Part I – First Steps
By G Johanson
Copyright 2012 by G Johanson
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Wong Shaozu sat with his friend, Fa Si, in their favourite tea house. Notoriously seedy, the tea was mediocre, the food even worse, and the hostesses as dissolute as they came (which some saw as an attribute) but this tea house had one thing above the rest of the tea houses in Suzhou. The owner opposed the new regime as explicitly as was possible in China in 1652. He shaved his forehead like the rest of them, adopting the queue hairstyle reluctantly (the alternative, execution, proved most persuasive) but he resisted the new fashions, as did Shaozu, the two of them the only men in the establishment to continue wearing hanfu. Wearing silk robes in the current climate was contentious at best but so far such minor rebellion had no real consequences for either of them. Because of the owner’s political stance, and the fact that he wasn’t likely to report back anything they said to Qing officials, Shaozu overlooked the flaws and enjoyed his regular visits. There was always a convivial atmosphere, even in these troubled times, and he was able to forget most of his problems coming here, or he would have been able to if Fa Si didn’t keep reminding him.