On the evening of the eighth day of the fourth month of the 33rd year of Qianlong, in Xiaoshan County, Zhejiang Province, across the river from Hangzhou, four monks gathered in a rural teahouse. They came from various temples in the Hangzhou area and practiced in nearby villages.
Jucheng monk, age forty-eight, common surname is Hong, originally Xiaoshan people. After the death of his parents and wife, he entered the Chongshan Temple in Hangzhou at the age of forty-one and received a shaving. However, Jucheng did not yet have a monastic position in the monastery. The temple could not provide food and clothing, so Jucheng returned to his hometown Xiaoshan Huayuan.
Zhengyi monk, age twenty-two, Hangzhou Furenhe people, commonly known as Wang, is Jucheng's junior brother. At the age of nineteen, he went to the Guandi Temple outside the city gate to be shaved. He practiced in Hangzhou with Jucheng, and Zhengyi also had no monastic position. He went with his senior brother to Xiaoshan on the other side of the river to make a living.
Jingxin monk, 62 years old, from Wuxi, on the Grand Canal in Jiangsu Province, commonly known as Kong. At the age of fifty, he received a shaving degree at a small Buddhist temple in Hangzhou and lived there. Later, he received a monastic position at Chaoqing Temple. While traveling around practicing in various temples, he met a monk named Chao Fan. He invited Transcendent to walk with him and be his attendant.
Chaofan monk, forty-three years old, from Taiping County, Anhui Province, commonly known as Huang, is a pure heart acolyte. At the age of eighteen, he received a monastic at a temple in his hometown, and later a monk at Zuguang Temple. In the twenty-first year of Qianlong, he began to follow the monk Jingxin.
In the teahouse, the four decided to meet there the next day before setting off. The Jucheng monk and the elderly Jingxin monk will marry each village, and the two young monks will take their luggage to the old Guandi Temple outside the west gate of Xiaoshan.
On a road in the village, Jucheng and Jingxin meet two boys playing, and one boy sees the name engraved on the bronzed bowl that Jucheng is carrying, so he reads it out. Jucheng smiled and said to the child: "Oh, little official, you are literate!" If you study for a few more years, you will definitely be able to get into the exam. He then asked, "What's your name?" When you become a Shangguan master, don't forget me. "The big money is to boast about the children, and their parents will give them some fasting meals. However, the boy ignored him. The monk saw that there were no adults around, and the two monks had to stagger on the road.
They walked for a moment on the road when an angry couple chased them from behind. "Why did you ask for our child's name?" They asked, "You must have come to call souls!" Jucheng explained that they only came to make a fortune: "Because your family official knows words, so he said a few words, how can it be soul-calling?" ”
The villagers of the same village soon gathered around. Some of them had long heard that these days a group of soul-calling warlocks came from out of town, wandering around and casting spells on children that made them sick or dead. "These two monks are definitely not good people!" The two were tied up and searched up and down. Nothing was found, and people still started beating them. The rioting crowd grew bigger and bigger, and someone shouted "burn them"! Others yelled "drown them in the river"!
A local Baozheng in the crowd persuaded everyone, and the villagers slowly quieted down. However, the matter was too serious for him to deal with without permission, so he took them to a nearby official post station for trial. There, the two monks were searched again, but no evidence of any soul was found. The literate child was taken to the post station, and upon careful examination he was in good health. However, the child's parents insisted that only black and white had real validity, and they asked the official to issue an official document to guarantee that the child was okay. The official felt that he could not bear this responsibility, so he sent a document to the county government. Soon, the messengers of Zhixian brought Jucheng and Jingxin to Xiaoshan's formidable county gate. There, the two monks found that their other two companions had also been arrested and tortured.
The rumor of "calling the soul" caused bad luck to befall Shoichi and Transcendent. In the surrounding counties, the fear and fear of the common people are getting worse and worse. In Xiaoshan County, a collector named Cai Rui received orders from his superiors to arrest wandering monks from other counties who were suspected of "cutting people's hair braids." It is rumored that a wandering monk can recite a mantra to someone's hair cut from the end of his braid, separating that person's soul from his body.
That day, Cai was patrolling outside the west gate when he heard that two monks with foreign accents from "far away" lived in the old Guandi Temple. Genta then went into the temple and interrogated Chao Fan and Shoichi. The monks' answers made Cai unsatisfied, so he searched their luggage. In the package of the extraordinary monk, he turned out some clothes, a copper bowl for begging, several monk robes, and two du zhu. He painstakingly smashed Shoichi's suitcase with stones, and found three pairs of scissors, a pigskin rain cape, an awl, and a strap for braiding.
The villagers were angry and surrounded them. "Why are the monks carrying these things?" These two are certainly not a good thing. Someone in the crowd shouted "beat them"! "Burn them"! Cai had the audacity to tell everyone that he couldn't do this. The Chaofan monk was a formal monk with a du shi, and Cai saw no reason to arrest him. However, Shoichi's situation is different, he has no sushi, and he still carries Jucheng's suitcase, which contains those suspicious items. Cai put Zhengyi in chains and sent him to the county gate. Chaofan found the Yamen complaint, but was also arrested, and was brought to Zhixian along with several other monks.
In the lobby, Jucheng and they knelt in front of Zhixian in handcuffs and leg irons. Zhixian sat behind a tall public case, flanked by his masters. The interrogation began: "From the real recruitment, how many braids did you cut?" ”
Jucheng was already frightened, arguing that he did not cut people's hair braids. Zhixian then showed Jucheng the evidence that Cai had brought with him: four pairs of scissors, a rope with a braid, and two small braids. "Are these things evidence that you cut people's hair braids," Jucheng replied, adding that three of the four scissors belonged to his dead tanner's son. He had no idea where the fourth scissors came from. The rope that tied his hair was used before he shaved his hair. After becoming a monk, the hair tie rope was useless, and he put it with other supplies. As for those two braids, even he didn't know what was going on. Jucheng's confession will certainly not be satisfactory. So, the torture in the lobby began to be used. The servants dragged Jucheng over and put the sticks on the stick.
