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


Page 61

PART I - CHAPTER V

The other concubines were very angry with the Fourth Lady that she should have swallowed her good jade ear-rings. The fat one asked:
" And could you not have eaten a box of matchheads, then, which may be bought for ten small cash?"
The Fourth Lady had nothing to say to this; they say that no one saw her eat or heard her speak while she was recovering. She lay on her bed with her curtains drawn. She has lost a great deal of face by being unsuccessful in her attempt. Indeed, it was for this my mother pitied her and sent her away to escape the taunts of the women.
Such matters, however, were mere small household gossip and had no place in the conversations I held with my mother. It was only because I loved the home so well that I felt I must know the details of everything, and so I listened to the chatter of Wang Da Ma. She has been with us so long that she knows all our affairs. Indeed, she came with my mother from her distant home in Shansi when my father was married, and she it is who received into her arms my mother's children at birth. When my mother dies she will go to my brother's wife and care for my mother's grandsons.
Only one matter heard thus was of more than

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