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In Which the Minutiae of Daily Life Do Not Grind
Master Que
This follows on from Returning to the Scene of Someone Else's Crime and comes in at 2,950 words.

From my point of view, the rest of the evening passed without undue incident.  Master Que did talk to Master Kung, but he didn’t share anything from the conversation with me.  The manager of The Riverside Terrace dropped by our table and said some kind things about our actions the previous week, and I visited Gow Sien Tong at his new stable’s table to pay my respects.  On the way back to our table for tea and a plate of sweets I paused to exchange niceties with Master Dang and again to exchange bows with Master and Madam Kung.  When I got back to the table, Master Que introduced me to both another of the local Hoshun Masters, Master Yi who was a tall, thin, bald man who kept his hands tucked together in his robe sleeves across the front of his torso, and his associate, Zhu Shu Xu who was emaciated and neither looked nor smelt well.  Zhu Shu Xu graciously accepted my offer of tea when the fresh pot arrived, and slowly drank half a cup while the two Masters finished their conversation.  When he and Master Yi moved on, Zhu Shu Xu’s gait was almost painfully careful; Master Que and I exchanged glances but said nothing.

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This is now followed by I Manage To Cause Contention.