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Thread: Empress dowager cixi

  1. #226
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    Chapter 33

    Since the treaty between Russia and China was signed, Yili town would soon be returned to Qing government. The secretaries were considering who would be the most suitable candidate to take over the town and guard it. General Governor Zuo recommended General Zhang, who was already in Xinjiang Province. The report of recommendation from General Governor Zuo said that that General Zhang was the most appropriate person for the post. His bio was attached.
    General Zhang was born in Zhejiang Province. He was often seen in casinos for a living when young. Once an elder relative scolded him for his idleness and even boxed his ears in public. He felt humiliated and left home. He went to Henan Province and found his uncle-in-law, who was the mayor of Gushi Town. So he lived in the mayor's yamen and had some pocket money, too. He had never been educated and was illiterate, though he was tall and good-looking, with a strong build. His relative, the mayor, despised him and didn't deign to give him any work. He idled away his time. He had a cousin, the daughter of the mayor, who was nicknamed a lady-scholar. The cousins had never seen each other. At that time Henan Province was one of the areas where the Nian Army moved about.
    One day, a horrible piece of news spread that the Nian Army would come to attack the town. A small town didn't have an army for its own defense. The few policemen to enforce law and order could not be considered as a defensive force because they never had any experience to fight on the battlefield. People were in a panic. The mayor could not but put up a notice to recruit young men. Three hundred young people came to register, but none among them were capable enough to be the leader. So the mayor put up another notice that whoever could lead those three hundred young men to trounce the Nian Army would marry his daughter. But no one dared to take the leadership, because the Nian Army outnumbered them tenfold, twentyfold or even hundredfold. Someone joked with Zhang that he should try. This encouraged him. So he tore down the notice and went to see the mayor, his uncle-in-law, suggesting that three hundred people were not sufficient to safeguard the town and the best strategy was to ambush the Nian Army. It sounded reasonable and feasible. The mayor agreed to it. Zhang led the young men out of the town and laid the ambush where the Nian Army would pass. All the gates of the town were closed. Other people stood behind the battlements. They planned to beat the drums and wave the banners when the combat began, making it look like more armed people would come out of the town to join the battle.

  2. #227
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    Chapter 33

    Since the treaty between Russia and China was signed, Yili town would soon be returned to Qing government. The secretaries were considering who would be the most suitable candidate to take over the town and guard it. General Governor Zuo recommended General Zhang, who was already in Xinjiang Province. The report of recommendation from General Governor Zuo said that that General Zhang was the most appropriate person for the post. His bio was attached.
    General Zhang was born in Zhejiang Province. He was often seen in casinos for a living when young. Once an elder relative scolded him for his idleness and even boxed his ears in public. He felt humiliated and left home. He went to Henan Province and found his uncle-in-law, who was the mayor of Gushi Town. So he lived in the mayor's yamen and had some pocket money, too. He had never been educated and was illiterate, though he was tall and good-looking, with a strong build. His relative, the mayor, despised him and didn't deign to give him any work. He idled away his time. He had a cousin, the daughter of the mayor, who was nicknamed a lady-scholar. The cousins had never seen each other. At that time Henan Province was one of the areas where the Nian Army moved about.
    One day, a horrible piece of news spread that the Nian Army would come to attack the town. A small town didn't have an army for its own defense. The few policemen to enforce law and order could not be considered as a defensive force because they never had any experience to fight on the battlefield. People were in a panic. The mayor could not but put up a notice to recruit young men. Three hundred young people came to register, but none among them were capable enough to be the leader. So the mayor put up another notice that whoever could lead those three hundred young men to trounce the Nian Army would marry his daughter. But no one dared to take the leadership, because the Nian Army outnumbered them tenfold, twentyfold or even hundredfold. Someone joked with Zhang that he should try. This encouraged him. So he tore down the notice and went to see the mayor, his uncle-in-law, suggesting that three hundred people were not sufficient to safeguard the town and the best strategy was to ambush the Nian Army. It sounded reasonable and feasible. The mayor agreed to it. Zhang led the young men out of the town and laid the ambush where the Nian Army would pass. All the gates of the town were closed. Other people stood behind the battlements. They planned to beat the drums and wave the banners when the combat began, making it look like more armed people would come out of the town to join the battle.

