This is an extract from the forth-coming novel. The Last Pirate In Peng Chau. The intention is to publish in digital format on Kindle, and your feedback would be most welcome. Would this work better as straight text or more like a blog post with links and photos? What do you think?
In another time, In another place,
A young ghost fellow
Met a young woman.
So much happened.
So many involved.
So whose story is this?
Who is the star
Who outshines the rest?
Who is content
To play the support?
Each has their own tale to tell.
Greed and corruption,
Science and stone-age superstition
Side by side in the
Sophisticated City of Sin.
A duel of magic,
Finding a treasure
Losing an opportunity ……
All this to show,
Or is it really so?
Did these things happen?
Or is it yet to be?
My humble name is Wong,
Not the colour yellow,)
My given name is
And I have the honour
To be the last pirate
In Peng Chow.
He could tell that the engines of the specially adapted junk were straining now, as they rounded the headland and saw the bay with its sandy beach stretching between the hills like the arm of a dumbbell. Although this was home, there would be no point trying to make for the harbour. The 2 police launches were not so far behind, and he couldn’t see if either of them was showing the agreed signal.
“Which way now, Dai Lo?” shouted the oldest of the Hakka crew, planted firmly behind the helm.
“Head for The Oysters, and we’ll see if these Gwai Lo have the stomach for proper sailing!”
The 2 younger men laughed aloud as the helmsman adjusted his course.
Not for the first time, the big Chinese thanked his joss for having been born into a sea-faring tribe with much stronger ties than any amount of blood-thirsty Triad oaths could command. His father had been a Shanghainese from Putow province, which was why he stood head and shoulders above all his mother’s kin, but perhaps his very size added to the mystique that already shrouded his reputation as the most successful pirate in the South China Seas.
The cargo currently secured in the junk’s hold would bring a huge price once he could get it to safety and arrange for its subsequent passage to the mainland. It was a god-cursed misfortune that he had stumbled upon a pair of Police launches with nothing better to do than amuse themselves by stopping an honest-seeming fishing junk for a routine inspection. Had there been any way of concealing his cargo, he would have taken a chance and let them board, especially if he could have seen if a red port navigation light was blinking. But the nature of his cargo meant that even the fish-reeking hold would not mask the smell, and so he had turned away, pretending he had not heard the police loud-hailer.
Now they would know that something was amiss, and his only chance was to try and lure them into the shallows round The Oysters and make good his escape.
On board Royal Hong Kong Police Launch TST1, Thompson, the sandy-haired Marine Police officer glanced nervously across to the other launch, which was now beginning to speed away in pursuit of the junk. By rights, being the senior of the 2 launch commanders, he should be directing this operation, but he somehow always felt intimidated by the older man because of his experience gained in other Police Forces.
Of course, rank is rank, and he was the Acting Superintendent, but that cut no ice with the swarthy tattooed inspector who had recently transferred to Hong Kong from Borneo.
And what were those tattoos about anyway? Only squaddies form the ranks or your common-or-garden jack tar would allow themselves to be painted in such a way. No gentleman would ever dream of such a thing. But that is the way the Force was going. Before you knew it, they would be promoting Chinese officers to senior ranks!
Not but what they were extremely capable, of course, and what Station Sergeant Tsang – universally known as The Major because his badge of office resembled that of a Regimental Sergeant Major – didn’t know about the shadowy world of triad gangsters and their various enterprises wasn’t worth knowing.
Actually, he wished Station Sergeant Tsang was on board as his own cox’n instead of the dark skinned Hakka sergeant, Ng. He didn’t really trust Ng, coming as he did from the same background as half the villains they were supposed to be investigating. Tsang, on the other hand, was Cantonese, and much easier to get on with.
However, he was thick as thieves with Godwinson, and had been as soon as Godwinson had arrived at Marine HQ. It was almost as if the two of them had a history, although that was hard to understand, since , as far as he knew, Tsang had lived all his life in Hong Kong, whereas this was Godwinson’s first tour there, no matter how many other Colonial postings he might boast of.
But then, even Acting Superintendents don’t know everything.