The Heartless Husband
And when they heard his words, the servants hurried up and wanted to fish her out.
But Mosu said: “She has already been carried away by the current, so you need not trouble yourselves!” Then he gave orders to set sail again as soon as possible.
Now who would have thought that owing to a fortunate chance, Sir Hu, the mandarin in charge of the transportation system of the province, was also about to take charge of his department, and had anchored in the same place. He was sitting with his wife at the open window of the ship’s cabin, enjoying the moonlight and the cool breeze.
Suddenly he heard some one crying on the shore, and it sounded to him like a girl’s voice. He quickly sent people to assist her, and they brought her aboard. It was Little Golden Daughter.
When she had fallen into the water, she had felt something beneath her feet which held her up so that she did not sink. And she had been carried along by the current to the river-bank, where she crept out of the water. And then she realized that her husband, now that he had become distinguished, had forgotten how poor he had been, and for all she had not been drowned, she felt very lonely and abandoned, and before she knew it her tears began to flow. So when Sir Hu asked her what was the matter, she told him the whole story. Sir Hu comforted her.
“You must not shed another tear,” said he. “If you care to become my adopted daughter, we will take care of you.”
Little Golden Daughter bowed her thanks. But Hu’s wife ordered her maids to bring other clothes to take the place of the wet ones, and to prepare a bed for her. The servants were strictly bidden to call her “Miss,” and to say nothing of what had occurred.
So the journey continued and in a few days’ time Sir Hu entered upon his official duties. Wu We, where Mosu was district mandarin, was subject to his rule, and the latter made his appearance in order to visit his official superior. When Sir Hu saw Mosu he thought to himself: “What a pity that so highly gifted a man should act in so heartless a manner!