she nevertheless resembled in every respect a block of rotten wood or dead ashes. She had no inclination whatsoever to inquire after anything or to listen to anything; while her sole and exclusive thought was to wait upon her relatives and educate her son; and, in addition to this, to teach her young sisters-in-law to do needlework and to read aloud.
“The victim of the assault,” the plaintiffs deposed, “was your servants’ master. Having on a certain day, purchased a servant-girl, she unexpectedly turned out to
be a girl who had been carried away and sold by a kidnapper. This kidnapper had,
first of all, got hold of our family’s money, and our master had given out that he would on the third day, which was a propitious day, take her over into the house, but this kidnapper stealthily sold her over again to the Hsüeh family.
When we came to know of this, we went in search of the seller to lay hold of him, and bring back the girl by force. But the Hsüeh party has been all along the bully of Chin Ling, full of confidence in his wealth,
full of presumption on account of his prestige; and his arrogant menials in a body seized our master and beat him to death. The murderous master and his crew
have all long ago made good their escape, leaving no trace behind them, while there only remain several parties not concerned in the affair. Your servants have
for a whole year lodged complaints, but there has been no one to do our cause justice,
The tea and fruit had by this time been cleared, and dowager lady Chia directed two old nurses to take Tai-yü to go and see her two maternal uncles; whereupon Chia She’s wife, madame Hsing, hastily stood up and with a smiling face suggested, “I’ll take my niece over; for it will after all be considerably better if I go!”
“These grounds,” surmised Tai-yü to herself, “must have been originally converted from a piece partitioned from the garden of the Jung mansion.”
Having entered three rows of ceremonial gates they actually caught sight of the main
structure, with its vestibules and porches, all of which, though on a small scale, were
full of artistic and unique beauty. They were nothing like the lofty,