Chapter 129 An Old Lady Was Knocked Down
“I… I knocked someone down.” The coachman quivered with anxiety.
“I’m fine. I’ll go and check it out.” Ning Xueyan stayed poised and gave Qingyu a knowing wink.
Taking the hint, Qingyu got out of the carriage.
The coachman was sure that there had been no one down the road before this happened. He really had no idea where the old lady sprang out from. How did his carriage hit the old lady in the twinkle of an eye, even leaving unconscious from the crash?
At this, he jumped from the carriage to see if the old lady was hit hard. Fortunately, there was no blood around.
Qingyu also came up around the old lay who lay on the ground, noticing that the old lady was clothed in plain rags, with a bale in her hand. She did not look like a local and she had a small stature and seemed to be about in her 50s. Lying there with a pale face, one could not tell if her fainting was caused by the crash or by her poor nerves.
“A crash on the road! Someone was hit!” The loud whinny of the horse drew a great crowd. Seeing an old lady being hit and lying unconscious on the ground, people started gossiping. Some observant eyes noticed the emblem of the Lord Protector’s Manor on the carriage.
“The carriage of the Lord Protector’s Manor has hit someone.”
“Lying there motionless, is she already dead?”
“Could it be the Second Young Lady from the Lord Protector’s Manor sitting in the carriage again? It is said that her carriage had knocked people dead before.”
“Exactly! It was a child last time. What a crime! Obviously, it was her carriage that hit the child. How could she have the face to claim that the child had popped up from nowhere?”
While the onlookers were talking loudly about how the Lord Protector’s Manor knocked people down, two older female servants squeezed their way through the crowd. After figuring out what exactly had happened on the spot, they were taken aback. One winked at the other, and the latter immediately fled from the crowd.
The Lord Protector’s Manor was only one block away. The servants would sometimes pass by. Moreover, there was a preserved fruit store on this street, a favorite of Madam Dowager, who would send people to buy some every few days. And today, a servant from Lucky Garden happened to be running the errand for Madam Dowager.
Ning Xueyan heard snatches of people’s discussions, and a smile lifted the corner of her mouth.
She barely knew about that thing before. Two years ago, Ning Yuling was galloping on the street in order to catch up with the Third Prince, and a petrified child, standing by the road, was trampled dead. She had denied the fact and insisted that the child had suddenly shown up. The accident ended up with her giving some money in compensation.
Somebody had recognized the horse was from the Lord Protector’s Manor’s, and the dead child’s parents had cried loudly outside the manor. People had gathered together and swore loudly so that Ning Zu’an had to deal with it himself by way of apology and compensation. It was a big deal.
It occurred to Ning Xueyan that her chance presented itself now.
Ning Yuling set a precedent for her and there was a large group of witnesses. Madam Dowager and Ning Zu’an would certainly accept her conditions.
“Hey, old lady, wake up.” Qingyu squatted down and held the old lady in her arm and jolted the old lady with her anxious call.
There was no arrogance or imperious air on her face, which left a good impression on the crowd. Some even took a few steps back to clear room for her.
After a while, the old lady finally opened her eyes under the earnest gaze of the onlookers. She looked blankly at the people around her, apparently not knowing what was going on here.
“How do you feel? Do you want to see a doctor?” Qingyu asked with concern.
“Yes, there is a clinic over there. Now that the young lady offers help, you should take a look!” Someone in the crowd gave a sympathetic suggestion.
“No… not at all…” The old lady seemed to have understood the situation. She tried to get herself up with the help of Qingyu, but it was in vain. She fell again, but fortunately, Qingyu kept her hands on the old lady all the time so that she did not flop on the ground.
“Evidently, you are hurt badly. It is all right. Let’s just check it out at the clinic. My Young Lady orders me to treat you well until you are fine.” Qingyu stood on one side of her and the coachman stood on the other side. They worked together to help the old lady get up again.
Being badly hit, the old lay groaned in great pain and her face whitened when she felt her legs on the ground.
“Your bones must be hurt. It is something serious. You may want to take a look.”
“Exactly right! Otherwise, you will spend the rest of your life in bed.” No one expected the old lady to be hurt so badly, not even being able to stand up, even though there was no blood at all. The onlookers also had a good opinion of the Young Lady inside the cart. It seemed that the one inside the cart was not the Second Young Lady from the Lord Protector’s Manor.
“I am sorry to bring you trouble.” Fearing the possibility of a lifelong disability, the old lady nodded her head to accept the advice.
Qingyu was trying to help her up to the carriage, but the step was a little too high. Even though the coachman lent a hand, two of them were still unable to get the fragile old lady on the carriage.
“Put her on my back! It is just a stone’s throw away after all.” A kind young man stepped forward, ready to carry the old lady while pointing to somewhere nearby.
Seeing that it was just a short distance, Qingyu nodded and then went into the carriage. The coachman also sat back in his place and started whipping the horse to follow the young man. In an instant, they arrived at the clinic.
