Yu had to suppress his anger with Cuiping for her reckless act and breach of discipline of the party. While saying their thanks and goodbye to the branch chief, he asked for a day off to take Cuiping back to her mother, who was ill and needed her. By doing this he was also in breach of discipline as he had no right to change Cuiping’s assignment by the party.
Upon hearing this, the branch chief led Cuiping to his wife and took Yu aside. He said, “It was not easy to find someone to be acceptable company for my wife. As they have hit it off so well, I can’t afford to let her leave.” Yu said, “How can I refuse my in-laws request?” The branch chief replied, “We can always give them money for treatment. If you send my god daughter away, my wife would be deprived her of her company and she will continue to nag at me instead.”
So it really was not that the branch chief was enamored of Cupping’s assertive personality, but his necessity to find a suitable companion for his wife that caused him to be nice to Cuiping. Now Yu’s attempt to keep Cuiping from making another gaffe was thwarted by the branch chief’s personal needs. He actually felt sorry for the head of the intelligence agency, who had many wives but wanted so hard to keep up the pretense of appearing to live a righteous life.
After all the arguments pertaining to this incident, Yu discovered he could neither teach or change Cupping’s boldness and recklessness, nor send her away. It was too dangerous to allow such a female guerrilla to work beside him and let her join him in the various activities organized by the intelligence agency. At his wits’ end, he had to request to the party that he be allowed to dictate to Cuiping not to commit any indiscretion or dangerous actions.
So the party gave the permission immediately and Yu passed it on to Cuiping. Cuiping said,” You lied. Just a few days ago you promised to get me an assignment. And now you go behind my back, trying to shut me up at home or send me away.” Yu said, “Now you can’t leave even if you want to.” Cuiping replied, ”I can leave anytime I want.” To which Yu retorted, “It would be irresponsible to the party’s cause if you just leave the branch chief’s wife.” This discussion soon became another of the arguments they frequently had.
Their argument took place in the bedroom, while one was sitting on the bed and one on the floor. Cuiping got angry and lit up her pipe and the smoke instantly turned room into a temple. Yu opened his mouth several times, but in the end he refrained from asking her not to smoke. Insignificant things would be considered very significant if they pertained to the party’s cause, whereas even huge personal feelings would be considered insignificant. He couldn’t allow their working relationship to deteriorate due to his own personal likes or dislikes.
Cuiping finally realized her act and took the pipe and went out bare foot to the balcony. Yu followed, thinking to console and apologize to her to lighten the mood. But he discovered that a car was parked across the street, with two lit cigarettes glowing. As he looked further up and down the street, he saw another car parked farther down. And even though he couldn’t recognize anyone in particular, he knew it was the typical method of the bureau surveillance. So he stretched out his arms and hugged Cuiping from behind, while laughing loudly. He whispered in her ears to do the same.
Obviously, Cuiping was nervous and so her smile was not genuine. He turned her around, putting one hand on her waist and the other on her face. He kissed her on her lips, but the smoke in Cuiping’s mouth brought tears to his eyes.
“Look across the street, now you should realize how dangerous it really is.” He whispered. “Yes.” She nodded in agreement.
He continued, “You have to follow my instructions.” Cuiping shook her head resolutely, and said “No.” “Why not?” Cuiping replied in a whisper that it had to be a real assignment for the revolution. He then said, “You are not following the orders of your leader.” Whereupon Cuiping said, “Even the leaders have to listen to the opinions of the masses.” He replied, “Due to unusual times you must accept unusual measures.” Cuiping retorted,” Under no circumstances, should we be lax about the revolution.” He then said, ”Your working style does not fit the current situation.” So, Cuiping said, “You can teach me how to do it, but you must let me do it.” He then said, “The assignment I give you is to be company for the branch chief’s wife.” She answered, “That hag disgusts me.” So, he said, “There are many things you can learn from her.” Her retort was, “I’d rather die than learn to be a monster like her.”
The argument didn’t end until Cuiping flung his hand away and left. Her parting words stung in his ears, ‘I don’t see any courage of a revolutionary soldier in you.’
