Time: 1896 (Fifth Heavenly Stem, Eleventh Earthly Branch) at the beginning of autumn. The imperial government was waiting for the defeat of the reformation movement. Morning.
Place: The Yutai Tea House, Beijing.
[The curtain rises: This kind of large tea house can no longer be found. ... (p. 11)
Wang Lifa: Mr. Tang, please go outside!
Tang Tiezui: (With a bitter smile) Shopkeeper Wang, let Tang Tiezui hold your hand! Give me a cup of tea to drink and I will tell your fortune! I will tell your fortune for free and not take a single penny! Not accepting an explanation, he pulled Wang Lifa's hand closer. This year is the 24th year of Guang Xu's reign, Fifth Heavenly Stem and Eleventh Earthly Branch. You are seventh in order ...
Wang Lifa: (Taking his hand back) Forget it! I will give you a cup of tea but do not sell that kind of business in here! We don't have any need for fortune telling. We all have bitter lives and there is already no way out. (Coming out from the sales counter, allowing Tang Tiezui to sit down.) Sit down! Let me tell you that if you do not give up opium you will never be able to give anyone good luck! This is my method for fortune telling and it is more effective than yours!
Source: Lao She, 2010. Tea House 《茶馆》. Hainan Press, Haikou, Hainan, pp. 12-13.
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