The weary LiuMing suddenly turned as if full of energy now. She threw her black short-cut hair backwards and took out her handkerchief to weep off the sweat and dust on the face. She can’t remember how many days she hadn’t washed her face.
“I will try my best to help you purchase the medicine necessary for anti-Japanese. After one or two days rest I will get started. I am quite familiar with the hospital and the clerks in drug department. In addition, many of my classmates will give you aid too. Did you find MiaoHong? She is at this hospital now and I can bring you to her……”Then LiuMing stood up and CaoHongYuan followed. When she turned her head she found the BaiShiWu stood under a small tree nearby reaching out his head to watch them. Liu was angered but couldn’t say anything. So she just threw a glance in disfavor to him and led the CaoHongYuan towards the wards.
It is already six o’clock in the afternoon. In a big muggy room with different kinds of odors, the injured sleep on the crowded beds. Some raise their heads up slightly some opened their eyes wide some shut the eyes closely with tears on the cheek…… There are six or seven young men and women stood in the centre of the wards singing anti-Japanese song passionately. Among them stand little Miao. Her ruddy tender face thinned and became pale in color. She was singing passionately the song for condolence but her voice turned hoarse:
Your injury is for the people,
Lying on the hospital beds with air bombing continue outside.
The cannons are thundering still,
Fighting to our last drop of blood—
Safeguard our country—our homeland!……
The song climax at “Safeguard our country—our homeland!” then gradually in a declining tone and finally drew an end. The whole ward suddenly immersed in silence as if the passionate song is still resounding in their ears. The big eyes of MiaoHong are blinking with tears. She took out her handkerchief to sweep the sweat on her face as well the tears in the eyes. Some of the injured swept their sweat on the cheek with their big hands while others reach out their hands to clap for the performance. Though the clapping only counts several, just think they came from those seriously injured. On the other hand, their clapping moved those young performers who came for condolence they also took out their handkerchiefs—the hearts of people tied together and burning together……
LiuMing and CaoHongYuan who stood by the door also clapped their hands in tears. The enemy launched a general attack on China! Cannon balls and air-bombs are shaking BeiPing, down town as long as rural, day and night without a stop. The songs and blasts interwove into each other, which presents distinctively in the matter of fact way the BeiPing by that time. The Line—Fighting to our last drop of blood—Safeguard our country—our homeland!—accurately defined people’s willing and swear to defend the country. So when MiaoHong finished her performance, people were agitated and the patriotism was on the surge…… For a long while except for the several claps the ward was filled cursing words of indignation as “The damned Jap” etc.
The surge of antagonism had not died down when a male student sang the tune of Spt. 18th in tenor.
The sorghum leaves fresh green,
Spt. 18th the Jap invaded in.
They occupied the gunpowder magazine,
Then the north camp stationed.
Killing people and setting fires—the Jap are barbarous thing.
The Jap, they are barbarous thing!
Chiang Kai-shek has half million troop station in,
They abandoned ShengYang humbly give in.
In the hospital ward, the hearts of people surge along with the song like with the tide or wind. The current of antagonism emerges stronger and stronger.
“Damned! I will fight against the Jap to my last breathe!”
“Did the centre Army die out?! What didn’t they come to aid us?”
As the student sang the solo, as the injured cursed the Jap, MiaoHong turned back to see LiuMing and CaoHongYuan stood at the entrance. She hurried to them held the hand of LiuMing while speaking to Cao:
“You are here too! Say something to encourage the injured, please! These brothers and officers from No, 29th Route Army are hot against the Jap! They……”
“Look! You can’t hold if you ever started. ”LiuMing pointed CaoHongYuan and interrupted MiaoHong: “Cao sir has something to talk to you. Please come out for a while.”
“I go out for a few minutes……”MiaoHong said to a woman who stood in the middle of the ward and pointed her finger to the door then LiuMing dragged Cao off the big ward.
BaiShiWu tailed them suspiciously and stared his eyes big at their shadows.
Analysis: From the hospital conversation we well understood that the 29th Route Army was cheated. They still fight to wait for reinforcement from the centre Army, but the centre Army had already retreated to the south by that time. The Japan is a small country and their army in general is out numbered by China. But their industry and war product capacity is far more advanced than China by that time. They can produce more weapon than they can consume. The Chinese Government had not realized at the strategic point in history: face with this disadvantage they had to take early action to grab weapon from the war itself. They played a too reserved game and even let their own weapons and ammunition fall into the Japanese hand.
For several successivedays LiuMing dragged MiaoHong to purchase those medicines together, theycovered almost all pharmacies, big and small, in BeiPing. They took the eighthundred legal lenders Cao gave them and a list of demanded medicines to searchfor. But what ever pharmacy they went into the usual welcoming face of the managersturned dull. They uniformly sat on the bench behind the counter, frowned andmake helpless posture to say:
“What do you want?”
“We need fiftythousand aspirin pills, ten thousand bottles of merbromine and one hundredpound of absorbent cotton……”MiaoHong said in advance as she always did. Butthe assistant surprised to say before she could finish the words:
“So much! What’s theuse of them? We do not have so much available.”
They were refused sothe two girls went into another pharmacy. Then LiuMing explained to the managerat the counter:
“The Bridge LuGoubattle went fierce. Many more injured come off the firing line, so the demandfor medicine uplifted quickly. We are all Chinese men, please sell to us!”
“The military supplydepartment of the 29th Route Army should have quantity in storage. Whyshould they encourage students to donate and purchase those medicines?” Themanager behind the counter argued calmly.
