By mid-May, most families in Sujia Village were busy and had begun planting their rice. Sujia Village was relatively far north, so they could generally only grow a single crop per year. Thus, May and June was the busiest time of year for them.
Many members of the Su family had just finished raising seedlings for the Luo family, so doing this same kind of fieldwork again made them feel a bit exhausted in their hearts. Of course, although it was a little exhausting, when they thought of all the money they earned in the past few months they didn’t feel tired at all, instead, their bodies seemed full of energy.
On a rainy day in mid May, Su Tang took Su Nuo and boarded a carriage back to Sujia Village to look for Su Yongqiang.
Recently, Su Yongqiang’s family had been very busy. This matter could be traced back to Su Yongqiang’s daughter, Su Xue. Originally, Su Xue was supposed to get married shortly after the New Year. Everything had been set, and even the auspicious day had been picked out but, unexpectedly, Su Tang’s seedling business had appeared. Su Yongqiang and Madam Zhou both thought for their young daughter and felt it would be best to delay Su Xue’s marriage long enough to do this job so she could earn some money for her dowry.
Su Xue had agreed. She also felt that she would be able to be more confident in her new family if she could bring along a larger dowry. Thus, Su Yongqiang had discussed things with the other party and in the end a new auspicious day two months later was picked for the wedding. This way Su Xue would be able to earn some money raising seedlings and her dowry would naturally be more generous than before.
Although her future husband’s family would have to wait another two months to bring home a wife, they had no dissatisfaction with the premise that Su Xue’s dowry would be larger.
And now that they had finally finished raising the seedlings for the Luo family, Su Yongqiang and his family could begin work on Su Xue’s marriage. At the same time, it was nearly planting season so they all needed to work in the fields as well. Although there was a large number of men in the family, these two tasks were enough to keep them all so busy that their feet were barely touching the ground.
Madam Zhou was busy going over the dowry list with Su Xue when Su Tang visited their door. Although farmers like them were not as fastidious about marriage as large families, they still raised decent girls and sent along a dowry list on the wedding day which clearly stated what the dowry contained.
“There are two cabinets and a large dresser. Apart from these, you will bring this hairpin and earrings from when mom married. Also, your father and I won’t keep any of the money you earned from raising seedlings, you will take all that silver with you. In addition, mom will give you this pair of silver bracelets, make sure you keep them well. Although your new husband’s family are said to be honest and kind, make sure to pay attention to these things. Don’t let anyone fool them away from you.”
Madam Zhou explained everything to her daughter in as much detail as she could. After all, this was the little daughter she had raised up by her side since she was young so, even though she had carefully selected this son-in-law from thousands of people and made repeated inquiries to make sure he had no problems, she still couldn’t help but be worried and wanted to give anything she could give.
Su Xue’s eyes were a little red. “Don’t give me so many things, if my brother and sister-in-law find out it won’t be good.” Su Xue was a sensible girl, and she could tell that her mother was giving her too much for her dowry, more than any dowry any girl within tens of miles would bring with her when they married. And when she heard it was so much, she was worried her sister-in-law would be unhappy if she heard too.
“This is what mom is giving you, just take it. I want to see if they dare to say anything.” Madam Zhou snorted. She really wanted to see if her son’s wife who was always eating her rice would dare to complain. After all, Madam Zhou knew that when a daughter married out she could only live under her new mother-in-law’s hands, and only by having some money in her pockets would she be able to have some strength to speak.
The mother and daughter pair were whispering together in the main room while, at the same time, Madam Zhou’s three daughters-in-law were busy and bustling about. Just then, Madam Miao heard a knock at the door and hurried to go see who it was. When she saw it was Su Tang and Su Nuo, she immediately smiled and greeted, “Aunt Tang, Uncle Nuo, you’re both here.”
“En, are your parents home?” Su Tang replied with a smile.
Before Madam Miao could answer, Madam Qin and Su Xue both appeared behind her. Su Xue saw who it was and saluted Su Tang and Su Nuo from afar before quickly going back inside the house. This was actually normal because Su Xue was about to get married, which meant it wasn’t appropriate for her to get too close to Su Nuo and Su Tang, who were both still in their mourning period, for fear of spreading bad luck to the wedding.
Su Tang and Su Nuo also knew of this custom, so they didn’t say anything. At the same time, Madam Miao hastened to open the door and invite the sibling pair inside. Niu’er, the carriage driver, was also with them, and when Madam Lu saw that her eyes flickered. Currently, there were no men inside the house, so it wasn’t quite appropriate for a male stranger to come over, thus, she hurried over to the family fields to call one of the men back.
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