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 The red lantern— A Modern Revolutionary Peking Opera(May 1970 script)

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The red lantern— A Modern Revolutionary Peking Opera

Revised collectively by the China Peking Opera Troupe

(May 1970 script)

(Source: The red lantern— A Modern Revolutionary Peking Opera,Revised collectively by the China Peking Opera Troupe, May 1970 script. Transcribed by www.wengewang.org.)


 A Quotation from Chairman Mao Tsetung


 All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants and soldiers; they are created for the workers, peasants and soldiers and are for their use.




FOREIGN LANGUAGES PRESS PEKING 1972
Printed in the People's Republic of China


Contacting the Liaison Man    1
Accepting the Task    4
Narrow Escape at the Gruel Stall    7
Wang Turns Traitor     10
Recounting the Family's Revolutionary History    13
Struggling Against Hatoyama at the Feast    23
Help from the Masses    28
Struggle on the Execution Ground    33
Advancing Wave upon Wave    39
Ambushing and Annihilating the Enemy    42
Forward in Victory    44

Selected Songs
A Poor Man's Child Soon Learns to Manage the House    46
Be a Person Like Them    49
I'm Filled with Courage and Strength    5 3
A Debt of Blood Must Be Paid with Blood    5 6
Never Leave the Field Until All the Wolves Are Killed    59
The Communist Party and Chairman Mao Lead the People's Revolution 64
My Spirit Storms the Heavens    67
I'm Brought Up by the Party to Be a Man of Steel    78
A Proletarian Fights All His Life for the People's Liberation    83
The Red Lantern Lights My Path Forward for Ever    86
Let the Hatred Sprout in My Heart     90
Appendices
Explanatory Notes for the Terms Used in Playing Chinese Percussion
Instruments    95
Percussion Instruments Used in Peking Opera
Explanatory Notes for the Signs on the Staff
Key to Chinese Phonetic Symbols



CHARACTERS


Li Yuhe, switchman, member of the Communist Party of China
Tiemei, Li's daughter
Granny Li, Li's mother

Liaison Man, liaison man from the Pine Peak Base Area of the Eighth Route Army
Knife-Grinder, platoon leader of the guerrillas of the Eighth Route Army in the Cypress Mountains
Huilian, Li's neighbour
Aunt Tian, Huilian's mother-in-law
Guerrilla leader of the Eighth Route Army in the Cypress Mountains
Several guerrillas
Woman Gruel-Seller
Cigarette Girl
Workmen A, B, C, D and E

Hatoyama, chief of the Japanese gendarmerie
Wang Lianju, puppet police officer, an underground Communist who turns traitor
Auxiliary Hou, auxiliary gendarme of the Japanese gendarmerie
Sergeant, sergeant of the Japanese gendarmerie
Bogus Liaison Man, spy for the Japanese gendarmerie
Cobbler, spy for the Japanese gendarmerie
Several Japanese gendarmes and spies

SCENE ONE CONTACTING THE LIAISON MAN


An early winter night during the War of Resistance Against Japan. North China. Near the Lungtan railway station. The railway embankment is visible. Undulating hills loom in the distance.
(As the curtain rises, the north wind is howling. Your Japanese gendarmes march past on patrol. A signal lantern in his hand, Li Yuhe, vigorous and calm, enters with firm steps.)

Li:
(Sings "xi pi san ban".*)
Red lantern in hand, I look round;
The leadership is sending a man here to Lungtan;
The time fixed is half past seven.
The next train should bring him.
(The wind whistles. Enter Tiemei with a basket, heading into the wind.)
Tiemei: Dad!
Li: Well, Tiemei! (Realising that she must be cold, he takes off his scarf and wraps it round her neck.) How was business today?
Tiemei: Humph! The gendarmes and their thugs kept searching and pestering everybody. People were too jittery to buy anything.
Li: Those bandits!
Tiemei: Do be careful, dad.
Li: Right. Go home and tell granny that an uncle is coming.

*Xi pi san ban and other similar terms found in the text, such as xi pi yuan ban, xi pi liu shui, er huang kuai sanyan, xi piyao ban, xi pi er liu, er huang yuan ban, are various styles of singing in Peking opera. Each has its own fixed tune, structure, mode, rhythm and tempo. Modern revolutionary Peking Opera has critically assimilated various styles of singing from traditional Peking opera with many creative improvements to suit the portrayal of proletarian heroes.

  
Tiemei: An uncle?
Li: Yes.
Tiemei: What does this uncle look like, dad?
Li: Don't ask such questions.
Tiemei: I'll ask granny then.
Li: What a girl!
(Exit Tiemei.)
Li (gazing at her retreating figure, very pleased): She's a good girl!
(Sings "xi pi yuan ban".)
She peddles goods, collects cinders
Carries water and chops wood.
Competent in all she does, a poor man's child
Soon learns to manage the house.
Different trees bear different fruits,
Different seeds grow different flowers.
(Enter Wang.)
Wang: Old Li, I've been looking for you for quite a while. . . .
(Li alertly signals Wang not to speak, then looks around.)
Wang: The Japanese posted a tighter guard today, Old Li. They must be up to something.
Li: I know. We should meet as seldom as possible in the future. I'll contact you when necessary. Wang: All right.
(Exit.)
(A train whistle sounds in the distance. Li goes off. Lights fade.)
(A train roars past. Shots are heard.)
(Lights brighten. Liaison Man "somersaults" down the embankment and passes out.)
(Li rushes in.)
Li (murmurs on seeing the man): A glove on the left hand. . ..
(Gunshots. Wang runs back.)
Wang: Who's that?
Li: One of ours. I'll carry him away, you cover us.
Wang: Right.
(Exit Li with Liaison Man on his back.)
(Shouts of the pursuing Japanese gendarmes. Sound of shooting. Wang fires two shots in the direction opposite to that taken by Li. The Japanese gendarmes can be heard approaching. In order to save his own skin, Wang shoots himself in the arm while shivering all over. He falls.)
(Enter Sergeant with Japanese gendarmes.)
Sergeant (to Wang): Did you see the man who jumped oft the train?
Wang: Eh?
Sergeant: Where's the man?
Wang: Oh!(Points towards the opposite direction.) Over there.
Sergeant (in alarm): Hit the ground!
(All the Japanese gendarmes throw themselves down.)
(Lights fade.)
(Curtain)





SCENE TWO ACCEPTING THE TASK


Immediately after the last scene. Li's house, interior and exterior view. The door opens on to a small lane. A table and several chairs in the middle of the room. A red paper butterfly pasted on the window pane. On the right, towards the rear, an inner room, with a curtain hangingoverthe doorway.
(As the curtain rises, the north wind is roaring. It's dim in the room. Granny turns up the lamp wick and the room becomes brighter.)

