“Chapter 1”

‘Where is she?’

Steve Conway walked slowly from the arrival hall of Tan Son Nhat International airport and squinted into the burning sunshine of a Saigon morning looking for a woman he’d never met. His flight from Manila had arrived on time; he’d cleared immigration and customs quickly and now stood scanning the milling crowd.

He searched the sea of eager, expectant faces crowding the barriers and apart from a few friendly smiles from a number of local lovelies no one seemed interested in this foreigner.

He carried his suitcase past the steel barriers into the open area beyond and waited amongst the mob, trying to ignore excited little men in white, short-sleeved shirts and black pants yelling and pointing toward their waiting taxis. His shirt clung like a second skin and he could feel rivulets of sweat running down his back. He took out a handkerchief and mopped his brow. Same old ‘Nam, still hot as hell; at least they’re not shooting at me this time.

Suddenly to his right he heard a soft voice tinged with anxiety.

‘Mr Steve, is that you?’

He turned to see a slightly built young woman, probably mid twenties, wearing a dark green ao dai the traditional silk dress of Vietnamese women, walking quickly toward him with a worried expression.

‘Hi Kim Anh, yes, it’s me’, he grinned hiding his relief.

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