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By Robert Van Gulik

An opportunity come upon with Autumn Moon, the main strong courtesan on Paradise Island, leads pass judgement on Dee to enquire 3 deaths. even if he eventually teases the real tale from a tangled background of ardour and betrayal, Dee is saddened by way of the perversion, corruption, and waste of the area "of flora and willows" that flourishes on prostitution.

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Ma Joong went up and rattled the brass knocker vigorously. After he had introduced to the solemn head-waiter the arriving of Assessor Dee, he waited until the pass judgement on were proven inside of, then rushed down the marble staircase and joined the motley crowd thronging the road. III pass judgement on Dee instructed the executive who got here to fulfill him within the corridor that he have been invited to the dinner in honour of Justice of the Peace Lo. After the guy had made a low obeisance, he took the pass judgement on up the extensive staircase, lined with a thick blue carpet, and ushered him right into a huge room at the moment flooring. An agreeable clean air greeted the pass judgement on, for the room was once artificially cooled through brass basins, full of ice-blocks. within the center stood a around dining-table of shining blackwood, loaded with porcelain plates of chilly meats and silver wine beakers. Six highbacked chairs of carved ebony with cool marble slabs as seats stood round it. within the bay window 4 gents have been consuming tea and nibbling melon seeds, sitting at a sublime side-table with a crimson marble best. They appeared up, astonished, while pass judgement on Dee entered. A lean, aged guy with lengthy, greying sidewhiskers obtained up and got here to satisfy him. He requested with politeness: ' Who may well you be searching for, sir? ' 'Are you Mr Feng Dai? ' pass judgement on Dee requested. whilst the opposite nodded, he took Justice of the Peace Lo's authorization from his sleeve and gave it to him, explaining that Lo had requested him to wait the dinner party in his position. Feng Dai again the record with a low bow, and stated: 'I am the warden the following, i'm thoroughly at Your Honour's provider. enable me to introduce the opposite site visitors! ' the skinny outdated guy with the small skullcap was once offered as Wen Yuan, a filthy rich curio-dealer who owned all of the vintage and keepsake retailers of Paradise Island. He had a protracted face with hole cheeks, yet his small eyes regarded very observant, lower than gray, ragged eyebrows. He had a brief, gray moustache, and a pointed, well trimmed beard. The distinguished-looking more youthful gentleman, donning a sq. gauze cap and seated subsequent to the curio-dealer, proved to be the top of the guild of wine retailers, known as Tao Pan-te. And the good-looking child sitting along with his again to the window was once brought as Kia Yu-po, a pupil on his solution to the capital to participate within the literary examinations. Feng further proudly that the younger guy had already made a reputation for himself as a poet. pass judgement on Dee mirrored that the corporate seemed extra promising than he had anticipated. He conveyed to the 4 males in a couple of well mannered words Justice of the Peace Lo's apologies. 'Since I occurred to be passing via here,' he concluded,' the Justice of the Peace charged me with settling the case of the Academician's suicide that happened 3 days in the past. i'm, after all, a newcomer the following. hence i might be thankful in the event you might allow me have your perspectives in this case. ' there has been an uneasy silence. Then Feng Dai spoke gravely: ' The suicide of the Academician Lee Lien used to be a so much regrettable prevalence, sir. regrettably, although, such instances aren't infrequent right here. a few viewers who lose seriously on the gaming tables pick out that method of finishing their issues.

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