Fifteen Strings of Copper Coins
- ScreenwriterYip Shiu-tuck
Butcher You Hulu borrows fifteen strings of copper coins from his wife’s sister. Half-drunk, he plays a joke on his stepdaughter, Su Shujuan, by saying that he has sold her for the money, and then falls asleep. In despair, Shujuan leaves home to seek help from her aunt. On that night hooligan Lou A-Shu breaks into the house, steals the copper coins and kills the Butcher. Shujuan, who is away, becomes the suspect.
Constable Xia spots Shujuan is in a company of the merchant Xiong Youlan. Constable Xia thinks the two are trying to elope and finds exactly fifteen strings of coins on Youlan. After being taken to the government office, the two confess under torture and are sentenced to death.
District Magistrate Kuang Zhong is assigned to supervise the execution. Hearing Shujuan and Youlan’s cries of innocence, Zhong reopens the case.
After an investigation into the crime, Zhong believes that A-Shu is the real criminal. Disguised as a fortune-teller, Zhong makes A-Shu reveal the whole story. After sending his men after A-shu to obtain evidence, Zhong retries the case and reveals the truth. A-shu admits his guilt; Shujuan and Youlan regain freedom eventually.