A Small Event
David Moser，Guohua Chen译
Six years have gone by in the blink of an eye since I came to the capital from the countryside. During these six years I have witnessed and heard about quite a number of big events known as 'affairs of state' None of them, however, has had any impact on my heart. If anything, they have only made me increasingly gloomy. To tell the truth, they have made me more and more contemptuous of other people.
But there was one small event which had deep significance for me and which pulled me out of my gloom. I still remember it clearly today.
It was a winter day in the sixth year of the Republic (1917) and a strong northerly wind was blowing. I set off early in the morning to go to work. There was hardly anybody on the street. It was quite some time before I finally succeeded in hiring a rickshaw. I told the rickshawman to take me to the South Gate. After a while the north wind abated, leaving in its wake a clean stretch of road free of loose dust, which enabled the rickshawman to run more quickly. Just as we approached the South Gate the right shaft of the rickshaw collided with someone, who crumpled to the ground.
The fallen person was a woman, with streaks of white in her hair and wearing ragged clothes. She had darted suddenly from the side of the street and crossed directly in front of us. The rickshawman had swerved aside, but her tattered cotton-padded vest, unbuttoned and fluttering in the wind, still got caught on he shaft. Fortunately, the rickshawman had slowed his pace, otherwise she would surely have been thrown head over heels and seriously injured.
The old woman was down on all fours; the rickshawman halted. As I was sure she was not hurt and no one else had seen the collision, I thought the rickshawman was overreacting. He was simply asking for trouble and delaying my journey.
"This is nothing," I said to him. "Just go on!"
But the rickshawman ignored my command, or perhaps he did not hear me. He put down the shafts and gen