Before Master Chen became an official, he was friendly with an impoverished scholar from his native district by the name of Li Fu. One autumn evening while the moon was bright, Chen wandered over to Li's residence to pass some time.
Li was rather embarrassed and said to Chen, "My wife tells me there is nothing to drink in the house, so please have a seat while I go out and buy some wine. We'll be able to appreciate the moon more fully if we drink some wine."
Chen took out a volume of poetry to read while he waited for his friend to return.
A moment later the gate was pushed open and a woman with matted hair and tattered clothing came into the courtyard. As soon as she saw Chen she made as if to leave. Chen, assuming the woman was a relative of Li's who was embarrassed by the presence of a guest, turned his back, enabling her to slip inside unhindered.
Before the woman entered the house, she drew something from her sleeve and slipped it under the doorstep. Chen was puzzled by this behavior, and as soon as she had gone inside he went to find out what she had hidden.
Beneath the step he found a length of rope that exuded the sickly sweet stench of stale blood. He quickly concluded that she must be the ghost of a woman who had hanged herself. After hiding the rope in his shoe he sat down again.
After a while the woman with matted hair reappeared. She slipped her hand under the doorstep intending to retrieve her rope. When she found it was gone she was incensed. Rushing at Chen she screamed, "Give me back my things!"
Chen replied, "What things?"
Instead of answering, the woman stood stock still, opened her mouth, and blew towards Chen. Her breath was so cold that his hair