Mei Lan
Mei Lan Xu
Portrayed By Zhang Ziyi
Gender Female
Date of Birth May 1, 1862
Age 18
Aliases Mei
Place of Birth Zhejiang province, China
Occupation Soiled Dove
Known Relatives Unknown, Orphaned
Partner or Spouse None
Table of Contents


Not an awful lot is known about Mei Lan Xu's past. She was born in Zhejiang province in the Celestial Empire, and her parents were far from rich. At some point, they died, leaving the young girl to be passed from overburdened relative to overburdened relative for several years. Finally, an uncle decided the only sensible thing to do was to sell the girl into prostitution. So at the tender age of ten, Mei Lan was shipped off to San Francisco with a boatload of other farmer's daughters and unwanted girl children.

San Francisco was a blur for the girl. She was poked and proded and checked over like a horse before someone finally payed the money to take her away from the warehouses and rat-infested, flea-bitten docks. She was young, pretty, and had bound feet. She cost a little extra as her owner was told that bound feet would heighten her sexual appetite. It was a lie. Mei Lan had no idea what was happening to her.

We won't go into the horrors the child experienced in her first couple of years in America, but horrors they were. Instead, we will jump forward to when Mei Lan was twelve, and an aging Southern gentleman decided to purchase her away and keep her around as a 'servant' and companion: Mister Ashley Carmichael of South Carolina.

Mr. Carmichael was something of a scholar and taught the young Chinese girl better English as well as Spanish and French, and he encouraged the young girl to develop her natural talent as an artist. He taught her how to shoot a gun, unbound her feet, and set about teaching her to read and write. She learned to gamble, how to watch everything around her and notice when a man is about to get violent. She would never be able to run fast thanks to twelve years of brutal foot binding, but she was soon enough able to walk normally and even to make herself scarce with perhaps alarming alacrity. She learned how to palm items and tuck them away where they wouldn't be seen, learned how to find her way through the desert: for Mr. Carmichael dearly loved to travel, get drunk, and gamble. And when he wasn't able to pay his debts, he'd often let Mei Lan 'pay' them for him. In short, Mr. Carmichael turned Mei Lan into one fine little whore.

One day, Mr. Carmichael was killed over one gambling debt too many, and yes, Mei Lan was forced to pay up as well. By this time, she was sixteen. And the men who killed Ashley Carmichael dumped her off at whore house near Denver. After two years there, however, Mei Lan had taken on enough rich clients to buy her freedom. And so she struck out on her own.

With trunks of fancy clothing, a bag of coin, and a life to suddenly lead herself through, she hopped on the first train she found and ended up travelling out towards New Mexico. Eventually, she wound up in Cimmaron, with no trade to her name but whoring. Luckily, she found the Cimmaron Rose. It was clean, safe, and she could work more or less on her own. She signed the contract and moved in.

Cimmaron is now her home.



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