MiaoHong turnedanxious, she began running her mouth at the man in white overall behind thecounter who fanned a cattail leaf fan and said:
“They have or havenot the medicine but how can you know so much detail? Could the military supplydepartment predict that the war broke out on July the 7th at BridgeLuGou? Could they predict the valiant soldiers of their army dare to charge theJap and suffered much losses and injury? Are your business men Chinese too? Youhave so much medicine in storage if you refuse to sell to our army in fightingagainst the Jap then to whom you will sell to later? The business circle alsoorganized condolence team and many of the business men also donated. We pay youfor the stuff. It is not a robbery! How much you quote, please make it and wecan pay accordingly!”
The manager behind the counter got angry too,he threw his fan onto the desktop, stared wide his eyes and said puffingspittle:
“Say, you patrioticstudents! If you are angered please point towards those Jap on the Bridge LuGou.Why set your teeth on us without founding? For sure I’m on anti-Jap side! Butcan I protest them by hunger strike? What I want to say is how do you plan topay me for the medicine? The legal lender, is that so? To tell you the truth wedo not believe in the currency. Who knows if the Jap broke into BeiPing one daythe legal lender can turn into rubbish. Then we run out of the medicine and howcan we feed our household? Feed them on pickles and sorghum bread? Just thinkabout it. Miss.……”
At this MiaoHong goteven more angered.
“Your pharmacy is so big and how can thepitiful medicine you sell me make you a poor man to depend on pickles andsorghum bread? Don’t seek your excuses anywhere possible! Anyway you have tosell us the medicine today! Otherwise you are the
……”She wanted to say traitor but held back. Suddenly a voiceintercepted in:
“Manager, to bepatriotic is everyone’s responsibility. I believe you are not willing to be aslave without a nation. Otherwise to hoard the medicine can not promise yousecurity too.”
LiuMing and MiaoHong turned their head just todiscover the speaker to be CaoHongYuan. He had a handbag in the hand cominginto the pharmacy. The two girls got exited as if a saving star was found. Miaohurried up with her words:
“Cao, you come justin time to reason with those fellows who throw away justice for profit! I amalmost angered to
……” She wanted to say “death” but LiuMing pulled her then sheswallowed the words.
Cao repeated someother principle of anti-Japanese activity to the manager and he finally agreedto sell a thousand pieces of aspirin pills, five pounds of merbromine at highprice. Then the three walked out of the pharmacy. Every one of them had a drymouth, sweated and tired. Suddenly MiaoHong discovered something on the wall protrudingher mouth and said in anger:
“Look! What’s on thewall?”
We sell medicinesspecific for V.D and clap. Unique under heaven! ”
LiuMing’s stomachturned at this for disgust. She held back her face, patted on MiaoHong andsaid:
“Kiddy! Your eyesare so quick at this! Why shall you look at this?”
“Dame it! Theyrefuse to sell medicines for anti-Japanese. But ready to pushing selling thesein quantity and send them to your house!”
LiuMing realizedMiao’s boldness and side looked at Cao as if she said something careless. Sheflushed. Cao didn’t mind it and only speak in low voice:
“Must be difficultto buy, yeah?”
LiuMing nodded thentool out some white paper packed pills and several bottles to hand over to Cao.
“Look. It cost ussuch a long bargaining to buy only 500 aspirin pills and how can we spend allthe money by this?……”
Analysis: There should be security for any man to hoard anything if the Jap occupied the city. The legal lender can be useless and became illegal further more the legal ownership of anything can be confiscated. The red zone was in urgent demand of these medicines for they mainly stay in the remote places where there are no industries or pharmacies. The bargaining turned out to be a quarrelthey finally forced out something but far from enough.
“Anyhow we areChinese young we should try our best to do something for our endangeredcountry. Little Bai you said you are patriotic, but you did not behaveaccordingly. You shouldn’t always be in such slack discipline. You should dosomething to the benefit of our nation and people. ”
“What do you want meto do?” BaiShiWu turned his eyes upward and said morosely:
“If you have anyinstruction I can follow it. Here I give you these two hundred yuan of mypocket money to donate for anti—Japanese. Transmit it on my behalf.”
Liu took the moneyand put on the desk top. She said in delight: “I can transmit the money butplease help me in another case—help us purchase some medicine for the injured. Didyou say you have a relative who opened a big pharmacy? Please help us in theprocurement of 10 thousand gram of Clay F Nur, 1 thousand gram of iodine, 30pounds of merbromine and
“My! Our? What does this ‘our’ refer to? ”BaiShiWuintercepted in before LiuMing could finish her words: “Dose the other part ofthe ‘our’ compose of the young fellow who called you out when you were nursingthe injured? The one you met in the anti-Japanese procession? I can’t imaginethat you shall listen to him and labor for him as such……”BaiShiWu changed his look.
At these ironicwords of Bai, LiuMing stood up suddenly threw back her short cut hairs andsaid:
“BaiShiWu! How canyou talk of these non-senses? Tell you the truth the ‘our’ refers to thepeople, the masses. I purchase the medicine for the people and foranti-Japanese. How shall you say the rubbish? If you did not want to aid us,then let it be!” LiuMing usually treat BaiShiWu arrogantly but this time turnedhard, which startled Bai. He stood up immediately and wanted to hold LiuMing’shand in his. But he withdrew his reaching out hand in haste, for he dare not. Nowhis voice softened, lifted up his head and looked at LiuMing full of affection:
“I am short sighted.I’m short sighted. Don’t be angry! I set up immediately to purchase themedicine for the people. Is that all right? How much do you want? Give me alist and I will try my best to help with them. Further more I am willing to payfor all those.”
“No one wants you togive in vain!” LiuMing turn mild in her tone. He sighed with the words: “Hereis the list. Make your purchase accordingly and try your best. We will give youthe sum you spend on it.”
