Zengo's Revolt - excerpt


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A Japanese Combat Soldier Flees to the Jungle with His Colonel's Defiant Mistress

Sub-lieutenant Zengo Takakuwa abandons his tattered regiment in the face of certain annihilation by surging American forces in the final days of Japan's Pacific campaign. The soldier retreats to the jungles of New Britain with his superior's concubine, Michiyo, who brands him a traitor in her violent refusal to accept Japan's defeat. Hot, sexy, on your toes action, dramatic, cinemagraphic. A keeper.

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Zengo's Revolt - excerpt

  1. 1. Zengo’s RevoltA novel by,Richard M. Baker, Jr.Available at: www.web-e-books.comExcerpt: She waited until he was ready to set out before demanding the time to pay herrespects to the Imperial Palace, but he didn’t mind. He was in no hurry to put her in danger.He stood idly; saw the white through the holes over her buttocks, the cuts and sores on thesoles of her feet. Then he was in a hurry and it firmed his resolve to reach the salt watertoday. When she finished, he simply started off and let her follow, but he went very quietly,in a partial crouch to let her know that danger should be expected at any moment. Theforest was thinner, there was less cover for them and many open spaces. He didn’t head forthe trail, but tried to go directly south to find the ocean. He searched the ground, too, forsigns left by other men. In December his sub company had not reconnoitered west of itstrail, so he didn’t know what to expect. Toward noon, he thought he caught sight of theocean from the top of a small hill, seeing it in patches through the tall trees, but decided itmust have been the effect of heat waves on his eyes. They hadn’t come far enough yet. “Sit here and eat,” he told Michiyo, handing her the cloth containing the cooked rice.“I’m going to try and climb a tree high enough to see where we are.” She looked up at them, some with networks of vines trailing down their sides. WhenTakakuwa cut a tough length of vine, tested the strength of it many times and seemed to betying himself to one of the tallest trees, one with no branches or vines on it, she thought himreally crazy. He had shed his haversack but kept on his weapons belt. When he took off hisshoes his feet looked bloody to her. Then, she stopped eating because he was doing anamazing feat, going up the tree by holding it with his feet, using the vine as a sort of sling,ascending in a series of crab-like movements, the muscles standing out on his bare legs,arms and all across his back. She watched him reach the first branch, a high one, then hangon for several minutes as if at the end of his strength. When he began to look out over theterrain, even behind him, she gave a long involuntary sigh of relief, caught herself andasked herself why, answering that she would be completely alone if he fell. “If that vine is frayed,” she whispered, watching him start, “he’s going to fall on theway down.” He didn’t, but it was a near thing. When he left it, she stole a look at the vine andsaw with a shudder that it was mangled. Such a feat could not be criticized, nor could she
  2. 2. praise it. She supposed he had watched the Melanesians do it, but also granted him theimmense strength and agility it must have taken. He said only: “When you’re ready, we can go. The area looks clear. I saw no smoke,ships or anything. We can be at the ocean by evening and the salt water will do much foryour hurts.” “Hai,” she nodded and watched the shoes go on over his bleeding feet, worse nowafter the climb. If he was ready, she certainly was and stood up. Going forward again, stepping gingerly with the pain so much worse, thinking ofhow she had sobered and of the climb as perhaps a progressive move, he guessed that onthe way to the sea he had brought them farther west than intended. Otherwise, there wouldhave been some activity ahead. It looked good, however, as if they would be undisturbedfor at least a day or so. After a rest, he would start east along the shore and make theattempt to get past the American positions and find a safe hiding place. The possibility ofthe soldiers and Marines moving along the coast to connect their lines was too great to staylong in the place for which he was now heading. Within an hour, his feet were demanding many halts, but he did not take them. Heonly hoped that the drastic change in his gait would not be taken by the girl as a sign ofweakness. Behind him and almost wincing with him, Michiyo also admitted to herself hisability to bear torture. Her own body hurt all over, in so many places she couldn’tdistinguish between cuts and sores without looking, but it could be nothing compared tothe pain of his torn feet. Putting them into the salt water will be like into the flames of ahigh fire, she thought and grimaced. If he does it without a cry, I guess I can bathe my soresand wash off the filth. For a coward, he’s certainly an accomplished soldier. She thought she could smell the sea, but she said in pity, for she hated to see even ananimal suffer: “May we rest a minute?” It had been in too loud a voice and he stopped to warn her. Then he nodded and satdown, his chest heaving from the exertion of bearing pain. The blood was thick in his shoes,but wiping his feet would be no help. He