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    The Second Ransack Just two days after I received my sister's letter, at the Dep-artment political studying session, another teacher came into the room, whisper-ed with the head, then turned to me and snapped, "Go! To your dormitory to 'swe-ep four old'.” Although unexpected, I didn’t feel much shock. In fact I had n-othing to be “swept”, so just quietly asked, "Wasn't it ransacked already?"
    "Sweep again!" the teacher snapped. I walked with them silently, followed by col-leagues. This time the ransack was more thorough than before. All drawers were pulled out and inspected inside and out, and a flashlight was beamed under the desk and bed. Even my roommate Teacher Deng’s drawers and bookshelf were check-ed carefully. Deng also was regarded as a typical “more professional than re-d” person who had published several research articles but did not get a promoti
     on in more than 20 years. However, he was not designated to be ransacked. An innocent person often did get into such trouble on account of another’s misfortun-e. I then was taken to the teaching building where they ransacked my office and found nothing. This time they took away the only letter from abroad, my teachin-g preparation notebooks, maps of the world and China, and even a map of Kunming city! I knew immediately that this ransack was related to the escape of Yu-ou.
    Then I was called to the door, where the teacher commanded me: "From now on all coming and going letters must be checked first by Cultural Revolution Committe-e.” I was absolutely not afraid of letters being checked. If there were any pro-blem, it would be not to be able pass the police examination so called "enter t-he dark room”. But once a letter was handed over to Cultural Revolution Commit-tee, it was hard to say when it would be given to me. Before the Big Characters Posters siege I was counting days to receive letters from home. Now I was in an isolated state, so a letter from home was even more important for relieving anx-iety, "A letters from home is worth more than gold”. How could it be intercepted and kept indefinitely? Courage plus resentment welled up in my heart and I pr-otested. The response: “How dare you!” “It’s terrible!” I had stirred up a hornet’s nest, bringing shouts, blame and threats swarming upon me. I didn’t know why I was so bold but I was determined not to yield: “No, I don’t agre--tion is stipulated by the Constitution.” Although everyone knew what the so-cal-led "Constitution" really was, it was the only excuse I could use for defense. After all, during the early days of the Cultural Revolution, wanton beating or killing had not yet occurred in Kunming. After this series of insults failed to intimidate me, the teacher haughtily declared: "Even though you don't agree, we can still take the letters to the Committee.” Then, holding their booty, the l-etter and maps, they swaggered out. Everyone knows that "The Constitution of th-e People's Republic of China" is merely a scrap of paper. Did the "Great Leade-r" not arrogantly declare: "I am the monk holding an umbrella, who has no hair (Law) and nor (the will of) Heaven"? Later I heard that when Liu Shaoqi, the Ch-country, was denounced and struggled at an assembly, he also held The Constitution of the People's Republic of China but suffered teasing and taunts from the R-ed Guards. Fortunately for me, this time the Constitution served as a useful ga-g on my persecutors. I could not help but smile wryly in my heart. ‘Behave you-rself, you are not allowed to be unruly in words and deed’ In the next session of Department political studying, the head (also the head of the Party branch)
    conveyed a command from the authority to me: "Behave yourself, you are not allow-ed to be unruly in words and deed." This was the command issued to so-called "c-lass enemies”. My head throbbed and my eyes fell. All was lost! I was finally branded as one of those "contradictions between ourselves and the enemy" and ca-tegorized as being within the enemy five percent of the campaign. What would co-me next? One after another: denouncement and struggle, beating, sentence, labor reform? Scene after scene of tragedy passed before my mind. Since I was condemned as "contradictions between ourselves and the enemy", namely, the “class enem-y”, no matter with what "element" I might be labeled, my life was over, just a-s it was always said: "Knock down (the enemy) to the ground and step on a foo--t." Even if I could survive after years of torment, I still "cannot stand foreve-r." The “rightist removed label” was still "label removed rightist”. A man a-fter release from labor reform was still "released prisoner from labor refor-m”. What’s more, the disaster would impact my family, relatives and future gen-erations. Fear and despair afflicted me even more intensely than before, and I could not rest peacefully day or night. I recalled Professor Zhu Xihou of our D-epartment. He obtained two doctorates in France and return to serve the motherland. Being conscientious and assiduous, he still was afflicted with one after
    another political campaigns: First he was alleged to have contacts with the Hu F-eng clique, and then he was labeled “rightist”. He had been driven near suicide twice but fortunately escaped death. During penal labor under surveillance, he was often scorned and instructed like a dog. A colleague well known for being “left” suffered from tuberculosis and once spit accidentally on his own coat. He saw Zhu nearby, so ordered Zhu to come and rubbed sputum on him. Professor H-u, an expert in anesthesiology of the Second Affiliated Hospital, underwent exc-lusion and a false charge by a Party member and was labeled “rightist”. He wa-s sent to a commune to do penal labor. He and another rightist were ordered to
    pull the plow like an ox. When they heard that there would be a tractor, they lo-oked forward day and night to tractor coming so they would no longer be used as oxen. Finally the tractor arrived, Hu and several people were lined up in a row and followed the tractor to transplant the rice shoots. The tractor went “too--t, toot” and moved quickly ahead. The men scrambled and crawled until mud cove-red their faces and bodies but still could not catch up. Lying down nearly exha-usted on the ridge of the field, they agreed they felt like smashing the tracto-r. Life is precious. Love is even more valuable; But for freedom’s sake, both can be thrown. This was the famous verse by the Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi, w-hich I had read when I was in high school. As “Youth doesn’t know what worry is”, I thought it was just the poet’s romance and exaggeration, but now I dee-ply understood its meaning. I was unwilling to wait to die. A word was graduall-y emerging in my brain: Escape! and it was getting more and more clear. Since the Communists began ruling China, the flight of people to Hong Kong from Guangdo-ng had never stopped. I had heard about it so often, but had no idea at all abo-ut how to do it. I only learned that a lot of them were caught and brought back, and only a few succeeded. In Kunming, fleeing to Hong Kong was equivalent to "committing treason." Once caught, it was impossible to expect to remain free i-n Guangdong, so fleeing would be a gamble of life or death. I had no choice but to bet on it. I clenched my teeth. It would be "boom or bust”. If I desired
    human dignity for my future, the only way was to escape. So I silently endured, waiting for the opportunity to return to Guangzhou, and then try to flee the co-untry. Situation Changes as Authorities Spearhead Cultural Revolution
    Each day everyone behaved like robots to learn Chairman Mao’s “Highest Directives”, documents, editorials, or to participate in the assembly for denouncing a-nd struggling against targeted victims, or to write Big Character Posters and t-o read posters, although there was nothing really new. One day in August 1968, in the din of tweeters, gongs and drums, the broadcast announced that the "Regu-lations of the Cultural Revolutions (Draft)” enacted by the Central Panel of t-he Cultural Revolution had been issued. Then at the Department political studyi-ng session every one listened to the "Regulations" as if it were the imperial e-dict. I noticed that the targeted objects of the Cultural Revolution were two, one was the "the persons in power taking capitalist road”, and the other was t-he "reactionary academic authorities”. I did not understand what "the persons in power taking capitalist road" meant, but obviously I was not the “person in power”. As for the "reactionary academic authority", I was only an insignificant teaching assistant. Even though I had published a paper in the "Chinese Medic-al Journal”, and was labeled at the annual appraisal as “more professional th-an red”, I surely could not qualify as an "academic authority" and be an objec-t of the Cultural Revolution. Or so I thought. However, the posters attack agai-nst me continued, although on a much smaller scale and with lack of substantial content. I remained isolated and subject to hostility. More serious was that I was ordered to "behave yourself and you are not allowed to be unruly in words a-nd deeds.” which meant I had been determined to be a "class enemy”.
    --------------------------
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      One day, outside the door of the west teaching building, I was surprised to see a new Poster which was written on white paper instead of old newspapers, and wi-th fine print on two long sheets. The contents were directed against the leader-ship of the Medical College, the Par Committee accusing them of following an educational line of "feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism" instead of "Chairman
      Mao's proletarian revolutionary line" over the years. Signatures were the protagonists of the College: persons in charge of various Party branches or department-s. "Hey, the flood rushed into the Dragon King’s Temple, how do you fight against yourselves?" I was astonished but also felt odd, and maybe carelessly pursed my lips a bit. At that time I certainly didn't know the mystery about Mao Zedon-g launching Cultural Revolution to eradicate his political opponents Liu Shaoji and Deng Xiaoping, but felt vaguely that someone who dared to write such a Big Character Poster must have a strong backing. Unexpectedly the very next day, ri-ght next to the long poster, a new poster painted with a big writing brush in f-reakish style on an old newspaper appeared: "Zeng Qing Si, what are you laughin-g at? Look out for smashing your dog’s head!" It sent shivers down my spine! I immediately understood that my every act and even every expression were closely monitored. I was once again stimulated: If I wanted to have any hope in the fut-ure, the only way was to escape! Following the "having strong backing” poster, the common Party members and the "revolutionary masses" also went into action w-ithout delay. They condemned the leadership and the Party Committee who suddenl-y became the target of all attacks. Then the Provincial Party Committee sent a Working Team to the College and set up the "Cultural Revolution Committee" said to be at the instruction of Liu Shaoqi who was the national chairman in Beijing at that time. Soon Mao returned to Beijing and personally wrote the Poster "Bom-bard the Headquarters.” which I learned only later was his blowing a trumpet t-o eradicate political opponents Liu Shaoqi and his faction. The students of colleges and high schools in Beijing rushed to form the Red Guard organizations and they were received in audience repeatedly by the "Supreme Commander" Mao in Tia-nanmen Square. In cooperation with Mao, newspaper editorials strongly supported the Red Guard movement. As this hurricane swept the whole nation, Kunming stude-nts also took immediate action. They set up the Red Guard fighting squads to fe-rret out "the persons in power taking capitalist road" and denounced and strugg-led against them. Soon the fire was burning at the provincial and municipal lev-els, and the Working Team accredited by the provincial Party Committee was with-drawn from the Medical College. The Red Guard fighting squads jointly seized po-wer and formed a new "Revolutionary Committee”. It combined with the Red Guard-s of factories and enterprises outside the school to form the "Headquarters" to
       denounce and struggle against the provincial and municipal bigwigs. Everywhere were the posters exposing and attacking the persons in power, or posters transc-ribed outside attacking persons of even higher ranks. The smell of gunpowder go-t more and more thick. From the provincial and municipal level to the central l-evel, every day there were new targets thrown down, just like a revolving horse lantern in which the figures went up and down and made people dazzled. All the officials of high rank were alleged to be luxury-loving and corrupt, or greedy and bending the law. After a time, the glittery "revolutionary" halo over the s-uperior VIPs’ heads completely disappeared. The grass roots were stunned and t-heir vision was totally transformed. In the fall, the Red Guards traveled natio-nwide for “Revolutionary linkups” (nominally to link the Red Guard nationwide to engage in the Cultural Revolution). Their transportation and lodging were fr-ee. Not only the schools were closed, the factories were also shut down, the fa-rmers stopped work, and the whole country was devoted to the "unprecedented gre-at revolution”. Writing Big Character Posters, distributing leaflets, rallies, impacting the government organizations, denouncing and struggling "the persons in power taking capitalist road”, the whole country descended into complete
      chaos. In the Medical College, the political studying of the each group continue-d, the denouncing and struggling assemblies went on, but the targets of attack were shifted to those in power. We the "cow demons and snake spirits" were grad-ually set aside with "cold treatment”. We were deemed not qualified to participate with the general assembly for denouncing and struggling against those in po-wer.We had nothing to do, just looked at Big Character Posters every day, first on the campus, and then in the street. No one paid attention to us. Despite thi-s, my mind was troubled. The bad luck of those in power did not mean that the d-anger to us cow demons had eased. Currently no one cared about us, but once new persons in power emerged, we were sure to be among their targets of persecutio-n. As I had already determined to flee, this was now the opportunity for me to r-eturn to Guangzhou, and hopefully find a way to escape my predicament. True or False Sickness As a medical professional I instinctively thought of a feigned i-llness as the first step to extricate myself. When I was in Beijing Medical Col-lege, because my blood pressure was always up and down the borderline (At that time the standard was 130/90 mm Hg), the doctor of the college infirmary prescr-ibed herbal medicine. Now that I was in a state of anxiety and frequent insomni-a, my blood pressure was often above the normal range. The doctor usually presc-ribed tranquilizers and sometimes a certificate of one-week sick leave.
      If I could somehow obtain consecutive sick leaves, that might be an excuse to re-turn home to Guangzhou for recuperation. I visited a doctor several times, but my blood pressure always fluctuated near the borderline. So sometimes I got sic-k leave, sometimes not. I considered different strategies to bring my blood pre-ssure above the upper range each time I visited the doctor, such as stopping th-etranquilizers for a few days or taking a small dose of ephedrine. But the resu-lts were not certain and there were side effects. I remembered that some patien-ts’ blood pressure would be higher when measured by the doctor because of psychological stress, so I tried to make myself nervous during the measurement by
      imagining events which made me angry or anxious, plus stopping the tranquilizer for the previous two days. In such case the blood pressure might be higher. However, it was not easy to imagine different scenarios of stress for each time, an-d the effect was not certain. Then it came to mind that if there were higher bl-ood pressure with a trace of protein in the urine, it would indicate hypertensi-on with kidney damage. That would make it more likely for the doctor to prescri-be a sick leave certificate. Because it is impossible to change the body condit-ion to produce proteinuria, I could only think of introducing protein from outs-ide the body. Would it work if I had added egg white to the urine to be tested? The protein normally appearing in urine is albumin, similar to chicken egg whit-e. So I might try to add the dried chicken egg white into the urine. How much s-hould be added? Adding too much, the test result would indicate a strong positi-ve, such as (++) or (+++), an unreasonable amount. Adding too little, the resul-t would show "negative" (-), and be in vain. But just a (+) trace protein would be an indicator of early hypertension. So I consulted the lab books to find out the albumin concentration in urine with protein (+), and calculated how much pr-otein should be added if 100 ml of urine was sent for testing, then consulted t-he nutrition books to find out the albumin content of an average egg white, to figure out what percent of the dry egg white powder should be added. After repe-ated calculation, I decided to proceed with my plan. Where was I to get an egg? It seems absurd today, but was indeed a big problem at that time. Because of th-e food shortage, eggs in the market were obtained by coupon. Food ration coupon-s of single employees were transferred to the college cafeteria, so the individ-ual did not have coupons for food, oil, egg, etc. Could I ask someone to give m-e an egg? That was something nobody would do even for a close relative. As I wa-s a “cow demon,” who would dare to honor my request for an egg? I hesitated a-nd finally thought of Professor Zhu Xihou. Professor Zhu was labeled “rightis-t” in the anti-rightist campaign and did penal labor under surveillance, such a-s to feed the experimental animals and do odd jobs. When I was assigned to Kunm-ing Medical College in 1960, I respected and sympathized with him, although I d-ared not reveal it openly. But I kept a good personal relationship with him. Af-ter he had been removed from the “cap” of rightist, I had borrowed his typewr-iter to practice English typing, and he also taught me how to type. During one Spring Festival, another young teacher and I were invited to eat meat buns at h-is home, but afterwards we were warned unnamed in the Department political stud-ying session: Be careful not to be bribed by the bourgeoisie with little favor to bestow. Although Professor Zhu’s family also bought food from the College c-afeteria, they might retain some coupons for themselves. In addition, many fami-lies raised chickens, so they might have some eggs. I thought only he could hel-p me, so once before the Department political studying session, I whispered to Professor Zhu: "Can you give me an egg?" Zhu was puzzled but without asking me anything said, "Yes, I'll give it to you tomorrow." The next day, a few minutes before the session, Professor Zhu slipped two eggs to me, and I immediately put them in my pocket. Back to the dorm (usually only me in the dorm room, another roommate had family and always lived outside), I began my experiment: opened an egg and dumped the egg white into a dish to dry; the yolk was cooked with an al-cohol lamp and eaten. After a day or two the egg white was dried intopowder. Ac-cording to previous calculation I divided it into several portions. To make a t-est first by myself, I collected about 100 ml of urine voiding in the middle of urination, added a portion of dry egg white powder and shook it well, then transferred two or three ml of urine into a test tube, and carefully heated the urin-e in the upper tube with an alcohol lamp. Really a slight turbidity appeared wh-ich was equivalent to (+). So my plan seemed feasible.The next day I went to se-e a doctor: Blood pressure 134 / 90; urinary protein (+). I showed this certificate of one week sick leave and the lab report to the Department head (also the Party branch leader of the political studying session). I couldn’t tell if he was suspicious but he didn't say anything. It is really sad to recall: In those days, many people, including doctors, in order to escape persecution, and later the youthful "zhiqing"* to evade forced labor in the countryside, tried every m-eans to malinger. But verbally complaining of headache, stomachache, lower back pain or joint pain did not work; there had to be objective signs. However, even a doctor could not easily falsify signs. In fact, malingering cannot withstand serious examination and tests. But there were still many people trying their be-st to slip by, faking fever, inducing vomiting and diarrhea, making their skin slightly yellow-stained, causing a mildly abnormal electrocardiogram, or even  retending to have a psychiatric condition. Some medical professionals substitut-ed patients’ blood or urine specimens as their own for laboratory tests. It wa-s really a strange phenomenon probably never before seen at any time in any cou-ntry!
