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He was director of the Argentine National Library from until Mario Vargas Llosa, in a tribute to Borges, has written: 'His is a world of clear, pure, and at the same time unusual ideas expressed in words of great directness and restraint. One reads most of Borges' tales with the hypnotic interest usually reserved for reading detective fiction For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more.

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If Cheng I Sao's business practices were exemplary, then her system of pirate law was nothing short of revolutionary. The code of conduct she wrote for her men prescribed much harsher punishments than previous pirate laws had. A disobeyed order was cause for beheading as was stealing from the common plunder , and deserters stood to lose their ears. Ironically, Cheng I Sao's most famous laws applied to the taking of female prisoners.

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The Widow Ching--Pirate

Ugly women were returned to shore, free of charge. Attractive captives were auctioned off to the crew, unless a pirate personally purchased the captive, in which case they were considered married. Of course, if that pirate cheated on his new bride, Cheng I Sao had him killed.


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Murder, thievery, and intricate crime syndicates will eventually garner the full attention of the law, and Cheng I Sao certainly had the authorities on her tail. But, here again, she proved more successful than her male counterparts. Cheng I Sao repelled attack after attack by both the Chinese navy and the many Portuguese and British bounty hunters brought in to help capture her.


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  8. Then, in , the Chinese government tried a different tactic -- they offered her universal pirate amnesty in exchange for peace. Cheng I Sao jumped at the opportunity and headed for the negotiating table. There, the pirate queen arranged what was, all told, a killer deal.

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