thought he could make it to the salt water andpreferred to wait. After eating the last two army biscuits and swallowing a mouthful ofwater, they sat in silence, numb, barely able to keep their minds intact in the wet heat. He had been sitting with his head down, considering his personal discomfort, butsuddenly he raised it, again on guard. There seemed to be no military personnel about, buthe had completely forgotten the possibility of being seen and reported by Melanesians.Once, his eyes passed over hers, saw the alarm in them, so he showed by a gesture that hehad heard nothing unusual. “Melanesians seem to live near the coasts of this island and might be moredangerous than the Marines,” he whispered after she had moved closer. “They aren’thostile like most savages, but recently some bad things have been done to some of them byour men and the news must have passed from one settlement to the next. I didn’t scout thisarea, so I don’t know if there are huts or not. If we are near Arawe and Cape Merkus, we’llsee several islands just off the coast. If not, we’ll be farther west toward Cape Peiho than I
  3. 3. planned to go. To my knowledge, there’s no large settlement between here and there, butsince there’s a Marine landing beach at Cape Bushing farther on, we have to expect them tocome this way, if they haven’t already.” Maybe if we could get to one of the little islands, he thought, it would be the safestplace to stay. “Here, Michiyo San,” he said, reaching over his shoulder under the flap of hishaversack for his map case, “I’ll try to show you where I think we are and what is to theeast of us. I’m sorry that the jungle thickens again in front of us. I saw it from the tree andthat we have at least three kilometers to go. It isn’t certain that I saw the ocean, but there issome water ahead.” He unfolded a worn map, largely prepared from aerial photos. “See, it was here,” hesaid, using his finger, “that we avoided the village of Didmop and crossed far to the westover the Pulie River. Then we came in a southwesterly direction and crossed the upperreaches of the Sigul River, only a stream to us at the place where we spent the night. I can’taccount for the sparseness of the jungle over the last five kilometers or so, but it’s thickerjust ahead. It’s difficult to travel this wilderness without a compass, but there are signs tofollow and when we reach the sea, we can find our way. If within the next two kilometerswe encounter another large stream, it should be the Omoi River and I’ll know exactly wherewe are. If not, we might be between it and the Arawe Peninsula. Or we might be west of allof it.” “I don’t understand,” she whispered tonelessly, “why the perfect ex-soldier wouldforget his compass.” “It hung on my belt,” he said, “but two weeks ago it was smashed by a bullet. Noware you ready to go on?” She watched him grip the machete and stood up when he did, almost wanting tosteady him when he swayed. “I’ll only use the machete when absolutely necessary,” he said and shut his eyesagainst a wave of dizziness. “Today the noise will carry far.” Straightening his shoulders, then pushing them forward to stretch the muscles inthem, he swung the blade once or twice over the ground, testing his arm, then turned andwalked stiff-legged in among the trees with Michiyo following numbly, coming soon on awall of tangled foliage. At first he began to crawl and force his way, often stopping to pullher through after him, but after a few minutes of this he had to stand and make a way forthem. Her notions of fleeing him toward the nearest Japanese force had all but disappeared,perhaps because the map had been so confusing. She had noted the place names of wherethe Imperial forces were supposed to be, but if there was a chance that the American armylines separated her from them, it would be foolish to try an escape. Besides, only a directview of an Imperial encampment would give her the chance. Also, the jungle wasimpenetrable without a blade and she didn’t have the strength to swing it long enough. So
  4. 4. more and more, she was beginning to appreciate her escort and would certainly use himuntil her opportunity came. The next four hours were some of the most torturous of his life. Throwing himselfforward like a blinded animal, he hacked and tore at the vines, stumbled on his ruined feetthrough slimy water, very noisily and without regard now for any enemy. The seasomewhere before him became the only objective and if he was killed on the way, it madeno difference. For once he ignored the safety of Michiyo in the urgency of getting himself tothe healing water. He encountered no large stream, no river, thought himself east of it,when all of a sudden, he broke through the end of a green barrier under palm trees andthere was the sea. He stumbled forward only a few paces, machete in his bleeding hand,before he sank to his knees on the cleared ground, bending over as if in a bow, the sun’srays on water like an explosive flash in his eyes. He was unconscious before his head struckthe sand, just at the high-water mark.Buy the full e-book, available exclusively at: www.web-e-books.comRead online or offline automatically with virtually any HTML5 browser on Windows, Apple,Android, or Linux laptop, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.© 2012 The Tri-Screen Connection, LLC – All Rights Reserved