View 2 comments. Sep 17, Aaron rated it it was amazing Shelves: sets-the-standard , fiction , life-story. Excellent storytelling, combining autobiographical and historical fact with imagination and fantasy to tell stories of men mostly of her own family and their journeys. Several of these stories are about her ancestors and their journeys to American: her Great-grandfather of the Sandalwood Mountains, brought from China to Hawaii for indentured field labor; her Grandfather of the Sierra Nevada Mountains who built the railroads; her Father from China, whose journey, of questionable legality, she h Excellent storytelling, combining autobiographical and historical fact with imagination and fantasy to tell stories of men mostly of her own family and their journeys.
Several of these stories are about her ancestors and their journeys to American: her Great-grandfather of the Sandalwood Mountains, brought from China to Hawaii for indentured field labor; her Grandfather of the Sierra Nevada Mountains who built the railroads; her Father from China, whose journey, of questionable legality, she has to imagine and construct from what evidence is available. She uses a variety of subjects and formats, to provide a kaleidoscope of stories and experiences. For example, she tells the story of Robinson Crusoe "Lo Bin Sun" as she likely would have heard it growing up.
The chapter "The Making of More Americans" chronicles her family's times and struggles establishing themselves in America. The writing is often harsh, dark, and serious, but is just as often lighthearted, fun and joyous. Feb 14, Smiley rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. I'm sorry I can't assure my Goodreads friends for its readability since it depends, I mean for those familiar with the writer's narratives or dialogues may think it is all right and thus can keep reading till the end of the story.
I have to confess I didn't understand all, some characters were a bit mysterious to me then. However, I liked some parts with her sense of humour, that is, her unique of looking at things as they are. View all 4 comments. Jan 02, Jennifer rated it liked it. The reason I'm giving this book three stars is because there were two stories that really stood out: first, the story about the grandfather who didn't tell his life story about dynamiting granite to build a railroad until he was very old and the second about Kingston's own experience with her aunt and family in the States.
Both were very eye-opening and realistic. The rest of the book seemed exaggerated and awkwardly worded. It was hard to read 40 pages at a go because the wording was so weird! I The reason I'm giving this book three stars is because there were two stories that really stood out: first, the story about the grandfather who didn't tell his life story about dynamiting granite to build a railroad until he was very old and the second about Kingston's own experience with her aunt and family in the States.
I guess it had to have been hard to translate Cantonese into English, but the stories didn't flow all that well. And some of the logic was a bit out there, too. I liked some of the imagery, especially about the railroad and daily life in China--those bits were excellent. I also liked the historical references, and there were many. I just didn't like this book as whole.
Was it because it was uncomfortable to hear what the Chinese went through? Was it because the horror stories creeped me out a little? Definitely read this book at your leisure and not through class: I don't think it's a book you should rush. View 1 comment. Nov 30, Andrew Wright rated it it was amazing Shelves: owned. The same themes and subject matter pertaining to the nature of Chinese Americanism as the earlier book, and told with the same subtle and complex narrative structure that intermingles myth, reality, memory, journalism and imagination into one lucid literary experience, but this time, dealing with men's experiences instead of women.
A great look at the experiences Chinese men faced emigrating to America and a great look at the cultural limbo those emigrants' children face living in between their parents' communal old world expectations and the liberating individualism of America. A multi-genre investigation of what emigration does to cultural identity and masculinity.
I tracked a lot of the sections on suicides and ghosts and guns. I was also interested in the section that mirrored Robinson Crusoe and the mention of other Caucasian classics amidst the Chinese cultural elements - myths, traditions and sayings. I will definitely have to pick up the earl A multi-genre investigation of what emigration does to cultural identity and masculinity.
I will definitely have to pick up the earlier, more feminist companion work. Aug 14, Christine rated it really liked it. This is a collection of remembrances which reads like short stories. But it's non-fiction. I loved some, and others a little less. But it is definitely a one of a kind book. The last long chapter, "The Brother in Vietnam" was my favorite. I'm glad I stumbled onto this book! Reading this was an interesting and complicated experience for me, like buying a variety box of herbal teas and trying out the flavors one at a time, finding some that you really love, some that you're ambivalent about, some that you don't particularly dig but manage to drain the cup in one gulp anyway because you know they're good for your health.
