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Tales of Chinatown

The Daughter Of Huang Chow
I
"DIAMOND FRED"
In the saloon bar of a public-house, situated only a few hundred yards from the
official frontier of Chinatown, two men sat at a small table in a corner, engaged in
earnest conversation. They afforded a sharp contrast. One was a thick-set and
rather ruffianly looking fellow, not too cleanly in either person or clothing, and,
amongst other evidences that at one time he had known the prize ring,
possessing a badly broken nose. His companion was dressed with that
spruceness which belongs to the successful East End Jew; he was cleanly
shaven, of slight build, and alert in manner and address.
Having ordered and paid for two whiskies and sodas, the Jew, raising his glass,
nodded to his companion and took a drink. The glitter of a magnificent diamond
which he wore seemed to attract the other's attention almost hypnotically.
"Cheerio, Freddy!" said the thick-set man. "Any news?"
"Nothing much," returned the one addressed as Freddy, setting his glass upon
the table and selecting a cigarette from a packet which he carried in his pocket.
"I'm not so sure," growled the other, watching him suspiciously. "You've been
lying low for a long time, and it's not like you to slack off except when there's
something big in sight."
"Hm!" said his companion, lighting his cigarette. "What do you mean exactly?"
Jim Poland--for such was the big man's name--growled and spat reflectively into
a spittoon.
 
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