MiaoHong did not pay attention to their conversation instead she was picking up wild flowers in different color by the river, in the mean time she talked to LiuMing in low voice:
“Sister XiangLan would get married tomorrow. Let’s weave a beautiful garland for her to wear on head.”
LiuMing paid no attention to this she continued her talk with XiangLan who was bending to reap the grass:
“Sister Lan. Why should you get married so early in such a chaotic year? You are only 18 years old and you’ve lost your father. How your mother need you to help her live through……”
XiangLan understand that LiuMing said this sincerely, so she answered melancholy in low voice:
“It is all because of the chaotic situation that my mother worried my safety staying home. So she is willing to get me married early…… Sister Ming. I am truly sorry having to leave you.” As XiangLan said she stood up straight wiping off her tears with sleeve.
LiuMing stared at XiangLan a feeling for reluctance to part surged in her chest: later if we return to my grandma it would be difficult to meet my childhood friend.
“Then you go and get married! Didn’t you say that you developed affection with YongTai? Then I wish you two live together forever…… ”
XiangLan flushed and nodded, she thanked heartily for Liu’s blessing with regretful tears hanging on the cheek. LiuMing wiped of the tears with her white handkerchief.
The willow branches are dancing in the wind. The water in River YongDing flows silently. The village after the mid-day rest is all but cicada voice and the fragrance of flowers. Beside that there is the sound of reaping the grass with the sickle in XiangLan’s hand.
A unique garland of flowers had woven. MiaoHong hold the garland in her hand and stole her way to the back of XiangLan. Suddenly she laid the garland on the head of XiangLan.
XiangLan took a fright. She jumped up and turned around throwing back the garland to MiaoHong:
“You condemned naughty girl! What a trick you’ve made again!”
MiaoHong hold the garland in her hand looking at it time and again. She smelled the thick fragrance too.
“Tomorrow you would be a bride. I wove this garland for you. How beautiful it is. Put is on. It is prettier than a crown.” Then MiaoHong again forced the garland on XiangLan’s head.
XiangLan laughed and shun backing up her basket loaded with green grasses. She is running back home.
LiuMing stopped her by hand and took over her basket. She put it on her own back, made a frown to MiaoHong and said:
“Little Miao. Don’t be so naughty. She is so sorrowful and you are still so happy!”
MiaoHong understand that LiuMing is blaming her. She threw the flower garland into the river in anger and followed the other two with her mouth pout.
Suddenly someone cleared her voice and a crisp sound of singing flied into our ears.
“The beautiful bride fell in love with the young groom,
How many eyes throw their blessings at you two?
Happiness and joy like slights of warn sunlight, shining forever on your thatched house…… shining on your thatched house. ”
“You gossipy girl! What do you mean by thatched house?
……”XiangLan is illiterate and she did not fully understand the song. But she knew it is a song in blessing to her. Her heart was beating fast and her tender graceful face turned again into a rose in bloom:
“Little Miao. How can you make up a poem? It must be that GaoYongYa taught you……”
“Never talk about him. You don’t know how holy he is in my mind……”Before LiuMing could finish her words, MiaoHong covered her mouth with the hand. Suddenly Miao’s face turn into a red rose too.
In the earlymorning, the sky is cloudy as if the rain is coming.
A worn our sedan screened by cloth on which embroidered phoenix, peonies and the pattern ofother red flowers and green leaves, appeared on Bridge LouGou.It was guided by a few trumpeters and the small troop sounding all the way. The countless stone lions that engraved on the railings of Bridge LouGou seem tostare at the by passing fleet of wedding in astonishment.
The small sedan stopped at the door of WangYongTai’s whose house locates in the east of villageXiaoYu. There is no wall to enclose his yard, only a shed for growing towel gourd was set in the front and this managed to serve as a wall. The sedan stopped at the shed soon the trumpeters were enclosed by a pack of children. The group men were beating their gongs and blowing surnai vigorously among all the laughing and joking. And there were some never stopped beating the drums. The thundering of drums, the clangor of gongs and the blowing of surnai added rapturous atmosphere to the wedding ceremony.
The small wooden door of WangYongTai’s was shut there. The aunt who approached to welcome the bride stood by the shed and patted on the door. She called in a protracted voice according to the old tradition:
“The bride is coming! The propitious time arrived! Open the door please!”
The WangYongTaiinside the house had long being in urgency. He can’t wait to reach his hand forthe door. But a grandma by his side held back his hands and gasping out:
“Wait a moment boy! There is something mysterious here! Keep the door shut until she knocked the third time when the propitious moment came!”
WangYongTai aged23, he is tall and in strong built. He has broad shoulders and slender waist, a man of honest and healthy type. He works as an apprentice at ChangXinDian engine repair mill. The man passes village XiaoLiu on his way to and from the mill. There he frequently encountered this pigtailed and red string hair tied big girl who was at her work grinding the rice and corn with a roller. Gradually he had an attachment to the girl. WangYongTai is the only son of WangFuLai whose wife had died early. And the father made every effort to settle down the marriage for his son through the relations.
The sedan is in the approaching. The blew of Sounai and the beating of gangs sound louder and louder. The heart of YongTai beat fast like a rabbit in the chest. XiangLan stays just outside the door there is just a thin layer of door plate in between. So many days she is in his heart in his expect. Finally she come and she is joining him…….Respectively in the eyes of XiangLan YongTai now seems in view. Thinking of the incoming days when she would spend with her ideal and affectionate man she sits in the sedanwith her heart beat as fast as him……
The aunt knocked at the door a third time now, she shouted in her loud voice:
“The propitious time arrived! It’sthe time now!”
The door opened in a sudden and YongTai hadalready seen his bride. The moment when the aunt was about to uncover the curtain of the sedan, the moment when all the noise of human sound, drums and gongs were boiling there appeared a sharp whistle in the sky followed by the thunder of blast. Lightening, fire and dense smoke rose up in the sky. A bomb blasted in the crowd!