In the end, probably really painful, Jucheng confessed that all the accusations against him were true. However, Zhixian was not satisfied because the stories told by the suffering monk were inconsistent. The clamp was tightened twice more, but it did not lead to more satisfactory results. The same punishment was received for pure heart. Three days passed, and Zhixian received some kind of confession from all four monks. The prisoners, who were already seriously injured, were loaded into wheeled prisoner vans used to transport prisoners and sent to Yamen, Shaoxing Prefectural Prefecture, more than 60 miles to the east, and then to the higher official office for further interrogation. This time, given that Jucheng's bones were broken, he did not use a clamp on him again, but instead slapped him with a wooden strip ten times. Masaichi was once again served with a stick. Pure Heart and Transcendence were considered worthless prisoners at this time and were therefore not further tortured.
By this time, the confession had become more confused than ever, and the prisoners were sent to the inspector Yamen in Hangzhou. Right there, things developed amazingly.
Since their first visit to Yamen in Xiaoshan County, Zhengyi and Chaofan have stubbornly insisted on the theory that they were arrested by Cai for refusing to stuff money with him. Now, Zeng Ili, the provincial inspector, followed the same path and asked:
Zeng Zhan Zhi: Jucheng, since you are a fate, you should specialize in fasting, how can you ask the names of people's children? This is obviously the proof of your soul. When you arrived here, Chu Zhao refused to say that he had asked the child's name, obviously because you were afraid of pursuing your soul call, so you hid it.
Jucheng:···· That day in the county, because I had asked my name, the county official repeatedly investigated the matter of calling the soul, and instructed people to clamp me through three sticks, and now my legs are not good, I am really afraid. So here, the adults interrogated, and did not dare to say that they had asked the child's name.
Zeng Zheng Inspector: ... If you have done such a thing, if there is no real evidence, why should the people burn you to death and drown you, stirring the anger of the people?
Jucheng: ... When we saw that we were being held back by two men and women, they all suspected that we were really soul-screaming, so we shouted that we would burn and drown, but in fact it was just empty words. Later, Baozheng sent us to Yili, and everyone dispersed...
The provincial Yamen lords were apparently less inclined to rely on pawns like Yamen, and the Jucheng monk insisted that Cai Rui had told them at the temple that day that he had been ordered to come and arrest the "wandering monks," but that he would let them walk as long as they gave him "a few rules of money." Shoichi replied to him at that time, "We are monks who beg for food, where will we give you money?" ”
Zeng Zheng felt that the monk Zhengyi said something. Cai was brought to the court and ordered to kneel. Despite repeated inquiries about his account by the envoy, Cai insisted on his account. He knelt there all day. In the end, Cai is exhausted and finally realizes that his play is over. He confessed that he had indeed asked the monks for money, and when they refused to give him money, he searched their packages and threatened them: "You are serious monks, how can you have this thing?" You have to give me thousands of dollars before you can go." Otherwise, it will be sent to the county, even if it is a person who cuts the braid. ”
Things get serious when Cai finds unspeakable things like scissors and rope in the monk's luggage. As Cai's roar became louder and louder, people gathered around. The angry reaction of the crowd made Cai realize that he was in big trouble. He arrested the monk Shoichi and persuaded the crowd to disperse, and instead of taking him to Yamen, he took him and his package containing criminal suspicions to his home in a cul-de-sac under the city walls. Chao Fan has been enraged, and has been following Cai to hunt back, wanting to get his suitcase back. Cai said, "You have to find those two monks to come before they will give it to you." "Extraordinary helpless, so I had to go to the Yamen to file a complaint.
Cai continued to confess, and when he returned home with the shackled Zhengyi, he said to him: "Now that there is no one left, just spit out a few hangings of money, and I will let you go." However, Shoichi, who was already furious, insisted that he would formally go to the government office to file a complaint. Cai began to beat Shoichi, but it was no use. He realized that unless he could prove that the monks really cut other people's hair braids, he would be in big trouble himself. Unfortunately, there was only a strand of hair in Jucheng's box, and the hair was still straight, and it didn't look like it had been cut from the end of a braid. So, Cai found a handful of old hair in his home, walked to a place where he couldn't see in the alley, and carefully braided his hair. To flesh out the evidence, he cut something similar from the brim of his hat and braided them to look like two small braids. He put the hastily forged evidence, along with one of his own scissors, into the monk's luggage, and he escorted his prisoner to Yamen.
In Yamen, despite being tortured, Shoichi did not change his claim that he was blackmailed. Zhixian cleverly pointed out that Zhengyi and Cai Zhengzheng originally did not know each other, and there was no motive to frame Zhengyi in Cai. Because of this, although the case has been reviewed by the government, it has not been suspected.
Now, since Cai Chaojun had confessed that he had committed false evidence, Zeng had returned the case to Yamen in Xiaoshan County. Cai was beaten and put on a flail in public, but was eventually released. The monks were also released, and each of them received 3,200 money, which can be regarded as spiritual compensation for them.
In less than half a month, all kinds of rumors about the soul calling in Zhejiang Province spread to Jiangsu. The common people believe that the soul-calling incidents by cutting people's hair braids are the work of wandering beggars from Zhejiang, and that they entered neighboring provinces to do such bad things. Local government offices are on alert.