The old man in Tianjin described by Russian writers

  ”In the Wild Forest of Ussuri” written by Russian writer V. K. Arseniyev has been published for nearly a century. It has been translated and published in more than 30 languages ​​in Europe and the United States, and it has been made into a film and won awards. Many Russian publishing houses reprint his works time and time again. In China, it was translated into a book in 1977, translated by the translation team of the Russian Department of Heilongjiang University, and published by the Commercial Press.
  I first saw this book in the early 1980s. When I first read this book, I didn’t take it seriously, thinking it was the author’s geographical survey report. The narrative method is a typical “running account”, like a long diary. However, the more you read, the more interested you become, and the more difficult it becomes to let go. It depicts a large amount of popular science knowledge and the interesting primitive living forms of the local aborigines with vivid brushstrokes.   Author
V. K. Arseniyev (1872-1930), his book was written during the Tsarist period and published in the Soviet Union.
After graduating from the St. Petersburg Infantry Sergeant’s School in 1895, he joined the army. In 1900 he moved to Vladivostok (Vladivostok) in the Far East. At that time, Vladivostok was still a small town surrounded by mountains and forests. Ashi was deeply interested in geography and liked to hunt. He went in and out of it and felt the beauty of nature, which also laid the foundation for his later investigation career.
  He has led a team to conduct field trips to the Ussuri area three times. The book was published from 1921 to 1923, as if the mystery of the Ussuri Manglin was unveiled. The interesting animal world and the unique life style of the aborigines immediately attracted the attention of readers. Gorky, a famous writer living in Italy at that time, spoke highly of this book, believing that it “has great academic value” and was “dumped by its expressiveness”.
  Arseniyev dedicated his life to the investigation career, to the forest and nature. He later became an ethnologist, geographer, and writer. He is a member of the Russian Geographical Society and the Russian Oriental Society. He used to be the director of the Khabarovsk (Boli) Museum and the president of the Amur (Heilongjiang) branch of the Russian Geographical Society.
  first encounter
  In the Ussuri area, a large number of Chinese have lived here for a long time. In that backward era, how far away the Ussuri Mountains were, and how those Chinese ancestors lived, there are just a lot of answers scattered in every corner of this book. Lonely Chinese huts or swarms of villages, workshops and temples will be encountered everywhere, and the Chinese people who hunt, dig ginseng and farm in this area will be personally contacted. Many of the plots described by Ashi are specific and vivid, which intuitively show the kind and industrious character of the Chinese people, and record the way of life at that time. But these records are blank in our own historical records.
  Among them, an old Chinese man had an unusual experience, which made Ah Shi use more pen and ink and made me move more thoughts. Because he is neither a fugitive who was forced to run away by the poor life in the countryside, nor someone who came here to dig for gold to get rich, but an urbanite from Tianjin, the largest city in northern China, and the son of a big family. .
  Ah Shi wrote: “I met a lonely old Chinese man in front of the small room. When we got out of the bushes, his first action was to run away. But it seems that out of self-esteem, he added Because of his age and hospitable habit, he bites the bullet and stays where he is.” The
  sun has gone down, the beautiful sunset in the forest has disappeared, and the surroundings have dimmed, adding a bit of coolness. The comfortable environment around the small room made Ashi Decided to spend the night here. While lighting a bonfire to prepare dinner, Ashi sat aside and “looked at the Chinese for a long time.” He looked very carefully and seriously. “He was tall, with a little hunched back. His black eyes were cloudy, and he had a few thin white beards. He was wearing a blue cloth shirt that was faded, worn, and badly mended. An old cloth belt, also made of blue cloth, was tied around his waist, with a hunting knife, a shovel for digging ginseng, and a pocket for flint and scythe. He wore a pair of blue trousers, and his feet were stitched with deerskin. His low-top shoes, tied with leather straps and a rag around his head, were smoky, dirty and black.”
  Ah Shi’s eyes are really powerful, and he has already determined in his observation: “This old Chinese man is not like an ordinary Chinese who works as a coolie. His slender hands with ten fingers, his profile and hooked nose, and some special features on his face. The expression on his face showed that he came to the deep mountain forest by accident.” He even guessed: “It may be a political prisoner who escaped.
  ” Mystery in mind.
