When the village headman returns, he turns out to be in an extremely bad mood due to the fact that the town doctor messed up his tooth. It hurts so bad that he can hardly talk. He asks Luo to fix it because he is the son of a dentist, but Luo is forced to refuse because he is not experienced and has no equipment. Soon afterwards, the Seamstress' father, the tailor, comes to the narrator's and Luo's village for his annual visit. He asks to stay with the narrator and Luo, most likely in order to get to know more about his daughter's friends.
All of the villagers are very excited to see the tailor, and throughout the day the boys' little wooden house is crowded with visitors, women and men alike. Evetually, however, the tailor bids them good evening, and the three are left alone. Before going to bed, the tailor requests that the narrator tells a story. Leaving the usual behind, the narrator settles for the French story of Monte Cristo. The tailor is entranced, and the long novel takes nine nights for the narrator to relate.
However, on the third night they are interrupted. The village headman arrives, and accuses the narrator of spreading reactionary trash, saying he's going to take him to the Public Security Office. Terrified, Luo tries to stop him. Almost immediately, the headman says that if Luo will fix his tooth, then he will not report the narrator to Public Security. So, in a very dangerous and painfull operation, Luo, the narrator and the tailor use a sewing machine to fix the headman's tooth. Towards the end of the procedure, the narrator finds himself pedaling the machine slower and slower, so as to cause the headman as much pain as possible, as some form of revenge. He states "I had turned into a sadist - an out-and-out sadist" (Sijie, 134).