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Moment in Peking Chapter I 京华烟云 第一章 0005
"What luck your master has!" exclaimed one young driver. "A good man always is rewarded with good luck. Such a young and pretty concubine! "
"Rot your tongue!" said Lota. "Our master has no concubines. That young woman is his adopted daughter and a widow."
The young driver slapped his own face in fun, and the others laughed.
Soon another servant and a number of pretty maids, from twelve or thirteen to eighteen in age, came out with bedding, packages, and little pots. The drivers were rather dazzled, but dared not pass further comments. A boy of thirteen followed, and Lota told the drivers it was the young master.
After half an hour of this confusion, the departing family came out. The beautiful young woman appeared again with two girls, both dressed very simply in white cotton jackets, one with green, the other with violet trousers. You can always tell a daughter of a well-to-do family from a maidservant by her greater leisureliness and quietness of manner; and the fact that the young woman was holding their hands showed the drivers these two were the daughters of the family.
"Hsisochieh, come into my cart, " said the young driver- "The other's mule is bad."
Mulan, the elder girl, thought and compared. The other cart had a smaller mule, but his driver had a more jovial appearance. On the other hand, this young driver had ugly sores on his head. Mulan chose by the driver rather than the mule.
So important are little things in our life, perfectly meaningless in themselves, but as we look back upon them in their chain of cause and effect, we realize they are sometimes fraught with momentous consequences. If the young driver had not had sores on his head, and Muian had not got into the other cart with the small and sickly-looking mule, things would not have happened on this journey as they did, and the course of Muian's whole life would have been altered.