With Lin Lan’s previous foreshadowing, the old head Han didn’t think much about it.
He even took the initiative to keep it from the old lady Han that Lin Yan had borrowed five Yuan from the Brigade.
He was going to refer back later to tell them to put the money on the family tab as well.
That night, Lin Lan told Erwang to watch Sanwang carefully.
Then, she asked Erwang to quietly go to the kitchen cupboard to get some snacks.
As a result, Erwang took out two palm-sized covers, “Mother, they finished eating them all.”
Their family was big, so it was normal for them to finish up the food that was made on that day.
Then, they would start a new batch of food the next.
Lin Lan had to give up, and then quietly took the military kettle brought back by Han Qingsong.
She filled it with water and hid it.
In the West Kang (3), the old lady Han heard the movement and she wanted to take a look, but she was restricted by the old man, “I guess the child is drinking water, just go to sleep.”
(T/N: ‘Kang’ is a term for a small platform that is used for working, sleeping etc.
Think of it as a Chinese version of a Japanese tatami, but with a hole that is connected to the chimney pathway.
This makes the ‘bed’ warm in winter as the fire burns in the fireplace.)
Early before dawn the next morning, Lin Lan got up and took Xiaowang to the county town.
Because there was not enough dry food and no food stamps, she had to go around to the vegetable garden and pick up two cucumbers quietly to satisfy her hunger.
If the old lady Han wanted to lecture her for it, then so be it.
Shanzui Village had only one dirt road that led to the county town.
Walking East along the Southern River, it was less than fifty miles away.
However, she had to walk for a long time with her child.
After all, she was a squeamish modern civilian.
Surrounded by air conditioning in hot weather and heating in the cold, she had never carried a child like this against the blazing sun.
She was hot and tired, feeling that the sun above her head had now turned into a big fireball to scorch her.
The dirt road under her feet was also rather bumpy as she walked very painstakingly.
Soon, her back, legs and feet started to hurt and become sore.
Xiaowang was also a very sensible child.
Hence, he took the initiative to walk as he held hands without letting her carry him.
Lin Lan tried to persuade Xiaowang to talk, but he didn’t like to communicate after he left the house.
His mouth was tightly sealed, especially since they left the Shanzui Village.
Lin Lan spoke to him with a dozen sentences.
It would be considered good if he could reply with a word or two; should it be outsiders, he wouldn’t bother to reply at all.
Lin Lan didn’t force him to talk.
She was a bit nervous, to be honest— if he had started to chat away with her, she really didn’t know what to talk about.
After all, she really didn’t know how to bring up children.
Later, they encountered a mule cart.
After hitchhiking for a while, she was considered lucky to get a free ride.
After the carpooling, they finally entered the county town within a few days.
However, she didn’t know the way around.
She didn’t know where the post office was, so she asked the security officer with red armbands and indigo clothes for directions.
When the people heard her tone and looked at her posture along with a skinny child, they knew that she was an average or lower-classed peasant.
They immediately showed her the way enthusiastically, and a kind person even gave them two pieces of candy.