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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Three Months with Charlie Chan Chapter 5


Two of the Three Sisters, all so Pretty !
courtesy photobucket.com
 
I should have been surprised the old man knew so much about the vases, and told us about them.  Since I had been traveling with Charlie, I had learned that he didn’t do anything without a reason.

I point blank asked him how he knew the old man knew about the vases and he told me, “One of the men he had talked to before leaving for the west had given, him the name and address of this family and had pointed him out.”

He went on and said, “He knows all about what we want to know.”

After engaging the old man in conversation he told Charlie he was getting ready to leave for China with a stop over in L.A. where he lived.

Charlie went on to say, “When I put all of the information together, I realized we needed to travel by train as they were, and make friends of them.

“Well that explains why we got here but why didn’t you let me in on what was going on.”

Charlie said, “I didn’t want you to have to keep all this stuff to yourself and worry about what was happening.”  He said, “Didn’t we meet a lot of pretty girls?”

“Yes, that we did, but that wasn’t the reason we were trying to find those vases.”

“If you had known everything, you would have looked suspicious and they would have viewed you as someone untrustworthy.  As it turned out they accepted you as someone harmless.”

Logan replied that made him feel a lot better knowing that he looked harmless.

“Another thing you should know is that everywhere this family goes there are three men guarding them with the traditional Knives stuffed in their garb.

If any one is a threat to the family they appear out of nowhere and deal with the problem so watch your step.”
          
I didn’t want to admit that I had never seen the guards so I pretended that I knew it all the time.   Charlie said, “Yeah - - sure you did.”

We prepared to leave and Charlie donned the Chinese style clothing and I must admit he fit right in.  I told him maybe I should dress in the Chinese garb also.  
 
He laughed and said, “It would be better if you dressed in your regular clothing for to do otherwise would cause you to look suspicious.”

The next day we boarded a ship for China.  We would first go to the main land and then journey to the city where the remaining vase was.  
 
I was warned never to reveal our final destination for this was to always be kept secret.  This added an air of intrigue to our mission for me.

The mother and all four daughters traveled with us and they would return after seeing the family.  The girl’s mother was going to try to get her mother and father to return with her to L.A. but as it turned out they wouldn’t leave their home for the unknown place.

Charlie had taken a fancy to the oldest girl who was twenty which left me with trying to entertain the other three.  The mother swatted all three of them several times during the trip for being too fresh.  It was both a cultural and a generational gap they were dealing with.  

All three of them were all over me and I tried not to be seen by the parents when they playfully pummeled me.  They kept saying that I needed a China doll instead of a white girlfriend.  
 
I kept saying, “No I like white woman and because one white woman equals three China dolls.”  
 
This stopped them for a day but then they came back at me saying, “Okay you get all three of us,” and started pummeling me again.

I talked to Charlie about what was happening and that I didn’t want to offend the parents.  He said, “They understand their girls and their foolishness so don’t worry as long as you just stop, well you know where.  Anyway aren’t you enjoying all the attention?”  
 
I said, ‘Yes, very much.”  He said, “Then what’s the problem?”  

The rest of the trip was a lot more pleasant after my talk with Charlie.  
 
The girls were a year apart the youngest being sixteen and were competitive with one another especially when it involved boyfriends.      
 
To be Continued
 

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