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    The Nian Army reached the town at night. They camped outside the town, intending to siege it next day. They thought that it was an easy job to take over such a small town. But at midnight, Zhang and his three hundred young fighters assaulted the camp of the Nian Army, who was surprised and panicked. The Nian Army didn't even know the number of the attackers. They only heard the cries of war everywhere and drums beating on the town walls and saw banners being brandished in the wind. The coincidence was that just at the time when the battle was in the hottest, a detachment of the government army came to the rescue and the Nian Army fled. So Zhang was conferred a title and married his beautiful and talented cousin. Then he was made the mayor of that town. No one knew that he could not read and write, because his wife read all the documents and wrote all the reports for him. He was gradually promoted to be the Financial Official of Henan Province. But his illiteracy came out at last in the open. Critique Official Liu revealed the fact to West Empress Dowager in his report. There was a rule that illiterate people could not be officials, but they could be made officers. So he became a general. General Zhang was ashamed of his illiteracy and asked his wife to tutor him. After a few years, he was no longer illiterate. He was happy and proud of himself. When he learned that Critique Official Liu had committed some serious offenses, had been deprived of his title, no title and no post of course, and lived now in destitution, he wrote a letter to him with a silver note of one thousand taels enclosed. But he used a seal on the letter, bearing the word ILLITERATE. The empress dowagers were delighted to hear the story and made him in charge of Yili Town.

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    There were more policemen in Henan Province than in any other provinces, because there were more robbers and thieves in Henan Province. There had been a drought there and people were starving. Who is willing to be starved to death? Disasters, whether natural or not, always engender outlaws. But something more amazing was that some policemen had two personalities They were policemen in uniforms in the daytime and robbers or thieves in plain clothes at night. So these cases could never be solved. Only they never did such things in their own jurisdiction.
    Once a rich merchant was robbed on the way home and he reported it to the yamen of the town where he lived. As a matter of course, the case had no outcome. The merchant hired someone to privately investigate for him. As a result, the chief suspect was a policeman called Hu, who lived in Zhenping Town, quite a distance away. The merchant filed a lawsuit against Policeman Hu in the governor's yamen. The governor told the Judicial Official to detain Policeman Hu. So an order of arrest came into the hands of the mayor of Zhenping Town. Mayor Ma was a scholar, having passed three government tests, but he was a bookworm, hardly knew how to try a case. In fact, few mayors were familiar with law. So every yamen had some advisers like financial adviser and judicial adviser.

  5. #230
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    There were more policemen in Henan Province than in any other provinces, because there were more robbers and thieves in Henan Province. There had been a drought there and people were starving. Who is willing to be starved to death? Disasters, whether natural or not, always engender outlaws. But something more amazing was that some policemen had two personalities They were policemen in uniforms in the daytime and robbers or thieves in plain clothes at night. So these cases could never be solved. Only they never did such things in their own jurisdiction.
    Once a rich merchant was robbed on the way home and he reported it to the yamen of the town where he lived. As a matter of course, the case had no outcome. The merchant hired someone to privately investigate for him. As a result, the chief suspect was a policeman called Hu, who lived in Zhenping Town, quite a distance away. The merchant filed a lawsuit against Policeman Hu in the governor's yamen. The governor told the Judicial Official to detain Policeman Hu. So an order of arrest came into the hands of the mayor of Zhenping Town. Mayor Ma was a scholar, having passed three government tests, but he was a bookworm, hardly knew how to try a case. In fact, few mayors were familiar with law. So every yamen had some advisers like financial adviser and judicial adviser.

