首页小说界诗苑散文天地纪实录文史哲艺术之声综合类侃山闲聊图库书市文摘伊甸窗
游客:  注册 | 登录 | 首页
作者:
标题: Adventure of a US Girl in Ancient China 上一主题 | 下一主题
海外逸士

#51  

做人為什麼要如此惡毒。


2016-7-31 07:16
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#52  

做人為什麼要如此惡毒。


2016-7-31 07:17
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#53  

Chapter 14

They went to a nearby river and rented a boat run by a family, husband and wife with a teenager girl. The husband would row the boat. The wife would cook for the passengers and the girl would do miscellaneous things, like serving tea and food to the passengers. The boat was a medium-sized one and had two decks. The upper deck had two bedrooms for the passengers and the lower deck was also divided into two cabins. The frontal one served as the dining-room and the sitting room as well. The family lived in the one behind. There was a small space like a pantry used as kitchen in the stern of the boat and the hull was used as a storage room.


            The boat went upstream. Where the current flew down wildly and rapidly, there were boat pullers to help. They tied some thick ropes onto a boat and pulled the ropes from the shore till they came to somewhere the current was smooth again.

            As their boat went against stream, it was slow and took much longer time to reach the next city than they traveled by land. However, they were not in a hurry and could enjoy the landscapes on both sides of the river. Of an evening they would anchor by a wharf for the night. The boat owner would go ashore to buy provisions for the morrow. Sometimes the two yamen bailiffs, Linda and the boy would disembark too.

            Generally around a wharf would spring up a town or a village, depending on the water traffic heavy or light. One evening they reached a town by the wharf. When the boat cast anchor, the four of them went on land and into the town. They found a tea house and entered it for a rest. After a while the two yamen bailiffs told Linda to stay here and they would go round to buy something as gifts for their families. But in fact, they went round to look for a gambling place. They found one and went in to play dice. They put on plain clothes again to hide their uniform, which would be too conspicuous in such a place. Generally those yamen bailiffs gambled among themselves and seldom went to a gambling house. But it was now only two of them and they had to go to gambling places.

            They had some money now taken from the tourists when they had been with the outlaws. But their fortune was always against them when gambling. They lost everything again. A tall guy, who looked on at their side all the time, offered to loan them money at a very high rate, fifty percent. He said to them, “I lend you my lucky amulet too so that you will soon win back all your money and more. You can’t always lose. The point is that when you win, you must stop.”

            The two yamen bailiffs thought that the tall guy was right. Therefore, they borrowed fifty taels of silver from him. As the rate was fifty percent, when they paid back, they must pay him seventy-five taels. However, the tide did not turn for them. Very soon, they lost the fifty taels. The tall guy who stayed with them offered more, but they refused with “thanks”. Now the guy asked them to pay back the money, which they couldn’t.

            There was a rule in the gambling place in the ancient China that if anyone who borrowed money could not pay back, he would get a good beating or would have one or more fingers cut off. The tall guy brought ten other thugs with him for that purpose. At a signal from him, the ten thugs rushed towards the two yamen bailiffs and wanted to beat them.

            One of the yamen bailiffs shouted, “Stop!”

The tall guy raised his hand and the thugs halted. The guy said, “You have money to pay me?”

The yamen bailiff said, “If you follow us, we can borrow money to return to you.”

“You have friends here?” The guy asked. The yamen bailiff nodded and the guy followed them with the ten thugs trailing in the wake.

The two yamen bailiffs went back to the tea house and walked up to Linda. The guy and his thugs stood at a short distance, watching them. One of the yamen bailiffs whispered to Linda, who took some paper money out of her pocket, found one she needed and handed it to him. It had the worth of a hundred taels. She did not have smaller ones.

So the guy took the money and gave the yamen bailiff the difference of twenty-five taels. Then the guy left with his men. But he told one of the thugs to hide somewhere and follow the two men and the girl to see where they lived. He had seen that the girl had some more money and with money he could do anything.

The two yamen bailiffs and Linda and the boy returned to the boat. Supper was ready for them. After supper, they lingered on the bow of the boat to enjoy the clear sky with the full moon looking down at them before they went to bed.

It was almost midnight. They were roused by some noise. It seemed that a lot of people were getting on board the boat. They jumped out of bed and put on clothes. They went down to the first deck and found the tall guy with his ten thugs.

“What you want?” asked one of the yamen bailiffs.

“Money. All the money you have, or the girl has.”

Such things did happen in the ancient China. No one was surprised. Linda took out all the paper money from her pocket and gave them to the guy, who took them from Linda’s hand. “Ah, a beautiful white hand!” The guy looked up at Linda. “Oh, by Buddha!” He gasped and grasping Linda’s hand he pulled her into his arms. The two yamen bailiffs and the boy wanted to come forth to help, but were surrounded by the thugs. It seemed that the guy wanted to rape her right on the spot. They were all gathering on the prow of the boat.

Linda struggled out of the guy’s arms, but got a slip and fell out of the boat into the water.

Seeing this, the guy escaped with his men.

One of the yamen bailiffs jumped into the water to seek for Linda, but the current was so rapid and his search ended in vain. All three were so sad. Now they had to find Linda, or they could not tell how to get on with their lives.


2016-7-31 07:19
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#54  

Removed...


2016-7-31 08:58
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#55  

Removed...


2016-7-31 11:35
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#56  

Removed...

/


2016-7-31 14:19
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#57  

Removed...


2016-7-31 15:27
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#58  

Removed... 


2016-7-31 18:49
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#59  

Removed...


2016-8-1 18:42
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#60  

?


2016-8-5 07:16
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#61  

?


2016-8-5 07:17
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#62  

?


2016-8-5 07:18
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#63  

///


2016-8-5 07:19
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#64  

///


2016-8-5 07:20
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#65  

///


2016-8-5 07:21
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#66  

///


2016-8-5 07:22
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#67  

///


2016-8-5 07:22
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#68  

Chapter 15

Although Linda could swim in the sea when back in America, now she could not cope with the rapid torrent of the Yangtze River and lost her consciousness at last.

            When she came to, she felt like she was lying in a cradle. She found that it was a boat rocking with the waves. At first she thought she had been pulled out of water by the yamen bailiffs and had been sleeping in her own bed, but after a careful survey, she knew that she was wrong. It was another boat and from the smell it seemed to be a fishing boat. She fell asleep again.

            When it dawned, an old woman came into the cabin to check on Linda, who just woke up.

            “How you feeling?” The old woman asked, dressed in coarse clothes.

            “I’m fine, thank you.” Linda replied. “Where am I now?”

            “Forgot to take up our fishing net last night. You got yourself in it. We already asleep, when felt the boat stir, got up to check. Thought it’s a big fish, but when pulled up the net, it’s you in it.”

            Linda knew that she had been saved by the woman, perhaps together with her husband. So she thanked her once more and got on her feet from the bed. She followed the old woman out of the inner cabin to the outer one. There was an old man sitting at a table. It was the husband. They invited her to sit down and the woman served breakfast. Generally the Chinese breakfast was rice porridge. But Linda was used to it now. She had had it when living with the eunuch.