Granny:
(Sings "xi pi san ban".)
Fishermen brave the wind and waves,
Hunters (switching to "yuan ban") fear neither tigers nor wolves;
The darkest night must end at last
In the bright blaze of revolution.
(Enter Tiemeiwith the basket.)
Tiemei: Granny. Granny: Tiemei.
Tiemei: Dad told me an uncle is coming soon.
(Puts down the basket.)
Granny (to herself, expectantly): Ah, an uncle is coming soon!
Tiemei: How is it I have so many uncles, granny?
Granny: Your father has many cousins, so of course you have many uncles.
(Mending clothes.)
Tiemei: Which one is coming today?
Granny: Don't ask. You'll know when he comes.
Tiemei: Even if you won't tell me, granny, I know.
Granny: Do you? What do you know?
Tiemei: Granny, just listen.
(Sings "xi pi liu shui".)
I've more uncles than I can count;
They only come when there's important business.
Though we call them relatives, we never met before,
Yet they are closer to us than our own relatives.
Both dad and you call them our own folk;
I can guess part of the reason why:
They're all like my dad, Men with red, loyal hearts.
(Li hurries in, carrying Liaison Man on his back. He pushes the door open and walks in. He signs to Tiemei to close the door and keep an eye on the outside, then helps Liaison Man to a chair and gives him a drink of water.)
Liaison Man (recovering): Can you tell me if there's a switchman here named Li?
Li: That's me.
(Li and Liaison Man exchange passwords.)
Liaison Man: I sell wooden combs.
Li: Any made of peach-wood?
Liaison Man: Yes, for cash down.
Li: Fine, wait a minute.
(Li signs to Granny to give the lamp test.)
Granny (holds up a kerosene lamp and looks at Liaison Man): Neighbour. . . .
Liaison Man (realising the method of identification is wrong): Thank you for saving my life. I must go.
Li (holds up the red lantern): Comrade!
Liaison Man (excitedly): I've found you at last!
(Tiemei takes the red lantern, becomes aware of its significance.)
(Granny signs to Tiemei to go out with the basket and keep watch.)
Liaison Man: Old Li, I'm the liaison man from the Pine Peak Base Area. (Takes a document out of the sole of his shoe.) This is a secret code.
(Li takes it carefully.)
Liaison Man: Get it to the guerrillas in the Cypress Mountains. Tomorrow afternoon, at the gruel stall in the junk market, a knife-grinder will contact you. Same password as before.
Li: Same password as before.
Liaison Man: Old Li, this is a difficult task!
Li: I guarantee I'll do it without fail.
Liaison Man: Fine. But time is pressing, Old Li, I must go back at once.
Li: Comrade, can you manage ?. . .
Liaison Man: A moment ago I passed out simply from the fall. I'm all right now, I can manage.
Li: Wait a minute, you'd better change your clothes.
(Helps Liaison Man change a jacket.)
Li (with great concern): The enemy is searching everywhere. Things are very tight.
Be careful on your way back.
Liaison Man: I will, Old Li.
Li: Comrade. ...
(Sings "er huang kuai san yan".)
Be on guard as you go —
Mountains are high, torrents swift.
Follow small lanes and short bridges,
The quiet and safe, paths.
To the revolution we offer our loyal hearts.
(Sees Liaison Man off. Tiemei enters.)
(Continues to sing.)
Shouldering the heavy task I'll stand up to any test in the fire.
Bursting with strength, I'll be worthy of the trust of the Party.
No difficulty in the world can daunt a Communist.
(The siren of a police car wails. With presence of mind, Li motions to Granny to blow out the lamp. With the secret code in his hand, Li strikes a dramatic pose.)
(Lights fade.)
(Curtain)




SCENE THREE NARROW ESCAPE AT THE GRUEL STALL



The next afternoon. The gruel stall in the junk market.

(As the curtain rises, Workman C is silting at the counter eating gruel. Workmen A and B walk in and sit down at the gruel counter. Cigarette Girl sits not far away from the stall. Workman D buys cigarettes and goes off. Li enters with his lantern in one hand and lunch box in the other, calm and watchful.)

Li:
(Sings "xi pi yao ban".)
Seeking my comrade in the junk market,
I have hidden the code in my lunch box.
No obstacles whatever (switching to "yao ban") can stop me,
I must get it to the Cypress Mountains.
Workman C (stands up): Old Li!
Li (with concern): Ah, Old Chang, has your wound healed?
Workman C: It's much better.
Li: Watch out for yourself in the future.
Workman C: Yes. (To himself.) What kind of times we live in! The Japanese devil rides in my rickshaw and won't pay, and even beats me up. What a world!
(Exit.)
(Li walks to the gruel stall and hangs the red lantern on a post.)
Workmen A and B: Hello, Old Li, come here and sit with us.
Li (warmly): Let's all sit down.
Gruel-Seller: A bowl of gruel, Old Li?
Li: Yes, please. How is business?
Gruel-Seller: So-so. (She serves him.)
(Enter Workman E.)
Workman E: A bowl of gruel, please. (Takes the bowl, about to eat.)What's this ? It's mouldy!
Workman A: It's rationed mixed stuff.
Gruel-Seller: We can do nothing about it.
Workman B: Hey! (Crunches bits of stone, spits them out.) Nearly broke my teeth!
Workman A: It's full of grit.
Workman B: They just don't treat us like human beings.
Workman A: Hush! Don't ask for trouble.
Workman B: How can we eat such swill? We just can't live!
Li:
(Sharing their feelings, sings "xi pi liu shui".)
So many compatriots are suffering and fuming with discontent,
Struggling under iron heels they seethe with wrath.
Spring thunder will rumble when the time comes,
The brave Chinese people will never bow before the butcher's knife.
May our comrades come soon from the Cypress Mountains!
(Enter Knife-Grinder.)
Knife-Grinder:
(Sings "xi pi yao ban".)
Looking around for my comrade,
I see the red lantern hanging high to greet me.
I cry: Any knives or scissors to grind?
Li:
(Continues the singing.)
The knife-grinder fixes his eyes on my red lantern
And he raises his left hand to hail me.
Through a chat I'll try the password on him.
(Before Li can speak to Knife-Grinder, a siren wails and Japanese gendarmes charge in. Knife-Grinder deliberately overturns his bench to draw the enemy's attention.)
Li:
(Continues to sing, switching to "san ban".)
He draws the wolves to himself in order to cover me.
(As he sings he coolly and resourcefully empties his gruel into the lunch box.)
Li: Another helping, please.
(Li lets Gruel-Seller fill his lunch box.)
(The gendarmes finish searching Knife-Grinder, angrily wave him away and turn towards Li.)
(Li deliberately holds out his lunch box for search. The Japanese push the smelly gruel away. After searching him they gesture for him to go.)
(Li picks up his lunch box and lantern and walks calmly to the centre of the stage. Having fooled the enemy, he breaks into a serene smile. Then he turns round and, head high, strides off victoriously.) (Lights fade.)
(Curtain)





SCENE FOUR WANG TURNS TRAITOR


Afternoon. Hatoyama's office.

(As the curtain rises, Hatoyama is talking on the telephone.)

Hatoyama: Oh, oh! . .. What, the trail lost?. . . Eh, don't worry, I promise to get the code. . . . The case must be cleared up before the deadline! Yes, yes, sir! (Puts down the receiver and speaks to himself.) The Communists are really sharp! Just when the headquarters gets on their trail, they shake us off. They're hard nuts to crack, those Communists! (Sergeant and Hou enter.)
Sergeant: Reporting! We searched everywhere, but found no trace of the man who jumped off the train. We've arrested a few suspects.
Hatoyama: What's the use of suspects? This fellow from the train is a liaison man of the Communists. He has a very important secret code with him. If it reaches the guerrillas in the Cypress Mountains, it will spell big trouble for our empire.
Sergeant: Yes, sir.
Hatoyama: Where is Police Officer Wang?
Hou: He's here. Hatoyama: Bring him in.
Hou: Yes, sir. (Calling to the inside.) Police Officer Wang.
(Enter Wang with a wounded arm in a sling.)
(Exit Hou.)
Wang: Captain. (Salutes.)
Hatoyama: Ah, brave young fellow, you've been working hard! On behalf of the headquarters, I present you this medal, third class. (Pins the medal on Wang's chest.)
Wang: Thank you, captain.
Hatoyama:
(Sings "xi pi san ban".)
If you serve the empire loyally
You have every chance to rise high;
As the saying goes:
The bitter sea has no bounds,
Repent and the shore is at hand.
Now everything depends on whether you are sensible (sneers) or not.
Wang: I don't follow you, captain.
Hatoyama: You ought to. Tell me, how could it be that the man who jumped off the train fired at you from a distance of only three centimetres?
Wang: Captain.. ..
Hatoyama: Out with it, young fellow. Who was your accomplice?
Wang (inadvertently): Accomplice!
Hatoyama: Exactly! Without one accomplice to help him and another to cover his escape, could the man who jumped off the train have grown wings and flown away?
Wang: I was shot and fell to the ground, captain. How do I know how he escaped ?
Hatoyama: You know all right. Why else should you shoot yourself? (Wang is taken aback.)
Hatoyama (presses harder): Tell me the truth, quick, young man. Who's in the underground Communist Party? Who was your accomplice? Where's the liaison man hiding? Who's got the secret code now? Better make a clean breast of it. I have plenty of medals and rewards for you.
Wang: Your words make my brain whirl, captain.
Hatoyama: In that case we shall have to sober you up! Sergeant!
Sergeant: Yes, sir.
Hatoyama: Take this man out and sober him up.
Sergeant: Yes, sir. Guards!
(Two gendarmes enter.)
Sergeant: Take him away!
Wang (begs for mercy): Captain....
Sergeant (grimly): Bah! (Kicks Wang to the ground.)
(The gendarmes press Wang down hard.)
Wang: I . .. I'm innocent.
Hatoyama: Beat him up!
Sergeant: Take him away! Take him away!
(Crying repeatedly "I'm innocent", Wang is dragged out by the gendarmes. Sergeant follows.)
Hatoyama: Let torture open his mouth and make him tell who his accomplice was.
(Enter Sergeant.)
Sergeant: Reporting, sir, he has confessed.
Hatoyama: Who was his accomplice?
Sergeant: Li Yuhe, the switchman.
Hatoyama (reflectively): Li Yuhe!?
(Lights fade.)
(Curtain)






