Yu Zhen was not one of the prettiest girls aboard the Fēng kāihuā flower boat so was assigned the role of a serving girl, not one of the flower ladies who entertained the boorish foreign devils; thank the gods.
Such pigs; they ate, drank and smoked too much!
They wore thick woollen vestments ill-suited to humid summer weather. They sweated a lot and seldom bathed their entire bodies, which meant they stank. They cursed a lot in their crude tongue for they were hot, insect-bitten, drunk and irritable; they shouted at the girls, grabbing them and slapping their rears.
One night, to her shame, Yu Zhen lost her temper and slapped away the hand of one of the fat old devils; he bruised her eye with the back of his hand.
Little did he know she was an assassin; like the mosquitoes, her stiletto would taste devil blood that night.