This is an edited version of a story from a collection of unpublished anecdotes by Bernardino "Riri" d'AssumpçãoClick on the SEARCH icon and enter his ID number (3) to be taken to his personal page

Cacilhas Beach and Praia Grande Beach - where my father's and my maternal grandmother's houses were situated - are no longer in existence today, obliterated by land reclaimed from the sea. Originally, however, these beaches were situated at the mouth of the Pearl River and Macau authorities paid little attention to the Chinese corpses that were occasionally washed ashore there. However, on one occasion the body of the European man, probably British, was washed onto Cacilhas beach. He was dressed only in short pants, with a leather belt around his waist to which was attached a sheathed dagger.

The streets and beaches of Macao used to be policed by Indians, who were usually under the charge of illiterate or semi-literate European corporals who were rarely required to make out written reports; reports were usually made verbally to the sergeant at the Central Police Station who would write it down himself.

However, this European corpse attracted much public interest, so the Indian policeman made his report without delay to a Corporal Luz. Luz, only semi-literate, had a rather high opinion of himself; seeing an opportunity to present himself in the limelight, he decided to write to the report himself. Here is a translation of his report written in Portuguese:

"I saw on Cacilhas beach a dead corpse naked with a knife in his pocket and from speech appears to be an Englishman."

What he intended to convey was "I saw on the beach the corpse, naked except for a pair of short pants and still wearing a leather belt to which was attached a sheathed knife. Some members of the public opined that it was the body of an Englishman."

A copy of this report was leaked and passed around and Corporal Luz became the laughingstock of the Macau Portuguese community. A wag and his friends went so far as to mock him with a compliment about the quality of his work; still unaware of his gaffe, Luz accepted it with pride.