On the morning of the fourth day the dawn light daubed our faces as we came down the skies of Cochin-China*. The passengers were squirming in their seats, not sleeping and not waking, and the air-hostess’s trained smile came stiffly. With engines throttled back the plane dropped from sur-Alpine heights in a tremorless glide, settling in the new, morning air of the plains like a dragonfly on the surface of a calm lake. As the first rays of the sun burst through the magenta mists that lay among the horizon, the empty sketching of the child’s painting book open beneath us received a wash of green. Now lines were ruled lightly across it. A yellow penciling of roads and blue of canals.
A colonel of the Foreign Legion awoke uneasily, struggling with numbed, set facial muscles to regain that easy expression of good-fellowship of a man devoted to the service of violence...
- Norman Lewis, A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Indo-China (1951)