“Ok, we will helpyou accordingly. But ask for one thing. ”
“I know had been runningfor the medicine whole day long, thirsty and weary. Let’s go. I invite you todinner in a restaurant and it’s for you to choose: Western cuisine or Chinesecuisine. I know you like ice-cream. Have two cups cold and sweet to cool downfrom the summer heat. You shall keep in good health. Look! You thinned a lot.”
The concern andtenderness of Bai touched LiuMing once more. She threw an affectionate look ather boyfriend, retaining a sweet smile on the corner of her mouth.
“Little Bai, listen,listen to my reading of the poem: ‘Petals fallen; waterflew. The same lovesickness and the different place sit idle. No way out of thesorrow. The second off my mind, crawled into my heart also.’ Can you readmy mind? Every day when I thought of you I read this poem……”
LiuMing nodded herhead slightly and flushed.
Seeing her parentsnot available LiuMing said to Bai: “Yes. I am hungry and would like follow youto dinner.”
BaiShiWu blossomedwith smile:
“Good, that’s good! Let’sgo to have a hearty feast. Never mind that there couldn’t be delicate dish inthe front service we can go to inner room for private dishes. Many restaurantrunners are my relatives or kinsman. You will be satisfied whatever you like tohave.”
As the night fellthe moon climbed up above the tree. A few paces after they went out of LiuMing’shouse side by side BaiShiWu turned back to ask her naughtily:
“Little Liu, I havesomething to ask you, never mind it. Does the fellow who drag you out to buythe medicine a newly friend of yours?”
These words angeredLiuMing again.
“If you do not wantto help, never bother with it. I can’t imagine that you are not consideratelike this!” then she turned back running towards home.
“Never mind it! Nevermind it! Little Liu,
I just mentioned itcasually…… Come and have dinner withme, please. You must be very hungry now.” Bai caught up to holdLiuMing by the hand, sweat beaded out of his forehead.
Liuturned again and headed for the entrance of the lane directly ignoring him.
BaiWuShibecame delighted and he followed Liu with reverence and awe. Then he caught upto walk side by side. They walked in such manner for a while then Bai broke outwith a long sigh and murmured in low the pathetic voice:
“‘Theonce vast ocean can no longer hold water; removed mount WuShan theclouds can not be entitled so.’
Little Liu, can you understand this line? It really depictedwhat I have in my heart. I did torture for you. Can you feel it?”
Under the heavynight curtain, LiuMing heard the quotation and affection rose up in her heart.Her eyes wetted. She threw a glance at BaiShiWu and the pair of her dimplequivered she looked at the inclined moon without making a sound.
Analysis: We can not say that BaiShiWu is not patriotic but for surehis patriotism only placed in the corner of his mind. He agreed to helppurchase the medicine but that is not his original motive. He only wanted totake the chance to play up to LiuMing. Bai lived a melancholy life and we knowhis state of mind in his quotation of the poems.
In the two dozen or so small apartments ofthe newly established DaCheng house which locates in west of BeiPing near the State University,there crowded with a variety of different guests. Among them there are thosestudents who went to BeiPing for university entrance examination but blocked bythe war, those who failed to book a hotel, those who took their wife with themfor university life and might be some unemployed or business men mixed in.
ZhangYi temporarily quartered in the house—a not too spacious room with a set of plank bed, a desk with two drawers and asmall bookshelf. By the time of dust CaoHongYuan arrived and the two stood bythe desk. Zhang whispered into the newcomer’s ears:
“But the GuoMingDang party still prattledabout peace. They did not dispatch their army to fight against the Jap nor didthey support the 29th Route Army. The people of BeiPing and the 29thArmy want to defend this isolated city, but actually that’s possibly a jobbeyond possible. I heard it said that SongZheYuan wants to abandon the city andonly leave us ZhangZiZhong to tackle the Jap. If so the submerge of BeiPingwould be imminent
The deep tone of ZhangYi infectedCaoHongYuan. He gazed at the graceful feature of Zhang then said word by word:
“Teacher, if BeiPing submerged how can wecomplete our task? I should have completed it as quick as possible and rushback to YanAn. But you see the obstacles: the transportation and the medicineitself……”
“I heard that you persuaded many people to help you make the procurement.But haven’t you gathered up enough?” ZhangYi never got impatient. He nevermentioned going back to YanAn and only inquired about the medical purchase, “Didyou meet HuaXing again?”
HongYuan forced out a bitter smile: “Yes, hepromised to try his best for some more medicines. But in the ordinary pharmacyyou begged for half a day they only promise you a few hundred aspirin pills. Thebusinessmen call this patriotic though meager in quantity. So the medicine isnot available by now.”
“What about the two female students you gotto know recently. How about their purchase? ”
“LiuMing is really enthusiastic and she alsopersuaded her boyfriend. The boy has a relative in the pharmacy and she hadalready entrusted him for some more medicine. I think if you purchased too muchat one go you should let the pharmacy sign a bill of lading after the payment. Sowe avoided creating too big a target in the transmission of large quantity. Ialready told LiuMing that and HuaXing also support me this way.” At thisHongYuan frowned his black-sword like brows and he looked at the eyes of Zhangsaid in meditation, “MiaoHong is a direct and enthusiastic girl and she let meseek help from her father so he can purchase more and quickly. But I am notwilling to seek help from such professional with high social status……”
“Why could you not seek help from suchadvanced professional?” Zhang Yi intercepted in an unusual manner wearingastonished look, “Last spring I went to XiAn to meet general ZhangXueLiang inrepresent of students from north east China. Do you think professor Miaovalue more advanced than general Zhang?”