The bomb just dropped in frontof YongTai’s house.
LiuMing and Miao Hong are inthe approaching now. They are forcing their way forward in the crowd shoulder to shoulder and tried their best to near the sedan. In the surge of thunderlike whistle, they felt as if a stick beat heavily on their back. Suddenly they lost control of themselves and fell down on the ground. After the terrifying sound of blast the two girls looked at each other and discovered each other a muddy girl with dust all over the face and hair. Now their heart beat fast in astonishment. What’s happened and how come the blasting? What force pulled them down on the ground?
…… The two sat on ground for a moment blank minded. When they looked again at the front of WangYongTai’s house the happy joyous group just now disappeared in stead many bloody men laid disorderly on the ground not known dead or live.
The sound of blast ceased inthis way.
LiuMing jumped up and crippled her way to find XiangLan, but she is not there. What she saw is only a pale arm and the paled colored hand on the arm still held tight a red silk handkerchief. She took a startle in the heart and the moment she wanted to find XiangLan by the smashed sedan someone dragged her away. Liu rose up to see a dusty facedman is talking to her:
“The bride is hopeless now.We’d better dug out the father and the son as soon as possible.”
LiuMing pulled up MiaoHongby her side and the two of them followed the strange man running for the destroyed house. The man tried his best to dig the tomb like earth piles indifferent height with his bare hand. In the mean time he shouted: “Uncle Wang,brother Wang, where are you now? Get up please! Please get up!”
“WangYongTai, where are you now? Get out please!……”LiuMing followed the shout while digging bare handed and disorder hearted. MiaoHong also took her example.
There came no answer andsilence prevailed there on the debris.
Suddenly a shower of cry surged out from the village the relatives of those died and injured came in arush. In sight of the crying and calling LiuMing’s heart broken. But she laid down all the other thoughts to concentrate on saving the father and the son. This time several young fellows arrived with their hoes and spades, the moment they was about to dig the dusty faced man stopped them.
Analysis: The wedding turned to a funeral. The Jap targeted on the civilian and from the beginning the invasion lost all of the human sense in the same time broke the rules ofwar. The illusionary happy life was made a catastrophe—death, injuries and cry prevailthe wedding. It is neither a terrorist attack that behind the crime there is a strong force organized by a pack of inhuman political regime with animal like desires.
“My folk men, there are men buried under you can’t use your hoes. Use your hand!”
Many more people gathered and not long after the father and son were dug out. The two had already knocked unconscious, they lay straight under the destroyed towel gourd shed. LiuMing cleaned the earth in their mouths and prepared to do artificial respiration then the earth digging man volunteered to help her. The big hands of his are as nimble as LiuMing’s but they are much more robust. …… Liu pressed on the chest of Wang again and again in the mean time glanced at the surrounding figures.
WangYongTai woke first then he sat up. He looked around as if seeing nothing. Not until his view stopped at the demolished sedan did he really woke up. He jumped up and rushed for the sedan. The sedan was blasted off with only several posts lay disorderly on the ground and the torn off cloth of red and green was shaking in the wind. He searched on until he saw the pale broken arm with a red silken handkerchief held tight in the hand. Wang grabbed for it and held it tight as if XiangLan were still living. And this pale broken arm had been his beloved girl’s.
In sight of this, LiuMing couldn’t help weeping on the shoulder of MiaoHong and Miao also had tears in her eyes.
“Sister Ming, what a thing it is? Where does the shell come from which killed sister XiangLan and so many people? Can’t you see that the aunt to welcome the bride and many trumpeters were also killed?……”
LiuMing hugged MiaoHong tight. She saw so many folk men cry loudly for their dead relatives, she saw WangYongTai held the broken arm of XiangLan dumfounded. She couldn’t help crying out and the tears showering like rain.
“Hey! These two girls! You know the bride of the Wang’s family, aren’t you?”
LiuMing raised up her head from the shoulder of MiaoHong. A handsome young fellow just stood by their side. My! It’s just the man who helped her do the artificial respiration a moment ago. In the intensive work then Liu couldn’t see his face clearly. At this moment he had washed his face and dusted off his clothes to change into a form of tall and handsome university student. LiuMing thought of the appearance of herself and MiaoHong. They are still in dusty. So she felt somewhat awkward and stopped crying. But MiaoHong did not mind it, she answered the young man:
“You are a good man, sir. If you did not propose to save the father and the son first they could have been suffocated…… When the shell dropped down, there seems to be someone who pulled the two of us down suddenly. Should that man be you? You should have experienced war and know how to shade from shells, isn’t it? ”
LiuMing added up something in soft voice:
“Thank you. You save the Wang’s and you saved us.”
The young fellow shook his head and took a long sigh in serious look. He said:
“The shell may come from the Japanese Army. These days they are practicing a military drill somewhere nearby Bridge LuGou and may seeking an excuse to invade China inland…… The two of you! How should I call you?”
“My name is MiaoHong and her name is LiuMing. She is a sophomore in BeiPing medical academy and I am learning singing. We are friends.”
Analysis: The north China is in chaotic. It is big but not big enough to set up a desk never mention for a wedding procession. Can’t you say the shell attack is only an incidence? But I never believe in the excuse, for all men with science sense won’t believe without a careful target on the shell can make such a coincidence by itself. For the two naïve girls the tragic made them a sense what war is and how shall they co-operate. For they doomed fate it is only a beginning and far away from the end.
Before LiuMing had a chance to speak, MiaoHong started up her gossip to the young fellow. She said: “Sir, how should we call you? It must be you who pulled us down and saved our lives, is that so? Don’t be so shy and keep silence. Tell us and we will appreciate it for ever……”
The young fellow said his name is CaoHongYuan, for the second question he neither admitted nor denied, which made LiuMing admire and respect him more.
