點點心靈 ✐2006-04-01


集中營記(六)

空中投下的救援

戴愛美 著
曲拯民 譯

 

  1945年八月十七日,那是星期五,到了下午,天氣實在感到熱不可當,老師決定提前停課納涼。那天,我正患上腹瀉,更感瘦弱,在二樓的病房裏躺在用三個箱子拼湊而成,上加褥蓆的床鋪上休息。
  日本已經投降的消息正在此刻傳佈着,快似野火燒山林。俘虜們聽了,興奮得喘不過氣來,也有人為此驚恐萬分。對於投擲原子彈的事,我們毫不知情,只知在兩天前日本已宣告投降,消息是經“竹製電臺”傳進來的。會真的嗎?
  營中的日軍主管閉口不言,對發問也不肯答覆。
  那天,大半上午我一直躺在床上,隱約中聽見飛機嗡嗡,聲音由遠而近。我遽起身,直趨窗前,見天空有一架巨型飛機就在營上空盤旋,緩緩降低了高度,機身漆着鮮耀的美國旗,窗上有人向着地下招手。
  好像就要飛掠樹梢了,銀色的腹部裂開,我望着那些徐徐着陸的降落傘,感到非常驚訝。
  濰縣集中營的人瘋狂了。
  我的腹瀉已勿藥而愈,飛奔下樓,跑向大門,擁擠和吵叫混成一片的人群帶着我潮水般向外湧,兩腳幾乎不用着地了。這時有人舉拳高揮空中,有的哭泣,咒罵,擁抱,跳躍,更有的將嗓門喊得嘶啞。人群一波又一波經過崗兵,先我而去,齊奔營外的農田裏。約一英里外,我們去接迎前來解救俘虜的美國傘兵七名,他們各配全副武器,在成熟待割的高粱田間被大家發現。
  快樂得如醉如癡已獲自由的俘虜們,嘈雜而衣着襤褸,赤着腳,身體餓癟而枯槁,爭將這七名傘兵抬起,扛在肩上,凱旋入營。


七名傘兵的其中二人

  營外的一座土丘上正有音樂傳來:“歡樂之今日來臨”,那是救世軍樂隊吹奏着勝利之曲。接着,就是“星條旗”之歌,全體寂靜。

  星條閃爍正飄揚,
  自由勇敢興家邦!


