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Compiled by Feng Menglong. Translated by Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang. Stories to Awaken the Worldthe first complete translation of Xingshi hengyan, completes the publication in English of the famous three-volume set of Feng Menglong's popular Chinese-vernacular stories. These tales, which come from a variety of sources some dating back centuries before their compilation in the seventeenth centurywere assembled and circulated by Feng, who not only saved them from oblivion but raised the status of vernacular literature and provided material for authors of the great Ming and Qing novels to draw upon. Peopled with scholars, emperors, ministers, generals, and a gallery of ordinary men and women - merchants and artisans, prostitutes and courtesans, matchmakers and fortune-tellers, monks and nuns, thieves and imposters - the stories provide a vivid panorama of the bustling world of late imperial China. The longest volume in the Sanyan trilogy, Stories to Awaken the World is presented in full here, including sexually explicit elements often omitted from Chinese editions.

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He lived and worked in Russia for five years, and headed a Seattle-based Russian-American fishing venture. He first heard the story of the rescued children inwhile living in the Russian Far East near Vladivostok. Many Americans know about the mass starvation that ravaged Leningrad during World War II, when the city was cut off by the Nazis and approximately one quarter of the population perished. But few realize that hunger was also widespread during World War I.

The Russian tsarist government had collapsed, and so had its war effort. By the spring ofwith Russian soldiers returning home en masse and the Bolsheviks nominally holding power, civil war was breaking out across the country.

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A wartime civilian aid group called the Union of Cities, with help from the Bolshevik city government, decided to send large s of children out of the city into rural areas where food was relatively plentiful. Two of the groups, composed of over children and their teacher-supervisors, were sent east by train to the lower Urals area, beyond the Volga River. The children were from a wide mix of social strata and backgrounds. Many siblings made the journey together.

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Their trains were sometimes delayed by military movements and rumors of destroyed tracks and bridges, but they reached their destination, a group of cottages in the countryside near the city of Chelyabinsk. Some of the children even stockpiled food to bring home to their relatives in Petrograd. The children made close friends with each other and fell into activities typical of a summer camp: games, music, hiking, flirting, and mild hijinks.

As the summer wore on, the Civil War intensified.

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Anti-Bolshevik White armies fought the Red Army on several fronts simultaneously. An array of anarchists, Cossack warlords, and foreign troops and mercenaries took the field, usually fighting on the side of the Whites but often pursuing their own agendas. Sometimes gunfire could be heard near the camp. Food sources dwindled, and the Russian currency held by the colony became nearly worthless.

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Even more ominously, the return route to Petrograd was now blocked by warring forces. The children had brought only summer clothing, and the bitter Russian winter was setting in. It was decided to divide the children into smaller groups and to disperse them with teacher-supervisors to farms, villages, and nearby cities in the hope of finding food and shelter. Many did chores in exchange for food and lodging; others stole food wherever they could; some turned to begging on the streets. Panicked parents in Petrograd sought news of their children, and formed a three-person committee to try to reach them overland.

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The group, consisting of two parents and a pastor working for the Swedish Red Cross, managed to traverse the raging war fronts and reach the children, but had no means to gather them back into one group or bring them to safety. He had grown up in Seattle and began his career as a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before taking a job at the Honolulu Star-Bulletinwhere he soon rose to the position of editor. Then, inhe suddenly quit his job to the Red Cross mission in Eastern Russia. Allen got permission from his supervisor, the renowned medical missionary Dr. His team managed to locate the scattered groups, and sent a devastating of their impoverished condition back to Allen.

Many children were near starvation, threatened by disease, and living in rags.

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Allen assembled a train-load of supplies, and sent it to the Urals accompanied by more Red Cross staff. The railway to the west was still enveloped by civil war, and it was far too dangerous to risk transporting the children in that direction. Allen decided to bring the children to Vladivostok — by then Teusler had left for Japan, and Allen was running Red Cross operations there. He thought they could reside in relative safety in Vladivostok under the protection of the American Red Cross until it was possible to return them home to Petrograd via the Trans-Siberian railway.

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He sent rail cars with the inia of the Red Cross painted on their sides, in the hope that they would not be mistaken for troop transports and attacked on the long trip back across Siberia with the children on board. The recently-arrived US army troops provided armed guards for the trains. Meanwhile, Allen furiously began to make plans to receive and care for mostly pre-adolescent children in the chaotic and war-torn milieu of Vladivostok.

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They had witnessed scenes of violence — some had seen the brutal execution of captured Red Army soldiers by Cossack renegades — but their own trains were not attacked. Some of the older children would reside in the city itself, where they could attend local schools. At one point Bramhall made a dangerous side trip to Harbin, in Manchuria, during which he was nearly killed, to convert currency to help finance Red Cross operations. They even provided musical instruments, and several of the children formed a small orchestra that staged performances.

