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Hok-Seng Lau was a Formosan guard accompanying the Formosan royals aboard the Obra Dinn during its final voyage in 1802. He was executed at sea for a murder he did not commit.

StoryEdit

Lau guarding

Lau guarding the passengers' cargo room in Loose Cargo, part 2.

Lau was tasked to guard a chest the Obra Dinn had in its cargo hold when the ship was leaving England.[1] While the ship was sailing past the Canary Islands, Second Mate Edward Nichols sought access to the chest and knocked Lau unconscious. When another passenger, Nunzio Pasqua, walked in the cargo hold to investigate, Nichols killed Pasqua to cover up his actions[2] and framed Lau for the murder.

Later, Captain Witterel sentenced Lau to death by firing line.[3] Witterel mentions that Lau confessed to the crime, but this may have been intentionally mistranslated in order to frame him, as the Chinese crew member who joins Nichols's mutiny is seen signaling Nichols during the execution. Of the four gunmen in the firing line, Henry Brennan was the only one who hit him.

In the East India Company insurance assessment on the Obra Dinn incident, no claim was made on Lau's estate.[4]

IdentificationEdit

Lau can be identified when the captain mentions him by name in Murder, part 2. To figure out his killer, the inspector has to look at the bullet trails carefully in the execution diorama since three of the four trails actually miss the body. As an insurance inspector you are also well within your rights to list the Captain as his killer, as he sentenced an innocent man to death.

AppearancesEdit

Lau appears in four memories. In three of them, he just appears outside of the door leading to passengers' cargo room in the cargo hold. Chronologically, he first appears in Loose Cargo, part 1. Lau perishes in Murder, part 2.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Loose Cargo, part 1 and Loose Cargo, part 2
  2. Murder, part 1
  3. Murder, part 2
  4. Stated in the insurance assessment book in the epilogue.
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