“Okay, just hang in there for a few more days and you will be able to move this foot around some in 7 days.” Seeing that his eyes lit up suddenly, she added, “But you still can’t get off the stove or walk around. If you tear the reattached tendon again, then not even magic will be able to help you!”
As soon as Zhang Lihu heard that, he immediately nodded and promised that he’d be good. Aunty Zhang smiled and said to Gu Ye, “Xiao Ye-zi, that was impressive how you could make him listen to you. His dad and I had been nagging him nonstop but he just wouldn’t listen. C’mon, have a bowl of bone soup!”
“Oh!!! Bone soup again? Can I have something else? Did dad get a pheasant yesterday? Can’t we have chicken soup instead?” Zhang Lihu moaned loudly. He wasn’t entirely being ungrateful, Aunty Zhang’s recipes for bone soup really wasn’t all that.
Zhang Lihu nodded in agreement, but he was still resentful about the bone soup. It was his tendon that was injured, so why was it bone soup that was used to torture him?
“Mom, how many more days would the bones we have at home last?” Zhang Lihu prayed that they would run out of bones soon so he could be done with it.
Aunty Zhang smiled and said, “Don’t worry, your dad will be delivering some game meats to town tomorrow and I will ask him to bring home more long bones. Those aren’t worth much anyway. They usually give you one for free with the purchase of a couple jin of meat. Don’t worry, there will be more!”
As soon as he heard that, Zhang Lihu immediately rolled his eyes and laid on the stove pretending that he was dead – how much longer before he could be relieved from this bone soup hell?
Zhang Lihu’s sister saw Gu Ye to the door and Gu Ye noticed that she seemed to have something on her mind. Curiously, she asked, “Ting-jie jie, what is it that you want to say?”
Zhang Liting was a quite and tender girl. After a little hesitation, she said softly, “There was a rumor going around in town and we don’t know who started it. It was said that the old sacred doctor at your house is a fraud and that nobody had ever seen a broken part would heal just by being sewn back up. It also said that my brother’s foot was fine originally, but it may not be now.”
Having heard that, Gu Ye smiled in a carefree way and said, “We have heard of that rumor as well. My master said that ‘rumors stop at the intellectuals’. I believe in ‘truth says it all.’ In another month, Lihu-ge would be able to stand up and start some basic training. As long as he could make it through the initial pain and does his training consistently, he would recover before the end of the year. The rumor will naturally go away then.”
Zhang Liting nodded gently and said enviously, “Ye-er mei mei, you have changed so much ever since you started learning medicines and apothecaries from the old sacred doctor. For example, none of us had ever heard of sayings such as ‘rumors stop at the intellectuals’ or ‘truth says it all’!”
Gu Ye scratched her head and gave her a silly smile and said, “In addition to medical and herbal knowledge, Master has always been teaching me how to read and write. I can recognize up to several hundreds of characters already. I can already read majority of herb names on medical books.”
Zhang Liting had a awed looked on her and said, “Ye-er mei mei, that’s so impressive! That’s more word than grandma head of village knows, probably almost as much as Third Uncle Gu. I never thought that even girls can learn to read and write and be a doctor to treat patients…”
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