After the arrival of the children in Vladivostok, the chaos of the Civil War returned to the Trans-Siberian rail line. The Czechs gradually departed through Vladivostok, the Bolsheviks began to press eastward, and Japanese troops collaborated with White commanders and Cossack warlords in a struggle to control the rails.

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In Aprilthe Japanese army took control of Vladivostok. Allen soon received orders to wind up American Red Cross operations as well. Among other tasks, the Red Cross staff had to prevent the older children from roaming too freely around the city, where thousands of soldiers, diplomats, dislocated artists, railway men, aid-workers, and prisoners of war, both foreign and Russian, sought sustenance and entertainment.

Amidst this free-wheeling atmosphere and the continuous influx of refugees, cholera and other diseases were rife. One girl from the colony died and was buried in a small cemetery on Russian Island. The colony was divided in its political loyalties, and some of the adults challenged the merits of returning the children to Petrograd at all: surely, they said, during the two years since the children left, many of their parents had perished or fled Russia, and Petrograd was in any case still short of food.

The Commissar claimed that the children were kept in disease-infested dwellings and forced to drink from dirty wells used by horses. Allen, stunned by the accusations, wrote to the local representative of the Soviet Government in Vladivostok, who had visited the children several times, and asked him to refute these falsehoods.

Allen, despite the Soviet calumny, remained determined to deliver the children home to Petrograd.

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But with the US pulling its troops out of Vladivostok, it was now his task to shut down Red Cross operations and evacuate his employees. He and Bramhall decided that the only alternative was to bring the children home by ship, across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The US military, busy evacuating the Czech legions and its own forces, Seattle to provide a vessel. In desperation, Allen arranged to lease a Japanese freighter, and had it outfitted in Japan with sleeping areas, toilets, and other basic amenities.

Allen, Bramhall, Campbell, and other American Red Cross staff meanwhile prepared to accompany the children on their long and treacherous sea voyage home. In Julyafter a month of repair and refitting in Japan, the Yomei Maruwith a Japanese captain and crew, sailed into the harbor of Vladivostok. The children boarded together with their Russian teacher-supervisors, 17 American Red Cross staff members led by Allen and Bramhall, and some 80 former POWs from different nations who would perform menial jobs on the ship in return for passage to Europe.

Altogether the ship was carrying nearly 1, passengers, including Russian children; it was originally deed to carry a crew of about 60 sailors. The Yomei Maru made a call in the Japanese port of Muroran to repair its failing plumbing system and take on provisions.

The children disembarked briefly to meet with local officials and Japanese schoolchildren in a ceremony of cultural exchange and singing. Then their overloaded vessel slowly made its way across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco. The children were greeted as celebrities, lodged for translate days on shore, and treated to city tours and entertainment. who had died at sea from an infection was buried in Manhattan next to a Russian church.

While their vessel underwent minor flirt at a New York shipyard, the children were housed for two weeks at Fort Wworth on Staten Island. Even more than in San Francisco, the Russian children and their around-the-world voyage were a public sensation. President Wilson sent them a letter of welcome.

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They were deluged with candy, hot dogs, and other American treats, and were invited to music performances, museums, fairs, and private homes. The teacher-supervisors struggled to keep track of their young charges in the gigantic, bustling metropolis.

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Some argued vehemently against returning the children to their now-communist homeland, from which news of brutalities and repression emanated. On the other side of the political divide, Bolshevik agents and sympathizers chastised the Red Cross for even considering taking them elsewhere, and repeated Soviet charges that the children were being abused and imprisoned against their will. They have been good to us. They love us. And we love them.

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The top leadership of the American Red Cross issued contradictory statements, but seemed poised to deliver the children to France instead of to Russia. Some of the older children wrote a petition to Allen insisting that they be taken directly back to Petrograd. Allen received the petition sympathetically, and remained resolved on delivering the children back to their parents as he negotiated with his superiors at the American Red Cross.

Bramhall reported to Allen that eight Russian children and nurses were left behind with relatives who had immigrated to the US, and two boys had failed to appear at the ship in time for departure.

Stories to awaken the world

The Japanese owners were unwilling to consider bringing the Yomei Maru to Petrograd, fearing it could be impounded and the crew interned — after all, Japanese troops were still occupying large tracts of territory in Eastern Russia and sparring with the Red Army. After reviewing alternatives, Allen decided that the vessel would sail to a port in Finland, near the Soviet border and close to Petrograd.

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On the way, the Yomei Maru stopped in Brest, France to pick up more supplies and to drop off a few children whose parents had re-located to Western Europe.