Su Tang had to get these people to reflect on their own attitudes. After all, no one in the village would come over and demand to know how other people were making their money. They were all individuals who were living their own lives, and who among them was not desperately trying to make money for their own families.
Because Su Tang and Su Nuo were now living on their own, whether or not they could make money, how much money they could make, how they made their money, and how they spent their money after making it were all personal matters that only their own family needed to be privy too.
A families’ money was that families’ business. No matter how young a child was, they would be able to remember that simple fact clearly.
Su Tang was also trying to get these people used to this idea. After all, she planned to earn much more money in the future. Was she going to have to explain how she earned her money every time someone came over to ask?
“When other people buy new clothes, why don’t I see you all crowding around them and forcing them to explain how they made the money to buy the fabric?”
“My brother and I may be young but that doesn’t mean everyone can just bully and step on us.”
“In the future, if any of you still want to question my brother or me, if it’s about stealing money or anything else, don’t talk so much nonsense, just directly to town and report your suspicions to the officials there. I’m sure the officials will investigate thoroughly.”
“Although my brother and I have never had a good life, our character isn’t so poor as to be greedy for other people’s things.”
Su Tang spoke sharply and clearly expressed her attitude. If there were more of these kinds of false accusations in the future, she and her brother would never be afraid. And any people trying to frame them should be ready to be slapped.
After saying all this, Su Tang suddenly looked over at Madam Wu and her lips curved up sarcastically. She asked the older woman directly, “Madam Wu, you said you lost thirty copper coins?”
“Fortunately, although I was recently thrown into the river, I still clearly remember that my brother and I seemed to live in the west barn when we were staying in your household. Back then, you would only let my brother and I go to the barn, the kitchen, or outside the house. So did you put your money in the kitchen? Or was it in the pigsty? Or maybe you put it in the barn?”
Some things were only known within their own family and not to outsiders. For instance, the exact conditions of how Su Tang and her brother lived while they were living under Su Yonggui’s roof. It was impossible for an outsider to know unless they were very close to Su Yonggui’s family.
In the past, Su Dani was a fool who only knew how to work so outsiders would only ever hear Madam Wu’s deceptions regarding her circumstances. They would just assume that even if life wasn’t too good for the children because they had a stepmother, it shouldn’t be too bad because at least their biological grandparents were still there.
However, just because Su Dani never said anything about their circumstances, that didn’t mean that Su Tang was willing to be silent. If Madam Wu dared to say that she or her brother stole her money, well, first people would have to see if that was even possible. Because that family had always treated Su Dani and Su Dalang like animals, the siblings had never had any chance to enter the main house or the other big rooms at all.
Thirty copper coins was a lot of money and Madam Wu was not a person who was exceptionally rich. Would she leave her money laying around, somewhere not inside the house, in a place where it could have been stolen by them? She really wanted to come out and falsely accuse people without even the most basic consideration of the facts? Too bad not everyone was as stupid as she was.
“Even if my brother and I wanted to sneak in and steal your money, Madam Wu, do you tend to leave your money lying around in plain sight? Do you know where the money was when you lost it?”
Su Tang questioned Madam Wu point by point and Madam Wu secretly hated her in her heart. How did she make such a blunder? When did this dead girl suddenly become so fierce? Was it really because she had survived disaster?
“No, that money was from my dowry and I always put it away. But, today, I found that my money was gone.” Madam Wu struggled to explain.
“Really, then why is it that I remember clearly that, on the day you told Madam Zhao to send my brother and I to the River God, you gave your daughter a copper coin to buy some candy?”
“On that day, a peddler from town came to our village and sold his candies, two pieces for one copper coin. I’m sure many of the other villagers still remember this. When you took out the money to give to your daughter that day, the money wasn’t missing then, right? Or else you would have said something before now, wouldn’t you?”
tl note: I don’t like how Su Tang calls Su Dani ‘dumb’ in this chapter (since Su Dani was 8 and being abused by her family and all) but that’s the word she uses I think… maybe I’m missing some sort of nuance I dunno.