About The Book
In fact, Fengyao’s pa had not said that he was at the spot. Luoer’s ma has gone hog wild and she steps forward towards Fengyao’s pa. She doesn’t think that Fengyao’s pa dares to stand against her! In her eyes, Fengyao’s pa is no more than a dog in the market town who can only wag its tail and beg for her mercy. Once, she simply gave him a pig’s large intestine. Another time he struggled to carry her drunken husband from the village at midnight. Didn’t he come over in cold days when she sent someone to find him? This was simply to ask him to smooth over the issue. Even if she asked him to bite someone, it would only be a transaction worth some kilos of bones. To arrange a work for a child in the factory is a business of no more than half a pig. Would this Fengyao’s pa be more difficult?
Fengyao’s pa says, “I mean…”
… Well, he definitely dares not to speak out the truth. How annoying that is!
The sympathy now goes towards Fengyao’s pa. You would think that it when you offend Luoer’s ma, you are not offending her whole family, wouldn’t you? If this is the case, it seems that we don’t need too much courage. No, the truth is far away from being so simple! When you offend one god, you are disrespecting all gods; when you offend the Luo family, you are offending the whole upper class of the Lihua Village! Look, this is our rural market town; small, lonely, remote, surrounded by paddy fields full of water with the dark backbone of a big mountain closely lying ahead. However, for our men and women living in Lihua Village, this seems to be the whole world. For example, if you cannot buy half a bottle of kerosene and a soap in the only store at the corner of the street, you would not be able to get it from anywhere else! … However, if you offend Luoer’s ma, you would find that Mr. Chen of the store will be cold to you and as a result, there would be no light at your home at night and you would not know what you could use to wash your clothes. Let alone in February, the Party Secretary Cao would easily remove the resold grain that you are entitled to, which would make your food shortage in spring rather severe. When in panic, you would want to go to see the chairman of the market town, Mr. Song, the next day. You would, by accident, overhear the gossip the very night that Chairman Song took a full sack of nobody-knows-what from Luoer’s ma’s house a moment ago! ... No, this tiny small market town is like a joint venture of a group of people, each of whom holds a share. What awaits you are endless unexpected situations which you simply have no way to solve or get around. So, do you still want to live here? This is a piece of land that you can never leave even if you want to. Your son’s generation would most probably have to grow up and live here. What can you do? … Is it not that many great, upright men also have to tolerate several demons for a while? If this is the case, it would be hard for us to overestimate Fengyao’s pa by criticizing him of having no guts in this tiny small market town…
Luoer’s ma simply continues swearing. The grizzly chicken puts her hands on her hips, stamps, slap her laps, and she keeps on spitting, right in front of Fengyao’s pa.
“In my view,” Secretary Cao says, “Fengyao’s pa, simply tells the truth! The Gang of Four has been suppressed for so many years. Whatever we do, we should be honest…”
Because of his non-stop encouragement, Fengyao’s pa finally stands up and moves.
“Good,” says Secretary Cao, “it is not your business anyway…”
Fengyao’s pa silently nodded, walking back hesitantly. It seems that he is about to cry. Isn’t it weird? It is said, people lose their conscience when they are out of choices. Will he really frame that poor and cowardly teacher’s family?
“Secretary Cao,” he says, voice trembling, “You… want me to speak?”
“We have been waiting for you all this time!”
Fengyao’s pa nods and stops.
“I, Fengyao’s pa, you all know me,” he says slowly, feeling uncomfortable facing the crowd, “I cannot be counted as a man on this street… Nobody needs to say it. I am like a dog!... I am too poor to—I don’t have any choices… You all see… shameless…”
What’s wrong with him? The people are surprised. During the silence, everyone looks at him.