There was one fact which Rector could not overlook , one truth which he could not deny .
As long as there were two human beings working together on the same project , there would be competition and you could no more escape it than you could expect to escape the grave .
No matter how devoted a man was , no matter how fully he gave his life to the Lord , he could never extinguish that one spark of pride that gave him definition as an individual .
All of the jobs in the mission might be equal in the eyes of the Lord , but they were certainly not equal in the eyes of the Lord's servants .
It was only natural that Fletcher would strive for a position in which he could make the decisions .
Even Rector himself was prey to this spirit of competition and he knew it , not for a more exalted office in the hierarchy of the church -- his ambitions for the bishopry had died very early in his career -- but for the one clear victory he had talked about to the colonel .
He was not sure how much of this desire was due to his devotion to the church and how much was his own ego , demanding to be satisfied , for the two were intertwined and could not be separated .
He wanted desperately to see Kayabashi defeated , the Communists in the village rooted out , the mission standing triumphant , for in the triumph of the Lord he himself would be triumphant , too .
But perhaps this was a part of the eternal plan , that man's ambition when linked with God would be a driving , indefatigable force for good in the world .
He sighed .
How foolish it was to try to fathom the truth in an area where only faith would suffice .
He would have to work without questioning the motives which made him work and content himself with the thought that the eventual victory , however it was brought about , would be sweet indeed .
His first move was to send Hino to the village to spend a few days .
His arm had been giving him some trouble and Rector was not enough of a medical expert to determine whether it had healed improperly or whether Hino was simply rebelling against the tedious work in the print shop , using the stiffness in his arm as an excuse .
In any event Rector sent him to the local hospital to have it checked , telling him to keep his ears open while he was in the village to see if he could find out what Kayabashi was planning .
Hino was elated at the prospect .
He was allowed to spend his nights at an inn near the hospital and he was given some extra money to go to the pachinko parlor -- an excellent place to make contact with the enemy .
He left with all the joyous spirit of a child going on a holiday , nodding attentively as Rector gave him his final instructions .
He was to get involved in no arguments ; ;
he was to try to make no converts ; ;
he was simply to listen and report back what he heard .
It was a ridiculous situation and Rector knew it , for Hino , frankly partisan , openly gregarious , would make a poor espionage agent .
If he wanted to know anything , he would end up asking about it point-blank , but in this guileless manner he would probably receive more truthful answers than if he tried to get them by indirection .
In all of his experience in the mission field Rector had never seen a convert quite like Hino .
From the moment that Hino had first walked into the mission to ask for a job , any job -- his qualifications neatly written on a piece of paper in a precise hand -- he had been ready to become a Christian .
He had already been studying the Bible ; ;
he knew the fundamentals , and after studying with Fletcher for a time he approached Rector , announced that he wanted to be baptized and that was that .
Rector had never been able to find out much about Hino's past .
Hino talked very little about himself except for the infrequent times when he used a personal illustration in connection with another subject .
Putting the pieces of this mosaic together , Rector had the vague outlines of a biography .
Hino was the fourth son of an elderly farmer who lived on the coast , in Chiba , and divided his life between the land and the sea , supplementing the marginal livelihood on his small rented farm with seasonal employment on a fishing boat .
Without exception Hino's brothers turned to either one or both of their father's occupations , but Hino showed a talent for neither and instead spent most of his time on the beach where he repaired nets and proved immensely popular as a storyteller .
He had gone into the Japanese navy , had been trained as an officer , had participated in one or two battles -- he never went into detail regarding his military experience -- and at the age of twenty-five , quite as a bolt out of the blue , he had walked into the mission as if he belonged here and had become a Christian .
Rector was often curious ; ;
often tempted to ask questions but he never did .
If and when Hino decided to tell him about his experiences , he would do so unasked .
Rector had no doubt that Hino would come back from the village bursting with information , ready to impart it with his customary gusto , liberally embellished with his active imagnation .
When the telephone rang on the day after Hino went down to the village , Rector had a hunch it would be Hino with some morsel of information too important to wait until his return , for there were few telephones in the village and the phone in Rector's office rarely rang unless it was important .
He was surprised to find Kayabashi's secretary on the other end of the line .
He was even more startled when he heard what Kayabashi wanted .
The oyabun was entertaining a group of dignitaries , the secretary said , businessmen from Tokyo for the most part , and Kayabashi wished to show them the mission .
They had never seen one before and had expressed a curiosity about it .
`` Oh '' ? ?
Rector said .
`` I guess it will be all right .
When would the oyabun like to bring his guests up here '' ? ?
`` This afternoon '' , the secretary said .
`` At three o'clock if it will be of convenience to you at that time '' .
