Chapter 144 The method of poisoning
While Ji Danqing was treating Gu Xiren’s injuries in the room, everyone else was sitting silently in the hall.
After old madam had calmed down, there was nothing else to distract her mind. She couldn’t help but tear up after thinking about how the once harmonious home had become like this. Afraid of being seen, she lowered her head to cover her tears. But soon all the people present found out that she was crying, but no one comforted her. Most of them quietly retreated to the outside.
Crying was also a good thing!
At least she could vent the pent-up frustration from her heart. That way, she wouldn’t suffocate in the frustrations and become sick. At such a time, the person who couldn’t cry out suffered the most.
As Shu Huan walked into the courtyard, the voice of reciting Buddhist scriptures for the dead was clearer. She stood under the pine tree and was absent-minded for a while. Afterwards, she saw Lin shi who had a half-swollen face and was full of fatigue coming from the outside with two maids beside her.
“Madam.” Shu Huan had to bow slightly and greeted her.
Lin shi nodded and asked, “Is old madam inside?”
These words seemed superfluous, but Shu Huan knew that she (L) was inquiring if it was convenient to go in at this moment. If she (L) went inside and happened to bump onto old madam losing her temper, wasn’t she having her nose rubbed in the dirt?
- To have one’s nose rubbed in the dirt: be snubbed /got the cold shoulder.
Shu Huan smiled and said, “Old madam isn’t in a good mood but she has probably stopped crying now. Madam can just go in and comfort her. Oh, by the way, Xihe is also in there.”
Lin shi probed with her head to look inside. Through the semi-closed door of the hall, she vaguely saw Gu Xihe wiping old madam’s tears with a handkerchief. She couldn’t help but frown and she touched her bruised cheeks. After she hesitated for a while, she went inside with the maids.
Gu Xiran looked at her back, shook his head and lowered his voice, “If it hasn’t been for her, it wouldn’t have been as bad as it is now.”
Shu Huan sighed that the hateful (wo)man also had a pitiful side. Lin shi was the main wife but didn’t feel secure. If she had to compete with the other concubines for favor, she naturally thought that in the future her own son would have to fight for property with the other concubine’s sons too. Therefore, she thought of helping her son earlier in the process, but didn’t expect that it would turn into this tragic situation.
In fact, she (L) thought wrongly about this. Gu Xihe was the son of the main wife and was very favored by old madam. She didn’t need to worry about anything. She might as well be a content main wife and complain sometimes about her bitterness while doing nothing; because if something happens to Gu Da or old madam, she would be the one to suffer the most!
As Shu Huan thought of this, she couldn’t help but laugh self-mockingly. This must be the so-called the person on the spot is baffled, the onlooker sees clear!
- The person on the spot is baffled, the onlooker sees clear: The onlooker sees more of the game.
After a moment of silence, she quietly asked Gu Xiran, “How do you know that little third is innocent and not Gu Xuan’s accomplice?”
Gu Xiran looked at the blue sky. After hearing this, he was silent for a while and then said, “First, you have to figure out how Gu Xuan has poisoned Fang shi.”
Shu Huan was somewhat surprised, “You know?”
“Mm,” Gu Xiran smiled at her. “Didn’t you already thought that the cutlery may have been poisoned? Since there was nothing wrong with the tea leaves, was there also nothing wrong with the water?”
“Impossible!” Shu Huan blurted. “Water from the well is used in the whole residence. If you want to poison the water, then you have to put a lot of white arsenic in it. Furthermore, doing this, Fang shi wouldn’t be the only one to get poisoned!
Gu Xiran slightly narrowed his eyes, “Do you have to use the water from the well to make tea?”
Shu Huan was stunned. She was about to ask what water could be used aside from water from the well, but then she saw Ji Danqing coming out from the inside and immediately remembered his habit of using dew to make tea. She couldn’t help but asks, “Could it be that Fang shi uses dew to make tea?”
Ji Danqing just happened to hear what she just asked. He came forward and interjected, “Do you mean that the white arsenic was placed in the dew?”
