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Wallet of Kai Lung

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By: (1868-1942)

The Wallet of Kai Lung is a collection of fantasy stories by Ernest Bramah, all but the last of which feature Kai Lung, an itinerant story-teller of ancient China. The collection's importance in the history of fantasy literature was recognized by the anthologization of two of its tales in the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series.

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THE WALLET OF KAI LUNG

By Ernest Bramah

"Ho, illustrious passers by!" says Kai Lung as he spreads out his embroidered mat under the mulberry tree. "It is indeed unlikely that you could condescend to stop and listen to the foolish words of such an insignificant and altogether deformed person as myself. Nevertheless, if you will but retard your elegant footsteps for a few moments, this exceedingly unprepossessing individual will endeavour to entertain you." This is a collection of Kai Lung's entertaining tales, told professionally in the market places as he travelled about; told sometimes to occupy and divert the minds of his enemies when they were intent on torturing him.

CHAPTER I. THE TRANSMUTATION OF LING

I: INTRODUCTION

The sun had dipped behind the western mountains before Kai Lung, with twenty li or more still between him and the city of Knei Yang, entered the camphor laurel forest which stretched almost to his destination. No person of consequence ever made the journey unattended; but Kai Lung professed to have no fear, remarking with extempore wisdom, when warned at the previous village, that a worthless garment covered one with better protection than that afforded by an army of bowmen... Continue reading book >>


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