HongYuan flushed, Zhang did not criticizehim in face but he felt more uneasy than being criticized. He thought for awhile then said in a low voice:
“It is not difficult to approach the workersand patients. But to approach those celebrities as the senior intellectualprofessor Miao then I am not sure what to talk.”
“As the present situation concerns, whatelse can we talk except for anti-Japnese?” ZhangYi Patted on the shoulder ofCaoHongYuan, he smiled and said: “Even the senior army general likeZhangXueLiang and YangHuCheng who took the order from Chiang Kai-shek to wipeus out had been won over by us. Our party persuaded them to launch XiAnincidence and compelled Chiang to join anti-Japanese ally. Now the aggressiveinvasion from Japanis waking up us Chinese and forced us to form an anti-Japanese union. ProfessorMiao comes from north east Chinaand he was deeply hurt by the submerging of homeland and the endangeredsituation of China.Further more he is a Japanese graduate. We should try to win him over into ourunion. ”
Cao hold ZhangYi’s hand tightly, an innerrose appreciation surged him. He recalled things 7 years before then he is only16 years old. In a wintry night, he did some porter’s work at QianMen railwaystation then he got so tired that he couldn’t stand there stably. It is snowingagain. Cao bit the steamed bread in the mean time walking towards his meagerapartment—the petty inn around the overpass. For the cold and snowing the innwas especially crowded. Cao wanted to make a room but couldn’t squeeze in. Hesearched several other inns, but it is all the same. Then he is not willing tofight against other poor guys for a place so he tolerate it and went to ZhangYi’squarter in the storm and through the snow. Now it is almost mid-night, butZhang still read his book under the lamp. As soon as he saw the quivering Caohe helped to remove the wetted cotton coat and let him sleep in his own quiltthen put another quilt on to make warmer. Cao was too tired he fallen asleep assoon as his head touches the pillow. As he woke up from the warm night sleepthe day has already broken. Cao opened his eyes to see Zhang is still sittingat the desk reading. In order to let him sleep sweetly the teacher had nottaken asleep whole night long. The moment HongYuan jumped off the bed embracedthe teacher on his neck and cried…… While today ZhangYi’s words served as a mindopener which presented a broad view before Cao’s narrow mind:
“Teacher, I will go to meet professor Miaoand try to win him over to the anti-Japanese ally.”
“You should set your hands free to promotethe united national front line in anti-Japanese course and try your best tounite all the anti-Japanese strength. This is our present strategy. Don’tconsider the medicine purchase only, motivate people through it. Is that allright? And this is your usual question.”
Analysis: GuoMingGang partygave up the BeiPing, how valiant the 29th Army could be they can notdefend the city without any military support. But if you would like me toanalysis the situation objectively, at this moment the major forces ofGuoMingDang party was concentrated to the YangZi Riverregion. They prepare an imminent battle to defend ShangHaiand their capital NanJing.But anyhow the party still have many strong military forces in ShanXi but the problemare that their forces are majorly private owned and would not easily to obeythe centre government immediately. And this ZhangZiZhong of 29thArmy who was left to tackle the Jap is a real national hero who sacrificedhimself valiantly in the later ZaoYi battle in SiChuan province.
“No! No! I’ll never prompt with the questionanymore.”
The two friends gazed at each other, smiledagreeably.
HongYuan prepared to go then ZhangYisuddenly whispered into his ears:
“A guerrilla force from north east China had approached BeiPing taking actionaround mount MiaoFeng and Ming tombs. They are inlack of guns and person. If you know anyone dependable please introduce him in,the more the better. And if you can smugger some guns for them that’s the best…… How about it? Didyou mind the growing burden on your shoulder?”
“Then, you need not do anything in medicinepurchase and in the work to win over professor Miao. Yeah? ”
Then HongYuan bent down his head silencedfor a while then raised up head again to express decisively:
“I was much carried away just now. I takeback what I had said and will do what I should do.”
“Ok. I admit it. I suggest you pay a visitto professor Miao in advance and you can go with LiuMing. To win over him is ofgreat benefit to our work afterwards.”
As soon as CaoHongYuan left DaCheng house,he soon went to the hospital affiliated to the medicine academy to findLiuMing. These days the skirmishes at Bridge LuGou went on with intervals andthe gunfire sometimes on sometimes off. Taking advantage of the break, the seriouslyinjured were carried away out of the city but the hospital still congested withinjured soldiers and civilian coming from the fire line. From the day fatherlet her read the news report of FanChangJiang and criticized her, LiuMing paidall her attention to nurse the injured and tried her best to avoid BaiShiWu andspent even lesser time to stroll in the park with him. She entrusted themedicine procurement to BaiShiWu then returned to the hospital.
CaoHongYuan find LiuMing after he hadsearched several wards. When she heard that Cao came to have her visitprofessor Miao in his company, she didn’t say anything to take off her whiteovercoat and cap after throwing a few words at her fellows. Her short cutpitch-black hair and the tender slender figure inside the plain colored cottoncheongsam made her an enthusiastic, pure maiden of elegance and gracefullysoft. The two of them went out of the hospital to walk side by side silently onthe black colored street. They walked for more than half an hour. When theywent into the meeting room of professor Miao it is already 8 o’clock in theevening.
The meeting room can not be called big, butstill have a couple of new fashion sofa, glass windowed bookshelf filled withdelicately covered Books of English, Japanese and German. By the side ofwindows stand also a set of piano half worn. Miao was playing a foreign episodeby this time. A long haired, clean faced young man with a pair of high degreeglasses for myopia leaning by the side listening attentively. Except that no oneelse are there in the room.
