Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei

By Kam Louie; Louise Edwards et al. | Go to book overview

Double Blossom Temple

In Guilin, during the reign of the Yongzheng emperor, there lived a fashionable young scholar by the name of Cai who was extremely good-looking.

One day, as he was standing in the theater watching a troupe of actors perform, he felt someone brush up against him and stroke his buttocks. He turned intending to strike his assailant, but stopped in his tracks when he saw a young man even better-looking than himself. His heart melted and he began to gently stroke the other man's penis in return.

Overjoyed at this mutual affection, the young man and Scholar Cai straightened their clothes in preparation for a more formal exchange of names. It turned out the young man was also from a wealthy Guilin family, and although he had not yet been formally admitted to a college, he too was an aspiring scholar.

They walked hand in hand to a restaurant called Apricot Blossom Village, and after drinking heavily they swore undying loyalty to each other. From this point on the two young men were inseparable--they always traveled in the same carriage, ate together, and slept together.

It wasn't long before they began imitating female fashions--wearing perfume, shaving their faces, and donning short-sleeved gowns. In fact, strangers would not have known whether they were male or female.

Unfortunately the town bully, a fellow known by the name of Wang Tuer, decided to rape these two young men. He hid in an isolated spot on the outskirts of town and pounced when the pair walked by. They both tried to struggle free but in the course of the fight were killed. Wang then dumped their bodies in the shade of an isolated section of the city wall.

The parents of the murdered young men lodged a complaint with the local magistrate and in the ensuing investigation Wang was charged with the murders. Traces of blood had been found on his clothing by

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