On one hand, I can see the richness of this book, with the intricate narratives, excellent characterization of male figures, clever storytelling Hmm. On one hand, I can see the richness of this book, with the intricate narratives, excellent characterization of male figures, clever storytelling techniques and so on, I can't say the same for the way everything is presented. I'm not sure how to explain this - it sounds like I'm not fond of Kingston's writing style, but I actually do enjoy her prose to some extent.
Perhaps it's because throughout the collection she uses the same writing style? It would've been fine if there was a coherent storyline that focused on certain characters because in that case, a consistent narrative voice would add to the immersion and all that jazz. But here, Kingston recounts a lot of different stories in the same narrative voice even with the erratic POV changes , spends a little too much time on nitty-gritty details, and personally, I was thoroughly bored.
On the other hand, as I've prefaced above, I do get why this book has been receiving the amount of attention that it does. It tackles numerous immigration issues, explores the psychology of "China Men" and paints vivid pictures of Chinese families within various historical settings with somewhat suffocating meticulousness, and to be very honest, I love the passive aggressive mockery of Robinson Crusoe and the short anecdotes in between longer chapters.
So all in all, it was reading experience full of conflicted feelings for me, but I definitely wouldn't mark this as a poor book and would recommend everyone to give it a try to see if it's your cup of tea. May 16, Dana rated it really liked it Shelves: school-books. This book was very interesting to read. As a memoir, it was great to be able to see into the author and her family's life. I had to read this book for one of my college courses and it has been very eye-opening to see what these people had to go through, not through the history books, the laws, or even the movies that have come out about the Chinese Americans.
This very honest representation of their lives was well written and full of information. There were many things that I had learned differe This book was very interesting to read. There were many things that I had learned differently or, in some cases, didn't even learn in my classes until now. It was all just swept under the rug by the writers of history This book is set up with short vignettes that break up six other stories of, mainly, the men in Maxine Hong Kingston's family. It shows the struggle of Chinese-Americans in their immigration and their becoming American citizens when they first got here.
The story touches a lot on the racism that they encountered as well. When there were stereotypes, Kingston was able to spin them to give them a sort of double-consciousness. There was the negative stereotyped version, then there was also the positive version. This was a very interesting, and eye-opening book. If you want to learn more about the Chinese American history, pick this book up. Oct 08, Anna rated it liked it Shelves: memoirs , china. One Chinese-American tells the story of her family, and how they came to live in America. Each of her ancestors or relatives is the protagonist of a section of the book.
One labored in Hawaii, one built railroads, one worked in Alaska, one fought in Vietnam. She also writes of her own experiences growing up in America. Because of the wide range of experiences and huge time span it covers, this one is a little more disjointed and than any other set of memoirs I've read. However, it's an entirely d One Chinese-American tells the story of her family, and how they came to live in America.
However, it's an entirely different perspective than a lot of Chinese memoirs, most of which are set in China during Mao. So if you're interested in Chinese history, American history, and reading about a real family's struggles, then you're likely to really enjoy this one. Oct 24, Peter rated it it was amazing. The story of generations of mostly male Chinese immigrants to the United States. It took some getting used to at first. The story doesn't follow a single character, and it seems to hold some of them at arms length, sometimes introducing a character who then tells a lengthy story about another character.
These portraits were often sad, sometimes understated, but most of them built up to a dark and lasting emotional weight even if the character only stayed in the story for 15 pages. The stories The story of generations of mostly male Chinese immigrants to the United States. The stories included brutality and hardship but also resilience and tragic pride. Although the maintenance and performance of masculinity didn't always appear front and center, the whole book had that same undercurrent.
Jul 27, Skye rated it really liked it. Kingston is a masterful story teller who seeks to present an interesting tapestry of biographical data and personal indignity. The novel revolves around Chinese gentlemen seeking the American Dream, and how cruel the journey proves to be, but the second theme underlies the historical perspective and is found between chapters in the guise of brutal, nearly inhumane dream sequences: Kingston expresses rage against the discrimination Chinese females must endure. This is an interesting novel of the Kingston is a masterful story teller who seeks to present an interesting tapestry of biographical data and personal indignity.
This is an interesting novel of the clashing of cultures and genders. Aug 28, Mantra added it. The haunting lyricism of Kingston prose remains with you long after you have read the last line. The expertise with which she blends history, fantasy, aspirations, and fears and dreams is very powerful. There seems to be a silent observer, a Chinese-American, who watches his family representative of many more families become a Chinese American from China Men who reached the Gold Mountain and whose dreams and hopes were shattered by the dynamite they detonated to build the railroad. Sep 11, Ryan Mishap rated it liked it Shelves: novel.
