A FABULOUS SPECTACLE
The 15th night of the 4th moon.
The moonlight spread over the pavilions and gardens of the Prime Minister's Residence, painting everything it alighted on with a glittering tincture of silver. The spread of the gleaming moonlight harmonized buildings, trees, plants, flowers, and all creatures, generally unnoticed by ordinary people, and every of their living cells into one united cosmic glow. Everything pulsated with life; indeed everything, if only we have the spiritual consciousness to realize this cosmic truth.
Inside, unaware of the cosmic glow outside, Miss Hu and Commissioner Chin were waiting at a private reception chamber of the Prime Minister's Residence, sipping wine.
"Will Yang Shao Ming return in time with Fragrant Fox?"
"He has never made a promise that he cannot keep," Chin answered.
Just then a figure jumped in from the window. It was Yang Shao Ming.
"Welcome, my dear friend, you are back in time. But where is Fragrant Fox?" Chin asked.
"You'll see her in a moment. But first of all, do two things."
"Yes, two things. Then Fragrant Fox will appear," Yang said.
Chin and Miss Hu did not know what trick Yang was up to this time. But they were willing to do two thousand things to see Fragrant Fox. So they sat back and listened.
"Firstly, make sure that no one else is nearby. I do not want anyone else to know what we are going to say."
"I've done that," said Miss Hu, "I've anticipated that you and the Commissioner would want to question Fragrant Fox in confidence. If needed, I'll excuse myself too."
"Oh please don't leave," Yang said, "and, for the second thing, let me examine your jade-plum."
"That's simple," said Miss Hu. She took out a little box from her sleeve. Then she took out her jade-plum from the box and handed it to Yang. "I've expected too that you would need it to convict Fragrant Fox."
"Do you know why this jade-plum is so invaluable?" Yang asked. "I'll show you," he continued without waiting for a reply.
Yang held the jade-plum carefully in his right hand. He took out another piece of jade and held it in his left hand. Slowly he brought the two pieces of jade together. A spectacular, incredible thing happened. As soon as the jade-plum was placed near the other jade, the deep green colour of the other jade gradually faded. Chin and Miss Hu could see that the greenness of the other jade was drawn into the jade-plum, as if by a magical force.
"Fabulous!" Chin exclaimed.
"I suppose you two didn't know about this spectacular property of really excellent jade. Probably the Prime Minister himself doesn't know either, or else he would have told Miss Hu." Yang smiled as he said slowly. "I learned this accidentally from my master, the Venerable Ta Cher of the Shaolin Monastery. He learned it long, long ago from a Burmese monk."
"What are you trying to prove?" Chin asked impatiently.
"That this jade-plum is genuine," Yang replied spontaneously. Then he turned to Miss Hu and asked emphatically, "May I ask, Miss Hu, where did you get this jade?"
"Where did I get this jade?" Miss Hu repeated unbelievingly. "Didn't you recover it from Fragrant Fox and return it to me the other night?"
"No, I didn't!" Yang replied calmly. "The one I obtained from Fragrant Fox was a false replica. It's also made of very good jade, and is so well reproduced that it looks exactly like the real one. But, of course, it does NOT have the tell-tale quality of drawing green colour from another jade."
Miss Hu began to tremble.
"I know you are very happy, as you have caught Lin Su Ching, the Fragrant Fox, but please don't fool around now, like you did the other night impersonating a trespasser," Chin commented.
"You are wrong," Yang said.
"Wrong, all wrong. I'm not very happy, I haven't caught Lin Su Ching, and I'm not fooling around. But the most serious wrong of all is that Lin Su Ching is NOT Fragrant Fox!"