A raging battle between the werewolves and the expedition seemed to seal their fate at the end of the previous episode. Captain Friday recaps how the fight ended with the tragic deaths of Dr Carter, and their guide and temple priest friend Tai Kwan. The werewolves seem satisfied, and leave the survivors alone, but now they face their dangerous trek out of the jungle. Their trip in was only made safe while being prisoners of a caravan. How will they manage to get out safely?
What will the future hold for the troubled land of Cambodia? Will the government be crushed? What about the legend of the jade cobra that helped to bring them here? Instead of danger, nearby Gunfire signals hope that fellow humans from civilization may be near.
A reunion is made, and a declaration of love. Will romance bloom into something more? First our expedition must survive the jungle trail. Just then the drums of the caravan are heard, and Captain Friday appears with a patrol of French soldiers.
PS: I wanted to hold off to the end of this series to tell this. I read a book earlier in the year that took place during the time frame of these installments. It actually spanned the era from just before World War 2 through the mid-1950’s. It’s a book called ‘The Bamboo Cross’ and is about missionaries insome of these same jungles of Cambodia. Though the events in the story may be a little overdramatized, the people of the land really were highly superstitious, holding to beliefs in many gods and what we might call old wives tales. Priests and prophets had a hold over their tribes, and usually in a spirit of fear. Tribes and boundaries were respected. To cross such a long ingrained invisible line meant to start a war between thowse peoples who hated and fered each other over some long forgortten feud.
The French government really was falling apart, especially after they were chased out when the Japanese claimed the area in World War 2. Locals hated the Japanese even worse, but the returning French after the war led to increasing uprisings as the Viet Cong drafted as many tribesmen of the jungle as they could to set up a government of their own people. Though the work of the missionaries in the book accomplised a lot of progress, as history played out we all know that the next decade would cause their land to explode into one of the most unpopular wars ever.
Should we have been involved? This isn’t the platform to hash it out. I’ll just say that it was probably time for the local people to be self governed. The bad thing was the methods of the Viet Cong in bullying the natives into service, and the backing they had from communist countries didn’t sit well with the McCarthy era of US politics. Sad times.