Her demenor changes instantly, her taut jaw drops, and she seems flaborgasted
“Chu, please show these gentlemen to the reception garden”
And she turns, away, then looking back over her shoulder at Stern, and bowing her head a little as she moves back into the great room, in an almost wandering fashion, almost as one who has never been here before.
You on the other hand are led in the opposite direction by chu, who takes you out the the very gardens you were in that night. He bows, making no attempt to hide the wide eyed suspicious nature with which he views you, politly seating you at a set bamboo outdoor chairs arranged around a low garden table. A small stream of water tinkles down the statue of Ki Lo Knee, disturbing the surface of the pond where the brilliantly colored coy float.
Chu reemerges with Tea, and a moment behind him lady Mensheng comes into the garden, a knitted white throw draped over her shoulders. Chu poors all a cup of tea before retreating just inside the door back into the house, and standing at attention, doggedly eyeing all of you.
“Perhaps I should summon the constable to attend this meeting lady…”
she cuts off the butler speaking to you, and then to him, as if he had not even started
“Are any of you hungry? Chu, have the cook prepare eggs and spiced ham for these gentlemen,3 eggs each, and bring out fresh peaches…I myself will take oats with sugar.”
“I apologize for my manners…my son in law died just a few days ago and none of us have been able to sleep…” As she speaks, her hard features seem to melt, she is exhausted..utterly, yet when she sits in one of the chairs, she keeps the posture of a general having his portrait painted, back straight, chest out, shoulders strong and back. She raises her cup of tea in a toast, Grey, you notice the fine nature of the set, it is a masterwork.
“To my husband, my son, and my son in law”
“Four men in a garden
The sun breaks through the Fog
The dead have much to say”