            The old couple owned the fishing boat, which was like a mobile home for them. When they caught fish, they would row the boat to the nearest town for sale and bought all the necessities. Then they would return to where they always anchored. The place was near a village, where they had been born and had so many relatives and friends.

            Now Linda lived with them happily. Everyday she helped the old woman with cooking and cleaning, and when the net was full of fish, she would lend the old man a hand to pull the net up and put the fish in the hull. The old couple loved her very much and looked upon her as their daughter.

            One day, it was the dragon-boat festival. There was a boat race on the river. The old couple took Linda there in their boat and cast anchor near the bank, on which already so many people stood watching. There was an acrobatic performance before the race. A colossal boat served as the stage. The acrobats showed their feats on the mast and on the dragon head. A female performer stood on one leg on the top of the mast, the other leg lifted high in the air and on her toes stood upright a stick with a plate rotating on it. She also held two sticks separately in her hands, with rotating plates. On her head balanced a set of bowls. In the top bowl stuck out a crimson rose.

            The performance went on for two hours with only a short break in between. The race started almost at noon. Every rich family in this district had a dragon-boat built and took part in the annual race. Men were hired and trained to row the boat. On the bow just behind the dragon’s head there were a big gong and a big drum, which would sound continuously during the race. Two more men were hired for that. When the boats approached the finis line, the race reached its climax. People’s shouting mixed with the sound of the gongs and drums almost deafened Linda’s ears. One boat darted forth and crossed the finis line. Linda could not recognize whose boat it was.

            "The Li’s family won this year." The old man told Linda. The old man regularly sold fish to Li’s family and so he was excited for them.

            In the capital, the head eunuch returned the special bronze mirror he had stolen to the storage room. Since he was a favorite with the empress dowager, who asked the emperor to pardon him, the emperor had him released from the prison, and furthermore, gave him back his properties that had been confiscated.

Now the head eunuch was his old self anew and then he thought of Linda and his son. Of course Linda and the boy were also pardoned and should not be exiled. Therefore, the head eunuch, with the consent from the emperor, sent out someone with official document to the place where Linda was supposed to be banished. However, when the man reached there, the official in charge of the exiled people received him and said that they had never reported to him. He added, “Maybe, they are still on the way as they don’t have time limit.” It must be true. So the man rode back to report to the head eunuch. Then a public declaration was made that Linda and the boy were pardoned, no need to go to the place of exile any more. They should return to the capital now.

            This message was sent to every local government. Then the two yamen bailiffs learned it because they must report to the local government every time they wanted to pass the night in the government lodging house for free. Therefore, they returned to the capital with the boy.

            Since they lost Linda, they were afraid to see the head eunuch, but they had to for two reasons. First, they should give the boy to him. Second, they must explain to him in person how they had lost the girl. As it was not really their fault that Linda fell into the water, the head eunuch did not blame them. The two yamen bailiffs left and went back to their own yamen.

            The head eunuch and the boy, his son, had a family reunion. The only regret was that Linda was not with them. They were anxious to know where Linda was now and whether she was dead or alive. So the head eunuch sent out a message to every local government to seek for a girl with the golden hair. All the local governments put an announcement on the government bulletin board for this message with an award of one hundred taels of silver if anyone who saw such a girl could report to the local government. Then a threat added in the announcement, “If anyone conceals the whereabouts of the girl, he will be punished or imprisoned.”

            One hundred taels of silver was a lot of money to some poor people. Some people of the village, where the boat Linda lived on anchored, would report to the local government in the nearest town for the award. When the old man came to know it, he hurried back and told Linda, who had already told the couple everything about herself except how she had got in China. It was too weird to be believed. Even she would not have believed it herself though it had actually happened to her. But it was her own experience and she could not shut her eyes to it.

            Linda did not want to go back to the head eunuch. No woman wanted to live with a eunuch even if he was rich and powerful. That was an abnormal life. Now Linda had to leave and the old couple understood. They advised her to go west. That way she could be as far as possible from the capital. She should hide in some remote region that no one there knew her. Linda thought that it was a good idea. As she had been robbed of all her money, she was now penniless. So the old couple gave her all the money they had saved.

            Linda learned that the announcement put up by the local government mentioned her having golden hair. She wanted to dye her hair before she left, but in the ancient China there was no such technique and no such material to dye hair. There was a joke about dyeing hair. A man had his hoary hair too early in his thirties. People around him always thought that he was already in fifties. He hated that people had this idea about him. He always wanted to show that he was still young. Once he was invited to attend a gathering of poets. He was a poet himself. He wished that other poets would admire his poetic talent as a young poet when he chanted his new poem, a great poem he thought. Then a wonderful idea struck him. He brushed ink on his hoary hair to make the hair look black. Unfortunately, on his way to the gathering place, it suddenly rained hard. The merciless rain washed the ink down his face and neck. Now he looked sorry. How could he go in such an awkward condition? He had to return home and let this golden opportunity slip through his fingers.

            Linda did not want to brush her hair black with ink like that stupid man in the story, but she must do something to her appearance so that no one could recognize her. At the suggestion of the old couple, she was attired as a farming girl. She put on some old shabby clothes and wrapped her golden hair tightly in a piece of coarse cloth so that no one could see the color of her hair. To finish her disguise, she carried a basket with eggs in it. Now she looked as if she was going to visit her relatives with the eggs as a gift, or to the closest town to sell them.


2016-8-5 07:24
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#69  

Removed...


2016-8-5 15:19
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#70  

是你把那個網站的網址貼上,並在那裡也發帖罵我。讓我去看的。我就順便發帖了。我還在那裡謝你了。在這裡也謝謝你,使我有個新地方發帖。謝謝姑奶奶,讓你開心點。我是儘量要讓你開心,可以放過我。

你應該建議他們兩個提高水平,別老是想攻擊我,以至自我出醜。在那個新網站出醜是你害路同志,你把他在這裡的帖子搬過去。你最好別把他們兩個與你聯繫起來。因為君子要讓着女士。叫他們兩個變性吧,我再讓他們。

我再提一點,小小的一點,ALIVE 不可以放在名詞前作定語的。


2016-8-6 07:48
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#71  

Removed...


2016-8-6 08:00
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#72  

Removed...


2016-8-6 08:09
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#73  

Removed...


2016-8-6 08:17
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用



#74  



引用:
Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-6 07:48:
我再提一點,小小的一點,ALIVE 不可以放在名詞前作定語的。

Hey, 海外,

In what way is this "ALIVE" used as an adjective modifier? Do you know English grammar?



2016-8-6 08:21
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#75  

Removed...


2016-8-6 09:09
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#76  

路同志,

大凡你是個男人,要攻擊我就獨立攻擊我,為什麼老要她的幫助維護,你們就像被她綁在她的戰車上一樣。現在大家就是這樣的感覺。


2016-8-7 11:45
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用



#77  



引用:
Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-7 11:45:
路同志,

大凡你是個男人,要攻擊我就獨立攻擊我,為什麼老要她的幫助維護,你們就像被她綁在她的戰車上一樣。現在大家就是這樣的感覺。

...