“Sister, Look, how we are looked now. Hurry up to your grandma’s to wash our faces and have the clothes changed. Sir, does it deserve laughing to be two dusty monkeys? Would you please tell me why should you say that it is the Jap who fired the cannon?”
CaoYuanHong smiled a little, he bowed before these two female university students and said in low voice:
“The Jap made an excuse that one of their soldiers lost his way during the military drill and they want to march in WanPing for a search. But we turned it down. It is said that the Jap had already besieged WanPing. The situation may go even worse. They fired the first gunshot, the second and the third may follow. You’d better leave this place and turn back to the city as soon as possible.
Both LiuMing and MiaoHong forgot about their dusty faces and concentrated on his talk. Then a group of folk men surrounded the lecturer, among them are the newly dug out WangFuLai, the father of WangYongTai. He grasped for the arm of CaoHongYuang, gasped out with his face a mixture of mud and tears:
“Savor, savor! Please leave us your name!”
“He is CaoHongYuan, may be a university student……”Before the young fellow had a chance the quick mouthed MiaoHong inserted in: “He did know why there should be a blast a moment ago, please let this Cao explain to us. Is this sound reasonable? ”
Cao shook his head and only slightly mentioned:
“It must be the Jap. My folk men! Please hurry home and make preparation. Many family suffered casualties and should arrange for funeral……” At this Cao turned his head, he saw that WangYongTai still held the pale white arm and stand by his father staring at him in an astonished look.
CaoHongYuan soon walked out of the crowd and stopped by the side of WangYongTai, his bright eyes staring at the broken arm held by Wang.
“Brother Wang, your wife is not the only one that was killed. Don’t be too sorry. We can seek way to revenge later. Put it away then.”
“Revenge?” Wang stared at Cao in the face with his bloody eyes as though he was the one who assassinated XiangLan.
“Brother, we Chinese are not so easy to be bullied! We shall revenge! We must take revenge!”
“Revenge! Revenge!……”Before Cao could finish WangYongTai, shouted out like howling. Suddenly he threw away the broken arm and squatted on the ground holding his head and crying loudly. Suddenly WangFuLai and all the relatives to the dead burst out crying. Village XiaoYu was sunken in the wailing.
LiuMing was stunned. Again she laid her head on Miao’s shoulder and wept. A beautiful figure flashed by in her mind, the girl has big active eyes, threw her pigtail and bore a basket on her back. In the view of the mind, a rosary face appeared in taking off the flower garland from her head the face bloom with blessed smiles…… She is alive a moment ago. This girl of eighteen had been filled with beautiful longing towards life, future and happiness. This childhood fellow of her in flash of a second was blasted into pieces and disappeared from the world for ever! It is unimaginable, the life and death should be so near by each other…… Suddenly she thought of the young fellow too, if he had not been by side and pulled down the two, she should have been disappeared along with XiangLan and those who dead or been injured like those injured…… LiuMing is heavy with thoughts and circled by affection. The time she rose up her head to find CaoHongYuan, the fellow had already disappeared, only the swear words of “taking revenge” that he uttered to WangYongTai still echoes in her ears.
“Cao—Hong—Yuan……”LiuMing weigh in her mind: “That is an ambitious name!”
Analysis: The story mentioned River LiuTiao Incident which is famous in the history of national anti-Japanese war. The military government of Japan was not satisfied for the mere occupation of the three provinces in north-east China. The Japanese fascist regime would invade for resources, invade for slavery and invade for the dictatorship over the world. The Chinese people were put into destiny that they can neither deny the war nor make choice. The fate is forced not sought. So the bloody scene woke up they sense of revenge but not without propaganda. Further more the revenge can not be practical with the strength of individual nor with the strength of collective. Invasion is the behavior of a country as whole equally anti-invasion should also be the behavior of a county as whole.
The day after they witnessed the tragedy in village XiaoYu, LiuMing and MiaoHong were urgent to go back home through a round way in the guard of their uncles and cousins. As soon as LiuMing stepped into her home she encountered the one waiting for her in the dim two apartment’s house with little furniture. He is a young and graceful university student with a pair of turtle shell frame glasses on the fair and clean face. The oily hair was combed tidy. He wore white silk shirt and grey palace trousers and his foot was in white silk stockings and fine white leather sandal. At this sight, LiuMing stunned a little firstly then nodded to him and said:
“You are here. BaiShiWu” before the student could respond with an answer LiuMing turned to talk to his parents gravely:
“Mom and Dad, yesterday sister XiangLan was bombed dead by the Jap. She was blasted in her wedding sedan…… MiaoHong and I hurried there to bless her but what we could see is only her broken arm.” Liu rustle with tears in the retell.
LiuMing’s mother is a fat woman over forty. She was astonished at the news, stamping her feet and said in tears:
“What! XiangLan died? How it comes! …… You rebelling girl, how should you put off the comfortable life in the city and went to the country for a release? You almost lost your life there…… Do you know how you worried your parents on hearing the gunshot? Lord Bai also worried like ants. He heard the gunshot at your grandma’s and hurried here soon. He came here twice a day to inquire whether you are home or not. Then you talk to each other and I will go to cook for you.” At this LiuMing’s mother cripple on her small foot to the shed outside for cooking.
LiuMing’s father LiuQingQuan is not quite enthusiastic towards the BaiWuShi who wear ostentatiously, but when he saw his daughter came back he drag on her for inquiry of situation at Bridge LouGou. LiuMing smiled at BaiShiWu slightly then she turned to her father and spoke to him the way CaoHongYuan had said: “The Jap was carrying on a military drill by Bridge LouGou, they gun fired the region in excuse that one of their soldiers gone missing. At this his father sighed repeatedly and knocked on the table slightly with his fist:
“The country will collapse soon! It’s a shame. It’s a tragedy! My daughter, the country will collapse at any time!”
