By Denys Roberts
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Extra info for Another Disaster: Hong Kong Sketches
Mr Lam does not like that. ’ ‘If not before,’ I suggested and was ignored. ‘So you must move your dressing table, or cover up its mirror. ’ ‘Mr Lam knows that you can only manage English. ’ ‘That is a relief. ’ ‘Certainly. You need not have the girl present. Place a photo of your beloved on the table, making sure that the table does not reflect your own face. You repeat the poem to the picture on three successive nights. ’ THE GEOMANCER 45 She passed me the translation, which seemed rather extravagant for my taste, though as I was to repeat it to a photo this did not matter.
He asked, which was his usual enquiry when he thought I was behaving oddly. He must have heard me talking loudly to myself, as there was nobody else in the room. I had just declaimed ‘Oh beloved, oh beloved, oh, oh, oh’ in what I thought was a very persuasive manner, when he came in. ‘Certainly,’ I replied haughtily. ’ 46 ANOTHER DISASTER ‘Master make a good speech,’ he agreed. ‘But the words are no good,’ he added, pointing to the love poem which I was trying unsuccessfully to conceal with my elbow.
G. and his wife. I supposed that there was still a job for me in the Solomon Islands. There had been a vacancy there in 1959. Perhaps there still was. Four years later, when the Heenans left for New York, he asked me if I remembered my first evening in Hong Kong. ‘Vividly, Maurice. I managed to do everything wrong. ’ ‘We thought you managed splendidly. ’ ‘I had to rush out three times. I was sure you would never forget. ’ ‘You should have seen the Crown Counsel who came off a ship the year before you.