SCENE FIVE


RECOUNTING THE FAMILY'S REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY

Dusk. Li's house, interior and exterior view (As the curtain rises, Granny is waiting anxiously for Li.)
Granny:
(Sings "xi pi yao ban".)
It's dusk, but my son still hasn't come back.
(Tiemei walks out of the inner room. A police siren wails.)
Tiemei:
(Sings "duo ban".)
There's such commotion in the streets, I'm worried about dad.
(Lunch box and red lantern in hand, Li enters and knocks at the door.)
Li: Tiemei.
Tiemei: Dad is back!
Granny: Open the door, quick.
Tiemei (opens the door):Dad!
Granny: Yuhe.
Li: Mother!
Granny: You're back, at last. Have you got in touch with him? (Takes the red lantern and lunch box from him.)
Li: Not yet. (Throws off his overcoat.)
Granny: Anything wrong?
Li: Mother!
(Sings "xi pi liu shui".)
I was trying to contact the knife-grinder at the gruel stall
When a police car came and the Japanese started a search.
To protect me the knife-grinder drew away the wolves,
Seizing the chance I concealed the code in the lunch box;
They didn't find the code hidden under the gruel.
Tiemei: How good Uncle Knife-Grinder is!
Granny: Where is the code, Yuhe?
Li: Mother!
(Continues to sing in an affectionate and low voice.)
I've put it in a safe place to guard against any accident.
Tiemei: You're resourceful, dad.
Li: You know everything now, Tiemei. The code is more important than our lives. We must keep it a secret even if it costs us our heads. Understand?
Tiemei: Yes.
Li: Hah, so you understand! What a girl!
Tiemei: Dad    ….
Li: Ho!...
(It is getting dark. Granny brings a kerosene lamp.)
Granny: Just look at you father and daughter....
Li: I've got something to do, mother, I must go out again.
Granny: Be careful! And don't be too late.
Li: I won't.
Tiemei: Take this, dad. (She wraps the scarf round his neck.) Do come back early.
Li (affectionately): I will. (Walks out of the door. Exit.)
(Tiemei closes the door.)
(Granny polishes the red lantern with loving care. Tiemei watches attentively.)
Granny: Come here, Tiemei. I'll tell you the story of the red lantern.
Tiemei: Fine. (Happily walks over to the table and sits down beside it.)
Granny (seriously): For many years this lantern has lighted the way for us poor people, for us workers. Your grandfather used to carry this lantern, and now your dad carries it. You saw what happened last night, child. We can't do without it at crucial moments. Remember, this red lantern is our family treasure.
Tiemei: Our family treasure?
(Looking at Tiemei confidently, Granny goes into the inner room.)
(Tiemei picks up the lantern, examines it and falls in deep thought.)
Tiemei:
(Sings "xi pi san ban".)
Granny has told me (changes to "yao ban") the story of the red lantern,
The words are few, but meaning is deep.
Why are my father and uncle (switches to "yuan ban") not afraid of danger ?
Because they want to save China,
Save the poor, defeat the Japanese invaders.
I realize I should act as they do,
And be a person like them. (Changes to "duo ban".)
I am seventeen, no longer a child,
I should share my father's worries.
If he's carrying a thousand-pound load,
I should carry eight hundred. (Granny comes out.)
Granny: Tiemei, Tiemei!
Tiemei: Granny!
Granny: What are you thinking about?
Tiemei: Nothing.
(A child cries next door.)
Granny: Isn't that Lung-erh crying?
Tiemei: Yes.
Granny: Their grain has run out again! We have some corn meal left. Give it to them.
Tiemei: All right. (Gets it.)
(Huilian enters, knocks at the door.)
Huilian: GrannyLi 1 Tiemei: It's Sister Huilian.
Granny: Open the door. Quick.
Tiemei: Eh. (Opens the door. Huilian comes in.) Sister Huilian.
Granny (with concern): Is Lung-erh any better, Huilian?
Huilian: No. How can we afford to see a doctor? Fewer and fewer people ask me to mend and wash clothes for them these days. We live from hand to mouth, never knowing where our next meal is coming from. Right now, we've nothing in the pot.
Tiemei: Take this home, Sister Huilian. (Gives her the corn meal.)
Huilian(greatly moved): ....
Granny: Take it. Tiemei was just going to send it over to you.
Huilian (takes the corn meal): You're so kind to us.
Granny: Don't mention it. With the wall between us we're two families. If we pulled it down, we'd be one.
Tiemei: We are one family even with the wall.
Granny: That's true.
(The child cries again, louder.)
Aunt Tian (offstage): Huilian, Huilian!
(Aunt Tian enters.)
Tiemei: Aunty!
Granny: Please take a seat.
Aunt Tian: No, thank you. The child is crying, Huilian. Go back and look after him. (Sees the meal in her hand, moved.)....
Granny: Take it home and make some food for the child.
Aunt Tian: But you don't have much yourselves.
Granny (warmly): Don't say yours or ours. We are one family.
Aunt Tian: We must be going now. Granny: Don't be upset. Watch your step in the dark.
(Aunt Tian and Huilian go out.)
Tiemei (closes the door): They are having a very hard time, granny.
Granny: Yes. Huilian's father-in-law was a railway transport worker and was killed by a train. The Japanese wouldn't pay any compensation. What's more, they seized her husband to work as a coolie. Tiemei, we two worker families endure the same suffering and feel the same hatred for the enemy. We must do our best to help them.
(Bogus Liaison Man enters, knocks at the door.)
Tiemei: Who's there?
Bogus Liaison Man: Is this Master Li's house?
Tiemei: Someone wants dad.
Granny: Open the door.
Tiemei: Right. (Opens the door.)
(Bogus Liaison Man comes in and shuts the door behind him quickly.)
Granny: You are. . . .
Bogus Liaison Man: I sell wooden combs. Granny: Any made of peach-wood?
Bogus Liaison Man: Yes, for cash down.
Tiemei: Good. Just a minute.
(Bogus Liaison Man turns around and puts down his bag.)
(Tiemei is going to pick up the red lantern when Granny hurriedly stops her and takes up the kerosene lamp to put him to the test. Tiemei gets the hint.)
Bogus Liaison Man (turning round, sees the lamp): Thank goodness, I've found you at last. It's been so difficult to contact you.
(Tiemei's amazement turns to anger. She is burning with indignation.)
Granny (realising that he is a fraud, calmly): Let's see your wooden combs, master, so that we can make a choice.
Bogus Liaison Man: I've come for the code, ma'am. Granny: What is he saying, Tiemei?
Bogus Liaison Man: This is no time for jokes, ma'am. The code is a very important Communist Party document. The revolution depends on it. Give it to me quickly.
Tiemei (angrily): None of your nonsense. Get out!
Bogus Liaison Man: Now, now. ...
Tiemei: Get out!
(Tiemei pushes him out, tosses his bag after him and bangs the door shut.)
Tiemei: Granny!
(Granny quickly stops Tiemei from speaking.)
(Bogus Liaison Man signals to two plain-clothes men, indicating that they should watch the house. Then they go off in different directions.)
Tiemei: He nearly fooled me, granny.
Granny: Child, someone must have turned traitor and let out the secret.
Tiemei: What's to be done, granny?
Granny (whispers): Tear off the sign at once.
Tiemei: What sign?
Granny: The red paper butterfly on the window pane.
Tiemei (suddenly understands): Ah! (About to tear it off.)
Granny: Tiemei, open the door to screen the window. You tear off the sign while I sweep the floor to distract attention. Quick.
(Tiemei opens the door. Li strides in and closes the door behind him. Tiemei is startled. The broom drops from Granny's hand.)
Li (senses something wrong): What's happened, mother?
Granny: There are dogs outside!
(Showing no fear, Li makes a quick appraisal of the situation.)
Granny: Son, son!
Li: Mother, it looks like I'll be arrested. (Seriously.) I've put the code under the stone-tablet beside an old locust tree on the west bank of the river. You must do everything to deliver it to the knife-grinder. The password is the same.
Granny: The password's the same!
Li: Yes, but you must be careful. Granny: I know. Don't worry.
Tiemei: Dad....
(Hou enters, knocks at the door.)