LiuMing stared at her father’s grave look dumfounded. As soon as she mentioned how WangFuLai was dug out and she along with MiaoHong was pulled down by a stranger to be saved from the blast, her boy friend inserted in:
“Little Liu, are you terrified? I really worry for you. I did not know you’d been to Bridge LuGou. How dangerous it is! You must be near by XiangLan’s sedan, what if something happened to you? How can it help?” The white face student stared at the face of LiuMing in the talking. His eyes are affectionate. Is it anxious, envy or worry? How deep is the affectionate in his blinking eyes?
LiuMing stopped the talk to her father and turned to BaiShiWu. In sight of such concern from BaiShiWu, LiuMing’s heart beat fast, lowed down her head and play uneasily with her white handkerchief:
“Little Bai, I know you will concern about me. Then you go to visit the grandma, who knows we could encounter such incident. Luckily we can come back safely……”
Whenever BaiShiWu saw LiuMing’s tender manner he also flush without conscious. He stared at LiuMing amazingly for a while, then spoke in low voice:
“How about going out for a talk? I have something to talk to you!”
LiuMing glanced at her father who sat on the worn cane chair murmuring and she said:
“Dad, I’d like to go out for a while.” then she turned to her mother who was in her apron holding a basket in the hand and added: “Mom, I’d like to out for a while with little Bai.”
BaiShiWu nodded his head he said it unnecessary to prepare meal for them for they would eat out. LiuMing forced out a smile to mother then went out side by side with him.
Walking on the silent lane, LiuMing’s mind was all in a mess, she did not say anything for long.
BaiShiWu wanted to hold her hand tight, but she shunned. The narrow handsome white face flushed again.
“Little Liu. How can you behave like this? Do you turn sick of me? But I miss you day and night. When ever I shut my eyes at night you appear in my mind……”
“Little Bai, I know you have affection towards me. But I have something sorrowful in the heart like tinplate to press me hard.”
“Sorrow for what? Do you miss me? Then we get married soon? I am longing for it day and night.”
“Get away soon” LiuMing pushed away his reaching out hands: “The three provinces in north—east China still sunk in the hands of the Jap and the war has been expended to north China. Did you hear the gunfire over the Bridge LouGou？Marry? I had said it long before that before graduation, before I became an attending doctor I won get married.”
“But, but you are too hard hearted. You mean until your graduation? How can I live through these years then? Darling you are too cold hearted……”
LiuMing was walking in steady steps she narrowed her eyes in meditation and never made a sound.
BaiShiWu turned his head back while walking. He stared at the charming face familiar yet strange, soon he turned dizzy as if his spirit had lost. He did not make any sound too.
LiuMing’s home locates not far away from XiDan. Soon they were walking on the prosperous XiDan Street. Suddenly a striking scene emerge before their eyes: a big crowd of people are marching on the street in groups and fleets. People are marching with slogans and banners in their hands. They are waving their iron fists shouting hysterically. Under the white cloud and blue sky the scene present itself before LiuMing’s eyes outstandingly.
Analysis: BaiShiWu can’t wait to marry LiuMing. I’d rather say it is a great passion for her rather than sincere love at least at the present stage, but LiuMing’s great passion for study and occupational success saved her from the lover’s **. By this stage the anti-Japanese war broke out formally, the great clouds of people in demonstration is an anti-Japanese patriotic activity to show the national determination to fight for independence.
BaiShiWu followed LiuMing like a tail and hurried into the gate of BeiPing medical academy. It turned out to be real that usually quiet campus in summer vacation appeared extraordinary noisy today crowded with students and staff young and old busy coming and going. LiuMing know some of them but mostly strangers. She went to the playground first to discover what the gathered men and women are doing there. Suddenly a shower of passionate speech spread into her ears. LiuMing hurried up for the boiling crowd.
“My classmates! My comrades! A full scale war of invasion has been launched by the Japanese imperialist and it broke out like volcano. But the present regime signed He-Umezu Agreement with the Jap follow by the establishment of an East HeBei Joint Administration against the Communist by a national traitor YinLuGen. The North East China had been sunken and the North China is now being gradually swallowed and slaughtered piece by piece. It has left with merely a name now……”
The lecturer is a graceful and smart female university student in plain clothes. LiuMing seems to have met her somewhere, but she couldn’t remember the place clearly. Strangely she felt this elderly female looks similar to herself whether in the brows, the face or the color of skin…… How can it be?
“The Jap provokes us constantly. After the seizure of Bridge LouGou they constantly attacked WanPing with cannons, machine guns and air raid. Our 29th Route army can never tolerate it and they had risen up in a full scale counter attack! Our regiment led by JiXingWen is now being in the first reaction in the recapture of Bridge LouGou which serves as a transportation juncture. The battle is hard but they fight valiantly. The officers and soldiers united as a whole in the counter attack. Their valiant deeds can move the God. It is a great anti-Japanese War and it is a holy anti-Japanese War. My classmates! My comrades! We should also be united as a whole to patriotically support their resolution to fight against the Japanese invasion! The whole nation should back them up. You are students from the medical academy and the BeiPing students union proposed that in co-ordination with other organized patriotic units from other schools you should immediately organize first-aid teams and medical corps then hurry up to the nearby front to provide your aid and condolence to the injured and other patriotic soldiers…… Do you agree with me?”
LiuMing stunned at the tranquil female student who stood at the platform on the play ground and made the eloquent speech. Surrounded her there are several other students among them some LiuMing can recognize. LiuMing was agitated by the patriotic speech and attracted by the charming manner and appearance of the lecturer’s……
She forgot the BaiShiWu by herside. She felt someone dragged on her arms and hands but every time she got rid of it. LiuMing listened to the speech attentively and her eyes focused on the passionate gestures of the figure.
