Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary
The Japanese have attacked China at Peking and are making their way toward the village where LuLing lives. As LuLing and the others listen to the reports on the radio, a stranger comes to the door of the orphanage. At first, when LuLing sees the woman’s shadowy figure, she thinks it is Precious Auntie’s ghost. However, it turns out to be GaoLing, a young woman whom LuLing had grown up with. GaoLing has escaped her husband.
Months ago, GaoLing managed to send a few letters to LuLing, telling her how Chang, the coffin maker, chose GaoLing to be the wife of his son—the same son LuLing had planned to marry. After living in the Chang family, GaoLing discovered how mean the Chang family members are. Although they have money, most of it is used to buy opium. Several of the sons and their wives are drug addicts who will do anything to buy more opium—even if it means other members going without food.
The other news GaoLing had written about concerns her family. Her father and uncles, in order to rebuild their business after the fire had destroyed it, had to borrow money from Chang. Now Chang owns most of the ink factory. GaoLing’s mother and father work harder than they have ever worked before but are living less comfortably. GaoLing told LuLing that she was lucky she had been sent away. LuLing has a much better life than her family now experiences. GaoLing had heard that LuLing is now considered a scholar and feels very proud of her.
After embracing GaoLing and hearing the story of her escape, LuLing begs the women who run the orphanage to allow GaoLing to stay. GaoLing risked her life, passing through Japanese-held territory, to reach the old mission. Eventually, everyone agrees that GaoLing can live with them.
Despite the war going on around them, LuLing and Kai Jing are married. LuLing is surprised when her family comes to the orphanage for the wedding. Some of the teachers at the mission...
(The entire section is 519 words.)