Hou: Is Master Li in?
Li: They've come, mother.
Tiemei: Dad, you. ...
Li: Open the door, Tiemei.
Tiemei: Yes.
Hou: Open the door!
(Tiemei tears off the red paper butterfly while she opens the door.)
Hou (entering the house): Are you Master Li ?
Li: Yes.
Hou: Captain Hatoyama invites you to have a drink. (Presents an invitation card.)
Li: So Captain Hatoyama invites me to a feast?
Hou: Yes.
Li: Ha! What an honour! (Throws the invitation card on the table scornfully.)
Hou: He just wants to make friends with you. Come along please, Master Li.
Li: After you. (To Granny, firmly and gravely.) Mother, take good care of yourself. I'm going.
Granny: Wait a minute! Tiemei, bring some wine.
Tiemei: Yes. (Goes into the inner room to fetch wine.)
Hou: Don't bother, ma'am. There's plenty at the feast for him to drink his fill.
Granny: Bah!. .. The poor prefer their own wine. Each drop of it warms the heart. (Takes the bowl of wine from Tiemei and, gravely and with deep feeling, she bids Li a hero's farewell.) Son, take this bowl and drink it!
Li (taking the bowl solemnly): With this wine to put heart into me, mother, I can cope with whatever wine they give me. (Drains the bowl at one gulp.) Thank you, mother. (Heroically, sings "xi pi er liu".)
I drink the wine mother gives me at parting,
I'm filled with courage and strength.
Hatoyama is giving a feast to make "friends" with me,
Even a thousand cups I can handle.
The weather is treacherous, with sudden wind and snow,
Be prepared alwaysfor unexpected changes.
Tiemei: Dad. (Rushes over to Li, sobbing.)
Li:
(Kindly and meaningfully, continues singing.)
Dear Tiemei,
When you are out selling wares, keep an eye on the weather
And remember well all the "accounts".
Beware of curs lurking outside
When you feel drowsy;
Listen for the magpie's lucky song
When you feel low.
You must run errands for the family
And share your granny's burdens and cares.
Tiemei: Dad! (Clasps him and sobs.)
Hou: Let's go, Master Li.
Li: Don't cry, child. Always do as granny says.
Tiemei: I will.
Granny: Open the door, Tiemei, so your father can go to the "feast".
Li: I'm going now, mother.
(Li and Granny clasp each other's hands firmly, encouraging each other to be staunch in the fight.)
(Tiemei opens the door. A gust of wind, Li strides out into the wind, head high. Hou follows.)
(Tiemei runs after Li with the scarf, crying: "Dad!" Spies A, B and C rush in and bar her way.) Spy A: Stop! Go back.
(He forces Tiemei back. The spies come into the room.)
Tiemei: Granny! ...
Spy A: Make a search! Stay where you are!
(They rummage the house. One of them comes out of the inner room with an almanac, leafs through it, then tosses it away.)
Spy A: Let's go.
(They go off.)
Tiemei (closes the door, draws the curtain and looks around the room): Granny! (Falls into Granny's arms and sobs. A pause.) Will dad ever come back, granny?
Granny: Your dad. . . .
Tiemei: Dad....
Granny: Tiemei, tears cannot save your dad. Don't cry now. It's time to tell you everything about our family.
Tiemei: What, granny ?
Granny: Sit down. I'll tell you.
(Granny looks at the scarf. Revolutionary memories float before her eyes; hatred, old and new, for the enemy comes to her mind.)
(Tiemei gets a stool and sits down beside her.)
Granny: Tell me, child, is your dad a good man ?
Tiemei: Of course.
Granny: But. . . he's not your own father.
Tiemei (startled): Ah! What are you saying, granny?
Granny: Neither am I your granny.
Tiemei: Granny, granny I Are you out of your mind?
Granny: No, child. We three generations are not from the same family. (Stands up.)
Your surname is Chen, mine is Li and your dad's is Chang.
(Sings "er huang san ban".)
For seventeen storm-tossed years I’ve kept quiet,
Several times I wanted to speak,
But I was afraid you were too young for the truth.
Tiemei: Tell me, granny. I won't cry.
Granny:
(Sings"man san yan".)
It's most likely your father will not return,
And granny may be jailed too.
Then the heavy burden of revolution will fall on you.
(Switches to "duo ban".)
When I tell you the truth, Tiemei,
Don't cry, don't break down, be brave and staunch,
(Changes to "yuan ban".)
Learn from your father his loyalty, courage, and iron will.
Tiemei: Granny, sit down and tell me everything. (Helps Granny to a seat.)
Granny: It's a long story. Your grandfather was a maintenance man in the Kiangan Locomotive Depot near Hankow. He had two apprentices. One was your own father, Chen Chih-hsing.
Tiemei: My father, Chen Chih-hsing?
Granny: The other was your present dad, Chang Yuhe.
Tiemei: Oh, Chang Yuhe?
Granny: At that time, the country was torn by strife among warlords. Then (Rises.) Chairman Mao and the Communist Party led the Chinese people in waging revolution. In February 1923, workers of the Peking-Hankow Railway set up a federation of trade unions in Chengchow. One of the warlords, Wu Pei-fu, a stooge of the foreign invaders, tried to ban it. At the call of the federation, all the workers on the line went on strike. More than ten thousand in Kiangan took to the street and demonstrated. That was another cold, dark night. I was so worried about your grandfather I couldn't sit still or go to sleep. I was mending clothes by the lamp when I heard someone knocking at the door, calling, "Aunty, aunty, quick, open the door." I did, and in rushed a man.
Tiemei: Who was it?
Granny: Your dad.
Tiemei: My dad ?
Granny: Yes, your present dad. He was covered with wounds, and in his left hand he held this very signal lantern. ...
Tiemei: The signal lantern?
Granny: In his right arm he held a baby.
Tiemei: A baby.. ..
Granny: A baby less than one year old.
Tiemei: That baby. ...
Granny: That baby was none other than....
Tiemei: Than who? Granny: Than you.
Tiemei: Me ?
Granny: Hugging you tightly to his chest, with tears in his eyes your dad stood before me and shouted, "Aunty, aunty. . . ." For several minutes he just stared at me and couldn't go on. Terribly worried, I urged him to speak. He... he said, "My master and Brother Chen... have been murdered. This is Chen's child, a future successor to the revolution. I must bring her up to carry on the revolution." He added, "Aunty, from now on I am your own son and this child is your own granddaughter." Then I took you and held you tight in my arms.
Tiemei: Granny! (Buries her head in Granny's arms.)
Granny: Be brave and listen. (Sings "er huang yuan ban".)
In the strike those devils murdered your father and mother,
Li Yuhe worked untiringly for the revolution;
He swore to follow in the martyrs' steps, to keep the red lantern burning;
He staunched his wounds, buried the dead and went on with the fight.
Now the Japanese brigands are burning, killing and looting,
Before our eyes your dad was taken away to prison;
Remember this debt of blood and tears, (Switches to "duo ban".)
Be brave and determined to settle accounts with the enemy,
A debt of blood must be paid with blood.
Tiemei:
(Sings "er huang yuan ban".)
Granny tells a heroic and stirring episode of the revolution,
Now I know I was raised in wind and rain.
Dear granny, for all those seventeen years,
Your kindness to me has been vast as the sea.
(Switches to "duo ban".)  
Now with high aims I see my way clear. Blood must pay for our blood,
Successors must carry forward the cause of our martyrs.
Here I raise the red lantern, let its light shine far. Dad!
(Changes to "kuai ban".)
My father is as steadfast as the pine,
A Communist who fears nothing under the sun.
Following in your footsteps I shall never waver.
The red lantern we hold high, and it shines
On my father fighting those wild beasts.
Generation after generation we shall fight on,
Never leaving the field until all the wolves are killed.
(Tiemei and Granny hold high the red lantern in a dramatic pose. It casts a radiant red light.) (Lights fade.)
(Curtain)





SCENE SIX


STRUGGLING AGAINST HATOYAMA AT THE FEAST


Immediately after the previous scene. Hatoyama's reception room. A feast is laid.