Few wander into the land of magical realist history, but Kingston is a progenitor of the genre. Combined with "Woman Warrior", this book sheds an ethereal, poetic light on the history of people of Chinese descent in the U. Feb 16, Mollie rated it it was ok Shelves: read-down-challenge. Less personal, in being less autobiographical, but still an excellent work. Aug 15, David Getz rated it really liked it.
Mar 19, TheSkepticalReader rated it liked it Shelves: fabulist-fiction. While it by no means became a favorite book or any such thing, China Men ended up being a rather unique and adventurous experience. There is a lot of exploration of the Chinese immigration history to the United States in the novel and even though I realize it is fiction, some of it echoes reality closely. After reading an interview MHK the author gave, I assume that she does this on purpose. Some were factual, some retellings of Chinese myths, and some were introductions into the other major stories.
Let me explain. He shook his head and clucked his tongue at it. I would highly recommend it if you are interested in this topic but if not, I am not going to attempt to convince you otherwise. Jun 10, Jeff Keehr rated it liked it. I read this for my Modern China history course. It was not required reading. Dec 04, Eveline Chao added it. Very vivid, arresting, language. The whole book is fragmentary like a series of poems, which has its pros and cons. There were several stretches that were really gripping and fascinating, especially a long account of Chinese laborers clearing rainforest, blasting tunnels through mountains and railroads, and working sugar plantations in Hawaii.
Apparently these were based on oral accounts passed on through her family about her great-grandfather and grandfather. Overall, the parts of the book base Very vivid, arresting, language. Overall, the parts of the book based on Kingston's childhood memories of her father and other relatives were really compelling. Other parts of the book were based on Chinese myths and those were uneven for me.
And some parts, which I think were based on historical research, were a tad didactic and hard to get through. There was a "jumbled" quality to the writing which I think was intentional, and reflective of the nature of history and experience and family lore, but also made me feel confused a lot. Nonetheless, looking back there are a lot of wonderful, strong details and turns of phrase that stand out. Such as: - how her parents' friends would hang up if she or her siblings answered the phone and didn't speak in a Chinese accent - a mention of a Chinese laborer in Alaska called China Joe who was the only person to not get kicked out of the community by the white laborers, who supposedly put all the other Chinese laborers on a boat and sent them out to sea - her father's time running a gambling parlor, when he would get arrested once a month and give a different name each time and get away because the police couldn't tell Chinese men apart - her mother soaking rusty nails in water and pouring the water into her ears to improve her hearing Apr 06, CAW rated it really liked it.
Why is Hong Kingston less internationally well-known than her contemporaries? I suspect I know the answer hi, industry bias! I badly want to track down the yin side of this story the more famous The Woman Warrior. When he saw how horrified I was, he roared with laughter and snatched it back. But as the blade touched his skin again, he let out an oath and I saw a trace of blood. Hang the strop. Murray got up rather unsteadily, still holding his bottle, and walked about, studying the beams. He began humming and then softly singing a sea chantey.
Reef tackle! Let go the reefy tackle! For my britches are yammed! Let go the reefy tackle for my britches are yammed in the sheetblock! Suddenly Armindo looked up and noticed what Dr. Murray had seen: water dripping down from the ceiling through the cockloft. Armindo studied me quizzically. Captain Elliott came to my aid.
Too many getting shipped out as coolies once their work is done. Some of them won't even board my ship to make repairs. Armindo walked toward the drip.
Captain Elliott looked about as if the stench were something visible. Murray was in a fine mood and again began to sing, although his song seemed very melancholy to my ears. Captain Elliott immediately joined in. The Captain paused to relight his pipe circling the bowl with a friction match then joined in belatedly. Through tear-rimmed eyes came looks of love, her arms around me flung. I noticed Armindo seemed very moved by these lines. And although he joined in it was as if he were singing from memory of a parting he was seeing immediately before him.
His voice was deep and resonate and though I was too embarrassed to say so, I thought it quite beautiful. As claims the breeze on sighing grief, upon my breast she clung. My willing arms embraced the maid, my heart with rapture beat; while she but wept the more and said would we had never met. While she but wept the more and said would we had never met. The song was over but Armindo continued on alone, half speaking, half-singing.
