Books > Old Books > East Wind: West Wind (1939)


Page 26

PART I - CHAPTER II

My father had long since ceased to care for this woman, but he gave her money when he came and spent a night in her apartment, lest she cry in a loud voice in the courts and tease him with her reproaches. She had, moreover, two sons, and thus was entitled to some attention.
Her sons were fat and exactly resembled their mother, and I do not bring them to mind except as eating and drinking continually. They ate fully at the table with the others, yet afterwards they would creep away into the servants' courtyard and quarrel with the servants for the left-over bits. They went about always with great cunning, fearing my mother, who hated above all else greed for food. She herself never ate more than a bowl of dry rice with a bit of salted fish or a thin slice of cold fowl and a sip of scented tea.
I do not remember more about the Second Lady except that she was always much afraid of dying. She ate many sweet, oily sesame cakes, and, when she fell ill, lay groanirg in great terror. Then she would call in the Buddhist priests and promise her pearl hair ornaments to the temple if the gods would make her well. But when she was well again she continued to eat cakes and feigned to forget the promise.
The second concubine, the Third Lady, was a

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