The story happened during the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty. One day in May, it rained from midnight until the evening of the next day. In a large car shop called "Cai Ju Lai" in Tancheng, Shandong Province, more than a dozen foreign businessmen were crowded on the Datong shop downstairs. They were unable to travel because of the rain, so everyone could only wait in the shop. After sleeping all day, it was hot and muggy at night, and no one could sleep. I don’t know who took the lead, but you and others told some strange things one by one.
At this time, a man in his forties knocked the cigarette pot in his hand on the edge of the pavilion and said: "What you are talking about is not strange. I am telling you something that I have seen and heard with my own eyes. That is strange." ! I was so frightened that I almost couldn’t go home…" Everyone became interested when they heard this and urged the man to speak quickly, but they only heard the man say: "I saw the stone tablet speak with my own eyes!"
"Go! It's all nonsense. If the stone tablet can speak, then the mule can still give birth to foals!"
"Don't interrupt, don't interrupt, let's see what flowers he can come up with."
The man put a pot of cigarettes on, lit the fire and said, "It was last year, and it must be this season. I sold a dozen animals that I had sold and hurried home. When we arrived at a mountain in Anhui, I and I The mule ran for a day and was thirsty and tired. By chance, I happened to see an ancient well in front of the mountain. Next to the well was a stone tablet about ten feet high. On the tablet was engraved the three characters "Care for the Heart". I don't know what it was. There was no signature on the year mark. It was very cloudy at this time. I wanted to drink some water with my mule quickly so that I could go on the road, so I quickly took the bucket from the mule and went to the well to fetch water. As soon as I walked to the well, unexpectedly, the sky suddenly A bright flash, followed by a 'bang' and a thunder. At this moment, something strange happened, and my hair stood up when I heard it…"
There was a look of panic on the man's face, and he continued: "First, the stone tablet made a buzzing sound. I thought it was thunder, and then there was a human voice, 'Brother Baojin, get your bucket quickly. Come on, the rope on my bucket is a bit short, and the water will not come out from the dry pan.' Then I heard footsteps approaching from far away, and then another voice said, 'Renyi, let me flood the water.' Then just listen.' There was a thump, and then the previous person said, "Brother, just take a good rest in this ancient well. The feng shui of this place is good, hahaha…" Then the second person's voice was muffled, "The one with the surname Dong, I can't forgive you even if I'm a ghost…' It's like something was thrown into a well, and then the voice of the previous person said, 'Only God knows this matter. There are no homes in this barren mountain. If I don't tell you, No one knows you in this life!" The sound of footsteps and animals walking again became smaller and smaller, and then there was a crash of thunder, and then there was no sound again. I looked around, and there was no one there, except me and the mule. It was the ancient well stone tablet. I heard it true. It was indeed what the ancient stone tablet said. I was so frightened that I didn’t even bother to fetch water. I quickly picked up the mule and ran away. The pouring rain just started. You all know that on the mountain road, When the yellow mud comes into contact with water, it becomes stickier than the swim bladder. It is as dry as a wolf's teeth and as wet as a swim bladder. It cannot be shaken off even if it is not dry or wet. I feel like I have been wrapped around my legs by an evil spirit. I cannot move even by kicking my legs. I just held the mule's tail with both hands, and I didn't know how it got out of the mountain. From then on, I never dared to walk that way again. "After the man finished speaking, everyone was silent for a long time, but then a gust of wind It blew and blew out the two oil lamps in the hole in the wall. I don't know who said "sleep", everyone grabbed their single clothes and covered their heads and fell asleep.
Among them was a young man of twenty-six or seventeen years old. After listening to the story told by that person, his heart almost jumped out of his chest. He clasped his hands in front of his chest and said secretly: "Dad, I have been looking for you for more than ten years." Years have passed, and I am honored to hear from you today. Dad, if you were harmed by a thief, please wish that your child would find your bones as soon as possible and take revenge…" The young man turned over and over again, without closing his eyes all night, and only focused on the storyteller. people.
