LAND AND REVOLUTION
第三十一节 暗杀 投毒 美人计
31. Murder, Poison and Seduction
THE revolt against the feudal rulers threatened to become epidemic. Like
flood water, the rising swelled and spread, inundating all the districts
even to the borders of Chiang Kai-shek's areas. Watching from his manor,
the landlord felt he was about to be engulfed.
One night seven farmers met secretly with the cadre in a hut. Wang
burst in armed with a spear. "What are you doing here?" he shouted
at the assembled farmers. Noticing the salvation cadre, he suddenly became
quiet, but remained glowering at his fellow-villagers from behind his
spear. The farmers hastily rose and left the room, one by one.
A concerted howl of anguish rose from Kuomintang territory about the
barbarous land reform. A foreign correspondent went to Chiang Kai-shek's
areas in Shantung and heard from fled-away landlords tales of atrocities.
"The revolution," he observed, "is perishing just like
the Taiping Rebellion because of terror." But the revolution was
not perishing, it was growing stronger on the sorrows of its enemies.
A Scripps-Howard correspondent found that it was a myth that the peasants
supported the land reform. But this myth was changing all of North China
society, and peasants were pouring out their blood and tears to make this
legend come true. It is still some time before General Li Tsung-jen, newly
elected vice-president of Kuomintang China, will get up in Nanking and
say, "We must give the land to the tiller" and before that date
everyone on the Kuomintang side must say that such a program is atrocious.
In the beginning, Chiang's killers concentrated almost exclusively on 8th Route Army commanders. But military personnel are hard to kill - especially if in the midst of troops. So the agents began more and more to conspire with landlords - particularly those who had worked with Japanese puppets.
|原注一：国民党经常登出报来，说共军某大头目已经身亡，其原因可能就是误以为暗杀成功。去年一年时间里，国民党官方宣传机构至少已经刊登过一次以下共军高官身亡或受伤的消息：林彪，东北解放军司令；陈毅，华东解放军司令；刘伯承，中原野战军司令；还有其他一些领导人也未能“幸免于难”。||(1) Similar and unsuccessful attempts at assassination probably account for the numerous incorrect stories put out by the Kuomintang of the deaths of Communist army commanders. During the last year, official Kuomintang organs have at one time or another announced the death or wounding of General Lin Piao, Communist c-in-c in Manchuria, General Chen yi, c-in-c in East China, General Liu Po-cheng and other Communist leaders.|
| As an instance of this, I came across
the following. In the town of Hochien there lived a former commander of
a Japanese puppet battalion, named Chun, and several of his officers. When
the 8th Route Army entered the town, these men professed repentance and
the government did not punish them. To Kuomintang troops ten miles away,
however, they promised fertile ground for intrigue. Two Special Service
men, having entered the town, persuaded Chun and his followers to set up
a local SS station and send reports to the Kuomintang army in Hopei, across
Now it happened that the mother of Chun was the village witch. She called down gods from Heaven, told fortunes and cured sickness. Because of this she had a lot of influence among the superstitious mountain women. At the persuasion of her son, she organized a Common Belief Association, spreading the thought among women that they should make themselves beautiful to attract men. In this way, she got many people - both men and women - to come to her home. Between revels, the witch would pull out her incense table, go into a trance and incant: "The Central Army comes, the Red Army goes. This is Fate. Fate decides. No one can change it. This world belongs to Chiang Kai-shek." Having spread "Sky-changing" thoughts among the people, she would then say: "Whoever joins the Common Belief Association won't be killed. So it is decreed." In her home, she incited people to talk against the 8th Route Army. Then, if they still refused to join the association, she would say: "You have talked against the 8th Route Army, I will report you." In such a manner, she built up a following, especially among the town women, who were doubly bound to her because of the affairs they were having with men in her home.
