The Provincial Chief Inspector got out of the jeep. Zhou thought the military boots and trousers an odd outfit for a Provincial Chief Inspector, but the ways of these higher officials were nothing if not mysterious. Another man got out as well, a man not quite Chinese and not quite European, what Zhou’s mother would have called a mongrel. He wore a blue suit with thin-soled office shoes.
They walked over to Zhou, a woman with a clipboard trailing behind. The suited man pulled himself erect and said in an officious tone, “Chief Inspector, may I present Third Foreman Zhou Xiang, in charge of this sector.”
Zhou was stunned. He thought he might have seen the mongrel man before, perhaps at one of the interminable all-hands meetings held once a quarter, but the fact the man knew his name and position was deeply disquieting, especially with the Chief Inspector’s unannounced visit.