2016-8-7 21:04
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#78  

哈。是無言了。


2016-8-8 07:35
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#79  

Chapter 16

The old couple took Linda to a place some distance away from their village so that no villager could see that Linda fled. Linda thanked them again and stepped ashore. She watched their boat going back and walked toward the west. She followed the public roads in no fear that someone or anyone could recognize her. She was proud of her disguising skill. She never took off the cloth wrapping her hair, even in sleep, that none could ever see the color of her hair. Although she had some foreign accent when she spoke Chinese, the government announcement did not mention it. So no one suspected anything when she talked to people. She had no definite destination and just roamed in the direction the sun set.

            By now she had grown familiar with the Chinese currency system at that time and had come to know what thing was worth how much money. She did not want to waste a coin unnecessarily as her resources were limited. She wished to have the money she had with her lasting as long as possible till she could find a suitable place to settle down.

            Soon she came to a town and entered it. When she was walking in the streets, an old woman accosted her. She wanted to buy some eggs for her grandson. She thought that Linda was really a farming girl selling eggs in the town.

            Linda was at first surprised, but she remembered her feign after a moment's hesitation. She thought to herself, “Why don’t I sell the eggs? I can’t go everywhere with the basket.” So she agreed to sell some eggs to the old woman.

            She had often heard some pedlars crying out their goods in the streets since she had landed in China. And now she heard someone crying, "Scissors and knives sharpening!" The man was selling his service to people who wanted to sharpen their blunted scissors and knives. A few paces away, a door opened and a woman handed the man a cutting knife to be sharpened for her.

            Linda was in doubt if she must cry out her eggs for sale. She had never tried such things before and could not make up her mind. Then she heard another crying some distance away: "Flowers for girls!" In ancient China there were no flower shops. One could only buy them from a hawker.

            Linda consulted herself, “Since I don’t want to carry the eggs along further, I must sell them. Why not cry like others?” So she began, “Fresh eggs for sale!” A door opened from a big house. A woman’s head stuck out and beckoned to Linda. She was the cook of the household and wanted to buy all the eggs as she would have guests coming this evening. She bargained with Linda for the price. Linda was glad to part with the eggs so soon and cut her price a little to the satisfaction of the woman. Linda took the money and handed her all the eggs together with the basket, which she no longer needed. The woman was delighted and asked Linda to bring more eggs for her next time she came into the town. Linda could not make a promise and stammered something no one could understand.

            Linda had lunch in the town and wanted to continue her way to the west, but it was so cloudy that day and she could not figure out the direction. She had learned how to decide for the direction. If she could figure out which direction was the south, she could know which was the west. When she faced the south, her right hand pointed to the west. But how could she make out the south? She remembered that the first way was to look at the rings of the tree. The width between the rings to the southern side in a tree trunk was much greater than that of those to the northern side. Anyway, how could she find a broken tree so that she could see the rings on the broken trunk surface? She walked for some distance and did not see any tree that was broken. It did not work.

            Then she recalled an easy way to do this. She looked at the foliage of a tree and saw that on one side the boughs grew longer and the leaves denser. It was the southern direction. So she figured out which direction was the west and started to walk that way. But she was still not sure if it was right direction she wanted to go.

            She walked out of the town along the public road. The dusk descended on the earth when she came across a village. It was a small village without any inns. The tradition was that a traveler could knock at any house and ask the host or hostess whether he or she could stay for the night. Generally a traveler would be accepted into the house and even supper would be provided, both gratis.

            Linda took lodging in a house. The hostess had a daughter and a son, ten and six years of age respectively. Linda had to share the room with the daughter. The son was sick at the time. There was no doctor in this village. The villagers, if sick, always asked the medical witch to look at the patient and then would pay her either with money or with something of some value.

            In ancient China witches did not have magic power, nor rode on any broomsticks like their colleagues in England. There were a few sorts of witches in China. Some acted as a doctor and others had the ability to summon the ghosts of the diseased kinsfolk.

            The invited witch arrived. She did not go into the bedroom to look at the patient. She burned a pair of red candles and three joss sticks, which was stuck in an incense burner. Then she went down on her knees to kowtow before the burning candles and joss sticks while she was chanting some magic words. After a few minutes she changed into a sitting position, a leg-crossed yoga position, and kept chanting until the joss sticks burned to ashes. Then she got up and scooped some ashes with a spoon. She gave the spoonful of ashes to the woman and bade her to let her son swallow the ashes with warm water. “It’s cure-all from Buddha.” The witch told the woman, “Your son will soon recover.” She took the money the woman offered and left.

            Linda saw all this and suspected the curing effect of the joss-stick ashes. "Can this cure all the diseases?" She asked the woman.

            “Some cured and some didn’t.” was the answer.

            “Why some didn’t?” Linda persisted in getting a thorough answer, “It’s cure-all.”

            “Because those who died have lived to their destined end of life.” The woman added, “The god of the nether world decides the fate of everyone and how long he can live. If one has lived to his destined end of life, even cure-all can’t save him.”

            Linda did not believe that the joss-stick ashes could cure any illness. She guessed that those who were healed must only have trivial ailments like cold and those who were not healed must have serious sickness.

            She went to bed without further thinking of such things. Next morning she got up early and was served breakfast. After finishing it, she took leave of the woman with many thanks.


2016-8-8 07:38
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#80  

Removed...



使君才气卷波澜。与把好诗再译
2016-8-8 07:45
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用



#81  



引用:
Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-8 07:35:
哈。是無言了。

I responded last night, but on second thought, I decided to give you a break and so had the post deleted. Since you are so provocative, here is the original post:

“Whoa, whoa, hold on! Who is attacking you? What makes you think pointing out your English mistakes is an attack?

You are trying to change the topic. I am not making an ally of anybody. It’s your online behavior and manner that have provoked a massive dislike of you. I have no control over those people who want to smack you.

Talking about being manly, I am not a pervert. Unlike you, I wouldn’t flirt with someone who is at your daughter’s age.”

Please reply in English, if you have the guts.


2016-8-8 07:48
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#82  

You never know yourself. You are strong-headed. your corrections and opinions of my translations or writing are all wrong. through our discussion before, everyone here can see it. and you insist in your wrong opinions, which of course mean attack.

thanks to your partner, she posted your article on another website and a reader there also thinks you are wrong.  she showed your mistakes of criticism of me, whether intentionally o unintentionally, to people in other website. are you happy for it?


2016-8-9 07:46
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#83  

Removed...


2016-8-9 07:53
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用



#84  

[quote]Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-9 07:46:


#82  

You never know yourself. You are strong-headed. your corrections and opinions of my translations or writing are all wrong. through our discussion before, everyone here can see it. and you insist in your wrong opinions, which of course mean attack.

thanks to your partner, she posted your article on another website and a reader there also thinks you are wrong.  she showed your mistakes of criticism of me, whether intentionally o unintentionally, to people in other website. are you happy for it?

