The Village Doctress-Chapter 5 The Fight for the Casket
Chapter 5 The Fight for the Casket
“I understand.” Lin Fuyin bore down on her sorrow and continued, “I intend to spend money to buy a good casket. My mother has clothes.”
Since her family had money, she would do her best to send Mdm Chu off gloriously.
“That’s ridiculous!” The village’s junior officer stood up immediately and looked at Lin Fuyin. He said, “These are really the words of a child. Even if there is a ready-made casket in the funeral parlor in the town, it would be too late to bring it here even if we pull it back with a cow cart! And how can you bury your mother in her own clothes? You need to use a ready-made shroud!”
“My mother had always been particular about her clothes and accessories in life. It’ll be fine if she wears clothes that she likes.” Lin Fuyin insisted.
Her mother’s clothing was all of the neutral colors and she had made them herself. She thought that it would do fine.
The village’s junior officer did not know what to say. When he thought about how Mdm Chu had died young, he did not continue to insist on the matter regarding the shroud.
“What about the casket? I know you intend to buy it, but where?” He asked.
“I’ve thought about it already, “Lin Fuyin answered. “I’ll buy the ready-made coffin from the old people in the village.”
“Who’s willing?” The village’s junior officer frowned his sparse brows and sighed. There were a few elderly people who in the village had already prepared their caskets. But they might die anytime, who would dare to sell their caskets?
But when he thought through it carefully, this was a feasible idea. As long as Fuyin offered a high price, there would be healthy elderly people who would be willing to sell their caskets.
It just depended on whether Lin Fuyin knew how money worked on people.
“Uncle Officer, do you know which elderly person in the village has the most dignified casket?” Lin Fuyin suddenly asked.f
“This…” The village’s junior officer stroked his goatee and hummed. “The widow, Granny Li, at the north of the village spent her life savings to make the most dignified casket in the village…”
What the village’s junior officer did not say, was that Granny Li was very odd and reclusive. She rarely talked to others. Would she be willing to sell her casket to Lin Fuyin?
Lin Fuyin thought about it. There was indeed a Granny Li in their village.
She was the most respected elderly in the surrounding villages. Her fiance had died before they got married, and her brothers and sister-in-laws all gave her the cold shoulder. She then went to work for rich families before returning to the village to care for her in-laws until they died.
Granny Li did not have any descendants, which was why she had prepared her own casket and shroud a long time ago.
“Granny Li’s casket is good, but she might not be willing to sell it. You know of her situation as well, ” the village’s junior officer reminded her gently.
“Uncle Officer, please help me ask her.” Lin Fuyin pleaded. “I will do whatever I can to send my mother off gloriously. This is the last act of filial piety children can do for their mothers.”
The corner of the officer’s mouth twitched, his face softened…
“Ah! Granny Li’s casket is made of the best Chinese fir. It cost more than 20 taels of silver when you take into account the fees charged by the carpenter. How much money do you have, to buy such a good casket for your mother?”
Mdm Zhao had come over just then and saw Lin Fuyin and the village’s junior officer discussing Mdm Chu’s casket. She evesdropped on them and when she heard that Lin Fuyin wanted to buy Granny Li’s casket, her heart ached.
Number Three’s silver was all hers!
“I think that your mother had died inauspiciously. You should just roll her in a torn mat and throw her into a mass grave!” Mdm Zhao’s little eyes glinted evilly. Then, she jabbed her finger at Lin Fuyin’s forehead fiercely and said, “Will you only be satisfied when you spend all of the Lin’s family money?”
“It is my business how much money I want to spend on my mother’s casket! What has it to do with you?” Lin Fuyin did not even want to address her as her great aunt.
“Didn’t they say your mother taught you well? Where has all that education gone?” Mdm Wu appeared eerily. “And you still want the best casket. Your mother died an inauspicious death. She’s not worthy!”
She was so frightened that even her scalp felt numb when she saw Mdm Chu’s torn stomach. She could not bear to watch any longer and had left. She had not thought that the lass, Lin Fuyin, still wanted to buy Granny Li’s casket for Mdm Chu who had died an inauspicious death. How could she bear it?
Back then, Granny Li had invited everyone in the village for a celebratory meal when her casket had been finished. It was made of the best Chinese fir, and she had hired the best painter in town to paint it with the brightest red paint…Back then, how many elderly people of Hulu Village had been envious of her?
She had discussed with her husband several times matters after her death. And what she talked about the most, was that she would be satisfied if she could have a casket like Granny Li’s.
However, Mdm Chu led a sheltered life and never worked in the fields and knew not of filial piety. Why did she deserve such a good casket?
Mdm Wu felt even more resentful the more she thought about it. Her face was pulled longer than a horse’s.
“Uncle Officer, go and tell Granny Li that I am willing to pay 80 taels of silver for her casket. And if she is willing to sell it, I will take her into my house and look after her once my mother is buried!” Lin Fuyin said suddenly and steadily.
“You…this is rebellion! The world is ending! You want to buy a casket for 80 tales of silver? And you want to look after a random old person? Mdm Wuu rushed up to Lin Fuyin without waiting for Mdm Zhao to speak. She raised her hand wanting to hit her, but Lin Fuyin moved slightly and dodged it.
Mdm Wu hit the air and almost sprained her back.
“Mother…”Mdm Zhao felt anxious as well. “That’s 80 taels of silver! This wastrel of a wench is spending that just to buy her unfortunate and short-lived mother a casket?”
All that silver was all hers!
“The money is in my hands. I want to give my mother a glorious funeral. Are you all really going to stop my act of filial piety?” Lin Fuyin asked coldly. Then, she looked at the village’s junior officer and said, “Uncle Officer, you be the judge of this!”
The village’s junior officer’s face darkened when he heard Lin Fuyin mention filial piety. One must not even think about stopping a child from being filial! They must not ruin the virtues of the world!
“If the two of you are not willing to do your part, then quickly leave, don’t create trouble here!” The village’s junior officer said impolitely and coldly, his expression dark.
“Officer, this is a Lin family matter, don’t interfere!” Mdm Wu, thinking that she was older, did not even think of sparing the village officer’s ‘face’. Her head suddenly hurt when she thought that Lin Fuyin was not only going to spend 80 taels of silver to buy a casket for Mdm Chu, she was going to care for Granny Li as well.
The village’s junior officer stomped his feet fiercely in anger. He pointed at Mdm Wu and said, “Shrew, shrew…”
Mdm Wu’s expression was ugly as she ignored the officer and pointed at Lin Fuyin. She ordered, “I don’t care how much money your family has. It all belongs to my husband. Hand it over!”
The village’s junior officer saw that Mdm Wu was interested in getting her hands on the money. She was about to create more trouble and he could not help but hold his hand to his forehead speechlessly. If news of Old Lin’s wife and Mdm Zhao creating a fuss spread, it would embarrass the whole Hulu Village…
His temples twitched wildly and he hit the table angrily. He shouted, “The deceased is the most important, why are you two making a fuss?”
“I heard Fuyin say that if I sell her casket to her, she would be willing to take me in and care for me, right?”
Mdm Wu and Mdm Zhao were still fighting around Lin Fuyin when the voice the righteous and vigor-filled voice of an old woman sounded…