|The Gold Pavilion was the heart of Twin Rivers and in the middle of eight shops and offices on Main Street. whether it was brunch, lunch, carryout or dinner, Chin, the proprietor, offered the cheapest and best meal in the town. He came to town when he was twenty and for ten years worked hard and had six sons. The Lees, Chin, May, John, Joseph, Henry, Frederick, Mien and Robert E. all worked at the restaurant delivering, cooking, or helping the businessmen on the block. The family soon was beloved throughout the town.
Unfortunately, the Lees couldn't find places to live in town so they purchased several acres ten miles away, where they also fanned. One day a large home in town showed a for-sale sign. Chin stopped and inquired how much the owner wanted.
"You don't think they want someone like you living in town, do you? If I sold to you, the whole town would kill me," said the red-faced, pot-bellied, bald-headed man.
"I pay you cash, Mister," said Chin respectfully. "Need big house for big family." The man responded by slamming the door on Chin.
For the next several days Chin asked patrons who lived in the area and came to eat, if they might somehow help him to buy the house in town. All said they would do what they could, but Chin sensed they didn't mean it.
During the next fifteen years Chin Lee was rebuffed each time he offered to buy a house - cash. The realization that he was good enough to feed the populace but not live amongst them made him sad.
"Chinese way not make one man less than other, unless...he bad," Chin would say to his boys. He felt slighted, but worked harder to make the Gold Pavilion indispensable to Twin River residents.
To celebrate his twenty-fifth anniversary in business, Chin posted an open invitation to the whole town. Free lunch for all. Main Streets businessmen were honored guests at the first sitting. After the meal, Chin thanked them all for coming. He passed out large red envelopes to the eight businessmen as he addressed them: "Honorable guests! For twenty five year I work hard, feed good meal. Me and family leave home very early and return very late. For fifteen year Chin want live in town, your town, but no Chin town. Chin Lee buy building on Main Street each time he ask but not able buy home in town. Chin Lee own Main Street now. You pay Chin rent. Red letter have surprise - old lease."
The guests and the businessmen were stunned by Chin's news.
"You're joking, Chin. This is crazy," said Herbert Simms, the banker from down the street.
"When man need roof in town with many roof-- it crazy Tomorrow, lawyer see you with new lease."
"He can't do that!" yelled John Warner, the grocer. The crowd grumbled.
"It done. I do. Also, Gold Pavilion no more. Tomorrow, family remodel. Make home for Lee Family on Main Street...go in Real Estate business."