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9780385343268

Noble House

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780385343268

  • ISBN10:

    0385343264

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-05-19
  • Publisher: Delta
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

Summary

The setting is Hong Kong, 1963. The action spans scarcely more than a week, but these are the days of high adventure: from kidnapping and murder to financial double-dealing and natural catastrophes -- fire, flood, and landslide. Yet they are days filled as well with all the mystery and romance of Hong Kong -- the heart of Asia -- rich in every trade... money, flesh, opium, power. From the Paperback edition.

Author Biography

James Clavell, who died in 1994, was a screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Although he wrote the screenplays for a number of acclaimed films, including The Fly (1958), The Great Escape (1963), and To Sir With Love (1967), he is best known for his epic novels in his Asian Saga.


From the Paperback edition.

Excerpts

Chapter One


8:45 p.m.:

The police officer was leaning against one corner of the information counter watching the tall Eurasian without watching him. He wore a light tropical suit and a police tie and white shirt, and it was hot within the brightly lit terminal building, the air humid and smell-laden, milling noisy Chinese as always. Men, women, children, babes. An abundance of Cantonese, some Asians, a few Europeans.

"Superintendent?"

One of the information girls was offering him a phone. "It's for you, sir," she said and smiled prettily, white teeth, dark hair, dark sloe eyes, lovely golden skin.

"Thanks," he said, noticing that she was Cantonese and new, and did not mind that the reality of her smile was empty, with nothing behind it but a Cantonese obscenity. "Yes?" he said into the phone.

"Superintendent Armstrong? This is the tower—Yankee 2's just landed. On time."

"Still Gate 16?"

"Yes. She'll be there in six minutes."

"Thanks." Robert Armstrong was a big man and he leaned across the counter and replaced the phone. He noticed her long legs and the curve of her rump in the sleek, just too tight, uniformed chong-sam and he wondered briefly what she would be like in bed. "What's your name?" he asked, knowing that any Chinese hated to be named to any policeman, let alone a European.

"Mona Leung, sir."

"Thank you, Mona Leung." He nodded to her, kept his pale blue eyes on her and saw a slight shiver of apprehension go through her. This pleased him. Up yours too, he thought, then turned his attention back to his prey.

The Eurasian, John Chen, was standing beside one of the exits, alone, and this surprised him. Also that he was nervous. Usually John Chen was unperturbable, but now every few moments he would glance at his watch, then up at the arrivals board, then back to his watch again.

Another minute and then we'll begin, Armstrong thought.

He began to reach into his pocket for a cigarette, then remembered that he had given up smoking two weeks ago as a birthday present to his wife, so he cursed briefly and stuck his hands deeper into his pockets.

Around the information counter harassed passengers and meeters-of-passengers rushed up and pushed and went away and came back again, loudly asking the where and when and how and why and where once more in myriad dialects. Cantonese he understood well. Shanghainese and Mandarin a little. A few Chu Chow expressions and most of their swearwords. A little Taiwanese.

He left the counter now, a head taller than most of the crowd, a big, broad-shouldered man with an easy, athletic stride, seventeen years in the Hong Kong Police Force, now head of CID—Criminal Investigation Department—of Kowloon.

"Evening, John," he said. "How're things?"

"Oh hi, Robert," John Chen said, instantly on guard, his English American-accented. "Everything's great, thanks. You?"

"Fine. Your airport contact mentioned to Immigration that you were meeting a special plane. A charter—Yankee 2."

"Yes—but it's not a charter. It's privately owned. By Lincoln Bartlett—the American millionaire."

"He's aboard?" Armstrong asked, knowing he was.

"Yes."

"With an entourage?"

"Just his Executive VP—and hatchet man."

"Mr. Bartlett's a friend?" he asked, knowing he was not.

"A guest. We hope to do business with him."

"Oh? Well, his plane's just landed. Why don't you come with me? We'll bypass all the red tape for you. It's the least we can do for the Noble House, isn't it?"

"Thanks for your trouble."

"No trouble." Armstrong le

Excerpted from Noble House by James Clavell
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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