Among these women was one known as Old Lady Peng to whose house the meetings were gradually transferred in order to avoid suspicion. For a time, Mrs. Peng slept without discrimination with the ex-puppets and various other men attracted to the meetings. Feeling, however, that it was inappropriate for a woman of her age to do this, she persuaded her daughter and her daughter-in-law, a girl named Fortunate Flower, to make love with visitors - and especially to entice staff members of the government to the house.
When the government organized a Women's Association and a Women's Evening School, Fortunate Flower joined. Hearing that the 8th Route Army thought women should have equality with men, she began to brood over her actions and think it wrong to partake of her mother-in-law's revels. Although afraid to report her secret to the government, she grew more and more cold to the men Old Lady Peng brought to the house. The SS men could not help noticing her attitude and grew afraid she might give away their secret.
One night Old Lady Peng led Chun and an SS man to her daughter-in-law's room. While they entered, she remained outside, listening at the door. Chun and, his cohort seized the sleeping girl by the throat, but she managed to shriek out the one word: "Mother!" Old Lady Peng however, made no attempt to help Fortunate Flower. Stuffing cotton in the terrified girl's mouth, the two men quickly silenced her, then cut off her head and dismembered her body. The head they put in the outhouse of a neighbor, the intestines in the Kuo toilet and the torso they buried in the woods.
Old Lady Peng, to quiet talk over Fortunate Flower's disappearance, said she had run off with a soldier of the 8th Route Army. The girl was quickly forgotten until one day a hired laborer, cleaning the neighbor's outhouse, found the girl's head. At this time, Fortunate Flower's brother, who had been away, returned and by a scar on the girl's cheek identified the head as that of his sister. Neighbors remembering the quarrels of the old lady with her daughter-in-law concluded that she was connected with the murder, and the government put a close watch on the old woman's movements. Government investigators were inclined to think it just an ordinary murder until one day the name list of militiamen posted on the bulletin board of the Farmers Association disappeared. The theft was traced to a farmer who revealed that the ex-puppet Chun had promised him a big reward to murder the captain of the militiamen.
With the arrest of Chun, his connection and that of the SS men with the girl's murder was established. But Chun would admit nothing. The whole Peng household was then arrested.
This news spread quickly through the town and a crowd of ten thousand people gathered outside the government office. The government tried to disperse them, but the crowd grew threatening and demanded that the SS men and the whole Peng family be nailed to the walls. Some men ran off to a carpenter shop, brought nails and began to distribute them among the crowd. Only after much pleading were cadres able to persuade the crowd to disperse. The sight of the angry townspeople, however, had frightened Old Lady Peng's maid who had heard Fortunate Flower shriek on the night she was killed. "I'll tell you everything I know," she said, "but the government must promise that I shall never be a maid servant again." With her confession, the whole story came out. A public trial was held before twenty thousand people. The SS man who had killed Fortunate Flower was condemned to death and executed. The fate of the others was still being decided when I left.
| Since assassination is
an extremely risky business, SS agents turned to poisoning as a safer means
of upsetting order and terrorizing people behind the Communist lines.
In the guerrilla regions I came across a village where twenty-eight
militiamen had died from poison that had been placed in their wheat-flour
stores. In the same district, where there was frequent fighting, the government
claimed 350 people had been poisoned, fifty-three of them dying. During
the land reform, poison was most commonly put in wells to discourage active
farmers from struggling against the landlords. In Honan, I met a girl
in the guerrilla regions who had fled from her husband's home because
her mother-in-law had poisoned the wells during a settlement struggle.
In other places, I found the peasants so incensed by the use of poison
that they hated the SS, and consequently Chiang Kai-shek, worse than they
did the landlords. Poison thus acted as a political agent in a way its
users had not figured.
| In trying to subvert the
8th Route Army, the Kuomintang intelligence realized not much could be done
with money, but thought Communist soldiers might be overcome by women, as
most of them were single.
