The Narrow Smile is a portrait of the Pathan and their highland home on either side of the Pakistan-Afghan frontier. Peter Mayne grew up in India, and later spent four years on the Northwest Frontier during the Second World War. Mayne delighted in the company of these fierce but hospitable highlanders, who were as hard as the mountains that assured their independence but democratic to the point that no man admitted the right of another to lead him. In 1953, Mayne took a long journey to see what had become of his old friends in the high, flower-filled valleys on the roof of the world. But peace had always been a relative concept on this frontier, where Afghanistan was now eyeing Pashtun lands in a new iteration of the Great Game. Mayne’s misadventures are sometimes serious, often very funny, and at all times compassionate.