General Prologue

General Prologue

When the seasons are filled with fresh, milk-white snow to pack happy snowmen together, and lively decorations to usher the New Year in and keep the evil spirits away; when also the frenzied salary-men are able to relax from jobs and pursue pet hobbies, it is joyous winter. In the spirit of celebration, pilgrims from the world over who are part owners in Chang Securities have come to the San Francisco company headquarters for the anniversary of incorporation.

And so by chance, a company of five unique pilgrims met each other at the Chicago Airport. Each different pilgrim was headed for the celebration on the same, delayed flight. They were a pleasant lot, and soon after the first half hour had passed I got to know each one quite well. But before I continue my tale, and while it is fresh in my memory, let me tell you about the social station of each, what they wore, what their jobs were, and who they were.

First there was a woman senator who had a bright, but smooth smile and a neat appearance. Her campaign shout was, “Make the world a happier one.” She was often quick to praise lavishly, but whether or not it was deserving had secondary importance to her. She could speak a dozen phrases in a dozen different languages so her value in international matters would increase. Besides her language skill, she took classes in the sciences, literature, and music at night school, but she never stayed on for more than a few weeks at a time. She dressed conservatively, as a candidate for office would: stately, and filled with dignity and confidence. Coworkers sometimes pointed out her elegance in taste and lifestyle: she was often seen with dozens of politicians at orchestra concerts, and she loved to play golf with the richest businessmen. If I remember correctly, she said she loses at golf on purpose so her business opponents will feel accomplished. At Christmas she would give the children of her wealthy supporters lavish gifts and fine food; no expense would be spared to make them happy.

With her was a merry, wealthy landowner. His motto was to live for pleasure, and he had adequate funds to indulge himself with. He was a fat man; he always had to choose first class because he could not get himself to fit inside the coach airplane seat.

More about General Prologue

Get Access