Li Sheng, a native of Guangfeng in the Southern Song Dynasty, lost his father since he was a child, and his family was poor. His mother made a living by washing for Shen Yuan’s family in the south of the city. The family had no food for the next day, and even the mice could not stay.
When he was eight years old, he went to Yuan Shen’s family to herd cattle for a living. Two years later, Shen Yuanwai hired a famous teacher from Anhui, Mr. Cheng, to teach his two sons and one daughter privately. Seeing that Li Sheng was smart and diligent, he asked him to study with him. Mr. Shen’s two sons are mediocre in nature, but Mr. Shen and Li Sheng are intelligent, and they are deeply loved by Mr. Cheng. After several years, they are proficient in piano, chess, poetry and fu.
Seven years later, tea merchants in Jiangxi and Hubei rebelled. At the invitation of General Xin Qiji of Jiangyin, Mr. Cheng went to Hubei to fight against the invaders. Before leaving, I told Li Sheng that this time I went with General Xin to suppress the bandits, to serve the country, to keep the people in one side peaceful, it was my teacher’s wish in life, I’m afraid it will delay your studies. After you leave as a teacher, you can resign from the job here. Based on what I have taught, you can go to the city to find a leisure job, continue your studies, and in the future you can also seek fame and fame, serve the country, and drive out gold slaves.
After Mr. Cheng left, Li Sheng and Yuanwai Shen resigned and went to Xinzhou Prefecture. It happened that the accountant of the “Small Building Wailou” restaurant was unable to work due to illness. The shopkeeper posted a notice at the city gate to recruit Mr. Accountant. Li Sheng opened his face to meet the shopkeeper, and there were two other applicants. Passed the test, and because he was young and easy to control, he was retained by the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper deceived Li Sheng to be eager to find a job, and secretly lowered his wages by two cents. The annual salary is two or three dollars, and I don’t care about food or housing, and I take care of my own breakfast.
Breakfast is easy, you can get it from a street stall, or cook it yourself, but living is a problem. At that time, the Jin people had returned to the north for a long time, but there were years of wars, and their homes were barren and empty. Guided by the waiter in the shop, I found a house on the mountain in the east of the city. The owner and his wife died of the plague, leaving only a ten-year-old son to live with his elderly uncle. The old man was unwilling to rent, and could not stand the grind of Li Sheng. Considering that the house has been empty for many years, it would be popular if someone lived in it. The condition was that Li Sheng agreed to clean and take care of the house, so he rented it to Li Sheng.
The house has not been lived in for many years, and the grass is extremely deserted. There is no wormwood in the yard, and the trees and flowers in the garden have long since withered and died. The garden was infested with foxes and rats, rat feces and fox dung were scattered in the grass, and the utensils in the living room were covered with a thick layer of dust. When making the bed, just near the bed, a huge mouse jumped out, grinned at Li Sheng and fled. The straw that made up the bed was lifted, and there was a nest of little mice that looked like meatballs. Li Sheng took pity on them, took a rag and put them into the withered grass in the garden.
Pack up and stay, Li Sheng leaves early and returns late. After getting acquainted with the staff in the store, Li Sheng occasionally brought some dishes ordered by customers but did not move too fast, or a few pieces of stewed tofu, dried tofu and stewed pickled vegetables home for breakfast, but the next day he woke up and was always eaten by mice . The rats here are very strange. They are not afraid of people during the day, and they compete with others. When you walk a little carelessly, a mouse will run past your feet and startle you, and it is even more rampant at night, biting boxes. clothes, books, running and dancing on the floor, and what is even more hateful is that they often chew on the account books. No matter where Li Sheng hides them, he can find them. It seems that there is a strange fragrance on the account books that attracts mice. Li Sheng had to lock the account books I dare not take it back to my residence in the store. As the days went by, Li Sheng found that the soap horns by the laundry sink were always lost for no reason, and he put them away one by one, as if the vacuum disappeared.
After a long time, due to work, Li Sheng became acquainted with elegant people, famous scholars, and small officials in Xinzhou Prefecture, and they often socialized together. One day, Li Sheng and Layman Piaoquan drank, recited poems and composed Fu, and returned home drunk late at night, fell into bed and fell asleep.
Woke up looking for tea, pushed open the door, the hall was brightly lit, twenty or thirty men, women and men sat around three tables with eight immortals. On the top sat an old man in gray clothes with a red face and a bald head, and an old woman in white clothes with thinning silver hair. There were purple lacquer sticks beside them. When everyone saw Li Sheng for the first time, they froze in shock. The women rushed to avoid him, covering their faces and pouring their stools over. The old man was the first to return to his normal state, and he signaled everyone to sit down with a slap of his stick, straightened his clothes, stood up and bowed his hands to silence the guests. I don’t know that the proprietor is coming, but I am far away to meet you. I also invite the proprietor Haihan, and the proprietor please sit down. Li Sheng seemed to be in a dream, Zhan Zhan lapel repeatedly courteously let Fang Zai sit down. The old man in his 160s ordered to reorganize the food and drinks. The old man ordered, “Six cubs, the proprietor is not an outsider, let my sister-in-law lead everyone out to meet and sit with you.”
