In order to appease Liu Qing, Baozi Xishi did not go home. She didn’t dare ask the head of the cell to open the cell door so that she could be locked together with Liu Qing. So she leaned against the wall and stayed there for the night.
The next morning, loud voices woke everyone up.
The few constables who sent them to the cell yesterday were here again.
Only this time, they were here to bring them to court.
As soon as Ji Wei and the other three arrived at the court, Lu Zhanhong slammed his jingtang block on the table, together with the mighty voice of the yamen, under the rhythmic percussion of the sticks, startled away the chattering voices outside the county yamen.
Everyone quieted down.
“Bring the witnesses to the court!”
Lu Zhanhong shouted loudly, and Sheriff Zhu led three people into the court.
Ji Wei knows the first two of them when he was selling pancakes on West Street, their stall was near him.
One sells bean curd, and the other sells hand sew cloth shoes.
The one selling bean curd got a lot of sales due to Ji Wei’s pancakes popularity, and he has a good relationship with Ji Wei. As for the woman who sold cloth shoes, she too had some contacts with Ji Wei.
The ox cart that went to Zhang’s house to collect bricks was owned by the woman’s husband to cultivate his land.
If it weren’t for the fact that these two had a lot of dealings with Ji Wei, they probably wouldn’t want to come all the way to the court to testify for him.
Ji Wei was grateful, thinking that he had to repay them well when he got out of this quagmire.
After the three people reported their names, Lu Zhanhong began to inquire one by one.
The woman selling tofu was about forty years old, and she had a very smart mouth. She usually sells tofu with her mouth. Although she was a little afraid of Lu Zhanhong at this time, she still raised her chest and explained the situation of yesterday in detail: “…after he took out the knife, he draws it against Ji Wei’s neck. When I saw the blood, I ducked to the side, for fear of getting into trouble. Later, Ji Wei took the opportunity to bring him down and scuffled with the other two, and all of them couldn’t get up in the end.”
The woman who sells cloth shoes is duller, she gave a simple explanation of the matter, it is not much different from what the bean curd seller said.
Seeing this, Lin Qing secretly think that it was not good, he kowtowed and shouted: “Master Zhang, although the three of us are reckless and impulsive, there was a reason for that! Baozi Xishi was insulted by Ji Wei, and she asked the eldest brother for help. The eldest brother was very concerned and thus lost his sense of proportions!”
Lu Zhanhong slapped the jingtang block violently, “Presumptuous! I haven’t asked you anything yet, how dare you speak!”
Lin Qing immediately lowered his head and did not dare to speak anymore.
Lu Zhanhong looked at Baozi Xishi, “Chen Shi, let me ask you, how is this matter related to you? Speak up!”
Baozi Xishi wiped the corners of her eyes and said miserably: “Sir, Ji Wei came out to set up a stall a few days ago, and I was bullied by him every day. As I can’t stand it anymore, I rebuffed him. He got angry, not only did he humiliate me, he slandered me in front of everyone. In order to preserve my reputation, I keep quiet. Later, I spoke to Brother Qing about this matter, and Brother Qing wanted to stand up for me, and that’s what happened later. Your Excellency If Ji Wei is not punished, I will …. I will seek death to save my name!”
“Enough! Stop crying in court!” Lu Zhanhong’s face became darker, and he looked at Ji Wei with an unkind look, “Ji Wei, what else do you have to say?”
Ji Wei smiled calmly and said unhurriedly, “I beg your lord to allow me to ask Chen Shi a few questions.”
“I would like to ask what is the relationship between Chen Shi and Liu Qing? Why did she ask Liu Qing to come forward for him?”
These words hit Baozi Xishi straight in her guts and she immediately panicked, hesitating and not able to answer.
Lu Zhanhong repeated Ji Wei’s question again and asked her to answer quickly, so she had no choice but answered: “Brother Qing…and me…… I regard him as my brother, yes! Brother!”
Baozi Xishi made a tentative decision and looked up at Lu Zhanhong. But when she met his sharp eyes, she panicked and couldn’t help but bow her head.
Ji Wei asked again: “If he is your brother, you live alone and your parents are dead. Why did Liu Qing go in and out of your house frequently, and stayed several hours? You keep saying about your reputation, don’t you know that this will ruin your reputation?”
“I…” Baozi Xishi was speechless when asked by Ji Wei and subconsciously looked at Lin Qing.
He taught her word by word last night, but he never teach her how to answer these questions.
It’s a pity that Lin Qing had his back to her, he wasn’t able to see her. Even if he could see her, under Lu Zhanhong’s eyes, he wouldn’t be able to give her any hints.
Baozi Xi Shi couldn’t hold back the tears, she stretched out her hand and wiped it away, choked, and said, “Sir, is it wrong for Brother Liu to take more care of me when he sees that I have no parent and is an orphan?”
“But when I was still in the Qinglong Gang, I often heard Liu Qing say that he had a mistress on West Street. She is very young and beautiful. He was afraid that his wife would be jealous, so he didn’t dare to speak up.” Ji Wei’s tone has always been low so far The time suddenly changed, and he raised his voice and asked, “Baozi Xi Shi, aren’t you from West Street?”
Baozi Xi Shi screamed: “You lie!”
