The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 95: Old Age
The moonlight was as cold as water in the pond. Hearing her cold and sarcastic reply, Mr. Yang wanted to show his anger. But seeing his son tied up miserably on the ground, he had to suppress his anger. He changed his emotions quickly and said, "There must have been some kind of misunderstanding. Allow me to ask him clearly, okay?"
Once the rag was removed from his mouth, Yang Lanhong immediately shouted, "Father, it has nothing to do with me. I was on my way to the village and I just passed by their doorstep when they caught me and tied me up!"
"Once they started chasing me I ran. But they caught me and then they grabbed me and tied me up."
"Look, you all heard it." Mr. Yang put on a serious expression and continued, "I've already said that my son wouldn’t steal fish. He had a good upbringing since he was a child, so he can't even think of doing such things. How could he come and steal fish? It's all a misunderstanding. And since this chaos is over, I'll take him back home with me now."
After he finished speaking, he stretched out his hand to untie the ropes that were binding Yang Lanhong. Zhou Chengkang stepped forward and stopped him quickly and said, "Master Yang, analyze this situation for yourself. He claims he wasn't stealing fish, but it is so evident and yet you dare to believe him? Don't think of us as mere fools."
"Then, you won't let go of him, right?" Mr. Yang's expression looked ugly, "The county magistrate commended you for your help and has a good relationship with you. If we go to the town for the verdict, he will definitely side with you. Whether my son is innocent or not, he will definitely be accused of stealing anyway."
He was just too shameless!
The problem was that his son really did steal. But if he spouted such nonsense, people would believe that it was Zhou Chengkang who wronged them.
"Brother Min, please help us drag the thieves into the yard. We will take them to the town tomorrow in the morning." Li Qinghe said impatiently. If it wasn't for the thieves, she would have been sleeping soundly right now. "Mr. Yang if you are not convinced yet, then you can also come to the town to listen to the verdict. After that, you are still not convinced with the verdict declared by the town magistrate, you may approach the county, or to the capital to redress your grievances."
Yu Yan and Min Rui helped them drag people into the courtyard. After they were shifted to the courtyard, the Zhou couple closed the door with a bang and went directly to bed!
The next morning, Mrs. Zhou stayed back at home to take care of her grandson, while Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang took the two thieves to the town. They went straight to the magistrate's house and let him call the shots.
The two were locked up in jail. Zhou Chengkang mentioned, "They also had an accomplice, who ran away. Please help us look for him."
It was impossible for the two of them two confess by themselves. So they had to use special means to make them confess, which can only be legally done by the magistrate. The magistrate also wouldn't interrogate them in front of outsiders, including the two of them.
However, Li Qinghe believed that the magistrate would definitely investigate the person who ran away, since it was the magistrate's job to look after the management of the town. If someone stole something every three days, it would soil the town’s image and make it unsafe for the locals. It was best to catch a thief using another thief; and prevent this kind of thing from happening, straight from the roots.
When the two walked out of the magistrate's courtyard, they saw someone waiting for them at the door.
It was the fish seller from the town. Her aunt took her to his shop to buy fish. He lived in Liu Village. Looking at him, one could easily say that he has been waiting for them for a while now. Seeing the two coming out, he threw away the weeds that he held in his hands and said, "Let's have a talk. We can go to the restaurant. It will be my treat."
When the three of them arrived at the restaurant and sat down, he called the waiter and ordered the food. Then he poured tea for the two of them and said, "If I say that I didn't know about my brother stealing fish, you probably wouldn't believe me, right? I just want to ask you guys, what will it take to release?"
On the table next door, Mr. Yang perked up his ears to listen to them. Last night he didn't leave the pond side and when the Zhou couple left for the town in the morning, he followed them to the magistrate's house in the. When he heard this, he hurriedly got up from his seat, went over to their table, and sat there, "Why do you think I didn't believe what you said about my son stealing fish? He eats and drinks outside and doesn't cause any trouble, so I never stopped him."
"I also have the same doubts as this brother over here. You can state your conditions for their release. We can negotiate it together."
Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang looked at each other. It was indeed true, where the thief was caught red-handed while stealing, didn't mean that they would get benefitted from the trial. If they proceeded according to the law, the verdict wouldn't be a heavy sentence. Maybe they would be just sentenced for a year.
"We want to know who was the person that ran away." Zhou Chengkang said solemnly, "It's true that we're both upset, but for the fact that you two said they wouldn't steal fish; I'm more inclined to believe that they were taken advantage of, by this third one. Your brother fished the fish…" He said these words to the fish seller and then turned to Mr. Yang, "Your son was in charge of leading the way to the pond. Taking that into account, it can be clearly seen that the mastermind got away."
The two people in front of him suddenly panicked. Then Mr. Yang got up and said, "I will give you a proper explanation."
Zhou Chengkang denied solemnly, "I just want him to receive the punishment that he deserves."
Then the two then returned back to the village. After they spent half a day in town, everybody in the village found that their pond was invaded by thieves once again. As soon as they returned, Li Fu also arrived at their house and asked worriedly, "Are you guys alright?"
"You really are brave, ah! How can you just run after him in the middle of the night? What would have happened if he carried a knife with him as well?" Li Fu paced around in circles in the courtyard while he worriedly muttered, "I was scared to death when I heard it. Chengkang, what if something had happened to you? You would leave your wife and child behind?"
Seeing that Li Fu was really worried about them, Li Qinghe's heart softened. she said, "Father, he's fine. He chased after the person along with brother Min. And the other person was chased after by Little Rhubarb."
"Who can be so vicious?" Li Fu sighed, "They know that you have a dog guarding the pond, but they still dare to come and steal."
"In the future, we must be more careful."
Many people visited them out of concern, including Li Qingmial and the second brother Zhou.
The eldest brother Zhou and his wife finally had the time to come back to the village. They first went to the Zhou family's house and when they found that Mrs. Zhou was not there, they went straight away to Li Qinghe'e house.
When they knocked on the door, it was Mrs. Zhou who opened the door. Seeing the three of them at the door, the smile on her face suddenly disappeared and she mocked sarcastically, "Oh, isn't it the busy person? How come you have the time to spare to visit your relatives?"
"Mother, we especially came to see you." Eldest brother Zhou smiled and squeezed himself into the house. He raised the paper bag in his hand, "I also brought you some snacks."
"I'm not dead yet." Mrs. Zhou said indifferently.
Mei Hua nudged the child in front of her and said, "Greet your grandmother."
When the child stepped forward, Mrs. Zhou's expression softened a lot. Seeing this, the eldest brother Zhou slightly felt relieved and asked again, "
Mother, I heard that some thieves invaded the fourth brother's house. Is everyone alright?" Then he went to the backyard.
"Yes." Li Qinghe came out with a teapot and poured them tea.
Mei Hua took the teacup and said with a smile, "Sister-in-law, we've bothered you this time."
"It's not troublesome, it's exactly what should have been done." Li Qinghe really didn't feel troubled because of them. It should be Mrs. Zhou who would be taking care of them anyway.
"The more you say that the more uncomfortable I feel." Mei Hua rubbed the teacup in her hand. She was wearing gold rings and a bracelet on her hands and a silver hairpin on her head.
After she paid attention to them more clearly, she found that the clothes on her body were not made of muslin but satin. Even the child was wearing satin clothes. Although the eldest brother Zhou was wearing muslin clothes, they were brand new as well.
Things were really different from before.
"If mother wishes for it, then you can come with us to live in the town. It just so happens that there is an empty room in the courtyard." Mei Hua suggested with a smile.
"I will not go." Mrs. Zhou shook her head, "I want to live in the countryside, and also, I still have land to plant."
"Mother, don't you think this situation is bad? Farming is directly affected by the weather. Look at what happened last year. You weren't able to plant anything at all." Mei Hua said with a smile, "You might as well move to the town and help me take care of the child in your spare time. Xili is your eldest grandchild. Don't you want to look at her every day?"
