Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From the Top Shelf - Tai-Pan III

Another snippet from the novel Tai-Pan by James Clavell. Struan, the Tai-Pan, has moved into a new house and has received his first visitors - an elegant lady called Shevaun, and her uncle. Shevaun has her sights set on marrying Struan. She knows about his Chinese mistress, and May-may realizes full well what her intentions are.

When they had gone, Struan returned to May-may's quarters. She stared at him coldly.

"What's amiss?"

"That mealymouthed godrotting doxy's after you. That's wat's amiss."

"Will you na be so foolish and will you na swear! How'd you see her, anyway?"

"Huh! Have I no eyes? No nose? Wat for should I pore over plans of house, eh, hour after godrot hour? So it's to be planned so I can see who comes here and who passes by without seen. Huh! That maggoty-drawers dung-heap doxy's after you to marriage."

"To marry," he corrected.

"Kiss the hand, huh? Wat for you no kiss my hand, eh?" She slammed the teapot down. "Wat for you linger with cow eyes, hey? Ayeee yah!"

"You ayeee yah yoursel'. And one more remark like that and I'll paddle you. You want to be paddled?"

"Mens!" She tossed her head. "Mens!"

"'Men'--not 'mens'. How many times do I have to tell you?"

"Men!" May-may shakily poured herself some tea, then slammed the cup down and got up. "I hear Chinese mens gamble hugely, partikilly the womens," she said, mimicking Shevaun, lifting her breasts to give them size and waggling her backside. "And you sats there and eat up her busums. Wat for my busums you no stare at, heya?"

Struan quietly put down his teacup and rose. May-may retreated to the other side of the table.

"I na say nothing, never mind," she said hastily.

"That's what I thought." He calmly finished his tea and she watched him without moving, but ready to run.

He set down the cup. "Come over here."

"Huh! I for no trust you when your eyes speak green fire."

"Come over here. Please," he added as sweetly.

She was almost cross-eyed with rage, and she seemed to him like one of those Siamese cats that he had seen in Bangkok. And just as spiteful, he thought.

She cautiously came over to him, ever ready to retreat or hack with her nails. He gently patted her cheek, and turned for the door. "There's a good girl."

"Tai-Pan!" May-may imperiously held out her hand to be kissed.

Restraining a smile, he walked back and gallantly kissed her hand. Then he spun her around before she knew what was happening and slapped her smartly on the backside. He gasped and fought out of his hand and jumped for the safety of the table. Once safe, she hurled a cup at him. It shattered against the wall near his ear and she picked up another.

"Dinna throw it!"

She put it down.

"That's a good lass. One is fine. Two extravagant."

From Hermione's Heart



Yes, hurling another tea cup would have been extravagant and something only the privileged rich can afford to do :)


Sara said...

wonderful scene!

ronnie said...

Another wonderful snippet from the book Hermione. Thanks.


Hermione said...

Prefectdt - He is a Scotsman, after all.

Sara - Thanks. Pretty tame, but still noteworthy.

Ronnie - My pleasure.


babygirl cricket said...

I agree, wonderful and thank you for sharing! :)

baby girl cricket

Michael said...

Thanks, Hermione, and after all these Tai-Pan excerpts I need to go dust off my old copy and read it again.

Hermione said...

Babygirl - Glad you liked it.

Michael - I hope you find more good parts.


Michael said...

Another great scene, Hermione, and I did find my old copy of Tai-Pan and started reading it again this past week. Gotta love May-may. And congrats on this post being Chrossed!

Hermione said...

Michael - I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. And thanks; being Chrossed is always such a thrill!