Cuiping went back to the room, but Yu couldn’t continue the argument with her immediately, because he had to pretend to show harmony by starting a Taiqi routine to throw off any show of discord. He knew that those spying on him were sent by Old Ma and he was not above framing him if necessary.
In Yu’s own words, this argument between the two comrades was partially won by Cuiping. The next day, he had to write to the party again, asking approval for a not too dangerous assignment for Cuiping. He was embarrassed at being in this wishy-washy situation.
The so-called revolutionary job that Yu gave Cuiping was to deliver the party dues to the party.
他在军统局所做的是那种让人无法清廉的工作，因为总是有那么一些人挖门托房地给他送钱， 目的并不一定是要他帮什么忙，而多半是希望他装一些糊涂，哪怕是少看他们一眼也行。到了天津站之后，他手中已经积存了一大堆十两的金条，但是，由于和党组 织的同志见不上面，他一直也无法上交。现在这一堆金条倒是给了他一个替翠平安排革命工作的理由。
His job at the bureau was difficult to perform without being corrupt, because there were many people who were desperately trying to bribe him for one thing or another, just to keep his eyes and mouth shut. Since his arrival in Tianjin, he had already accumulated a considerable amount of gold in the bribes accepted. As he hadn’t been able to meet any of the party members, he hadn’t turned in the money he was bribed with. Now he was giving this job of delivering the gold ingots to Cuiping.
他对翠平说我已经与组织上联系好了，你每天陪着站长太太出去玩儿，组织上会派交通员与你联络，告诉你交接金条的方法。翠平横了他一眼说原来不是送情报。他只好说这是组织安排，是极为重要的革命工作。翠平问如果我做得顺利，是不是就可以送情报 了?他说假如组织上同意，我们再商量。翠平说我不喜欢摸钱，更恨有钱人。他便说你现在就是有钱人，而且必须得让所有人都明白你是个有钱人，这样你才会安 全。翠平啐了一声狗屎，但还是同意了。
Yu informed Cuiping that the party had agreed that she must accompany the branch chief’s wife and that they would contact her as to how the transfer of the gold ingots was to be made. With a resentful look, she exclaimed,‘Oh it’s not for information.’ Yu had to admit it was the orders of the party and that it was important. Cuiping asked, ‘If I accomplish this, will I be allowed to deliver more important information in the future?’ ‘If the party agrees, of course we can discuss this in the future.’ He replied. Cuiping said, ‘I don’t like to touch money and I hate rich people.’ “You are now one of the rich ones, and you have to make others believe that you are. Only then will you be safe.” She retorted, ‘Oh, shit!’ But she agreed.
Consequently, the ‘husband and wife did their respective jobs and though they didn’t argue, still had their differences of opinion. Yu believed that the basic tenets of the spy business was that the less you know, the safer you are. This is especially true in the cause of revolution.
Afterwards for some quite time, both the work and ‘marriage’ seemed to be going along smoothly for Yu. During this period, Old Ma was his congenial old-self. He would chat and visit Yu often. He invited Yu to dine with him, attend theatres and the bathhouse with him constantly. He gave Cuiping expansive gifts and continually flatted Yu by saying that the branch chief’s wife considered Cuiping more of a daughter than her own daughter by continually keeping her company. You will surely become the next vice branch chief. When the time comes, I hope you won’t forget me.
In addition, Old Ma introduced Yu to several dealers and brokers of foreign currencies and gold. So as to keep Cuiping busy with her money delivery job and to prevent her from intruding upon his intelligence work, he made the overtures to act intensely interested in making more money than ever. Therefore, the bureau had one more corrupt official. It got so noticeable that the branch chief warned Yu several times to slow down his money chasing and see the big picture.
出事的那天，余则成因公跑了一趟塘沽，很晚才回来，却又被新的紧急公事给绊住脱不开身， 便往家中打电话，不想没有人接。他并不知道翠平这天有没有任务，就派手下人到家中去看，那人回来说家中无人，他便立刻意识到翠平出事了，因为，他们在一起 两年来，翠平总是早睡早起，从来也没有过夜不归宿的事发生。
Then it happened! On that day, Yu had gone to Tanggu on important business matters and got back very late. In addition, he had to take care of some emergencies at the office. So he called home, but no one answered. He was sure whether or not Cuiping had any special errands that day, so he sent someone home to check. The assistant returned saying no one was at home, and he immediately realized that something must have happened to Cuiping. In the two years that they had been together, she had always risen early and gone to bed early, and she had never stay out anywhere.