      --------------------------------------------------------
      * ”zhiqing” - Mao Zedong launched the Culture Revolution and utilized the Red Guards to rebel against the political opponents Liu Shaoqi, etc.. In the later period of the Cultural Revolution, he called “the young people of knowledge go to the countryside to accept the re-education of the poor and lower middle peas-ants”; “the countryside is a vast world, and there is much to be done ther--e.” Therefore, the young people of the whole country were rushed to the countr side as farmers. These young people were called zhiqing, literally means “knowledge youth”. There are several translations such as “educated youth”, “scho-ol graduate” or “school leaver”, but none of them can exactly reflect the tr-ue meaning, so here a word zhiqing of Chinese phonetic alphabet was used instea-d.
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        Slipping Back Home to Guangzhou

        The ranks of "those in power taking capitalist road" overthrown was getting high-er and higher, even the provincial officials were not the targets. People were more interested in the ups and downs of big VIPs of Beijing and the Greater Adm-inistrative Regions. Yesterday the typical VIP had styled himself as the "proletarian revolutionary" and arrogantly commanded Red Guards to strike down the oth-ers; today he was denounced and struggled against by the opposing factions. Thi-ngs changed unpredictably, and the scene made people dazzled. The Red Guards of different "fighting squads" united (so called the "revolutionary alliance") but were loyal to different VIPs. They ultimately formed the incompatible two "Head
         quarters”. These two factions attacked each other and resorted to increasing v-iolence. Bloodshed occurred now and then, and developed later into large-scale armed clashes and slaughter. The Red Guards traveled nationwide to carry on "Re-volutionary Linkups”. Schools, streets, train stations, and bus stations everywhere were crowed with teenagers with "Red Guard" armbands. The persons in power at the Medical College had been defeated by the heads of different factions
        of Red Guards who constituted nominally the so-called "Revolutionary Committee"(different from the “Cultural Revolutionary Committee” at the beginning of Cul-tural Revolution). In fact every clique organized and deployed its force and vi-gorously carried on factional "attacking" or "protecting" respectively. The Med-ical College was basically in anarchy. I decided to take this opportunity to sl-ip back to Guangzhou. Before that, I had submitted several sick leave certifica-tes to the Department. This time I left a sick leave certificate and a note on the desk in my dorm, saying that I was going back to Guangzhou to continue trea-tment, and requested to resign, then slipped away without saying good-bye. I bo-ught a train ticket on the cheapest hard-seat coach and quietly took the train from Kunming to Guangzhou. Along the way, I was always on tenterhooks. Whenever the train attendant passed by, I was worried that I would be told to go with hi-m. I had heard that a person to be arrested on the train would be called first by the attendant. Three days later, I was back home safely. My mother was surpr-ised and happy. She could imagine that I was greatly impacted, but would not op-enly ask me. My father was a doctor in Foshan and usually came back home every weekend. He was professional and dedicated to his work and was friendly to ever-yone. But because he was a senior intellectual classified "stinking ninth categ-ory" at that time, he inevitably suffered criticism and denouncement. He was on
         ly allowed to return home every two or three weeks. My youngest brother was a f-irst grader in junior high and, as the school closed, he still took time to st dy by himself. My sisters were students of junior or senior high. They did not participate in the Red Guards but acted as "peripathetics" and often came back home or went around with classmates. At dinner time, my sisters were back home. Previously when I their eldest brother came back for vacation, they would happi-ly ask about this and that, but this time they showed just a little surprise an-d, after asking only a few questions, fell into silence. The whole family was r-elieved that I could come back safely. However, what could we do next? The enti-re land was ruled by the same emperor, so what was the difference between Guang
         zhou and Kunming? Everyone had a big lump in his heart. I asked things about fl-eeing to Hong Kong and, although they had heard a lot, nobody really knew how t-o do it. The next day was Saturday. Early in the morning, my fourth sister led me to see little Meng. Before Yu-ou fled to Hong Kong, she entrusted little Men-g to Aunt Yin’s care. Later she regularly remitted money to Aunt Yin for littl-e Meng’s living expenses. Yin’s family of four lived in a room of eight squar-e meters. little Meng was just over one year old, a very cute age. I hurriedly picked her up and hugged her tightly. She seemed a little strange to her father whom she had actually never seen. A scene came to mind: Before fleeing to Hong Kong, Yu-ou had to bear the heartbreaking grief of handing little Meng to Aunt Yin. I could not help but shed tears. When I gave little Meng some cake, she at-e it in one mouthful, and Aunt Yin helped wipe her face. She leaned on Aunt Yin and timidly looked at her father. I asked a few things about little Meng, and i-nevitably talked about fleeing to Hong Kong. Yin said she would try to help. In the evening, my father came back from Foshan. He looked older than the last tim-e. I didn't ask him about things in Foshan, and my father also didn’t ask me what happened in Kunming. Everywhere was the same, and the reason for such cautio-n was self-evident. I said to my parents: I am 30 but if not broken I will stan-d by my decision. My parents were heavyhearted. Without asking they obviously u-nderstood that I had no other choice. Application for a Temporary Residence Alt-hough I was back home, my registered residence still was in Kunming, so in Guan-gzhou I was a "visitor" and required to apply at the local police substation fo-r a temporary residence. What specific place I should list was a vexing proble-m. Living in my parents’ home would be problematic. The purpose of my return ha-d been to flee to Hong Kong. So regardless of my success or failure, my parents might be in trouble. After my marriage when I returned home two years before, I had applied to South Street police substation to live in my wife's house. Howev-er, after my wife fled to Hong Kong, the home was raided and closed with a big seal on the door affixed by the Red Guards. Could my wife’s home be reopened? I hesitated but then decided to ask. Not unexpectedly, the police said because it had been sealed by the Red Guards it could not be reopened. I then asked if I could live with a friend in the front room (The front room had been rented to that friend free of charge). Fortunately the police did not ask further questio-ns and allowed me to register a temporary residence there for two weeks. So I r-eturned to tell my mother and siblings, and we all were temporarily relieved.
         Initially, I held onto my dream of a quick flight to Hong Kong. But Mother just sighed and said, “How could these things be so easy!” Two weeks elapsed while family members and friends tried every means to help me, but without success. W-ith no alternative, I again had to take the hospital certificate to South Stree-t police substation to request an extension. The police didn’t question me and allowed an extension of two weeks. During this time I was plagued by a troubled conscience, worried that the police would discover my plan to flee to Hong Kon-g: "His wife fled, won't he want to go?" I was worried even more that Kunming ha-d informed the Guangzhou police to spy on me or even to escort me back to Kunmi-ng. Therefore when I contacted someone about fleeing to Hong Kong, especially w-hen I went to towns around Guangzhou for such help, I would greatly fear, even tremble, that someone might track me. However, I had no choice but to seek a wa-y out. Gradually the tension reduced. Two weeks passed quickly and I still had no clue how to proceed. The South Street police substation would not allow a fu-rther extension, so I had to apply to stay in my parents’ home. First I applie-d for two weeks and then extended for another two weeks. Then I could no longer extend, so became an illegal resident. Whenever there was news about checking r-esidences, the whole family would be on tenterhooks. Mother was the head of the household and suffered maximum stress. Checking residences usually came unexpec-tedly at night. If the residents committee had previously noticed any stranger, it was reported to the local police substation. Next was the dreaded "officer k-nocking on the door at night”. Any unregistered person would be taken away, s nt to the etention center to suffer hunger and even torture for a few days, and then be forcibly escorted back to his original registered residence. In additio-n, there was a large-scale operation of checking residence during or before a b-ig holiday. Due to the rural economic decline as well as political persecution, more and more people flowed from the countryside into the city. They were rega ded as jobless or odd-job migrants. Later many zhiqing returned to the city, re-sulting in a large number of people detained during each checking residence ope-ration. The Detention Center could not accommodate everyone so many people were detained temporarily in the school auditorium. When the situation grew tense, m-any people fled to Yuexiu mountain, Baiyun mountain, or suburban farmland to hi-de. Even so, the police with militia might search the mountain and farmland. Th-e situation was miserable. People lamented: “I was born here, grew up here; i-t’s my home, my country, but I cannot go home, cannot stay freely in my countr-y. What is the way of the world?” Our home was checked once. It was one night s-everal weeks after I returned from Kunming. I calmly produced my ID of Kunming Medical College and medical records from the hospitals in Guangzhou. Since we w-ere all one family, the police did not say much, just urged me to go back toKun-ming to participate in the "Great Cultural Revolution”. My sisters were not at home that night, but my mother was scared. The Red Guard ‘Revolutionary Linkup-s’ Since I had registered at the police substation when I returned to Guangzho-u for medical treatment, I need to keep medical records in case of checking res-idence. I also had to monitor my blood pressure and send a certificate of sick leave to Kunming Medical College. Therefore, I went to visit a doctor every now and then. Once I went to the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhongshan (Sun Yat-se-n) Medical College. A middle-aged doctor had just measured my blood pressure when suddenly the door was pushed open and two Red Guards barged in and yelled at the doctor: "Go!" The doctor asked in a low voice: "May I finish the examinatio-n for this patient?" Don't need you to examine!" a Red Guard snapped. The docto-r stood up and silently followed the Red Guards out. I was petrified. Then anot-her doctor came in without say anything and continued to examine me. I dared no-t say anything but took the prescription and left hastily. Oh, horror! In the central urban district on the Fifth Zhongshan Road there were often the parade fl-eets of "cow demons and snake spirits”. The Central Park, the People's Park, a-nd the Zhongshan Memorial Hall were full of Big Character Posters. Once on the front gate of the Central Park there was a big slogan "The revolution is to engage in red terror!" which was posted by the “Maoist Red Guard Legion” from nor
         thern China. Everywhere were Red Guards from north or other provinces. Some of them were offspring of high-rank officials who claimed to be "innate red" (mean-s revolutionary consciousness came from parents), "heroic parents have heroic s-ons.” They appeared to be cocky, arrogant and supercilious. Many things in Gua-ngzhou were not acceptable in their eyes, so they threatened to "thoroughly sma-sh them.” Besides, they did not understand Cantonese but spoke only Mandarin. This resulted in misunderstandings by Cantonese speakers, triggering many confl-icts. Among them was a riot concerning Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen), founder of the Republic of China in 1911. The main avenue passing through Guangzhou metrop-olis from east to west was called Zhongshan Road (First to Eighth); in the nort-h of the city there were Zhongshan Memorial Hall and Sun Yat-sen bronze statue, Zhongshan Monument; the leading university in Guangdong was Zhongshan Universit-y, and then Zhongshan Medical College. The Red Guards from north were very disr-espectful, yelling, "What rank was Sun Zhongshan?" One day they gathered in fro-nt of the Zhongshan Memorial Hall and pulled down the bronze statue of Sun Yet-sen. As they were about to move it away, the local Red Guards came and insisted on reerecting the statue. The confrontation between two sides was getting hotte-r and hotter. Then it was said that they telephoned Premier Zhou Enlai in Beiji-ng. Zhou instructed them to restore statue immediately.
        Earth-shattering cheers and boos followed. The Red Guards from north were crestf-allen and mbarrassed and went helter-skelter in all directions. Another contrad-iction was about the dispute over the "tea”. Cantonese traditionally like to h-ave "tea" or "dim-sum (snacks)”, so-called "three teas (morning, afternoon and evening) and two meals (lunch and dinner)”. Tea restaurants distribute over th-e urban and rural areas. People go to the restaurant to order a pot of tea and two items of “dim-sum” which is known as "one pot and two items”, and sit do-wn to “tan" (enjoy) the tea. Family members or relatives and friends get toget-her to enjoy the “tea” and to chat about or discuss anything, to exchange inf-ormation, or to negotiate business. It is a custom strongly tied to local cultu-re. The Red Guards from north were greatly incensed at this “bourgeois way of life” custom and vowed to completely ban it. The locals upon learning of this were in an uproar. One day, the Red Guards from north were about to descend on a famous restaurant. A City Workers Propaganda Team went out to stop them. Both sides wore red armbands and waved red flags. One side claimed to be “red five categories” and innate revolutionaries, while the other side claimed that the working class should lead every aspect and resolutely protect the rights and benefits of revolutionary masses. Both cited the Mao’s "Highest Directive" and yelled at each other, finally resulting in nothing.


