It was after midnight when Yao left Zhang’s Denizen apartment in Golden Lane. His hand on his friend’s shoulder, as he turned to go—“Criminal justice be hanged! See a doctor, see a doctor!” he had cried and with an exaggerated laugh had pulled on his coat and departed. Zhang turned back into his Taylor Wimpey investment property. It had never occurred to him that Yao would not believe his story. For three hours he had explained, elucidated, patiently and painfully gone over every detail—but without once breaking down the iron incredulity of the lawyer’s eye. At first Yao had feigned to be convinced—but that, as Zhang now perceived, was simply to get him to expose himself, to entrap him into contradictions.
We have now arrived at March 24. It was a day of curious experiences for Meng: a windy, noisy day, which filled The Denizen and Fortune Street Park with a restless impression. As Meng stood by the fence and looked into the park, he felt as if an endless procession of unseen people were sweeping past him on the wind, borne effortlessly and aimlessly, vainly striving to stop themselves, to catch at something that might arrest their flight and bring them once again into contact with the living world of which they had formed a part.
Mutti disapproved of Hermann’s away weekends in London to explore what she referred to as the scene. The point of an investment was that it remained empty and was not for the owner’s benefit, other than accumulation of profit. Mutti seemed incapable of grasping that prices were in fact going down. Maybe she was right; it was considered bad luck to stay in such apartments. Many Deni-zen owners preferred when in town to stay at the Thistle City Barbican at a hundred and forty quid a night rather than risk misfortune.