濰縣集中營(樂道院)鐘樓上
高懸美國國旗

  那位皮膚晒得棕色的美軍少校急從扛他的人的肩上滑了下來向國歌立正,行敬禮。前面土丘上樂隊中吹奏拉管長號的一名美國青年樂極生悲,倒在地上嗚咽起來。
  一夜之間,我們的世界已完全改觀。銀色巨型轟炸機每天在上空盤旋,每天腹部裂開就有救濟物品隨傘下降。這種運送方法利弊兼有:拋下的大油桶裏滿盛着罐頭食品在營外的田野間繼續着陸,有一次一箱“得律蒙”罐頭蜜桃竟洞穿了營內廚房的屋頂。又一次,落在營外的一箱物品打壞了一名中國小孩子的頭骨。
  老師命令我們,今後凡見有飛機接近,必須即刻回到宿舍裏暫避。俘虜生活行將結束,此時萬不可被落下的豬肉罐頭一類的食品傷了性命。
  九月間的某星期六,聞飛機聲之後我正跑向宿舍,我們房間一同伴對我高喊:“瑪莉!瑪莉!下次的飛機他可以走了!”
   週後,星期一,在營外的一條很短的跑道上,凱琳姊,雅各哥哥(即今日的戴紹曾博士,自1955年以來,他在遠東各地從事宣教工作迄今。目前在星加坡主持Overseas Missionary Fellowship簡稱OMF,是繼中國內地會在戰後的新機構,工作重點在東南亞各國。同機構在美國和加拿大各有總部,是新加坡國際總部的後援,並互相呼應。─譯者),小弟約翰,我們四人同登一架軍機朝向中國內地飛去,將和違面五年半的父母聚首。
  飛機航行了六百英里,着陸後我們改乘火車,又行百英里。有一位中國基督徒來接,相伴同乘一古老式的騾車,距家還有十英里路。時值綿綿秋雨的季節,道路泥濘不堪,窄窄的木車輪有時深陷淤泥一尺之深,不時發生摩際聲音,如泣如訴。速度之緩,道路之艱,旅途似乎漫長無盡。
  我們決定鼓起勇氣,下車步行。來接我們的宋先生陪伴那輛裝載我們行裝的騾車竟落後面。田間和路邊的農人對我們這四個在泥裏掙扎渾身溼透的小洋鬼兒投以驚奇的眼光。
  單調,乏味的淤泥道兩旁是一望無際已長成的高粱莊稼,裏面有時會藏着伺機打劫的盜匪。此際,夜幕將垂,估料天晚後才能安全到達鳳翔城。通常為保城裏的安全,城門每於天黑即行關閉。姊,哥兩人深明此事,為此犯了愁。我們能否在城門關閉前趕到?果已關閉,司閽人能否破例通融?
  那晚──九月十一日,奇蹟出現了,直到晚上八時城門仍是開着的。進城後,循兩邊高聳土牆的大街前行。既無電燈照耀,街上是漆黑一片,且寂無行人。
  凱琳忽見有黑影閃過,凱琳趨前,用禮貌的中國話問:“好不好你送我們到基督教堂去找戴牧師?”那人低聲咕嚕一句話,不理而去。在中國,良家女子是不可以對男子先發話的。同時,夜間在街上的也許更非良家女子。
  前行,凱琳試問第二人,發出同樣的要求來。那人在暗中找到聲音的出處,定睛一看,原來是四個白種孩子。他隨即說,“好,跟我來!”
  原來這人是我父母主持下聖經學校的一名學生,他即刻認出來我們是戴家的孩子,因為,多年以還,學校全體曾為我們的安全祈禱紀念。他不期而遇到我們歸來這場面,自然驚喜交集。
  前行不遠,他引我們進了一圓形大門,這便是校園所在。我們黑暗中隨他踉蹌前行,好像要絆跤的樣子。那邊後窗上,我瞥見父母正在和學校同仁開着會。
  我不禁大喊一聲,父親抬頭外看。
  我們到達前門,陪伴我們那學生搶先一步掀開竹簾子邁進門,嚷說:“戴師母,孩子們回來了!”
  已不顧濺得全身的泥漿,進門後我們一齊衝向父母的懷中,喊笑,擁抱,樂成一團。校務會議此時悄然而終。(全文完)


作者兄姊弟四人與父母在陝西歡聚後的合照
左起:作者,兄雅各(即戴紹曾博士),姊凱琳,弟約翰
下排:母親,小弟,父戴永冕牧師

 

A Song of Salvation at Weihsien Prison Camp

Mary Taylor Previte

VI

It was Friday, Aug. 17, 1945 . A scorching heat wave had forced the teachers to cancel classes, and I was withering with diarrhea, confined to my mattress atop three steamer trunks in the second-floor hospital dormitory.

Rumors were sweeping through the camp like wildfire. The prisoners were breathless with excitement—and some with terror. Although we knew nothing of the atomic bomb, the bamboo radio had brought the news two days ago that Japan had surrendered.

Was it true?

Mr. Izu, the Japanese commandant, was tight-lipped, refusing to answer questions.

Lying on my mattress in mid-morning, I heard the drone of an airplane far above the camp. Racing to the window, I watched it sweep lower, slowly lower, and then circle again. It was a giant plane, and it was emblazoned with an American flag. Americans were waving at us from the windows of the plane!

Beyond the treetops, its silver belly opened, and I gaped in wonder as giant parachutes drifted slowly to the ground.

Weihsien went mad.

Oh, glorious cure for diarrhea! I raced for the entry gates and was swept off my feet by the pandemonium. Prisoners ran in circles and pounded the skies with their fists. They wept, cursed, hugged, danced. They cheered themselves hoarse. Wave after wave of prisoners swept me past the guards and into the fields beyond the camp.

A mile away we found them — seven young American paratroopers — standing with their weapons ready, surrounded by fields of ripening broom corn.

Advancing toward them came a tidal wave of prisoners, intoxicated with joy. Free in the open fields. Ragtag, barefoot, hollow with hunger. They hoisted the paratroopers’ leader onto their shoulders and carried him back toward the camp in triumph.

