Jake Dodds--a lusty, brawling Marine sergeant stationed in Peking in 1947--is a brute of a man for whom ""life was just one calaboose after another."" His whoring ways come to an end when he's doomed to the brig after slugging--appropriately--a brigadier general. Thereafter a fugitive on a caravan laden with contraband, Jake finds himself hunted by the Red Army's gold-fevered Major K'uang all the way to Mongolia and beyond. The outlaw is subsequently taken captive by Japanese bandits before some happier days as a yak dung collector with a tribe of Tibetan nomads. As rich and rambling as Quin's Shanghai Circus besides being Good 'n' Earthy.