I saw a middle-aged man named Qu Jingming walk into the room, and after a while, a group of women and girls came out, among them a girl in green glanced at Li Sheng, smiled, then turned to a woman in red and said, ” Second sister, silly husband.”
The old man scolded “Fifth Sister, don’t be rude”.
The old man said to Li Sheng, “My little granddaughter has never seen a nobleman, and she speaks vulgar words. I hope the landlord will not laugh at you.”
The host and guest sat down, and the old man toasted Li Sheng, Li Sheng hurriedly said, “I should respect the old man.” Everyone came to pay their respects to Li Sheng, women and girls also came to pay their respects. At this time, Li Sheng was half drunk.
Li Sheng noticed a phenomenon. Everyone put a small plate in front of them, with a small piece of food in the middle. After a few mouthfuls of wine and food, the old man’s family must try a bite of the food on the plate. At first, he thought it was a pastry, but after a closer look, he found out that it was laundry soap. . Li Sheng was very puzzled and asked the old man for advice. The old man laughed and said, “To tell the truth, my proprietor, my family is a different kind, but the mouse that lives in your house. Please listen to me carefully, my proprietor.”
“It has been more than 30 years since the ancestors moved here from Wumu Mansion in Jiangzhou. In the eleventh year of Shaoxing, the emperor ordered the traitor Qin Hui to search the commander’s mansion. Wu Mu’s descendants were all imprisoned. All living dogs and chickens were left behind. They have been imprisoned to the fifty of our family. Only my ancestors escaped with two or three family members. My ancestors hated the officials and the family became sick, and passed away soon. At the end of his life, he made a promise to his descendants to defeat corrupt officials and profiteers for generations. The proprietor knows that everything that is corrupt It must be people’s fat and people’s ointment, and it must be pickled dirty things. My people are still deeply ashamed after eating it. Therefore, they must eat saponins after eating to cleanse the stomach and intestines, so as not to damage the stomach. Even the famous people who are handed over to the owner are not all real famous people. Secretly colluding with officials and gentry, we never do bad things. All the food in my family comes from corrupt officials and the food brought back from the proprietor’s restaurant. All the food is stained with the stench of officials and gentry and the blood of the people. What our family eats is not the things of officials and gentry, but the proprietor’s. The account book is also a gold-selling cave. Every cent and every penny will come to the people.” Li Sheng bowed his head in silence, and the old man continued, “The world calls corrupt officials big rats, but in fact these people are not as good as us rats. Ashamed to be in the company, we implore the proprietor to record it into words so that our people can understand the world.” Li Sheng knelt down around him, and the young and old shouted in unison, “I implore the proprietor to tell the world in words.” Li Sheng rushed to help the old man up, but fell down in a hurry, drunk. The old man hurriedly ordered his second sister to help Li Sheng into the room to rest. He seemed drunk or awake in his sleep, and seemed to be really warm with others.
When I woke up the next day, there was only a red scarf left by the pillow, and the food Li Sheng packed back last night was scattered in the hall. Since then, I have never seen the old man. From then on, whenever Li Sheng brought food back, he would put a portion on a plate and put it in the living room. Since then, the mice have never bitten utensils or clothes, and never disturbed each other. Occasionally, in a dream, she seems to hear the sound of silk and bamboo. The woman chuckles, gets up and holds the lamp to look for each other, but she doesn’t see anyone.
One day, he brought the master of the lake to be the host, and invited the layman Piaoquan to have a drink with Li Sheng. After drinking at midnight, Li Sheng asked Xiaoer to pack it. Gotta pack a lot of food. Li Sheng laughed and answered yes, there was one beauties at home, and countless sister-in-laws, and he told the strange story of the old man while he was drunk. Layman Piaoquan secretly hated the meanness of mice, and had evil thoughts in his heart, so he cast a huge poison in Li Sheng’s food. Li Sheng staggered back, put down his things in the hall, and fell asleep on the chair. In his sleep, he seemed to have led thousands of troops to conquer the Jinren, and he seemed to hear a scream of pain, and he seemed to hear the sad farewell voice of the second sister, and he seemed to see the resentful eyes of the sixth cub and the fifth sister.
When I woke up early in the morning, I saw rat corpses everywhere in the hall and garden, one in the east and one in the west. Li Sheng seemed to be struck by lightning, and staggered to search among the rat corpses, but he could not find the bones of the sixth cub, second sister, and fifth sister…