(As the curtain rises, Hou enters.)

Hou: Please come in, Master Li.
(Li enters calmly and with firm steps. Exit Hou.)
Li:
(Sings "er huang yuan ban".)
A poisoned arrow is hidden in the invitation card, Sudden burst of a storm means traitors lurking, I laugh at his feast spread amid swords and axes, With revolutionary righteousness in my heart, I will face the enemy with composure, firm as a mountain.
(Enter Hatoyama.)
Hatoyama: Ah, my old friend. I trust you've been well?
Li: Ah, Mr. Hatoyama. How are you?
(Li ignores Hatoyama's extended hand. Hatoyama withdraws it in embarrassment.)
Hatoyama: So we meet again after all this time, eh? Do you remember I once treated you in the railway hospital?
Li: In those days you were a rich Japanese doctor and I was a poor Chinese worker. We were like two trains running on different tracks, travelling in different directions.
Hatoyama: No matter how you put it, we're not strangers, right?
Li (pretending a civility): Then I'll expect you to be "helpful".
Hatoyama: That's why I've invited you for a good chat. Please sit down. This is a private feast, old friend. We'll talk of friendship and nothing else, all right?
Li (sounding the enemy out coolly): I am a poor worker and like to be straightforward. Anything you have in mind, just speak out.
Hatoyama: Quite frank! Come on, old friend, drink up.
Li: It's very kind of you, Mr. Hatoyama. Sorry, I don't drink. (Pushes the cup away, takes out his pipe and lights it.)
Hatoyama: You don't drink? There's an old Chinese saying, "Life is but a dream." It passes in a flash. Therefore, as is well said, "Enjoy wine and song while we can, for tomorrow we die."
Li (blowing out his match contemptuously): Yes, listening to songs and drinking the best wine is the life of an immortal. I hope you always lead such a life and I wish you "long life", Mr. Hatoyama. (Throws away the match sarcastically.)
Hatoyama: Hah. . . . (Forcing a smile.) Old friend, I am a believer in Buddhism.
A Buddhist sutra tells us, "The bitter sea has no bounds, repent and the shore is at hand."
Li (counter-attacking): I don't believe in Buddhism. But I've heard the saying, "The law* is strong, but the outlaws are ten times stronger!"( *Note: Here "law" means the reactionary ruling class while "outlaws" means the revolutionary spirit of rebellion of the proletariat and revolutionary people in their struggle against the reactionaries. In striking back against Hatoyama, Li Yuhe uses this saying to imply that the Japanese bandits may ride roughshod for a time, but it is the revolutionary people who are really strong. The Japanese bandits are doomed. The Chinese people are sure to win.)
Hatoyama: Well said, my friend. But this is only one kind of creed. As a matter of fact the highest human creed can be condensed into two words.
Li: Two words ?
Hatoyama: Right.
Li: What are they?
Hatoyama: "For myself."
Li: For yourself, eh?
Hatoyama: No, every man for himself.
Li (pretending not to understand): "Every man for himself"?
Hatoyama: Right. Old friend, you know the saying, "Heaven destroys those who don't look out for themselves."
Li: Oh? Heaven destroys those who don't look out for themselves?
Hatoyama: That's the secret of success in life.
Li: So there's such a thing as a secret of success in life?
Hatoyama: There's a secret for doing everything.
Li: Mr. Hatoyama, for me your secret is like trying to blow up a fire through a rolling-pin. It just doesn't work.
(Hatoyama is taken aback.)
Hatoyama: No more joking, old friend. Now I'd like to have your help.
Li: How can a poor worker help you?
Hatoyama: Let's stop this shadow-boxing now. Hand it over!
Li: What?
Hatoyama: The secret code.
Li: Ha.... A colt ? I don't have anything to do with such things. All I know is to work switches.
Hatoyama (threateningly): If you want to do it the hard way, friend, don't blame me if we get rough.
Li (unruffled): As you like.
(At a sign from Hatoyama, Wang Lianju enters.)
Hatoyama: Look, my old friend, who is this?
(Wang cringes and trembles beneath Li's piercing gaze.)
(Hatoyama indicates for Wang to persuade Li.)
Wang: Old Li, you mustn't be too. ...
Li: Shut up!
Wang: Old Li, you mustn't be too pig-headed. ...
Li (pounds the table and jumps to his feet. Pointing at Wang, he denounces): Shameless traitor!
(Sings "xi pikuai ban".)
Only a coward would bend his knees,
Afraid of death and clinging to life.
How often did I warn you
Against enemy threats and bribes?
You swore you would gladly die for the revolution;
How could you sell out and be their pawn?
They are treating you like a cur,
Yet you count disgrace an honour.
The day will come when the people bring you to trial,
Your betrayal is an unpardonable crime.
(Terrified by Li's revolutionary integrity, the traitor hides behind Hatoyama.)
Hatoyama (quite pleased with himself): Keep cool, my friend. Ah….(Waves Wang away.) I didn't want to play my trump card, but you forced me to. I had no alternative.
Li (in sharp retort): I expected as much. Your trump card is nothing but a mangy dog with a broken back. You'll get no satisfaction out of me, Hatoyama.
Hatoyama (frustrated, reveals his true colours): You know very well what my job is, Li Yuhe. I'm the one who issues passes to Hell.
Li(giving tit for tat): And you know very well what my job is. I'm the one who will demolish your Hell.
Hatoyama: You ought to know my torture instruments are hungry for human flesh.
Li(contemptuously): I am no stranger to those gadgets of yours.
Hatoyama (menacing): Take my advice and recant before your bones are broken. Li (overwhelming the enemy): I'd sooner have my bones broken than recant.
Hatoyama: Our gendarmes are pitiless. Once in the torture chamber you won't come out alive.
Li (categorically): We Communists have a will of steel. We look on death as nothing, Hatoyama!
(Denouncing the Japanese bandits, sings "xi pi yuan ban".)
The Japanese militarists are wolves
Hiding their savagery behind a smile.
You kill our people and invade our land
(Switches to "kuai ban".)
In the name of "Co-prosperity in East Asia".
The Communist Party and Chairman Mao are leading the people's revolution;
We have hundreds of millions of heroes Fighting against Japan to save our country.
Your reliance on traitors is of no more use
Than fishing for the moon in the lake.
Hatoyama: Sergeant!
(Sergeant and two gendarmes enter.)
Hatoyama:
(Sings "xi pi san ban".)
I'll let you taste all of my torture instruments. (Militantly, Li throws open his coat in a dramatic pose.)
Li (smiles sardonically): Huh! . . .
Sergeant: Get moving.
Li:
(Continues the singing.)
You can only limber up my joints.
Sergeant: Take him away.
(The gendarmes seize Li.)
Li: I don't need your help.
(Li flings out his arms and they stagger backwards)
(Calmly, Li buttons his coat, picks up his cap, flicks the dust off it and holds it behind his back. Turning round, he strides off in a manner that overwhelms the enemy)
(Sergeant and gendarmes follow.)
Hatoyama (crestfallen and helpless): He's a hard one! (Recites "pu deng e *".[Note: *A recitative accompanied rhythmically by percussion instruments.])
What makes a Communist tougher than steel?
My persuasion and threats are of no avail,
I hope torture will make him speak.
(Enter Sergeant.)
Sergeant: Reporting! Li Yuhe would rather die than speak.
Hatoyama: Rather die than speak?
Sergeant: Let me take some men to search his house again, captain.
Hatoyama: Forget it. Communists are very vigilant. He must have put the code somewhere else.
Sergeant: Yes, sir.
Hatoyama: Bring him in. Sergeant: Bring Li Yuhe here!
(Two Japanese gendarmes drag Li in. Blood-stained and covered with wounds, Li advances militantly on Hatoyama. Then, turning round in a dance movement, he stands erect, supporting himself on a chair.)
Li:
(Sings "xi pidao ban".)
You beast with the heart of a wolf!
Hatoyama: The code. Give me the code.
Li: Hatoyama!
(Continues to sing, switching to "kuai ban".)
No matter how cruel your tortures,
Pure gold fears not tempering in fierce fire.
No matter what, I'll never bow my head!
Ha….
(The enemies are terrified by his heroic spirit.)
(Li strikes a dramatic pose.)
(Lights fade.)
(Curtain)




