In Chapter 11, the robber, Moxa, tells Prince Jen that if there is any robbing to be done, the young prince must do it. After all, as royalty, he is not bound by the Precepts of the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Prince Jen remains skeptical about resorting to the act of stealing in order to furnish the needs of the group. Moxa argues that all they really need at the moment is food, rather than jewelry or trinkets of any kind. Mafoo orders Moxa to do the deed himself if he thinks it's such a good idea. Voyaging Moon, on the other hand, insists that it is better to ask for food than to steal it. Frustrated at the girl's naive suggestion, Moxa responds that 'asking' always amounts to begging when it comes right down to it.
In short order, the procession of the Official of the First Rank, Fat Choy, passes by. Prince Jen hails down Fat Choy's carriage and asks for assistance in the name of King T'ai. He excitedly proclaims that, if Fat Choy has come from the Celestial Palace, he should know who he is conversing with. Meanwhile, Fat Choy toys with Prince Jen and pretends to be concerned about the prince's welfare. Finally, he pronounces that the Prince is a fraud and a liar and orders his retainers to beat up the prince.
As the prince is almost beaten into unconsciousness, a series of explosions soon rock the air. Amid the explosions, Moxa jumps out, shrieking horribly and "flinging himself against the terrified retainers." Fat Choy, fearing for his life, orders his carriage to make a quick getaway. Meanwhile, Moxa reveals that the explosions were made by the fire-crackers he usually carries with him. The Prince complains that he has been beaten badly, but Moxa reassures him that it was for the best. After all, Mafoo has managed to appropriate all of Fat Choy's food provisions for their own.
Eventually, after a day's rest, the group make their way to T'ien-Kuo. In due time, they come across an old man who is wearing a cangue or the Collar of Punishment. The cangue is a rectangular, wooden device that was worn around the neck to punish petty criminals in 19th century China. As he looks at the old man, Prince Jen thinks he recognizes him. However, the old man introduces himself as Master Shu, and one of his first acts upon being introduced to Prince Jen is to spit on the surprised prince.