Li Mei
Li Mei Bai
Li%20Mei.jpg
Portrayed By Fann Wong
Gender Female
Date of Birth May 1, 1857
Age 23
Aliases Li, Lee, Leigh
Place of Birth Sky Forks Ranch, Montana, USA
Occupation Cow-puncher, Ranch-hand
Known Relatives Pei Zhi (Mother), Jin Hai (Father)
Significant Other None
Table of Contents

History

Li Mei is not your average Chinese woman. She's not even an immigrant. She was born on the Sky Forks ranch in Montana where her father worked punching cows and her mother was a trail cook. Her parents were both from China, yes, having come over as young newlyweds from the Zhejiang province about three years before Li Mei was born.

Li Mei was the only child that survived infancy for the couple, and thus was doted on. Not only by her parents but also by the Ranch owner, an elderly gentleman with no wife or children of his own. His name was T. Beauregard Hughes. Everyone just called him 'Mr. Beau' however. Li Mei was raised on the cow trails, learning to ride, punch cows, cook, mend, tend to horses and cattle just as if she was both boy and girl. She grew up headstrong and a little spoiled, with no real knowledge of being considered any less than American or really even of much bigotry. Mr. Beau was a fair man and gave just about anyone a chance to prove themselves.

Mr. Beau died one day though. With no direct heirs, his ranch went to his nephew Horace. Horace wasn't a bad sort: fair with his employees and generous to the poor. He wasn't drunk or violent, neither prone to an idle mind nor an obsessive one… But he was weak when it came to women. And at 24 and unmarried, Li Mei was rather attractive to the would-be Cassanova. Not that he was interested in settling down. He just simply wanted more than a working relationship.

Li Mei would have none of it. After spurning his advances for the last time, she made up her mind to strike out on her own. She demanded her pay and the horse that Mr. Beau had given her, she packed up a few of her belongings and tools of the trade, and without a backwards glance, she left. Her parents were heartbroken and angry. This was a betrayal of the deepest cut.

The past few months were been educational for Li Mei. She ripped herself out of a comfortable and protective bubble and foisted the world upon herself. For the first time, she no longer had a buffer between her race and the hatred of White America. She found herself almost sold into prostitution, almost raped, almost beaten… She had struggled to find work that wouldn't dishonour herself, her father's name, or her ancestors. And she began to seriously question what it was to be both American and Chinese. Everywhere she went, people seemed to assume she was a whore or worse. Every Chinese face she saw reminded her of the parents she had abandoned in Montana.

But she had made up her mind, set her course, and she intended to stick to it. She finally finds herself in Cimarron, New Mexico, and she begins to look around. It's a nice place. Lots of ranches around that might need a good puncher. Or maybe she could stay closer to town and find work at the livery or stables. Otherwise, folks mentioned that coloured farm off south a ways… The Rafter M. She might find work there…

At least, she's going to try.

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