他给站长夫人打电话，老太太说干闺女原本陪她去瞧戏，压轴的《牧虎关》刚开锣，她就不知 道跑哪去了，而且再没见到她。然后他又给警察局长打电话，不一会儿那边回电说今晚没人报警发生绑架案件。他再给卫戍司令部打电话，让他们查寻各出城路口， 并描绘了翠平的身形相貌。然后又打电话找老马，没找到，便又跑下楼找特勤队的其他同事，他们都说今天只抓了些闹事的学生，没见着中校太太。
First he called the Branch chief’s wife, and her reply was that they had gone to the theatre, but before it was over, she just disappeared without a word. He then called the chief of police, and his reply also gave no information. So then he called the general’s office to give them Cuiping’s description and requested them to contact him if Cuiping had been sighted. He tried to call Old Ma but wasn’t able to reach him. So he went downstairs instead to talk to his men and see if they knew anything. They had only caught some student protesters and not any wives of officials.
He really wasn’t worried that Cuiping would do anything damaging after arrest, knowing how brave she was. She also wouldn’t commit suicide, because he had already prevented her from carrying the poison or grenade on her. His thinking was that she would be more prudent without any means of killing herself or others. Otherwise, because of her personality, she might do something reckless.
Yu’s main worry was that Cuiping would clench her lips and refuse to identify herself if she was taken prisoner. His worry was that she would be tortured for not cooperation. He blamed himself for not having gone over any contingency plans if caught doing something wrong, mainly because he thought her was not that dangerous and because he wanted to avoid any further dissention.
By the noon of the next day, even the branch chief was concerned over her disappearance. He exclaimed, ‘Who would have the nerve to do this?’ He even called the Branch Chief of another intelligence agency in Tianjin, but they had no new either. It was not until dusk, when Old Ma returned and said he found Cuiping. Yu was more concerned over this news than if anyone else had found her, because Old Ma was known as an expert in framing people.
Cuiping was being held at the Tax Revenue bureau, where Old Ma took Yu to pick her up. As they approached, the officials had lined up to welcome them. The bureaeu chief was pale with fright, and looked as though they were ready to kowtow for forgiveness. Cuiping’s hair was a mess, her face was bruised, but she had been given new clothes to change into. When she saw Yu, she turned away and her face turned pale then red then purple.
余则成问局长是谁把翠平抓进来的，局长只是一味地作揖，口中不停地说兄弟该死有眼无珠。 除了退还翠平的金条，局长另外又送上一根金条说是给太太压惊。余则成不愿意理睬他，倒是翠平老实不客气地将金条抓在了手中。他知道，翠平一定是相信了他给 她灌输的道理——革命事业同样需要金钱的支持。
Yu asked who brought Cuiping in, but the bureau chief continued to offer apologies and cursed officer who brought her in. In addition to returning Cuiping’s gold, he added an additional ingot to compensate for her distress. Yu ignored him, but Cuiping grabbed the gold without hesitation. Yu knew that Cuiping must have been influenced by his constant promotion of the need for money for the revolutionary cause.
He then asked Old Ma How he found Cuiping. Old Ma said he had no special abilities but he had lots of men who were his eyes and ears. He consoled Cuiping by saying he would exact revenge upon those men who brought he in and they would wish they were dead before he was through with them. But Yu recognized that all this could have been set up by Old Ma to trick them into something, because even though the officer of the tax revenue bureau may not have recognized Cuiping, he surely would have recognized the bureau chief’s wife, who was her constant companion.
After they got home, he asked Cuiping what happened to the messenger who was supposed to receive the money. She burst into tears saying, ‘He took the poison, which you wouldn’t allow me to have. So I was caught alive and may implicate you.’ But Yu wouldn’t agree, because he knew that had she committed suicide just because of trading gold, he would have been in more trouble because they would be suspicious of him using this as a method for passing intelligence to the communists. He didn’t say this out loud to Cuiping since she was already so embarrassed by being caught.