/quote]

What a dull writing! Go back to figure out the mistakes you've made in your post.

If I can dig out the url link to the comments English language speakers made on your translation, I will post it here so that viewers here would know you better.


2016-8-9 07:56
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

小草

#85  

posted your article on another website -----which one? where?


2016-8-9 08:06
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用



#86  



引用:
Originally posted by 小草 at 2016-8-9 08:06:
posted your article on another website -----which one? where?

"Article" is a wrong choice of word. He meant my "comments." The word choice itself reviews how poor his English is.


2016-8-9 08:15
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

小草

#87  



引用:
Originally posted by at 2016-8-9 01:15 PM:


"Article" is a wrong choice of word. He meant my "commends." The word choice itself reviews how poor his English is.

commend?


2016-8-9 08:23
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用



#88  

Cooments. Typo.

From cell phone while commuting.


2016-8-9 08:28
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#89  

Removed...


2016-8-9 09:01
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#90  

Removed...


2016-8-9 10:18
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#91  

Removed...


2016-8-9 10:23
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用



#92  



引用:
Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-9 07:46:
You never know yourself. You are strong-headed. your corrections and opinions of my translations or writing are all wrong. through our discussion before, everyone here can see it. and you insist in..

海外被我逼得没办法,只好勉强用英语答复了我一次。我让他回去改他答复里的错,他没有回答。今早我有点空,就替他把明显的错误改一改。


原文:You are strong-headed.
点评:1. strong-headed是个生造词,有现成的headstrong。
              2. headstrong并不一定是坏事,坚持己见有时是好事,所以这个措辞不准确。

原文:your corrections and opinions of my translations or writing are all wrong.
点评:既然translations用复数,writing在这里最好也是复数。Writing既是不可数名词,也是可数名词。不可数时表示手迹等。

原文:through our discussion before, everyone here can see it.
点评:before应该是so far

原文:and you insist in your wrong opinions, which of course mean attack.
点评:mean应该是means

原文:thanks to your partner, she posted your article on another website and a reader there also thinks you are wrong.  
点评:按他的思路改,应该写作:thanks to your partner for the article she has posted for you on… , 不然这个thanks to your partner就是用来修饰她自己posted。她自己posted为什么要感谢她自己呢?

原文:she showed your mistakes of criticism of me, whether intentionally o unintentionally, to people in other website. are you happy for it?
点评:1. 按他的思路改,应该写作:She pointed out the mistakes you made in criticizing me… “she showed your mistakes of criticism of me”不通
             2. whether intentionally o unintentionally所指不清,是说she showed还是说(我的)criticism?
             3. in other website应该是on that website
             4. are you happy for it应该是are you happy about it?

憋了一整天,就这几行字,还错得这么离谱!人都会犯错,有点错没关系。但多到这程度就不要自吹了。特别是,人要有自知自明。人家说了66年英语,而且英语又是母语,你还那样死不认错,还暗示你的英语比说英语为母语的人要好。正是stubborn-headed!!

另外,文字这么枯燥无味。

应该感谢我替你指出你的错。

附海外原话:
You never know yourself. You are strong-headed. your corrections and opinions of my translations or writing are all wrong. through our discussion before, everyone here can see it. and you insist in your wrong opinions, which of course mean attack.

thanks to your partner, she posted your article on another website and a reader there also thinks you are wrong.  she showed your mistakes of criticism of me, whether intentionally o unintentionally, to people in other website. are you happy for it?


2016-8-12 07:57
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#93  

strong-headed----read more old English novels
we didn't discuss recently, so it should be "before".

omit other comments. you can think them over.


2016-8-12 09:17
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用



#94  



引用:
Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-12 09:17:
strong-headed----read more old English novels
we didn't discuss recently, so it should be "before".

omit other comments. you can think them over.

strong-headed----read more old English novels
Answer: Once again, you meant to say "stubborn-headed."

we didn't discuss recently, so it should be "before".
Answer: The effect is up to the present. Therefore, it should be "so far." Once again, you are Chinese-minded here.

omit other comments. you can think them over
Answer: This is not English! What do you mean by "omit other comments"? You didn't write any. How can you omit? You mean "skip."


2016-8-12 09:26
博客  资料  信箱  短信   编辑  引用

Xiaoman

#95  



引用:
Originally posted by 海外逸士 at 2016-8-12 09:17:
strong-headed----read more old English novels
we didn't discuss recently, so it should be "before".

omit other comments. you can think them over.

这英语够烂。

有本事就写一本书给国内一流大学的研究生必读不结了。再show烂英语也已经没脸可丢了啊。



使君才气卷波澜。与把好诗再译
2016-8-12 09:33
博客  资料  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#96  

Chapter 17

Linda proceeded on her way to the west. She passed a pond, the water in it so clear and transparent. There were some boys of about ten years old swimming in it, their bare butts submerging in water, but still discernible. Seeing this, Linda had an impulse to plunge in for a hearty swimming, but she remembered that she did not even have a bikini on her. Besides, she noticed that no girls would swim in public in the sixteenth century in China.


            The boys saw her, shouting and waving their fists at her. Linda understood from their gesture that they wanted her to get lost at once. At that time a girl should not look at boys, especially with bare butts. To avoid further trouble, Linda ran away as fast as her legs could carry her.

            Presently Linda came to a village. From seeing the boys she concluded that there must be a village close by and she wanted to find her lodging for the night there. Generally she eluded to stay in a town for the night. She preferred the village because the villagers might not know the government announcement about her and so she would be safe.

            On entering the village, she was attracted by the voices of the boys reading some books aloud. She followed the sound to a house where she could see through the window that an old man was giving lessons to some ten boys. Linda had already learned something about the education in the ancient China. There were public schools then, but only in the capital and main cities. Somewhere else there might be private schools built at the donations of local wealthy families. Mostly boys got education from private tutors in the house of the tutor and the parents paid the tutor certain amount of money every month. The textbooks were the works of Confucius and Mencius. Linda had studied some when she had lived with the head eunuch. Girls were not encouraged to learn reading and writing. They were taught to sew and cook, and how to serve their future husbands satisfactorily. Girls only in rich families could have a tutor coming to teach them or were taught by their mothers, who were literate.

            Linda listened for a while and walked away. She wanted to find a family that could take her in for the night. Soon she found one. Hospitality was a common virtue in the ancient time everywhere. The family was well-to-do and had a daughter of eight. The girl loved to read and write, and refused to learn sewing and cooking. The parents doted on her and had to give in at length. She had learned hundreds of Chinese characters. When a pupil reached such a stage, a tutor would train him to write parallel sentences or structures. The practice was like that: when the tutor gave two characters, say, meaning “mountain”, the pupil must use two characters, say, meaning “river”. If he said something meaning “orange”, it was wrong, because “mountain” and “river” belonged to the same category of words, the geographic category while “orange” was in a different category. If the pupil was right, the tutor would add another character like “stands” and the pupil must say “flows”. That made “mountain stands” and “river flows”.