SCENE SEVEN



HELP FROM THE MASSES


One morning several days later. Li's house, interior and exterior view.
(As the curtain rises, Cobbler, a spy in disguise, is sitting not far from the door watching the house)
(Knife-Grinder cries offstage: "Any knives or scissors to grind?" He enters repeating his cry while warily looking around. He sees that the red paper butterfly on the window pane is gone and notices the spy. He decides to make contact some other time.)
(Granny and Tiemei come out of the inner room and look out of the window.)
(Knife-Grinder leaves, calmly uttering his cry. The spy looks at him but sees nothing unusual.)

Granny: That knife-grinder probably came to contact us, Tiemei.
Tiemei: I'll run after him with the lantern and see whether he's our man or not.
Granny: It won't do, child, not with that dog outside. You can't go.
Tiemei: Then, what shall we do?(Meditating.) Granny, I have an idea. I'll go out through Huilian's house!
Granny: How can you do that, my child?
Tiemei: The other day, in the inner room where our bed stands the stone at the foot of the wall came loose. When I was helping dad repair the wall I pulled it out and crawled through for a visit.
Granny: What, you crawled through?
Tiemei: Yes, Huilian's room is right on the other side.
Granny: Let's ask their help, then. You can go out through their house. Do you remember the password your dad told you, Tiemei?
Tiemei: Yes,I do.
Granny: If you catch up with the knife-grinder, and he gives the right password in reply, go to the west bank of the river and get the code from under the stone-tablet beside an old locust tree.
Tiemei: Under the stone-tablet by an old locust tree?
Granny: Didn't you hear your dad mention it? You must be very careful, child.
Tiemei: Don't worry, granny. Granny: Look out!
Tiemei: I will.
(Taking the red lantern, Tiemei goes into the inner room. Exit.)
(Cobbler throws away an empty match-box, walks over and knocks at the door to ask for a match)
Cobbler: Open the door.
Granny: Who's there? Cobbler: Me. The cobbler.
Granny: Wait a moment. (Opens the door.)
Cobbler (enters): Ma'am. Granny: What do you want?
Cobbler: I want a match.
Granny: There are some on top of the cupboard.
Cobbler: Thank you. Where's the girl?(Lights his cigarette)
Granny: She's not well.
Cobbler: Not well? Where is she?
Granny: In bed in the inner room.
Cobbler: Oh! Thank you. (Exit)
Granny: Filthy dog.
(Two spies enter at Cobbler's signal. They whisper together. As Granny closes the door they push into the house)
Granny: Who are you?
Spy B: We are checking up.
Spy A: Where's your granddaughter?
Granny: She's ill.
Spy B: Ill? Where is she? Granny: In bed in the other room.
Spy B: Tell her to get up! Granny: She's ill. Let her rest.
Spy B: Get out of the way! (Pushes Granny aside and reaches to lift the door curtain)
(Voice from behind the curtain: "Granny, who's there?")
Granny: Police checking up.
(Looking at each other helplessly, the spies go out. Granny closes the door behind them.
She turns round and stares in surprise.)
(Huilian comes out of the inner room.)
Granny: Ah! What brings you here, Huilian?
Huilian: Granny Li! (Sings "xi pi liu shui".)
Tiemei has slipped away through our house,
My mother-in-law sent me to let you know.
When I heard those spies questioning you
I pretended to be Tiemei lying ill in bed.
When Tiemei returns, she can come through our house,
With me helping, you don't have to worry.
Granny (gratefully): You've been a tremendous help.
(Tiemei comes out of the inner room)
Tiemei: Granny! Sister Huilian!
Huilian: So you're back, Tiemei.
Granny: If it weren't for Huilian we'd have been in serious trouble.
Huilian: It's good you're back. I must be going now.
Tiemei: Thank you.
(Huilian enters the inner room. Exit.)
Granny: Go and put the stone in place, Tiemei.
  (Tiemei goes into the inner room. Granny hangs up the lantern. Tiemei enters again.) Granny: Did you find the knife-grinder?
Tiemei: I searched several streets but couldn't find him. I hurried back for fear those spies might discover that I was out. Granny: You did right!
(Enter Hou. He sends Cobbler away and knocks at the door)
Tiemei: Who's there?
Hou: Captain Hatoyama is coming to pay you a visit.
Tiemei: Granny!
Granny: If I am arrested, Tiemei, you must try your best to deliver the code to the Cypress Mountains.
Tiemei: Don't worry!
Hou: Open the door! Granny: Go and open the door.
Tiemei: Yes. (Opens the door.)
(Hatoyama enters and comes into the house. Hou follows and stands by.)
Hatoyama: How are you, madam? Granny: So you are Mr. Hatoyama?
Hatoyama: Yes, I'm Hatoyama.
Granny: Just a minute, please. I'll tidy up and go with you.
Hatoyama: Oh, that's not what I came for. Li Yuhe said that he left something with you, madam.
Granny: Left what?
Hatoyama: The code.
Granny: What does he mean, child?
Hatoyama: It's a book.
Granny: A book ?
Hatoyama: That's right.
Granny: Mr. Hatoyama.
(Sings "xi pi yuan ban")
My family has always suffered from hunger and cold, None of us three knows how to read. What would we want with a book in our home?
Hatoyama:
(Continues the singing.)
Since Li Yuhe has told me about that book,
Why try to hide it and fool me?
Tiemei:
(Continues the singing.)
Let my dad come and find it, Why trouble yourself?
Hatoyama: Now, now. If you give me that book I'll send Li Yuhe straight home and make him a vice-section chief. I promise all of you wealth and fame.
Granny: Hum!
(Sings "liu shui")
I look upon wealth and fame as dust, We poor people find coarse food very tasty. Since you have taken such trouble to come for it — (To Tiemei.) Go and find it for him.
  (Tiemei goes into the inner room and brings out the almanac which she hands to Granny) Granny:
(To Hatoyama, continues to sing, switching to "yuan ban")
So that you will not have come for nothing.
(Handsthe"book"to Hatoyama.)
Hatoyama: That's it. That must be it. An almanac? (Leafing through it)
I'll take it with me and study it. What about going to see your son, madam?
Granny: Very well! Look after the house, Tiemei.
Hatoyama: No! The girl must come too!
Tiemei: Let's go, granny!
(Sings"xi pi san ban")
Filled with courage and strength like dad,
I have nothing to fear — (Granny and Tiemei leave the house.) (Hatoyama follows. Hou orders the spies to seal the door)
Granny:
(Continues the singing.)
Revolutionaries can stand the collapse of heaven and earth!
(Granny and granddaughter walk straightforward, then strike a dramatic pose.)
(Lights fade.)
(Curtain)




SCENE EIGHT



STRUGGLE ON THE EXECUTION GROUND


Night. A corner of the prison in the headquarters of the Japanese gendarmerie.

(As the curtain rises, Sergeant and Hou stand waiting. Enter Hatoyama.)