After the Japanese surrender, many girls attached to puppets or daughters of landlords tried to marry into the 8th Route Army. For this reason, authorities, just as with the American Army in Germany, would not let any soldier marry without investigating his prospective wife. Kuomintang girl spies coming into the area, therefore, found it difficult to marry cadres or soldiers openly and adopted covert methods which generally failed with the regulars, but sometimes succeeded in guerrilla areas.
In the summer of 1947, a clerk named Ho Tze-chuan, who had joined the 10th Brigade of the 8th Route Army in August 1946, was wounded while fighting in Shansi Province. As the brigade was advancing he was left behind in a peasant's home to recover. One day while walking on a motor highway near the village of Siaowu, a girl beckoned to him. She was young, had bobbed hair and emancipated feet. Introducing herself, she told Ho she was from a county fifty miles away and that she had come to seek her husband who was a vice-commander of a company. She had not been able to find him; some people said he had been killed in battle, others said he was missing in action and now all her money was gone and she had no place to go. At the conclusion of her story, she burst into bitter tears. Promising to help her return home, the clerk brought her to the government office who found her lodging in a civilian's house.
Here, Ho often came to see her. During these visits, the girl shed many tears, said she was sure her husband was dead and declared she would rather stay with the troops than go home where things were bad. Finding the girl quite cultured rarity in Chinese villages - Ho developed an affection for her which she reciprocated even to the extent of proposing marriage. But Ho refused. "When proof of your husband's death arrives and if the authorities say it is all right, then we can marry, but not now," he told the girl.
But the girl was very passionate. She tried to convince Ho that love was the most powerful thing. in the world. "My husband really is dead," she said one afternoon, "I know it." And my home is so poor. I have to be supported. Can't you understand my feelings? Marriage is much more important than revolution."
These words planted a seed of doubt in Ho's mind, and he decided to
investigate the girl's home. In the meantime, he pretended to play along
with the girl's desires.
|为了更好地理解上述事例，须知蒋介石统治下的中国是个半警察国家，在那样的社会里，流氓黑帮、秘密警察以及特工人员横行无忌，甚至可以肆意污辱妇女，即使那些有教养有文化的大家闺秀也难以幸免。抗战期间，在一次中国人为招待美国空军驾驶员而举行的宴会上，我邂逅了一位年轻的中国妇女，后来我们成了知己的好友。她告诉我，她曾被一个蒋介石的高级特工人员强奸。那个家伙不顾她父亲、一位颇有名望的专家的反对，硬逼她嫁给他。在举行婚礼的那天，蒋介石送给她五千元贺仪，她本想拒绝，可是她丈夫非要她收下不可。自那以后，她经常被迫与蒋介石的特务头子戴笠及其手下的一群狐朋狗党鬼混。我对这个女子的不幸遭遇无限同情，而当她恳求我把她藏在一架美国军用飞机上，帮助她逃离她的丈夫及其党羽时，我因自己的无能为力更感到莫名的羞愧。我所遇到的类似事情，远远不止于此。在过去的十年中，有许多男女青年沦入了中国盖世太保的魔窟，难有逃遁之望。上海滩上的社会渣滓，迄今仍在蒋介石的政府中身居要职。几年以前，当我在一家美国通讯社驻华分社工作时，有一个上海瘪三出身的包打听之类的小特务，经常闯入我们的办公室，检查我们的稿件，并对我们的中国雇员滥施淫威。在抗战期间，这个家伙与几个美国军官拉扯上了一点关系，就凭借着这点关系，再加上他会讲几句英语，很快青云直上，成了国民党统治集团的要人。我最后一次见到他是在一九四七年，在上海美国俱乐部举行的一次招待会上，他身着笔挺的上校军服，正与几位美国官员在一起谈笑风生。他与我多年未见，这次一见面就趾高气场地炫耀自己。他用脚跺了跺美国俱乐部的地板说：“这儿是老子的天下。从苏州河到南市，从外滩到麦德赫斯特路，统统都归老子管。”的确如此，那些被逮捕而落入他的魔掌的男男女女都可以为此作证。||To fully appreciate this story, it is necessary to understand that China under Chiang Kai-shek was a semi-police state with much of the power in the hands of gangsters, secret service men and special agents who exercised the most unholy rights over women, including many of the better-educated and more cultured ones. During the Japanese war, I attended a banquet given by Chinese for American pilots where I met a young Chinese woman with whom I later became quite friendly. This girl told me that she had been raped by one of the top-ranking men in Chiang's secret service and forced to marry him, even against the wishes of her father, a respected professional man. On her wedding day Chiang sent her a present of five thciusand dollars, which she said she tried to refuse, but which her husband made her accept. Thereafter, she was constantly thrown in with Tai Li, chief hatchetman for Chiang, and many of his unsavory subordinates. I cannot quite describe the pity I felt for this girl's condition nor the