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A Tale Of Two Widows
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In the District of Taiyuan there was a family with two widows, a woman and her daughter-in-law. The mother-in-law who was middle-aged was a woman of easy morals and consorted with a rascal of the village who often visited her. The daughter-in-law could not condone her behaviour and secretly turned him away on the doorstep or outside the wall of their house. The mother-in-law was filled with mortification and tried to get fid of the young woman on a pretext. She refused to go'and this led to a lot of conflict between them. The older woman was all the more incensed and turned round to accuse her of infidelity. The case was brought to court.
On being asked the identity of the lover by the Magistrate, the mother-in-law Cartier Replica said, "He came late at night and left very early in the morning. I don't know who he is. Ask her and you will know."
The daughter-in-law was summoned. She did know the name of the lover but attributed the deed to the older woman. The two of them hurled bitter accusations at each other. The rascal was arrested. He denied having anything to do with either of them and craftily suggested that they were making these unfounded accusations because they could not get along with each other.
"Of the hundred people in the village why should she lodge a false charge against you in particular?" demanded the Magistrate.
The rascal was severely flogged. He hit his forehead on the ground, begging to be spared and admitted he was the younger woman's lover. She was also given a beating but she persistently denied the charge and in the end was expelled from the court.
The indignant woman appealed to the provincial court but the case still dragged on without reaching a satisfactory conclusion.
At that time a man from the County of Zi who was a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations became the Magistrate of the District of Linjin. This man, Sun Liuxia, was renowned for his ability to crack difficult cases. Thus the case was transferred to Linjin. All the people involved were brought to court. After a cursory cross-examination, they were remanded in custody. Sun gave orders to have bricks, rocks, knives and awls ready for use early the next morning.
The bailiffs were puzzled. "We have proper fetters and handcuffs for torturing the prisoners. Why should he need these unusual implements to try his case?"
They could not guess the reason behind the Magistrate's orders but carried them out anyway. The following day when the court was in session, Sun, on being assured that everything was ready, told the bailiffs to bring the implements out. All the prisoners were summoned and were cross-examined one by one.
"There is no need to clear up this matter so thoroughly," he said to the two women, "Though we are not sure of the identity of the adulteress, we have no doubt who her lover is. Your Breitling Replica family has always been an honourable one. This is just an unfortunate lapse because you fell victim to the wiles of the wicked. This rogue is totally to blame. Here are knives and rocks. You can use them to kill him yourself."
The women were still hesitant, afraid that if they happened to kill him they would have to pay with their lives.
"Don't be afraid," said the Magistrate, "I am here to bear the consequences."
Then the women rose and pelted him with stones and. rocks. The daughter-in-law, having nursed her grudge for a long time, picked up a big chunk of rock with both hands and would gladly have killed him on the spot. The mother-in-law only threw stones at his legs and hips. On being instructed to use knives, the younger woman made for the man's chest with knife in hand, while the older was still hovering hesitantly. At this point Sun ordered them to stop. "I Know who the adulteress is."
The mother-in-law was put into manacles and severely interrogated. The truth was finally out. The rascal was flogged thirty times and the case came to a satisfactory close.
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