Home Post 1877-chapter-40


Qing Shu, seeing that Old Master Lin was about to leave, quickly said, “Grandfather, I find it very strange that our things were stolen this time.” 

Old Master Lin turned around and asked Qing Shu, “What do you find strange about it?” 

“Aunt Wei and Aunt San were both at home, yet the thief managed to steal things without alerting them. This indicates that the thief is very familiar with our household and knows which room we live in.” After a pause, Qing Shu continued, “Besides the jewelry box, there are no signs of the room being searched, and there are no footprints. This suggests that the thief knew exactly where the jewelry was kept. Otherwise, they would have ransacked the room.” 

Old Master Lin looked deeply at Qing Shu, then nodded and said, “I will go find the steward.” 

With that, he called Lin Chengzhong to go with him. 

Losing so many valuable items weighed heavily on Old Madam Lin, and she couldn’t help but scold Qing Shu, “You’re still so young, why wear such a large gold necklace?” 

If Qing Shu hadn’t flaunted her wealth, they might not have attracted a thief. 

Qing Shu was not convinced and retorted, “I dress like this in the county as well. Why can’t I do the same in Taohua Village?” 

Sharp-tongued and competitive, she was completely different from the sweet and obedient girl she used to be. If it weren’t for Master Wuchen and the Buddhist prayer beads he gave her, she might have had to invite the sorceress again. 

Gu Xian pulled Qing Shu and smiled at Old Madam Lin, saying, “Mother, it’s getting late. You should rest.” 

When Old Madam Lin saw that Gu Xian remained calm and unconcerned, she felt a lump in her throat and said to everyone, “Go to sleep.” 

Mother and daughter returned to their room, where Qing Shu apologized, “Mother, I didn’t expect to attract a thief like this. I’m sorry.” 

Gu Xian wasn’t angry and simply said, “It’s fortunate that this time it’s only the theft of jewelry. If we had attracted a desperate criminal who might have kidnapped and extorted us, it could have been a matter of life and death.” 

Qing Shu shuddered. “Mother, it can’t be that serious, can it?” It was just a gold necklace; she couldn’t imagine it attracting criminals. 

“It’s not impossible. A few years ago, in Huaxi Village, a desperate gambler kidnapped the daughter of a wealthy man from the county. The family paid a ransom of five hundred taels of silver, but they received back only a corpse.” This was why Gu Xian didn’t like Qing Shu wearing overly conspicuous jewelry when they returned to the village. 

Qing Shu was stunned and, after a while, lowered her head and said, “Mother, I understand.” 

Gu Xian touched Qing Shu’s head and said gently, “Qing Shu, you are my precious daughter, and I would never want any harm to come to you.” That’s why she wore expensive jewelry when she went out for social occasions, but in the village, she only wore a few pieces of jade or silver jewelry. She never wore flashy items like the red gold hairpin or gemstone bracelets. 

Qing Shu nodded. “I understand, Mother.” 

Rutong followed Wei shi back to their room and whispered, “Mother, Aunt is really rich. She didn’t even bat an eye when such valuable jewelry was stolen.” Even Lin Qing Shu remained calm, but she, on the other hand, felt miserable over a pearl bracelet. She couldn’t understand why, despite being from the same Lin family, they were so different. 

“No matter how wealthy she is, it doesn’t concern us,” Gu Xian was like a miserly hen; even with such a wealthy family, the Lin family didn’t benefit. When they went to the county to buy things, she cried and begged for three to five taels of silver, acting as if she had done them a great favor. 

What made Wei shi even more resentful was that Gu Xian had maids and servants serving her in the county, while she had to stay in the village and serve her in-laws, working tirelessly and not receiving a single word of praise. 

Seeing Wei shi’s displeasure, Rutong didn’t dare to speak. 

Gu Xian saw that Qing Shu had closed her eyes but was still moving her lips. With this appearance, someone who didn’t know better might think she was reciting scriptures. Gu Xian nudged Qing Shu and asked, “Qing Shu, what are you doing?” 

