National Geographic : 1965 Jan
v Jhon, do not move against the Vietnamese here. They are under my protection. To kill them, you'll have to kill me first." He paused, the protruding vein in his right temple pulsing visibly, then continued more softly. "Y Jhon, your own life is threatened. The Viet Cong have infiltrated this camp. You and I both know it. Particularly watch your S-4 [Y Jhon's supply officer]. I want you to find four completely loyal men to guard you day and night. Take this seri ously, Y Jhon, it is important." After dismissing the group, Gillespie accom panied Y Jhon out of the mess hall. They stood alone. I overheard Gillespie, his right hand now on Y Jhon's shoulder, say, "I want no troops moved out of this camp until I say so, Y Jhon." Spirits Dominate Mountain Tribes His head bowed, Y Jhon moved a few paces off, then returned. In his fractured English he explained that he had just thought of a plan to keel) the Vietnamese in the camp from harm at the hands of his montagnards. He and Gillespie -who were already blood brothers in the Rhade tribe-would undergo a ceremony of alliance with Captain Truong and invoke the protection of the spirits. Gillespie agreed and Y Jhon hur ried away to alert his sorcerer. For the mountain people, life is dominated by an endless number of spirits that rule the fate of Handshake seals agreement to keep the peace between a U. S. officer and montagnard, whose white arm band identifies him as a rebel. KODACHROMESO N.G.S.