Mr Crew Man pulled a lever to slow the wheel. His golden teeth sparkled. ‘This carriage,’ he said. ‘Have a good trip.’
Climbing higher and higher, Jasmine felt dizzy as the carriage rocked gently to and fro. ‘Hold tight,’ she said. Gramps closed his eyes.
WHOOSH! They’d arrived at the pagoda. An early Ming dynasty three-storey building towered above them like a giant beehive. Jasmine wondered if the animals on the roofs were phoenixes, dragons or fish.
They went inside. It was a small space, hot. Jasmine wished to climb up the red ladder but the security guard said she couldn’t. Jasmine read from her app instead: One night all the stars gathered together and spilled like a waterfall to show a member of the Tang clan where to lay the first brick. He built the pagoda to scare evil spirits away and stop floods destroying crops. Since then, people have come here to pray for good luck for exams. Scholars and officials called Tang were common in the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Gramps smiled. Nai Nai was a Tang, he told her. That’s where Jasmine had got her brains. Gramps had come to Hong Kong on a boat.
Two gods stared at Jasmine from the shrine in front of her. The one on the right had an angry red face, while the other had a moustache, peacock feathers and a pen.
‘I suggest you pray to Man Cheong,’ said Gramps.
Oh yes! the god of scholars. Kwan Tai was the warrior god. Jasmine bowed three times.
But where was the next clue? It couldn’t be far. Jasmine looked under the table, then in all four corners of the pagoda.
Hurrah! There was a folded note on top of Man Cheong’s hat. The clue was: one of the largest ancestral halls in Hong Kong. And the mystery letter was H.
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