Qing Shu explained, “I’m going over the things I’ve learned in my mind these past few days so I won’t forget them.” 

Gu Xian felt regretful. If Qing Shu were a son, so intelligent and diligent, she could have a bright future with proper guidance. 

She didn’t show it on her face, but the issue of having an heir weighed heavily on Gu Xian. Because she lacked confidence, she chose to yield every time she faced Old Madam Lin. 

That night, mother and daughter slept soundly and weren’t affected by the theft of the jewelry. 

The next morning, when Qing Shu woke up, she saw that Zhang shi’s eyes were bloodshot. “Aunt San, what’s wrong with you?” 

Zhang Qiaoqiao, seeing Qing Shu in high spirits, smiled bitterly and said, “I didn’t sleep all night worrying about what happened yesterday.” 

Qing Shu said, “I trust Grandfather will catch the thief.” Even if they couldn’t catch the thief, losing those items was a valuable lesson. 

After all, these pieces of jewelry had never belonged to her in her previous life, and in this life, as long as her mother and grandmother were well, losing them meant getting something better. 

The thief was quickly apprehended; he was a habitual thief in the village. Two people testified that he had been loitering around the Lin family’s vicinity last night, but the man vehemently denied stealing anything. They also couldn’t find the stolen jewelry in his house. 

Qing Shu had actually suspected that it was an inside job, so when she heard this, she said, “Grandfather, we should report this to the authorities! If the stolen items were truly taken by him, the officials can pry the truth out of him. If he is innocent, the officials should be able to find the real thief and clear his name.” 

Old Master Lin shook his head and said, “Reporting it to the authorities would ruin the reputation of the Lin family village.” 

If they reported a thief from their own family, it would bring disgrace to the entire village, and everyone’s marriages and relationships would be affected. 

“Grandfather, can we just let it go like this?” 

Old Master Lin shook his head again and said, “The village head and the clan chief have already decided to expel him from the Lin family village.” 

“Grandfather, I still think it’s better to report it to the authorities. What if he is innocent?” Simply relying on the testimony of two relatives without recovering the stolen items to conclude that he was the thief was too hasty. 

This sounded as if Old Master Lin had apprehended the wrong person and wronged the thief. 

Old Madam Lin was not pleased. “Your grandfather will handle this matter properly. You don’t need to worry about it.” 

After a busy night, Old Master Lin was indeed tired. “Rest assured, he won’t have an easy life after being expelled from the clan.” Without the clan’s protection, even with such a large sum of money, he might not have a good life. 

Back in their room, Qing Shu said to Gu Xian, “Mother, if that man is innocent, wouldn’t the real thief get away with it?” 

Gu Xian replied, “Your grandfather and the clan chief have already determined that he is the thief. There shouldn’t be any mistakes.” 

Even if he was innocent, he couldn’t blame anyone else. After all, he had lived dishonestly in the past and was loitering near the Lin family’s doorstep this time. If not for that, no one would have suspected him. 

Chen Mama, seeing Qing Shu furrowing her brow, comforted her, “Miss, don’t think too much about it. The items are gone, but as long as everyone is safe, that’s what matters.” 

Qing Shu glanced outside, saw that no one was at the door, and then whispered, “Mama, don’t you find it strange? The thief not only knew the layout of the house very well but also knew where the jewelry was stored under the dressing table.” 

Chen Mama’s face turned pale when she heard this. She whispered, “Miss, do you suspect it’s an inside job?” 

Qing Shu said quietly, “No evidence.” She didn’t dare to make unfounded accusations without evidence. 

Chen Mama whispered, “Miss, I’ll have Chunfen keep an eye out. If it’s really an inside job, he’s bound to slip up.” 

Chunfen was originally Qing Shu’s maid, but after falling ill and returning to the county last time, she stayed at the Lin family. Now, she had become Zhang Qiaoqiao’s capable assistant. 

Qing Shu didn’t have high expectations for Chunfen; the girl was too honest. However, it was still better than doing nothing at all.