Hatoyama: It seems direct questioning won't get us the secret code. The hidden microphone ?
Hou: Already installed.
Hatoyama: Good. We'll hear what they say when the old woman meets her son. Perhaps we'll find out something this way. Bring the old woman in.
Hou: Yes, sir. (To offstage.) Come along!
  (Enter Granny.)
Hatoyama: Do you know this place, madam?
Granny: It's the gendarme headquarters.
Hatoyama: This is where your son will ascend to heaven! When a man has committed a crime and his mother refuses to save his life when she has it in her power, don't you think she is cruel ?
Granny (sternly, putting the vile enemy on trial): What kind of talk is that! You've arrested my son for no reason. Now you want to kill him. You are the criminals, it's you who are cruel. You kill the Chinese, and you want to shift the blame on to the Chinese people, on to me, an old woman ?
Hatoyama: All right! Go and see your son!
(Granny walks off resolutely. Hatoyama signs to Hou to follow her.)
Hatoyama: Take Li Yuhe there.
Sergeant: Bring Li. . . Yuhe! . .. (Dark change.)
(A corner of the execution ground: A high wall, a steep slope, a sturdy pine reaching to the sky. In the distance a high mountain pierces into the clouds)
Li:
(Offstage, sings "er huang dao ban".)
At the gaoler's blood-thirsty cry ... (Enters and strikes a dramatic pose.)
I stride forth from my cell.
(Two Japanese gendarmes push him. With a strong sense of righteousness, Li stands chest out, undaunted. Then he performs a series of characteristic Peking opera dance movements: moving briskly sideways on both legs, backing a few steps on one leg, a pause; turning round on one leg and then swinging the other and striking a dramatic pose, lie advances boldly, forcing the two Japanese gendarmes to retreat.)
(Li rubs his wounded chest, then places one foot on a rock and nurses his knee. He casts a contemptuous glance at his chains and fully displays his noble spirit.)
Li:
(Sings "hui long".)
Though heavy chains shackle me hand and foot,
They cannot fetter my spirit that storms the heavens.
(Feeling a sharp pain in his wounded legs, he backs a few steps on one leg, nurses his knees and finally stands on one leg in a dramatic pose.)
Li:
(Sings "yuan ban".)
That villain Hatoyama used every torture to get the code,
My bones are broken, my flesh is torn,
But my will is as firm as steel.
Walking boldly to the execution ground, I look afar:
The red flag of revolution is raised on high,
The flames of resistance spread far and wide.
Japanese bandits, let's see how much longer you can rage!
Once the storm is past (changes to "man sanyan") flowers will bloom,
New China will shine like the morning sun,
Red flags will fly all over the country.
This thought heightens my confidence
And my resolve is strengthened. (Changes to "yuan ban".)
I have done very little for the Party,
I'm worried that the code hasn't got to the mountains.
Wang's only contact was with me,
The wretch can betray no one else;
My mother and daughter are as firm as steel.
(Switches to "duo ban".)
Hatoyama, try and get the secret code!
You may ransack heaven and earth
But you will never find it.
Revolutionaries fear nothing on earth,
They will for ever march forward. (Enter Granny.)
Granny: Yuhe! Li (looks back): Mother!
Granny:
(Runs over to support Li, sings "er huang san ban".)
Again I live through that day seventeen years ago,
And burn with hate for the foe of my class and country.
These. . . Japanese devils, cruel and treacherous,
Have beaten you black and blue,
My son, my son! Li: Don't grieve for me, mother!
Granny:
(Continues to sing.)
With such a fine son ... I shouldn't grieve.
Li: My good mother! (Sings "er huang er liu".)
Brought up by the Party to be a man of steel,
I fight the foe and never give ground.
I'm not afraid
To have every bone in my body broken, I'm not afraid
To be locked up until I wear through the floor of my cell
It makes my heart bleed to see our country ravaged,
I burn with anger for my people's suffering.
However hard the road of revolution,
We must press on in the steps of the glorious dead.
My only regret if I die today
Is the "account" I have not settled.
(Gestures to indicate the secret code.)
I long to soar like an eagle to the sky,
Borne on the wind above the mountain passes
To rescue our millions of suffering countrymen —
(Switches to "san ban".)
Then how gladly would I die for the revolution!
(Enter Hou followed by two Japanese gendarmes.)
Hou: Old woman, Captain Hatoyama wants to have a talk with you.
Granny (to Li): Son, I know what he is going to say.
Hou: Come on.
(Granny goes out fearlessly, followed by the two Japanese gendarmes.)
Hou: Bring Li Tiemei here!
(Tiemei runs in.)
Tiemei: Dad!
(Exit Hou.)
Tiemei:
(Sings "er huang san ban".)
Day and night I've been longing to see you again,
And now you ... so battered and covered with blood....
Dear father!
Li: You mustn't cry, child! (Strokes Tiemei's hair lovingly, with determination.) Be brave, daughter! (Helps Tiemei to her feet, with feeling.) My child!
(Continues the singing.)
One thing I have wanted to tell you many times,
It's been hidden in my heart for seventeen years:
I. . . .
Tiemei (quickly stopping him): Don't say it, dad, you are my own father. (Kneels.)
(Sings "er huang gun ban")
Don't say it, father,
I know the bitter tale of these seventeen years. (Li helps Tiemei to her feet, his feelings like turbulent waves.)
Li:
(Sings "er huang yuan ban".)
People say that family love outweighs all else,
But class love is greater yet, I know.
A proletarian fights all his life for the people's liberation.
Making a home wherever I am, ?
I have lived in poverty all these years.
The red lantern is my only possession,
I entrust it to your safe keeping.
Tiemei:
(Sings "er huang kuai san yan".)
Dad has given me a priceless treasure
To light my path forward for ever.
You have given me your integrity
To help me stand firm as a rock;
You have given me your wisdom
To help me see through the enemy's wiles;
You have given me your courage
To help me fight those brutes.
This red lantern is our heirloom.
Oh dad, the treasure you leave me is so vast,
That a thousand carts and ten thousand boats
Cannot hold it all.
I give you my word I will keep the lantern always safe.
Li:
(Sings "er huang san ban".)
As wave follows wave in the great Yangtse River,
Our red lantern will be passed on from hand to hand.
(To Tiemei.)
If some day to home you return,
Find our relatives, make a living, clear that "account",
(Gestures to indicate the code.)
I'll have no worries.
(Japanese gendarmes enter pushing Granny. Enter Sergeant)
Sergeant: Captain Hatoyama gives you five more minutes to think it over. If you still refuse to give up the secret code, you will all be shot. (Drags Tiemei away.) Only five minutes left, girl. Give up the code and save the whole family. Understand? Speak up!
(Firmly, Tiemei walks back to her dear ones.)
Sergeant: Where is the code?
Tiemei: I — don't — know!
Sergeant: Shoot them all.
Gendarmes: Yes.
Li: No use baring your fangs!
Tiemei, let's take granny's arms and go together.
("The Internationale" is played. Bravely and firmly, the three walk arm in arm up a slope with their heads high.)
(Enter Hatoyama.)
Hatoyama: Wait! I give you one more minute to think it over.
Li (with a spirit that shakes the universe): Hatoyama, you can never kill all the Chinese people, all the Chinese Communists. You must think of the end in store for you scoundrels!
Hatoyama: Terrible! (To Sergeant) Act according to plan! (Exit.)
Sergeant: Shoot them!
(To the militant strains of "The Internationale", the three revolutionaries of three generations, heads high, walk up the slope, defying death. They go out.) (Japanese gendarmes follow.)
(Silence. Offstage, Li shouts: "Down with Japanese imperialism!" "Long live the Chinese Communist Party!" The three of them shout with their arms raised: "Long live Chairman Mao!")
(A volley of shots. Two Japanese gendarmes drag Tiemei in and throw her down.)
Tiemei (standing up, turns to call): Dad! Granny!
(Enter Hatoyama with Hou and Sergeant.)
Hatoyama: Give me the code, Li Tiemei.
Hou and Sergeant: Speak up!
(Tiemei glares at Hatojama.)
Hatoyama: Let her go! Sergeant: Yes, sir. Get out!
(Sergeant pushes Tiemei away. They go out, followed by the gendarmes.)
Hou: Why did you let her go, sir?
Hatoyama: It's called using a long line to catch a big fish.
Hou: Right! (Lights fade.)
(Curtain)



SCENE NINE




ADVANCING WAVE UPON WAVE


Immediately after the last scene. Dawn. Li's house, interior and exterior view.

(As the curtain rises, Tiemei enters the room, leans back against the door. Looking around, full of sorrow and hatred, she thinks of her martyred father and grandmother.)