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    Mayor Ma wanted to issue a warrant to take Policeman Hu into custody, but first he consulted with the judicial adviser by the name of Mao, who said that he didn't even know where Policeman Hu was at present. Mayor Ma wondered, “How can that be? Is he not on duty in this yamen?” Mayor Ma had been assigned this post only a few days before. He knew nothing about all the things he should know in this town. So Judicial Adviser Mao told Mayor Ma that probably Policeman Hu just registered here as a policeman and was never on duty. Maybe, he could even be a gangster. Judicial Adviser Mao wanted to look into some documents first. He went back into his own room and consulted his notebook. Hu became a policeman through the recommendation of another policeman called Liu. So Judicial Adviser Mao sent for Policeman Liu. When Liu came into his room, Mao said to him, “Now you are in a big trouble.” Policeman Liu asked what kind of trouble he was in. “You recommended Policeman Hu. Now the governor wants Mayor Ma to detain him for a case of robbery.” This was really a difficult case. Hu was the leader of gangsters in this town. Policeman Liu understood that he could haul Hu in, but his followers would assassinate him for vengeance. But he could not turn down the assignment, either. He went to see the false policeman, the real gang leader Hu and told him everything. “Are you kidding?” Hu doubted. “Do I look like kidding?” Instead of answering, Policeman Liu queried sternly and let him see the warrant. Hu took Policeman Liu to a back room and they laid out a scheme. Hu sent a large sum of money to Judicial Adviser Mao as a probe to his reaction. He figured that if Mao declined, he would think of some other way, and if Mao accepted, everything would be easy. And Mao took the bribery.
    A new prisoner was brought into the jail. It was a boy of fifteen. Policeman Liu asked him, “Who are you?” “I'm Wang.” said the boy. Policeman Liu slapped him on the cheek.

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    Mayor Ma wanted to issue a warrant to take Policeman Hu into custody, but first he consulted with the judicial adviser by the name of Mao, who said that he didn't even know where Policeman Hu was at present. Mayor Ma wondered, “How can that be? Is he not on duty in this yamen?” Mayor Ma had been assigned this post only a few days before. He knew nothing about all the things he should know in this town. So Judicial Adviser Mao told Mayor Ma that probably Policeman Hu just registered here as a policeman and was never on duty. Maybe, he could even be a gangster. Judicial Adviser Mao wanted to look into some documents first. He went back into his own room and consulted his notebook. Hu became a policeman through the recommendation of another policeman called Liu. So Judicial Adviser Mao sent for Policeman Liu. When Liu came into his room, Mao said to him, “Now you are in a big trouble.” Policeman Liu asked what kind of trouble he was in. “You recommended Policeman Hu. Now the governor wants Mayor Ma to detain him for a case of robbery.” This was really a difficult case. Hu was the leader of gangsters in this town. Policeman Liu understood that he could haul Hu in, but his followers would assassinate him for vengeance. But he could not turn down the assignment, either. He went to see the false policeman, the real gang leader Hu and told him everything. “Are you kidding?” Hu doubted. “Do I look like kidding?” Instead of answering, Policeman Liu queried sternly and let him see the warrant. Hu took Policeman Liu to a back room and they laid out a scheme. Hu sent a large sum of money to Judicial Adviser Mao as a probe to his reaction. He figured that if Mao declined, he would think of some other way, and if Mao accepted, everything would be easy. And Mao took the bribery.
    A new prisoner was brought into the jail. It was a boy of fifteen. Policeman Liu asked him, “Who are you?” “I'm Wang.” said the boy. Policeman Liu slapped him on the cheek.

  8. #233
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    After that post and the answer under it, I think I may leave the forum!