A shower of shouting woke up LiuMing from her ideal illusion:
“That’s right! That’s right! Organize the medical corp!”
“For it! For it! We support! Set out immediately to Bridge LouGou. We agree!”
“Down with the Japanese imperialists!”
“Give us back our nation!……”
Men and women shout out loudly the rest answered and there were even some weeping. Grieve and indignant roaring thundered through the playground. It is spreading, it is rolling.
LiuMing’s heart was pumping with patriotism, she was eager to rush to the platform and register her in the first-aid group. But before she can make any movement, BaiShiWu dragged by the arm and murmured hastily into her ears:
“Little Liu, let’s leave this place! I have something urgent to say. Let’s go to BeiHai Park or ZhongShan Park for the talk.”
LiuMing withdrew her arm she pressed down her anger and lowered the voice to say:
“Little Bai, the anti-Japanese tide must be surging your campus now. You’d better hurry up there and have look. Why not join them? If you have something to say let’s arrange the talk later.”
BaiShiWu was born into a royal family of the Qing Dynasty. Though the royal clan has been on the decline, there is a Chinese saying: “The hungered camel still looks bigger than the horse.” He can still live under the care of his father and share a life of abundance like a lord from childhood. Now he is a student from the department of law ChaoYang University. In his primary school years he had been classmate of LiuMing’s and his aunt was the principal of the school by the time. The aunt likes the hard study and the witty mind of LiuMing’s she often took her home. So BaiShiWu got to know the girl from his childhood. Later the two of them all went into middle school. Though they were classmates no longer, the father of Liu frequently went to Bai’s villa to teach the son history and Chinese etc. In time of bad weather the young master of sixteen or seventeen often bicycle to the teacher’s home to learn. Again the young lord often met LiuMing there. Gradually she falls into love with this poor but beautiful girl. While Liu resolved to carry on reading and seek for advance. She decided not to fall in love early or get married early. She treats BaiShiWu as common friend and keeps fair distance for which the boy turn awkward, neither could he approach nor could he tolerate keeping distance. But this BaiShiWu did have some patience, on one hand he hurried the step to seek after her, on the other he sent presents to LiuMing’s at times to win favor of her mother. The old mother saw that Bai is from a rich family in the mean time also a student from ChaoYang University, he should be entitled an officer after graduation, for all these the mother is willing to marry her daughter to him. The only obstacle remains that the girl is determined and no one could persuade her. Many times when her mother proposed her to get marry, she turned them down. Sometimes when the girl was disturbed she would answer her mother this way: “If you feel he is so good then you marry him!” then the mother would have nothing to say and let it be.
After the out broke of Bridge LuoGou Incident, the peripheral organization of the communist party—national liberation vanguard—carried out their propaganda in high schools and universities. They rose up a new climax of Anti-Japanese and Save the Dying Country Movement. From July the eighth, schools organized a variety of Save the Dying activity. The party proposed a slogan—Advocate the valiant anti-Japanese action of the 29th Route Army. Then students walked on the street to explain why we should fight against the Jap. There are some who went into civil houses for donation to provide aid for the anti-Japanese soldiers in the 29th Route Army. Many students organized consolation teams, first aid teams and went to the front with their blood boiling to encourage the warriors of the army. Over the night the activity out broke in BeiPing like a volcano eruption.
Analysis: The full scale inland invasion had been launched but the full scale anti-invasion had been long delayed. The anti-Japanese deeds of the 29th Route Army can be only valued as individual action. Why? The contents themselves provided the answer. The GouMingDang party has many different branches they hold different ideas, the center regime was controlled by the ultra-right wing who determined for a civil war to root out the communists force while sought for compromise with the invaders. In He-Umezu Agreement they agreed that the GouMingDang party’s center administration agency retreat from BeiPing, TianJing and HeBei along with their main military force—the Center Army Group and the North—East China Army Group. The north China was actually in military blank and administrative blank, it can only retain a mere name.
The crowd on the play ground of the medical academy was gradually dispersed. The female student who made LiuMing wonder also left. WenXueTao stand by her side, she is a member of People’s Vanguard from the academy. This moment, LiuMing pulled her hand and said in low voice:
“Sir, what can Ido for you? To be in the first aid or……”She glanced at BaiShiWu who stand not so far away for fear that he would rush ahead again.
WenXueTao thought over it for a while then she speak courteously in low voice:
“Classmate Liu,I heard it said that you have relatives over Bridge LuGou. Oh. Your grandma, is that so? That’s good. You follow the first aid team then. Is it all right? You can do some propaganda work to the workers and peasants there by the way and persuade them to join in the anti-Japanese activity. How about it? Can you live up to? ”
LiuMing thought it over for a while then nodded her head.
“Ok. Then I take my friend MiaoHong with me. She can sing and we can use her singing to encourage people.”
WenXueTao nodded her head in approval: “That’s great!”
“Sir, may I askwho the pretty girl is? The one made a speech just now.”
“She is called LuFang, one of the leaders in the student league.”
“Oh, it is sonice!” LiuMing smiled in admiration: “Sir, do you know her? Can you introduce me to her by chance?”
WenXueTao nodded and smiled, then turned to leave. She is too busy.
LiuMing had not turned back when a hand hold her. It is MiaoHong’s:
“Sister Ming,shall we return to village XiaoLiu? That’ great! I can’t depart you and will follow you wherever you go.”
“You want to turn back there again?” suddenly another hand reached out to hold her, “LittleMiao, little Miao, how can the two of you be so headstrong? You just arrived in BeiPing the city proper and how shall you returned to the endangered zone again…… I advise you not to leave downtown area. We can join the anti-Japanese activity in the city. Is that all the same? I have many relatives and acquaintances here and we can go for their donation. Donation is also anti-Japanese activity, is that so?” BaiShiWu persuaded the two girls in his worry in the mean time took out a handkerchief to wipe off the beads of sweat on the forehead.
