arcia meant no sin to him. It was to him a simple action, respectable, even worthy.
For he was a Chinaman, and, although it all happened between the chocolate-brown of the Hudson and the murky, cloudy gray of the North River, the tale is of the Orient. There is about it an atmosphere of age-green bronze; of first-chop chandoo and spicy aloe-wood; of gilt, carved statues brought out of India when Confucius was young; of faded embroideries, musty with the scent of the dead centuries. An atmosphere which is very sweet, very gentle--and very unhuman.
The Elevated roars above. The bluecoat shuffles his flat feet on the greasy asphalt below. But still the tale is of China--and the dramatic climax, in a Chinaman's story, from a Chinaman's slightly twisted angle, differs from that of an American.
To Nag Hong Fah this climax came not with the murder of Señora Garcia, but with Fanny Mei Hi's laugh as she saw him with the shimmering bauble in his hands and heard his appraisal thereof.
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