Amb. Quinn describes how in the spring of 1997 his embassy prepares an assessment of the political situation in Cambodia, and judgements about whether the increasingly harsh disagreements among the political parties may lead to violence. Most of the embassy senior officers judge that the situation is like a roller coaster with many ups and downs, but ultimately a safe non-violent outcome. Taking the minority view, even though he was the Chief of Mission, Amb. Quinn predicts the situation will end up as a head-on collision and predicts a date in late June when it will begin. He misses by only five days as fighting breaks out over the Fourth of July weekend. As the capital city is engulfed in fighting, he has to make critical decisions about whether to abandon the embassy building and destroy all of the secret codes and communication equipment.