The ordinary people who were watching the hearing outside couldn’t help buzzing and discussing when they heard such things. Baozi Xishi was not far from them, those words drifted into her ears, her body suddenly stiffened, and her mind went blank.
She is not married yet, and Liu Qing is a married man. If the matter is exposed at this time…
Baozi Xishi shook her head and cried loudly: “Sir, we are innocent. I never had an affair with him. My lord, you have to believe me!”
Lu Zhanhong said solemnly: “Ji Wei, women’s reputation should not be smeared at will. Do you have any evidence for this? You must know that if Chen Shi really has an affair with Liu Qing, in accordance with the laws of the Qian Dynasty, she will have to be paraded in the street naked.”
Ji Wei turned around and pointed at Baozi Xishi, “Lord, please take a look. Baozi Xishi has many scars on her forehead and neck. If my guess is correct, she may have more scars on her body, please ask a woman to check it!”
If it wasn’t for the rush yesterday, Baozi Xi Shi would not had pull down the silk scarf. As she curled up in the cell last night, Ji Wei had carefully checked her out.
The bruises on her body had faded, but many marks were still visible.
According to Ji Wei’s guess, they are left behind by Liu Qing’s violence.
In this dynasty, there has always been a strict law on the matter of unlawful relationships between men and women.
Once the adultery between the two is revealed, Liu Qing still has a way to live, but Baozi Xishi will be paraded in the street naked, she would no longer have the face to live on.
As soon as she thinks of this, Baozi Xishi trembles in fear.
“My lord, my lord, the bruises on my body were caused by falling, not hitting, not… not…”
Baozi Xishi whimpered, crying miserably.
Liu Qing was taught by Lin Qing that he should not speak today, and all the testimony will be done by Bao Zi Xishi. But he was really angry when he heard it, and suddenly shouted: “Shut up!”
Bao Zi Xishi twitched and suddenly held her breath.
Lu Zhanhong was furious when he heard the sound, and dropped a red sticker, scolding Liu Qing for contempt of the court and the magistrate, and gave the order for him to be beaten twenty times.
The two constables on the side came out quickly, regardless of Liu Qing’s struggles, they dragged him to the backyard for punishment.
With this foreshadowing, Baozi Xishi was even more afraid.
“It was just a brawl. Who would have thought that it would end up so complicated.” Ji Wei sighed, “In order to prove my innocence, please call Zhang Xing, Liu Kui, Chen Sanwu to testify for what I have said.”
When Baozi Xishi heard this, she was so frightened that she immediately shouted: “Sir, although Ji Wei had quarreled with me that day, he did not do anything wrong to me. It was I who was dissatisfied with Ji Wei’s repeated harassment for protection money. “
Before she could figure out what to do next, Lu Zhanhong interrupted her, “Ms. Chen, have you made up your mind?”
Baozi Xishi glanced at Ji Wei and nodded vigorously.
She thought, that as long as she didn’t mention her relationship with Liu Qing, it wouldn’t be too bad.
But she didn’t know that when her confession changed, and the nature of the whole case changed again.
The charge for Liu Qing and others has changed from fighting injustice to gang revenge. If the former is considered true, a fine of a few silver taels would be enough to settle the case. If it is the latter, it is something that Lu Zhanhong hates most in his tenure, a one-year imprisonment is the least.
Baozi Xi Shi knew nothing about these things, and when she altered her confession, Lin Qing was so anxious that his face was covered in sweat, and he was trembling all over because of her stupidity. He wanted to strangle Bao Zi Xi Shi to death.
When Liu Qing was dragged in from the backcourt, Lu Zhanhong had already made a decision.
Liu Qing was sentenced to one year in prison for being the principal offender.
Lin Qing and Li Erbai were accomplices and were sentenced to three months.
As for Ji Wei, just apologize to Baozi Xishi.
After coming out of the county office, Ji Wei felt relieved.
If Baozi Xishi insisted that it was Ji Wei who ruined her reputation, and she had asked Liu Qing to help her out, Ji Wei would not be able to do anything to her.
After all, the witnesses Ji Wei mentioned were all good friends of the Qinglong Gang. Even if they do come, they would not necessarily help him.
The breakthrough in this matter was originally on Baozi Xi Shi, as she was too timid and was deceived by Ji Weiyi, so she flatly denied it and changed her confession.
That’s why Ji Weiyi requested to ask Baozi Xishi questions.
Only by getting to her, then there may be a way out.
Ji Wei bowed to the two women and said gratefully, “Thank you for coming all the way to testify for me. If it weren’t for you, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have come out so easily.”
“It’s nothing, you have helped us a lot during this time. Those people are really hateful, it’s good that they are sent to prison.” The woman who sold tofu said happily.
“You have to thank Aunty Lin. If she wasn’t willing to use an ox cart to pull me here, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to come.”
Ji Wei wanted to say something more, but Aunty Lin didn’t like it. She waved her hands and told them to get on the ox cart, saying that she needs to rush home to make lunch, lest her man goes home without food.
Yesterday’s farce was known to everyone.
Now everybody knows that Ji Wei, the bully on East and West Second Street, has completely reformed, threatened to break and quit the Qinglong Gang, fought with them, was arrested, and sent to the county office.
Therefore, as Ji Wei passed by in an ox cart, many passers-by and vendors took the initiative to greet him, which was completely different from the situation when no one cared and everyone was afraid of him.