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          A Fight to Win or Die: Destination Hong Kong

          The Perilous Path of Fleeing to Hong Kong from Guangdong Since the Communists to-ok power and blocked the border beginning in July 1950, due to the economic dow-nturn, and the persecution from the political campaigns again and again, the tr-end of fleeing to Hong Kong and Macao never ceased and became more and more int-ense, especially during the so-called "three-year natural disasters" the Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution. Until the 1980's "Reform and Opening up”, the trend gradually was suppressed. Being adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao, many Guangdong families have relatives or friends in those places. What they saw and
          heard from them were in a sharp contrast to domestic conditions. Near the border in Bao-an County (now Shenzhen), most of the young and middle-aged people fled, leaving the so-called "women village”, "senior village”, or “no resident village”. Even from "Red Flag village" which had been set up as a model of “anti-fleeing to Hong Kong”, all residents eventually fled. Those living far from the border or coast would make every effort to contact border area residents for as-sistance or use other ways for fleeing. In Guangzhou circulated the talk such a-s: "Every street has heroes, each alley has brave men.” Actually it was far mo-re than that because even a single family might have several “heroes”, manife-sting the popularity of fleeing to Hong Kong. The numbers of people of other pr-ovinces fleeing via Guangdong were smaller. The methods of fleeing were varied. Some hid in a train or truck, but this was not common and very difficult. Most people used one of the following three ways: walking, swimming, or taking a boa-t. No matter which way was chosen, the traveler must first enter the "border zo-nes" which were divided into first, second, and third zones from the border to the inland area. Since the government strictly controlled the flow of people, a-nyone who wanted to buy a long distance ticket must produce a travel certificat-e from the unit or commune or production brigade. Entering the first zone close-st to the border, he must have a special border pass issued by the public secur-ity organization. If he chose walking or swimming, the traveler took a car to a place near the outer third zone using an ordinary true or fake certificate of t-ravel, then found an opportunity to slip into the mountains. At first he identi-fied a mountain peak or ridge toward the south as a target, and walked toward t-hat target all night. At dawn he hid in a hollow or ravine. While walking for s-everal consecutive nights, he might be seized any time by the militiamen, disco-vered by firewood or herbs pickers or passersby. He also needed to beware of snakes and avoid falling from a cliff. As for the hunger, thirst, fatigue or exhau-stion, it was an inevitable part of the routine. The closer to the boundary the traveler came, the more guards or militia patrol and open or hidden sentries we-re around. Near the boundary there were strings or wires deployed on the groun-d. If the traveler accidentally touched it, the alarm would be sounded, the bord-er patrol with a fierce dog would come right away, and he would be caught and s-ometimes even be bitten by the dog. But if everything went well and he reached the boundary or the seaside, then he had to climb over the barbed wire entangle-ment, or jump into the sea to swim many hours to Hong Kong. Along the boundary were high multilevel barbed wire entanglements; some areas even had a power gri-d. When the traveler successfully arrived at the barbed wire entanglement, he p-ut his backpack or a jacket on it and climbed over quickly. This was the socal-led "pounce on the barbed wire entanglement”. If he could safely climb over the Chinese side of the entanglement, he still had to climb over another entangleme-nt on the opposite side erected by the British Hong Kong government. If he were
           spotted by a Hong Kong police car patrolling along the border he could be caugh-t and deported back to mainland China. Many people failed right on the verge of success after so many hardships, and were saddened almost to death. If the trav-eler chose to swim, usually he did not need to "pounce on the barbed wire entan-glement" in most areas but went directly to the sea and swam. Here there were o
           ther difficulties: First he must calculate the date and time suitable to swim w-ith the ebb tide, according to the lunar calendar, and he must be able to swim for at least several hours. Many who tried were drowned, exhausted, frozen to d-eath, killed by sharks or caught by a patrol boat. If the swimmer was lucky eno-ugh and reached the other side, he still had to beware of the British Hong Kong coast patrol, had to hide somewhere until nightfall, then sneak into the urban district. Of course, taking a boat was the most comfortable means of escape but also the most difficult. First of all, the traveler must have a lot of money to buy a boat, utensils and food plus pay a reward to people who could help. But i-t was expensive and risky to find a trustworthy person who could really handle these things. He had to rely on one and another and finally reach a border resi-dent or a boatman. The result could be fraud and deception. The traveler might spend a lot of money (people were impoverished, who could have a lot of money?) but never see a boat after all. If he were entrapped by the police or by a stoo-l pigeon, then both he and his money would be gone. Even if he found a reliable fisherman and boat, it did not mean all would be well. Perils included checkpoi-nts on the inland waterway, patrol boats on the sea, and a sudden change in the direction of wind and current. Any one of them might mean failure. Favorable
          climate, geographical and human conditions, each factor was indispensable. Even if he arrived on the coast of Hong Kong, he must elude the British Hong Kong co-ast patrol. Whether walking, swimming or taking a boat, if he could evade the b-order patrol and enter the urban district, the escapee would be safe. He then c-ould be accompanied by a local relative or a friend to the Immigration Bureau t-o apply for entry as a "refugee”. The task of the border police was to catch t-he intruder, while the duty of the urban police was to enforce the public secur-ity, so they were not a threat to the escapee. Just because of this glimmer of hope, people “fleeing to Hong Kong” thus came one after another without end.
          Macao: A Place of Refuge for Some Fleeing to the Portuguese territory of Macao w-as usually by water, either swimming or taking a boat. Prior to 1968, if he cou-ld successfully reach Macao waters, the traveler had succeeded because the Port-uguese authority had no border interception and would not deport a person who a-rrived. Some churches or charities often drove boats out to rescue the swimmer-s. But Macao was small, employment and wages not as good as in Hong Kong, so mos-t Chinese escapees would prefer to move on and illegally enter Hong Kong. They then risked again interception by Chinese or Hong Kong patrol boats and Hong Ko-ng coast guards, although the risk was lower when coming from Macao. The policy of no interception by Macao was changed after 1968 when the Portuguese-Macao au-thority bowed to Chinese Communist pressure. Macao police then began to repatri-ate escapees back to mainland China. Those already in Macao also were at risk a-nd needed to find a way to Hong Kong as soon as possible. According to Chinese officials, the success rate of fleeing to Hong Kong or Macao was about one tent-h, but it was said by others that the actual rate might be much lower than thi-s. Consequences of Getting Caught What would happen if one was caught in fleeing to Hong Kong? Historically, Guangdong is the hometown of the overseas Chinese. Beginning in the Qing Dynasty many residents of Guangdong went abroad to make a living. After the Communist government blocked the border in 1950, fleeing to H-ong Kong was strictly banned. However, because of the strength folk customs, th-e authority still had scruples about imposing a harsh sentence on those caught. Moreover, because there were so many fleeing to Hong Kong, and the majority of them were common civilians including poor and lowermiddle peasants, if all were sent to jail, the prisons could not accommodate them. Therefore, persons caught fleeing to Hong Kong were generally not regarded as "breaking the law" to be se-ntenced, but as "violating the border control regulations" and simply were sent to the nearest detention center. There they would be identified. Anyone with a criminal record or other problems would be taken away by the police; if not, he would be transferred to the commune or street police substation or work unit wh-ere the registered residence was identified. The commune or street police subst-ation or work unit could treat him in its own way. The treatment varied widely. In the countryside, he would be sent back to the commune and ordered to write a self criticism, or be handed to the production team and released. If he had bad records, or his family background (“class status”) was not good, he might be beaten or subjected to other physical torture. In the city, if he had no formal job or only worked in the "street service station"*, he might be released by th-e local police substation after reprimand, or be supervised by the residents co-mmittee for some time. If he was an employee of a formal unit, there might be
          -administrative sanctions. If the case was serious or repeated many times, he mi-ght be sent to "Reeducation through Penal Labor (Labor Education)”. It was sai-d that once during the Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing, wife of Chairman Mao, c-ame to Guangzhou. After learning from local officers of the situation of fleein-g to Hong Kong and the relatively mild punishments, she furiously said, "No! It must be dealt with seriously!" The border became tense for some time, and borde-r guards shot at those fleeing to Hong Kong (A doctor friend of mine was so kil-led). However, the fundamental problem causing fleeing to Hong Kong was not sol-ved. How could it be "stopped" by simply "ban”? In the face of so large a numb-er of those fleeing to Hong Kong every day, what could the local government do but "catch" and "release" again and again? In provinces other than Guangdong, there were fewer people fleeing to Hong Kong, and the punishment was more severe. They might be sent to Labor Education or be sentenced to prison for "treason", or even be killed.
          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- --
          * Urban residents without formal jobs were organized by the local police substat-ion to undertake the production of relatively simple crafts for the factories s-o to earn the living. They usually did it in their own homes or small workshop-s. In Guangzhou, such an organization was called a "street service station".
          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          My First Attempt at Fleeing to Hong Kong
          I requested friends to help me find ways for fleeing to Hong Kong. After many we-eks had elapsed and a lot of money was spent, I still had no way at all. I was worried about checking residence and worried that Kunming authorities would sen-d someone to return me there. One day a friend introduced a man named Mo to me. He was about thirty with unusually small eyes. He said he had a link to a fishe-rman of Wanqingsha (a fishing village) in Panyu County. The method proposed was to use a fake certificate of travel to buy a car ticket to Wanqingsha, and then take a boat at night to bypass the checkpoints and go out to the sea. In good c-onditions (north wind and ebb tide), we could arrive in Hong Kong before dawn. But first we had to buy a small boat. I asked him why we should buy a boat if h-e was a fisherman. Mo laughed at me for not knowing about the ways of world sai-d that fishermen worked on a production team's ship; only very few people had private boats, and we had to buy a boat from them. Without money, who would give you a boat for fleeing? My mother and I had no idea of the specifics about flee-ing to Hong Kong and could only ask some general questions. With no choice but to trust him, my mom gave Mo a piece of gold weighted 2.1 “liang” (about 70 g-rams) - not a small amount at that time - as a deposit and waited for good new-s.Unexpectedly, it was gone just like throwing a piece of meat to a dog. Mo was never seen again. I had never been so deceived and was very upset. My mother wa-s also in a heavy mood but still comforted me: "Let it go, spending money for f-leeing is such, you can't pursue it, there is no account or receipt. This kind of thing has been heard so often." Cousin Yonglie came to Guangzhou from the co-untryside and stayed at his sister’s home. The previous month, he and several fellows from a farm went fleeing to Hong Kong by walking. Approaching the boundary Wutong Mountain they were found and scattered by the militia and border guar-ds. All the others were caught but Younglie escaped. He crossed the boundary by climbing over the barbed wire entanglements of both Chinese and Hong Kong side-s, but was caught by the British Hong Kong border patrol car. At the border poli-ce station he asked a policeman to call his eldest sister in Hong Kong. His sister immediately brought food and clothes to him, saying that she would request
           someone to get him out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that was half a beat too slow, for the very next day he was deported back. His sister shed many tear-s. Younglie was sent back to the commune. Because he was born into a landlord f-amily and was caught escaping for a second or third time, he was beaten up terr-ibly. Then he was forced to kneel on broken glass, they put a wooden board on h-is calves, and two beaters jumped on the board "stepping seesaw" for fun. He wa-s tortured until he almost fainted. The wound not yet completely healed, Yongli-e came again to Guangzhou looking for an opportunity to flee again. Since I als-o was looking a way to flee, we met. His cousin Ho Ping, who just came back fro-m another province, wanted to join us. Yonglie contacted the four zhiqing of a farm in Zengcheng who also had failed in their last fleeing and together planne-d a new course of action. I am cautious and timid. Although determined to flee, I was still full of worries about how to act. The main concern was my registere-d residence in Kunming. If I failed and was sent back, I most likely would be charged with "committing treason" and the consequences could be disastrous. The o-nly thing I could rely on was that Yonglie had the experience of two previous t-ries. However, there were too many unknowns and the risk of failure was very hi-gh. Yonglie said, "In case of being caught, you can fake your address back to t-he hometown Xingning County. You and Ho Ping had left Xingning for many years, so no one would recognize you. And things about fleeing to Hong Kong were commo-n in Xingning, thus many communes would not take it seriously. If you are not born into a landlord family, or don't have any record, you would be only repriman-ded or be ordered to write a self-criticism and then be released.” I was dubio-us, but there was no other way but to prepare to fake a name and address in cas-e of failure. Retreat was a dead end, and going forward might force a way out. Go! Everything was trusted to destiny. Pray God to help me. Preparing for the J-ourney With excitement and anxiety, we actively collected our supplies: dry foo-ds, water bottles, plastic clothes, etc. Yonglie said the best dry food was the military compressed cookies of which he had gotten a few pieces. It was about t-wo finger wide rectangular hard cake with bean flavor. Smashed and dissolved in water to eat, it would last for a long time. We also bought biscuits, candies, and some highpriced pork jerky. Yonglie told us that water was very important, so each person had a canteen and a strong plastic bag for water storage. They also prepared two pocket knives and several ropes.
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            As a
            doctor, I prepared a small pack of medicine. For at least three days of journey on mountains, these supplies would not be adequate. But the simpler the better, so we might appear to be zhiqing returning to the farm, thus avoiding suspicion of the police and militia. Hunger, thirst and fatigue were inevitable for every-one fleeing to Hong Kong, not to mention the dangers and accidents.Yonglie aske-d if anyone knew someone in the zoo and could get a pack of tiger du-ng. We mig-ht carry it and if the border guard’s police dog smelled it, the dog would dar-e not move or bark. At that time the price of a pack of tiger dung had been pus-hed up to one to two hundred yuan (equivalent to the wage of an ordinary worker for three to six months), but we knew nobody at the zoo. Yonglie also said that it was wise to purchase medicine for snake bite and a compass, but we could not find them. It was said that those things were banned from sale. A few days late-r, everything was ready; we started our journey aware of our family's anxiety a-nd expectation. The three of us took an afternoon bus from Guangzhou to Zengche-ng. The wife of A De, our farm contact, met us at the bus station, but did not say hello, only hinted to us with her eyes. We followed her, staying a short di-stance behind. After about half an hour, we saw four persons from the farm comi-ng, A De’s wife slightly turned, made a gesture and left by another road. We s-even people met and pretended we were returning to the farm, talking and laughi-ng. Although we had entered into the border "third zone" of Dongguan County and might be intercepted by the militia at any time, I was not very nervous but did-n’t know why. I learned that A De had two children, so I asked: "Leave your wi-fe and children alone, only you to flee to Hong Kong, don’t you worry?"A De sa-id helplessly: "No way! Only a few meals can we eat well in a year, what can I do if not to break through a way out?" Another farm zhiqing told me that his gr-andfather used to be a rich man in their hometown. There was not much land allo-tted to their father’s and uncle’s families, but still they were classified a-s landlords. At the time of fiercest struggle of the land reform, almost every day one of his family members was tortured to death. He and his brothers and si-sters were still young, but their sufferings during those days were too many to mention in a couple of days. When the government called for "supporting the rur-al construction" (Later it was renamed “zhiqing go to the countryside”), they took part in the first group, hoping that the new environment might be better. Unexpectedly, the situation was the same on the farm, with class status determi-ning treatment. They not only had to do hard or dirty jobs, but also be vilifie-d as "sons of a bitch.” No choice, they had to break a way out. We were still walking along. On the left hand side separated by a few fields, a group of prod-uction team farmers were farming. They seemed suspicious that we were fleeing t-o Hong Kong. After muttering among themselves, a man questioned loudly: "Where are you going?" A De resoundingly answered: "Back to the farm." "What farm?"
            "Shuguang (Dawn)". A De answered a farm in Bao-an County. The person no longer a-sked. The Mountain Journey Entering the border third zone, we did not encounter pedestrians along the way, just occasional passing bicycles or cars. Nearing su-nset, the seven of us kept going. When we turned left just after a hill, Yongli-e noticing nobody in front or behind, immediately beckoned everyone to slip int-o the mountains quickly. I had not caught the signal, but followed Yonglie into the mountains. Yonglie led me to a pit and we both lay down halfway; each of th-e other five also found a place to hide. I felt a little strange but curious an-d forgot fear. Yonglie whispered to me that some farmer might come to pick up
            firewood after work, so we must hide until dark, and then began our journey. It was getting dark. Yonglie put his finger to his mouth and gently blew twice lik-e bird’s chirps. There were two responding chirps immediately nearby. This was the signal they had arranged beforehand for mutual communication, also for help-ing each other get together in case of being dispersed by the militia. Now we w-ere pleased to reunite. Yonglie first specified a peak of mountain in front as our target, then led us straight ahead, no matter the ground condition. The ter-rain fluctuated; in case of a pit or trench we squatted and slid down; if a ste-ep slope, we climbed up with our hands and feet; when tired, we rested awhile a-nd ate some dry food or took a mouthful of water. After midnight, we reached th-e peak, and immediately were surprised by a dim blue and white light projecting into the sky in the distance. Yonglie said it was from Hong Kong. The high moun-tain in front of the light was the Wutong Mountain  the junction of mainland Ch-ina and Hong Kong. On the left a dark yellow light was from Sha Tau Kok, a smal-l border town. Hearing this increased our confidence greatly. Yonglie directed us toward the blue and white light, identified the next peak or ridge of the mo-untain, and we started to descend and then go up that mountain. Usually when we went down to the midpoint of one mountain or up to the midpoint of the next mou-ntain it would be dawn, so we found a place to hide and rest until dark. In tha-t manner we usually could walk over a mountain in one night. He estimated on th-e third night before dawn we could reach the Wutong Mountain boundary, and awai-t an opportunity to pounce on the barbed wire entanglement. As we descended to the midpoint of the mountain, it was getting light, so each of us found a place
            -to lie down and rest. Yonglie and I hid together in a dry ditch. We laid a piec-e of plastic cloth and took turns sleeping. The ground beneath the plastic clot-h was rough and uneven, but we each managed to sleep for a while. When we awake-ned and found nothing unusual around, we stood up flexing and stretching our mu-scles and ate a bit. We talked in low voice about our trip that night and the n-ext day. Suddenly we heard footsteps from the up the trail, so quickly lay down and watched nervously as two people approached. It was a man and a woman in the-ir 20s, wearing work clothes similar to ours. Each carrying a bag, they quietly hurried down. It turned out they were "pawn fellows"*! Not militia. We sighed with relief and watched them to go.