            The girl implored Linda to play that kind of word game with her. Luckily Linda had had such practice before and so had no difficulty thereupon. The girl said “wolf” and Linda replied with “dog”. Then the girl said “howls” and Linda added “barks”. The girl continued with “in woods” and Linda paralleled with “in house”. The girl was so delighted that when Linda wanted to leave next morning she importuned her to stay a little longer. As Linda had really nowhere to go, she was glad to comply.

            They could not play the word game all day long. The girl went out with Linda to sightsee the village. When they were passing a house, they noticed some people crowding before the open door. They wondered what had happened inside that house and so squeezed in to have a look.

            On the table in the center of the room some candles and joss sticks were burning and behind the table sat a woman in her fifties. With her eyes shut she began to chant something like “Open the door wide. Your ancestors will come.” Then her mouth foamed and she leaned back. Suddenly her voice changed sounding like that of an old man.

            Linda asked a woman beside her, “What’s the matter? Is the woman sick?”

            “No.” The woman replied, “The woman is a witch. She’s summoning the ghost of the old man, who was the father of the woman standing at the side of the table. Now the old man’s ghost has got into the body of the witch. It’s the old man’s voice speaking now."

            The woman standing at the side of the table was asking some questions while sobbing and the woman with an old man’s voice was answering. Linda did not quite catch what they were saying.

            After a while the voice of the witch came back and she opened her eyes. It seemed that the ghost was gone. The woman paid the witch, who left soon. The woman came to close the door and the crowd dispersed.

            Linda and the girl strolled in the main street and saw a tea house a few paces ahead. They went into it and took seats at an unoccupied table. The house was half full. Four men sat next to them, talking and laughing. Some of their words wafted into Linda’s ears because it concerned her.

            Man A said, "I read in the city yesterday a government announcement. They are seeking for a girl with golden hair and offering a hundred taels of silver."

            Linda’s heart went wild. She was terrified, but did not show it on her face, still sipping tea, but her hand holding the cup was a little trembling. Only no one noticed it. The girl was interested and turned to look at the four men.

            Man B asked, “Is she a criminal? Did she break the prison wall and run away?”

            Linda calmed down and sipped some more tea.

            Man A said, “Not likely from the announcement. Seems her husband wants her back.”

            Linda had already learned it. That was no news for her.

            Man C said, “Did she elope with another man or what?”

            Linda was amused by the notion of elopement.

            Man A said, “Doesn’t say anything about that.”

            Man D said, “One hundred taels is not much. Not worth the effort to look for her.”

            Presently she left the tea house with the girl.


2016-8-12 10:18
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#97  

Chapter 18

The family Linda stayed with was very nice to her. At first she had half a mind to settle down here. The only dread was that this village was too close to a city. The message that she was wanted would some day spread here and then she would not be safe. Therefore, she could not have made up her mind whether to settle down or to move on.

           Now her fear became a definite truth. For her own security, she could no longer stay here. So she insisted on leaving. Next morning when she bade farewell to the hostess, the woman gave her a parcel containing some dried cake, boiled eggs and a flask of water. People taking long journey always carried food and water lest they reach some places that they could get no food and water supply. Linda took the parcel and expressed her hearty gratitude to the woman for her kindness.

            The girl almost began crying and begged Linda to visit her on her return. Linda was not sure if she would come back the way she went. But she had to make the promise as a white lie.

            It was hot in the south of China. It was noon. Linda took a rest under the shade of a big tree and ate a piece of cake and an egg and drank some water. Then she started on her way again.

            She came across a pond. The water was so lucid. Linda perspired all over and needed to have a bath. Since no one was seen all around, she stripped herself naked and dove into the pond.

            There were a long row of thick bushes on the bank so that she could hide behind it when she was bathing. She put her clothes and the parcel at the roots of the bushes. This way no one could steal them. The jacket and pants she had had on when she had landed in China had been thrown away long before. Now she wore what the local people wore so that she could mingle with them without being too conspicuous.

            To her panic, she beheld a young man approaching the pond. She had no time to put her clothes on when the young man ran up. He saw a naked girl in the water. How could a young man not get excited at such a sight? He kicked off his shoes and stepped into the water. Linda swam to the center of the pond where the water was deep. She only kept her head on the surface. The young man stayed in the shallow water up to his waste and did not plunge in. The situation lasted for quite some time. Linda could not stay naked for ever in the water. She must do something to get herself out of the plight.

            She thought that the young man perhaps could not swim, or he would come after her. She got a good idea and swam toward the young man. When she got very close, the young man stretched his hands and looked like he wanted to grip on Linda’s hair and pull her out. Linda dove in the water and reached out her hands to pull his ankles. The young man struggled in water. Linda made him drink enough water and he lost consciousness. Linda laid him on the bank and put on her clothes. She left the young man where he was lying and went her own way. When the young man came to, the girl was nowhere to be seen. He did not know if he had had a dream or met a fox genie. Chinese people believed in fox genie, who could change into the form of a beautiful girl and could vanish in a moment.

Linda was now clambering a hillside. She suddenly heard a man’s voice shouting at some distance, “You girl, stop right there!” She turned to look. A middle-aged man with a sword in his right hand scurried toward her. She knew that the man must be a rogue and came to rob her or even rape her. She started to run at top speed. After a while, she looked back and saw the man getting closer and closer to her. She looked forth and saw that she would soon reach the top of the hill. She thought, “When I get to the hill top, I can roll down the other side and escape from the villain.”

            But when she reached the summit, she was dismayed to find that the other side of the hill was a cliff that she could not estimate how high. At least she saw that the bottom was a valley. About half way down, a tree growing out from the cliff wall caught her eyes. Maybe, she could jump down onto the tree first and then climbed down into the valley. At the moment, the man’s voice yelled close behind her, “Stop. You’ll fall to death.”

            Linda made up her mind that she could not let the rascal rape her. What if she was infected with AIDS? It was a painful disease. But she forgot that there was no AIDS in the sixteenth century anywhere. Anyway, she jumped down feet first and landed on the tree. She clutched on some branches with both her hands to steady herself. Then she looked up and saw the moron sticking his head out and watching her. Linda thought, “If he also jumps down, I have to fight him.” She fished out a dagger tied on her right leg. She had got the dagger when she had been with the outlaws. She always had it with her in case she might need it. Now she had the need for it.

            The man stood at the edge of the cliff, considering whether he wanted to leap down, too, after the girl. When he saw Linda take out a dagger, he decided that it was not worth the risk of being pierced through the chest. He turned and left the spot.

            As the immediate danger was now over, she had time to deliberately examine her surroundings. First, she looked at the cliff wall to see if there were thick vines that she could use to climb up. But to her disappointment, the vines did not climb upward, but climbed downward. Correctly to speak, the vines grew up from the foot of the cliff and stopped right round the tree. None grew any higher. So there was no hope for her to climb upward. “At least,” she thought to herself, “I can climb downward. No need for me to jump down.”

