Straight to Charan's home he went, but Charan was not there, only her mother. She looked at him, but did not recognize him. He said he was the former Governor's son and that out of love for Charan he had walked five hundred lee. "Where is she?" he asked. The mother heard, but instead of being pleased was very angry. She said, "My daughter is now with the son of the new Governor, and I never see her at all; she never comes home, and she has been away for two or three months. Even though you have made this long journey there is no possible way to meet her."
She did not invite him in, so cold was her welcome. He thought to himself, "I came to see Charan, but she is not here. Her mother refuses me; I cannot go back, and I cannot stay. What shall I do?" While thus in this dilemma a plan occurred to him. There was a scribe in Pyong-an, who, during his father's term of office, had offended, and was sentenced to death. There were extenuating circumstances, however, and he, when he went to pay his morning salutations, had besought and secured his pardon. His father, out of regard for his son's petition, had forgiven the scribe. He thought, "I was the means of saving the man's life, he will take me in;" so he went straight from Charan's to the house of the scribe. But at first this writer did not recognize him. When he gave his name and told who he was, the scribe gave a great start, and fell at his feet making obeisance. He cleared out an inner room and made him comfortable, prepared dainty fare and treated him with all respect.
A little later he talked over with his host the possibility of his meeting Charan. The scribe said, "I am afraid that there is no way for you to meet her alone, but if you would like to see even her face, I think I can manage it. Will you consent?"
He asked as to the plan. It was this: It being now a time of snow, daily coolies were called to sweep it away from the inner court of the Governor's yamen, and just now the scribe was in charge of this particular work. Said he, "If you will join the sweepers, take a broom and go in; you will no doubt catch a glimpse of Charan as she is said to be in the Hill Kiosk. I know of no other plan."
Keydong consented. In the early morning he mixed with the company of sweepers and went with his broom into the inner enclosure, where the Hill Kiosk was, and so they worked at sweeping. Just then the Governor's son was sitting by the open window and Charan was by him, but not visible from the outside. The other workers, being all practised hands, swept well; Keydong alone handled his broom to no advantage, knowing not how to sweep. The Governor's son, watching the process, looked out and laughed, called Charan and invited her to see this sweeper. Charan stepped out into the open hall and the sweeper raised his eyes to see. She glanced at him but once, and but for a moment, then turned quickly, went into the room, and shut the door, not appearing again, to the disappointment of the sweeper, who came back in despair to the scribe's house.
Charan was first of all a wise and highly gifted woman. One look had told her who the sweeper was. She came back into the room and began to cry. The Governor's son looked in surprise and displeasure, and asked, "Why do you cry?" She did not reply at once, but after two or three insistent demands told the reason thus: "I am a low class woman; you are mistaken in thinking highly of me, or counting me of worth. Already I have not been home for two whole months and more. This is a special compliment and a high honour, and so there is not the slightest reason for any complaint on my part. But still, I think of my home, which is poor, and my mother. It is customary on the anniversary of my father's death to prepare food from the official quarters, and offer a sacrifice to his spirit, but here I am imprisoned and to-morrow is the sacrificial day. I fear that not a single act of devotion will be paid, I am disturbed over it, and that's why I cry."
The Governor's son was so taken in by this fair statement that he trusted her fully and without a question. Sympathetically he asked, "Why didn't you tell me before?" He prepared the food and told her to hurry home and carry out the ceremony. So Charan came like flaming fire back to her house, and said to her mother, "Keydong has come and I have seen him. Is he not here? Tell me where he is if you know." The mother said, "He came here, it is true, all the way on foot to see you, but I told him that you were in the yamen and that there was no possible way for you to meet, so he went away and where he is I know not."
Then Charan broke down and began to cry. "Oh, my mother, why had you the heart to do so cruelly?" she sobbed. "As far as I am concerned I can never break with him nor give him up. We were each sixteen when chosen to dance together, and while it may be said that men chose us, it is truer still to say that God hath chosen. We grew into each other's lives, and there was never such love as ours. Though he forgot and left me, I can never forget and can never give him up. The Governor, too, called me the beloved wife of his son, and did not once refer to my low station. He cherished me and gave me many gifts. 'Twas all like heaven and not like earth. To the city of Pyong-an gentry and officials gather as men crowd into a boat; I have seen so many, but for grace and ability no one was ever like Keydong. I must find him, and even though he casts me aside I never shall forget him. I have not kept myself even unto death as I should have, because I have been under the power and influence of the Governor. How could he ever have come so far for one so low and vile? He, a gentleman of the highest birth, for the sake of a wretched dancing-girl has endured all this hardship and come so far. Could you not have thought, mother, of these things and given him at least some kindly welcome? Could my heart be other than broken?" And a great flow of tears came from Charan's eyes. She thought and thought as to where he could possibly be. "I know of no place," said she, "unless it be at such and such a scribe's home." Quick as thought she flew thence, and there they met. They clasped each other and cried, not a word was spoken. Thus came they back to Charan's home side by side. When it was night Charan said, "When to-morrow comes we shall have to part. What shall we do?" They talked it over, and agreed to make their escape that night. So Charan got together her clothing, and her treasures and jewels, and made two bundles, and thus, he carrying his on his back and she hers on her head, away they went while the city slept. They followed the road that leads toward the mountains that lie between Yang-tok and Maing-san counties. There they found a country house, where they put up, and where the Governor's son became a sort of better-class servant. He did not know how to do anything well, but Charan understood weaving and sewing, and so they lived. After some time they got a little thatched hut by themselves in the village and lived there. Charan was a beautiful sewing-woman, and ceased not day and night to ply her needle, and sold her treasures and her jewels to make ends meet. Charan, too, knew how to make friends, and was praised and loved by all the village. Everybody felt sorry for the hard times that had befallen this mysterious young couple, and helped them so that the days passed peacefully and happily together.