            -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
            * Cantonese usually called fleeing to Hong Kong as "dut the pawn", meaning that a "pawn" in chess once being "dut" (Cantonese, to push lightly with the fingert-ip) across the boundary river and became "a pawn crossed the river” with the power greatly increased. There is a saying in chess circles that "a pawn crossing the river acts as a rock.” "Pawn fellow": the person who was also to flee to Hong
            Kong.
            -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
            We whispered about "pouncing on the barbed wire entanglement" when we reached th-e boundary and longed for success in reaching Hong Kong. It was not easy to wai-t until dark. Yonglie imitated bird chirps twice and called the company togethe-r to descend. Down the mountain was a small valley with three to five scattered farmhouses. Nearing a hut we suddenly heard a loud bark, then immediately
             barks from other dogs in the distance echoed. A man yelled and another man not far away shouted in response. We were panic-stricken and rushed back up the mou-ntain. Although Yonglie directed us to tay together and follow him, we were ham-pered by the dark forest and uneven ground. I could not watch my step and at th-e same time keep up with him. So I fell behind. When the shouts and the barks
             were no longer heard, I found myself alone. Not able to imitate the bird chirps I tried softly calling. No response but only leaves rustling in the wind. Alone in the dark forest, what could I do? Fear seized me. Soon I came to my senses: There was no retreat because I did not know how to retreat, only to go forward. If I scaled the peak of the mountain, looked at the distant blue and white ligh-t, focused on the next ridge of the mountain, went down and up, then down and u-p again, I finally would reach Wutong Mountain. I was single-minded and told my-self: Go! But I lost my orientation and the route toward the Wutong Mountain. W-ith no compass, what could I do? Fortunately, when I was a teenager I read popu-lar astronomical science books and knew that the Pole Star is a very good orien-tation star. I went to a slightly open place and looked up to search the sky, e-spied the Big Dipper and Pole Star, then turned south and found the previously specified ridge. Walking towards the ridge, suddenly I saw two figures walking at the left front and toward the ridge. I was taken aback, but immediately reco-gnized Ho Ping and the farm fellow "Big Guy”. I hurriedly whispered to them. T-hey were startled, turned around and saw me. We spoke delightedly in muffled to-nes. I asked about my companions but they didn’t know. All were dispersed! We felt sad but agreed to join forces. We ascended the peak of the mountain toward the light, selected the next ridge, and moved on. Big Guy told us his father wa-s a brigadier of the Kuomintang army, a subordinate of General Xue Yue. He part-icipated in the battle for protecting Changsha during the War of Resistance aga-inst Japanese Aggression and returned to his hometown after an injury. His fath-er was ideologically "progressive" and often secretly protected the underground Communist agents. His elder sister was influenced by her father and participate-d with the Communist guerrillas. She was once almost caught by the Kuomintang a-nd had a narrow escape by hiding in a two-layer wall. After “liberation,” his father initially was honored as a democratic personage. Soon the land reform be-gan; the father was re-classified as a bureaucrat landlord. One day previous to his pending arrest, the father got a tip-off from a Communist officer who had b-een rescued by him and he hurriedly fled to Hong Kong on a small boat. But the officer from the north who presided over land reform arrested Big Guy’s elder halfbrother and he was shot. "What did they do wit your elder sister who had pa-rticipated in the guerrillas?" Ho Ping asked."She was purged out too; at firs s-he worked in a printed clothes company (established specially to sell the surpl-us printed clothes from the Soviet Union at that time), later was expelled to t-he countryside," Big Guy answered."You will meet your father in Hong Kong soo--n,” I said."He is aged, alas!" Big Guy sighed, sick at heart. Before dawn, we h-id and rested. Ho Ping and I were in one hollow, Big Guy was in another place.
            We napped for a while but suddenly were awakened by a noise in distance. It was past noon, we looked in that direction with alarm. An adult and a child were cm-ing down from the mountain. The adult was a farmer about 50 years old, carrying a bamboo pole and a basket on his right shoulder; the youngster was about eight with a portable basket, following behind the man. They came toward us. Then we
            noticed that on the left side not far from our hiding place was a small trail, a-nd the two persons went along the trail and down the mountain.We held our breat-h and stared at them. About three meters away from our hiding lace, the man gla-nced in our direction and his voice suddenly became lower; the child was unawar-e of anything and still talked loudly. They passed not far from our hiding plac-e and went down. Ho Ping and I looked at each other, temporarily relieved. How dangerous! Would they report to the militia? Anyway, we must move right away. W-e called Big Guy and we all moved to the left, far away from that trail, finall-y stopping in a dry gully in a dense jungle. We now gave special attention to o-ur surroundings which had no trail. There we could hide with less danger of dis-covery. We whispered that surely the man had seen us but didn’treport us to th-e militia. Otherwise the militiamen would come rounding us up. We felt a little comfort. Big Guy told us that the militia and farmers in the border zones who c-aught persons fleeing to Hong Kong would be rewarded a few workpoints or a bonu-s. Mostly it was Party members or activists who would snitch but the ordinary f-armers tolerated it or even had sympathy. In fact, most young and middle-aged p-eople in border areas fled out,and most families had relatives in Hong Kong. It was getting dark so we started to go down the mountain. Suddenly we heard someo-ne playing a flute from afar. We were dumbfounded and listened carefully, the s-ong went slowly and softly, as if soothing or admiring, which was entirely diff-erent from the popular "revolutionary” songs. What person at this time would d-are to play such an “out-of-date” song? Would it be a standing militiaman? We quickly squatted down until the song stopped after a while. Not hearing anythin-g further, we continued carefully down the mountain. Approaching a big tree, we were surprised to find that a large piece of bark was freshly scraped off. Unde-r the dim light we recognized two columns of engraved characters: Zhang X fleei-ng to Hong Kong passed by here. X Year X month X day. It was today! Most probab-ly it was engraved by the man playing flute shortly before. We could not help b-ut chuckle in low voices. We fugitives never expected to encounter such a learn-ed and refined person! Still going down the mountain then up another, we saw th-e blue and white light far away in Hong Kong. Before us was yet another mountai-n. Everyone was tired and hungry, and there were not much water and food left, but nobody knew how many more mountains we had to scale! Suddenly a mighty gust of wind howled through the mountains and trees. Then the rain crackled down. We hurried to stretch out the plastic sheet over our heads. Soon water poured into the hollow where we were, forcing us to hold up the plastic sheet and move to a higher spot. Fortunately the shower came and went quickly; before long it was s-unny again. But our pants and shoes were soaked. Looking at the wet terrain aro-und us, we thought of taking the opportunity to refill the water bottle. We wal-ked a distance along the gully but found not a single puddle. Suddenly the soun-d of a hubbub came to us from down the mountain. Frightened, we hurried into th-e thick bushes. The noises came closer and closer, and it seemed to be from a g-roup of kids. Soon a boy ran shouting toward our hiding place. Our hearts seeme-d to jump in our throats and we didn't even dare to take a breath. The boy stop-ped on the trail on our right, across the gully just two meters away from us. T-hrough the gaps in the bushes we could see clearly the sweat on the child’s fa-ce and his half-naked body. If he had turned his head he might easily have spot-ted us. Fortunately, he just yelled to his companions to come near. From what h-e said it seemed they were there to pick the mushrooms which sprouted after the
            shower. After a while, the boy was called by his companions back to the other si-de. Watching the group of kids depart, we wiped cold sweat from our foreheads. What a close call! It took some time, but our hearts slowly calmed down. Danger-s arose one after another and risk was everywhere. Everybody's mood was bad. It was hard to wait until dark. Big Guy and Ho Ping wanted to go down the mountain earlier to look for a pool or paddy to refill water. I urged waiting until it w-as a bit darker but failed to persuade them and had to follow them down. There were several paddy fields with grease spots floating on the water. It looked a
            -little disgusting, but they blew the grease spots away and hurried to fill the bottle. Suddenly, someone in the distance shouted and we looked up. Too bad! A man ran very quickly toward us. We immediately got up and ran back to the mount-ain. The man was in hot pursuit, followed by several others. Ho Ping urged me t-o run faster, but I was too weary for that. Before reaching the
            -mountain several people surrounded me and I was captured.
            [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-2-3 13:21:43编辑过 ]
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              Captivity

              My mind went completely blank and I couldn’t even think of fear. A militia capt-ain-like person ordered someone to tie me with a rope around both arms and the front of my neck. Soon a large group gathered, men and women, old and young. Th-ey hustled me off to a small hut. Soo-n a crowd gathered outside the door. I wa-s very thirsty and asked for water. An old woman soon gave me a bowl of hot sou-p, looking at me with sympathy but helplessness. The captain-like man called a militiaman to untie me and search me and my packet. Fortunately they did not as-k me to take off my shoes, because I hid one yuan bill under each insole by rem-oving the insole, putting the bill in and gluing the insole back. This was taug-ht by Yonglie. He said when you were released or got the opportunity to escape; you could do nothing if you were penniless. When nothing was found, the captain-like person told me to sit on a wooden bench. He and another militiaman sat beh-ind a desk and began to question me and take notes. The inquiry was simple: nam-e, age, address, class status, why should you "escape" (not “flee to Hong Kon-g”), the first time I heard the term. Following what Yonglie had taught me I ga-ve a pseudonym and false address: Chen Jiang; Xingning County, Rock Commune whi-ch was far away from the County town. Yonglie said that particular commune was rather lenient to those fleeing to Hong Kong. I gave my class status as middle
              peasant. As for the reason to "escape”, I answered that I had not enough food t-o eat at home. The captain-like person glanced at me and sneered that I did not look like a hungry man. After a while, he asked in a mocking tone if I were hun-gry. I said I had eaten nothing for almost two days. He sent for a bowl of rice porridge and two pieces of yam which I devoured right away. He called a militia-man to take me to a latrine to urinate, and locked me in a small cell with only a narrow plank bed with a broken mat. I sat on the bed, downcast and confused.
              I lay on the plank bed, tossing and turning. Tomorrow where would I be sent? Did they believe in my fake name and address? Would they send a letter to verify? I-f the reply was "no such person", then I would be a goner! Giving another fake name and address would be in vain. Even if I could slip by here, would I be so lucky when I got back to Xingning? I had been away from my hometown for more th-an 10 years. If I were asked about the local situation, I could not answer even one word. Finally, if I were sent to the commune and the commune called the pro
               duction team to pick me up; my lie certainly would be exposed. Then I might be beaten up terribly or ordered to kneel on broken glass like my cousin until I c-onfessed my true name and address. Any broken link would lead to exposing my re-al identity. Then I could not escape the fate of being escorted back to Kunming where all would be lost! I was frustrated to the extreme. The only hope, as my cousin Yonglie had said, was if my false name and address were accepted at each step along the way to the commune. There, after being reprimanded and writing a selfcriticism, I might hope to be released. However, could I be so lucky? Fear and despair tortured me repeatedly, but I was so tired that finally I fell asle-ep. Next morning I was awakened by someone opening the door. I didn't eat anyth-ing and, with my arms tied, was escorted to a small bus station. On the way, I asked our destination, but the militiaman did not answer. I followed him onto t-he bus. The other passengers, used to seeing such incidents, didn’t show even a little surprise. Getting off the bus, I was escorted to a large house not far away, where the militiaman handed me to a person on duty, untied my rope, put i-t back into his bag and departed. Zhangmutou Detention Center The man on duty  earched my packet and ordered me to take off my shoes. He examined the shoes ca-refully and pressed twice on the insole. Hard to tell what he might have suspec-ted, but he gave me a glance and threw the shoes back to me. I passed! I though-t he could intentionally have overlooked my stash and let me go. Anyway, there were still good people even in the bad world. There were already a few people s-itting on the long bench. A man came out from inside, sat behind a small desk a-nd began inquiring one by one. He threatened gruffly: You must be honest; if yo-u make a false statement, be careful or we peel off your skin! I was at sixes a-nd sevens and managed to calm myself. When my turn came to be questioned, I gav-e a false name and address as before. The man asked nothing more. I was worried they would send a letter to the address to confirm, as I heard they would do s-o. After the inquiry, we were taken into a large square. There already were a lo-t of people gathered in groups everywhere who didn’t pay much attention to us newcomers. Around the square there were many windowless cells and we were taken into one of them. On the right side of the dirt floor was a row of planks witho-ut mats; a few seats had been occupied. In the left corner was a urine bucket
              without a cover. When we arrived, a man asked me to give him a piece of old news-paper which I tossed to him carelessly. Later I learned the newspaper was used for toilet paper. The detention center didn’t provide toilet paper; one could only use a bamboo strip or a piece of broken tile instead. After each person oc-cupied a place for sleep, a man (later I learned he was a detention aide - one
              who could not be sent out for various reasons and stayed long in the detention center) came in and gave each of us an old aluminum bowl. “No chopsticks?” I asked, and the man said: "Get one yourself.” I didn't know how to get one myself but someone told me: "There are people sent away every day, so you can ask them to give you one pair; or ask someone who goes out for labor to pick two twigs f-or you." This was Zhangmutou Detention Center in Dongguan County, which was the main detention and transfer station in this area; it always held hundreds of pe-ople. There were many groups of people coming in or being sent out every day an-d almost all of them had been caught fleeing to Hong Kong. There were only a fe-w tramps because it was difficult for tramps to come within border second or th-ird zone. We get up at six o'clock every morning, took our aluminum bowls and r-ushed to the few water taps to wash. Then all were lined up to run around the s-quare; the old and weak who did not want to run or quit midway were not punishe-d. After running, we sat down in rows to listen Mao’s "Highest Directives" and admonition. The man giving admonition wore a military uniform and spoke Mandari-n.The vast majority of audience was Cantonese who did not quite understand what he said or listened carelessly. If one wanted to go to the latrine, one had to stand and asked for permission by saying "Report!” until the military representative replied, “Yes.” "Report!", "Report!" sounded repeatedly and the speech was frequently interrupted. Therefore, the military representative became angr-y, furiously shouting, "No, No, No!” But after a while when "Report!" sounded a-gain, how could the military representative continue to refuse? Once someone ha-d diarrhea and his "Report!" was denied. As a result he lost bowel control not far from the military representative who had to mask his nose incessantly.Every-body snickered. Before and after the admonition, there were often special agent-s from outside looking at the crowd, diligently searching for a missing person. Once they found the object, they immediately pulled him out with cuffs and kick-s, tied him up and took him away. Every time I saw this, I was afraid that Kunm-ing might have sent someone to catch me. After the admonition, there were the s-upervisors (each detention center had a different title, hereafter we named the-m supervisors) to call the roll, then escort those to the bus station who were to be sent to a detention center near their registered residence. Some people w-ere assigned to labor outside. Most of those were from remote counties and had to wait until a large enough group was formed to bus them. Meanwhile, they were taken to the nearby commune production team. Some people vied to go, because th-ey would get a little more to eat. Although it was not enough to sustain hard l-abor, it might temporarily satisfy their stomach. We had meals twice a day, at 10 am and 5 pm. Each person had a ration of three liang (totally 150 grams) ric-e with some boiled vegetables per meal. We joked "Tan three liang" (Cantonese d-ialect "tan" means enjoy, here was irony), but we devoured them as quickly as h-ungry wolves and tigers do. In less than two hours the belly was empty again an-d rumbling. That kind of discomfort for people without experience is hard to un-derstand. Hunger was a nightmare for detainees. However, food was the most popu-lar topic of discussion. “Looking forward to the plum grove to quench thirst” had been a saying since ancient times, but talking about food to relieve hunger was absolutely futile. However, people still enjoyed talking about it, probably as a psychological compensation. It was not uncommon to secretly sell personal rations or trade for cloths. Fifty cents per ration was almost five or six time-s the price outside. There was also purchase of only half a ration. The problem
              was that money was mostly confiscated, so how often could you buy? At first when I saw someone sell his ration, I was amazed that since he himself had not enoug-h to eat, why did he sell? Later I learned that those who sold their rations we-re mostly so-called "odd-job migrants”. So as not to be penniless when being sent back home, they would rather endure hunger. It was really sad to hear that!