The rain stopped the next day, and everyone checked out and went their separate ways. As soon as the young man came out of the store, the young man stepped forward and grabbed him. He pulled him to a place where no one was around, knelt down in front of the man and said, "Uncle, to be honest with you, what you told me last night That matter, like my father and one of his friends, can you please ask the uncle and the county government to testify?" The man shied away and said, "Ahem! I'm so full that I'm talking nonsense, and I'm still waiting to go to the store. Where is the animal? Let go!" The young man held on tightly and knocked his head to the ground: "Uncle, you have the right to save my mother's life! Poor mother has been looking for him since my father disappeared. I have lived for sixteen years, and my eyes have been blinded by crying. My father is still alive and dead, but his body is not found. In order to find him, everything in the house is sold, and people come to the door all day long to pay bills…Uncle, you have pity on me. Let’s go!” As he said that, the young man burst into tears. Seeing that he was crying pitifully, the man softened his heart: "It's just because I talk a lot about right and wrong. How can I be so showy and mean-mouthed? Get up, and I'll go to the county government office with you right now!"
Magistrate Li of Tancheng County heard someone beating drums to cry out for injustice, and immediately went to court to inquire about the case. "Bah!" County Magistrate Li was stunned and asked: "Who is the name of the person who is kneeling? Who do you want to sue? Tell me quickly." The young man raised his head and said: "Master, my surname is Su. His name is Su Xuezhong, a native of Pizhou. His father went out to sell livestock with Dong Renyi sixteen years ago and never came back. Xiaomin and his mother went to Dong's house many times to inquire, and Dong Renyi said that he and his father would go out after selling the livestock. We all went our separate ways and never saw my father again. Thirteen years ago, Dong Renyi and his family moved to Anhui. When my mother and I went to look for him again, he simply closed the door and refused to let us in. Until I heard last night This uncle told the strange story about the stone tablet speaking, and then he realized that my late father had been murdered, so he came here to complain!"
"Is there such a thing as a stone tablet speaking?" Magistrate Li pointed at the man and asked, "Where are you from? Could it be that you yourself killed someone and just made it up to show off?" When the man heard this, he was frightened. He waved his hands wildly and said: "Sir, I am from Cangshan, Shandong. My surname is Wu and my last name is Wealthy. The speech on the ancient stele was indeed heard by me, and there is absolutely no lie. If I don't believe it, I can't. I will take you to the ancient well together, and I will know it as soon as I ask the stone tablet."
"One of you is from Pizhou and the other is from Shandong, and the person you are reporting to is in Anhui. This is going to be very difficult for this county!" Su Xuezhong kowtowed again and said, "Sir, I happened to be staying here last night. Listen, Uncle Wu started talking about his late father. He was afraid that if they didn't know each other, they would be far apart and would never hear from his father again, so he came here to complain to you!" Magistrate Li is an upright official who has handled cases in Tancheng County. Many cases have good reputations. Now that Su Xuezhong said it made sense, he nodded and said, "Okay, I'll take this case." Then he asked Wu Youcai in detail about his speech on the ancient monument, and wrote a letter that day. , sent the Yamen to the Yamen of Suixi County, Anhui. Seeing that a murder had occurred in the local area, the Suixi County Government Office did not dare to delay and immediately wrote a reply, agreeing that the Tancheng County Magistrate should go to Anhui to handle the case.
A few days later, County Magistrate Li led his government servants, Su Xuezhong, and Wu Youcai to the mountain front that Wu Youcai had mentioned. Sure enough, there was an ancient well and a stone tablet. At this time, the Suixi County Magistrate also arrived and brought the defendant Dong Renyi. When Dong Renyi saw that the Su family's son had sued him, he not only showed no fear, but looked up to the sky and just sneered.
After a while, the yamen sent to the mine shouted: "Sir, there is a corpse down there." The two county magistrates shouted at the same time: "Get it up quickly and search carefully to see what else is there?" The yamen shouted again down the well: " I touched another jade lock, and there were two big rocks under the well." "Salvage them all!"
