At 1:30 p.m. on the 9th day, two pieces of Qing Palace Spring Festival
opera folds were found in front of the south wall of Yangxin Palace by
the staff of Beijing Guowen Wan Garden Ancient Construction Co., Ltd. of the Palace Museum Engineering Management Office and Yangxin Palace Renovation Construction Unit.
Since the research protection project of Yangxindian entered the stage of renovation and implementation in September, 2018, the Engineering Management Office
immediately started the work of protection of cultural relics in Yangxindian area, on-site deep investigation and s
caffolding erection for renovation. On the afternoon of Jan. 9, repairing craftsmen found thin rolled paper stacking betw
een the air permeability and the space between the roots of the pillars while cleaning out the air permeability of brick carvings and exploring the decay of the roots of the pillars.
After the staff took out the paper, they found that its texture was soft, its color was yellowish, and its handwriting was basically clear. In its first joint book, the words “Qianlong Bu
ilding Office on November 19, 24″ and “Chonghua Palace Undertaking” were written. The first line o
f the voucher was marked “Dec. 30” and “Rising the Level to Remove the Year, Welcoming the Year
of Happy Birthday, Looking at the State and going to Shan
ghai…”. Wait for 19 repertoire lists and performers lists. After investigation, the title of the two operas is the same, and the commentary
column of the performers is slightly different. After checking, the researcher confirmed that the item should be presented as a New Year’s Eve 30 drama p
rogram list by the founding Office of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty in the 24th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong.
After the discovery of the play, the Engineering Management Office quickly reported to the hospital leadership, and informed the relevant departments to go to record and identify
. According to palace opera researchers, there are no such forms of repertoire in the existing cultural relics of the Palace Museum. This discovery will be helpful to the in-depth study of palace opera and Qing Dynasty Festival ]
culture. The cultural relics have been handed over to the Palace Museum Statutes and Regulatio
ns Section for safekeeping, and will be displayed to the public at an appropriate time after the completion of the restoration study.
Ravi?”Ravi nodded vigorously.
“Piscine?”I nodded even more vigorously.
He kept his eyes on me.
I nodded so hard I’m surprised my neck didn’t snap andmy head fall to the floor.
I would like to say in my own defence that though I mayhave anthropomorphized the animals till they spoke fluentEnglish, the pheasants complaining in uppity British accents oftheir tea being cold and the baboons planning their bankrobbery getaway in
the flat, menacing tones of Americangangsters, the fancy was always conscious. I quite deliberatelydressed wild animals in tame costumes of my imagination. But Inever deluded myself as to the real nature of my playmates.
My poking nose had more sense than that. I don’t knowwhere Father got the idea that his youngest son was itching tostep into a cage with a ferocious carnivore. But
wherever thestrange worry came from – and Father was a worrier – hewas clearly determined to rid himself of it that very morning.
“I found a good book about archery.” Sam frowned. “Doing it is harder than reading about it, though. I get blisters.”
“Keep at it. We may need your bow on the Wall if the Others turn up some dark night.”
“Oh, I hope not.”
More guards stood outside the king’s solar. “No arms are allowed in His Grace’s presence, my lord,” their serjeant said. “I’ll need that sword. Your knives as well.” It would do no good to protest, Jon knew. He handed them his weaponry.
Within the solar the air was warm. Lady Melisandre was seated near the fire, her ruby glimmering against the pale skin of her throat. Ygritte had been kissed by fire; the red
priestess was fire, and her hair was blood and flame. Stannis stood behind the rough-hewn table where the Old Bear had once been wont to sit and take his meals. Covering the table was a large map of the north, painted on a ragged piece of hide.
A tallow candle
weighed down one
end of it, a steel g
auntlet the other.
patriarch, a lanky, hulking beast of 550 pounds,had been detained. As soon as we stepped in, he loped up tothe bars of his cage and set off a full-throated snarl, ears
flatagainst his skull and round eyes fixed on Babu. The soundwas so loud and fierce it seemed to shake the whole cathouse. My knees started quaking. I got close to
Father seemed to pause and steadyhimself. Only Babu was indifferent
to the outburst and to thesearing stare that bored into him like a drill. He had a testedtrust in iron bars. Mahisha started
pacing to and fro againstthe limits
of his cage.
Father turned to us. “What animal is this?” he bellowedabove Mahisha’s
“It’s a tiger,” Ravi and I answered in unison, obedientlypointing out the blindingly obvious.
“Are tigers dangerous?””Yes, Father, tigers are dangerous.””Tigers are very dangerous,” Father shouted. “I want you
tounderstand that you are never – under any circumstances –to touch a tiger, to pet
a tiger, to put your hands through thebars of a cage, even to get close to a cage. Is that clear?
Nothing, thought Jon Snow, the same as me.
Halfway up the winding steps, he came upon Samwell Tarly, headed down. “Are you coming from the king?” Jon asked him.
“Maester Aemon sent me with a letter.”
“I see.” Some lords trusted their maesters to read their letters and convey the contents, but Stannis insisted on breaking the seals himself. “How did Stannis take it?”
“Not happily, by his face.” Sam dropped his voice to a whisper. “I am not supposed to speak of it.”
“Then don’t.” Jon wondered which of his father’s bannermen had refused King Stannis homage this time. He was quick enough to spread the word when Karhold
declared for him.
How are you and
We set out like prisoners off to their execution.
We left the house, went through the gate, entered the zoo.
It was early and the zoo hadn’t opened yet to the public.
Animal keepers and groundskeepers were going about theirwork. I noticed Sitaram, who oversaw the orang-utans, myfavourite keeper. He paused to watch us go by. We passedbirds, bears, apes, monkeys, ungulates, the terrarium house, therhinos, the
elephants, the giraffes.
We came to the big cats, our tigers, lions and leopards.
Babu, their keeper, was waiting for us. We went round anddown the path, and he unlocked the door to the cat house,which was at the centre of a moated island. We
entered. Itwas a vast and dim cement cavern, circular in shape, warmand humid, and smelling of cat urine. All around were greatbig cages divided up. by thick, green, iron
bars. A yellowishlight filtered down from the skylights. Through the cage exitswe could see the vegetation of the surrounding island, floodedwith sunlight. The cages were empty – save one: Mahisha, ourBengal tiger
Above the King’s Tower the great golden battle standard of House Baratheon cracked like a whip from the roof where Jon Snow had prowled with bow in hand not long ago,
slaying Thenns and free folk beside Satin and Deaf Dick Follard. Two queen’s men stood shivering on the steps, their hands tucked up into their armpits and their spears
leaning against the door. “Those cloth gloves will never serve,” Jon told them. “See Bowen Marsh on the morrow, and he’ll give you each a pair of leather gloves lined with fur.”
“We will, m’lord, and thank you,” said the older guard.
“That’s if our bloody hands aren’t froze off,” the younger added, his breath a pale mist. “I used to
think that it got
cold up in the
What did I know?”