The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 42: Repayment
Zhang Haiyao's face became more hideous after a while, "It's not five copper plates, it's five taels of silver. Can you earn it by selling the fish you have been working so hard to raise for over half a year?"
She was furious when she saw Li Qinghe not speaking. She looked at the crowd in the house and asked, "My parents brought me up with pampering, what's wrong with me receiving a bride price?"
At that moment, eldest brother Zhou came from outside with an empty stall and immediately noticed something amiss.
Old Lady Liu didn't come in at all and went straight back to her room. She shared a room with her fifth sister Zhou, and she did not have a special room.
The elder brother Zhou came in with his wife, "What's wrong?"
"We are discussing the separation," Mrs. Zhou said. "Eldest child, call the second child."
"I have something to say, "Zhang Haiyao frowned. "The second brother is married into the Li family. It's fine to get him to come back as a witness, but if you want to take his share, I won't agree."
Mrs. Zhou looked at her coldly and said, "It's not your turn to say no. This house was earned by myself, the children's father, and these brothers. The second child did something before, and now he has his fair share. No one is allowed to have any opinions."
Li Qinghe was not bothered by this. Only the land could be used to share since there was no food at home, and she had plenty of land. She has ten acres of barren land she hasn't cleaned up yet.
The elder brother Zhou turned around and left, while the elder sister-in-law stood in the corner without speaking at all.
The couple goes to the town to sell tofu every day, and they did not rely on farming to support their family. It depends on the person. Some people don't have a lot of talents.
Li Qingmiao's home was close, and after a few breaths, the elder brother Zhou arrived with the two of them.
As everyone arrived, Mrs. Zhou coughed, "The family is poor, and I'm sorry for you."
"Mother, you are making your sons uncomfortable with your words." Elder brother Zhou's eyes were red, "You raised us all alone. It's our fault. Your son is not capable, and let you be embarrassed."
Mrs. Zhou waved her hand, "I am satisfied that you have such a heart." She looked up at the sky and said, "There is no food in the house, and we cannot go on living, so my daughter-in-law said, 'You can make your own living if you can't go on living'. In fact, this is quite reasonable as well. If someone really takes advantage of it, it will hurt your brothers' relationship for a long time. The tree has a big branch. Let's use the fine weather today to split the family!"
There was no sound in the room, and second brother Zhou was filled with unhappiness, "Mother, your son is not filial."
"Let's not talk about that, let's get your wife into the house. From now on, it's up to you," Mrs. Zhou said as she waved her hand.
She looked at Zhang Haiyao, "The third daughter-in-law, I will still say that I do not acknowledge the dowry debt. Your aunt will come tomorrow to pick up the money."
Zhang Haiyao looked away, and quietly pinched the third brother Zhou with her hand.
Her movements naturally fell into the eyes of everyone. Mrs. Zhou did not speak but only looked at the third brother Zhou.
Zhou Chengcai got up and went out. Zhang Haiyao was shocked and hurriedly chased him out, "You dare to move my money!"
A ping-pong-pong sound came from outside. Soon, Zhou Chengcai appeared with five taels of silver and placed them on the table. In her rage, Zhang Haiyao cried, ran after him, and declared, "If you accept this silver, I'll return to my family."
Li Qinghe also went outside, returned home, and took five taels of silver and put them with silver belonging to the third brother Zhou.
As Mrs. Zhou glanced at her gratefully, she said, "We owe twelve taels. Two taels of silver, which we borrowed to build the house."
Zhang Haiyao's eyes widened, "You're not going to charge money for living in a house, are you?"
"Naturally not," Mrs. Zhou lowered her eyes and looked at the third brother Zhou.
Except for Li Qinghe, everyone in this room knows how these two taels of silver are owed, and even those who don't know have heard of it. That was the amount of silver that Mrs. Zhou had used for building the house.
The third brother Zhou also took it to Zhang's house to make the marriage agreement.
"These two taels are considered my debt." Mrs. Zhou looked cautious, "I'm still young, I can work hard for a few years to pay back this debt. As for the food owed at home now, a total of 400 pounds is owed ......"
"How is it so much?" Zhang Haiyao asked.
She was not the only one surprised, her older sister-in-law too. Li Qinghe was not surprised. The Zhou family has held four weddings since the autumn harvest last year, but all the guests want food.
"That's how much." Mrs. Zhou responded frankly, "I did not waste and I did not eat more."
"Mother, don't say that." The elder brother Zhou said loudly, "It's the sons who are incapable. Who wants the food at home? Should anyone want the land, then he must pay back, fourth brother, what do you say ?"
It was not necessary to ask the second brother Zhou since he may not want the land at home, and neither did he ask the third brother Zhou since his wife was very smart.
Zhou Chengkang nodded in agreement.
Mrs. Zhou exhaled a sigh of relief at this point. Even if the account was even, this family would still be divided. "There are four acres of land in the family and two acres of paddy fields. All of this will be divided into five parts, one part for each one of you, one part for me, and the fifth sister. After the fifth sister gets married, I will give her the dowry by myself. When she leaves, that is the land for my retirement."
"Why does the second brother also have a part?" Zhang Haiyao said.
The third brother, Zhou Chengcai, pulled her aside, "Don't talk too much. Whatever mother says."