            She was lucky. If there were no vines at all on the cliff wall, what could she do now? She could not jump down, for the height was about thirty meters by her estimation. Even if she did not dash herself to death, she would injure some parts of her body. Under such circumstances, how could she survive with serious injuries?

            She began to descend on all fours gripping tightly on the vines. It took her quite some time to set her feet on the solid ground. She looked round. It was a beautiful valley with trees and grass covering the bottom. Then she found some rabbits and a deer staring at her from some distance.

            She walked about in the valley and found a cave in the cliff wall. The cave was small, but with enough space to hold Linda. “I have to stay here for the time being. God made a cave here for me for the night.” She said aloud to herself. “Ah, I have some company. Come here, you cute little rabbit! And you, lovely deer!” She coaxed.

            She sat on a rock and thought, “I’m like Alice in a rabbit hole now. Only this is not a rabbit hole, but a valley. There’s not the Cheshire cat, but a deer instead. No pack of cards either.” She looked round for mushrooms and saw some pretty ones. “What will become of me if I have a bite of the mushroom there? Will I grow up till I can reach the top of the cliff? Then I can get myself out of here. But what if I grow smaller and smaller? Will the rabbit bite my head off?” Of course, she would not eat that mushroom. She had been told that when a mushroom looked colorful, it was very probably poisonous. Then she found some fruits on the trees. She lived on fruits for three days and found that there was a slope at the other side that she might escape from there.

            The deer and rabbits no longer evaded her when she approached them. She could caress or hug them. “I will leave tomorrow, but can’t take them with me.” She thought, not without being sorry. All at once a wonderful idea occurred in her mind. She took out her dagger and carved these words on one of the antlers of the deer: “Linda’s deer.”

            Sometimes she wished that it were a nightmare and that when something terrible happened to her, she would wake up and find herself in her own room of her New Jersey home.


2016-8-19 09:19
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#98  

Chapter 19

The valley led to a steep slope. Linda scaled up and entered a forest. Soon she came across a hut, made of tree trunks with thatched roof. Carefully she approached the hut, unaware of what was lurking inside waiting for her. There might be an escaped prisoner hiding inside. There might . . .

            She could not—should not make so many hypotheses. There hung in the doorway a patchy cloth curtain. She stood in front of the curtain, shouting, “Anyone there?”

            “Who’s it?” A woman’s voice called from within. Then the curtain was pulled aside and a woman stood in the doorway. She was in her forties, dressed in old shabby clothes.

            “I’m lost in the mountains.” Linda told the woman with an inquiring look.

            “Come in, please.” The woman said. She stepped aside, still holding the curtain up.

            Linda walked in. It was dim inside. Linda could not see anything. After a while when her eyes were adjusted, she saw a table a few paces away with two benches on either side of it and an oil lamp on it. A wooden bed was in one innermost corner. That was all the furniture they had.

            Linda sat on one bench and the woman on the other.

            “Do you want a drink of water?” The woman asked her.

            “No, thanks.” She said curtly. She was not sure if she must tell the woman her story. Finally she decided to wait.

            “My husband’s a hunter.” The woman said. “Whenever he gets some games, he will sell most of them in the village at the foot of the mountain and buy some necessities. I will collect fruits in the woods. We still have some salted deer meat. It’s delicious. You can stay for supper and for the night. Tomorrow my husband will show you how to get to the nearest village.”

            Linda thanked her again. Now she was worried about the deer with her name on. Some day it would surely become the trophy of the hunter. She did not want to witness it. If she could, she would leave right off. But it was growing dark and she did not know the way out. So she had to stay for the night.

            “I’m home.” A man’s voice came in. It must be the husband of the woman, who stood up and went out to meet him.

            “A lovely deer! A big game!” exclaimed the woman.

            “Yes.” The man said in delight. “It ran so fast, but couldn’t be faster than my arrow. So I got it. Look at its antler, the engravings.”

            Linda’s heart thumped wildly. The horrible thing she had feared did happen to the poor deer. She got out checking on the antler. Surely her name was on it. She wanted to nauseate. She wanted to cry. But she restrained herself. There were something else beside the deer, a rabbit and two pheasants. She was not sure if the rabbit was the one she loved. She had not made any sign on it.

She returned into the hut and sat on the same bench. When the couple came in, she stood up to greet the husband, who just nodded his recognition. The games were left outside.

At supper Linda could not eat the salted deer meat and so she made up an excuse that she was a vegetarian. She ate some fruits and drank some water.

The family went to bed early. The woman arranged that Linda slept with her on the bed. The man put two benches together side by side and slept on them. Although it was not comfortable, the man did not complain. He blew out the wick and soon began to snore.

Linda had always slept alone, never shared a bed with anyone. So she could not sleep well. She stayed awake most of the night.

The family got up early when Linda wanted to sleep for a while longer. As the woman saw that Linda was still sleepy, she told Linda to keep on sleeping. Now Linda was alone on bed and so she slept like a log. When she woke up, it was almost noon. She got up and ate some fruits as brunch. The woman offered her some deer meat. Linda could not eat it. It was her deer. Thinking of that, her eyes were filled with tears. She turned away from the woman to wipe them off.

The husband had already gone out hunting. The woman asked Linda to wait for the return of her husband, but Linda declined. She wanted to leave at once and asked for the direction. The woman told her how to get to the nearest village. Linda thanked her for her hospitality and took leave.

She passed a graveyard and saw many people crowding before respective tombs here and there. The graveyard had no fences around. The tombs looked like domes, or inverted bowls, or in the eye of Linda, like gigantic buns. The tombs were made of stone bricks with boiled sticky rice as mortar. Mortar was easily broken while the stone bricks stuck together with the boiled sticky rice, when dried, were very strong. The gravediggers could hardly break through to steal the valuable things buried with the body. It was another custom for rich families to put some valuable things or the things the diseased had loved when alive in the coffin. They believed that the diseased could still possess them in the nether world when buried with him or her.

Before every tombstone there were platefuls of fruits and lighted candles and incenses. People of a family kowtowed to the tomb one by one, from the oldest to the youngest. Then some houses or horses or men and women, all made of paper, were burned. By burning these things, people also believed that the diseased could receive them and use them like in this world. The diseased could live in the house, riding the horse when traveling and have the men and women as servants.

Linda stood aside watching and wondered why so many people came on the same day. She went with a crowd going west. She asked a woman if it was a special day. The woman wondered how the girl could not know the day. It was a popular day that almost everyone knew. But she still replied, “Yes. Every year on this day people go to the graves of their ancestors to worship them.”

In Chinese it is called “Clear and Bright Day” in the fifth solar term. But it is not always clear and bright on that day. Sometimes it will rain.


2016-8-27 08:10
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#99  

Chapter 20

On the right side of the road, Linda perceived a temple on the slope of the mountain. She felt thirsty and wanted to ask for a cup of tea there. She went up to the temple and found that it was a nunnery. She knocked at the door. Presently a young Buddhist nun came to open it. In China such a nun was the opposite of the Buddhist monk. That is to say, they shaved off all their hair on the head and burned nine tiny holes on the pate like the monks did. A young girl who became a nun always had certain reasons. Some wanted to escape from something very bad. Others probably came from destitute families. Their parents could no longer support them and had to send them to the nunnery. It was better than to be sold to the whorehouse.

