QUEMOY: The Odd Days

In a world in which the bizarre, the senseless and the cruel soon become commonplace, no one—outside the inhabitants themselves—paid much attention last week to Kukang. Three months ago it was a thriving coastal village. Its farmers and fishermen prospered from land and sea. And then the Communist artillery attack began, and the villagers hastily dug shelters in the ground.

After the Reds proclaimed their shortlived ceasefire, the villagers emerged from underground, and farmers went back to the fields to harvest what was left of their millet, sweet potatoes and peanuts. "If...

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