Shanghai Life and Death(67)

“I can be sure that I am not guilty. To Chairman Liu Shaoqi, I also feel that he is not guilty.” I said.

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut your mouth! You are not allowed to speak again.” The interrogator ordered me.

At that moment, I heard a “pop” behind me, that was the sound of the small window closing behind me, this time it was no longer as light and imperceptible as before. It seems that the interrogator has tired of interrogation, he slammed the small window is that he is also angry. The interrogator hurriedly stood up and walked out.

When he came back in, he did not return to his seat, but handed me a roll of paper.

“Go back and write down your visits to England and other European countries, and write down all the people you contacted and the conversations you had with each other, and give a full and complete account.”

A guard was already waiting at the door, and I followed him out.

While I was away from the cell, hot water was left for me, just like the rice in the morning, and it was also wrapped in a blanket to warm me. This kind of consideration and thoughtfulness is very rare. I wondered if this was because I had defended Liu Shaoqi. Or were those radicals trying to use this as bait to convince me to achieve their intentions? I sat on the edge of the bed while drinking boiling water, while quickly turning thoughts pondering. Under normal circumstances, a cup of hot boiling water is not surprising, but in this dripping cell, this cup of hot boiling water is particularly delicious. Suddenly, the small window in the door opened and the young doctor asked from outside, “Come here! How’s your ankle?” He asked.

What a rarity! For I have never heard of a doctor coming forward without the prisoner asking. I have often heard of prisoners who had to beg several times before they could be seen by a doctor. The guard was standing outside too. I told the doctor that there was a cut on my foot neck that looked inflamed. The guard opened the door to the room and let the doctor in. He examined my swollen and inflamed ankle and said.

“The bone is not hurt, it’s just a little infected. I’ll give you some gauze bandages and ointment.”

Later, the guard gave me a tube of gentamycin ointment and a roll of bandages, which really made me feel flattered. Before I knew it, dinner came with rice and greens instead of the usual steamed yams. When I returned the dishes to the woman in the kitchen, she whispered to me, “The doctor told me to bring you rice.”

At nightfall, I thought over the day’s events and the details of the interrogation room several times and felt very pleased with myself. I guessed that the interrogator was probably a party cadre, not a professional political or legal cadre like the last time. At least he was able to listen to all of my arguments and take notes. Although I knew that the ultra-leftists would use their power to force me to give an account of non-existent problems, I felt hopeful that at least those activists who were not yet granite minded would realize in time that I was not guilty. Before I went to sleep, I felt a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time. However, the intense trial and arguments that had been going on all day were too much for my weak constitution. That night, there was another hemorrhage, the worst I had ever had, and all of a sudden, I ran out of hand towels and tissues and was covered in blood everywhere, even on the concrete floor. I was so anxious that I called out to the caretaker, who quickly brought in a doctor, who gave me a shot and told me to lie on my back on a plastic sheet. After dawn, an ambulance took me and drove me to the prison hospital again.

Chapter 9: Continued Persecution

It was an old-fashioned ambulance that honked and sped along and soon entered the city. I was lying in a stretcher on the floor of the carriage, and the guards were sitting on a folding chair to recuperate, but the carriage was relatively clean. I closed my eyes tightly, because I didn’t want to see the face of the guards close at hand, and I also wanted to be able to think about something quietly.

The long-awaited interrogation had just begun, and was entering a critical moment, but there was such a hemorrhage, I felt very upset. I wondered if I had cancer. I began to think about death, but I didn’t feel afraid. Since I came into this world, I could not avoid death. Anyway, out of the traditional thinking of a Chinese, I believe that my personal death is just a resting sign in the whole endless movement of life. My children, children’s children, generations, children and grandchildren will continue to live and die, like a gurgling stream that never ends. This time I thought of my daughter again, and felt a sharp pain through my heart, I could not rest assured that she. How will she live now? What will happen to her future after the Cultural Revolution is over?

The ambulance braked violently. In the distance, the sound of the PA came: “Dig deep, accumulate food, and do not claim hegemony.” When I was carried out of the ambulance, I saw a group of prisoners with shaved heads, carrying mud shovels and coal shovels, carrying large baskets, with Mao Zedong quotations hanging from ropes on their shoulders, walking through the hospital under the leadership of a guard, as if they were going to the back of the prison to “dig a deeper hole. Mao’s instructions had to be carried out immediately and in a thunderous manner. They were all so emaciated and skinny that I couldn’t imagine how they would have the strength to do such heavy work. I could see them all miserable and dejected, drooping their heads, hobbling and moving their steps. Suddenly I realized that perhaps I, myself, was just like that; a poor wretch who had lost his human rights and was unable to control his own destiny. I turned my head and could not bear to see them again. It occurred to me that, thanks to the absence of mirrors in my cell, I was still intoxicated by the false illusion that I was still full of the same self-respect and dignity as before.

I was admitted to a surgical ward packed with beds, with only a few inches of space between them. A cold breeze mixed with the smell of blood, urine and sterile water, and the foul smell of human flesh passed through my bed against the door. On the bed next to me, a semi-conscious woman was moaning uncontrollably, apparently having just come out of surgery. I was surprised, how they put me in a room with a patient undergoing surgery, did the doctors in the prison hospital, to operate on me? I panicked when I thought about it. In a society where narrow-minded ultra-leftists are in power, the medical treatment of political prisoners must be absolutely inferior.

Although I was only given anesthesia with needles for a few days, the bleeding was controlled. Because of the bed rest and the improved food, I recovered my strength. For dinner, a small yellow banana was served. I couldn’t figure out why I was so interested in such a rotten banana. I tasted it with great interest.