condemned to wander the earth as a result. In the creek, the search team found what it had been looking for—some 250 skulls and piles of...

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