Feghoot X: The Chinese Laundry

By Reginald Bretner writing under the pen name Grendel Briarton.

It was Ferdinand Feghoot who discovered Yip Quong and persuaded him to move to the Thirty-Ninth Century.

“Mr. Yip,” he informed the Time Travelers Club, “is the greatest natural psychokineticist in all history. He put every Chinese laundry in Milwaukee 1912 out of business. He hired no help. He needed no plant or equipment. He simply sat down before a mountain of dirty old laundry, and wished it all clean, ironed, sorted, and wrapped. He closed his eyes for a moment-and pop! it was done. In no time at all he’d made millions of dollars.”

Old Dr. Gropius Volkswagen rose to his feet. “Then why is he here?” he demanded unpleasantly. “Why did he not stay where he was so happy and rich?”

“He was rich, but not happy,” Feghoot answered. “His fellow Chinese weren’t at all fond of him. Some of them snubbed him completely, and none of them ever invited him anywhere.”

“That is strange. The Chinese worshipped commercial success. Did he commit some unforgivable crime? Did he violate some precept of maybe Confucius?”

“Oh, no,” said Ferdinand Feghoot. “It was nothing like that. It was just that they found him a little too wishy-washy.”

(Copyright © 1959 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, January 1959).

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