During the Cultural Revolution
Dr Lee's husband was waiting for her at home to have lunch. As Chinese people are used to a rich table, plenty of different dishes were served. I had been running in the Goby desert the whole night until noon and was totally exhausted and very hungry. When I saw this table I could only think of eating. The husband had often visited my home, he was a good friend, so he simply invited me to join the meal.
Dr Lee told my story to her husband. I was still uncertain about his reaction.
- 'What will you do?' he asked me.
- 'I will return to Shanghai' I replied.
- 'I think it is better for you to hide a while in my house. I am
Director of the Police and Court, no one will come here to make
trouble. I will gather as much information as possible and then we
can make a decision about the next step. Leaving for Shanghai
immediately may get you into a lot of trouble; you'd better wait.'
There is an ancient Chinese saying: GuTai MingAn, meaning 'in a peaceful country, people can live in peace'. That the Chairman of a country should lead his people into division, into groups fighting each other, had never been seen in history. All his life Mao had claimed to be totally dedicated to the cause of the people. Many people who had believed in him lost their faith during the Cultural Revolution. The entire country had been turned upside down and all law had vanished. This man, who was presiding over the Court, the house of Justice itself, was outraged by so much evil. He told me that more than 90% of the cases he had to deal with in Court were about wrong accusations or false testimony and that I need not be afraid, he believed me to be a decent man.
He was convinced that the worker who had attacked me could not win the case: how would he explain that he had come to my house in the middle of the night to order me to go to work at the hospital? That was illegal because I was not on the black list and I had an excellent reputation. He tried to catch me when I ran out of my house. But who would accept his story of me fighting with him when he had had the support of four other people? Moreover, the group to which he belonged had lost political power and so had he. Public opinion was against him!
I needed some time to rest and think of my next step so I accepted the invitation to hide in their house with gratitude.