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Excerpt from "Passion and Peril on the Silk Road":
Where did he say he was going? Kashgar?
She switched on a lamp, scrambled across the bed, reached out to a stack of reference books piled under the nightstand and watched them spill across the floor as she grabbed the atlas from the middle of them. [continued below the map]
Kashgar. Wasn’t it in Xinjiang Province— western China? An oasis along the Silk Road? Fabled in song and story? Alexander the Great? Ghenghis Khan? Marco Polo? The Great Game? Jesus.
She flipped through the atlas till she found the right map. Kashgar. A thumbnail away from the old Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tadjikistan, and only slightly farther from the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the ancient, disputed kingdom of Kashmir; surrounded by the infernal Takla Makan desert and the most frightening mountain ranges in the history of mankind: Tien Shan, Pamir, Hindu Kush, and Karakoram. Jesus.
The sting of tears caught her by surprise. She pressed her forehead against the page. He might as well be on the fucking moon.