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This adventure he related in a book, To Lhasa in Disguise. With a few Tibetan servants, he climbed through the wild, snowy passes of the Himalayas. There, in the bitter cold, he stood naked while a companion covered his body with brown stain, squirted lemon juice into his blue eyes to darken them. Thus disguised as a coolie, he arrived in the Forbidden City without being detected, but disclosed himself to the civilian officials. A fanatical mob led by Buddhist monks stoned his house. Bill McGovern slipped out through a back door and joined the mob in throwing stones. The civil government took him into protective custody, finally sent him back to India with an escort.
Today Bill McGovern sometimes fright ens Chicago moppets by walking along the city streets in a Persian shepherd's coat and peaked Astrakhan hat. He goes to tea in a frock coat, striped trousers, blue shirt and yellow shoes, wears the same shoes with tails to the opera. Because the uni versity forbids smoking in classrooms, he holds his seminars at home, where he can smoke his big-bowled, curved-stem pipe.
Although he is deaf in one ear and has difficulty hearing in the dark because he is so used to lip reading, his chief hobby is talk. He finds professors generally poor conversationalists because they are selfconscious.
As legendary as his dress and habits is Bill McGovern's learning. He wrote a book on Japanese grammar, speaks twelve languages, is said to know more about John Galsworthy than the university's English department. Once University of Michigan's famed Pundit Jesse Siddall Reeves, fresh from a survey of the South American Chaco affair, went to lunch in Evanston's University Club, was soon questioning Bill McGovern for further in formation. Bill McGovern is now busy teaching Chinese to his four-year-old son. A friend gave him a bottle of Napoleon brandy, to be opened when the boy could read a page of Chinese.
* The former Margaret Montgomery of Augusta, Ga. she "is a second cousin of both Bill McGovern and Writer Aldous Huxley.