Wang Shi Fong
The Most Scheming Woman in Dreams of the Red Chamber
During a time of national mourning (the death of an old concubine in the Imperial Palace) and family bereavement (the death of Jia Jing, Jia Jhen"s father), Jia Lian, with the help of Jia Jhen and Jia Rong (father and son), secretly took You Erjie, the sister of Jia Jhen"s wife, as his concubine. He settled Erjie, who was already pregnant, in a dwelling on HuaJhih Lane. When Wang Shi Fong heard about this, she went into action. First, she artfully persuaded Erjie to move over to NingGuo House, where she could care for her and provide anything she might need. At the same time, she sent someone to file charges against Jia Lian, Jia Jhen, and his son, Jia Rong, accusing them of using force to abduct another man"s wife. This considerably alarmed Head of the family. Then while confusion reigned at NingGuo House, Shi Fong solved each problem, one by one, thereby bringing peace of mind to the family. By using this incident to display great tolerance, she also removed any reservations the family may have harbored towards her. Later, she fed ErJie a special preparation that aborted her pregnancy, thereby leaving Jia Lian without an heir. At the same time, as a reward for successfully carrying out an assignment, the head of the Jia family gave Ciou Tong to Jia Lian to be his concubine. Shi Fong hated Jia Lian for favoring ErJie and ignoring her. She used Ciou Tong to stir up Erjie"s insecure feelings, whereupon Erjie killed herself by swallowing gold. Wang Shi Fong"s scheme was at last successful.