Sirik had left a note: “I am ashamed to say that I have left you now, Mr. Ames. This is the last depot on the river that is still controlled by the national government, and I have heard about what fate awaits those of us flying the national flag against the rebels. I have a wife and a child, and this is the last opportunity for me to slip away and perhaps see them once more, though I fear that in doing my duty thus far I have already made them a widow and an orphan. I hope you find the woman you are looking for, and she runs joyously into your arms. This is the story I will tell myself, even though I know in my heart of hearts it cannot be true.”

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