An Irishman named Patrick Hogan and a Chinese named Wang Lee form an unlikely partnership in this Death Valley Days tale about a silver strike in California in 1881. This episode is one of the few which talks about Chinese immigration to the West Coast and the bitter prejudice they faced. The men are played by Tom Skerritt and George Takei.
Skerritt makes the mistake in the eyes of many in coming to the aid of Takei who came to the diggings looking for a job as a cook. For that he's blackballed from work.
Takei is possessing an ancient book handed down several generations and those folks do their reckoning by the century. A lot of wisdom there including apparently a course in random probability.
I think you can figure out the rest, it doesn't end well for either man.
Takei's Wang Ling is a humble soul hardly anything like Ensign Sulu on the Enterprise. I'm in agreement with the other reviewer that "the book" is probably the I Ching.
If only we occidentals could read and understand it.
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