Thursday, July 21, 2011

"The Stranger''s Note."

Author Unknown

Summary: A stranger has a note and some jewelry delivered to the wife of a palace officer. Only the Palace officer is home, takes the note and the jewelry and cruelly accuses his wife of infidelity. She protests her innocence. To no avail. The husband demands a divorce, which is granted.

Divorced, Chunmei (the now ex-wife) attempts suicide, but is pulled back from the river by an old woman. Chunmei goes to live with the old woman who restores her spirits. A stranger, a businessman, asks the old woman to act as his agent in selling goods. He notices Chunmei and charms her into marrying him. The stranger was the same stranger who wrote the note that resulted in Chunmei’s divorce from her first husband.

When Chunmei meets her ex-husband, he is an altered man, now regretting the divorce and his cruelty to Chunmei. He begs her to return home with him, but she turns away, rejoins her new husband and exacts her revenge by rejecting her ex-husband’s request.

Famous Chinese Short Stories. Re-told by Lin Yutang. New York: The Pocket Library. 1954.

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