Eight Skilled Gentlemen
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The sequel to Bridge of Birds and The Story of the Stone, this fantasy tale is the equivalent of Holmes and Watson in an ancient China that never was. Master Li and Number Ten Ox investigate a strange case of murder in a book that is equal parts Chinese folklore, sly parody, adventure, horror and fun.
Cannibal Coast (Japan), and thus Hortensia Island was born. One day when the water had risen to a certain level an extraordinary thing happened. A great burst of sound suddenly arose from North Lake: hauntingly beautiful, but without apparent theme or musical form. It was like the sound of a huge horn except it had a husky hollow undertone as it swooped between huang-chung and ying-chung , the low and high notes of the un-tempered chromatic scale. The eerie sound lasted only a minute or so.
dais and pull tapestries aside on the wall behind the warden's chair. I found what he expected behind the third tapestry: a small lacquered door that opened to reveal a staircase winding up inside the circular walls. I took the steps two at a time, trusting that the Celestial Master would still be roaring loud enough to drown out the sound of sandals clattering over stone, but when we reached the level of the warden's office we found not one secret room, but two, and to reach the second we had to
wall of the eunuchs' courtyard, between their elegant palace and the Palace of Southern Fragrance. All this was slightly downhill from us. The Golden River was taking us to falls that frothed down a low stone cliff that was one of the few natural barriers in the Forbidden City, and formed the front wall of the eunuchs' courtyard. I want to clearly establish the scene as viewed from that little cliff. One looked down into a large circular courtyard paved with marble, in the center of which was a
something scaly and coiling near her legs. The mirage made the beautiful shamanka appear to be laughing with delight as she rode a madman's back — but Master Li was pounding me, jerking at my arm, and I felt him jump from my back. He was diving for the cages. Li the Cat and the soldiers stood transfixed, staring at the balcony while Master Li snatched a cage from beneath a throne and jerked the brush from it. He squinted at the symbols engraved upon the bars, and then touched the figure of a
finish line, and squarely in the center, suspended in air, hung a shimmering ring. It was pi, symbol of the harmony of Heaven, seamless continual circle of yang and yin, and the tips of the two long slim dragon horns thrusting from the prows began to glow with the same shimmering light. Master Li and Envy flung both scarves wide, and drums and clapping boards pounded like giant heartbeats, and the rowers made great gasping sounds as they put every ounce of strength into their strokes. "Lady of