HongYuan followed LiuMing into the room and thefirst one he saw is the long-haired young man. He lowered his voice to ask Liu:“That is GaoYongYa. right? ”
LiuMing nodded her head and rose up hervoice to speak to the two in that house:
“You are quite refined now! MiaoHong andYongYa, you still should have piano company in the thunder of cannons!……”
Before LiuMing could finish with her wordsMiaoHong jumped up from the bench. She pulled the hand of Liu flushed andgasping out:
“Sister Ming, the war fair was developing tothe disadvantage of us and I’m very much depressed. But he…… ”She pointed to GaoYongYa protruding her mouth and said: “Buthe forced me to play Schubert’s serenade. He said the episode could rise up hisinspiration in poem writing and relieve his worry……”
GaoYongYa also left the piano and greetedthe LiuMing who was coming into the room:
“Miss.Liu, how can you leave your holy hospital and came here to see MiaoHong?” thenhe threw a glance at CaoHongYuan with his myopic eyes and nodded to themproudly.
MiaoHong hurried with her introduction:
“Little Gao, he is the legendary figure ofCaoHongYuan about whom I had told you the story of his rescue to us.” Then shepointed to Gao, “He is GaoYongYa who likes to write poems and favor theBaudelaire’s, a student in the English department of YanJing University…… This fellow is quite conceited. Don’t mind.”
CaoHongYuan immediately reached out hishands to hold GaoYongYa’s.
“You like writing poem! That’s too good! Atthe present storming era your poem could wake up people for our endangerednation. Is that right?” he turned to LiuMing and MiaoHong showed his whiteteeth in the smile.
“I let him write anti-Japanese poem but……”Miao flushed too shy to say anything. She changed the topic,“Sister Ming, are you here to meet my father with Cao sir? I have told himthis, and he welcomes Cao sir very much.” MiaoHong went to the apartment facingnorth in the talking. A moment later professor Miao, a tall, ruddy faced, fattyman with black framed glasses, was pulled into the meeting room by his daughter.
Professor Miao held HongYuan’s hand as soonas he saw him examining the face. A few seconds later, he smiled and said in aloud voice:
“Young man, you look so familiar. Threeyears ago you had been intern student in our academy. Is that all right? Butyou are so different to other students and I discovered that you often slippedin to listen to my lectures secretly. I was astonished at that time. But yourcuriousness moved me and impressed me much. So I had never drove you out of myclass, is that so? ”
Professor Miao was in white silk shirt greybreeches. He kept a pinch of beard and could be considered to a straightenthusiastic and optimistic man. In the face of this cheerful and humorousprofessor the awkwardness of Cao disappeared immediately. He made a bow to theprofessor smiled and said:
“Professor Miao, you had a really goodmemory! All these years passed and you cans still bear in mind the meagerintern student had listened to your lecture. Yes, I like to study but I have apoor family that couldn’t afford me for the study so what I can do is to slipinto some classes at certain school……”
HongYuan hadn’t finished with the talkbefore professor Miao introduced him to sit on a sofa. Through the glasses theprofessor looked at him compassionately and approvingly with a pair of bigeyes.
“Are you CaoHongYuan? Let me call you littleCao then. Little Cao, from ancient to present and from broad and home, manyachieved scientists, literary men and inventors are not formal universitygraduates. The personal achievement completely depends on his hard learning andhard working. Edison can not afford to study, but he invented electric bulb andachieved in more than a thousand science studies……”
Analysis: Professor Miao turn out to be a key person in the medicalpurchase. Further more he had been studied in Japan and knows several foreignlanguages through which he can do international work. To win over him into theanti-Japanese ally is of significance. The red zone during the anti-Japanesewar are quite concealed to the world the underground anti-Japanese strugglesometimes turn out to be more cruel and need more valiant intellectuals.
“Have you all listened to the 25 thousand LiLong March? Then
I would like tell you astory where the red Army marches through the swamp. The swamp locates in XiKangregion where the deserted land reaches far beyond the horizon. In the march youcan only walk along the green grass line otherwise there must be mires. Thosemires are very strange there every one of them seems bottomless. Whether men oranimals if carelessly dropped in the seemingly even and solid mire they got tosink deeper and deeper so that no one could have any way to draw them out. Themire would turn out to be the same look as before when the man or the animalsubmerged totally. Then on what the red army fed them? In the beginning there is still some cookedgrain powder or wheat powder in their knapsack. But after they consumed theirration they started to feed on green grasses, eatable wild herb, grass rootsand the bark. Some red army soldiers even boil their leather belts for food. Somesoldiers fell ill on the way then worsened in lack of food they fell down onthe march and stopped heart beating for ever…… But those still living did not stop they took over the guns ofthe dead and marched on with tears in the eyes…… Did you know Mr.ZhouEnLai? December the 12th incidence could be peacefullyco-mediated due to his contribution. Our party entrusted him to persuadegeneral ZhangXueLiang and YangHuCheng not to kill the captured Chiang Kai-shekfor which the cooperation between communist party and GuoMingDang party wererealized a second time. In the long march Mr.ZhouEnLai fell seriously ill andhigh fever lasted whole day long, but the red army seriously ran short ofmedicine by that time and it is difficult to get even the most common pills. Thenurse who took care of ZhouEnLai named LiuJiangPing, she got worried about itand prepare to gather medicines from every branches of the army to heal him. Butthe ZhouEnLai who had liver sore stopped her in spite of the sharp pain. Hesaid: ‘The solders are in more urgent demand of medicines you can not searchthe army for theirs. ’ the centre committee at that time allocated a set ofstretch for him but he never made any use of it and save the stretch for otherinjured or sick soldiers. He laid down on the stretch until too sick to insiston the walking. Later ZhouEnLai turned a little better a comrade cooked a smallcup of porridge for him. But he refused with the words: ‘In our revolutionarytroop the officer and the soldier feed on the same ration and I ate what thesoldiers ate. ’ he prefer to eatable wild herbs to keep the discipline……”
“Oh, it’s the redarmy! Red army!—ZhouEnLai! ZhouEnLai!……”MiaoHongshrieked out in listening to the story, “It is the first time that I ever heardof such hard life in the world. And the first time I ever heard there should beso kind man as ZhouEnLai. Are they all right now?”
