chapter  XV
12 Pages


The new eminence of the Hwangs was not without its d angers, internal and external. One day the leader of the military corps at H ookow came unannounced to pay Dunglin a visit. It was merely a social call . But on the second day the leader sen t soldiers to the village of Hwang and searched some of th e houses under the pretext of looking for bandits. The soldiers took away four village eld ers, all of them living in houses below Dunglin's old original house. The leader artfully displayed a pretended secret charge by Dunglin himself that some bandits were hidden in the houses of th e village. The knowledge of such a charge gave rise amo ng th e Hwang villagers, except the nearest kinsmen of Dunglin , to a suspicion that their most influential ci tizen was betraying his own village. Thus the leader set off all too easily the lat ent conflict between the two main groups of families in the village.