In Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Mr Wing tries to learn coordinates of Golgotha from Randy Waterhouse. If I understood this part correctly, then my question is why? Clearly, Goto Dengo knew the exact coordinates, so why didn't Mr Wing? Can it be that Mr Wing knows where Golgotha is all along, and there is something else to the story between Mr Wing and Golgotha that I missed?

1 Answer 1


It's never spelled out in so many words, but Wing never knew exactly where Golgotha was, he just knew it's general location. Goto Dengo was Golgotha's designer and knows precisely where it is, but Wing was only the boss of the Chinese slave-workers; he was never told anything but "Dig, here." Many years later, General Wing was prevented from buying all of the land in the vicinity of Golgotha by Enoch Root, so Wing's search for the exact location is slowed down. As Stephenson explains at great length it's easy to lose track of things in a jungle.

Cryptonomicon, ch. Rock:

    This is discouraging, but the workers have the idea now. Their leader is Wing—the bald Chinese man who helped Goto Dengo bury the corpse of Lieutenant Ninomiya. He has the mysterious physical strength that seems to be common among bald men, and he has a kind of mesmerizing leadership power over the other Chinese.

Cryptonomicon, ch. Akihabara:

    “Enoch’s message says that the land above Golgotha is owned by the Church,” Randy mutters, “but in order to reach it we have to travel across land owned by Wing, and by some Filipinos.”

Cryptonomicon, ch. Return:

    Amy asks, “Do you understand that, in order to move the gold out of here, it’ll be necessary to travel across land controlled by Wing?”
    “Who says we have to move it?”
    Silence for a minute, or what passes for silence in a jungle.
    Doug Shaftoe says, “You’re right. If the stories are even half true, this facility is far more secure than any bank vault.”
    “The stories are all true—and then some,” Randy says. “The man who designed and built Golgotha is Goto Dengo himself.”

Cryptonomicon, ch. Cayuse:

    He says, after about fifteen minutes: “I know what’s going on with the explosions. Wing’s people are tunneling their way toward Golgotha. They’re going to remove the gold through some kind of an underground conduit. It’ll look like they are excavating it from their own property. But they’ll actually be taking it from here.”
    Amy grins. “They’re robbing the bank.”
    Randy nods, mildly annoyed that she’s not taking it more seriously.
    “Wing must have been too busy with the Long March and the Great Leap Forward to buy this real estate when it was available,” Enoch says.

  • Good answer, but I recommend using quote syntax (">") for quotes Sep 5, 2015 at 13:20
  • @DVK: Sorry. I had a Brain fart.
    – Joe L.
    Sep 5, 2015 at 15:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.