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The Lost Brother (3)

Cheng then told his brother how the tiger had carried him away, and how he had been thrown down in the road, where he had passed a whole night; also how the mandarin, Mr. Chang, on his return from the capital, had seen him there, and, observing that he was no common-looking youth, had set to work and brought him round again. Also how he had said to Mr. Chang that his home was a great way off, and how Mr. Chang had taken him to his own home, and finally cured him of his wounds; when, having no son of his own, he had adopted him. And now, happening to be out with his father, he had caught sight of his brother.

As he was speaking Mr. Chang walked in, and Na thanked him very heartily for all his kindness; Cheng, meanwhile, going into the inner apartments to get some clothes for his brother. Wine and food was placed on the table; and while they were chatting together the mandarin asked Na about the number of their family in Honan. "There is only my father," replied Na, "and he is a Shantung man who came to live in Honan."

"Why, I am a Shantung man too," rejoined Mr. Chang; "what is the name of your father's native place ?"

"I have heard that it was in the Tung-chang district," replied Na.

"Then we are from the same place," cried the mandarin. "Why did your father go away to Honan ?"

"His first wife," said Na, "was carried off by soldiers, and my father lost everything he possessed; so, being in the habit of trading to Honan, he determined to settle down there for good." The mandarin then asked what his father's other name was, and when he heard, he sat some time staring at Na, and at length hurried away within.

In a few moments out came an old lady, and when they had all bowed to her, she asked Na if he was Chang Ping-chih's grandson. On his replying in the affirmative, the old lady wept, and, turning to Mr. Chang, said, "These two are your younger brothers." And then she explained to Na and Cheng as follows: -- "Three years after my marriage with your father, I was carried off to the north and made a slave in a mandarin family. Six months afterwards your elder brother here was born, and in another six months the mandarin died. Your elder brother being his heir, he received this appointment, which he is now resigning. I have often thought of my native place, and have not infrequently sent people to inquire about my husband, giving them the full particulars as to name and clan; but I could never hear anything of him. How should I know that he had gone to Honan ?"

Then, addressing Mr. Chang, she continued, "That was rather a mistake of yours, adopting your own brother."

"He never told me anything about Shantung," replied Mr. Chang; "I suppose he was too young to remember the story; and I only looked at the difference between our ages." For he, the elder of the brothers, was forty-one; Cheng, the younger, being only sixteen; and Na, twenty years of age. Mr. Chang was very glad to get two young brothers; and when he heard the tale of their separation, proposed that they should all go back to their father. Mrs. Chang was afraid her husband would not care to receive her back again; but her eldest son said, "We will cast our lot together; all or none. How can there be a country where fathers are not valued?"

They then sold their house and packed up, and were soon on the way to Honan. When they arrived, Cheng went in first to tell his father, whose third wife had died since Na left, and who now was a desolate old widower, left alone with only his own shadow. He was overjoyed to see Cheng again, and, looking fondly at his son, burst into a flood of tears. Cheng told him his mother and brothers were outside, and the old man was then perfectly trans- fixed with astonishment, unable either to laugh or to cry. Mr. Chang next appeared, followed by his mother; and the two old people wept in each other's arms, the late solitary widower hardly knowing what to make of the crowd of men and women-servants that suddenly filled his house.

Here Cheng, not seeing his own mother, asked where she was; and when he heard she was dead, he fainted away, and did not come round for a good half-hour. Mr. Chang found the money for building a fine house, and engaged a tutor for his two brothers. Horses pranced in the stables, and servants chattered in the hall -- it was quite a large establishment.

End

 

   
 
 

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The fisherman and his friend (2)

The flower nymphs (1)

The flower nymphs (2)

The flower nymphs (3)

Football on the Tung-ting lake

The King

The Lo-Cha country and the sea-market (1)

The Lo-Cha country and the sea-market (2)

The Lo-Cha country and the sea-market (3)

The Lo-Cha country and the sea-market (4)

The Lost Brother (1)

The Lost Brother (2)

The Lost Brother (3)

The man who was thrown down a well (1)

The man who was thrown down a well (2)

Miss A-Pao : - Or Perseverance rewarded (1)

Miss A-Pao : - Or Perseverance rewarded (2)

Mr. Chu, The considerate husband

The painted wall

The picture horse

Playing at hanging

The rat wife (1)

The rat wife (2)

The rat wife (3)

The resuscitated corpse

A supernatural wife

The talking pupils

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The trader's son (1)

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The virtuous daughter-in-law (2)

The virtuous daughter-in-law (3)

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The wonderful stone (2)

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The young and of the Tung-Ting lake (2)

 

Stories 1

Stories 2

 

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