Wine Shop Incident, part 6

Henchman Chen walked up to Yu’s body and kicked it hard, sending it rolling over. Blood continued to gush from the wound. 

     “You big moron, how dare you insult our Young Master? Now you’ve learned your lesson.” 

But Lin Pingzhi had never killed anyone before. His face turned pale with fright. “Escort Shi…what shall we do? I never…I didn’t mean to kill him.” His voice trembled. 

Escort Shi pondered on the matter, “The Fortune Prestige Escort House has been around for three generations. Getting into fights and having people die while on the job is simply unavoidable. But normally the victims are either bandits or unorthodox members of the Martial World, and these fights usually happen in some remote mountain or deep forest. Afterwards, we simply bury the corpses and forget about the whole thing. Of course, the bandits would never go to the authorities and report the killing. But this time, the victim is obviously not a bandit, and the scene is close to a populated area. Murder is no small crime. Even the son of a governor or mayor wouldn’t be able to get off easily if they committed such a crime, let alone the Young Master of an Escort House.” Reflecting upon these facts, he came to a decision.

      “Let’s move the body into the shop,” he said with a frown. “It’s too close to the road here. We don’t want anyone to see this.” Luckily it was already quite late, and there was no one passing by. Henchmen Bai and Chen hauled the body into the shop. 

       “Young Master, do you have any money on you?” Escort Shi whispered to Lin Pingzhi. 

      “Yeah, I do!” Lin Pingzhi answered anxiously, as he took all of his money out in a hurry. There were about twenty taels of silver in all.  

Lin Pingzhi gave twenty taels of silver to escort Shi
Lin Pingzhi gave twenty taels of silver to escort Shi

        Escort Shi took the silver and walked into the shop. Setting the money on the table, he said, “Old Sa, this outsider was harassing your granddaughter, and our Young Master was just trying to help. He didn’t want to kill the man, but he had no choice. All of us witnessed the entire event. The incident originated because of you, so if anybody blows the whistle, no one will get away with it. Take the money and just forget about the whole thing. We’ll get rid of the body and pretend nothing ever happened here. Do you understand?” 

        “Yes, yes,” Old Sa nodded. 

     “Killing a few gangsters is a piece of cake for us when we escort cargos,” Escort Zheng exclaimed. “These two Sichuan rats behaved so suspiciously, I bet they were either burglars or rapists. They must have come to Fuzhou looking for crimes to commit. Our Young Master saw through their disguises, and took care of them for the safety of the town. He should have gone to the authorities for a reward, but our Young Master does not want to go through all that trouble, and he doesn’t really care for this kind of fame. You, old friend, had better keep your mouth shut. If you let anything out, we will say that you are their accomplice and that you were just using this wine shop as cover to spy for them. From your accent, anyone could tell that you’re not from here. People would say ‘How did those two just happen to show up right after you took over the shop? What a coincidence!’” 

        “I won’t say a word. I know nothing,” Old Sa said hurriedly in compliance. 

Led by Escort Shi, Henchmen Bai and Chen buried the body in the garden behind the shop; they also cleaned up all the bloodstains in front of the door. 

       “If we don’t hear anything unusual in ten days,” Escort Zheng said to Old Sa, “you’ll get yourself another fifty taels of silver. But if you really feel like telling stories…humph! Well, the Fortune Prestige Escort House has killed hundreds of bandits before. It wouldn’t be any trouble to plant two more bodies in your garden, would it?” 

      “We wouldn’t dare! We wouldn’t dare! Thanks! Many thanks!” Old Sa complied yet again. (To be continued)

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