After this incident, Cuiping became silent and did not ask for any further work, would not even to deliver the money. She spent all day smoking her pipe until her teeth turned brown and never left the apartment. Even the branch chief became worried and complained to Yu that his wife missed her god daughter. Yu could only use illness as a pretext and that when she recovered, she would go visit her god mother. In his heart, he hoped that she would soon recover even if it meant more arguments between them. The reality was that Cuiping didn’t want to speak at all, and gradually became more and more emaciated and sickly.
At this time, the party requested Yu to evaluate Cuiping’s working capacity and so that they could update her file.
这件事把余则成推入了一个两难的境地。在他看来，翠平无论是从学识相貌，到脾气秉性，以 及工作方法，都与她现在的工作大相径庭，更让他恼火的是，翠平几乎从来也不肯听从他的领导，不肯认同他的工作也是需要绝大的勇气和毅力的。然而，他却没有勇气将他的这些想法汇报给组织上，特别是在翠平出现了这次重大的失误之后。过去几年来，他一直在经手与中共有关的各项情报，早几年从延安传来的情报中，有多一半是报告中共整风运动和抓特务运动的情况，如果单从那些情报来看，确实有些吓人，然而，由于他与组织上没有直接的联系，他又无从判断这些情报的真实性 有多大，也就无法辨别那些派遣出去的特务是不是在写小说，编故事。
This put Yu in a big dilemma. From his perspective, her education, appearance, personality and work ethics all lacked sufficiency. More over, she never listened to him or followed his directions. She didn’t not acknowledge his worthiness: bravery, determination and self-sacrifice. However, he wasn’t ready to report these thoughts honestly to the party, especially after this fiasco. Over the past few years, Yu had seen many reports of the severe purging of the party members in Yan’an. The reports were scary enough to keep him from telling them the truth about Cuiping. Due to his lack of communication with the party, he couldn’t be sure of the accuracy of the reports, as to their validity.
Regardless of truthfulness, it would be very inappropriate for him to report the truth about Cuiping and her shortcomings. She was a person to be pitied already in her pathetic situation. Normally, in their position, after 3 to 5 months, the marriage should have been consummated. But in their case, even after two years, not only did they not consummate, their relationship was even worse. He blamed himself for this. Therefore, he put in his evaluation that she had great deal of courage and perseverance, her passion for the cause was admirable, and her zeal for strict interpretation of the party’s cause should be emulated. Therefore, I recommend a commendation for her enthusiasm, as a token of encouragement.
Having reread his evaluation of Cuiping, he decided that it was not quite adequate and added that she had become a seasoned veteran and should now be given a backup drop box which she would be in charge of.
Before long the party responded with a message that they had approved his proposal for Cuiping for having her own drop box and in addition, they awarded her with a distinguished third class merit citation, which would be logged into her personal file.
“This is your new assignment and you are now in charge of it.” Yu said after he explained the party’s instruction to her.
Let me carry the poison pills and the grenade on me. Cuiping was still weak but her spirit was rejuvenated which showed in her dark eyes the hatred for the enemy.
The most intense period of the war in the Northeastern part of China occurred at midnight of October 14, 1948, that’s when the branch chief urgently summoned Yu to his office. He showed him a large envelope from the National Military Committee. Yu discovered the letter was from the Wei Lihuang clique to the general who was in charge of defending the City of Changchun. “Nanjing’s intentions are to have us send some messengers to penetrate the fortification of Changchun. I’ve recommended you to head this mission, with the proviso that anyone you find who might show any signs of desertion be shot on the spot.” Pointing to the envelope, Yu asked what was inside. To which, the branch chief replied I am of the same mind as you. Better not to be in the dark, let’s open it.
Yu used a letter opener to unseal the letter, and withdrew Chiang Kai-shek’s decree. It was simple, Chiang ordered General Zheng to break out with full force in the direction of Shenyang. By doing so, they could distract the liberation forces from both directions. Having seen the decree, the branch chief gave a long sigh and said, “We are finished in Northeastern China!”
