25 June 2012

China WWII – Description II by Pearl Buck

Dragon Seed by Pearl Buck, 1942, Excerpts

She went on a little further, never knowing that she was being watched by the enemy and had been since she left the gate. Now orders had come down from above that no open evil was to be done in the streets any more, but what went on behind walls none knew, and as she passed a public water-closet for men, such as was to be found near any main street, she was suddenly fallen upon by five enemy soldiers who had been watching for a lonely woman to come by that they might draw her in. Such women were very rare now, for what woman would go out alone these days? When they saw Orchid they thought she must be a courtesan, because she looked so gay, and indeed she had a soft round face, and her body was plump and soft, and her full mouth was red, and they held her fast, and gloated on her for a moment and quarreled for who should have her first.

Orchid was one of those women who live long when they are loved and cared for, but in trouble they die soon. Now as she looked into the black faces of these lust-filled men, she was weak already. When one after another of those men took their will on her, and no passer-by dared to come into that public place to save her when once they had stared in and seen five soldiers with their guns against the wall, then she was like a rabbit fallen upon by wolfish dogs, and she was helpless. She screamed and then they beat her, and one held his hand over her nose and mouth, and she struggled only a little and then her life went out as easily as a little rabbit’s does, and the last man had to use her dead. When they were through with her, they left her there and went away.

Katharine Hepburn

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