Mother was the daughter of a renowned antiquarian. When she married father, she brought along a large trunk. I liked to ride that trunk as if I was riding a horse in my childhood. Mother never opened that trunk. A heavy copper lock was always guarding the opening of the trunk. Filled with curiosity, I once asked that what it was inside. Mother smiled but did not answer.
Not till that day did she finally opened the trunk. Father was a well-to-do businessman. He lost his company, together with our house and car, in the crisis. When he returned home with a weary face, mother comforted him tenderly, and then went back to bedroom. She opened the trunk with the key she had always kept in her embroidered purse and took out an elaborate china vase.
"This is a vase from China back to Tang Dynasty. Sell it and we can get some money to rent an apartment," she said with soothing voice.
We moved in to that apartment the next day. The place was completely different from where we used to live. Three families shared a kitchen; the toilet was outside. We got a place to live with mother's treasure anyhow. Father found a labored job and saved for starting business again. However, the money he earned was negligible. Mother opened her trunk again and took out a small sculpture made in the Middle Age. That trunk seemed to be a magician's top hat for it contained all kinds of magic treasures when we had financial problems. Running business in recession was not easy.…