In the distance, from a mound near the camp gate, the music of “Happy Days Are Here Again” drifted out into the fields. It was the Salvation Army band blasting its joyful Victory Medley. When they got to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the crowd hushed.

O, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

From up on his throne of shoulders, the young, sunbronzed American major struggled down to a standing salute. And up on the mound by the gate, one of the musicians in the band, a young American trombonist, crumpled to the ground and wept.

Overnight, our world changed. Giant B-29s filled the skies each week, magnificent silver bombers opening their bellies and spilling out tons of supplies. While they provided us with desperately needed food, the B-29s were also a menace. Suspended from giant parachutes, monstrous oil drums crammed with canned food bombarded the fields around the camp. Once, a crate of Del Monte peaches crashed through the kitchen roof. Outside the walls, a falling container fractured the skull of a small Chinese boy.

Our teachers issued orders for us to run for the dormitories whenever we sighted bombers. They were not about to have us survive the war and then be killed by a shower of Spam.

One Saturday in September, as I was running for cover from the bombers, my dorm mate ran toward me, shouting, “Mary! Mary! You may be leaving on the next plane.”

The following Monday, on the tiny landing strip beyond the camp, Kathleen, Jamie, Johnny and I boarded an Army transport plane. After being separated from Daddy and Mother for 5 1/2 years, we were headed home.

We flew 600 miles into the interior, traveled 100 miles on a Chinese train, and found ourselves at last on an old-fashioned, springless mule cart for the final 10 miles of the trip, escorted now by a Chinese Christian friend. It was a rainy September day, and as the squealing wooden wheels of the cart sloshed a foot deep in the mud, it seemed to us that the journey would never end.

We finally decided to brave the world on our own, running ahead on foot while our escort, Mr. Soong, brought the baggage along after us in the mule cart. Chinese peasants in the fields along the road blinked in amazement at the four foreign devil children struggling through the mud, we were a soggy mess.

Along the lonely mud-clogged road the gao liang corn stood tall in the fields—the frequent hiding place for brigands and bandits to pounce on unwary travelers. Evening was coming, and off in the walled town of Fenghsiang , the giant city gates would be closing at dark—shutting for the night to protect the populace from bandits.

Kathleen and Jamie, who knew about these things, worried about the city gate. Would we reach Fenghsiang before it closed for night? If so, would the gatekeeper break the rule and open it to strangers?

But on that night of miracles—Sept. 11—at 8 o’clock , the city gate stood wide open as we approached. On we walked, through the gate and along the main street lined with packed mud walls. Without electricity, the town was black, the streets largely deserted.

Kathleen walked slowly toward a man who passed us in the darkness. “Would you take us to Rev. Taylor of the Christian Mission?” she asked in her most polite Chinese. The man muttered something and moved away. In China , no nice girl approaches a man. Neither does she walk in the street after dark.

Kathleen approached a second man. “Would you take us to Rev. Taylor of the Christian Mission?”

His eyes adjusted to the darkness as he looked at us. Four white children. “Yes. Oh, yes!” he said.

The man was a Bible school student of our parents, and he recognized at once that we were the Taylor children for whom the Bible school had prayed for so long. He was gripped by the drama of the situation.

Down the block, through the round moon gate and into the Bible school compound he led us, stumbling as we went. There, through a back window, I could see them—Daddy and Mother—sitting in a faculty meeting.

I began to scream. I saw Father look up.

At the front door, the student pushed ahead of us through the bamboo screen. “Mrs. Taylor,” he said, “the children have arrived.”

Caked with mud, we burst through the door into their arms—shouting, laughing, hugging—hysterical with joy. And the faculty meeting quietly melted away. (The End)

(英文原文經原作者同意在本報發表)

翼展視窗闊 報取智域深

雲彩生活

稱心園藝:草莓,士多啤梨 ✍餘暇

談天說地

友好與友愛 ✍劉廣華

雲彩生活

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點點心靈

謝謝,我不吸煙 ✍余卓雄

雲彩生活

稱心園藝:鹿角蕨 Platycerium ✍餘暇

寰宇古今

情繫山西六景觀(上) ✍鄭國輝

談天說地

春回草木生 ✍哲牧

捕光捉影

捕光捉影:比薩印象 ✍郭端

談天說地

復原如同小孩子 ✍于中旻