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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Three Months with Charlie Chan Chapter 7


Ming Vases
courtesy photobucket.com
        
When we got back to the ancestral home Charlie was really put out and I felt very discouraged by what we had learned.

Charlie started to destroy the vases we had been given.  I stopped him and said, “Your father should have the benefit of doing that, should he want to for they really belong to him now.”

He said, ‘You are probably right it’s just that only the real item will do and anything else is an insult.”  The next day we decided to return home and the mother and the girls decided to return with us.

She felt the oldest girl should be with Charlie as they had become close during the weeks they had been together.  
 
After some discussion the father decided to return also. This whole experienced had soured his desire to remain in China.

After a day or two at sea Charlie began to return to his old self.  The train ride had been somber but his girl friend made him temporally forget about the events over which he had no control.

The other girls had settled down a bit, but every so often their youthful exuberance would get the better of them, and I was the recipient of their outburst.

Upon arriving in L.A. we spent one day preparing for the trip home.  It wasn’t easy saying goodbye for we had became close over these days.

It was back on the train which was a comfort compared to what we endured on the train in China.  The trip was lonely without the girls for they always were up to something.

I asked Charlie if he was serious about the oldest girl and he said, “I don’t know, but I sure miss her and if this feeling doesn’t go away I might have to accept a job offer in a law office on the west coast.”

He said, “What about you? Are you going to take one white girl or the three China dolls?”
    
We both had to laugh at that and on the trip home we laughed at a lot of things we had done these last three months.  

There were several girls we met on the trip home but it wasn’t the same as before.

When we got to the station my folks met us there.  They had briefly met Charlie but didn’t really know him.  They offered to transport him and his luggage to his home but he said his parents were sending a car for him.

I told him goodbye, and made him to promise to call me when things settled down and let me know how his father was reacting to the bad news.

I didn’t hear from him for two weeks and when he did call he said, “I can’t talk very long.  My father didn’t take it very well and at first thought they had not been truthful about what happened to the last vase but he is now accepting it much better.”

He said, “I can’t handle the disappointment he has experienced and will continue to experience the rest of his life so I’m leaving here.”

“Those vases don’t mean much to me for I do not subscribe to the old culture and the mental bondage it carries with it.  I have proposed to my lady, and have been accepted, and will be leaving in two weeks for the coast.  

As soon as I get settled in my new job the wedding will take place.

I will be working for a Chinese firm and now I’m glad my father insisted that I learn to read and speak Chinese.  I don’t know if I will be in contact with you before I leave but it was fun being with you for these last three months.”

I said, “Ditto to that and if I don’t see you again have a good life.  Oh yes tell the girls I decided to settle for one white girl instead of three china dolls.”

After his call I felt a certain loss and one that remains even today.  
 
Finding a wife and having three kids and my job doesn’t leave any time to think about those three months with Charlie Chan, but occasionally I still do.

The End

A new continued story begins soon, are you ready?
 

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