|[a] Double Confused-ness RF|
Join Monsieur Lin for his little journey into the middle of trouble...in the country of women.
Lin Zhiyang felt as though he were dreaming or drunk, and could only sit there in misery. Closely questioning the palace maidens, he discovered for the first time that the ruler of the country had chosen him to be a royal concubine, and that he was to enter the palace as soon as an auspicious date had been picked.
|[b] Enmeshed RF|
When the white-bearded maiden had finished her task she withdrew, and another maiden, this time with a black beard, came up. This one had in her hand a roll of thin white silk. Kneeling before the bed, she said, "Gracious lady, with your permission, I have been ordered to bind your feet." Two more maidens approached, and kneeling on the floor to support his dainty feet proceeded to take off the silk socks. The black-bearded maiden seated herself on a low stool. Tearing off a strip of silk, she set Lin Zhiyang's right foot on her lap and sprinkled alum between the joints of the toes. Then she drew all five toes tightly together and, forcibly bending the whole foot over till ti took on the shape of a drawn bow, swiftly bound it up with the white silk. When she had wound the silk round a few times, another of the palace maidens brought a needle and thread and began to sew up the ends tight, and so they continued, one binding while the other sewed.
With the four palace maidens pressing closely against him and the two others holding on to his feet, Lin Zhiyang could not move an inch. When the bindings were in place he felt his feet burning like a charcoal brazier. Wave upon wave of aching swept over him, and soon sharp pains began to shoot and forced out a loud cry: "I am dying in a fiery pit!"
|[c] Tiny RF|
But the maidens replied, "Our ruler has just now given us the order to bind your feet and then invite you into the palace. Who then would dare to raise her voice in protest?
 Cyril Birch, ed, Anthology of Chinese Literature: From the Fourteenth Century to the Present Day (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1972), 187-189. Please note that Chinese names, terms, and phrases have been modified to fit the pinyin romanization system.