How was the Chinese statue acquired?
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When Sir Alexander Heathcote was in China, he used to spend as much time it was possible to travel the country, with a Mandarin. One day, he visited the workshop of a talented craftsman who showed him an exquisite piece of art. The little statue, no more than six inches in height, was of the Emperor Kung and as fine and example of Ming as the minister had seen. He then uttered the most undiplomatic words he had ever said that how he wished that statue was his. Sir Alexander regretted voicing his thoughts immediately as he heard the Mandarin translate them, because he knew only too well the old Chinese tradition that if an honoured guest requests something the giver will grow in the eyes of his fellow men by parting with it. A sad look came over the face of the little old craftsman as he handed the statue to Sir Alexander but the latter tried to decline it saying he was only joking. But at the end, he was bound to take the statue but he made it a point that he repay the generosity of the craftsman within a calendar year. This was how Sir Alexander Heathcote acquired the statue.
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