frustration I experienced when she begged me to sneak her onto an American Army plane and help her escape from her husband and his gangster friends. This is far from being the only case that I know of personally. Scores of girls and boys during the last ten years were delivered into the clutches of the Chinese gestapo with little hope of escaping. Men from the very dregs of Shanghai society until recently occupied responsible positions in Chiang's government. Some years ago when I worked for an American news agency in China, a Shanghai loafer with a small-time spy job used to come around to our office and go through our files and intimidate our Chinese employees. During the war, this man obtained an influence with some American Army officers, and because of this and because he could speak English, he rose in the Kuomintang hierarchy. The last time I saw him, in 1947 at a reception in the Shanghai American Club, he was dressed in a full colonel's unifbcm and hobnobbing with American officials. Seeing me for the first time in years, he was not above boasting and stamped his foot on the floor of the American Club and said, "This is my territory. I control from Soochow Creek to Nantao and from the Bund to Medhurst Road." And indeed, he did, as many arrested men and women who got in his greedy clutches can testify.|
But to return to our story. In general the Kuomintang's efforts behind
the Communist lines ended in dismal failure. As Communist troops held
out and as the Kuomintang SS burrowed into their holes, the peasants,
led by the tenants and the "Long-term workers," rose still more
boldly, not heeding the warning either of the landlords or the rich peasants.
By the winter of 1947, outside of the guerrilla areas, scarcely a village
could be found without a peasants' association or a settlement committee.
Even the middle peasants joined the struggle, while the rich peasants
continued to draw further away from the landlord.
Afraid Wang would tell the story around the village, the landlord called his followers to kidnap the tenant. Since Wang had been very active in leading the settlement, and since it was rumored that the landlord had tried to find a go-between for his niece, the people immediately suspected the landlord was behind the kidnaping. Searching the village, they found Wang bound and gagged inside a closet and nearly dead. They immediately raided the landlord's home and arrested him.
| In Kaoyi village near the Peiping-Hankow
Railway, a landlord sent a gift of ten thousand dollars to the head of the
Farmers Association and another one to the director of the militia. A few
days later he told his wife to go to the government and say: "My husband
is no good, he is trying to bribe you." Pretending, in this way, to
be very "enlightened," the landlord's wife got close to the farmers
most active in the peasant movement. One day, she would make love with one
farmer, and the next day she would make love to another staff member of
the peasants' association. As a result, each farmer became jealous of the
other, no one could agree on anything and the movement came to a halt.
In Wucheng County, a landlord named Li Tsun-lien, lived with his wife and eighteen-year-old virgin daughter. Finding himself helpless in the face of the swelling peasant movement, he ordered his daughter to play up to one of his tenants who was taking a prominent part in the movement. Inviting the tenant to dinner, he ate at a high table with his wife, and placed the tenant with his daughter at a small table at his feet. After a few days, he had the daughter and the tenant eat in a separate room. Within two weeks, the tenant was sleeping with the daughter.
Lying in his arms, the girl said to the tenant, "You now have everything you want so there is no need for you to continue as chairman of the Workers Committee. Don't struggle any more. I can give you anything you lack." This seemed like a good suggestion to the tenant and gradually he lost his interest in the peasant movement. In meetings, when others proposed certain acts, he would say: "We have millet and clothes to wear. What's the use of struggling any further."