The bones were fished out. Due to the long time, they had rotten to the point where only a white skeleton was left, with a piece of the skull collapsed. Su Xuezhong pointed his finger at Dong Renyi and cursed: "Evil thief, my father was so good to you, but you hurt him so miserably!" Dong Renyi said with a sneer: "You can say that he is your father just based on these bones. What evidence?" The Yamen servant held up the jade lock and said, "Please take a look, sir!" When the two county magistrates looked at the jade lock, they saw that Qilin was engraved on the front to send a son, and below there was a line of small words: Baojin, my son is a hundred years old. On the reverse side is a dragon and a phoenix, and there is also a line of small words below: dragon and phoenix appear auspicious.
County Magistrate Li held up the jade lock and asked Su Xuezhong: "Is this your father's thing?" Su Xuezhong rubbed his eyes, looked at the jade lock carefully and said, "It's the thing that my father never left. This is when he passed his 100th day. My grandfather gave it to him. When I was little, I lay in my father’s arms and played with it all day long.”
"Since it belongs to your father, you should know what is engraved on it?"
"The front is engraved with the image of a unicorn delivering a son, and the reverse is engraved with a dragon and a phoenix showing auspiciousness. It also has my father's name on it."
"Well, he is really your father." Magistrate Li asked Dong Renyi, who was kneeling in the hall, "What else do you have to say?" Dong Renyi said with a stick on his neck: "My lords, even if this person is really Su Baojin, then what? What does it have to do with a villain? He can’t slip and fall into a well on his own? Because I went out with him, it was assumed that I harmed him. Who saw me harming him? Who is the witness? "
The county magistrate of Suixi pointed to the stone tablet and said, "The stone tablet is here as evidence. I'm not afraid that you won't recognize it."
"Oh? Sir, that stone tablet is just a dumb stone. How can it bear witness?"
The county magistrate of Suixi walked over, patted the stone tablet and said, "Brother Gubei, please tell me what you saw and heard that day." However, after asking over and over again for a long time, there was not even a sound from the stone tablet. Dong Renyi was even more proud: "Sir, how can you listen to the nonsense of the son of the Su family and pay someone to make up a story about the stone tablet that can talk, and you will believe it. If this stone can talk, all men in the world can have children." The son of the Su family framed me because he wanted to extort money from me because my family is rich!" Shibei didn't say anything and sent someone to handle the ghost case , and Dong Renyi refused to admit the crime. There was no proof and no evidence, so they had to go back to the Yamen for the time being.
When Magistrate Li of Tancheng returned to the county government office, after much thought, he felt that Su Xuezhong did not look like a person who extorted money from others. Although Wu Youcai and Su Xuezhong met each other, they didn't know each other. They found the jade lock and didn't show it to Su Xuezhong, but he could clearly explain the content on it, which couldn't be made up. Thinking again about what Wu Youcai said, if he was making it up, how could he know that there were really corpses under the well, and how could he tell the names of the two people? But now why does the stone tablet no longer make any sound? Magistrate Li was pacing back and forth in front of the public case. Suddenly he felt a gust of wind blowing. He turned and looked out the window. The sky was cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain heavily tomorrow. "Ah! I remembered it!"
County Magistrate Li hurriedly wrote two letters, one to the Suixi County Magistrate and the other to the Pizhou County Magistrate, and sent them to the Yamen overnight, stating that tomorrow the three meetings would be held to review the ancient stele, and no matter it was windy or rainy, there would be no delay.
The next day, the magistrates of the three counties gathered at the ancient well. At the request of Magistrate Li, the Suixi County magistrate summoned the common people to the ancient well in front of the mountain to see the three halls reviewing the stone tablets. Everyone was surprised when they heard that no one was coming! Therefore, when the magistrates of the three counties arrived, the front of the mountain was already filled with people wearing various rain gear.
