From Page to Screen: Excerpts From Martha Gellhorn's Wartime Writing


A meeting with Chou En-lai comes straight out of James Bond

In the market, a tall blonde Dutch woman, wearing a man's felt hat and a flowered cotton dress over trousers, approached me furtively and asked if we wanted to see Chou En-lai. The name Chou En-lai meant nothing to me; I said I would ask U.C. [Unwilling Companion, that is, Hemingway]. I told U.C. that some sort of loon sidled up to me in the market with this proposition and he said, "Oh yes, he's a friend of Joris."

The Dutch woman had instructed me to return to the market with my answer. There followed a scene straight from James Bond but long preceding James Bond. Our orders were to wander around the next day, until sure we were not traced by our own thugs or any others, and meet in the market. The Dutch lady then led us through a maze of alleys, further throwing off the pursuit. Finally we were bundled into rickshaws and blindfolded for the last lap.

-- Travels With Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn

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