  Remote Memories The
  old man started distant memories. He told Ah Shi that his name was Li Chunbin, he was 74 years old, his hometown was Tianjin, and he was born in a wealthy family. When he was young, he quarreled with his family, and his younger brother made him suffer a great shame. A woman was involved, and the father sided with the younger brother. So he left home and ran to the Songhua River, and from there to the Ussuri area, staying at the Daobi River. Doing the math, in 1907, Li Laohan was 74 years old. When he was young, his home was a wealthy family in Tianjin. Even if he ran away from home at the age of 25-30, the time of running away should be between 1855-1860. At this time, the Li family of the famous “eight great masters” in Tianjin, the big salt merchant Li Chuncheng, was called “Li Shanren”, and it was the time when the family was prosperous. The famous “Li Shanren Garden” is now People’s Park. It was designed in imitation of the West Lake Garden around the second year of Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty (1863). It is not known whether this Li Chunbin is a member of the Li family. Because, during the conversation with Ah Shi, Old Man Li recalled his mother, his childhood, and the garden by the river. The Li Shanren Garden was built not far from the Qiangzi River. Whether Li Chunbin is related to him remains to be verified.
  Later, Russian immigrants came to Daobi River, Li Chunbin moved to Wula River, and later lived in Suzi River, Pusong River and Waifujin River, and finally came to Dakema River, where he lived for 34 years. If you add the life that started from Daobihe, Li Laohan has lived in the Ussuri area for no less than 50 years. In the past, he had hunted, and the first powder gun was exchanged for 30 fine mink hides, and then he dug for ginseng. When he is old, his eyesight is dizzy, his legs can’t run, he can’t hunt, so he hunts beasts.
  Old man Li lives here alone. Occasionally, some indigenous people come here, and most of the time he lives alone. I believe that Li Laohan has not seen so many people in the inspection team for many years. For many years, he has not dealt with a “cultural person” like Ashi, and Ashi’s appearance also gave him an opportunity to speak.
   “He finally fell silent, lowered his head to his chest, and fell into contemplation.” The conversation between the   two
ended in the contemplation of Old Man Li.
Ah Shi already felt the icy cold wind blowing from the northwest. In the middle of the night in Ussuri in September, it was already terrifyingly cold. Ah Shi quietly returned to the house, while Li Chunbin remained motionless by the bonfire.
  After a while, Ah Shi looked out the door, and the old man Li was still standing still. The firelight illuminated his old face. “In this firelight, he seemed to be a person from another world, a red-hot iron man, completely indulged in meditation, as if he had forgotten our existence at all.” Ah Shi recorded the scene of this moment.
  Talking and pondering made Old Man Li fall into emotions that he had not experienced or seen for a long time. In his motionless body, his blood must be boiling.
  However, Ah Shi did not expect that it was his appearance that activated the dead inner world of the old man and made him make another unexpected decision… The
  night was deeper and the bonfire had been blown out by the cold wind. Ah Shi looked out the window, and the old man Li was still standing still!
  The next morning, the sun had risen, the white frost had fallen, and the puddles had frozen. Ah Shi walked out of the house and found that the messy things that were placed in front of the house yesterday have been packed into the hut. There is a small temple next to the open space, which is made of wood. Old man Li is kneeling in front of the temple and praying. After about a quarter of an hour, Li Chunbin returned to the house. Packing his bags, he plans to return to his hometown. If his younger brother is still there, he will reconcile with him and spend the rest of his life there.
  It was a sudden decision, but with a long-standing background, the fallen leaves return to their roots—the inevitability lurking in the depths was finally activated by an unexpected contingency at such a specific moment and condition.   After the old man Li packed
  his bags, he took off a wooden bracelet from his wrist and handed it to Ah Shi: “Take it, sir, wear it well, and you will be blessed!”
His mountains and waters, one by one, bid farewell. There were two tall and straight larch trees growing next to the house. He looked at the big tree, said touching words, shed tears of sadness, and kowtowed again.
  Old Man Li bid farewell to Ah Shi and his traveling companions one by one. He walked to the edge of the clearing, stopped again, and looked back one last time at the place where he had lived alone for so many years.
  Old man Li left and disappeared into the woods.
  ”It seems like a string has snapped! This open space, this little house, I felt very comfortable yesterday, but now it is very strange, very empty. This is an empty house! The soul is gone, only the body is left. !”

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