The sky was getting hotter and muggier, and the clouds were getting thicker and thicker. When I sent someone to investigate the ghost case , I heard County Magistrate Li patting the scaffold on the temporary case, pointing to the stone tablet and asking: "Old tablet, I miss you standing here. It has been a long time since I have achieved Taoism. Who killed Su Baojin? You must have seen it with your own eyes. Please tell me!"
Everyone stared at the stone monument with wide eyes. The surroundings were so quiet that even mosquitoes could be heard clearly. However, after waiting for a long time, there was not even a sound from the stone monument. The county magistrate of Suixi came to the stone tablet, bowed his head and said: "Brother Tablet, I think you think that you are in Anhui and want this county to come and invite you to speak in person. You can speak!" There was still no movement on the stone tablet.
Seeing that it was about to rain, the Pizhou County Magistrate was anxious, "Pah!" He slapped the gavel hard, pointed at the ancient monument and shouted loudly: "This ancient monument, you call it 'Zhao Xin' in vain, you don't distinguish between good and evil." , did you know that Su Xuezhong has sold out all his family property in the past sixteen years to find his father. Now Su's mother is blinded by tears. Her son has not yet found a wife in the twenty-sixth year. Today, his father's remains were found in the ancient well under your care. , you should tell everything you know! By pretending to be deaf and dumb, wouldn't it mean that you are also motivated by wealth and intend to protect the real culprit?" Before the Pizhou County Magistrate finished speaking, he saw a flash of lightning in the sky, Then there were two thunder blasts, "boom boom", and then the stone tablet made a "buzzing" sound, then Dong Renyi's voice, Su Baojin's voice of agreement… everything was exactly the same as what Wu Youcai said. Looking at Dong Renyi again, Lying on the ground, like a puddle of mud and never getting up.
It turns out that twenty years ago, Dong Renyi was a cattle dealer. Due to poor financial luck, the cattle he sold several times were infected with the plague on the road, and they all died, leaving all his money lost. Really unable to survive anymore, he came to seek refuge with Su Baojin, who also worked as a livestock dealer. Su Baojin was a warm-hearted person. Not only was he not afraid that Dong Renyi would steal his business, he also took the initiative to lend Dong Renyi two thousand taels of silver and took Dong Renyi to Shanxi to sell mules and horses. After several trips, Dong Renyi has made a lot of money. But Dong Renyi was too greedy. When he came back for the last time, he walked to an ancient well in Anhui. Suddenly, he had evil thoughts and coaxed Su Baojin to help him carry water. When Su Baojin bent down to carry the water, he pushed him into the well. , smashed Su Baojin's skull and robbed Su Baojin of five thousand taels of silver. Although Su Xuezhong's mother and son asked many times, he repeatedly denied that he didn't know. After they made a fortune, they were afraid that Su's mother and son would often come to their door, so they moved to Anhui, bought land and built houses, and lived a wealthy life. He thought he was unaware of the ghosts, but he didn't know that the stone tablet revealed his crimes, and he ended up separated from his body and his family. Except for the property that was returned to the Su family after his death, the rest was confiscated.
Afterwards, the two magistrates of Suixi and Pizhou asked Magistrate Li: "Brother Li, how did you know that the stone tablet could speak that day?" Li said: "I also remembered what Wu Youcai said that it was a thunderstorm. Last time we asked about the stone tablet, it was a It was a sunny day, so when I returned to the office, I found that the sky was about to rain, so I decided to give it a try. Unexpectedly, the test was accurate. You two brothers did not know it, but I was also sweating coldly at that time!"
Later, after inspection, it was found that the ancient stele was a sound-absorbing stone, which could absorb the sound under certain circumstances, and could also emit the original words when encountering a similar situation. This allowed the case to be completed, and Dong Benevolence and righteousness subdue the law. This is exactly:
The sky is bright and clear, don’t do anything wrong to others,
The ancient monument opens its mouth, and old grievances are cleared up.