“He drank rat poison. I really think that Yang overreacted. Not having children is miserable, but the government will take good care of him. I already helped him apply for the low-income welfare assistance, and he would be able to receive an allowance every month. There’s always a way to solve small problems, but he went down the wrong chute and killed himself instead. We’re all really sad about it.” The head of the village showed hints of sorrow.
“Why would he drink rat poison though? Has an autopsy been done? Are you sure that it was suicide and not murder?” Huo Mian, who was in disbelief, asked a few key questions.
The head of the village was confused by her questions. “Murder? That’s impossible, it had to be suicide.”
“How can you be so sure?” Qin Chu asked.
“Because he went into town to buy rat poison. The owner there already admitted to it. He said that his house was rat-infested, so he needed rat poison. Who knew that he would drink it” Then, the head of the village sighed heavily.
Qin Chu and Huo Mian looked at each other, coming into tacit agreement
“Has his niece been back since his death?” Qin Chu remembered that his niece was Uncle Yang’s only relative.
“I told her, but I don’t think she’s coming back.”
“Why not?” Huo Mian probed.
“To tell you the truth, Yang went to the south a long time ago, and we all thought it was for retirement. However, we heard that his niece and his nephew-in-law got divorced because the latter had an affair, and so his niece, along with two daughters, had no choice but to marry into another family. However, her new family said that they could take care of her children, but not her uncle. They were also really strict and wouldn’t even give her money to travel up here, so I don’t think she’ll be coming. Yang’s body is still in the freezer at the health center, and tomorrow morning we’re going to get him cremated. He didn’t have money, so the villagers all chipped in for his cremation. I really do feel sorry for him.”
Now Qin Chu and Huo Mian understood why Uncle Yang suddenly came back to the north.
His niece’s first marriage broke down, and she married someone else. There was no room left for him in her new family, and Uncle Yang didn’t want to ruin his niece’s new marriage, so he came back to the north alone. But still, there wasn’t a reason as to why he committed suicide as soon as he got back.
His life back here would’ve been fine; the country gives single-dwelling seniors enough to live with.
Yet, he committed suicide a week after returning; it didn’t really make much sense to Huo Mian.
“Sir, did he get an autopsy?”
“Yeah, he died from ingesting rat poison.”
“Did the police check out the scene? Were there signs of the place being tampered? Didn’t anyone leave footsteps or fingerprints anywhere?” Huo Mian asked again.
“Are you kidding me? It’s already been ruled out as suicide, what’s the point of asking questions like that? Plus, Yang has gotten along well with the villagers, and no one’s out to seek revenge, so why would anyone kill him? They wouldn’t be able to get anything in return. I may not be well read and may only be a farmer, but there has to be a motive behind a murder, am I right?” The head of the village was flabbergasted by Huo Mian’s insinuations.
“I’m sorry, I was just wondering. After all, we feel bad that we didn’t get to see Uncle Yang.”
“Oh, it’s okay, I understand. Oh, hey, you guys look like you live in the city, where are you guys from?”
The head of the village asked, but whether it was unintentional or on purpose was unknown
Qin Chu pressed his hand on Huo Mian’s and quickly answered, “We’re from T City, and we have a small business there.”
“Oh Yang isn’t lucky enough. If you guys came earlier, maybe he wouldn’t have killed himself if he knew he still had relatives around,” the head of the village slowly said.
Qin Chu quietly pulled out 10,000 yuan from his wallet and handed it to the head of the village, “Please consider this as compensation for the cremation tomorrow. Please use what’s left to find a good place to bury Uncle Yang in, I hope that he can rest in peace.”
“Um” The head of the village was obviously shocked by the money.
“Take it, thank you for your hard work. We have other businesses to tend to, so we won’t be able to see him off,” Qin Chu added.
“Okay, okay, don’t worry, I’ll make sure everything goes smoothly.” The head of the village took the money with his trembling hands and promised.
It was almost 10 PM when they left.
The head of the village was really nice and asked his wife to make them some dishes, but Huo Mian and Qin Chu didn’t stay for dinner.
After getting on the car, Qin Chu asked, “Honey, how much of the village head’s words do you believe?”
“About half of it,” Huo Mian answered calmly.
“Why, do you suspect him?” Huo Mian then asked Qin Chu.