"Your father and I have saved the lands with the brothers over the years. The second child will have a share in this too." In a serious tone, Mrs. Zhou said, "I said, it is not your turn to say how much land belongs to whom in this family."
"We don't want it," Li Qingmiao responded. "Our family has enough land, and it will not be used frequently in the future. At home, this is our filial piety, so it should be your old-age money."
The second brother Zhou had no objections and agreed.
Mrs. Zhou didn't insist on an argument, she simply nodded and said, "The room is for one person, and the kitchen is for everyone. You can build it yourself if you find it inconvenient. Eldest child, you go to the village head and write a deed...That's it."
As elder brother Zhou turned around, Zhang Haiyao asked, "Is there anything left to be divided?"
Everyone looked at her. The main reason for the family division was to share the debt. After having divided up the debt and land, the land was also divided equally. There was only one house, what was else left to split up?
"The carriage of the fourth brother, why didn't you take it out and share it?" Zhang Haiyao looked at Li Qinghe. In this family, the person she hated most was her, not anyone else. If it wasn't for her agreeing to repay the silver, the third brother Zhou wouldn't have been forced to return the silver out too. "A carriage can be worth seven or eight taels of silver, but he is not willing to sell it, so the equal share must also come up with this silver, right?"
"The carriage belongs to the fourth brother." The third brother Zhou frowned. Today he was mostly silent and spoke at this time.
"What a joke. He can save money for his carriage on his own. I don't believe it." Zhang Haiyao still had some qualms towards Mrs. Zhou, but towards the third brother Zhou, she wasn't at all polite.
"That carriage was given to me by someone else." Zhou Chengkang explained, "It happened that I knew the hunter in the mountains, and he taught me how to hunt, and he gave me a carriage. Only I can hunt among us brothers because I learned from someone."
When the elder brother interrupted impatiently, "Don't talk nonsense if you don't know. Third child, take care of your wife. Do not even think of moving the carriage of the fourth child. If you move, you will no longer be a Zhou! "
Zhang Haiyao, who was still a bit unconvinced, did not dare to speak right away. Once again, she only pinched the third brother Zhou. In the past, when she pinched him, he would pretend to suffer, but now he lowered his head and she had no idea what he was thinking.
Mrs. Zhou also hung her head low, her hands were tightly pinched, and her fingers were all white, as well.
The newly-arrived wives glanced at one another. What's wrong with this situation? Li Qinghe had no idea where Zhou Chengkang's carriage had come from. Since she remembered he had a carriage, he took care of it himself. He cut the grass and fed the grass to the horses alone. She didn't see anyone else do it. It felt strange.
The atmosphere was solemn, and the village chief came over, asked a few people how to separate their families, and began writing the deed.
The village head didn't pay too much attention to the fact that there was an unpleasant atmosphere in the house. The decision to separate the family was based on one's interests. So even if one had discussed it with his or her family, it was still best to ask him to write the deed. Together with the elders of the village, they helped judge and divide the family.
Other than a few gloomy faces, nothing was wrong.
"I will divide the land into five parts, one for each sibling. I will write a copy of each part and you will collect it by yourselves as a voucher."
As the village chief lifted the pen, Li Qingmiao again said, "Third grandfather, we don't want our share. Give our share to mother as our filial piety."
Even though the village chief was surprised, he nodded his head, and Zhang Haiyao beside him immediately said, "Then it's okay to divide it into four parts. It's just four acres of land…"
"You!" Li Qingmiao did not look too good and interrupted her nonchalantly, "Although I am a country girl, I know the difference! The third grandfather, do not listen to her, divide it into five parts, and Mother gets two."
Looking at Zhang Haiyao, she sneered, "The third sister, it's our filial piety to respect our mother. She raised us, so she deserves this. How dare you share? You're not afraid of choking after eating it!"
"What do you mean? What is the purpose of being a family member?" asked Zhang Haiyao, dissatisfied.
She was so irritated by this that she pinched third brother Zhou a few more times.
The village chief ignored her and wrote six deeds. After reading it, he asked, "Is there anything you would like to add?"
"The carriage," said the eldest sister-in-law. "The carriage is still worth some silver, mother told me the carriage belongs to my fourth brother. This should also be noted on it."
The village chief frowned. The eldest brother Zhou glared at his wife, "The carriage belongs to the fourth brother, we do not want it."
Li Qinghe found something wrong earlier. The brothers in this family have empty houses after marrying their daughter-in-law, but they all have the same ambition not to share Zhou Chengkang's carriage. It felt weird.
It was not the right time to ask. They waited for the village chief to write the deed, and everyone received a copy. The third brother Zhou asked, "Mother owns two shares of land; should she return the amounts of grains as well?"
The eldest sister-in-law also looked at the elder brother Zhou nervously. Even if the carriage was not divided, the debt could not be any higher.
" I have two copies." Mrs. Zhou put away the deed, "Discuss it among yourselves. Don't crowd yourself together when you cook. You should also set a time to boil water and wash. Don't arrange to do it together. If it is inconvenient, you should build your own kitchen. Besides, starting from tomorrow, the firewood in the kitchen will be chopped by each family..."
Then she rambled on with dozens of orders, mostly trivial things. It was clear that Mrs. Zhou had been contemplating the separation for a long time, which is why she had a comprehensive way of thinking.
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