Gu Xiran smiled. “Correct.”
Ji Danqing immediately frowned, thought for a moment, and suddenly said, “That’s right! There was one time when the maid made a gyokuro tea (shaded green tea) when I came to check eldest young mistress. I mentioned that if you collect the dew from the honeysuckle every morning and uses it to make the tea, the tea will taste better, and it has the effect of clearing heat too.”
“Honeysuckle!” Shu Huan immediately remembered that bunch of honeysuckles that she saw the day before.
“Then, it couldn’t be wrong!” Gu Xiran nodded and said, “Little Xuan obviously knows eldest sister-in-law‘s habit of making tea. As long as the white arsenic was placed on the honeysuckle flower, she (F) can be poisoned without anybody knowing it.”
“Third young miss’s thoughts are too meticulous!” Ji Danqing shook his head and said, “Only a small pot of dew can be collected every day, just enough for eldest young mistress to drink. She (GX) isn’t even afraid of others drinking the tea and get poisoned.”
Shu Huan was still puzzled, “But what does this have to do with Gu Xiren being innocent or not?”
“You probably didn’t pay attention.” Gu Xiran said. “I saw it. Yesterday, when eldest sister-in-law fell down in front of everyone and was anxiously moved to the inner room by people, master had shouted a sentence “be careful with the child”. At that moment, the look on the face of Gu Xiren was very surprised. He looked like he didn’t know that eldest sister-in-law was pregnant.”
Shu Huan tried to recall, but she had no impression of it and shook her head. Even though she didn’t have any impression of it, but when she thought carefully about it, Gu Xiran’s judgement was reasonable. The family was busy with funeral affairs. Therefore, the matter of Fang shi’s pregnancy wouldn’t be widely publicized. Moreover, Gu Xiren didn’t often socialize with other people. It wasn’t strange that he didn’t know about this matter much earlier.
With this in mind, she understood it thoroughly when she thought about it again. “That’s right! The target of poisoning is eldest sister-in-law, or better said, it’s aimed at the child in her belly. Then, it’s natural for her (GX) to first know that she’s pregnant….”
Gu Xiran nodded, “The dew is collected early in the morning. Eldest sister-in-law is poisoned during the daytime yesterday. Then the specific time of placing the poison on the flowers was the night before. The night we just returned to the residence!”
“Gu Xiren only knows that eldest sister-in-law is expecting yesterday, so the timeline isn’t right. However, little Xuan knows the day before….” Shu Huan sighed. The person that placed the poison could only be Gu Xuan, but I didn’t expect her to act so fast!
Gu Xiran shook his head and sighed, “Hence, I can only deduce that little third is innocent. If they’ve colluded, killing one person is killing, killing two persons is also killing. It doesn’t make sense that little Xuan didn’t tell him that eldest sister-in-law is pregnant. Furthermore, the killing method of both times is exactly the same. Obviously, it was done by the same person. Both times, it’s killing without being on the scene. The job was done clean and nimble, and not much evidence could be found. If we didn’t accidentally find a small clue, it would be impossible to guess the murderer!”
After hearing this, Ji Danqing was very remorseful. “This matter is also my fault. At that time, if I haven’t said to use dew to make tea, maybe….”
“It’s not your fault.” Gu Xiran interrupted him, “Even if you didn’t mention it, if little Xuan wants to poison somebody, she naturally will have other ways to do sp. It can’t be prevented.”
The truth of the matter was revealed little by little. Shu Huan didn’t even feel the excitement of solving the case. She only felt that it was very frightful!
How old was Gu Xuan?
She merely reached the coming of age! Honestly speaking, she was still a child. She actually had such a vicious heart, careful thoughts and quick reactions. Without a trace, two people had already been poisoned and killed. She had turned the whole family upside down!
- Coming of age: In ancient times, this refers to a girl when she turns fifteen. This means that the girl can get married.
Shu Huan smiled bitterly. Was the environment that affected the person? You had to know, when she was Gu Xuan’s age, her head was only filled with comics, snacks and etc. She was very naïve and ignorant!