There are two main sorts of religions in China that Han Tribe believes. The number of Han Tribe is more than ninety percent of the whole population. Besides Buddhism, which came from India, there is a native religion called Taoism. The Taoists, together with their opposite the Taoist nuns, wear their hair in a knot on top of their heads. They both worship Lao Tzu, and other legendary gods. They are polytheists. But the Buddhists in China are also polytheists.

“Can I have some water? I’m too thirsty.” Linda asked bashfully.

“Of course. Please come in.” The young nun said politely.

Linda was led to the guest sitting room and served tea. It was a nice place, so quiet. Linda thought that if she could live here, no one would find her, because no one would think that she hid herself in a nunnery. The only question was whether the nuns would agree to her request.

“Can I stay here for a couple of days?” Linda asked the young nun. Then she fished some money from her pocket and donated it to the nunnery. The young nun took the money and thanked her.

“But I must ask permission of the head nun for that.” She left Linda sitting there alone. She returned after a while, saying, “The head nun agrees. Will you please follow me?”

She led Linda to a guest bedroom and left. Though small, the room was neat and tidy, with a bed put against the innermost wall, a cabinet for clothes beside the bed, and a table and two chairs against the wall under the window.

Every morning the young nun brought in a basin of hot water for her to wash her face and a cup of salty water to rinse her mouth. There was no toothpaste at that time and no toothbrush either.

Before every meal, a nun would strike a piece of hollow wood carved into the shape of a fish. When stricken with a wooden stick, the sound would spread throughout the nunnery. It was the signal for meals. All the nuns would go into the canteen while the guests went to a special dining room. Before every meal, the nuns would have a ritual to chant their sutras. Then every nun would get into a file with two bowls. One would contain rice covered with some cooked vegetables and the other would hold vegetable soup. When nuns got the bowls full they would go back to their fixed seats at long tables. When they finished eating, they would leave the canteen in a file to their respective positions.

Linda was led to the special dining room and had breakfast with some more guests. Generally they would have porridge and steamed dumplings for breakfast. For lunch, they would be served rice and vegetable dishes and for supper noodles covered with mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

In old China nuns, monks, Taoists and Taoist nuns could not eat meat, egg, fish or even milk. They should keep celibacy. But nowadays, since no one will be monks or nuns, for encouragement they are allowed to eat everything and to get married because the temples are the scenic spots for sightseeing and the sources of income in the tourist business. If a temple has no monks or nuns, it will look ridiculous to the tourists.

Linda enjoyed the tranquility of her life for a month. During that time she watched the nuns having public prayers for some families, who wanted to memorialize their ancestors through the ceremony. The ceremony went like that: on the wall hung the portraits of the ancestors and before them there was a table, on which were laid lighted candles and incenses in a burner. Six nuns stood at one side of the table and six at the other side. They chanted sutras, accompanied by playing some Buddhist musical instruments. Every nun held a different instrument, some like a cymbal and some like a bell with the top on a short stick. The nun held it downside up like a goblet. All the nuns struck their instruments at regular intervals while chanting. During this performance, the family members would kowtow before the portraits one by one. When the chanting was over, a lot of paper money and other paper things were burned. Linda had never seen it before. So she never missed one.

One day when she went to bed, she forgot to latch the door. Next morning the young nun came and pushed open the door. Linda was still asleep in bed. Her hair spread over the pillow. The young nun was surprised to see the golden hair. She laid the basin of hot water on the table and went up to the bed. She felt the golden hair. The touch was the same as she had felt her own hair before it had been shaved off. She knew that it was real hair, not golden threads.

            Linda suddenly woke up and saw the nun looking at her hair. She was horrified, afraid that the nun might go to report to the yamen in the nearest town. She didn’t know yet that those unworldly people never cared about the worldly things. But Linda decided then and there that she must leave soon.

            “How can it be that your hair is golden?” The nun asked curiously.

            “I was born like that. It brought me a lot of troubles.” She added privately, “Only since I landed in China.”

            “I like your hair color.” The young nun said enviously.

            “Will you please not mention it to anyone else?” Linda implored.

            “Why not? Any particular reason?”

            “I’m always afraid that someone may want my hair, thinking it is made of gold, and may come to murder me for it.”

            “Be at rest. None will think your hair’s made of genuine gold, or he’s insane. But my advice is that you can shave off your hair and become a nun here.”

            “Shave off the hair and become a nun?” Linda had never thought of that. She loved her hair and was proud of having it. It has certainly some advantage to have golden hair. Many people like the hair being golden and some men love girls with golden hair. Linda did not want to shave it and she did not want to become a nun, in China.

            Linda got up, wrapped up her hair and came to the table to wash her face. After breakfast, she bade farewell to the nuns and left the nunnery. She walked west aimlessly along the public road. At noon she ate some dried food and drank some water the nuns had given her. Some other travelers on foot rested on the road side, sitting on rocks, while they had their lunch. Linda sat at some distance from them. She did not want to be asked questions. It would certainly happen if she sat close to anyone. By now she had learned that Chinese people loved to ask other people personal questions.

            In the evening, Linda came to another village. When she passed a house, she saw a throng before the open door. She squeezed in to the front and saw two old men standing on opposite side of a table, on which there was a tray with fine sands in it. A thin piece of bamboo was made into a circle with two short straight bamboo pieces attached to the circle and crossing each other in the middle, looking like ⊕. A Chinese brush was tied onto the crossing point. The two old men stretched out their forefingers, one from his right hand and the other from his left hand, each holding the bamboo circle at opposite sides, or correctly to speak, the bamboo circle resting with opposite sides on their forefingers. That way, it meant that they could not move the brush to write any Chinese words.

            There was a third old man who knelt before the table and murmured something like in prayer. Then Linda saw the brush moving as if by itself, looking like writing something in the sand tray. When the brush stopped the two old men took the brush away. The third old man stood up and copied what had been written in the sand on a slip of paper. And the three men gathered together in the consultation of one another.

            The spectators scattered. Linda asked a middle-aged woman, “What’s all this about?”

            “They have some problems they can’t solve and want to ask help from a god.” The woman answered. “If a god, any god, happens to pass the place in the sky, he may come down to write something in the sand, if it interests him to give the mortals some divine advice.”

            “But I didn’t see any god come down.” Linda doubted.

            “You can’t see a god. No one can see a god.”

            “Then who knows if a god came down or not?”

            “Did you see the brush being moved?”

Linda nodded.

“That meant that a god was here, because the two men supporting the brush were incapable of writing anything. Even if they were able to move the brush simultaneously, they couldn’t write out coherent sentences. So it proves that some god came to write something in the sand tray.”

Linda was still skeptical, but she said nothing more and went her own way. She had already been accustomed to anything weird in the ancient China.


