False, almost jubilant reports last fortnight had it that King Amanullah of Afghanistan and Queen Thuraya had been driven out of Kabul, their capital, by insurgents who objected to the King's dictum that all male Afghans wear pants.

Last week came more authoritative despatches. Amanullah had not fled. Kabul, stoutly defended by loyal pants-clad troops, had not been captured.

To a British airplane from India, zooming above Kabul, the British Minister Sir Francis Henry Humphrys signaled: "All is well. Do not land on any account. Situation is improving." The "situation" seemed to be that rebel brigands were still in the vicinity...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!