“Yes, little Miao. Thered army had reached north ShanXiprovince. But do you know for what they took the long march there?” HongYuantook a sip of the tea then turned to MiaoHong smiled and asked.
MiaoHong shook herhead like a rattle-drum, then sticking out her tongue to smile:
“I hand in a blanksheet. Please tell me then!”
“They march thenorth to fight against the Jap.” HongYuan turned serious, “They paid so muchand sacrifice so much in the 25 thousand Li Long March in order to fightagainst the Japanese invaders. The second day after the Bridge LuGou incidence,our centre government sent out an emergency call to the whole nation: ‘Fellowcitizens all around the country! BeiPing and TianJin are endangered, our north Chinaare endangered!…… Safeguard our BeiPing and TianJin! Safeguard north China! Drivethe Japanese invaders out of Chinanot one inch reserved! ’ the call is so urgent! So sincere! So definite! Butwhat the Chiang Kai-shek did? He is negotiating with the Jap as to how toretreat out his troops! As you can see one train after another of Japanesesoldiers are carrying through ShanHaiGuan pass into different regions ofBeiPing and TianJin.Uncle needn’t I say anything more to answer your question?”
Professor Miaostared at HongYuan in meditation, the wrinkles on his forehead protruding outand he is in hard reasoning.
“My! Cao sir, shallwe wait for the country to die like this?!” MiaoHong shrieked again and LiuMing’seyes filled with tears. She excitedly had this in the mind: “This Cao, shouldhe be the red army man? How extraordinary he is!……”
Seeing that HongYuanstopped talking, MiaoHong shaded her eyes with the hands and shouted outanother time: “No! No! No! We can never be slaves without a country! In orderto liberate our country I am willing to
“What are you willing to do?” GaoYongYapulled her hands away and took out a handkerchief as if to wipe off her tears. Murmuredagain: “Little Miao, what are you willing to do then?”
“Get away, don’ttouch me like this! Watch the occasion!” MiaoHong drew back her hands from Gao’s,her eyes still red.
The story told byCaoHongYuan, and the brief introduction to the situation of anti-Japanese warpressed hard on their hearts in then mean time bring them a beacon of hope.
“Little Miao, don’tyou understand my story! How shall you feel sorrow and disappeared. China still hashope.” HongYuan saw that all the others in the room looked worried so he explainedon the sofa.
“I understand!”professor Miao abruptly patted with his fatty thick hand and laughed brightly, “Thestory little Cao told has profound meaning. It indicates under such hardcondition the red army still can overcame all the difficulties to reach northShanXi province and it also indicates that in the communist army the leaderslike ZhouEnLai could experience the hardship along with common soldiers thoughin seriously illness…… Little Miao, don’t worry about it! Little Cao has informed usthe communist party could complete such great task as to saving the nation. Look!Boys and girls……” Professor Miao flushed and shouted outexcitedly. As the emotion of this elderly change the atmosphere of the whole householdchanged too. Happy looks wore on people’s face! Again MiaoHong jumped up first,she embraced LiuMing on the neck and smiled to say:
“I believe in allwhat Cao sir said. Sister Ming, did you believe in him?”
LiuMing nodded herhead hard: “I believe in him too.”
The big and tallprofessor Miao stood up and turned off the buzzing electric fan. Then he turnedto hold the hands of CaoHongYuan tightly in his and said in his thick northeastChinaaccent:
“Little Cao, you hadlistened to my lesson in the past. I could be counted to some extend yourteacher. Today you come here to be our teacher. You give us a very good lessonand I hope it would not be The Last Lesson…… I will try my best to complete the task you assigned for thesurvival of our nation and for the valiant anti-Japanese soldiers. Then fivedays later you come to get the bill of lading. How long it shall take to finishpurchasing the one hundred pieces a pack aspirin!”
Hearing what herfather said, MiaoHong jump up happily as happy as a toy girl—she embraced herfather on the neck and made a happy outcry:
“Father! Father! Youare a kind father.”
Professor Miao was alsotruly moved. He bent down to hold the beautiful face of his daughter and kissedon the forehead. He murmured like in the sleeping:
“Miao, you arereally my good daughter.”
LiuMing sat on thechair and smiled happily. As she smiled a dimple appeared on the face then thedimple quivered slightly.
Analysis: Why CaoHongYuan told the story of red army and the long march? The red army was in great difficulty then. They just broke through Chiang Kai-shek besiege from JiangXi province and reached the land between west SiChuan province and east Tibet. The army shrunk from 80 thousand to a little more than 10 thousand due to sacrifices and injuries in battles, misleading ways, disperses and illness, etc. They could select a good county on the Tibetan land where there are cattle and sheet, barley and potatoes to recover for a long period. For Chiang Kai-shek would not hunt them in the moor land and the dictator would have been quite satisfied if the red army stay only on the moor land as low as bandit. But in order to call the whole nation together and unit all possible to fight against the Japanese invasion, the red army chose to make greater contribution and sacrifice. They marched through the wetland to reach north ShanXi province and fight for a revolutionary base there. No army without strong willing and perseverance can complete the long march or even think about it. So the whole nation and the whole world turned their eyes to this small but strong willed army.