              Hunger was tough, but for me the bigger threat was not knowing what would happen next. Would the detention center send a letter to confirm my name and address? Could I slip by when being sent back to Xingning? If not, and I were sent back to Kunming, the consequences would be miserable. My heart seemed to be pierced by a thorn. I felt restless day and night and often had nightmares. One night
              I was awakened and was asked why I was screaming. After brunch, if not being called for transport or inquiry, people could chat, play chess or poker to kill tim-e. Many took the opportunity to exchange stories of fleeing, make new friends, discuss new ways, and secretly exchange addresses written on sleeves, waistband-s or elsewhere. Exchanging addresses was risky because, once discovered, inevit-ably both parties would suffer a brutal beating. There was a young man with a f-air and clear face who looked like a zhiqing from high school. It was said that he had failed six times in fleeing. He was an optimist and smiled all the time. Many people liked to talk with him, of course, to learn his experience. No wond-er people said that the detention center was also a school to share and acquire experience. This time of failure could be the mother of a future success. Howev-er, I was heavyhearted. I dared not exchange addresses and communicate with oth-ers because I was afraid of exposing my true identity. I felt extraordinary lon-ely. Once we saw two men handcuffed together and left squatting in the center o-f the square. The charge was faking names and addresses. My heart tightened. Th-ey looked like farmers so why should they fake addresses? An experienced fellow detainee told me that they were not necessarily faking. The detention center wa-nted to warn against faking address every now and then, they arbitrary charged two persons so as to frighten the others, so call “warning the monkey by killi-ng the chicken”. I was afraid that one day I would be handcuffed and exposed p-ublicly. Detainees were many and miscellaneous; inevitably they might have fric-tion or conflict, but generally they dared not fight, otherwise the supervisor would indiscriminately beat both parties. The detainees might be beaten by the supervisor at his will; even lining up irregularly might result in a thrashing. But as I reflected later, beating events were less in the detention center of G-uangdong than in some other provinces, and control also was relatively loose. E-scorted Back to Xingning County More than ten days elapsed. One day at noon, I was chatting with others on the square, when unexpectedly a supervisor came in to call roll for transport. My pseudonym "Chen Jiang" was called repeatedly but I had not replied until the third time. Then I timidly approached the superviso-r who looked at me suspiciously and yelled: "Did you fake a name?" I answered h-altingly, “No, no,” my heart pounding with fear. A total of a dozen detainees for the same route were collected. Escorted by two supervisors we boarded a ca--r.The car drove to Haifeng - a Teochew dialect coastal county. We were sent to the first midway detention center. Everyone was not only questioned but also fi-ngerprinted. Because my fingerprints were not heavy enough, the supervisor fier-cely slapped my face and ordered me to print again. After registration, the wom-en were sent to a cell downstairs, the men to a cell upstairs. There were already two people in my cell. One was sitting, his foot wrapped with thick bandage,
              oozing blood. I did not understand the Teochew dialect. Someone told me the man was a fisherman. He and several others went to flee to Hong Kong in a small boa-t. Sailing out a short distance they were caught by a patrol boat. Near the bea-ch he jumped out of the boat to escape. Unfortunately he jumped on an oyster sh-ell, his foot was cut deeply and lost a lot of blood. He also got a good beatin-g.
              [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-2-5 12:21:39编辑过 ]
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                After I found a place to sleep on the wooden floor, I approached a small barred window. Outside not far away was the sea. I looked out, a few seagulls flying u-nder the blue sky. I thought bitterly: Ah, man, who is trapping you here? When could you fly freely like a seagull? On the lower left side of the window was a fecal groove inclined toward the outside. A whim came to me: To escape through the fecal groove? A quick visual estimate told me the width of fecal groove mig-ht be too small. It would be awful to get stuck in it. Two meals a day were the same as before: "tan three liang". Haifeng supervisors also were rude. About 10 days later, I was called with a group of six or seven others for transport on t-he same route. We took a long-distance bus to the next station Shantou. Shantou detention center was small. A few days later, six of us were taken on a long di-stance bus and headed to my hometown in Xingning County. I had been away from X-ingning for more than 10 years, and had never expected to return in such embarr-assment! I had only vague memories of the streets we passed, but they appeared to be more broken and more crowded. Someone told me, the detention center was i-n Chen Clan Hall. “Chen Clan Hall?” I still had some recollection, "Is there a big pond in front?" "Filled in long time ago, don’t you see the many huts bu-ilt on it in a jumble?” When I remembered that my former residence was not far from here, a rush of helplessness and disappointment suddenly seized me, and fi-nally bursts of intense fear. The dreaded moment had come. Good or bad luck? It would be decided in a few days! We were taken into the upper hall, where the sh-rine to successive ancestors had been removed,and there was a urine bucket belo-w. On each side of the ground was a row of planks for sleeping. Positions away from the urine bucket were occupied, we could only sleep near the bucket. Sudde-nly I was roused by a supervisor called "Chen Jiang.” I was startled: Ah! To q-uestion me? Before becoming fully awake, I heard a woman calling from far outsi-de the door. I looked out across the courtyard, past the mid-hall, and espied m-y Fourth Aunt. She held a plastic bag in her hand. The supervisor took the bag and motioned her to leave, then brought the bag in and handed it to me. I opene-d the bag and found some cakes and candies, all of which were rarely seen in th-e detention center. I was grateful that my Fourth Aunt worried about my sufferi-ng from hunger in the detention center, and hurried to bring some food. I distr-ibuted two pieces of candies to my cellmates. One who appeared used to wonderin-g from place to place and earn a living by juggling praised me “worldly wis-e”. But I was perplexed how my Fourth Aunt knew of my arrival. If she came to s-ee me not using my fake name and address but my real name, that would cause re l trouble. In addition, what did she said about our relationship? If the superv-isor asked me who she was and where she lived, what would I answer? How could what she said correspond with what I had said? If they followed the wine to get
                the melon and discover my identity, then all is lost! But I remembered the supervisor had called me "Chen Jiang”, so Fourth Aunt must have given them my pseudo-nym and false address. She might also give the same address at Rock commune tha-t I had faked before, so I was somewhat relieved. Then I heard a name called. T-he person called was a tall man who looked like an intellectual. He had been wi-th us since at Haifeng and Shantou detention centers. He talked less and did-n’t show a heavy heart like other detainees. A few minutes later he came back, picked up his belongings, waved goodbye and departed.Someone whispered: He was a relative of the director of the detention center I felt disappointed, regrett-ing I had not befriended him and perhaps found a way out. If I were known to th-e director through him, maybe it could have helped me in some kind of mutually beneficial way. Fearful and cranky, I didn't sleep well all night. The next mor-ning, I was called for questioning. My heart beat violently but I forced myself to remain calm as I entered into the small inquiry room. The supervisor was in his forties. He was a little plump but seemed to be kind. He routinely asked my name and address, I answered as previously: Chen Jiang, Rock Commune, XX brigad-e, XX production team. I was worried that he might ask me a few more questions, such as information about Rock Commune or the production team. When I could not answer those, I would be discovered! Fortunately he didn’t doubt anything, or at least did not seem to doubt. Maybe he was familiar with such pretenses and d-id not care if answers were real or false, as long as you were sent to your add-ress and accepted, the other things not being his concern. He told me to pack m-y things and leave immediately. So I had survived one more ordeal. But the most critical one was yet to come. Rock Commune I took my packet and walked uneasily after the supervisor. Noticing that he was wearing just a pair of clogs, I wond-ered why a local official was too poor to buy a pair of shoes. We arrived at th-e bus station ahead of schedule, so the supervisor ordered me to stand and wait as he wanted to use the latrine."Don't run away!" he warned. As I watched the s-upervisor walk to the latrine dozens of meters away, I saw a chance to escape. My heart pounded violently. Looking back at the latrine and checking my surroun-dings, I realized there were few people around. Go? But I was unfamiliar with t-he area so where should I go? As I hesitated, the supervisor started back, look-ed up and saw me, then approached slowly. My opportunity gone, I deeply regrett-ed that I could not act decisively. I felt remorseful although I had done no wr-ong. In such a short time, how could I have slipped out of the supervisor's sight? If the supervisor shouted and the "revolutionary masses" seized me, what mig-ht have happened? Afterwards, I learned that Fourth Aunt and my cousin Yong Yu had arranged for someone to be at the station looking for an opportunity to res-cue me. Unfortunately, the man was not alert and missed his chance to help me m-ake a quick escape. Regardless, the opportunity was gone. I stared blankly at t-he supervisor and followed him to board the bus. Debarking at the Rock Station and on our way to the commune committee, suddenly a young man came up and greet-ed the supervisor. He invited the supervisor to a restaurant for "tea (dim su-m)". I did not recognize the man but realized he must be one of our friends. Unf-ortunately, the supervisor did not accept, even after several requests, but ins-isted on going first to the commune committee. When we arrived at the commune c-ommittee, a middle-aged man said hello to the supervisor. He took a look at the paper and asked:
                "Are you Chen Jiang?"
                "Yes."
                "Yes?"
                I was timid and whispered: "Yes."
                The man snorted: "Okay, then what’s your wife's name?"
                I hadn’t prepared for this beforehand, so had to make up a name. The man was angry: "Absurd! You did fleeing to Hong Kong, how dare you fake a name!" I learned later that the real Chen Jiang was one of his schoolmates in high school. What a misfortune! Was I doomed to die? I was worried that he might hit me, but fort-unately he didn’t and just returned the paper to the supervisor. The superviso-r did nothing but say: "Go back, go back!" I followed the supervisor out. Now I was in a state of mental chaos and darkness, walking mechanically. In complete disarray, on an impulse I fled away to a byroad. The supervisor, certainly not expecting this, chased me wearing his clogs at first. Then taking off the clog-s, he continued chasing and yelling. I was hungry and tired, so could not run fa-r before I was caught. The supervisor held my right arm against my back and tol-d the large crowd gathered that I was a thief. I hurriedly retorted that I simp-ly was one fleeing to Hong Kong. In Guangdong, people had completely different views of thieves and those fleeing to Hong Kong; the former most people hated,
                the latter were quite common and many had sympathy for them. I was taken to the bus and escorted back to the detention center quite dejected and despondent. Th-e other detainees were amazed. Learning that I had faked a name and address, th-ey responded with sympathy. Then I was pushed into a small room next to the cou-rtyard for solitary confinement. How to do? What to do? My mind was extremely c-onfused. The fear was so intense that I couldn't calm down enough to think abou-t the next step. I fantasized how I might escape. Novels said to dig a tunnel, but when I touched the floor, I felt a large flagstone. Barehanded, how could I dig? Even if I had tools and could dig a tunnel to another room, it was still i-n the clan hall and not outside. It was simply impossible. Slumping down, I env-isioned the next round of inquiry. How to answer? Kunming was certainly not to be revealed, but what location could I fake? I had been away from my hometown f-or so long that I could not even remember the names of communes or production b-rigades. If I faked another name and address, the authorities would not believe me and would call or send a letter to confirm. The most terrible prospect was t-hat I might be tied and beaten until I confessed, then handcuffed and escorted back to Kunming. There I could foresee upsurges of "revolutionary atmosphere”, charges of "treason”. and a fatal beating by so called "masses dictatorship" a-t a rally. I was too panic-stricken for further thought. The next day brought c-ontinued despair. When my eyes opened early in the morning I was on tenterhooks waiting for my name to be called. Even during the usually enjoyable meal time I was too anxious and preoccupied to eat with relish, just liked a fish out of wa-ter that couldn’t breathe. I didn't know why, but they didn't call me for inqu-iry all day long. Although the inquiry promised to be a major disaster, just wa-iting for it was another torment, like a convict already sentenced to death awa-iting the final moment to come. Snatched from the Jaws of Death - Ruse and Rele-ase Shortly after dinner, I seemed to hear someone calling my real name; "Qing" was clearly heard, but the next word was not like "Si". I was hesitating, the d-oor was opened, two persons appeared, the first one the supervisor, the second behind him, I did not know. The second man came up and called me "Qing X", I st-ill didn't hear it clearly. He extended his hand and I reflexively reached out and held it. The man turned to the supervisor and said; "He is my cousin Zeng Q-ing Hui." This name I heard was somewhat different from mine. It seemed to be h-e name of a cousin. Then I recognized that the visitor was my cousin Yong An. I had not seen him for more than 10 years; he looked like much older and thinner.
                Before I could speak, Yong An led me out to the front hall. A small man was wait-ing there, a stranger to me. This man entered a side room with the supervisor, signed a paper, then returned and escorted me and my cousin out of the detentio-n center. Not far away, he said farewell and left. My cousin led me in the oppo-site direction. I was then very much in the dark, only knowing that I was indee-d out of the detention center. That meant freedom, at least freedom of movemen-t. My heart burst with joy. Thank God! I forced a breath out, and then took a de-ep breath in. Although the outside air was not especially clean, after all it w-as not as stifling as in the detention center. We walked silently for awhile; m-y cousin first broke the silence, saying that the man who assisted us was his f-riend, our production brigade public security agent Li Fu. I was told that Four-th Aunt had met with Cousin Yong An recently and told him that Qing Si (me)
                 went fleeing to Hong Kong but failed. She explained about my fake name Chen Jia-ng, my location at Rock Commune, and that I would soon be sent back to the Xing-ning County detention center. Fourth Aunt requested him to contact Li Fu and tr-ied to get Qing Si out. Yong An and Fourth Aunt remembered Qing Hui who success-fully fled to Hong Kong a couple of months before but had not canceled his regi-stered residence. Qing Hui did odd jobs outside for many years and few people i--n our home village knew him. That provided a golden opportunity to substitute
                the name and identity of Qing Hui for Qing Si (me). Yong An found Li Fu and aske-d him to go to thedetention center to carry out the ruse.
                [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-2-6 16:47:04编辑过 ]
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                  Qing Hui was a few years younger than I. He was just a child when I left Xingnin-g so I had only a slight recollection of him. Li Fu didn't know me, but he had heard his father talk many times about my father and grandfather taking care hi-s family, so he agreed to help right away. Now it suddenly struck me! Recalling these years, the traditional morality of friendship and benevolence had been re-placed by "class struggle"; mistrust, hate and strife dominated people. I hardl-y expected that fellow villagers would keep nostalgic affection and do their be-st to help me. Mixed feelings seized me, unconsciously my paces slowed. Seeing this, Yong An urged me: "Qing Si, let’s go! Go to the west side of the river t-o eat something, and then go back to the ancestral house, stay at Fourth Aun-t’s home tonight. Fourth Aunt had someone buy a long-distance bus ticket for yo-u back to Guangzhou tomorrow."I didn't feel fully awake, but just followed my c-ousin across the West River Bridge. The bridge! How many times I had walked ove-r it in my childhood, how could it become so broken? The flagstones were cracke-d or missing, the stone railings were collapsed in several places, even the thr-ee big characters “West River Bridge” on the stone board at the middle railin-g were chipped in half. I could not help but feel a thousand regrets: Mao Zedon-g had been ruling for more than a decade, countless people were persecuted or k-illed; even the splendid rivers and mountains were ruined beyond recognition!
