The Bamboo Shepherd
by Kevin Corbett
During World War II Kevin took basic training at Fort McLellan, Alabama. He entered the Pacific Theater as a member of the U.S. Army 43rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (known as RECON) of the 43rd "Winged Victory" Division. His tour of duty, which lasted over three years, brought him through Guadalcanal, the Solomons, New Guinea and the Philippines.
His book, The Bamboo Shepherd, depicts an incident in July 1943 on Luzon, Philippines, involving the death of a young Columban priest at the hands of the Japanese. His name was Father Francis Vernon Douglas. His body has never been found. The author originally heard the circumstances of this fateful episode from another Columban priest, Father Hugh O'Reilly, who had been hidden by Filipino guerrillas in the hills surrounding Laguna de Bay and brought out of hiding by RECON on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1945.
The above is fact. The rest of the novel is fiction and weaves the paths of the Filipino guerrillas, Nikono Yashima (a colonel of the Rising Sun) and Patrick Corbin (an American soldier) along the shores of Laguna de Bay. The heroic acts of the Filipino guerrillas result in the recovery of the body of Father Douglas from the Japanese; however, a miraculous event occurs that brings about a covenant to never disclose the burial site of their beloved priest. For thirty-five years this vow has been kept—at the dismay of the local Filipinos.
Nikono, who had been given orders to interrogate Father Douglas about guerrilla activities, is now a rice merchant; he returns to the Philippines to discover new rice markets. Patrick (or "Whitey") has been haunted by the death of Father Douglas for thirty-five years; he returns to the Philippines in search of the remains of Father Douglas, the now legendary Bamboo Shepherd.
ISBN: 1-931807-22-1, 260 pages. $20.00
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