Chapter 19: The Shen family sells grain
Upon hearing this, Zhao Shi ridiculed, “We can’t learn from your generosity. You can give away anything, even your own husband on someone else’s bed.”
Upon hearing this, everyone covered their mouths and laughed.
In the neighboring village, there is a widow at the village entrance. Several men from nearby villages who like to cheat on their wives often go to her house, and they have been seen there many times.
Ma Shi’s man was caught by herself, and the two of them started fighting in front of the widow’s door. When Ma wanted to hit the widow, her man even slapped her twice.
For a while, people who were not on good terms with Ma used this incident to mock her.
Ma’s face turned red with anger, and the two of them started arguing with harsh words and insults.
Several people in the crowd who genuinely wanted to borrow some grain became anxious when they saw Ma starting another argument.
In the end, a few women had to cover her mouth and pull her away.
The middle-aged man who had just spoken had to step forward again and say, “We know we shouldn’t have come, but our family is almost out of grain. Shen Rong is kind-hearted, so please help us out.”
“Yes, his daughter was not well when she was young, and we helped by giving her some cloth to make clothes. We don’t want to take your grain for free, so we’ll pay for it,” said the man who spoke earlier.
“Right, right, we’ll pay for it,” the man added with an awkward smile. “But can you sell it to us for a cheaper price than the grain store?”
Nowadays, the price of grain is two or three times higher than the normal price, and some people cannot afford to buy it even if they want to.
Shen Rong saw his daughter give him a look, indicating that she wanted him to speak up. So he stood next to her and said, “We understand everyone’s difficulties, but we have limited grain supply and can only spare a portion of it.”
He glanced at the few people who were demanding to get all the grain for free, and continued, “We are willing to help, but that doesn’t mean we are saints. Therefore, we will only sell the grain to a certain number of people.”
Shen Yun immediately stood up and said, “Apart from the families who work with us to collect grain, “we won’t sell to the rest of you…you, you, and you, who were just inciting the crowd to make trouble.”
Those pointed out by Shen Yun were precisely the ones who had just been inciting the crowd.
Ma Shi happened to be among these people and upon hearing this, she shouted, “Why won’t you sell to me? You’re seeking revenge for your private grudges.”
“With the fact that this grain belongs to our family, we have every right to do so,” Song Shi mercilessly retorted to her.
She had not forgotten that it was Lin Chunyan, Ma Shi’s daughter who had pushed her daughter into the river.
“If you want to buy grain, you can go home now and prepare your silver and grain bags. We won’t wait for you,” Shen Yu’an said, and then returned to the courtyard with the Shen family.
Some of the people who had gathered outside ran back home happily, while others stood outside the door cursing. Before long, news that the Shen family was willing to sell grain to everyone had spread throughout Shen Village, and even those families who had harvested their grain came to watch the excitement.
Meanwhile, in the courtyard of the Shen family, everyone worked together to bring some of the grain from the cellar upstairs.
At first, Zhang Mancang, the father of Xiaozhang Shi, was puzzled about why they wanted to sell the grain. However, Xiaozhang Shi explained to him that they had bought a lot of grain in advance.
In total, there were 108 households in Shen Village, but after excluding the 40 or so households who worked with them to collect grain and the additional 10 or so households who were singled out earlier, there were only around 50 households left.
Fortunately, they had enough grain, so there was no need to worry. It could also be considered a good deed and accumulating blessings.
People who came to buy grain lined up outside and took turns entering the courtyard. Shen Wulang and Shen Liulang, like little door gods, guarded the entrance and closed the door once someone entered. They would only let another person in once the previous one had completed their purchase.
Shen Yun had already made it clear in front of everyone outside that they didn’t need to worry about being cheated by the Shen family. Moreover, after witnessing Shen Yu’an holding a knife to someone’s neck without hesitation, no one dared to cause trouble.
The Shen family sold grain according to the number of people in each buying household, regardless of their size. For every extra mouth to feed, they could purchase an additional five kilograms of grain.
Those who came to buy grain had no objections and were grateful throughout the weighing process.
When they were about to finish for the day, Lin Chunyan and Ma Shi unexpectedly walked in together.
Shen Yu’an looked at Lin Chunyan, who was trying hard to force a smile. With an expressionless face Shen Yu’an said, “I remember my uncle already told you that we wouldn’t sell grain to you. Please leave.”
“Yu’an sister, is it because my mother made you angry this afternoon? Don’t take it to heart. She didn’t mean it,” Lin Chunyan walked over and tried to hold Shen Yu’an’s arm, but she avoided her.
She lowered her head sadly, tears falling down with a pat-pat sound, and with a sobbing voice she said, “I know that sister Yu’an is still angry with me, but I really didn’t mean to push you into the water. We have the best relationship, how could I do such a thing?”
Lin Chunyan did this out of helplessness as well. Her family’s food supply was also limited, and her mother had said that if they couldn’t persuade Shen Yuan to sell them grain, they would have to save her own rations for her younger brother to eat.
But if there were outsiders present, Lin Chunyan’s actions would probably evoke sympathy from several people. However, now that the courtyard door was closed, there were only Shen family members and the maternal family of Xiaozhang present.
All of the Shen family members knew what was going on, and even the Zhang family member who was unaware of the situation stood on the side of the Shen family.
Seeing her father and elder brother’s confusion, Xiaozhang explained what Lin Chunyan had done while standing by.
Shen Yu’an sneered, “If you were to put on this crying and pitiful act in front of Wang Zhicai, perhaps it would make some waves… Oh, by the way, I remember that the people in town sent a lot of food to Wang Zhicai the other day, but why didn’t he send any to your family?”
The village chief notified the villagers to start harvesting grain early, but Wang Zhicai was still at the county school that day. He didn’t return until the third day grain harvest, and after inquiring about the situation, he instructed his parents to start harvesting grain.
However, they were too late. Before they could collect a quarter of the grain from the fields, a heavy rain poured down, followed by a swarm of locusts that destroyed all the remaining grain.
The grain that was sent to Wang’s house the other day was actually brought by his fiancée from the same town.
I just don’t know if his fiancée will regret her behavior now if she finds out that Wang Zhicai is an unfaithful and unscrupulous person.
Upon hearing this, Lin Chunyan’s eyes lit up. She remembered the day when Brother Wang had said that if he passed the imperial examination, he would take her as a concubine. So maybe she could ask him for some food.
However, Ma Shi was unaware of the situation and said, “What does it have to do with the Wang family? Just tell us whether you’re willing to give us some food or not.”
The Shen family was disgusted by Ma Shi’s shamelessness. It turned out that she didn’t really want to buy grain but had other intentions.
However, they could tell that Shen Yu’an had her own plan, so they didn’t say anything.
Shen Yu’an looked surprised and asked, “Don’t you know? Your daughter has had intimate relations with Mr. Wang. Isn’t that worth a little grain?”
Lin Chunyan looked away, wondering how Shen Yu’an knew about her intimate encounter with Brother Wang.