                  -I asked: "Was there not another bridge over there?"
                  "Collapsed long time ago, it was a wooden bridge!"
                  "Not to re-build?"
                  "Who cares?"
                  We walked into a rice porridge and noodle shop, Yong An ordered two bowls of no dles with shredded pork and a dish of pickled vegetables. He asked me if I woul-d drink some wine, I answered that I don’t drink, so he ordered a small glass of wine for himself. I knew he was poor and regretfully said, "I have no money with me." Yong An replied: "Never mind, I have it." I thought Fourth Aunt must have given him money, so felt at ease to eat. So delicious! I had suffered more than thirty days with "Tan three liang", this bowl of unremarkable noodle with shredded pork seemed to be the best taste in the world! We finished eating quie-tly. It was getting dark as my cousin and I walked along. There were so many qu-estions to ask that I did not know where to begin. The road was not what I had been familiar with in my childhood. Now, along the way, was a disorderly array of cabins or huts; the silent and peaceful countryside scene of the past was en-tirely gone. After walking for about an hour, Yong An said: Here we are. Rest S-top at Ancestral House We stood in the open space behind the ancestral house, a space I now barely recognized. "Where are the cypresses?" I remembered clearly that there had been a row of tall cypresses behind the house, resulting in the property being known as “Under the Cypresses”."All of them were cut to make c-harcoal for massive making steel during the Great Leap Forward.” Yong An repli-ed. What a pity! I recalled that there were several large clumps of bamboo and a big tree (for which I forgot the name) between the row of cypresses and the h-ouse. The kids played and chased around under the green shade. Now the bamboo c-lumps and the tree were cut, and debris and trash were piled everywhere. The an-cestral house was a typical Hakka style "dragon-embraced house" with a wide hor-seshoe shape. There were nearly 100 halls and rooms. It was a traditional clan-inhabited building. Since our first ancestor there, we were the fifth generatio-n. But now the house was ruined and most of its inhabitants scattered far and wi-de. Yong An led me to a window on the right side of the house near the side doo-r and gently knocked twice. Someone inside answered immediately: "Arrived?" I r-ecognized it as the voice of Fourth Aunt. She had been waiting anxiously and ca-me out to meet us right away. She looked much older but was still agile. We had not seen each other for many years and now both had bittersweet feelings. Yong An entrusted me to Fourth Aunt and then said good-bye. Fourth Aunt was among on-ly three families left in the ancestral house. All others were forced to move e-lsewhere and their rooms allotted to poor and lower-middle peasants. Because th-ere might be monitoring eyes and ears around, we were careful not to talk much. Fourth Aunt arranged for me to bathe and led me into a small room to sleep. She said we would go to the town early in the morning and I would take a bus back t-o Guangzhou. Although I had a lot of questions to ask, I was extremely tired
                  and fell asleep. I had not slept so comfortably for a long time! At five o'clock the next morning, Fourth Aunt awakened me. She had cooked a large bowl of noodl-es which I ate quickly and then followed her toward the town. On the way, Fourt-h Aunt related details of the rescue. Ever since Yonglie had led our group of s-ix to begin fleeing to Hong Kong, my parents and younger siblings were waiting anxiously day after day. Hearing no news, they knew things were not good. We ha-d agreed in advance that, if caught, I would fake the name Chen Jiang, Rock Com-mune XX brigade. My mother hurried to contact Fourth Aunt, requesting her to ma-ke every attempt to rescue me. Fourth Aunt became flustered. Whom should she co-nsult? First she thought of her nephew Yong Yu who had friends with connection-s, but none knew any supervisor of the detention center. However, my relatives p-ersisted. On that day I was escorted to the Rock Commune, someone was waiting a-t the bus station for an opportunity to rescue; and on the road from the Rock B-us Station to the commune committee, a young man invited the supervisor to have "tea" several times. These events were arranged by Yong Yu, but unfortunately f-ailed. Fourth Aunt proceeded cautiously, considering other contacts until final-ly the nephew Yong An came to mind. Yong An was born into a poverty-stricken pe-asant family with many children. My father often helped them. Fourth Aunt had l-ittle previous contact with Yong An but knew he was acquainted with the brigade public security agent Li Fu. She believed this was an opportunity, so she found Yong An and promised him a handsome reward afterwards. Yong An and Fourth Aunt discussed the matter of cousin Qing Hui who fled to Hong Kong successfully a co-uple of months before and had not canceled his registered residence. They belie-ved it was possible to substitute Qing Hui’s name for Qing Si’s, so they went to see if Li fu would assist in this ruse. Li Fu was the son of Li Rike, an hon-est man from a poor family. During the time of the War of Resistance against Ja-panese Aggression my grandfather hired him as the steward of "Huiji (means ‘ki-ndly help’) Granary". My father also provided health care for the Li family ma-ny times, so Li Fu agreed readily to take part in the ruse. Li Fu was a friend of supervisor Cheng of the detention center. He told Cheng that his friend Yong
                  -An’s cousin Qing Hui was caught back in fleeing to Hong Kong, and faked the na-me "Chen Jiang" at Rock Commune. Li Fu asked Cheng to inform him when "Chen Jia-ng" arrived so he could come to pick him up. Cheng agreed to handle this during his duty on the night shift. Being informed "Chen Jiang arrived" Li Fu found Fo-urth Aunt. Fourth Aunt immediately brought cakes and candies to me. Li Fu told Fourth Aunt that when Cheng came on duty the next night, he and Yong An would g-o to get Qing Si out. In the past, people sent to the detention center would st-ay several days, but recently the number of detainees increased quickly, requir-ing a speed-up of the process. The very next day after I was sent to Rock Commu-ne I almost got into big trouble for my attempted escape. Fortunately, the next night Cheng was on duty, so Li Fu and Yong An came to take me out. "Yong An sai-d that you have already bought the bus ticket to Guangzhou for me. How can you
                  buy a ticket without a travel certificate?" I asked. "Do you remember A Ding?" I said yes, he was my father’s friend. "He is now the head of pharmacy at XX hos-pital. He is a friend of the ticketing manager of the bus station. He called th-e manager and Yong Yu bought the ticket yesterday." Learning of this twisting a-nd bizarre course of action was just like listening to the Arabian Nights. My m-ind could hardly follow the events. Anyway, that afternoon I returned to Guangz-hou, and was reunited with my parents and other family members. All were awestr-uck. Just yesterday I had been in the detention center like a prisoner waiting to be executed, yet in less than 24 hours came this miraculous reversal of fat-e. The whole family thanked and praised God. We also thanked the ancestors and p-arents who did good deeds to benefit the descendants; and thanked my relatives and friends for their rescue efforts. One-Seventh Success Rate Back to Guangzho-u, I learned that Ho Ping was also caught back. The night we had been chased by the militia, Ho Ping quickly escaped but lost Big Guy. Then traveling alone, th-e next day at midnight he climbed Wutong Mountain and descended before dawn. Wh-en he saw the barbed wire entanglement before him, he became agitated and hasti-ly rushed forward. Unfortunately, he touched the thin trip wire on the ground d-eployed by the border guards. "Ding", the alarm bells rang; immediately came th-e whistle and shouts. Ho Ping was still too far away from the barbed wire entan-glement to rush over it, so he hid behind a nearby rock. Two border guards with a police dog came but did not find him. However, the dog kept barking, so the g-uards released the dog which quickly ran toward Ho Ping. When Ho Ping stood up, the dog bit his left calf. He cried "ouch" and cringed but dared not move. Then
                  the guards cruelly ordered the dog to chomp hard on his leg. Ho Ping screamed in pain and almost fainted. Ho Ping was escorted to Shenzhen Detention Center. Lik-e me, he also could not reveal his working unit in another province, so he fake-d a name and gave an address in his hometown Xingning County as Xinpo Commune X-X brigade. After being transferred among several detention centers,finally he w-as sent back to Xinpo Commune along with two other fugitives. The commune comm ttee notified the brigades to come to reclaim them. The three of them were line-d up in a row; a brigade member came but did not know Ho Ping. He asked Ho Ping which production team he belonged to. Ho Ping knew that his fake was discovered so he immediately fled. People of the commune and brigade shouted and gave chas-e. Ho Ping went all out to escape. Approaching a wide ditch, he disregarded all risk to make a big jump forward. Not quite reaching the other side, he slipped down the slope. But grabbing shoots of grass, he climbed up quickly and made a
                  -near miraculous escape. Ho Ping pulled up his pant leg to show me the ugly scar left by the dog bite. He said it was "a memorial that cannot be forgotten.” Re- calling the border guards and the dog had rekindled his hatred of oppression. He then told me a true story that had happened some time before. A well-known m-aster of martial arts in Guangzhou was over 80 years old and kept a workshop to
                  -teach apprentices and to sell traumatic plaster for a living. Being impacted ma-ny times by the political campaigns, he finally decided to take risks to flee t-o Hong Kong with two apprentices. When they approached the barbed wire entangle- ments of the boundary they were found by border guards. A police dog quickly r-an toward them. The old master knew he must act quickly, so he told the two app-rentices to flee while he turned to confront the dog. The two apprentices rushe-d forward, threw their bags on the barbed wire entanglement and quickly climbed over it. Meanwhile, the dog had pounced on the old master. He reached out with both hands, grabbing the two forelimbs of the dog, and forcefully tore apart th-e dog’s chest and ribs. The old master was sentenced to four years in prison. When this story was widely circulated among the neighborhoods of Guangzhou, the old master became the hero in people’s hearts.Ho Ping said he also would have torn his attack dog apart if he could have fortified his anger with the skills of kung fu. Cousin Yonglie was the only one who succeeded among the seven fugit-ives, but only after putting up a desperate fight. That night, he and another  arm fellow approached the Wutong Mountain; unfortunately they were discovered b-y patrolling border guards and militia. They immediately fled in different dire-ctions, but not far enough to avoid capture. Yonglie was totally despair, knowi-ng if he were sent back to the commune, he might be subject to crippling tortur-e or even death. So better to risk dying now, he thought. As they walked along the edge of a cliff, Yonglie suddenly darted away from the militiaman and jumpe-d off the cliff. Fortunately he was not doomed to die, but after being blocked and hung up on branches, finally he fell to the ground and fainted. Even more f-ortunate, his landing spot was across the boundary. Discovered by a British Hon-g Kong patrol car and revived, he was brought to the border police station. A p-oliceman recognized him: "So are you coming again?" Cousin begged him to call h-is eldest sister in Hong Kong immediately. His sister still had a painful memor-y of his previous unsuccessful escape. So she frantically hurried to find a dis-tant relative in the urban police bureau. But he was off work that day. She wen-t to his home, where his wife said he had gone fishing at the seashore. Rushing
                  -to the shore, she finally found the police officer. Together they hurried to th-e border police station and bailed out her brother. The four farm fellows were taken back to the farm. They were criticized and denounced and then released. F-armers were already at the bottom level of society, so what else they could do them?
                  [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-2-7 12:34:01编辑过 ]
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                    Back in Guangzhou: Nightmares

                    After more than a month of torture, I was mentally and physically exhausted and needed a rest. However, would the situation allow me to rest? It was late 1966. A few months before, Beijing had spearheaded the Red Guards campaign.
                    "Sweep away all cow demons and snake spirits.” In the capital alone, more than 1,700 people were killed in less than a month. Mao Zedong, wearing a military u-niform, welcomed the Red Guards in an audience in Tiananmen Square. This meant that the Red Guard campaign was given top priority. A senior Communist officer Song Renqiong's daughter Song Binbin (means “gentle”) was renamed "Song Yaow-u” (means “be military”) by Mao’s decree. The Red Guards went into action na-tionwide immediately. Mindless and indiscriminate abuse and killing came thick and fast, creating the most absurd, brutal, crazed and bloodiest phase of the “Red Terror”.One of my cousin's nephews, Zhi Wei, returned from Hong Kong to visit his relatives. He said that they also watched the news and documentary of the Cultural Revolution in Hong Kong. "So terrible! Many people doubt whether i-t is true or not. Is it anti-Communist propaganda of Kuomintang? Abusively beat-ing and killing, doesn't the government care?" My goodness! Coming from a socie-ty under the rule of law, how could he imagine the lawless acts launched person-ally by the "Supreme Leader,” and enforced by all levels of government? If not
                     directed by the authority, whom did the Red Guards know to attack? Whose home t-o raid? Without the authority’s instruction, would the Red Guards be bold as i-f they had eaten leopard’s liver or tiger’s gall,would they dare to beat and kill men recklessly, and create numerous appalling tragedies nationwide? Two da-ys later, Zhi Wei witnessed the police and Red Guards raiding Fang’s home that was opposite his house. Fang had visited relatives in Hong Kong two years ago a-nd came back with a watch she had not declared to customs. She was charged with "smuggling" and put under “masses surveillance”. Fang had just opened her doo-r when she was bludgeoned by a Red Guard with a water pipe. Fang fell to the ground with a scream and blood on her face. Zhi Wei, pale with fright, made a fast
                    -return to Hong Kong that very evening. A mimeographed pamphlet, "Why did I esca-pe from China?”- an account by the famous violinist Ma Sicong - was circulate-d. It was written: "I was run down by a truck, a bucket of paste poured out on
                    my head, and then the Red Guards posted slogans on my body. The Red Guards lashe-d me with a belt of iron buckles and hit me in the back of the skull, the blood streamed out; the Red Guards said my surname was Ma (horse), so held down my head and forced me to eat grass.....” J and Y were third grade female students an-d good friends in a junior high school. When the Cultural Revolution began, the-y followed everybody to write Big Character Posters labeling teachers as "cow d-emons and snake spirits”, to criticize and denounce them in school assemblies. They were bustling with excitement and self-importance. Later when “combat tea-ms” were organized, various teams invited J and Y to join. Not knowing the difference among combat teams, they casually join separate teams. Later the various combat teams of schools, organizations and factories in the county joined force-s and formed “XX Headquarters”. But they divided into two factions; one was p-ro the Party Secretary while the other pro the CountyMagistrate. J belonged to the former faction but Y to the latter. The two factions fought each other fier-cely, so J and Y gradually realized that they dare not contact each other. The two factions increased violence, Jiang Qing acting under Mao’s directive, inci-ted "Attack verbally but defense by force”, which became “resorting to violen-ce” and then evolved to mutual slaughter. J and Y were too scared to attend an-y fight, but they still belonged to two opposite factions. One day J’s faction seized the headquarters of Y’s faction and searched the membership list. As a result, Y was caught, suffered a brutal gang rape and was hung stark naked from a tree for public ridicule. That night Y committed suicide. After learning of a-ll this, J hid at home and cried herself half to death.My distant cousin, Chen Mingjing, was a doctor. He was caught by an opposing faction of Red Guards, stu-ffed into a sack, and then beaten to death. My high school teacher Huang Baoxin was declared to be a "label-removed rightist”. His father had been a division commander of the Kuomintang Anti-Japanese Army who rose in revolt at the fronti-er in the civil war but died soon after. When the Cultural Revolution broke ou-t, Mr. Huang was caught and killed at the commune committee after his ear and to
                     ngue were slashed and his eyes gouged out, all on the charge of simply being th-e "filial son of the Kuomintang reactionary”. My friend Yang Mao told me: On a market day of his commune, in a burst of cries and shouted slogans, several mil-itiamen marched four "cow demons and snake spirits" onto the small hill. In ful-l view of the crowd, the militiamen picked up hoes and cleaved the victims’ fa-ces and heads one by one. The corpses were completely deformed and appalling, t-oo horrible to view. Their families could identify them only by their clothes.
