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Kai Lung's Golden Hours

by Ernest Bramah

With a Preface by Hilaire Belloc

 

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The Kai Lung stories have for many years been in high favour among those who relish sophisticated humour. One of the first to recognize their distinction was Hilaire Belloc, who, in his Introduction, records the impact made upon him when he first made the acquaintance of these masterpieces of narrative. Kai Lung is an itinerant story-teller in ancient China. "I spread my mat," he says, "wherever my uplifted voice can entice together a company to listen," and his powers of enchantment are abundantly revealed in this volume. He incurs the enmity of a sinister figure called Ming-shu, who is the confidential agent of the Mandarin, Shan Tien, and has to defend himself in the Mandarin's court against a series of treasonable charges. Kai Lung's defence takes the original form of inducing the Mandarin to listen to a recital of the traditional tales of China, and so well does he beguile the capricious tyrant that he secures one adjournment after the other and, finally, his freedom--as well as the love of the maiden Hwa-Mei.

 

Table of Contents

PREFACE

CHAPTER I - The Encountering of Six within a Wood
CHAPTER II - The Inexorable Justice of the Mandarin Shan Tien
CHAPTER III - The Degraded Persistence of the Effete Ming-shu
CHAPTER IV - The Inopportune Behaviour of the Covetous Li-loe
CHAPTER V - The Timely Intervention of the Mandarin Shan Tien's Lucky Day
CHAPTER VI - The High-minded Strategy of the Amiable Hwa-mei
CHAPTER VII - Not Concerned with any Particular Attribute of Those who are Involved
CHAPTER VIII - The Timely Disputation among Those of an Inner Chamber of Yu-Ping
CHAPTER IX - The Propitious Dissension between Two whose General Attributes have already been sufficiently Described
CHAPTER X - The Incredible Obtuseness of Those who had Opposed the Virtuous Kai Lung
CHAPTER XI - Of Which it is Written: "In Shallow Water Dragons become the Laughing-stock of Shrimps"
CHAPTER XII - The Out-passing into a State of Assured Felicity of the Much-Enduring Two With Whom These Printed Leaves Have Chiefly Been Concerned



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