I saw that Dr. Ah-fuk held out two coins in his palm and flicked the boy's queue with the other. One bottomside. Armindo, now himself again, moved to the boy. For Armindo that was defiance enough. He nodded toward the wall. Some men just don't understand who's chief cock of the walk in here until I give 'em their red-checkered shirt.
Hang him up. He retrieved the whip, stared at it briefly, then walked to a corner of the room and dipped the whip into a bucket of brine. He removed the whip and studied it carefully. Captain Elliott pressed the stem of his pipe against his thick lower lip. He's just a boy. Armindo glared at him. The salt adds to the pain and there's nothing like pain to make a Chinaman behave. And the memory had unleashed something inside him. Something depraved and demonic. His face was distorted by rage and hate.
The boy screamed louder and began writhing and moaning. The whip landed three more times before Captain Elliott took a step forward. Armindo lowered his whip and stared at the Captain.
He was breathing heavily. We were both of us born under the gun and educated on the bowsprit. Purser rigged and Parish damned! But the day I left the sea, that's the last day I took an order from another man. You ride the high horse with me one more time, and we'll settle it. At the sound of pounding on the door, Armindo hesitated.
He nodded to his men to go to the door. They drew their weapons and carefully opened it, struggling to hold it against the force of the storm. Someone rushed in bent low to avoid the wind and rain. The crimps now had great difficulty closing the door. They did not notice that one of the bones of the Chinese dead had blown in after the new arrival. It seemed as if the newcomer was disoriented by the darkness but suddenly spotted the boy tied to the wall pegs and screamed and rushed forward. She was just a few feet from her brother when Armindo grabbed her arm and ripped her headscarf off.
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The woman was young and attractive. I could tell at a glance from her dress that she was from a respectable family. Armindo motioned for me to hold a lantern near her face. Beneath her long apple green jacket she wore a melon pink tunic with blue trim over broad petticoat trousers of the same design and color. It was tight at the neck but its sleeves were wide.
Her face and neck still bore traces of white paste and the rose powder she had applied to her cheeks and eyelids had largely escaped the storm. Armindo gripped her arms tightly and stared at her. Armindo wiped his face with his sleeve and laughed. The fear that consumed me now was far greater than anything I had felt when dealing with Armindo. Is it you? It was then that she looked at me closely. You are with these men? A man I once knew who turned his back on his own people and went to work for outside barbarians like you.
The Li Tong I knew is dead! Now let my brother go! The celestial wench speaks the Queen's English. And from the looks of 'er, I'd say we've got us a lady of quality here, wouldn't you? Murray took a stop closer to look at her. I took a step toward Armindo. I will pay you to release her. And her brother. Whatever you ask. Hell, Li Tong, they can both be released. But only if I get what I want from this rigged-out bit of celestial calico. Tiang-si continued to struggle. Armindo clapped a hand over the red streaks along his cheek. All right, bitch, it's time to bring you to your bearings.
The boy screamed from the pressure on his open cuts. Armindo pressed his body against hers and held his face just inches from hers. But you listen to me, you cockish wench! If your brother makes it to the islands alive, he'll soon wish he hadn't. He'll be diggin' the shit of cormorants, pelicans and gannets for the rest of his bleedin' life. And you know how long that'll be? Maybe two years. Maybe one. No Chinaman ever came back from the Chinchas, you savvy? She struggled a hand free; he grasped her wrist. He might throw himself over a cliff or bury himself alive in the guano or hide out in a cave until he starves himself to death.
The heat gets up with the sun and the sun on the dew releases the ammonia gas from the guano. Suddenly she turned to me. Her dark brown eyes, wide with fear, stared into mine. And he'll do it while standin' in acrid clouds of dust so fine that tiny bits of guano will get into his eyes and nose and lungs until he can't breathe. She struggled and he held her even tighter. She stared straight at me. But Armindo never glanced in my direction. He knew there was not a chance in hell that I would have the guts to try to save her.
Not if it meant I would have to face him. He knew me well. I turned away in shame. He'll quarry five tons of guano a day or he won't eat. And no day off. Until he drops. And the turkey buzzards will be wheelin' overhead, waitin' to feast on his corpse! That's your brother's fate. Or not. It's up to you. Armindo suddenly whirled and, holding her wrists with one hand, brutally whipped the brother with the whip in the other - one stroke.
The brother screamed. All right! I'll do anything! Don't hurt him! Let him go! As he attempted to kiss her, she moved her head. He kissed her neck then released her. Your skin smells of jasmine, did you know that? No wonder Li Tong fancied you. I've occupied a few celestial women in my time but always they was swivel-eyed, bacon-faced strumpets; never a well-rigged China frigate like you.