  9. #234
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    “Now, who are you?” He asked the boy again.
    “I'm Hu.” The boy was on the verge of crying.
    “So, remember, you are Hu, now.” Policeman Liu warned him. The boy worked in the kitchen of the ringleader Hu. He was brought in the presence of Hu and Policeman Liu. He was told that Policeman Liu would take him to jail. “Why? I did nothing wrong.” The boy said timidly.
    “No. You didn't”
    “Didn't do anything wrong.” Hu confirmed, but he said he wanted to make a deal with him, or he would have his parents killed. What could the boy do except to accept? The boy was put into prison, assuming the name of Hu. They assured him that he would not be sentenced to death, that he would only be imprisoned for a few years and after he was released, he could get a wife and a big sum of money, enough to live comfortably for the rest of his life. The boy believed them and accepted the conditions.
    To show that they would keep their promise, Policeman Liu treated the boy nicely. When Judicial Adviser Mao knew that it was a boy who substituted the ringleader Hu, Mao was afraid that Mayor Ma would find it out, because the boy looked just like a boy. Policeman Liu suggested that if they could persuade Mayor Ma to interrogate the boy early in the morning when it was still dark, he would not find out that it was a boy. They could light only a couple of candles and tell the mayor that the man Hu was a dwarf. So Mao went to see the mayor and reported to him that the bad policeman Hu was under arrest now. The mayor was hilarious to hear it, because it was a case the governor specified. If he couldn't get the man the governor wanted, he would lose his post. Judicial Adviser Mao added that as Hu was a ringleader, it was best to question him secretly. The mayor agreed. The room for the interrogation was dim. Mayor Ma couldn't see clearly, but he didn't care.

  10. #235
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    “Now, who are you?” He asked the boy again.
    “I'm Hu.” The boy was on the verge of crying.
    “So, remember, you are Hu, now.” Policeman Liu warned him. The boy worked in the kitchen of the ringleader Hu. He was brought in the presence of Hu and Policeman Liu. He was told that Policeman Liu would take him to jail. “Why? I did nothing wrong.” The boy said timidly.
    “No. You didn't”
    “Didn't do anything wrong.” Hu confirmed, but he said he wanted to make a deal with him, or he would have his parents killed. What could the boy do except to accept? The boy was put into prison, assuming the name of Hu. They assured him that he would not be sentenced to death, that he would only be imprisoned for a few years and after he was released, he could get a wife and a big sum of money, enough to live comfortably for the rest of his life. The boy believed them and accepted the conditions.
    To show that they would keep their promise, Policeman Liu treated the boy nicely. When Judicial Adviser Mao knew that it was a boy who substituted the ringleader Hu, Mao was afraid that Mayor Ma would find it out, because the boy looked just like a boy. Policeman Liu suggested that if they could persuade Mayor Ma to interrogate the boy early in the morning when it was still dark, he would not find out that it was a boy. They could light only a couple of candles and tell the mayor that the man Hu was a dwarf. So Mao went to see the mayor and reported to him that the bad policeman Hu was under arrest now. The mayor was hilarious to hear it, because it was a case the governor specified. If he couldn't get the man the governor wanted, he would lose his post. Judicial Adviser Mao added that as Hu was a ringleader, it was best to question him secretly. The mayor agreed. The room for the interrogation was dim. Mayor Ma couldn't see clearly, but he didn't care.

