And on top of that, Madam Wu had always been going around and complaining about how miserable she was and how hard it was to be a stepmother back then, which convinced some of the villagers. So, in the end, when Su Tang said this sentence, all the villagers were a bit shocked. Who could have known that these two siblings could barely even get two bites of rice back when they were living with Su Yonggui?
Su Tang’s words were eerily specific, mentioning exactly how little rice they had been fed back then, so it sounded like something that really happened.
At first, Madam Zhao hadn’t wanted to say anything because of her husband’s warning. However, by this point, Wang Changhe had already left and Chen Xiuxiu had gotten off scot-free, so in her mind, everything should be about settled. But, unexpectedly, Su Tang was still clinging to Madam Zhang’s matter without letting go! Madam Zhao really couldn’t just sit still in this situation.
“You shameless, cheap, little bitch, what kind of nonsense are you spouting? Is there anyone who can’t see that this bitch stole your food but now wants to blame it on poor Sanshou’s wife? Our family at least raised you two siblings for many years, but you’re ungrateful and don’t even know how to help your family instead of an outsider…” Madam Zhao directly pointed at Su Tang’s face and began to scold her loudly.
However, Su Tang’s face remained expressionless despite the old woman’s rant: “Sister-in-law, why are you so anxious? Are you worried I might ask why that daughter-in-law of yours is so knowledgeable about the prices in the pawnshop?”
Even though she had been pointed at and scolded, Su Tang’s expression was normal and her tone was light, even as she cut through and directly pulled out the key point. That point being: Madam Zhang had mentioned exactly how much money she would get for an iron pot at the pawnshop.
This information wasn’t something an ordinary housewife would know. It was information that would normally only come up if a family was especially poor and desperate to survive and had ended up selling their iron pot, which clearly didn’t apply to Madam Zhang. And, as for any other reasons a person might know about the specific prices at the pawnshop, well none of them were any good for a supposedly ‘honest’ villager.
Su Tang had some of the original owner Su Dani’s memories, and she could recall clearly that there had been many times when things had “disappeared” after Madam Zhang had married into the family, but she and her brother had always taken the blame.
Madam Zhao was brainless so she didn’t grasp the point Su Tang was making, but Su Yonggui immediately reacted and even the nearby Madam Wu’s eyes flickered. Madam Wu suddenly remembered how one time, one of her earrings was missing and she had directly suspected that it to be the work of the two brats. However, even after beating them bloody, the earring had never materialized, and she had been forced to let the matter go.
Back then, Madam Wu hadn’t really thought anything of it, only hating the two brats a little more and acting a bit more protective of her things out of fear that the brats might try to take them away.
However, when she heard Su Tang’s words now, she began to reflect on the situation. No wonder the brats had never coughed up the earring even after being beaten, it turned out that Madam Zhang had been the thief all along!
Su Tang looked up at Su Yonggui with eyes full of sarcasm, feeling happy in her heart. Didn’t this old man love his face? Let’s see what kind of face he would have left after she was through with him.
On the side, Su Yongqiang also clearly understood what Su Tang meant, and he sent a disdainful glance at Madam Zhang. It was truly a humiliation for Su Yonggui to let such a woman marry into his family, she was really losing face for the whole Su family.
“Enough. There is no room in the Su family for a wife who can’t keep her hands clean. Although the Su family may not be as good as it used to be, it is still a family with rules. Yonggui, you need to keep an eye on the woman in your household. If you let them run wild and dirty the reputation of the Su family, then don’t blame me for being rude.”
Now that Wang Changhe was gone and Chen Xiuxiu had been pardoned thanks to Su Tang’s words, this whole thing had become an internal matter of the Su family. Thus, as the patriarch of the family, Su Yongqiang had the right to take control of the situation, and he certainly had some things to say.
The crime of theft could be big or small depending on a variety of factors. And, although Su Yongqiang had often lamented that the current generation of the Su family had no good seedlings who could study and learn, in his heart he still had hope. After all, it seemed that Su Nuo had currently found himself a teacher and, even if the current generation never managed anything, there would still be more children and grandchildren in the future.
However, if there was a criminal in the Su family, even a criminal who was only guilty of a small crime like petty theft, it would have an indisputable impact on the whole family’s reputation. From then on, it would be very difficult for the children and grandchildren of the Su family to ever pass the imperial examination, and even if they managed to pass it would definitely affect their official career.
In the current era, a family would prosper or fall together, so Su Yongqiang was very serious in his warning to Su Yonggui and he wanted to make it very clear that it was imperative that the Su family did not end up bearing a reputation as thieves.