“BaiShiWu. Why shallyou always be afraid of my escape? Why not join us then?”
LiuMing glanced at BaiShiWu in disfavor, then held the hand of MiaoHong and went out of the campus.
“Little Miao,where is GaoYongYa? Would he follow you to the front too?” BaiShiWu shunned the question of going out the city, while she turned to MiaoHong, “He shall not be like you two after all you are female and easy to be moved……”
“Never mind him!Once the gun fires he would sit in his study and inspirited to write a poem…… Little Bai, you shall go to your school to have a look. Your activity of Save the Dying should be on the climax too.” MiaoHong took the example of LiuMing and persuaded him seriously.
Bai nodded then lit up a brand Three Battery cigarette, his white and clean face flushed. Along while later he continued in low voice.
The gun fire at Bridge LuGou ceased for Chiang Kai-Shek sought for compromise. The endless green fields are sunken in silence.
The sky was over casted and it seems that the rain is coming.
Suddenly a burst of singing broke the silence of the fields it blew like a gust of wind that dispersed overcastted clouds:
“Workers, peasants, soldiers, students and dealers,
United and save the dying.
Take our weapons—Gun and sword.
Broad swards, spilt to the heads of the Jap!
The anti-invasion day has come. It has come…
On the threshing ground by village XiaoLiu, LiuMing stood on a stone roller, singing her anti-Japanese song in her sweat and round voice. Many young men and women in student’s uniform encircled her, singing together loudly as if to accompany her. Among the singing crowd there are LiuMing and MiaoHong’s boyfriend—the GaoYongYa who wore a pair of glasses, in long beard and Western clothes in a casual manner. Beside them there stood peasants men and women, young and old, in piles and groups listening to the singing in different distance. Children counted the majority. They stared round their surprising eyes at the red, matured cherry like small mouth.
Gradually those children also followed to sing in different tones the anti-Japanese songs then the young peasants also started to sing:
“Workers, peasants, soldiers, students and dealers,
United and save the dying.”
The singing seems to have magic power they united the burning heart of the students and hesitating mind of the peasants.
The rain drops fall continuously it wetted people’s clothes and straw sandals. But people could not feel the drops of rain, there on the threshing ground still gathered crowds of anxious alarmed but agitated people.
“Hi. I should say, ladies and gentlemen, your singing sounds far better than what you say! If you can spare the time to sing why not take up your guns and fight against the Jap!”
The singing came to a sudden stop.
People turn their heads to this shouting man astonished. The man held a stick in his hand. He has a pair of bloody red eyes and looks totally in anger.
“That is him. WangYongTai! ” LiuMing shouted in her heart and run to stand by his side:
“You come too! We are doing propaganda for the anti-Japanese activity. Singing has better influence than lecturing sometimes.”
“My! Aren’t you the groom of sister XiangLan? I can’t imagine that you are here too!”
MiaoHong’s singing was interrupted, she frown and jump by his side. She turned her eyes quickly as if to complain or to have sympathy.
WangYongTai ignored LiuMing and MiaoHong, he had a club on his shoulder and concentrate on his own shouting:
“Anti-Japanese! Anti-Japanese! Who can’t serve a few mouth pieces? We shall take action. We shall take up the gun and the sword to make it solid. Who can push your selling here?”
“How can this man be so coarse?……” LiuMing shook her head slightly and turned to a young leader. She said: “Mr. WuHuaLin, is it necessary to continue? I know this man. He is called WangYongTai. His bride was bombed dead by the Jap on her sedan. So he hates the Jap……”
WuHuaLin is one or two years over twenty, average height. He has narrow eyes and long brows. In sight of WangYongTai’s insane status and the indignant people, he suddenly jumped onto the stone roller waving his arms and shouted:
“Let take revenge for the bride of WangYongTai!”
“Down with the Japanese imperialists!”
“We Chinese can never live as conquered slaves！”
WangYongTai gave LiuMing a blank look then looked at the people encircled him. All of a sudden he threw away the club and ran away.
LiuMing laid on her grandma’s heated bed of brick tired and ache all over. MiaoHong by her side had already fallen asleep. The girl was so weary that she snored slightly. LiuMing sighed slightly and recalled the whole day’s activity: followed WuHuaLin’s condolence team, LiuMing along with MiaoHong and GaoYongYa walked around several villages and entrenchment to give condolence to the warriors of the 29th Route Army. They keep on singing and singing. Then the soldiers and lower officers sung together with them. They sprinkled their tears of grieve and excitement together.
This day in the life of LiuMing has something special and something rare. When December the 9th movement was in the air LiuMing studied as a freshman in the academy. Under the promotion of her classmates, she took part in one of the demonstration too. That time LiuMing put all her energies into the study itself and not quite interested in the political movement. Now after Bridge LuGou incident broke out and possibly in view of XiangLan’s death or the full scale armed invasion had been enforced, the tranquil heart of hers was suddenly disturbed. An irrepressible excitement surged inside. So she dragged MiaoHong and followed the crowd of students visiting the entrenchment, villages and the fields.
Analysis: The war at bridge LuGou ceased for Chiang Kai-shek sought for compromise. But any compromise only made the Jap greedier as you can see in the following chapter. So compromise itself will not stop war. The Chinese people were awakened before the GuoMingDang regime. The common walks of life rose up and volunteer to aid the army. The patriotic songs and slogans along with the invader’s bloody crime committed to Chinese people made the nation indignant and ready. But a united national anti-invasion line has not yet formed and still had long way to go. The domestic conflict is still on the hot line. The nation is dying, so the slogan said to save the dying.
