Chapter 3

Gramps was down in the dumps again, blaming his aching knees on the rain. How could Jasmine make him happy? ‘Guess where we’re going today?’ she said.

Gramps pulled the hair of his mole and shrugged.

HKHG 003 final‘Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall, where Nai Nai used to go when she was a kid.’

‘Good girl,’ he said, patting her head and switching the air con off.

The ferris wheel was stationery but Mr Crew Man seemed to be waiting for them. Jasmine definitely believed in magic now. ‘Fan Ling?’ he said, ‘No problem. I’ll spin the wheel double fast.’ 

WHOOSH!  Jasmine and Gramps picked themselves up from a yard. A colourful building with tall red columns led to a dark interior. The main worship area was split into three. Each space displayed rows of ancestral tablets.

Tang x, Tang y, Tang z. So many famous Tangs! ‘One of the most powerful clans in southern China,’ Gramps said proudly. 

Jasmine looked for the tablet of the servant who had saved the life of his master by sacrificing his own. She felt sure that the envelope would be tucked behind it. The tablets were stacked high on the wall like stone books.

Oh no! The servant’s tablet was in the middle right at the top. Far too high for her to reach. 

‘I think I can see it,’ said Gramps. He was leaning forwards and looking sideways at a stone frieze showing a lively banquet scene.

While the security lady wasn’t looking, he lifted Jasmine up and she reached for the envelope. What did it say? She tore the envelope open. 

Also very far away. It’s a fort built in the Qing dynasty. 

‘And what’s the next letter?’ said Gramps.

The next letter of the mystery message was O.

 

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