2016-9-2 14:03
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

海外逸士

#100  

Chapter 21

Once more Linda trespassed on the hospitality of a family for the night. The family was so-so financially. After supper, Linda helped to wash the dishes as if she did it in return for the food and board. The couple was in their forties and had a son of twelve. They owned the house and used the front room as a dining place, selling wonton. It could not be called a restaurant. So people called it wonton shop.

            The husband and wife were very busy. They must make wonton with minced meat wrapped up in flour skin. When customers came, they cooked it in boiled water. As all the wontons floated on the surface, it meant that wontons were ready to serve. They made some kind of soup at the same time and then they put twenty wontons in a bowl and ladled some soup into it. The son helped to take the bowl of wonton to the customers. Now Linda helped as a waitress. She also learned to make wonton.

            At first Linda wanted to leave the next day, but the wife asked her to stay, saying, "If you are not in a hurry to leave, you can stay as long as you like. You are a nice girl. I love you very much."

            Since Linda had really nowhere to go, she thought that she could stay here longer, or even for ever if they could get along well. But she did not know, or could not guess, why the woman asked her to stay. As the family lived only from hand to mouth, they could not afford to have their son married to any girls. They hoped that when their son came of age, at sixteen years old, he could marry Linda as she looked like a homeless girl. Although Linda was much older than their son, it did happen in ancient China to take older girls for wife. The sole concept of marriage in ancient China was to get a boy as an heir so that when they died they had someone to inherit their family name and property, if any, and look after their grave. And their ghosts could return home on certain days to enjoy the worship of their posterities.

            Anyway, Linda stayed and helped with any work she could do. The shop would open early in the morning, when it was still dark outside. It would close late till the nightfall when the supper time was long over. Then the family would retire to the quarters behind the shop to rest.

            Every day they had wonton for three meals. Actually they did not have regular three meals. Whenever anyone of the family, including Linda, felt hungry, he or she just ate wontons till full. It was indeed unbearable to eat wonton everyday, every meal. But what could Linda do or say? Sometimes when the husband went to market shopping for meat, flour and vegetables, he would buy some sweets or different food for Linda. The couple already looked upon her as their future daughter-in-law, and treated her like one.

            Three months elapsed. Linda lost the tract of dates and days by the solar calendar, because the battery in her watch had died. In ancient China people used old methods to mark the time and dates. The more accurate way to count the time of the day was to use the sundial, but what if there was no sun that day? A simple machine was invented, named clepsydra or water clock. It consisted of two metal containers, one above the other. The above one holding water had a small hole in the bottom, the water dripping one by one into the lower container through the hole. There were grooves carved on the inner side to mark the time. People could tell time by checking on which groove the water reached. Chinese people divided the day into twelve equal parts. Every part was equal to two hours we use now. And so was the sundial marked.

            For those who could not afford a water clock, or a sundial, they could only estimate time by looking at the sun or the light of the day if it was cloudy. Everywhere there were night watchmen, who reported time during the night by going around a certain area and striking a gong. They always worked night shift, beginning at the fall of the night. People divided the night time into five parts. The watchmen hit the gong once in the first part, twice in the second part and thrice in the third part. When they struck five times, it would soon be daybreak.

            They had a rich neighbor living close to them, who frequented their wonton shop. He had a son four years older than their son. One day the neighbor visited them in the shop.

            “Hello, my old friend!” He accosted the husband. “Long time no see.”

            “Ah, my dear neighbor, long time no see.” The neighbor had been absent from his shop for a few months. “Where have you been?”

            “Had a tour in the Yunnan Province and bought some herbs.” He was a doctor and owned a herb store. He not only charged his patients for consulting fees, but also sold them the medicine he had made. He earned a great deal of money and was one of the wealthiest men in the village.

            “Welcome back, my dear neighbor.” He handed the neighbor a bowl of wonton for free.

While eating, he talked to the husband. “I know you have a homeless girl living with you. I also know you want her to be your daughter-in-law. But your son is still so young. He can’t marry her until four years later. My son just reaches the age to be married. Let’s have a deal, okay?”

            “What’s the deal?” The husband was curious to know.

            “The girl marries my son and I give you a thousand taels of silver.” He offered.

            “Are you kidding me?” The husband was in doubt.

            “I’m serious. Think of it, with a thousand taels, you can get any girl for your son.”

            A thousand of taels was a lot of money then. It was a great temptation, but he could not make decision all by himself. He must consult his wife first. His wife was the one to decide on everything and anything in the household.

            “Although the girl is beautiful, the money is more important. You cannot eat beauty when hungry. You cannot dress beauty when cold. So take the deal.” said the wife.

            “How or what can we tell the girl?” asked the husband.

            “We don’t need to tell her. Let the doctor tell her himself.”

            “Good idea.” The wife consented.

            Linda was ignorant about their deal. She lived everyday like the day before until one day when a red palanquin came to the door. Linda was curious to know what that was for. When she stepped out of the door to look, two middle-aged strong women came forth to hold her either arm and push her into the palanquin. Linda struggled, but the two women were too strong for her to get away from their grasp. Linda cried, but no one dared to interfere.

            Linda was carried into a big house. When the palanquin stopped in the front courtyard, she was dragged out and rushed into a room. Then the two strong women came in to dress her up in bride’s costume. Linda had seen the costume before and came to know what would happen.

            Linda knew that it was futile to resist by force and so she gave up struggle and let the women attire her while she was making a bold plan. When they finished with her, she said to them, “Go to tell your master to come here to see me. I have something very important to tell him.”

            The two women did not stir. They were told to watch the girl lest she do something drastic or even commit suicide. Linda saw them standing still as if they were deaf and did not hear what she had spoken.

            “It will save his life if he knows what I’m about to say." Linda had to use her last resort.

            A matter of life and death was indeed very important. Therefore, the two women did not dare to delay. One of them went out of the room to fetch the doctor.

            The doctor was doubtful. “What can the girl tell?” He thought. But he still came to see Linda.

            When he came into the room, he saw a beautiful girl sitting on a redwood chair. What surprised him was that the girl had taken off her headwear and showed a headful of golden hair. The doctor seemed to know something about golden hair, but he could not remember anything.

            “What do you want to tell me, my girl?” The doctor inquired.

            “Do you notice the color of my hair?” Linda pointed to her head.

            The doctor made an affirmative gesture.

            “I’m the girl the government is seeking for. If they know you are forcing me to marry your son, what do you think they’ll do to you?”

            Now it dawned on the doctor. He remembered that he had read the government announcement about a girl with golden hair they were hunting for. The girl must be a VIP or a criminal. Either way, he should report to the government since now the girl was in his house, or he would be punished, even imprisoned. He left Linda in the custody of the two strong women.

            After making some arrangement, the doctor returned. He told Linda that he would send her to the local yamen. Linda made no objection and followed him out. There was a coach at the door. She climbed in and it moved forward.


2016-9-8 08:41
博客  资料  主页  短信   编辑  引用

« 上一主题 小说界 下一主题 »
<< 1 2 3  >>

首页小说界诗苑散文天地纪实录文史哲艺术之声综合类侃山闲聊图库书市文摘伊甸窗