Becoming suspicious, his fellow-tenants followed him and saw that he was on very good terms with the landlord. "Why?" they asked, "are you working so little nowadays and how is it you are so friendly with Li Tsun-lien? And how is it that his daughter, with whom you never dared speak before, is now on such friendly terms with you? You were oppressed before by the landlord, weren't you? What's the matter with you now?"
Pressed on all sides, the tenant finally admitted that he was sleeping with the landlord's daughter. The Workers Committee immediately asked the daughter to come to a meeting. "Why are you sleeping with our comrade?" they asked. "Because my father made me," she said.
The meeting broke up with the shouting of slogans: "We shouldn't be flattered by landlords. We shouldn't be bought by money. We shouldn't be lured by women."
| In every Chinese villiage
there is generally at least one woman - usually married - who sleeps with
other men, either for pleasure or for money. Such a woman is known as a
"broken shoe." Quite often, as might be expected, they are among
the most charming women in the village. I met one such woman, named Third
Blossom, about whom farmers told me the following story.
Lu Mu-an, the landlord of this village, promised Third Blossom five thousand dollars if she would disgrace the chairman of the Farmers Association. Because, as she later told me herself, she was very poor and had "bad thoughts," she agreed. Telling the chairman that she had a serious problem, she invited him to her home to settle it. When he arrived, Third Blossom prepared some noodles and a little wine. Then she asked the chairman to stay the night. Nothing loath, the chairman leaped into bed. As soon as they had finished making love, Third Blossom ran naked into the street and shouted: "Oh, you chairman of the Farmers Association, you have raped me!" Still shouting, she ran straight to the subdistrict office and made a report to the cadres who summoned a meeting of the whole village next day. During the meeting, Third Blossom, when confronted with the accusations of the chairman, broke down and admitted she had been bribed by the landlord to disgrace the chairman. Though there was no question of rape, the chairman was dismissed by his fellow-farmers, who thought him disgraced enough as it was. Third Blossom, so she said, did not get the five thousand dollars.
Finally, landlords used their concubines to discredit local cadre (farmers holding village office). In Wangtsun, a landlord's concubine lured a tenant into the kitchen, hastily pulled down her pants and yelled rape at the top of her lungs. The landlord then hauled the tenant before a village meeting. As usual the duplicity was discovered.
These crude efforts to stop the onsweep of a mighty social force with the bodies of their womenfolk were the dying gasps of the andlords. Even their own families began to turn against them. In a village in northern Honan, while farmers were organizing themselves, a landlord made his daughter-in-law stand on the roof and keep watch, rain or shine, for anyone who might be coming to kill him. As the farmers grew stronger, the landlord fled, leaving his wife and daughter-in-law alone in the house. Some weeks later, the 8th Route Army having arrived in the city, the Farmers Association asked the people for all their weapons so they could form a militia. When a peasant came to her home, the landlord's wife denied she had any arms. "Oh, yes you have!" said the daughter-in-law who hated both the landlord and his wife. With these words, she pounced on her mother-in-law, tore off her pants, ripped out a pistol concealed between the woman's legs and handed it to the astonished peasant. Such were the final resting places of the landlord's power - between a woman's legs.
Within the Liberated Areas, all the lords of the land collapsed everywhere in the same feeble manner, with the same futile gestures. By the spring of 1947, the more farsighted landowners saw they could not hope to keep their estates. They did not even try to. By summer, almost all the landlords except in the guerrilla regions, had been eliminated - that is to say, all those who had lived off land rents were no longer able to do so, but had to till their own soil. The upheaval was so great and so swift that in the Shansi-Hopei-Shantung-Honan Border Region alone, twenty-one thousand landlords were eliminated within less than a year. The rural possessing classes, despite their murders, their intrigues and the seductive activities of their women, had lost the battle.