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It's hard to find a lesser man than Apropos: a con man, a knave, a scalawag...and those are his finer points. This time, Apropos winds up a stranger in a strange land called "Chinpan," populated by those who speak a different language and live by a code of honor, neither of which Apropos can comprehend. And yet it is here that he begins to examine his life and question whether he can aspire to become more than the hard-bitten cynic he's always been. He may yet be able to find a happy ending among a gentle people who are willing to accept him, faults and all, and he acquires a teacher who may even be able to set him on a road to true enlightenment. But events conspire to pull Apropos in unexpected and dangerous directions, for his presence in Chinpan does not go unnoticed. What does the mysterious criminal organization known as the Forked Tong want with him? How do their plans tie in or conflict with the criminal Skang Kei family, and their enigmatic leader, Skang Kei Ho? What of the Mingol hordes? And what will be the fate of the Chin clan, including Double Chin, Cleft Chin, Kit Chin, and little Kit Chinette?