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By William F. Wu
Copyright @ 1974 – William F. Wu
No one living had ever seen Hong without the big chain on his neck. No one had ever maneuvered him into the street when he didn’t want to go or beaten him at a game of cards, either. Oh, he had been known to lose a hand or two, and once even a foot, but never an eyeball or a new joint. He was lean, wiry, and stainless. His arms were gooseneck molybdenum steel, one of which he won — I hear — by bluffing Salt Morass into folding with three of a kind to Hong’s nine-high. Grudge the Smith says he charged $112,000 to make the left one, and Hong paid in cash. This was the day after Hong faced down Red-Eared Rick in the street and made him cough up the take from his last bank job — all over the ground. Hong had one silver eye and one gray eye, and they say he was harder to stare down than a one-eyed flounder. Since Hong was my cousin, I had been acquainted with him for many years, but he was less than friendly. He usually ignored me. The last time I saw him was one day at the Silver Transistor Saloon. He stepped inside the swinging doors, and as he surveyed the crowd, I surveyed him.