Far up in the northern tip of Burma the occasional traveler sees the snow-capped spines of the border mountains, forbidding ramparts of the new China. It is here that Nigel Grayson goes to get s story on the refugees reported trickling out of the Salween Valley to freedom.
His inquiries lead him to a Duwa, a Kachin chief who is sheltering some refugees, and Grayson is afforded a first glimpse of life beyond the mountains and the incredible odds and hardships the fugitives will face to escape it.
A second and even more trenchant view is afforded by his guide, Katu kha, a handsome Kachin girl whose own family is even now attempting a difficult escape from its native village.
THE PASS tells the story of Grayson's gradual involvement with Katu kha's fate and of her family's incredibly perilous journey. Their adventures begin by eluding the Chinese night patrols. Then comes the arduous climb up the Chinese side of the mountain. There are temporary allies in darkness and early-morning mist, in courage and endurance. But the persistent enemies of fear, hunger and cold, of age and infirmity, of their pursuers' savage determination prove more than their match.
Mr. Slimming tells this unbearably exciting tale weaving skillfully the threads of its touching love story, the behavior of the people and the vivid feel of life in this remote section of Asia he know so well. It is the first novel with a factual background about the refugees in this perilous land.