Tiemei: Dad! Granny! (Rests her head on the table and sobs. A pause. Slowly rising, she sees the red lantern, hurries over and takes it.) Granny, dad, I know what you died for. I shall carry on the task you left unfinished and be the successor to the red lantern. I'm determined to deliver the code to the Cypress Mountains and avenge your bloody murder. Hatoyama, you may arrest me or release me at will, but you'll never get the secret code! (Sings "xi pi dao ban".)
I burst with anger when I think of the foe!
(Changes to "kuai san yan".)
Repressing my rage I grind my teeth.
Using every trick to get the code,
Hatoyama has killed my granny and dad!
(Changes to "er liu".)
Biting my hate, chewing my rage,
I force them down my throat,
Let them sprout in my heart.
I'll never yield, I'll never retreat,
(Changes to "kuai ban".)
No tears shall wet my cheeks,
Let them flow into my heart
To nourish the bursting seeds of hatred.
Flames of rage, ten leagues high,
Will burn away this reign of the forces of darkness.
I'm prepared: arrest me, release me,
Use your whips and lash, your locks and chains.
Break my bones, you will never get the code.
Just wait, you villain Hatoyama,
(Changes to "san ban".)
This is Tiemei's answer! I'll go now!
(Picks up the red lantern, ready to leave)
(Huilian comes out of the inner room.)
Huilian: Tiemei!
Tiemei: Sister Huilian! (Puts down the lantern and bolts the door.)
Huilian: My mother has come to see you.
(Aunt Tian emerges from the inner room.)
Aunt Tian: Tiemei!
Tiemei: Aunty. . . . (Runs into her arms)
Aunt Tian: Child, we have heard what happened to your dad and grandma. We'll see how much longer those beasts can ravage our land 1 There are spies outside, Tiemei, you mustn't leave by this door. Slip out through our house. Hurry, change jacket with Huilian.
Tiemei: No, aunty, I mustn't get you into trouble.
Aunt Tian: My child! (While helping Tiemei to change jacket with Huilian she sings "xi pi san ban")
None but the poor help the poor,
We are two bitter gourds on the same vine;
We must save you from the tiger's jaws,
So that you can go forward on your course.
Tiemei: But what if something happens to you?
Aunt Tian: We are both working-class families. We have shared bitterness and hatred for many years. No matter how risky it is, I must see you safely away.
Tieh -mei (with gratitude): Aunty. ...
Aunt Tian: Hurry up, child!
Huilian: Be quick, Tiemei!
Tiemei: I shall never forget you, sister and aunty.
Aunt Tian: Go quickly.
(Picking up the red lantern, Tiemei goes into the inner room. Exit.)
Aunt Tian: Be very careful, Huilian.
(Aunt Tian goes into the inner room. Exit)
(Huilian wraps Tiemei's scarf round her head, covering the lower part of her face. She steps out of the house with the basket and closes the door behind her. Exit.) (Spies B and C emerge from behind an electric pole and trail her)
(Lights fade)
(Curtain)


SCENE TEN


AMBUSHING AND ANNIHILATING THE ENEMY


Immediately after the last scene. On the road leading to the Cypress Mountains.

(As the curtain rises, enter Knife-Grinder with two guerrillas dressed as peasants. Enter Tiemei. They meet.)

Tiemei: Uncle Knife-Grinder! (takes out the red lantern from the basket and holds it aloft.)
Knife-Grinder: Tiemei! (Turns to the guerrillas.) Keep guard!
Tiemei: I've found you at last, uncle! My dad and granny. .. .
Knife-Grinder: We know everything. Don't grieve, Tiemei. Turn your sorrow into strength. We'll be avenged! Have you got the code with you?
Tiemei: Yes. Knife-Grinder: That's fine.
Tiemei: Uncle, my neighbour Huilian helped me. She disguised herself as me and led the spies off after her. That's how I was able to get the code and bring it here.
Knife-Grinder: The enemy must be suspecting Huilian's family. (To Guerrilla A.) Old Feng, help the Tiens move as quickly as possible.
Guerrilla A: Right! (Exit.) (A police car siren is heard)
Guerrilla B: The enemy's coming, Old Chao.
Knife-Grinder: You take Tiemei up the mountain. We'll deal with them. (Guerrilla B leads Tiemei off.)
(Wang shouts offstage: "Halt!" Japanese gendarmes enter, with Hatoyama and Wang in the lead. Knife-Grinder blocks their way. Hatoyama shouts: "Take him!"
Knife-Grinder snatches Wang's pistol and kills a Japanese gendarme. Then he strikes Wang with his bench.)
(Other guerrillas jump out of a grove. Dramatic pose.) (On the crag a guerrilla kills a Japanese gendarme.)
(Hatoyama and Wang run off, Knife-Grinder and the guerrillas pursue them.) (The guerrillas dash down from the crag and chase the enemy.)
(A guerrilla with a red-tasselled spear fights two Japanese gendarmes. They flee, followed by the guerrilla.)
(Knife-Grinder chases Wang. They lock in struggle.)
(Enter Hatoyama with Japanese gendarmes. Fighting at close quarters. The guerrillas wipe out all the enemies, shooting down the traitor Wang, and running Hatoyama through with a sword.)
(The ambush has been a great success. The guerrillas form a tableau of heroes, in a valiant dramatic pose.)
(Lights fade.)
(Curtain)


   




SCENE ELEVEN FORWARD IN VICTORY


Immediately after the last scene. The Cypress Mountains

(As the curtain rises, red flags flutter against a clear blue sky. The guerrilla leader walks down the hill slope. Knife-Grinder enters with Tiemei. All the guerrillas enter. Solemnly, Tiemei hands the code to the guerrilla leader. Brandishing their rifles and swords, all rejoice in their victory. Tiemei holds aloft the red lantern while crimson light radiates.)

(The curtain slowly falls.)





(THE END)




  
  
  

 
 
顶端 Posted: 2013-04-21 22:05 | [楼 主]
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While waiting for the liaison man near the Lungtan railway station, Li Yuhe sends Tiemei home to tell Granny that an "uncle" is coming. (Scene One:Contacting the Liaison Man)



Holding up the red lantern as identification, Li Yuhe contacts the liaison man. (Scene Two: Accepting the Task)



As Li Yuhe is about to contact the knife-grinder at the gruel stall, Japanese gendarmes start a search. Li calmly pours gruel over the secret Code hidden in his lunch box.(Scene Three: Narrow Escape at the Gruel Stall)

Betrayed by a renegade, Li Yuhe is arrested by the enemy under the sinister ruse of "inviting" him to a "feast". Taking the bowl of farewell wine offered by Granny Li, Li Yuhe drains it and goes out into a howling wind to the "feast", to struggle bravely against Hatoyama. (Scene Five: Recounting the Family's Revolutionary History)

After Li Yuhe's arrest, Granny Li tells Tiemei the revolutionary history of the family. (Scene Five)


Hatoyama tries by threats and blandishments to get the secret code. With true revolutionary spirit in his heart, Li Yuhe struggles against the crafty enemy with courage and wisdom, rendering him utterly helpless. (Scene Six: Struggling Against Hatoyama at the Feast)

His body racked with torture, Li Yuhe, supporting himself on a chair, stands erect and angrily denounces Hatoyama who, with his men, is terrified by Li's heroic spirit. (Scene Six)

Shackled hand and foot on the execution ground, Li Yuhe sings with revolutionary pride of his lofty ideal: "Once the storm is past flowers will bloom, New China will shine like the morning sun." (Scene Eight: Struggle on the Execution Ground)

Scorning death, the three generations of the Li family, heads high, walk to their execution to the militant strains of The Internationale. (Scene Eight)

Burning with grief and fury at the death of her martyred father and grandmother, Tiemei determines to turn her grief into strength, inherit the red lantern and carry on the revolution. (Scene Nine: Advancing Wave upon Wave)

The guerrillas in the Cypress Mountains wipe out the Japanese gendarmes and kill the Japanese fascist butcher Hatoyama. (Scene Ten: Ambushing and Annihilating the Enemy)

Led by the Party and helped by the guerrillas and her neighbours, Tiemei delivers the secret code to the Cypress Mountains. The guerrillas brandish their rifles and swords to celebrate the victory. (Scene Eleven: Forward in Victory)
  
  
  

 
 
顶端 Posted: 2013-04-21 22:23 | 1 楼
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