How 'bout it, Dr. You ever had a celestial flash packet in full feather like this one? I'll soon have you grinnin' like a basket of chips. I was too embarrassed to look at her when I spoke. Go upstairs. Wait there. She started to go to the stairs then turned and walked directly to me. Even when you were a boy and you teased me so mercilessly I loved you.
And when you were a man and penniless, I loved you even more She stared at me until I looked away. She climbed up the stairs and disappeared into the darkness. Armindo walked to the table and placed his pistols on the table. And this one smells sweeter than the sea air off Java when its perfumed with spice trees. Her makeup. Her English. She may have been from Swatow once but not now. And from the looks of her she's probably the mistress of some English merchant. Captain Elliott tapped the table with the bowl of his pipe. Or he might send up well-armed men to get her back by force. And he might have done it already.
Armindo began walking steadily closer to the Captain. Including my ship! I won't stand by while you place my ship in danger of being seized. Captain Elliott stood up. I never did fancy my clipper being used to transport Chinamen to Peru. And guano from Peru to London. Slaves and bird shit!
I'll find other cargoes for my ship. Armindo immediately grabbed him up and threw him against the table. He cocked the pistol. The gold rush days are over. And there's plenty of once-proud clippers beggin' for cargo. The rates for your precious ships have gone to hell in a handbasket and you damn well know it.
And your ship is so rotten it's little more than a hulk with canvas and blocks. You can forget about tea and silk. You're bloody lucky to get a cargo of Chinamen and you're gettin' that only because you were a mate of my brother's. Armindo replaced his pistol in his belt. He snatched Dr. He took a long drink and stared at the Captain. Nobody else will He sank slowly into his chair as if he had suddenly become a very old man. One of the best clippers ever built. She beat Sea Witch in a race, didn't she? We managed to rig up old awning and spare tarpaulin but in the end it was no use.
Armindo stood with one foot propped up on a low barrel, and the curled whip in one hand. Murray how your precious clipper ended up, Captain The last voyage. Captain Elliott took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. He seemed to age even as he spoke. His bottle green eyes stared at no one and at nothing. Too many ships, too little cargo. So I agreed to a coolie run to Havana. We picked up over a hundred coolies at Amoy and Namoa, two hundred here and another hundred in Macao Anyway I had a bad feeling about it from the start. Damn owner was a pig-headed turkey-cock!
Insisted we leave when we did. It was a Friday. Every seaman fears Friday's noon - 'Come when it will, it comes too soon'. But the run to St. Helena was uneventful. Not even that much sickness.follow site
Only six Chinamen died. I started to think we might be bung up and bilge-free, after all. We took on food and water then we set out for Havana. The Captain ran one wrinkled hand slowly and cautiously over his silvery white mutton chop whiskers as if searching for something he had lost in them; something very fragile. They said the Chinamen were filthy and weren't washing properly so they were cutting the vermin-laden pigtails off and the Chinamen were screaming and crying in protest.
I almost stopped them but I didn't I wish to God I had.
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The silence lasted for several seconds. Captain Elliott seemed overcome with emotion and unable to continue. Armindo stared at him and spoke just above a whisper. Captain Elliott turned to stare at Armindo and then looked away, again lost in the memories which haunted him. And they began setting fire to some of the wood. I gave the order to clear the decks and the crew began firing their rifles and revolvers and slashing out with their swords and forcing the Chinamen back.
Everything got confused. Men screaming, guns being discharged, smoke billowing everywhere. Flintlocks, percussion caps, breech-loaders — whatever weapon we had seem to misfire. But we finally managed to get them below.
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Then we battened down the hatches and sealed all the deck openings. And we bolted iron bars to the coamings. They couldn't come up but most of the provisions and water casks were down below in the lower hold. In any case Murray poured the Captain brandy in a glass and handed it to him.
He took a long drink then let Dr. Murray take the glass from his hand. When we got there, we summoned the local police. I thought if we got rid of the ringleaders, we'd be all right. So we opened the hatches After a long moment, Armindo spoke softly but firmly. I thought the ventilation would be adequate. We had wind sails and scuttles! The ventilation trunks were As God is my witness, I never intended Armindo slammed his whip on the table causing all of us to jump.