  11. #236
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    “Your name?” The mayor asked the boy. “I'm Hu.” The boy answered accordingly. “How old are you?” That was the routine question. “Twenty-one.” The prisoner didn't look like twenty-one years old. The mayor glanced at Judicial Adviser Mao, who was standing at his side. Mao whispered into his ear that the prisoner was a dwarf. The mayor believed him. Mayor Ma didn't even think how a dwarf could be a ringleader. (If the mayor asked, Mao was prepared to reply that the dwarf had kungfu. And it was not likely that the mayor would tell the dwarf to perform some kungfu as a proof.) Then the boy recited the statement of confession, which had been prepared for him, that his parents were old and starving and he had no other means to support them, that he had robbed some rich man so that he could buy food for them. “Did you do it alone?” asked the mayor. This was a question that was not in the prepared statement. The boy didn't know how to reply and hesitated. When the mayor pressed, the boy told the truth that there had been four other people with him. In reality, the four men had done the robbery. The boy had stood on the side looking after their things. The four people were gangsters under Hu, who had sent them out to mug people wherever they could. They had gone through a village where the boy had lived with his parents. They had always been seeking for young boys to be trained as fresh blood of their gang. So they had talked to the boy's parents, who could not say No to such people, afraid that they would kill them. The gangsters had given the parents fifteen taels of silver and taken the boy with them. On the way back to their town, they had committed the crime with the boy as the watcher.
    The mayor wanted to have the four gangsters hauled in too. Judicial Adviser Mao advised him that the crime hadn't happened in his jurisdiction and no one had requested him to arrest them. His assignment from the governor was to get Hu and send Hu to the higher government. That's it, and no more. The secret motto in the officialdom then was to do exactly what he was ordered to do, and no more, because if he overdid something beyond what he was ordered to do, he might touch a wrong chord that his superiors looked upon as a taboo.
    Therefore, the mayor gave his verdict, which was the death sentence, because Hu was a ringleader of a gang, who had also done other crimes. He sent the prisoner and a report to the higher government, which maintained the verdict as a routine procedure since the boy kept saying what was in the statement of his confession. The boy didn't even know that he had the death penalty. They hid the fact from him lest he should make some trouble. So the judicial official on the province level had no reason to change the verdict. When all the documents were delivered to the Judicial Ministry, the minister approved the death sentence as a rule.

  12. #237
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    “Your name?” The mayor asked the boy. “I'm Hu.” The boy answered accordingly. “How old are you?” That was the routine question. “Twenty-one.” The prisoner didn't look like twenty-one years old. The mayor glanced at Judicial Adviser Mao, who was standing at his side. Mao whispered into his ear that the prisoner was a dwarf. The mayor believed him. Mayor Ma didn't even think how a dwarf could be a ringleader. (If the mayor asked, Mao was prepared to reply that the dwarf had kungfu. And it was not likely that the mayor would tell the dwarf to perform some kungfu as a proof.) Then the boy recited the statement of confession, which had been prepared for him, that his parents were old and starving and he had no other means to support them, that he had robbed some rich man so that he could buy food for them. “Did you do it alone?” asked the mayor. This was a question that was not in the prepared statement. The boy didn't know how to reply and hesitated. When the mayor pressed, the boy told the truth that there had been four other people with him. In reality, the four men had done the robbery. The boy had stood on the side looking after their things. The four people were gangsters under Hu, who had sent them out to mug people wherever they could. They had gone through a village where the boy had lived with his parents. They had always been seeking for young boys to be trained as fresh blood of their gang. So they had talked to the boy's parents, who could not say No to such people, afraid that they would kill them. The gangsters had given the parents fifteen taels of silver and taken the boy with them. On the way back to their town, they had committed the crime with the boy as the watcher.
    The mayor wanted to have the four gangsters hauled in too. Judicial Adviser Mao advised him that the crime hadn't happened in his jurisdiction and no one had requested him to arrest them. His assignment from the governor was to get Hu and send Hu to the higher government. That's it, and no more. The secret motto in the officialdom then was to do exactly what he was ordered to do, and no more, because if he overdid something beyond what he was ordered to do, he might touch a wrong chord that his superiors looked upon as a taboo.
    Therefore, the mayor gave his verdict, which was the death sentence, because Hu was a ringleader of a gang, who had also done other crimes. He sent the prisoner and a report to the higher government, which maintained the verdict as a routine procedure since the boy kept saying what was in the statement of his confession. The boy didn't even know that he had the death penalty. They hid the fact from him lest he should make some trouble. So the judicial official on the province level had no reason to change the verdict. When all the documents were delivered to the Judicial Ministry, the minister approved the death sentence as a rule.

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