To write this I
flew to Tibet and consulted an obscure Buddhist monk within a remote monastery found a cool & authentic (looking) Chinese Astrology website and ran the actual birthdays for Dolley, Sukey and Bobby to get the described results. But the story evolved a bit and this scene no longer fit in. Oh well.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Warning! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The following is a deleted scene, mercilessly cut from the heart of the novel and tossed screaming into the outer darkness of this web site for your sadistic amusement. It’s raw stuff, unrefined, un-wordsmithed, probably not even spell-checked. Read at your own risk!
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9 February 1815, Corsair Flagship Yorktown, Atlantic Seaboard
“Happy New Year, Madam!” Wang smiled at Dolley’s puzzled expression. “Chinese New Year begins with the second new-moon day following the winter solstice. Today is the start of Year 4513, the Year of the Wood and Pig.”
“Wood and Pig?” asked Dolley.
“The elemental force and animal of the Chinese Zodiac governing those born in that year. Would you like to know your sign?”
“Oh. Astrology. No thank you.”
“Sounds like fun, Mizz Dolley! I’ll do it, Mr. Wang. I was born on the fifth of June, 1796. What is my sign?”
Wang scribbled some calculations. “Year of the Fire Dragon, Sukey. Very appropriate!”
“Nineteen January 1807 Mr. Wang,” Bobby said, excited.
“Let me see.” He scribbled more calculations. “Also Year of the Fire, but Tiger! Very powerful sign. Madam Presidentress, are you sure . . .?”
“Why not. Twentieth of May, 1768.”
“Ah, I know it by heart, as it is the same birthday as my elder sister. Year of the Earth, and you are a Rat Woman.” Wang smiled expansively. “An Earth Rat woman, no less.”
Dolley clenched her jaw to mask the shock. Elder sister?