Mrs. Zhou looked at the child who was not much older than Xiyu, but the child looked a little sickly. Such a child cannot be brought up by anyone. For example, Xiyu was a lot lively, but he was also very well-behaved and usually slept comfortably. Other than when he was sick, he would not cry for any reason. He usually played happily all day long. But it was difficult to look after Xili. When the child is sick, she will be fussy and will cry a lot. Because of her crying, the adults would also have to suffer. Sometimes the child and the adults can't sleep the whole night.
While taking care of Xiyu, seeing the happy child, she would not feel uncomfortable. As for taking care of Xili, she would have to suffer and sacrifice her sleep at night.
Seeing that Mrs. Zhou didn't speak, Mei Hus looked down at the ring on her finger and turned it around, "Mother, I'll tell you the truth. We don't plan to go back to the village in the future, we'll settle in the town. We can send Xili away to study in two years. Chengwen is the eldest son, he is the one who should really take care of you in your old age, but if you don't want to go to town, we will have to... let the other brothers take care of you. After all, you don't have only one son, do you?"
"Just like during the autumn harvest a few days ago, it was true that you were busy farming, but we were busy as well. If you were too old to work by yourself, then we would've hired a few workers to do the work. But you are only forty this year and several brothers at home can help you out anytime. That day when you came to the town, you left after saying a few harsh words. We didn't even know that you were angry at us until you left." Mei Hua's tone was calm as she spoke, "In the future if you have something to say just say it directly. Don't make us guess. If we guessed wrong then you would become more upset. At your age, how can being angry be good for your health?"
Li Qinghe stood at the side and listened silently. The more she listened to her words, the more she felt that something was wrong. Listening to this, she couldn't figure out if Mei Hua was in the wrong or Mrs. Zhou.
The couple went to the town and didn't come back for more than half a year. It was true that there were three other brothers at home, but just because they were here didn't mean that they would simply not come back to the town and leave Mrs. Zhou alone right?
The town was not so far from the village, and it was always possible for them to come back once every two weeks. If they were really busy during the autumn harvest, they could have spent some money to hire someone to come back to help Mrs. Zhou to do the work. Even if they didn't come, at least their intentions to help Mrs. Zhou would have made Mrs. Zhou feel at ease.
It was not good for her to accuse the two of them in front of Mrs. Zhou. Mrs. Zhou lived with her now and it would be bad if Mrs. Zhou despised her for saying something unnecessary too much.
"Yes, I understand what you mean." Mrs. Zhou let go of Xil and went to Li Qinghe and took Xiyu into her arms, "It's getting late, you can go back. You have to make tofu early tomorrow morning, so I won't delay your travel anymore."
One look at hee, and her anger was evident enough to be seen.
Eldest brother Zhou came out of the backyard and saw this situation. He urged in a soft tone, "Mother, today we brought along the carriage especially to pick you up and bring you along to town with us."
"No." Mrs. Zhou waved her hand and went in straight.
Eldest brother Zhou was stunned by her reply. He looked at Zhou Chengkang who had come from the backyard along with him. He lowered his voice and whispered, "Do you also feel that since the day fifth sister got married, mother's temper has been getting stranger and stranger?"
This could also be considered as a part of the reason, but the biggest part of the reason was that eldest brother Zhou didn't come to visit her for a long time.
In that era, it was the eldest brother's responsibility to take care of the elderly and the other brothers would show some filial piety. In fact, now that the family had been separated and the fifth sister got married, it should be that Mrs. Zhou should live with him.
"I don't feel like it." Zhou Chengkang said casually, "If Mother doesn't want to go with you, she can stay at my house, and also, she can help me take care of the child."
Then the two really left.
Li Qinghe stood at the door and watched the carriage drift far away. She didn't know when Mrs. Zhou came out and sighed, "It's true that ...... people get disliked when they turn old."
"Mother, I don't dislike you." Li Qinghe said frankly, "If you wish, move your stuff from your old house, have it shifted over and live here with us from now on. I definitely won't even think of throwing you out."
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