Cold War Leaders by Wendy Conklin

By Wendy Conklin

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The Nepali police, despite their support for me, would be left with no choice but to arrest me and return me to India. Then I’d really be in the shit. I still believed that this was a joke and surely someone of authority would step in, slap a few heads, and order my release and return to Nepal. 00 pm. It was beyond hot and very humid. I was exhausted and in desperate need of sleep. We were invited by the Sub-Inspector to dine at his house, but I needed a curry meal right now like a needed a solid kick in the balls.

I always had a particular pair of cams that I liked to wear when out bush — and this was no exception. I laid these cams on my bed and packed the essential lifesaving pieces of equipment into the pockets. Into the pocket on my left sleeve went my camouflage paint compact. Into my left shirt pocket I put my signal mirror and a US Army issue plastic spoon. I tied a can opener to the buttonhole of my pocket. Into my right shirt pocket I put my patrol diary and pen (wrapped in a waterproof wallet to prevent it from deteriorating from the effects of rainwater and sweat) and a pen torch with a red filter.

He yelled something in Hindi and told me I’d committed a terrible criminal offence, and then they left the room to discuss the matter. ‘Ujjwal, hide all your money,’ I said as I fumbled through my pack to hide my passport and money. ‘Paul, maybe we should run for it,’ Uhwal suggested with a note of concern in his voice. ‘There are too many cops around, mate. If one of us gets caught, we are both done. ’ Then a local man entered the room. He told Ujwal that this had happened before and he should just pay the immigration officer 500 rupees each and we’d both be released.

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