Friday, August 18, 2017

The Adventure of the Devil’s Toyshop

Regular readers will be aware that my friend U Sha Lok is a man of science, though of a rather singular kind. Though self-taught, he was an expert in the theory of chemistry and its practical application to the art of detection...

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Chapter 2: Horror Comes in a Box

A world of information would be at my fingertips!” cried U Sha Lok, gesturing at the computing machine...

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Chapter 3: Death by Barney

"One moment,” said U Sha Lok. “Did you chance to observe where the parcel was posted?” “No. I did see a number of stamps on top of the box, bearing the silhouette of a woman crowned but, oddly, the stamps did not bear the name of any country...”

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Chapter 4: Jack in a Box

"He was particularly interested in a prisoner I knew to be the leader of a criminal organisation known as the Jack in a Box. Why they were called that, I do not know. But the man, whose name was Reggie Shand, seemed to exert a peculiar power over him. The man’s record was atrocious. He was serving 14 years for murdering a gangland rival..."

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Chapter 5: Truth in the Dead of Night

"There is only one man in all Yangon who can help us," said U Sha Lok. He looked at his watch. "But not yet. We shall not find our man until the early hours of the morning..."

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Chapter 6: Deadly Connections

This London gang – why were they called the Jack in a Box?” asked U Sha Lok. I suppose it started as a macabre joke, derived from the fact that in the early days they buried one of their victims alive..."

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Chapter 7: The Official Story

The old reporter U Peter took another gulp of his gin and tonic as he warmed to his theme. “After years of applying a rainbow-coloured sheen to life as viewed through the prism of tabloid journalism, I can no longer be trusted with the facts. I now eke out a living as communications director of one of the less reputable international NGOs.” He finished his drink and signalled the waiter for another...

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Chapter 8: Rhyme and Unreason

“We wanted to ask you about the prisons superintendent U Kyaw Hlaing Phyu,” said U Sha Lok, and briefly explained the mysterious circumstances surrounding the man’s death...

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Chapter 9: In the Belly of the Beast

He turned and looked at me gravely. “I am reluctant to let this matter rest.” I looked back at him silently. I had no advice to offer. But a course of action was forming in my mind. And it was not one that I could share with my old friend...

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Chapter 10: By Command of the Pearly King

Dr Moe Yat Ti gestured towards an armchair and sat opposite me, contemplating me thoughtfully. “When you have eliminated all other possibilities, whatever remains must be the truth. But perhaps you have heard that aphorism before.” I had. It was one of U Sha Lok’s favourite sayings...

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Chapter 11: No Man is an Island

"I just want you to take a message to my … to your friend, U Sha Lok.”
“What do wish me to tell him?”
“Merely this: ‘No man is an island.’”

I did not look forward to telling U Sha Lok that I had been, without informing him beforehand, to see his deadly enemy, the Genghis Khan of Crime, Dr Moe Yat Ti, alone in his den.

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