Chapter 106: Compromise
There was silence in the Qiao family house. Jiang Ye looked at her husband, Qiao Wang, in confusion. Qiao Yu was so frightened that she hid in a corner, afraid that she would be implicated.
“The house is Father’s house! What do you mean by yours and his!” Qiao Wang expressed his thoughts and also took the chance to remind everyone that the house did not belong to them. If they wanted to pay for it, they had to consider it carefully. This statement made the eldest son, Qiao Fu, and his wife, Liu Ying, take notice.
There were a total of three houses in the Qiao family now. One was the Qiao family’s old residence, which belonged to Qiao Zhuang, and the other house belonged to Qiao Fu. Although the Qiao family did not have much money, Qiao Fu treated his wife quite well. His wife, Liu Ying, was an eloquent woman, she helped out with the family as well as went out to work, and was generally diligent. Back then, he had spent 100 dollars to marry her and they managed to build a house together after all these years with some difficulties.
The last house was the current residence of Qiao Gui and Wang Qin. Initially, they all agreed that the family would not give any betrothal gifts when the fourth son, Qiao Liang, married his wife but rather, the couple would be given them the house to live in when the time came. In the end, Wang Qin took a fancy to the house and snatched it away. Although Qiao Liang was married now, he still lived with Qiao Zhuang.
The fifth son, Qiao Gang, had just reached marriageable age. The family found a matchmaker from the neighboring village to introduce him to a good family who said that they would be giving a dowry. However, they wanted the Qiao family to give them 300 dollars as the betrothal gift. So while the 300 dollars were not even prepared yet, they were now saddled with another payment of 150 dollars.
Qiao Gang hurriedly went to Qiao Zhuang’s side and said pitifully, “Father, I still have to get married. You can’t give everything to second brother’s family. If there’s really no other way, let’s go and talk to Qiao Mei and see if we can just owe her first. My marriage is more important.”
Wang Qin was unhappy when she heard this. “Hey, you can’t say that. You can get a wife anytime. If you really can’t, I’ll find you a nice girl later. You can’t just watch while my family has nowhere to live.”
Wang Qin turned to look at Qiao Gui, her husband. Qiao Gui was a simple man who did not know what to say and Wang Qin quietly poked his thigh.
“That’s right! That’s right, Father! We can’t sleep outside, otherwise we’d just be a joke!” Qiao Gui finally understood his wife’s intentions this time round, so he was not really that stupid.
Qiao Gang was about to retort when Qiao Zhuang shouted, “Stop arguing! You’re all useless!”
The house went quiet and there was no sound at all. Qiao Yu, who was standing in the corner, got so frightened that she lost her balance and fell to the ground. It was only then that everyone noticed her. Liu Ying thought for a moment and said to Qiao Yu, “Xiao Yu, don’t you usually get on well with Qiao Mei? Go and talk to her and see if there’s any way for us not to have to give her 150 dollars.”
Everyone looked at Qiao Yu, who looked back at them in panic because they were like a pack of hungry wolves staring at a thin goat. Qiao Yu quickly stepped forward and said, “I’m not that close to her! Last time! Last time, she even beat me out of the door with a big stick! She said that she won’t let me go near again! If I go near again, she’ll beat me to death! Believe me! It’s useless even if I go!”
Not long ago, Qiao Yu had indeed gone over once to borrow some grains from Qiao Mei. In the end, before she could enter, Qiao Mei had scared her off with a big stick and she did not even dare to look back. When she returned home, she got a beating from the Qiao family as well. Qiao Yu looked at Qiao Zhuang in panic.
Qiao Zhuang sighed and thought for a moment before saying to Qiao Gui and Wang Qin, “The family will give you 80 dollars and that’s all. The remainder needs to be given to your fifth brother for him to get married. As for the rest of what you need, you have to find a way to make up for it yourself.” With that, he chased these few members of the Qiao family away.
Wang Qin put the 80 dollars into her pocket and went home quickly. Actually, she had the 150 dollars that was required, but she could not allow herself to take all of it out for nothing. After all, the house belonged to the Qiao family. If the eldest son, Qiao Fu, came to ask for the house, she could not count on her man for help. He was just a simple person who could not win against the eldest son and the third son. This 80 dollars could be considered enough to cover some cost. Wang Qin went home happily, and when Liu Ying saw Wang Qin’s expression, she secretly made her own plans.
“Did you see that your second brother’s Wang Qin actually has money, but she just wants to cheat the old man out of his money. We have to be careful.”
Qiao Fu nodded and went home with his wife, Liu Ying.