Leung Soey, white-haired at the age of 73, desperately needs the gold that a wealthy client from Singapore, Kwan Douhak, will pay him to translate at a very personal gathering. Kwan Douhak seeks his long-lost half-sister. In the center of this meeting, Leung Soey has knowledge and power to tip the scales the way he wants—with a fortune in gold waiting for him, depending on the choice he makes.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
“Four grams of gold transferred to your account when she arrives, and twenty grams if she is my sister.”
“That was the deal.” Ah Soey spoke gruffly, belying how desperately he needed the money. Four grams would pay his most urgent debts; twenty more would arrange rent, new clothes, and a small staff to open the consulting office he had planned for years.
“I will know her,” said Kwan Douhak, as though trying to convince himself. “Our reunion should be private.”
“You two will not be alone just because I leave. She will have some sort of escort.”
Kwan Douhak glanced up, startled. “You said she never married, that Kwan was her birth surname.”
“That’s right. Kwan never married, but she adopted nearly every child ever orphaned by disease or accident on this colony. I imagine she will have one of her grown children or grandchildren with her. She will want her own interpreter.”
“Why? You speak English.”
“She will not trust me to interpret.”
Kwan Douhak eyed Ah Soey suspiciously. “I thought you knew her -- was that not the reason you could arrange this meeting even though she is a recluse?”
“That does not mean she will trust me to interpret when I am on your payroll. I contracted work with her company a couple of times ten or fifteen years ago, but I did not work directly under her. Back then, my boss said she personally approved my selection.”
Kwan Douhak nodded grudging acceptance of his explanation.
Ah Soey did not say, thirty years ago I knew her even better, but you haven’t paid me to tell you about that.