`` All right '' , Rector said .
`` I will be expecting them '' .
He was about to hang up the phone , but a note of hesitancy in the secretary's voice left the conversation open .
He had something more to say .
`` I beg to inquire if the back is now safe for travelers '' , he said .
Rector laughed despite himself .
`` Unless the oyabun has been working on it '' , he said , then checked himself and added : `` You can tell Kayabashi-san that the back road is in very good condition and will be quite safe for his party to use '' .
`` Arigato gosaimasu '' .
The secretary sighed with relief and then the telephone clicked in Rector's hand .
Rector had no idea why Kayabashi wanted to visit the mission .
For the oyabun to make such a trip was either a sign of great weakness or an indication of equally great confidence , and from all the available information it was probably the latter .
Kayabashi must feel fairly certain of his victory in order to make a visit like this , a trip which could be so easily misinterpreted by the people in the village .
At the same time , it was unlikely that any businessmen would spend a day in a Christian mission out of mere curiosity .
No , Kayabashi was bringing his associates here for a specific purpose and Rector would not be able to fathom it until they arrived .
When he had given the call a few moments thought , he went into the kitchen to ask Mrs. Yamata to prepare tea and sushi for the visitors , using the formal English china and the silver tea service which had been donated to the mission , then he went outside to inspect the grounds .
Fujimoto had a pile of cuttings near one side of the lawn .
Rector asked him to move it for the time being ; ;
he wanted the mission compound to be effortlessly spotless .
A good initial impression would be important now .
He went into the print shop , where Fletcher had just finished cleaning the press .
`` How many pamphlets do we have in stock '' ? ?
Rector said .
`` I should say about a hundred thousand '' , Fletcher said .
`` Why '' ? ?
`` I would like to enact a little tableau this afternoon '' , Rector said , He explained about the visit and the effect he wished to create , the picture of a very busy mission .
He did not wish to deceive Kayabashi exactly , just to display the mission activities in a graphic and impressive manner .
Fletcher nodded as he listened to the instructions and said he would arrange the things Rector requested .
Rector's next stop was at the schoolroom , where Mavis was monitoring a test .
He beckoned to her from the door and she slipped quietly outside .
He told her of the visitors and then of his plans .
`` How many children do you have present today '' ? ?
He said .
She looked back toward the schoolroom .
`` Fifteen '' , she said .
`` No , only fourteen .
The little Ito girl had had to go home .
She has a pretty bad cold '' .
`` I would like them to appear very busy today , not busy exactly , but joyous , exuberant , full of life .
I want to create the impression of a compound full of children .
Do you think you can manage it '' ? ?
Mavis smiled .
`` I'll try '' .
As Rector was walking back toward the residential hall , Johnson came out of the basement and bounded up to him .
The altercation in the coffee house had done little to dampen his spirits , but he was still a little wary around Rector for they had not yet discussed the incident .
`` I think I've fixed the pump so we won't have to worry about it for a long time '' , he said .
`` I've adjusted the gauge so that the pump cuts out before the water gets too low .
'' `` Fine '' , Rector said .
He looked out over the expanse of the compound .
It was going to take a lot of activity to fill it .
`` Have you ever operated a transit '' ? ?
He said .
`` No , sir '' , Johnson said .
`` You are about to become a first-class surveyor '' , Rector said .
`` When Konishi gets back with the jeep , I want you to round up two or three Japanese boys .
Konishi can help you .
You'll find an old transit in the basement .
The glass is out of it , but that won't matter .
It looks pretty efficient and that's the important thing '' .
He went on to explain what he had in mind .
Johnson nodded .
He said he could do it .
Rector was warming to his over-all strategy by the time he got back to the residential hall .
It was rather a childish game , all in all , but everybody seemed to be getting into the spirit of the thing and he could not remember when he had enjoyed planning anything quite so much .
He was not sure what effect it would have , but that was really beside the point when you got right down to it .
He was not going to lose the mission by default , and whatever reason Kayabashi had for bringing his little sight-seeing group to the mission , he was going to be in for a surprise .
He found Elizabeth in the parlor and asked her to make sure everything was in order in the residential hall , and then to take charge of the office while the party was here .
When everything had been done , Rector went back to his desk to occupy himself with his monthly report until three o'clock .
At two thirty he sent Fujimoto to the top of the wall at the northeast corner of the mission to keep an eye on the ridge road and give a signal when he first glimpsed the approach of Kayabashi's party .
Then Rector , attired in his best blue serge suit , sat in a chair out on the lawn , in the shade of a tree , smoking a cigarette and waiting .
The air was cooler here , and the lacy pattern of the trees threw a dappled shadow on the grass , an effect which he found pleasant .