December 6
China back on its feet.” Harry had learned that at school.
    “America can help China back on its feet,” Hooper said softly.
    “Sometimes I think what Harry needs is a trip back home,” Roger said. “Would you like that, Harry, a good, long visit back home?”
    “I am home.” Harry didn’t know much about Louisville, but he doubted that it measured up to Tokyo.
    “Your real home,” Harriet said.
    “Our folks have never seen Harry,” Roger told the others. “Harry, you have a lot of cousins you don’t even know.”
    Harry had seen snapshots of them. The boys, slouching, buttoned to the neck, were always arrayed in ascending height before signs like RED MAN ’ S GORGE and STONEWALL JACKSON ’ S PLACE OF BIRTH . The girls had round eyes and dull, stringy hair just like the girls at the embassy.
    A line of elderly Japanese guests cut through to reach the refreshments. Roger Niles said, “Look, they don’t even beg your pardon. Typical.”
    Because they know you can’t speak Japanese, Harry thought, surprised by his own scorn. He’d heard his parents try.
    “Maybe Harry needs to get out there and mix,” Hooper suggested. “My son would be happy to introduce him to the other boys.”
    What Harry had planned to do was go along the river with Gen and catch fireflies they could sell to geisha houses at ten sen apiece for firefly lamps. It had rained in the morning, and a clear night after wet weather made fireflies rise so thick that a good catcher could fill a paper sack, both hands and his mouth with captive flies. Instead, a shorter boy in a baseball cap was leading him to a game of tug-of-war being refereed by two embassy clerks.
    The boy gave Harry a skeptical examination. “My name is Roy, but my friends call me Hoop. What’s your name?”
    “Oishi,” Harry said.
    “Oishi? That doesn’t sound American.”
    “Who said it was?” Still, Harry was amazed. “You never heard of the Forty-seven Ronin?”
    “No. I’m going to recite ‘Casey at the Bat’ for entertainment. What are you going to do?”
    “I’m going to disappear.”
    The clerks each had fat cheeks and shiny, lubricated hair. They arranged tug-of-war teams on either side of the embassy’s reflecting pool, smaller boys to the middle of the rope, larger boys at the ends. When one side had the advantage, the other side was dragged into the water. Almost immediately Roy Hooper lost his baseball cap in the pool, and Harry’s oxfords were soaked. By his third time in the water, Harry saw by the smirks on their faces that the larger boys on each side were having fun pulling and giving way by turns, staying dry while boys in front got drenched. The same poorly concealed smile spread through the clerks, a collusion of the strong against the weak. Harry found the cap, filled it with scummy water, marched to the last on the rope, a robust boy in a Hawaiian shirt with a patch of beard on his chin, and stuffed the cap over his head. The boy hit Harry so hard he collapsed like an accordion, but he hung on to the boy’s arm and dragged him to the ground. When the boy got on top, Harry head-butted him and bit his nose.
    “Fight fair!” The clerks pulled the two up.
    The bigger boy swung at Harry who ducked under the punch, grabbed him by the shirt and threw him down to the ground. It was what Harry had trained to do at school for years.
    “Dirty fighter, are you?” someone said as Harry was pulled off again, but he broke free and ran for the trees and azaleas that screened the lawn from the street. The clerks got a late jump, and by the time they reached the trees, Harry was halfway up a pine and out of their sight. Their footsteps tramped around the needles.
    “A missionary kid, can you believe that?”
    “Almost bit his nose off, Jesus!”
    “Probably went over the wall, the little son of a bitch.”
    Roger Niles’s voice joined in. “Do you know where my son went?”
    “No, sir. But it’s getting dark and he could be anywhere

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