Thomas made his way to Washington, D.C., where he encountered the Community for Creative Non-Violence. The Community were a group of individuals much of whose time and energy was spent manipulating reluctant news media to focus public attention on "the plight of the homeless," an issue society might just as soon have swept under the carpet.

The Community impressed Thomas as being creative. Members of the Community were theists who said they preferred to trust in the Creator for the meager resources with which they captured media attention. They were relatively independent, refusing even to apply for tax-exempt status.

Secondarily, Thomas thought, the Community was doing some practical things with people on the streets, which set a good example of working to promote non-violence.

Thomas conceived a plan by which to get back on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean while opening his own issues for wider public consideration. He wrote to Alex, and asked him to send the manuscript which Thomas had penned on Barnsbury Road.

While waiting for the manuscript to arrive, Thomas worked for the Community. Scavenging materials to keep the soup line going, to construct the medical clinic, and to provide "hospitality" -- a blanket, space on the floor in one of the Community's three buildings, and a sympathetic ear -- for people who didn't have anyone else to care about them.

When the manuscript arrived Thomas called the Embassy of the Soviet Union.

"I have a manuscript which I believe details clear hypocrisy in the professed ideals and the practices of the United States government," Thomas told the person who answered the phone. "I would like to make a gift of it to the people of the Soviet Union."

The call was transferred to Victor Doroshenko, Under Secretary for Public Information. Thomas repeated his message.

"We would be very happy to have it," Mr. Doroshenko said.

At noon Thomas was admitted to the embassy on 16th Street, and ushered to a high ceilinged, richly appointed sitting-room.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Thomas." The Under Secretary for Public Information introduced himself. "What is your book about?" He asked, motioning for Thomas to be seated on a brocade sofa.

Thomas' narrative lasted about fifteen minutes. As he spoke he began to realize that it might sound as if he were describing normal Soviet policy which the Soviet government might just as soon see swept under the carpet.

"Thank you, Mr. Thomas. Is there anything we can do for you?" Mr. Doroshenko seemed to be speaking perfunctionarily.

"Yes," Thomas took the offensive. "You can tell me whether you are concerned with peace."

"Certainly, we are very concerned with peace," Mr. Doroshenko said.

"I am very happy to hear that, because my first concern is peace," Thomas said. "I believe that fear is the greatest contributing factor to the animosity and hostility existing between the United States and the Soviet Union."

"I quite agree," Mr. Doroshenko agreed.

"I reason that the root of this fear is misunderstanding, which comes, in turn, from a lack of communication." Thomas continued.

"I couldn't agree more," Mr. Doroshenko went on.

"Good. In order to illustrate to the American people that they have nothing to fear from the Russian people I am going to surrender to you," Thomas concluded.

Mr. Doroshenko didn't answer immediately. "What will you do if we take you to the Soviet Union?" He finally asked.

"I will continue my quest for truth, justice, and freedom." Thomas confided.

"I don't think we can use you there," Mr. Doroshenko decided.

"I'm here now, and I'm not going to leave. I suppose you can lock me up, send me to Siberia, or shoot me, but I think it would be in everyone's best interest if you just let me go ahead with my plans to show that people don't need to fear one another," Thomas argued.

"If you don't leave, I will have no choice but to have you arrested."

"What will you have me arrested for?" Thomas inquired.

"Trespassing." Mr. Doroshenko replied.

"As I understand it, the basis of Marx's whole theory rests on the evils of private property. If you, a communist country, have me, a stateless person, arrested by a capitalist police force for trespassing on your 'private property,' then it might appear that you are as hypocritical as the United States."

The Under Secretary reflected for some time. It was obvious that he had no real desire to have Thomas arrested. "You can apply for admission to the Soviet Union through the regular channels," Doroshenko offered.

"Fine, I'll apply and wait here for the answer." Thomas was skeptical.

For at least twice was long as it had taken Thomas to explain his story, Mr. Doroshenko attempted to persuade him to leave the embassy. To no avail. Finally he called the United States Secret Service.

Three S.S. officers entered the Soviet embassy.

"Good Afternoon, Sir," one of the Secret Service men began. "What is the problem here?"

"Mr. Doroshenko invited me here to discuss a book. We both agreed that peace is very important, that a state of hostility exists between the United States and the Soviet Union which results from fear, misunderstanding, and lack of communication. I told Mr. Doroshenko that I intend to dispel American fear of the Soviet Union by surrendering to them," Thomas explained.

"Well, now, they want you to leave," One of the S.S. men reacted.

"They invited me here," Thomas reminded.

"The D.C. trespassing regulation includes failure to quit as a violation," another S.S. man advised.

"I don't think that D.C. regulations apply on Soviet soil." Thomas observed. "I'm not going anywhere."

"He's crazy." One S.S. man said to another, as they handcuffed the prisoner.

"I think he's the only sane one here." The third enjoined.

"Sanity might all be a question of how one perceives Reality," Thomas thought as his captors led him to the Emerald City Jail.

IN A STRANGE LAND ==================>>