Under her veiled cap, Ning Xueyan, escorted by Qingyu, got down from the cart and they went into the clinic.
At the sight of her little figure, those who followed began to gossip about who this young lady was. She seemed to be a benevolent girl with a graceful demeanor, totally different from the Second Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor.
Despite all kinds of guesses, they could not figure it out. Some inquisitive guys even walked up to the coachman and fished for clues. It turned out that the little girl was the Fifth Young Lady of the Lord Protector. They could not help exclaiming how they were different in way of style even though they came from the same family. What a nice girl she was!
Ning Yuling’s style departed from the Fifth Young Lady’s graceful manner, and their upbringing immediately became the heart of the public discussion.
“Doctor, please try your best to treat this old lady, I will cover all the cost,” Ning Xueyan said in all earnest. She glanced at the old lady, and her eyes flickered with a touch of compassion without any changes on her face.
The doctor nodded and walked up to check out the old lady. He frowned and touched her legs. Each time, the old lady would cry out in pain with a pale face. It was true that her bones were badly hurt.
“She may have hurt her legs. As the saying goes, it may take one hundred days to recover from broken bones. Given her advanced age, it will take her at least more than half a year to recover before she can stand up,” the doctor straightened up and said to Ning Xueyan.
He meant that the old lady could not get up in the coming days and should have someone around to take care of her.
“Old lady, do you have any relatives?” Ning Xueyan put her chin down slightly and looked at the old lady, who was trying to sit properly.
“I… I am not a native here.” The old lady gave a wry smile. Beads of sweat were oozing from her forehead as she was exerting herself to get up. Seeing this, Qingyu gave her hand until she finally did.
“You are not a local here, so what are you doing here in the capital city?” Qingyu asked with her big eyes blinking in curiosity.
“I…” The old lady held her tongue and let out a sigh. She began to wipe her tears with a handkerchief.
“Do you have troubles? Just tell me. I will do anything I can to help you.” Ning Xueyan comforted her with her soft tone. Obviously, her words tugged at the old lady’s heartstring.
During their conversation, two older female servants from the Lord Protector’s Manor walked in and then saluted Ning Xueyan. They whispered in a low voice, “Fifth Young Lady, Madam Dowager asked you to handle this matter well and not to cause more troubles.”
Though in a roundabout way, Ning Xueyan understood it all. She smiled and nodded.
The Lord Protector’s Manor was going through a stormy patch right now, and Ning Yuling’s scandal had spread all over the city. Of course Madam Dowager did not want to make it worse at this point and lose face, which meant that Ning Xueyan had to deal with it peacefully at all costs.
“We have hurt the old lady’s bones. She has no kinfolk in the capital and has to rest for at least half a year or more. What are we supposed to do?” Ning Xueyan asked, pretending to be at a loss.
“No kinfolk?” The two older female servants gave a start and felt embarrassed by the unexpected situation.
Madame Dowager had told them to appease the victim, if she was not dead, with compensation so that rumors could be reined in. But she failed to anticipate that the victim had no family here and now had difficulty moving around. Abandoning this solitary old lady would only discredit the Lord Protector’s Manor.
The two older female servants gave each other a knowing look and then made up their minds. They had been sent here by the Madame Dowager because they were believed to be able to handle this well.
“Fifth Young Lady, in that case, how about first bringing her to the Lord Protector’s Manor and taking care of her there until she recovers, or until her family comes to fetch her?”
“Will my grandmother mind…” Ning Xueyan was a little concerned.
“Please rest assured. I will explain it to Madam Dowager, and you won’t feel awkward.” The two older female servants added, knowing that Ning Xueyan did not want to displease Madam Dowager. As seniors in Lucky Garden, they were acute enough to notice that the Fifth Young Lady was no longer her past self. They had better treat her nice.
“Thank you, Mammies. How about taking her to Bright Frost Garden then? I caused this and I shall not brother my grandmother with it anymore.” Ning Xueyan insisted.
Her words sounded reasonable and brought home to the people around her sense of responsibility and her wishes not to bother Madam Dowager. The two mammies gave their tacit approval. Under the same situation, the Second Young Lady denied it while the Fifth Young Lady faced up to it fair and square. It was obvious which one won favors.
“All right. I will then tell Madam Dowager that you insisted on accommodating the old lady in Bright Frost Garden. I assure you that Madam Dowager would appreciate your thoughtful arrangement.” The two mammies nodded. The issue was finally clinched.
As long as the victim was accommodated and served well and then given some money a year later, the aftermath of this could eventually be minimized. After putting a good seal on this matter as Madam Dowager had told them, the two mammies smiled. Then, when the mammy looked around at the old lady sitting in bed and their eyes met, they were both startled.
“You… you are…” The older female servant, while pointing at the old lady, looked stunned and said with a tremor in her voice.