One day a burglar sneaked into the house of a wealthy man in broad daylight, planning to steal a scroll. He had just rolled up the scroll and was about to escape when the master of the house walked in.
Realizing he was trapped, the thief, clutching the scroll, fell to his knees and pleaded, "Kind sir, I am but a poverty-stricken man with no hope for the future. I have come to you today with a portrait of my ancestor in the hope that you will exchange it for a peck of rice."
The master burst out in a sneering laugh and with an impatient flick of his hands sent the man on his way. He didn't even bother to look at the scroll.
When he walked into his hall, however, he saw that his priceless Zhao Zi'ang scroll had vanished.