In the Ti Ts'ui pavilion， Pao-ch'ai diverts herself with the multi-coloured butterflies. Over the mound， where the flowers had been interred， Tai-yue bewails their withered bloom.
Lin Tai-yue， we must explain in taking up the thread of our narrative， was disconsolately bathed in tears， when her ear was suddenly attracted by the creak of the court gate， and her eyes by the appearance of Pao-ch'ai beyond the threshold. Pao-yue， Hsi Jen and a whole posse of inmates then walked out. She felt inclined to go up to Pao-yue and ask him a question； but dreading that if she made any inquiries in the presence of such a company， Pao-yue would be put to the blush and placed in an awkward position， she slipped aside and allowed Pao-ch'ai to prosecute her way. And it was only after Pao-yue and the rest of the party had entered and closed the gate behind them that she at last issued from her retreat. Then fixing her gaze steadfastly on the gateway， she dropped a few tears. But inwardly conscious of their utter futility she retraced her footsteps and wended her way back into her apartment. And with heavy heart and despondent spirits， she divested herself of the remainder of her habiliments.
Tzu Chuean and Hsueeh Yen were well aware， from the experience they had reaped in past days， that Lin Tai-yue was， in the absence of anything to occupy her mind， prone to sit and mope， and that if she did not frown her eyebrows， she anyway heaved deep sighs； but they were quite at a loss to divine why she was， with no rhyme or reason， ever so ready to indulge， to herself， in inexhaustible gushes of tears. At first， there were such as still endeavoured to afford her solace； or who， suspecting lest she brooded over the memory of her father and mother， felt home-sick， or aggrieved， through some offence given her， tried by every persuasion to console and cheer her； but， as contrary to all expectations， she subsequently persisted time and again in this dull mood， through each succeeding month and year， people got accustomed to her eccentricities and did not extend to her the least sympathy. Hence it was that no one （on this occasion） troubled her mind about her， but letting her sit and sulk to her heart's content， they one and all turned in and went to sleep.
Lin Tai-yue leaned against the railing of the bed， clasping her knees with both hands， her eyes suffused with tears. She looked， in very truth， like a carved wooden image or one fashioned of mud. There she sat straight up to the second watch， even later， when she eventually fell asleep.
the whole night nothing remarkable transpired. The morrow was the 26th day of the fourth moon. Indeed on this day， at one p.m.， commenced the season of the 'Sprouting seeds，' and， according to an old custom， on the day on which this feast of 'Sprouting seeds' fell， every one had to lay all kinds of offerings and sacrificial viands on the altar of the god of flowers. Soon after the expiry of this season of 'Sprouting seeds' follows summertide， and us plants in general then wither and the god of flowers resigns his throne， it is compulsory to feast him at some entertainment， previous to his departure.
In the ladies' apartments this custom was observed with still more rigour； and， for this reason， the various inmates Of the park of Broad Vista had， without a single exception， got up at an early hour. The young people either twisted flowers and willow twigs in such a way as to represent chairs and horses， or made tufted banners with damask， brocaded gauze and silk， and bound them with variegated threads. These articles of decoration were alike attached on every tree and plant； and throughout the whole expanse of the park， embroidered sashes waved to and fro， and ornamented branches nodded their heads about. In addition to this， the members of the family were clad in such fineries that they put the peach tree to shame， made the almond yield the palm， the swallow envious and the hawk to blush. We could not therefore exhaustively describe them within our limited space of time.
Pao-ch'ai， Ying Ch'un， T'an Ch'un， Hsi Ch'un， Li Wan， lady Feng and other girls， as well as Ta Chieh Erh， Hsiang Ling and the waiting-maids were， one and all， we will now notice， in the garden enjoying themselves； the only person who could not be seen was Lin Tai-yue.
"How is it，" consequently inquired Ying Ch'un， "that I don't see cousin Liu？ What a lazy girl！ Is she forsooth fast asleep even at this late hour of the day？"
"Wait all of you here，" rejoined Pao-ch'ai， "and I'll go and shake her up and bring her."
With these words， she speedily left her companions and repaired straightway into the Hsiao Hsiang lodge.
While she was going on her errand， she met Wen Kuan and the rest of the girls， twelve in all， on their way to seek the party. Drawing near， they inquired after her health. After exchanging a few commonplace remarks， Pao-ch'ai turned round and pointing， said： "you will find them all in there； you had better go and join them. As for me， I'm going to fetch Miss Lin， but I'll be back soon."
Saying this， she followed the winding path， and came to the Hsiao Hsiang lodge. Upon suddenly raising her eyes， she saw Pao-yue walk in. Pao-ch'ai immediately halted， and， lowering her head， she gave way to meditation for a time. "Pao-yue and Lin Tai-yue，" she reflected， "have grown up together from their very infancy. But cousins， though they be， there are many instances in which they cannot evade suspicion， for they joke without heeding propriety； and at one time they are friends and at another at daggers drawn. Tai-yue has， moreover， always been full of envy； and has ever displayed a peevish disposition， so were I to follow him in at this juncture， why， Pao-yue would， in the first place， not feel at ease， and， in the second， Tai-yue would give way to jealousy. Better therefore for me to turn back."