                     One day, I visited my friend Long and heard this sad story. Long said it was wi-dely discussed in private that two piles of corpses floating from the Mainland appeared on Hong Kong beaches; all were bundled with barbed wire. Among the dea-d were babies and old persons, the scene was horrific.Charities in Hong Kong or-ganized a large-scale memorial ceremony. One of Long’s friends was a zhiqing f-rom a village near the West River (one of the three sources of the Pearl River) who saw drifting corpses up to dozens a day, and reeking to high heaven. To sto-p the bodies from drifting out to Hong Kong and Macao, Mainland authorities ord-ered communes along the West River to retrieve and bury corpses and rewarded fa-rmers with five yuan per corpse. Those drifting out to the sea were but a
                    -tiny minority.In Guangxi province at a rural assembly, the “cow demons and sna-ke spirits” after being roughed up and tortured, were to be executed. The Part-y branch secretary shouted: "This time I must have a "whip" (male genitalia)!" It turned out that after killing the "cow demons and snake spirits" the executi
                     oners ate the bodies, saying that they could keep men strong and brave, and the "whip" could promote male sexual prowess. The above-mentioned facts were what I heard myself, and I knew some of the victims. However,the tragedy was nationwid-e. Word of extremely brutal tragedies was heard again and again, the vicious st-ories leaving me on tenterhooks. If I were in Kunming, what would happen to me? Would I be alive or doomed? Every day there were dark clouds overhead and murde-rous risks everywhere; no one could be in peace. Checking my registered residen-ce and Kunming to catch me back could occur at any time. If I were caught back to Kunming, the consequence would be unimaginable. How could I escape the nets
                    -above and snares below? Seeking New Opportunities to Flee Rumors of persons cau-ght fleeing to Hong Kong and being killed by beatings or stoning continued to m-ake me nervous. Mother was laden with anxieties and said: Wouldn’t it be bette-r to carry on fleeing after waiting for awhile? However, with the situation get-ting more and more sinister, waiting also had grave risks. Dangerous as it was, I had to continue to find a way out. Having failed in walking, I turned to the option of swimming or going by boat. To strengthen my physique, I often hiked -uexiu Mountain or swam in the Pearl River. At that time, day or night, winter or summer, there were many people swimming in the Pearl River. Swimmers claimed th-ey were imitating the "Great Leader" by swimming across the Yangtze River three times. But the real purpose and the tacit understanding was to train for fleein-g to Hong Kong, to practice speed, endurance, and cold tolerance, to be able to survive in cold water for several hours. In addition to swimming, my family and I also considered taking a boat. But this was very difficult and would be very costly. Once, I was swimming underwater in the Pearl River near Ershatou (a sma-ll island) and bumped against another swimmer. We surfaced and apologized to ea-ch other. That is how I first met Donnan. He was a graduate from Southern China Institute of Technology and used to be a factory technician. He was squeezed ou-t by a Party member and then became an electrician in a street service station.
                    One day, Donnan told me that his cousin in Hong Kong had referred him to a perso-n in Daliang own of Shunde County. He invited me to accompany him. Thinking it might be a promising opportunity, I agreed immediately. Shunde County was renowned for sericulture (silk production) and fish ponds. Many peasants, in addition to tillage, were engaged in these businesses over a span of 100 years, and many people went out to Gungzhou or Hong Kong to do commerce. The folk houses of Dal-iang Town were mostly lofty brick structures, and the lanes were paved with gra-nite flagstones. By this time it had become dilapidated and dreary. The walls o-f some houses had collapsed, the windows and doors broken; some houses were rep-laced by smaller huts, others were littered by debris, the deserted grounds ove
                     rgrown with weeds. Donnan, a Shundese, told me that much of the formerly valuab-le hardwood like Pontianak used for pillars and beams, and the big hard bricks used for walls and floor, now were removed and sold by jin or by piece. He refl-ected sadly that the world had changed; even the virtuous descendants of those
                     who once lived here were not able to keep their patrimony. The person to be contacted was Zheng Bijian who shared an ancestral house with his brothers. His family of four lived in one room and half of the lobby, separated from the other half by wooden boards.
                    [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-2-26 16:31:19编辑过 ]
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                      In the front half there was an archaic square table, on it piled bundles of unfi-nished firecrackers. A wrinkled old woman wearing a pair of black-framed readin-g glasses and working under a dim kerosene lamp, held a bundle of firecrackers with her left hand, and a stick in her right hand to poke at the end of each fi-recracker to press the gunpowder inside. She might earn more than 20 cents a da-y so as to supplement the family income.Zheng asked the old woman to come into the room, then pushed the firecrackers aside and put out a tea set. The three o-f us leaned on the table and whispered.Before long, a man passed by, saw and gr-eeted us: "Jian, guests?" Zheng answered: "My cousins come from Guangzhou." The man came in, Zheng drew a stool for him to sit down and introduced him to us: "My former classmate, A Wu." A Wu was an argumentative guest who had once robbd the place of the host. He asked many questions; we tried to respond courteously but without telling him much. A Wu rambled on spraying his spittle around as he talked: "XX fled to Macao successfully, eleven people squeezed in a boat." Then he glanced at the street and whispered: "The next tide cycle (suitable date and time of going out to the sea) I will go by boat. They allow two more persons to join in. Just to pay a small amount of money, but most important is that he sho-uld have someone in Hong Kong or Macao to help take care of us. I wonder if any-one wants to go." He stared at Donnan and me.Donnan and I forced a smile and sa-id we had never thought of fleeing to Hong Kong.Donnan tried to shake off A Wu. Looking at the old-fashioned clock on the wall he said: "Eleveno’clock alread-y, let’s go have a tea!" Zheng rose and led us out, but A Wu followed. In the r-estaurant, A Wu talked again enticingly in low voice about fleeing to Hong Kon--g: "If someone wants to go, just let me know, but must be quick.”We three look-ed the other way evading the subject.As we left, A Wu again whispered to us: "I-f anyone wants to go, contact me as soon as possible. Eh?" We pretended to hear nothing.On the way back, Zheng warned us: "Be careful with this guy, someone sa-id he is an informer." I wondered with a chill: Did the informer have an eye on me? A week after we had returned to Guangzhou, Donnan told me that Zheng sent h-im a message saying that the fishermen whom we wanted to contact went with anot-her group of people five days ago. So far their families had not yet received a-ny news of their arrival, so it seemed to be fraught with grim possibilities.So a link was broken. A friend invited me to see his Uncle Yue. Uncle used to be a seaman but had been unemployed for a long time. He earned a living by doing odd jobs such as repairing household appliances and plumbing.Uncle Yue told me that he recently became connected to a group for fleeing to Hong Kong by boat, in Lo-ngjiang Town, Shunde County, where the trend of fleeing to Hong Kong was prevai-ling.They found him because he used to be a seaman, and they needed a navigato-r; also they had to fix the broken boat and have someone to pay for it. I asked how much it would cost, but Uncle Yue said he had no idea yet.Late one afternoo-n, Uncle Yue and I took a bus to Longjiang and located our contacts. A dozen pe-ople sat around a table eating hot pot; two plates of raw fish fillets also wer-e on the table. They greeted us and invited us to join them. I knew the Shunde was an endemic area of clonorchiasis (a parasitic disease of the hepatobiliary system). I dared not eat raw fish, so put the fillet into the hot pot to cook w-ell before eating. I asked Uncle Yue and the others to do the same, but the loc-als would not.We started talking about fleeing. It turned out they had a crippl-ed fishing ship, now berthing in the creek.They led us to see the ship. It was a black and rather big one, but badly broken, even the mast was damaged. After returning, they talked jubilantly and dreamed about the future, as if they had arrived in Hong Kong already. They talked with eloquence and no scruples at al-l, whereas I was always edgy; in Guangzhou we could talk fleeing to Hong Kong on-ly secretly.They were local farmers who worked hard all year but eked out only a scanty livelihood. So where to get the extra money to repair the ship? They h-ad to find a partner. They said that after the ship had been repaired, they cou-ld start out on the next tide cycle.I asked how much it would take to repair th-e ship; they listed which parts needed to be repaired or replaced, how much for each part, and how much was the total. The amount was not small; I could not af-ford it, but did not say so, just said we would think about that when we return-ed to Guangzhou. We also put forward a few questions regarding safety, although we had only superficial knowledge about that. Most worrisome was the fact that more than 20 people would join in, and could all keep the secret? But they pled-ged to do so, because all involved were relatives or friends.Back to Guangzhou, Uncle Yue and I carefully discussed some issues. As for the money, it was possi-ble to find someone to share the cost, because they agreed to give one or two m-ore seats.However, in terms of safety, we decided it was too risky. More than 2-0 people, and to repair the ship openly, how could it be kept secret? In additi-on, they knew little about the inspection points on inner rivers or creeks, whe
                       reas Uncle Yue had experience only after entering the sea. After careful consid
                       eration, we decided to give it up.Uncle Yue and I thought that if we could find a small boat with the fishermen and passengers totaling no more than six or sev-en people, it would be ideal. Of course, the fishermen should be familiar with the network of rivers in Pearl River Delta and able to avoid or successfully co-pe with the inspection points. However, where to find such an ideal boat? A fri-end introduced Chang Tsai to me. Chang Tsai was a farmer of Guizhou Commune, Sh-unde County, in his forties. A few months ago, he and 10 people successfully fl-ed to Macao in a boat. Macao was small and its job opportunities limited, so mo-st people who fled to Macau just used it as a springboard to flee to Hong Kong. When Chang Tsai and others took a fishing boat to Hong Kong,unfortunately they were intercepted by the patrol boat and sent back to the mainland. As Chang Tsa-i was a poor peasant by class status, he had nothing serious to lose.I invited Chang Tsai to come to Guangzhou. But he said he had just failed in the fleeing and did not want to go for a second time. I tried to persuade him, the main rea-son was that two factions of Red Guards were busy in fighting each other recent-ly, and it was said that the border guards were somewhat distracted. It was a p-ity to let such an opportunity slip away. Chang Tsai’s family had been farming for generations. He was not well educated, but he made a very realistic stateme-nt: "So far as the economy (problem) is not resolved, the fleeing to Hong Kong
                      will not stop.” As for the border situation, Chang Tsai didn't care much and sa-id: "(Pearl River Delta) rivers and creeks like a net, you guard here, and I ca-n go around by another route.”It seemed that Chang Tsai would be a very good g-uide. After half a month, I invited a friend to accompany me directly to Chang Tsai's home. His home was just beyond the third border zone, so we could buy a bus ticket without a special certificate of travel. Crossing a small bridge to the south was Zhongshan County which belonged to the border zone.Chang Tsai’s home was an old thatched hut; there was a square table with four wooden benches in the front room. It was simple but shabby. He politely asked us to sit down f-or tea and told his wife to prepare lunch. We knew Chang Tsai’s life was hard. Like all local farmers, he ate only pickled vegetables and rice year-round, so I brought a packet of sausage and two bottles of wine for him. Chang Tsai told us that when he returned from Guangzhou last time, he specifically visited a fo-r tuneteller, the blind Wang in next village, and was told "should not travel t-his year.” We understood his decision was firm, so we said goodbye with regre-t. Alas! Looking for a way to flee to Hong Kong was so difficult, failure after failure. I was really exhausted both in mind and body, and money had to be spen-t again and again. Even though I might get some help from abroad, I always was hard put to cope. To continue would be like throwing the money into a bottomles-s pit. What's more, there were always threats of checking the registered reside
                       nce and Kunming to catch me back; and the vicious news of brutal and bloody kil-ling alarmed me again and again. Day after day, my situation was growing more a-nd more difficult, and my mood more and more depressed. Days wore on like years!
