Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Case of the Uncertain Thing - Part I

Young Chan sat listening to the staccato of rain striking the thin roof. His desk was clear, and his fingers were busy tapping on the smooth luan. No telling when something would happen: another Shanghaied princess, another marauding Guygang, another Peping Tom -- no Fuling. He would be ready.

Just then, the beautiful Madame Wu burst through the door. "Young Chan, come quick! Someone has stolen my prized possession!"

Young Chan lept to his feet, forgetting to bow, and pounded the desk with his fist. "This is an outrage," he said, hoping to woo the beautiful Wu with his strength and determination. "What have they taken?"

"I do not know," she said, with a note of sadness.

Young Chan, who had just been ready to chase down the wicked thieves and apply the deadly art of kung fu on their villianous persons, suddenly grew still, as if he had been frozen by by some evil, invisible sorcerer.

"But...," he said, "Madame Wu, how is that you know that something is stolen when you do not know what it is?"

"That is just it," she said, "It is a mystery. They say your uncle Chan taught you the secrets of detection. So, I have come to you. You must help me!"

"Yes," said the younger Chan, hanging his head briefly, "My uncle has gone to the ancestors -- his only shame was his poor grammar. But, he taught me much:, as he said, 'Even wisest man cannot answer until he knows question.' So, again, I ask Madame, how do you know something is missing?"

Madam Wu walked slowly toward him in her silken, floral cheongsam, her fan held lightly against her chin in contemplation. "Because," she said, "My house has grown silent, and I no longer have chopsticks."

Young Chan turned to look through the window at the gathering mist. Never before had he encountered a mystery of such scale. Uncle, he thought, you must help me.

Then, he heard a tiny voice in his head saying, Sometimes most essential clue very difficult to find.


Blogger Gone Away said...

Ahah, the plot thickens...

1/10/2005 01:17:00 AM  

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