LiuMing thoughtof BaiShiWu for the instance. He kept on saying how he loves her and how frequently he proposed with a solemn pledge of love. But when she returned to the zone near Bridge LuGou, he should refuse to follow in excuse of his parent’s disagreement. This Bai even could not match the GaoYongYa who abandoned hisstudy to follow MiaoHong…… At this LiuMingfelt disappointed and melancholy. There harbored inside her a feeling. What’sit? Is it love?
…… Her cheek burnsand her heart beats faster…… A moment later,the figure of that insane WangYongTai reappeared in her mind. He has gone madfor XiangLan. What a tragedy it is! How he loved her and his heart must bebroken for her. But XiangLan had died—the one who has a long pigtail, the onewho bears a basket, the figure of the beautiful girl reappeared in LiuMing’smind. Unconsciously the figure of the girl changed into a tall handsome young manwho exhausted himself digging on the ruins of Wang’s house—the one waving a banner inthe procession marching on XiShan Street…… Anyhow LiuMing couldn’t fall into sleep again. Her wing of imaginationstretched.
“What does he do? Why shall he look so outstandingly like a crane among cocks?
“Bang, bang, bang.” The grandma’s door was slightly knocked at. It didn’t sound too loud but very clear.
The knock wokeaunt off. She walked from the sleeping room to the meeting room. Grandma wasalso woken up. She pressed her voice and said astonished:
“Hi. Someone is knocking at the door. It’s so late into the night. Who can it be?……”
LiuMing’s heartbeat fast. When the war broke out, the vagrants, bandits and strayed soldiers even the Japs or traitors can broke into civil house like the grandma’s. Sodeep the night had gone into and who could be it? Is that a good man or devil?LiuMing got up in haste. She climbed to the glasses on the little window check,inspecting the main gate: aunt had gone to open the door. Firstly he stoodinside and inquired something, a while later the door opened with sound thentwo figures went in. In the dim moon light, LiuMing saw a man in the clothes ofpeasant’s carrying another peasant man on his back…… Again LiuMing’s heart beat like drums. Who are they? Why should he carryanother man on the back and went into the grandma’s.
When she heard the man carrying another inquired about the name LiuMing, she was astonished and pushed hard on MiaoHong by her side then said in low voice and in panic:
“Wake up! Wake up! LittleMiao, something happened!”
MiaoHong sat up from her pillow suddenly:
“Sister Ming! SisterMing! What’s the matter? Tell me what happened?”
The moment LiuMing wanted to answer when aunt called grandma out of the curtain:
“Mother! Mother!XiangLan’s husband was injured. They want to let LiuMing to have a look. ”
Grandma had been shaking under her quilt long before. When she heard they say XiangLan’s husband, she cried out, scratched a match by her pillow and lit up a kerosenelamp.
The moment they lay WangYongTai on the bed, LiuMing had already put on her shoes. Then she heard another shouting which gave her another startle:
“I’m sorry to disturb you so late in the night sister LiuMing. Look, brother Wang had his leg injured. I’d like you to have a check and treat his injury.”
The voice seems familiar. LiuMing rose up her head to have a careful look then surprised. Isn’the the CaoHongYuan? Isn’t he the one who had been in the procession on Street XiShan?How can he changed himself into a peasant and carried in WangYongTai?
…… Before LiuMing could say anything, little Miao opened her mouth:
“I know you sir,the one who had WangYongTai on the back. Aren’t you CaoHong Yuan?”
“Yes, I am.” thetall man answered wiping his sweat on the forehead and breathing heavily.
“Cao sir, hold up for a moment. The urgent thing at present is to have a check on the injury. ”LiuMing pointed it out and produced her stethoscope. She let MiaoHong to hold the kerosene lamp for the light and checked WangYongTai’s heart beats. Then sheturned to the man in worried look who carried Wang in: “Nothing serious. Nolife risk.” Later LiuMing took off Wang’s worn out trousers without any awkwardness and checked from his thighs downward carefully. She finallydiscovered the injury under the knee and blood was still streaming out from thecut. The doctor slightly felt the bones around the cut then a delighted look appeared on her face: “Very good! The bullet didn’t hurt the bone. Liu took thelamp from Miao and lighted the face of WangYongTai whose eyes slightly shut,then she returned the lamp and opened the eye lips of the injured. The doctor took a long sigh and turned to CaoHongYuan to tell smooth toned: “Take it easy.He bled too much and in a slight coma. Now I will stop the bleeding and bandagethe wound. He would wake up a while later.”
LiuMing took outthe hemostat, alcohol, iodine, absorbent cotton and the gauze she had with herfor the first aid. With the swiftness of her fingers the bleeding stopped andthe wound was bandaged, all like in a magic. Hadn’t she had time to take a longbreath did WangYongTai rush up. He looked around with his bloody red eyes andfixed on the man who carried him in then said in trembling voice:
“Brother Cao, isit you who saved me? Why shall you take the great risk to save me? Just let mekill several more Jap with my sword and die with XiangLan after the revenge!”
“My! You gotyourself injured in killing the Jap!” MiaoHong produced her thumb and slant herhead to one side in delight, admiration and curiosity. “XiangLan’s husband, howdid you kill the Jap? Cao sir, how didyou saved him out? It must be that the WangYongTai broke into the Jap’s campusto kill the devils. After he finished with some one of the Jap fired a gun sohe was injured. Then you might fire from one side and killed some more. Youescape after you used up the bullets and the Jap chase you up according to thesound of gunshots. You run away through a zigzagging lane, saved this Wang andcarried him on back to Village XiaoLiu to seek for LiuMing. Is that all? ”MiaoHong weaved up the story according to her slight knowledge from films andnovels.
