When Yü-ts’un heard their appeal, he flew into a fiery rage. “What!” he exclaimed.
“How could a case of such gravity have taken place as the murder of a man, and the culprits have been allowed to run away scot-free, without being arrested?
Issue warrants, and despatch constables to at once lay hold of the relatives of the bloodstained criminals and bring them to be examined by means of torture.”
Thereupon he espied a Retainer, who was standing by the judgment-table, wink at him, signifying that he should not issue the warrants. Yü-t’sun gave way to secret suspicion, and felt compelled to desist.
Withdrawing from the Court-room, he retired into a private chamber, from whence he dismissed his followers, only keeping this single Retainer to wait upon him.
The Retainer speedily advanced and paid his obeisance. “Your worship,” he said smiling,
“has persistently been rising in official honours, and increasing in wealth so that, in the course of about eight or nine years, you have forgotten me.”
“Your face is, however, extremely familiar,” observed Yü-ts’un, “but I cannot, for the moment, recall who you are.”
“Honourable people forget many things,” remarked the Retainer, as he smiled.
“What! Have you even forgotten the place where you started in life? and do you not remember what occurred,
in years gone by, in the Hu Lu Temple?”
Yü-ts’un was filled with extreme astonishment; and past events then began to dawn upon him.
The fact is that this Retainer had been at one time a young priest in the Hu Lu temple; but as, after its destruction by fire, he had no place to rest his frame, he remembered how light and easy was, after all,