Knowing that he didn’t have any excuse to decline the mission, he pointedly assured the manger that he would carry out this mission. He heated the wax and the branch chief took out the counterfeit seal and stamped it shut again. Because they had done this often, it was easy and smooth.
The branch chief told him that the plane is on standby and you can take off immediately. Here’s what you will need if you need to sacrifice yourself for the country .,.
Uncustomarily for him, Yu said jokingly, “I left my poison in my pistol, which is in my sock drawer at home.”
With his eyes wet, the branch chief said,”When you jump from the plane, be very careful, I don’t want to lose my best right hand man for nothing.” Yu replied, ”Don’t worry. When you become the bureau chief in Nanjing, I will still be your deputy.”
When Yu arrived home, Cuiping was still awake. Recently she had been unable to sleep and so she smoked and stayed awake all night long. When she saw him packing, she asked how long he would be gone. “Not long.” Although he knew chances of his return were very slim. The war in the Northeastern section was like a conflagration. Not even counting that they were only dispatching a few people, even if it had been a battalion, it would have been as if Chang Kaishek threw a nail into a pot of molten steel.
As he finished packing, he wrote down Chang Kaishek’s message on a slip of paper. “Take it to your drop and mark it ‘Urgent’ and it needs to be delivered to the party as soon as possible.” Cuiping asked, ‘Are you travelling because of this?” He answered “Yes.” “Where?””Changchen.”
翠平听到这话便坐回到地铺上半天不语。很久以来，每当翠平心绪烦乱而余则成又有一点儿空 闲的时候，他便不停地对她讲话，希望能够缓解她内心的痛苦。然而他是个老实人，不善言辞，便只好把解放军在全国战场上的军事行动讲给她听，所以，对东北的 战局翠平也很清楚，只是对地理方位时常闹不大明白罢了。
Hearing this, Cuiping sat back down and became silent. For a while, whenever Cuiping was upset, Yu would try to pacify her by talking, even though he was not a verbal person. He would discuss situations of the war. So Cuiping was quite aware the dangers in the Northeastern sector.
Seeing her silent, Yu had mixed feelings. The truth was they had never really bonded like true comrades through the past two years. So when he picked up the baggage and walked to the door, he just said, “I’m leaving.”
此一去就是生离死别。他心中清楚得很，那份情报一旦送出去，郑洞国的兵团便断无逃生之 路。在相互厮杀的百万军中，他每时每刻都有被杀死的可能。不过，如果他回不来，对翠平倒可能是个解脱，因为她终于完成了任务，而且带着良好的评语，她可以 回到熟悉的环境和战友们中间，到那个时候，她也许能找到快乐，至少比与他相处要快乐得多。
This departure would most likely be final. He was clear that once the decree was delivered, General Zheng’s army would be forced to fight to the death. And at any moment, because he would be between the two forces, his life would be hanging by a thread. However, if he did come back, he would actually be doing Cuiping a service. Her mission would be completed with commendation. She could return to her home environment, joining her fellow guerillas and perhaps find happiness again. At least she would be happier than being with him.
He said again, “ I’m leaving.”
This time, Cuiping abruptly said, “I’ve been living with you for over two years. I can never remarry. So you must come back.”
This was the first time Cuiping had ever made a request for herself. He couldn’t describe his emotions, but said honestly, “I probably won’t make it back. So after you deliver the message, you should return to your fellow guerillas.”
He knew his words would sting her, but he didn’t want to give Cuiping any hope. Even if he could come back, he wouldn’t give her any happiness, nor to himself.
Thirty years later, to celebrate his vindication of being a nationalist intelligence officer, he cooked a pot of stewed beef and invited a friend name Long Yi to hear his story. Long Yi asked him, “Whatever happened to Cuiping?” Yu shook his head and said, “I looked for her several times in the early fifties, but found no evidence of her.” Long Yi asked, “Was the message delivered?” Yu answered that the message had played a critical role in winning the war, but Cuiping disappeared on the same day that the message was delivered as did Old Ma. Long Yi tapped his head, teasingly said, “Maybe she thought you deserted her and married someone else.”
Yu said adamantly, ”No way. She must have been stalked by Old Ma, and while he was arresting her, she must have pulled the grenade out. That grenade was powerful enough to make several people disappear.”