Analysis: There is an interestingthing for us to think about. We know that WangYongTai was injured and we knowthat MiaoHong weaved that story. The author didn’t tell us the real thing. Butis that weaved story possible? If it is possible, then we retreated back to thetraditional anti-Japanese fairy tails in which all the enemies are made ofpaper. But according to my knowledge of history it is quite possible. In theinitial stage of full—scale anti-Japanese war, the invader encountered almostno effective countered attack. There is no defeat for the so—called royal armyof Japan.They just looked down upon Chinese army and Chinese people. So their campuseswere not guarded carefully. If should be a real WangYongTai and he designed anight assault to one of the campus he could have succeeded at least he couldkill several at the cost of his own life.
WangYongTai lay on the bed still somewhat unconscious, he stared at MiaoHong’s mouth. The moment CaoHongYuan intended to something, MiaoHong took the chance instead:
“Hi. This just and valiant Cao, I remember you to be a handsome university student the day I met you at village XiaoYu. How can you change into a peasant look today?”
LiuMing pulled her sleeve and said:
“Little Miao, you are more gossipy than the thrush bird. Have a rest and let Cao sir introduce how he saved Wang out.”
“It sounds good. Very good!
……” Miao Hong clapped her hands the instance she wanted to say something again she bitted her lips and stopped.
The rescuer managed through the case politely but didn’t say anything concern the case. Under the intense pressure from MiaoHong, Cao tried to get around calmly: “The light could be the target, we shall control it.” Then he blew out the kerosene lamp. Darkness suddenly fell on the whole house-hold and they listened to Cao’s further talk: “These two sisters. If it is not mistake in my memory then one of you should be sister LiuMing, a student from BeiPing Medical Academy, other should be MiaoHong, a singer……”
“My! Cao sir, you had a marvelous memory! Do you know that I like singing? These days I went to the front line at Bridge LuGou to sing and propaganda until my voice was broken and hoarse. But I’d like to continue and continue!” in the darkness MiaoHong huddled to LiuMing but reach out her head constantly and kept her talking to the CaoHongYuan who sat on the bench.
LiuMing stared her eyes big at CaoHongYuan in the darkness. She also wanted to ask something but did not know how to begin:
“Cao sir, it’s very good to know you. Your valiant deeds encouraged us……”But she can not carry on then switched her blinking eyes to WangYongTai who lay on the bed silently with eyes shut. Liu lowered her voice to promise: “Take it easy. I will treat his injury and take care of him for certain. Can he stay in my grandma’s for the convenience?” LiuMing’s voice sound peaceful and smooth creating an atmosphere of fair and elegance.
“That’s right let’s XiangLan’s husband stay here to heal. It’s a small household that catches no eyes.” Grandma’s an old woman who has conscience. She is now grieving for the death of XiangLan so she is for sure willing to help this injured husband of hers. Further more XiangLan’s mother also could come to nurse her poor injured son-in-law.
CaoHongYuan moved to sit by WangYongTai, he nodded to grandma then turned to face LiuMing and said:
“Sister Liu, your medical skill is quite well—capable of physician and surgery. It’s too good that he can stay and heal under your nurse. Now here is the front line we shall guard against the retaliation from the enemy too. That’s why I carried the injured here. Of cause this action are bold and impolite, but please forgive me for I can do nothing else.”
“Cao sir, how did you know the medical skill of Sister Ming is well? And how did you know she stay in her grandma’s at village XiaoLiu? You are really a figure of magic power.” MiaoHong is frank and quick at the mouth so she couldn’t help shouting out what she had in mind the moment her idea flashes by.
CaoHongYuan still shun the question. By the moonlight penetrating through the window he held the hands of LiuMing’s grandma, smiled and said:
“Grandma, how kind-hearted you are!
…… It’s better for him to stay here several days than going back home. Sister Liu can change the medical dressing for him every day with your help so his injury will be healed soon. Then he glanced at the lying down WangYongTai: the fellow had already fallen asleep after so much tense and fatigue. Later he faced LiuMing and said: “I am going to send a message to uncle WangFuLai. He must be very anxious by now. By the way I have other missions to complete in the city so I will take the twilight and enter the city. Is there anything I can do for you in the city?”
LiuMing saw that CaoHongYuan will take his leave she looked at him in the dim mist like light and said in her smooth voice:
“Cao sir, my home locates at No.13 BeiYin lane, XiShan Street. My father is called LiuQingQuan. I hope you can pay a visit if you have time. Father is a patriotic teacher and he would welcome you there. ”
“I hope you can visit my home too!” MiaoHong inserted in, “I live at No.13 BeiBiao lane, East region and my father called MiaoZhenYu, he is a professor at BeiPing Medical Academy. He support me join in Save the Dying activity and I what I want to say is that how many of us Chinese are not patriotic? How many of us are willing to be traitors? Very few!
…… Cao sir, I remembered you had been working for BeiPing Medical Academy. Is that so? No wonder seems familiar to us!”
“Now I have the addresses of your families in my mind. I will pay my visit later if I have the chance.” CaoHongYuan still didn’t want to answer the question directly. He bowed to these two female students politely, then bowed to grandma farewell and walked out.
CaoYuanHong walked very fast. LiuMing and MiaoHong followed him in fast steps to the door to see off. The dawn is breaking by this time. Several tiny stars are twinkling in the grayish blue sky. These two girls saw the strong and vigorous figure off and the figure disappeared into the dark green fields of up growing crops as fast as an arrow. A never experienced delight suddenly rose up inside LiuMing. She leaned on the door frame, looking up into the tranquil night sky and those twinkling stars on the background. Then she switched her eyesight to wide spread green fields, she smiled.
“Sister Ming, what did you smile for?”
LiuMing held on the shoulder of MiaoHong all in a sudden and laid her head against it. She breathed heavily without saying anything. MiaoHong felt there’s heart beating fast then inquired surprisingly: “Sister Ming, what’s the matter?”
“Listen, the cock is crowing. Let’s return and have a sleep.”