So, pushing Li away, she turned to the other and reviled him:
“The Lord Li and I suffered many bitter moments before we came to yesterday. And you, to serve a detestable and criminal lust, have undone us and have caused me to hate the man I loved. After my death I meet the Spirit of Retribution, and I shall not forget your vile hypocrisy.”
Then, turning toward Li Chia, she continued:
“During those many years when I lived in a disorder of the dust and breeze, I secretly amassed these treasures, that they might some day rescue my body. When I met my Lord, we vowed that our union should be higher than the mountain, deeper than the sea. We swore that, even when our hair was white, we should have our love. Before leaving the capital, I pretended to receive this casket as a gift from my friends. It contained a treasure of more than a myriad ounces. I intended to deposit it in your treasury, when I had seen your father and mother. Who would have thought your faith so shallow, that, on the strength of a chance conversation, you would consent to lose my loyal heart? To-day, before the eyes of all these people, I have shown you that your thousand ounces were a very little sum of money. These persons are my witness that it is my Lord who rejects his wife, that it is not I who am wanting in my duty.”
Hearing these sad words, those who were present wept, and called down curses upon Li, and reviled him as an ingrate. And he, being both ashamed and desolate, shed tears of bitter repentance. He knelt down to beg for her forgiveness. But Shih-niang, holding the jewels in each hand, leaped into the yellow water of the river.
The onlookers uttered a cry and rushed to save her. But, under a sombre cloud, the waves in the heart of the river broke into boiling foam, and no further trace was seen of that desperate woman.
Alas! she was an illustrious singing girl, as beautiful as flowers or jade. She had been swallowed in an instant by the water.
The people, grinding their teeth, would have beaten Li and Sun; but these, in terror and dismay, made haste to push their boats out from the bank, and then went each his own way.
Li Chia, seeing the thousand ounces of silver in his cabin, unceasingly wept for the death of Shih-niang. His remorse gave birth to a kind of madness in him, of which he could never be healed.
Sun was so prostrated that he had to keep his bed. He thought he saw Shih-niang standing in front of him all day and every day. It was not long before he expiated his crime in death.
We must now tell how Liu, having left the capital to return to his own village, also halted at Kua-chow. Leaning over the river to take up some water in a bronze basin, he let the thing slip, and therefore begged certain fishermen to drag their net for it.
When they drew up, there was a little box in the net. Liu opened it, and it was full of pearls and precious stones. He rewarded the fishermen generously, and placed the box near his pillow.