The Chinese Lake Murders: A Judge Dee Detective Story
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In the third installment of Robert Van Gulik's classic ancient Chinese mystery series based on historical court records, magistrate, lawyer, and detective Judge Dee has his work cut out for him. Set in 666 A.D., in the hidden city of Han-yuan, sixty miles from the imperial capital of ancient China, Dee is sent to investigate a case of embezzlement of government funds. But things are about to get more complicated for the great detective. Just before he is about to take leave of Han-yuan, the popular courtesan Almond Blossom disappears, and then a bride who dies on her wedding night also disappears from her coffin -- her body replaced with that of a murdered man. To make matters worse, Judge Dee is confronted with the dangerous sect called the White Lotus.
confirm that Mr. Han did not leave the foredeck all that time?" The man looked at the musicians. When they shook their heads he replied unhappily: "No, Your Honor. We were busy tuning our instruments; we didn't look outside till Miss Anemone came to ask after Mr. Han. Then I walked together with her out on the foredeck, and we saw Mr. Han sitting there on the barrel seat, just as he said just now." "You can go!" Judge Dee said to Han. He had Liu Fei-po led before the table. Liu now seemed less
late-I recognize you for what you really are, and I know that you never come uninvited. You haunt and torture to death only those who have called you up by their own dark deeds. This, then, is what happened. The Court had directed me to Han-yuan, to investigate a complicated case of embezzlement of government funds; it was suspected that the local authorities were involved. You will remember that this year spring came early. A feeling of expectancy was vibrating in the warm air; in a reckless
warning from the White Lotus. He said in a tired voice: "Wan was murdered in order to seal his lips. The poisoned cake was given to him by a member of the personnel. There's treason here in my own tribunal!" Sixteenth Chapter TWO VAGABONDS HARASS THE DISTRlCT CHIANG-PEI; A DASTARDLY ATTACK ON A PEACEFUL RSVER BOAT Ma Joong and Chiao Tai had studied in the chancery a map of the province, and had made a provisional plan for their expedition. They selected two good horses, and left
Tai scratched his head. "I didn't know that!" he said ruefully, "Don't worry!" the innkeeper whispered. "My son'll take you across the fields to the Great River. There's a boat there. In an hour or two you'll be at Three Oaks Island. The people there'll help you; just say that old Shao sent you!" They thanked him hurriedly. Soon they were stealing through the paddy, following the youngster. After a long walk through the muddy fields the young fellow halted. Pointing at a row of trees ahead, he
cozy corner up there for us!" Liu hurriedly went to the pile of boxes, and hoisted himself up. Ma Joong grabbed him by his throat, pulled him on top and tightened his grip till the man was unconscious. Then he jumped down into the kitchen. Moon Fairy quickly closed the hatch and put on her jacket again. "That was a pretty piece of work, my wench!" Ma Joong whispered excitedly. Then he ducked behind the ladder. Two heavy boots came down through the trap door. "What in Hell are you at, Liu!" an