December 6
    “Harry? Harry?”
    “I wouldn’t worry, sir. An American boy in Tokyo, where’s he going to go?”
    “Got to go set up the fireworks, sir.”
    “Kind of a wild boy there, sir.”
    Two pairs of footsteps retreated. Roger Niles tramped back and forth calling Harry’s name for another minute before he left. Harry heard one more set of steps slip between the trees, then his mother’s voice. “Harry, I know we don’t see you as much as we would like, but I do feel you are a special child, that you are protected like Moses was protected even in a frail cradle of reeds. That an angel watches over you and that you may seem a prince of Egypt when you are truly something even better. Could you come out now, Harry, wherever you are? For the love of your mother, could you do that, Harry?”
    But Harry noticed that one branch of the tree he was in reached over the embassy wall to the garden next door, a rich man’s garden banked with willows and maples, fountains of artfully worn stones and, over a pool, a haze of flickering yellow-green lights. As soon as his mother was gone, Harry climbed out on the branch and dropped into the garden.
    The back of the house was a long balcony of summer screens made of threaded reeds, none lit from within that Harry could see. He slid a panel open and automatically slipped off his wet shoes before moving onto the mats of a richly spare room with a painted scroll hanging by a cedar post. Red lacquered sake cups seemed to float on a low table as black as ink.
    “What are you doing here?”
    Harry jumped, but it was only Roy Hooper at the open panel. Harry was surprised but turned the question around. “What are you doing here?”
    “Following you.”
    “Then take off your shoes.”
    Harry moved from room to room. The owner had to be very rich judging by the screens of gold leaf and shelves of fine china that glowed in the shadows. Harry rummaged until he found a large glass jar with a perforated lid in the kitchen and black cotton cloth in a linen drawer.
    “Are you stealing?” Roy Hooper asked.
    “Don’t be stupid. Just taking what I need.”
    By the time they returned to the garden, they heard the machine-gun report of firecrackers from the embassy and saw the occasional rocket zip high enough to be seen above the wall, followed by homesick renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Down by the Old Mill Stream.” Meanwhile, Harry and Roy Hooper caught fireflies.
    Around the pond were maples, dwarf pines and pillows of moss where fireflies swarmed in luminescent clouds. The darker the evening grew, the easier they were to see. Fireflies spread like a pulsating carpet over the damp grass, congregated under a drooping mulberry, spangled the water. Roy Hooper would hold the jar while Harry caught a firefly with both hands and gently blew it through the mouth of the jar. Brooms were another good way to carry fireflies, and a broom could look like a jeweled fan but wouldn’t serve for this instance. Caught, fireflies flashed brighter in distress. Crushed, they emitted a burning green. In half an hour the glass jar was a glowing ball of captives, at least ten yen’s worth at a geisha house, and Harry wrapped it in the black cloth to carry back over the wall.
    The entertainment had just concluded when Harry and Roy Hooper returned. A couple hundred guests were still gathered on the lawn in the red, white and blue illumination of lanterns. The diplomatic corps sat in chairs that had begun to settle and list in the soft turf. Babies slept in their fathers’ arms. A whiff of sulfur hung in the air.
    “The prodigal sons,” announced the clerk functioning as master of ceremonies. “Too bad they missed out on all the fun.”
    “They had sparklers,” Harriet told Harry. “You know how you love sparklers.”
    “What have you got there?” Roger Niles asked. In the dark, despite its black cover, a faint halo surrounded the jar.

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