The night is going deeper. CaoHongYuanpromised to the couple of Professor Miao that he would escort LiuMing home. ThenMiao Hong went out of the door hand in hand with Liu walking while gossiping.
“Cao sir, do escort our sister Ming home! Iheard it said that the traitors, immoral and evil men as well as Japanese spiestook the advantage of the war to act in the street. If anything could happen tosister Ming, I will revenge you……” MiaoHong protruded her tongue for aninstant at this point then stopped her words.
“If you worry too much you get older soon. Goback home and will you go to our academy for the singing tomorrow?”
“I won’t be there tomorrow. I have to takethe role of vocal accompany to CuiWei in the drama Put down Your Whip. One of my classmates introduced the job. SisterMing, have you ever watched the drama? It a great one and people are alwaysmoved to tears on every show. They just perform in the street.”
LiuMing nodded her head to admit: “Yes itgood and I have watched.” The couple of professor Miao accompanied LiuMing andMiaoHong out of the door. GaoYongYa also walked out to another road. Three ofprofessor Miao’s family saw them off until they walked far away then theyreturned and shut door the gate.
The time is already ten o’clock in thenight, Cao said in low voice to Liu when they walked out of the lane:
“Excuse me Liu! How shall I drag you out tothe professor and be back so late at night. Your parents must be worrying foryou. If it happened to be a curfew this night then it’s the real trouble. I amreally sorry!”
“Didn’t they say the curfew would be impostonly after 11 o’clock?” LiuMing is somewhat nervous and she threw a side glanceat Cao, “What shall we do if they do not let pass so that I can not return?”
“Don’t worry about it. You have the badge ofthe academy. If you should encounter patrolling gendarmes just excuse you wentto professor Miao’s to discuss how to rescue the injuries from the 29th RouteArmy and the talk last too long. If they do not believe in then let themtelephone the professor.”
LiuMing glanced at CaoHongYuan again. Underthe street light his smart and spirited face looked calm and quiet without anyterror. LiuMing was influenced and calmed down instantly, but worry for the manbeside her.”
“Cao sir. What about you then? What if youencounter the patrolling gendarme or something else happened. Leave me alonethen, I am accustomed to this road. You hurry back then.”
“Miss, don’t speak too much. How can I notkeep the promise made to professor Miao? I will escort you home. As for me, itdoesn’t matter. I have a friend who quartered near your family so I can staythere for the night. Miss.Liu I take the responsibility for your safety this night, is that so? ”
LiuMing is a highly self esteemed, she sawthe free look of CaoYuanHong then stopped her persuasion. But she is stillsomewhat afraid. She is afraid that she would encounter evil men; she is afraidthe patrolling gendarme will stop her. She is also afraid of the tall handsomefellow beside her. LiuMing had never been alone with man walking at night,except that the BaiShiWu had escort her home after they stroll together in thepark or after they came out of the cinema. Now the sky turned dark and thestreet turned deserted. What kind of man this Cao could be? Is he a chivalrousor a member of the communist party or someone in the disguise of?……”LiuMing turned afraid and kept watching the man by her side. “No,that’s absolutely impossible!” She recalled the scene in Village XiaoYu. Howoutstanding the fellow was then! I should not be afraid of such man. Absolutelynot! When she watched the fellow beside her she felt ashamed and sorry—his pairof eyes looks so kind, full of wisdom, profound and calm. How can an evil guyhave such pair of eyes? He smiled inwardly. He might laugh at my astonishment;he might laugh at my superficiality…… I can’t make her despise me. I won’t be at aloss even if I encountered danger. The fellow beside me is for sure to giveaid.
LiuMing calmed down. Though the two walkedvery fast, they went easily in co-ordinate steps. This time LiuMing’s ideaswitched to another man—the BaiShiWu who she met everyday. He walked like ashadow which follows his beloved girl every second. He said he would be in thehospital by the time of this evening. But CaoHongYuan come first, LiuMing can’twait the coming of her boyfriend then hurried up with Cao to the Professor Miao’s.BaiShiWu can’t find LiuMing in the hospital, how much worried he could be this evening?He might be seeking her everywhere. LiuMing looked around and she suddenlyhoped the BaiShi Wu was walking towards her then she wouldn’t bother this tallfellow who she does not familiar to escort her. BaiShiWu would accompany herhome and he would hold her hand all the way…… The mind of the girlwas in a total mess. She found herself would miss BaiShiWu when he is notpresent. Their relation seems to develop deeper and deeper.
In order to break the ice CaoHongYuan askedLiuMing some questions and finally he inquired:
“Miss Liu, you said you have a friend tohelp you purchase the medicine so I want to know if every thing had beenarranged?”
As if waken from her dream, Liu turn to thefellow beside her and smiled shyly:
“Take it easy and I had already entrustedhim. He can make the deal.”
“But the medicine is difficult to purchasenowadays!” it is not convenient for HongYuan to say anything more so heswitched the topic. He told LiuMing how the senior high school students anduniversity students put off their pens to join the army faced with thesituation of incoming enemies. He did not rise up his voice but every thing hesaid he express it firm with determination, affection and enough evidence.LiuMing’s mind instantly deserted BaiShiWu to concentrate on what Cao wastalking. LiuMing looked calm by appearance but acute psychologically shedeveloped a special respect towards this fellow through the talk tonight. “oh,what a good fellow he is!……”Liu exclaimed.
Analysis: LiuMing had developed an attachment to BaiShiWu but tonightshe also discovered something admirable in CaoHongYuan. He is a mysteriousfigure in Liu’s mind, patriotic, eloquent and determined. He always has the confidenceand has the way. The high school and university students put down their pens tojoint the army. That is the most exiting and most tragic story for theintellectuals. According to historical records, those students only receivedvery basic military training and mostly sacrificed their lives in the Japanesebreak through.
