Li Qi is a merchant. His wife died and left him a daughter and a son. Once he is away on business, his second wife drives his two children out. When he returns, his wife and the maid tell him two different stories. In order to find out the truth, he severely beats the maid who later hangs herself. His second wife and her secret lover accuse him of murder and bribe the magistrate to sentence him to death. In prison, he is tortured by the warden. He cries bitterly at night in pain and in grievance. Guizhi, the wife of the new magistrate Zhao Chong, hears his cry and is distressed. She comes to the prison to find out who is crying and why this prisoner is crying. She is heartbroken upon discovering the old prisoner being none other than her long separated father. When Zhao returns home, Guizhi pleads to him for help. Zhao has no authority to reopen this closed case, so he drafts a complaint for Guizhi to the Imperial Inspector. The Imperial Inspector turns out to be Baotong: Guizhi's brother, Li Qi's son. So ˇ§Surprise Reunionsˇ¨ ends on a happy note.
Ku Jian (A Reunion in a Prison)
In prison, Li Qi is tortured by the warden. He cries bitterly at night in pain and in grievance. Guizhi, the wife of the new magistrate hears his cry and is shaken. She comes to the prison to find out who is crying and why this prisoner is crying. She is heartbroken upon discovery the old prisoner being none other then her long separated father.
Xie Zhuang (Drafting the Complaint)
As "Drafting the Complaint" starts, tearfully, Guizhi tells Zhao Chong upon his return what she has done during his absence and ghastly situation her real father is in. She also tells the husband for the first time her family's traumatic past, and then pleads to him for help. Despite his deep love and sympathy for his wife and his eagerness to save his father-in-law, all Zhao can do, for he has no authority to reopen a closed case, is to draft a written complaint to be filed by Guizhi to the Imperial Inspector who will be in town the next day.
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