And the Englishman who chartered the ship went bankrupt So if I don't hire you, who else will? So you'll say 'Yes' and 'Amen' to everything I tell you. Is that clear, Captain? Is that clear?! In the silence, we heard thumps against the exterior of the barracoon, against the door and walls.
Armindo spun around with his hand on a pistol. And you. See what that is. As the two crimps walked fearfully to the door and thrust it open, Armindo turned back to the Captain. The Captain gave him a vague nod. That's clear. We didn't let our anchors go to the windward of the law. Our joss is set. The excited crimps had trouble closing the door.
As they struggled to close it, bones blew into the barracoon. The first guard screamed.
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The bones of the dead are hitting against the door! And the wall! The second crimp picked up a bone and held it close to a candle, then hurriedly threw it down. He screamed loudly about the bones of the dead seeking vengeance. There was already pure panic in his voice. I could see the Chinese guards and crimps and coolies becoming agitated; some even moved toward the door. The one who had spoken first spoke again. The bones of the dead are coming here! The excitement and fear spread through the barracoon like a fire raging out of control.
Armindo turned to me. Coolies from the cockloft and from the darkness below began shouting in panic. The spirits are angry! The dead are rising! I said, pipe down! Armindo walked to one of the bones.
He replaced one of his pistols in his belt and picked up the bone. He spoke to me while turning it slowly in his hand. It can't hurt anybody! Tell them. But I was also afraid. I wanted to speak but no words came out. Armindo turned to me and glared. He spat his words out at me. You don't have to be afraid. Don't make the foreign-devil angry! Armindo walked toward the coolies and the crimps, holding the bone. They moved backward in fear.
He pointed the bone at each in turn. The dead can't come back Translate, damn you! I saw him suddenly look up at the top of the stairs. When I followed his gaze, I saw Tiang-si staring down at the scene. Armindo placed his pistols and the bone on the table. Time to scuttle the celestial ship. He slowly walked up the stairs to the cockloft while unbuttoning his clothes. Untie the boy and put him with the others.
Cook something up. I'll be even more hungry once I've finished up there. As I untied the brother, he winced in pain. I walked him off into the darkness. The boy stared at me as we walked but spoke only when we were out of range of the others. How she had loved you and would have married you; then found out you had joined with the pig sellers! You were to be kept at the abandoned tea warehouse. So he and his men brought us here But how do you know this?
I paid Ah-fuk to kidnap you I thought if she believed you were kidnapped by the pig sellers she would have to come to me. But not here! You should never have been brought here; and she should never have come here! He stared at me, then spat in my face. I watched him disappear into the darkness then walked slowly back toward the stove. I used a towel to wipe my face clean of his saliva.
Even at that moment I knew this day would end only in disaster. I put the kettle on for the water and left rice to steam. The pork and vegetables had already been prepared. When I returned to the table I heard Dr. Murray speaking to me but I hardly made sense of it. You look like a man sentenced to dance the Paddington Frisk Well, my young friend, one thing I've learned in life: whenever the blue devils come, the best thing for them is a proper English breakfast or, if available, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
But, failing those options, it's always best to fight them off with a swig from the foretopman's bottle. Murray poured himself a drink and was just about to take it when suddenly we heard the sounds of a female screaming. The sounds of slaps and the screams changed to the sounds of a woman groaning uncomfortably and rhythmically. Murray and Captain Elliott exchanged furtive glances then looked away in embarrassment. I stood motionless. Murray took his drink. Captain Elliot tapped the dead dottle from his pipe against the leg of the table then, almost as if the sound of his tapping had embarrassed him, he placed the pipe on the table and stared straight ahead, looking at no one.
In the silence we could hear the human-like roar of the wind as it hurled the bones against the exterior of the barracoon. They were thumping and rapping more frequently now. And with more intensity. But even they could not conceal the indescribable sounds from the cockloft. Sounds which, all these years later in every nightmare, are exactly as they were then.
I placed my hand on one of them and looked up toward the cockloft. I heard the voices of Dr. Murray and Captain Elliott as the texture of one dream impinging on another. But his getting himself killed won't help her. Li Tong, leave it be! I wanted only for the horror to end. I quickly lifted the pistol and rushed forward. Murray and the Captain restrained me and we struggled.
With all my strength, I tried to free myself from their grasp, but, in the end, the Captain managed to pry the pistol from my hand. Our struggle ended abruptly when Tiang-si gave one final loud cry of anguish. No one moved. In the silence, there was a sudden pounding at the door. Some approached the front door with caution but others cowered away from the door completely.