Thetown was in a far southern province. It took more than a month forthe concerned parties to travel the long distance to the capital.When the minister questioned Cabbage, she was consistent with whatshe had said. The son of the mayor had warned her that if she changedanything in her statement of confession the consequence would be veryserious. But he hadn't explained how serious it would have been andCabbage hadn't doubted it. She really liked him and wanted him tolive. The minister had a meeting with his consultants. They all knewthat if Cabbage insisted on what she had confessed, they couldn'tchange the verdict. They had no reason to do so. They should find away out of it. Everyone in the room put on the thinking cap. All of asudden, one of the consultants said that he was struck with awonderful idea.
Ina small room of the Judicial Ministry building, a square table stoodin the center with two people seated at it opposite each other. Onewas Cabbage and the other was Yang. They were brought together inthis room by the jailers, who told them that the minister gave themthe dinner because they would be executed next day. They weresupposed to bid eternal adieu to each other at their last dinnerparty. There were four dishes on the table and even wine wasprovided. Yang was in total despair and felt that it was unfair tohim because he didn't murder anybody. Cabbage hung her head low,ashamed of herself for framing Yang. At first both of them keptsilent. No one cared to speak. To break the awkwardness, Yang began,“Cabbage, let's drink farewell. We may meet in next life.”Cabbage could think of nothing to say. So she remained in silence.She realized now that she had been taken in by the son. Perhaps, hehad never loved her from the beginning, but why had he wanted herhusband out of the way by poisoning him? “Cabbage,” Yang wenton, “We will die tomorrow. Can you tell me the truth so that Iwon't die ignorant?” Cabbage thought what was the use now even ifshe told the truth. They would be executed next day all the same. Soshe made no answer, still bending her head low. Yang was a couple ofyears older than she. They grew up together in the same neighborhood.When in childhood, they played together. Then Yang reached the age tobe tutored, he transferred his new knowledge to her by teaching herhow to read and write. As her family was not rich, Yang's fatherdidn't consent to their marriage. Then she was married to the latehusband. “Did you still remember we read the story West Chambertogether?” How could she forget? She recalled many scenes in theirchildhood and when they had grown up. She almost buried her chin inher chest. “Cabbage, speak to me, please. Let me hear your voiceonce more before I die.” Yang sounded like begging her. Her tearsdripped on her lap. “Don't cry, Cabbage. Talk to me. We have onlytonight to live.” Yang said softly. Cabbage sobbed out the words,“I'm sorry.”