Cao seems to be familiar with the layout of BeiPing. He went beating about the bush turning around and around through different lanes. They finally shunned the patrolling gendarmes and reached BeiYing Lane where LiuMing quartered. This moment a flow of appreciation surged in side LiuMing and she cursed herself inner hearted for she had suspected him. Then she thought over him: the fellow always bring young and active atmosphere around him, he should not be an ordinary man. Should he be a hero? It is a fortune to get to know such kind of man…… As LiuMing’s mind was surging with thoughts a black shadow jumped out from an electric post. LiuMing took a fright and the instance CaoHongYuan stopped to pushed her aback.
But the figure dashed forward and clutched to LiuMing’s arm. He stared his eyes wide at CaoHongYuan and cried out:
“What are you? How dare you take advantage of her! She is my unmarried wife!”
CaoHongYuan looked at the hysteric BaiShiWu with spectacles. He stood firm and watched in silence, a light smile still retained on the face.
“Are you mad BaiShiWu? Shall you go to be check in the psychological department?
…… How can you be so rude to CaoHongYuan! It’s the Professor Miao who let him escort me home. Don’t you know it is time of Chaos for war? ”
BaiShiWu did not believe in it even if LiuMing said so. He bit on his lips and stared at HongYuan. The dim street light lighted in his white face to make it even pale. He turned to LiuMing and said in a sad tone:
“This evening it is this fellow who dragged you away. I understand! LiuMing, don’t be cheated by him. He is not a good fellow!……”
CaoHongYuan did not mind him. He kept in silence for half a minute, then smiled and said to LiuMing slowly:
“Miss Liu, I have done what professor Miao entrusted me. You have reached your home safely. Now it’s time to say good-by.” Then he nodded to LiuMing and strode away.
LiuMing got stunned there, under the cold street light.
BaiShiWu stand by the side, also stunned.
The evening wind blew light and cold. The stars sowed themselves on the brocade of by passing cloud twinkling. Occasionally the gun fires thunder through the night sky in a muffled way. The beautiful summer night was curtained in a depressed and deserted air.
Finally LiuMing woke from the panic and indignation. She broke into her house without looking at the BaiShiWu. Unconsciously he knocked into a figure. It is her mother who stood by the door watching her daughter. She pushed her mother in, shut the door and latched it then pulled on her mother to run inside.
The sound of knocking rose up behind. Bang, bang, bang.
LiuMing lay down on her little bed, held her mother’s hand and said in tears:
“Mon. Do not open the door for the rich dandy!”
“My fair daughter, don’t get angry with childe BaiShiWu. He exhausted himself in finding you out this night. He searched many places for you……”
“He deserves it! Mom, don’t open the door. I will take leave right now.”
But anyhow the door opened. Anyhow BaiShiWu stood frightened by her bed.
LiuMing’s mother retreated from the apartment in haste.
BaiShiWu saw LiuMing wrapped her head in the quilt in ignorance of him then he was in fidget and knelt down by her bed begging constantly:
“Forgive me! Little Liu, forgive me. I misunderstood you. I misunderstood you two. How pure and upright girl you are! I know you love me…… I deserve it! I deserve it! You beat me over then. But please don’t ignore me, never ignore me. Otherwise I would knelt down by your bed a whole night, no I never stand up until……”
BaiShiWu was weeping and sniffling, the delicately looking man really tortured.
LiuMing also wept in her quilt, she still ignored the BaiShiWu.
Mother came in to persuade her daughter. She said much in favor of BaiShiWu. Finally if LiuMing still turn down him she intended to kneel down also.
LiuMing threw away the quilt and sit on her bed.
Seeing that the LiuMing sit up though BaiShiWu still kept his face to the wall, he stand up all in a sudden joyfully. He held the arm of LiuMing and quoted in quivering voice:
“……Let flowers fallen, let water flow. The same lovesickness stays while the different place to stroll. No way to erase my sorrow. The instance came down my brows it crawled into my heart to grow.”
“Again that twisted poem! Don’t show off! Hurry up home. Your father would worry to death!”
Seeing that LiuMing opened his mouth, BaiShiWu swept the tears on the face and said in smile:
“I telephoned my early in the day that I won’t stay at home tonight and I prepared to search you whole night long. My aunt set up a small bed for me outside the room and you can go out for a look.” He tried to draw LiuMing out for a look at this.
“Go back to your house as soon as possible. Let WangSheng and LiShun take you home. My house is narrow and dirty. Don’t let it spoil your clothes and your delicate body!”
BaiShiWu covered LiuMing’s mouth with his hand and looked affectionately at her clear black and white eyes which seem to be clearer in anger. He smiled and said:
“Aunt has permitted me to stay here for the night. If you drove me out wouldn’t you regret in case anything happen to me? “
LiuMing suddenly thought of CaoHongYuan. He went back home alone. Didn’t he take great risk? The question puzzled LiuMing. A responsibility towards friend calmed her down. She changed the topic and asked Bai seriously:
“Little Bai, haven’t you accomplished the thing I entrust you to do? I mean the medicine purchase. If you refuse to do it carefully then I would ignore you forever!”
“Yes! Yes! Yes! How dare I ignore? Your words weigh as the imperial edict and I will do even at the cost of my life.”
LiuMing was amused at last.
Analysis: BaiShiWu really cared so much to LiuMing. But I’d rather say it is an attachment in stead of love. He found her adorable but this fellow never made any appearance at critical point when the girl served at the front nor did he do anything sincerely in the hospital service where LiuMing devoted herself. I can’t name what kind of attachment it is between them but it is really an attachment only.