                      [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-1 16:02:30编辑过 ]
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                        Fleeing to Hong Kong: Second Try

                        My sister in Hong Kong and brother in the United States had been paying close at
                         tention to my situation. In addition to financial support, they also contacted relatives and friends in Hong Kong to find opportunities for me. Finally, my br-other contacted a friend who fled from Panyu County to Hong Kong a few years ea-rlier, sent him a sum of money and asked him for help. The friend introduced a
                         man named Li Yong of Dashan Commune, Panyu County, to me. He was the captain of a production brigade. I asked Li Yong to meet me in Guangzhou. Li Yong was in h-is early 30s. He was sturdy, did not talk much, and was easy-going. He said heo
                         Shiqiao Town, Panyu County. So I went to see Wu and Li Yong at Shiqiao. Wu was about 25, a wiry guy with a rather heroic spirit. He told me that his cousin Su-xia, a fisherman, had a private boat, and had long wanted to flee to Hong Kong. But he had no relatives in Hong Kong, and dared not go on his own. Wu said to m-e, "I have talked Suxia into going with us, and he agreed. But when we arrive i-n Hong Kong, you must take care of us!" I said no problem.We discussed carefull-y the departure time and place, and planned to buy a few hundred pounds of cabb-age to pile on the boat. We would pretend to be farmers crossing the Pearl Rive-r Estuary to the east side in Baoan County to sell vegetables. As soon as we we-re at sea and it turned dark, we would immediately turn the boat south and aim straight for Hong Kong. I told Wu that my younger sister also wanted to go; Wu said no problem, the boat had enough space. I gave money to Wu to buy cabbage a-nd other items.On the appointed day, my sister and I took a bus to Dashan Commu-ne. It was getting dark. Per Yong’s prior instruction, we went out of the stat-ion and walked along the single road on the left. Both of us were so nervous th-at we did not want to talk. As night fell, we worried about getting lost or mis-sing Li Yong. That would be big trouble because we dared not ask directions, le-st our stranger’s accent cause suspicion. We kept going for about half an hou-r, finally saw a lonely hut with a light on the roadside and sugarcane fields on both sides. We guessed it was the right place and walked over to ask. It really was! We were greatly relieved.Li Yong came out to meet us. There were several y-oung persons in the front room chatting. They politely greeted us and let us si-t down. No other family members were seen.At this time, someone came in with tw-o long paddles. Yong took them and leaned them against the wall. I asked mysel-f: How could these things be exposed to others? Fortunately, those young people
                         didn't say anything and after a while they left. I asked Yong the purpose of th-e two paddles. He said only that they were to be used the next day because the two already on the boat would not be enough. I asked if he were not afraid of t-his gear being seen by others. Yong said no, but did not explain. I still had m-isgivings but hesitated to probe further. Li Yong told us that we would sleep t-here that night. Next day we would have morning tea together at a restaurant in the market town, then board the boat; Wu and Suxia would be there waiting for u-s. I asked if he weren't afraid to board the boat in broad daylight. Yong said no, but again did not explain. I could ask nothing further. That night my young-er sister and I didn't sleep well, but Yong snored without stop. We were awaken-ed in the twilight at four in the morning. Yong led us to a restaurant in town. There were a few diners there already and some greeted Yong. He told them he wa-s going to Guangzhou with his cousin that day. Dim sum was served. I urged my s-ister to eat more, but neither of us was hungry. When Yong had finished, I boug-ht a pack of dim sum and we followed him silently to the river. I suddenly reme-mbered the two extra paddles received the previous night. Yong explained that W-u took them aboard early that morning.Wu and Suxia had been waiting on the ban-k. Suxia was a small fisherman in his early 20s. I handed dim sum to them; they sat on the bank to eat and had a pleasant talk, seemingly unworried. Occasional-ly someone passed by and greeted Yong who explained again that he planned to go to Guangzhou with his cousin.I was on tenterhooks and urged them to get aboard as soon as possible. Yong said, "Don’t worry, nobody cares." Wu smiled and exp-lained: "Here is not the border zone; just like in Shiqiao, no one cares.” I u-nderstood! We had a guilty conscience even if we didn’t steal anything and wer-e worried half to death.Heading Out to Sea Wu and Suxia finished dim sum and ca-lled us to board. Li Yong said he would see us off for some distance and got on the boat. After more than half an hour we paddled into a cove of reeds. The tim-e was still too early so Suxia suggested we rest in the cove for an hour. Li Yo-ng said he would now return home. Wu tried hard to persuade him to go with us. I admired Li Young’s chivalrous behavior and also thought we could use a stron-g laborer like him to help paddle. So I also urged him to go with us, and guara-nteed to take care of him when we arrived in Hong Kong. Li Yong pondered a mome-nt, then relented and promised to go.After about an hour, we again were ready t-o start. Suxia said there might be an inspection during the journey. He asked m-y sister and me to lie down on the bilge under the cabbages that had been broug-ht aboard before we started. The bilge was large enough for two to lie down. In the winter of southern China, lying on the bilge was not easy, but still manage-able.I was worried mostly about inspection. Suxia said not to worry, as he knew where the inspection point was, so we could go around by another creek.The boat advanced slowly. About two hours later, I heard someone shout in the distance, followed by Suxia answering loudly. I didn't know what happened and asked in lo-w voice. Wu said: "Hush! Don't make a sound, someone wants to buy cabbage.” To-o bad! I was speechless with fear. I could hear Suxia bargain with the man but finally fail to reach an agreement. After a while, all returned to silence. The-n Suxia began to speak slowly, saying that he had deliberately made the price a bit too high,doubting that man really wanted to buy cabbage, because militiamen or inspectors often tried that to determine one’s true intention. Fortunately, Suxia was a local with the same dialect, so his response was accepted without s-uspicion. Otherwise, if we were caught even before going out to the sea, all ou-r efforts would be in vain. As the sun set in the west, the boat was rowed into the Pearl River Estuary. Suxia pointed at left front to a small island where th-ree patrol boats were berthed, warning everyone to keep silent. As we kept padd-ling eastbound toward Shajing, Baoan County, everyone was nervous for fear the patrol boats would come over and search.Soon, night seemed to fall suddenly, ev-en us lying in the bilge could see it through the gap of the deck. Li Yong orde-red us to throw all cabbage into the sea right away, turned the bow to the sout-heast,and removed the deck to let my sister and me come out. Looking up at the starry sky and feeling the breeze blowing gently on my face, it was really comf-ortable! In front of us on the vast ocean, the water and sky merged. At the far left front, a faint blue light shone in the night sky. Needless to say, that wa-s our goal, the long coveted free world!Wu and Suxia exclaimed excitedly: "Got it! Got it!" They estimated that it was now a favorable north wind and ebb tid--e, so we could arrive at the Hong Kong coast in about four hours. All of us wer-e excited about our upcoming victory. I considered the near future: After four hours, all the humiliations and disasters would be things of the past. From the-n on, I could breathe freely, how wonderful! Suxia and the others envisioned ge-tting jobs and sending money home, so their families would no longer be so poo-r. They also had long been yearning for overseas remittance certificates; with t-hose their families could buy some high-class goods; after one or two years, th-ey would save up some money and begin a small business such as operating a smal-l stall or something similar. Wu said happily to Li Yong: Definitely it would b-e much better than you being a poor captain of a production brigade. Although n-obody was around in the dark sea, we dared only to talk and laugh in low voice. The four paddlers worked more and more vigorously. As we talked and laughed, su-ddenly the bright lights in front illuminated a motorized sailboat speeding tow-ard us. We were scared and leaned on the boat's side, held our breaths and star-ed at the sailboat. A man on the deck of the sailboat drew a large circle on th-e big sail with a powerful flashlight, and then the sailboat passed quickly not far from our boat on the right side. We were greatly relieved. Suxia told us th-at it was a returning fishing boat. Usually when they encountered a fleeing boa-t, would use a long hook to drag the boat back, and the people on the fishing b-oat could receive a little bonus from the government. However, they didn’t do so, revealing that human nature had not been completely distorted, and there we-re still good people in the world. Success Suddenly Blows Away We were glad, bu-t Li Yong was worried: "It may turn into a south wind!" Everyone asked what tha-t meant. Yong said: “Did the person on the motorized boat draw a big circle wi-th flashlight on the sail? I remember an old seaman in the village had said tha-t the circle meant wind, that is, the man warned us there would be strong wind soon. If it is a south wind, that would be too bad, as we would be pushed bac-k.”Everyone felt immediately heavyhearted. We only wished that warning were not true. Hurry up! If we paddled quickly, hopefully after two hours we could arriv-e in Hong Kong.But before long, the north wind gradually weakened. After a shor-t dull windless period, the dreaded south wind arose, getting stronger and stro-nger. Against the wind and the current, any effort to row was in vain, but we h-ad to try hard to stabilize the boat lest it be wrecked by the gusts of wind. W-e were dismayed to see our boat being blown back. My mind went blank.As the sun rose, the wind gradually abated, allowing us to go south again. However, in bro-ad daylight our lonely boat heading south would tell anyone on shore or in a pa-ssing fishing boat that we were fleeing to Hong Kong. But returning was also wo-uld be dangerous. The militia on the shore or the maritime patrol boat would in-tercept. It might be less risky to continue forward. Just as we started to padd-le again, two boats quickly came out from a river of the east coast. Closing to our boat, one of the crew yelled, "Where are you going?"After a moment of silen-ce, Suxia answered: "Shajing."—A village on the east coast."Where are you fro-m?"
                        [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-3-1 16:01:33编辑过 ]
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                          Suxia said a name of a fishing village on the west coast. But the militiaman wouldn't believe it.He counted: "One, two, three, four, five, a total of five peopl-e. Must be fleeing, being blown back by the south wind. We’ll go back to the c-ommune and see.” It seemed they knew that the south wind of the previous night would enable them to catch persons fleeing to Hong Kong this morning.Two men ju-mped on our boat, took up the paddles to row back, the two boats one in front a-nd the other behind escorted ours and paddled back toward the bank.All was los-t! Suxia uttered: "Damn the south wind!"A militiaman in our boat blurted out: "W-hy didn’t you just keep paddling along the coast?"That remark struck us! Li Yo-ng and Suxia banged their heads in exasperation at the same time.Why in the wor-ld didn't we think of doing that? Paddling along the coast, with land screening us,would have greatly diminished the wind and improved our odds of success. But it was too late now!The three boats entered the river; after landing, the milit-iamen escorted us to the commune committee in a location they refused to disclo-se. In the commune committee, the militia searched our bags, confiscated our mo-ney, and then escorted us to a bus. Soon we arrived in a detention center.When we learned that this was the Shenzhen Detention Center, we realized that we had come quite close to the waters of Hong Kong last night, perhaps just an hour’s boat ride. "Damn the south wind!" Remorseful that we never thought of paddling along the coast, we suddenly fell back to hell from heaven. Remorse, remorse, r-emorse! Hate, hate, hate!Shenzhen Detention Center was small, and all detainees were persons caught fleeing to Hong Kong. Many were zhiqing from communes or fa-rms in Baoan County or nearby; some had fled and failed several times, entering the detention center again and again. Therefore, they would be detained two or three months as a punishment. But so it was. They said privately that being a h-iqing sent to the countryside was like going to the deepest eighteenth hell, an-d there was no nineteenth level. Once released, it was better to flee yet agai-n.Search and inquiry were routine. Although the supervisors kept stiff faces, th-ey were not rude.According to a zhiqing who had been detained for more than two months, the former head was an exservice northerner. He was ferocious and regar-ded fleeing to Hong Kong as an extraordinary crime, so he always arbitrarily be-at and kicked the detainees. Once when he traveled on official business to Guan-gzhou, he kicked up a fuss and was given some of his own medicine, being beaten badly by several young men at an out of the way place in Huanghuagang Park. The present head was less fierce.We stayed in Shenzhen Detention Center only a few days, and then were sent to Guangzhou. Before our fleeing I had heard that XX F-arm of Shaoguan County was lenient to those fleeing Hong Kong and the Shaoguan Detention Center was not strictly guarded. Many people faked their addresses th-ere and looked for another chance to escape. I had also contacted a friend befo
                           rehand; his younger brother was an apprentice in a workshop in Shaoguan City. I could ask him for help if necessary, so I faked my name and gave an address in Shaoguan.My younger sister was a zhiqing at a farm of Xinxing County; she did n-ot need to fake a name. Li Yong and the two other men also reported their real addresses.We were escorted aboard a bus to Guangzhou along with other passenger-s. A female passenger put two candies in my sister’s palm; she accepted it sil-ently and responded with grateful eyes.Weird Happenings in Shahe Detention Cent-er The detention center for Guangzhou was located in the northern suburb of Sha-he, a town once renowned for Shahe “fen” (a kind of wide-strip rice noodles).
                          We entered a large square surrounded by high walls, and then went through a door beside a row of rooms to a smaller square. At one side of the small square was a hall with wooden floor boards for sleeping. The women detainees went into the female area through another door.Shahe Detention Center was very large with man-y detainees in and out daily. Men and women detainees were separated in two div-isions, and each division again divided into two sections, one for newcomers an-d the other for those who already had been questioned and were waiting to be se-nt out.The two sections were separated by a high wall.There always were more th-an one hundred people in the Newcomers' Section, most of them caught fleeing to Hong Kong, others jobless or odd-job migrants and bums from all over the countr-y, as far away as Xinjiang and the northeast China. They were from a different social stratum. Chatting with them I gained a lot of knowledge, and learned for the first time about life at the bottom of the social ladder. Of course, I also heard much about bloody and tragic events of the Cultural Revolution which serv-ed to aggravate my fears. This time I faked a name and address for Shaoguan tha-t was even more unreliable than my last faked name for Xingning. Could I slip b-y once more? If I were sent back to Kunming, the consequences would be miserabl-e. Whenever I thought of this, my heart was full of trepidation.We had our meal-s in the small square. Twice a day, each meal was also three liang rice (so ca-led "tan three liang”) with vegetables, which was dispensed by the two elderly detention aides and monitored by a supervisor.The two old men were in their 60-s. It was said they did not want to be sent back to their residence in countrysi-de because of their bad class status, so would not give their real addresses to the detention center. They were not like people who had criminal records so did not fear being arrested by police and transported. Year after year, the detenti-on center seemed to be their lot. They were friendly, spoke with discretion, an-d seemed to be well educated. Touched, I could picture myself in the same situa-tion. If I dared not reveal my identity I might suffer the same fate, spending the rest of my days as a detention aide in a detention center.Unfortunately, th-ese poor old souls were not left in peace. Soon after I left Shahe, the detenti-on center came under military control. The military representative hung the two old men upside down and beat them until they revealed their true addresses. The-n they were sent away to an unknown fate. It was really chilling.The two superv
                           isors who monitored dispensing our meals were still young, in their 30s. Before
                          -each meal, they led us in singling songs of Mao Quotations. The three songs mos-t frequently sung were: "When we are in hard times, we must see our achievement-s, see the bright future, and strengthen our courage.” “Be resolute, fear no sacrifice, and overcome every difficulty to strive for victory.” and the third was "We are from all corners of the country, and for a common revolutionary cau-se we come together........”Everyone sang arrogantly and full of spirit, especially the zhiqing. When they sang the word
                          "revolutionary" in "for a common revolutionary cause", all burst into shouts and laughter. Joining the revelry, the two supervisors laughed, “Ha, ha!” The zhi-qing were fearless and trumpeted, "Learn and apply creatively." "Hell has no ne-teenth anyway" (It was said that hell has only eighteen levels). In response, w-e whispered: This was "learn and apply in reverse.” "To attack poison with poi-son." Someone told me: "It is said that the two supervisors are also problemati-c and are purged from the prosecution and law-enforcement departments. Aren’t they just showing their resentment?" Those detainees from other provinces were greatly surprised: “In such a place you dare to have fun and to speak cynical remarks, so we really admire you Cantonese. If it were in our place, absolutel they would be arrested as active counterrevolutionaries.”There were many super-visors, but those responsible for inquiry and escorting detainees did not enter the small square where we were.Interior Line Broken Before this detention, I ha-d gotten to know a guard of the Shahe Detention Center named Wang Sheng through friends. Like other guards or supervisors, Wang secretly released detainees to make money. Working with another guard during their night patrol outside the wa-lls, they gave a signal to the appointed detainee and help him climb over the w-all to escape.Arriving at Shahe, I hoped Wang would help me. We arranged previo-usly that I would go to a small empty room on the back wall (said to be for locking up discipline offenders) before each meal.On the third day, Wang walked slo-wly to the window with a heavy heart and whispered to me that the present situa-tion was tense. My heart sank. I wanted to ask more but just then heard the whi-stle blowing for meal. I hurriedly asked that we talk again the next day and ru-shed to the square.Next day at the same time I waited at the window but Wang di-dn’t appear. I waited again daily until the time I was sent to Shaoguan, but d-id not see Wang again. The interior line of communication on which I had placed such hope was broken. Depression and fear plagued me day by day, like the weigh-t of a heavy stone.Riot in the Sending Section One night, I was awakened by a s-eries of heavy bumps mixed with loud noise from the Sending Section. Then, the sounds of a whistle, the clatter of footsteps, shouts, the slaps of sticks, and screams rang out one after another. After a while it gradually fell silent. We couldn't get back to sleep, guessing and whispering among us there must have be-en detainees attempting to break out.At daybreak, the whistle screamed again an-d all went to the square to line up. When the front door opened, the supervisor-s and police escorted a dozen people in to show the crowd. Each person had his
                          head, or hand, or foot wrapped in bandages oozing blood; some wore slings, other-s were on crutches.All were silent but unable to conceal faces of anger and hat-red.Sure enough, it had been a riot in the Sending Section, the site of detaine-es awaiting transport elsewhere. They had taken building materials stacked by t-he wall to ram the door, but failed to break it open. It was only a few who bum-ped the door, but the supervisors and police rushed in to beat everyone; even t-hose lying on the ground were not spared.They paraded a dozen w-ounded before t-he crowd, whether they had participated in the bumping or not, s-o as to “kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys.” Alas! Lives in troubled times were worthle-ss;who cared about right or wrong? A few days later, I passed a brief inquiry a-nd was transferred to the Sending Section waiting to be sent to Shaoguan. Sending Section was similar to the Newcomers' Section, with a square and a hall,with randomly laid boards on the floor for sleeping. But boards were limited, so man-y detainees could sleep only on the floor. The detainees numbered more than one hundred.One day at noon, a gentle-looking fellow detainee with eye-glasses was tied to a tree in the square. Nobody knew the charge against him. A military un-iformed guard grabbed him by the hair and banged his head hard against the tre-e. The eyeglasses dropped off and he groaned "ah oh, ah oh!"weakly.As a doctor I understood the damage to the brain caused by such treatment, and felt a stingin-g pain in my heart.Transfer to Shaoguan A few days later, I was called by my pe-udonym and sent to Shaoguan. More than a dozen of us including two kids rode a slow train. It was said that the kids’ family had encountered misfortune,leavi-ng them to wander the streets of Guangzhou until they were picked up.There was only one cell for men and one for women in the Shaoguan Detention Center. The m-ale cell was about 30 square meters which, after we came in, held more than 20 people squeezed in like canned sardines. In addition to those fleeing to Hong K-ong, about half were odd job migrants or tramps. Unlike detention centers near the border or in Guangzhou, persons fleeing to Hong Kong in inland detention ce-nters were becoming less and less.Sleeping on my left was a local peasant in hi-s 20s, dark and short. With few jobs available in the countryside, he went to a-bandoned mines and dug residual coal for sale. He might earn up to one yuan a d-ay, but was forced to pay 20 cents to a local villain. He worked hard, always a-fraid that the stones might fall to cause injury or the abandoned mine collapse suddenly. But even more he was afraid of the authorities "sweeping odd-job mig ants”. In that case, he would be detained, sometimes beaten, and his money con-fiscated. I asked him: What will you do after you get out? He answered that he had no choice but to dig coal again or end up penniless. I felt sympathy and co-nfusion for his situation. He was neither a thief nor a robber but simply labor-ing to make a living. Yet even that was not allowed. What was the way of the world?
                          [ 这个贴子最后由冰云在2020-2-29 12:17:47编辑过 ]
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