‘Tomorrow,’ he said, ‘meet me at 41 On Lan Street in Central and I’ll have what you need to lay your story to rest.’
This was the the message from PJ. He’s from the northern Chinese border and had flown down to meet me in Hong Kong after hearing of my quest for a copy of the Rubaiyat: a special copy, one that was published by the same company in the same year as the one found in the back of the little blue Hillman Minx.
PJ wanted to deal. When was the last time you met an oriental who ever wanted to give anything away?
He laid the book on the table of the little noodle bar and flipped it over to reveal the back cover, and there they were, five lines of capital letters, but these were different.
PJ had decrypted them. He had the message. He knew the secret.
He wanted money. US dollars.
‘How much?’ I asked.
‘Put it this way,’ he replied, ‘if my left trouser pocket wants the one dollar in my right trouser pocket it will have to pay one dollar fifty.’
PJ kept the book, I’m hanging out to see what Dave has found, he’s giving it away.