By Nadine Gordimer
James Bray, an English colonial administrator who was once expelled from a important African country for siding with its black nationalist leaders, is invited again ten years later to affix within the country's independence celebrations. As he witnesses the factionalism and violence that erupt as innovative beliefs are subverted through ambition and greed, Bray is once more pressured to settle on facets, a call that turns into either his triumph and his undoing.
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Extra resources for A Guest Of Honour
I should have told you that when the war began I returned to China to stand by the side of my honourable father. I was too late. He was dead, brutally murdered by the invading barbarians, against whom I at once resolved to wage war in my own way. " Li Chi opened his hands, palms upwards. "My dear sir, with hundreds of islands from which to choose a hiding place the Japanese could no more catch me than they could catch the man in the moon. But allow me, please, to finish. From the islands I struck at my enemies, and if I told you how many heads have fallen to the parangs of my native commandos, how many Japanese have died from the poisoned dart, you would think me guilty of exaggeration.
The Air Commodore leaned forward, eyes questioning. " "Very little," replied Biggles cautiously. "He was educated in this country, finishing at Oxford. Speaks English as well as I do—better, maybe. Plenty of money. He told me on the one occasion that we met that his father was a wealthy merchant in Shanghai. Li Chi was not his real name ; actually it's the name of a Chinese fruit ; but it was the name by which he was known from the China Sea to the Bay of Bengal. I won't say he was a crook because crook is an ugly word ; but he was a smuggler in a big way of business.
As a final touch the man walked with a pronounced limp. Li Chi introduced him as Ayert, his bosun, observing in a low voice that the facial distortion was the result of an affair with a tiger, and the limp, the outcome of an argument with a crocodile when he was a boy. Nevertheless, asserted Li Chi, Ayert was the finest sailing master from the Indian Ocean to the China Sea, a man renowned for daring and courage even in that race of tough fighters, the Malays. "Pay no attention to his looks," concluded Li Chi.