The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck
Contributed by Bobbie Heil
Chapter 33

Wang cannot stop thinking about Pear Blossom, although he tries to convince himself that it is best to offer her to his youngest son. He reminds himself that he is a rich man and an old grandfather, but one night, he cannot fight his loneliness and when he sees her, he calls her to him. She quivers in his presence, although she says that she likes old men better than young men. Hearing her sweet tiny voice, Wang is stirred so much that he takes her into his courts and seduces her. He is smitten with her love, even though she views him like a father and not a lover. Cuckoo notices the budding relationship, and Wang offers her money if she can tell Lotus without inciting her anger towards him. Cuckoo succeeds and brings Wang Lotus’ list of demands. Wang agrees to them all and is glad to have Lotus content.

Wang is half ashamed but half proud with himself. He meets with his sons, to gauge their opinion even though he is master of the house and can do as he pleases. The second son says nothing, although he is aware, and so he and Wang discuss only the tenants of the land. The first son looks enviously at the maid, and Wang laughs to see his son’s response. The third son, however, reacts negatively, does not mention the girl although he looks at her, and is only determined to be a soldier. Wang is disappointed in his reaction and is very sad. In the morning, the third son is gone and no one knows to where.

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