Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary
LuLing claims that, in 1929 when she was fourteen, she became an evil person.
In this year, foreign scientists come to the small Chinese village looking for old bones. Precious Auntie hears about the scientists, who have promised to buy the ancient bones people have found as long as the bones are human and ancient. The village is known as a spot where ancient bones can be found.
As the bonesetter’s daughter, Precious Auntie had learned from her father the importance of using ground bone in medical practices. She had also learned where to find the most ancient of bones in a hidden cave. When word spreads about the foreign scientists and the money they are providing, the villagers become somewhat obsessed with digging up bones in every place they think they might find some ancient relics. Contrary to the fever for riches that is overcoming her neighbors, Precious Auntie believes the bones have become possessed with an evil energy. Becoming rich off of ancient bones is not appropriate. Precious Auntie is afraid that if she were to sell the bones her father had given her, she and the rest of her family would be cursed. She takes LuLing with her back to the secret cave and reburies the bones she has.
Not too much later, Mr. Chang comes to their house to deliver a coffin he has made for LuLing’s great-grandmother, who had recently died. While Chang talks to the other members of the family, Precious Auntie, who blames Chang for the deaths of her father and her proposed husband, stays in her room and bangs loudly on a metal pot. Although she cannot speak, she can make noise and let everyone know how much she disapproves of Chang. Many times, Precious Auntie (who speaks to LuLing with her hands) has asked LuLing to relate her story about Mr. Chang to the family. In the past, when LuLing was much younger, she did as Precious Auntie directed her to do. She told the family that Mr. Chang was a murderer. The family disregarded this story, preferring to believe that Precious Auntie lost her mind in her grief caused by the sudden deaths.
When Precious Auntie learns that Mr. Chang has made a lot of money from some bones he has sold to the foreign scientists,...
(The entire section is 584 words.)