When the time to move arrives, Wang cannot bring himself to leave the land, and so only his sons and their families move into town. Wang, the youngest son, the poor fool (whom no one but Wang will care for), Ching, the laborers, and the uncle's family remain on the land, although a court is prepared for Wang in town in case he wants to stay there. Moreover, Ching reports that he has found a suitable wife for Wang's second son from a neighboring village, and Wang is thrilled.
Wang decides to rent some of his farthest fields to others, since Ching is growing weak, Wang is getting older, and the youngest son is still too immature to take over all the affairs. Wang sometimes stays in town, but more often he is rejoicing on his land.
One day, Wang is delighted when the uncle's son tells him that he wants to go down south to see some action with the war, though he tries to feign sadness at the thought. With him gone, there is finally peace. Wang grows more comfortable with spending money, and his house becomes full of fine materials and foods, so that one day, Cuckoo even compares him to the Old Lord of the Hwangs. There is also news that Wang's grandson will soon be born, but it is a difficult birth. While Wang waits during the labor, he goes to the temple to pray before the goddess, promising rewards if she can see his daughter-in-law through a healthy birth of a son. At long last, he learns that it is a boy. Wang recalls how O-lan had given birth to their first son, remembering how she had nursed him in the fields when they worked together. When Wang hears that his daughter-in-law will not be breast-feeding her own child, for fear of spoiling her beauty, he is sad but allows his son to do as he pleases. There is a great celebration, and tablets listing their ancestors are created to honor the Wang family.
Suddenly there is news that Ching is dying. Wang is furious at the laborer who causes Ching to lose his strength, and he beats him for his foolishness. Ching does not recover unfortunately, and Wang is devastated at the loss. He buys a coffin second only to his own father's, and he weeps terribly at the death. His sons are embarrassed that Wang is carrying on like this over one they consider a servant - though to Wang, Ching was much more. They are also very angry that Wang has decided to bury Ching with their ancestors in the cemetery in their fields. Wang gives in and only buries Ching at the entrance, like a guardian.
After Ching's death, Wang no longer spends as much time in the fields. He decides to move to town, with the youngest son and the poor fool, after renting as much land as possible. He also hires a laborer to take care of his uncle and his wife. The youngest son is very grateful to make the move, and after that, Wang scarcely returns to his home in the fields at all.
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Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Chapter 2 and 3
Chapter 4 and 5
Chapter 6 and 7
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12 and 13