Biao Gong’s body was lying in the ancestral hall, still dripping with water. In front of the body was a screen, behind which all the Wu people who had the right to speak were present and sitting on the bench. My father sat in the main seat, holding his forehead and practically unable to speak. This time, he was really hard-pressed.
Uncle Three and I were huddled in the corner. The iron basin for burning paper money that had just been extinguished was taken out again, several female relatives began to burn paper again, and the men were all desperately smoking.
The Chinese New Year was approaching; it was really unlucky for such a thing to happen.
Uncle Two and several others were inside examining the body. The police in the village also came, and after staying in there for a long time, they came out with Uncle Two, who gave us a sign to follow.
I grabbed an umbrella and went to the village police station (in fact, it was just an office) to explain the matter. The three of us squatted under the eaves outside the police station, disappointed and confused. Uncle Three was smoking a cigarette, looking at the sky, and not talking. Naturally, their relationship with Biao Gong wasn’t that deep. These people were quite open to death, but they weren’t happy about it.
“Drowned,” Uncle Two said. “After we finished yesterday, he may have had a few drinks with those Taoist priests and drunk a little too much. It rained heavily that night, so he probably rolled into the stream on his way back and was swept away.”
“What happened to that blood?”
“He was washed away by the stream and was badly scratched.” Uncle Two shook his head. “He’s cut up so bad you can see the bones. It’s too bad.”
“So we’re not going to talk about the snails?” Uncle Three asked.
“Who would believe it? Do you think our village police station has a department similar to the X-Files?” I retorted.
Uncle Three finished smoking his cigarette and threw the butt out into the rain. With Biao Gong’s death, he couldn’t return to Hangzhou at the scheduled time. And now that someone had died, the nature of things had changed. Everything was more troublesome. Since Biao Gong was the loudest speaker in our branch of the family, he usually relied on his prestige to suppress the people below and he also supported my father as the patriarch. Now that he was dead, not only would my father’s position be threatened, but there would be increasing internal problems in the family. Especially the past few days, Biao Gong was always talking with us in secret and others had no doubt noticed. They would definitely speak out.
“If he really fell on his own, I would feel at ease,” Uncle Three said.
I nodded. Biao Gong had a pretty high alcohol tolerance, so it was hard to believe that he was drunk. On the other hand, people here drank mung bean liquor, which had a high alcohol content that could go to one’s head. We drank Jian Nan Chun wine at the tofu banquet, which had a low alcohol content, so I was afraid that he had drunk too much. After all, this wine was like plain boiled water to the people here.
“But who knows how old he really is,” I comforted myself.
“Big nephew, I can’t stand this. When the rain stops, we have to go to town to buy more pesticide. Let’s fight those fucking snails!” Uncle Three cursed. “We’ll see who killed who!”
I sighed, thinking that it was really suffocating. I came all the way out here in winter to compete with snails. How the hell did I spend this year? I also began to think about things in Hangzhou—if I didn’t go back for such a long time, how was I supposed to handle matters over there? Wang Meng would go home in a few days, so would he close the shop early? There was no end to things here and I didn’t know when it would stop. I had a hunch that if this matter couldn’t be satisfactorily resolved, we may never get to go back.
At this time, I found that Uncle Two was looking at the nearby sewer in a daze, as if he had something on his mind. I patted him, “Uncle Two, what are you thinking about?”
He came back to his senses and said, “I have a question I can’t figure out.”
“What’s the matter?” Uncle Three leaned over.
“Don’t you find it strange? Why does that thing keep running to our yard? The place we’re staying at is kind of far from the stream.”
“Ah!” When Uncle Two said that, I also trembled for a moment. I really hadn’t thought much about it.
“What is its purpose?” Uncle Two muttered to himself as he stood up, looked at Uncle Three, and just stared at him.
Uncle Three looked uncomfortable and said, “What?”
“Third Brother, be honest,” Uncle Two said. “Have you done something we don’t know about?”
<Extra 1.24> <Table of Contents><Extra 1.26>
2 thoughts on “Chapter 1.25 Death (Extra)”
I don‘t know whether it is a typos, the two characters Jian Nan in the brand Jian Nan Chun wine should be 剑南，which could mean sword of the south, but what NPSS wrote here is 贱男, two characters with the same pronunciation but means….my despicable boy 😂😂
Я не удивлюсь, если Третий дядя снова что-то натворил!