The Wallet of Kai Lung - Ernest Bramah - Страница 1 из 316


THE WALLET OF KAI LUNG
By Ernest Bramah
"Ho, illustrious passers-by!" says Kai Lung as he spreads out his
embroidered mat under the mulberry-tree. "It is indeed unlikely
that you could condescend to stop and listen to the foolish words
of such an insignificant and altogether deformed person as myself.
Nevertheless, if you will but retard your elegant footsteps for a
few moments, this exceedingly unprepossessing individual will
endeavour to entertain you." This is a collection of Kai Lung's
entertaining tales, told professionally in the market places as he
travelled about; told sometimes to occupy and divert the minds of
his enemies when they were intent on torturing him.
CHAPTER I. THE TRANSMUTATION OF LING
I: INTRODUCTION
The sun had dipped behind the western mountains before Kai Lung, with
twenty li or more still between him and the city of Knei Yang, entered
the camphor-laurel forest which stretched almost to his destination.
No person of consequence ever made the journey unattended; but Kai Lung
professed to have no fear, remarking with extempore wisdom, when warned
at the previous village, that a worthless garment covered one with
better protection than that afforded by an army of bowmen. Nevertheless,
when within the gloomy aisles, Kai Lung more than once wished himself
back at the village, or safely behind the mud walls of Knei Yang; and,
making many vows concerning the amount of prayer-paper which he would
assuredly burn when he was actually through the gates, he stepped


-10     пред. Страница 1 из 316 след.     +10