作者： 千里明月 选自故事中国网
译者: 都柏林大学 赖小琪
Due to the obscure boundary between two lands owned by two families, Li, who felt the division was not fair, stabbed Feng with a knife in an argument. Seeing Feng lying still and the blood streaming all over the ground, Li felt terrifically panic, face turning pale and slipping away. He went to various provinces such as Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei, etc, covering his real name. He tried to hide himself from the police and made his living by begging. One day, when Li was collecting some rubbish as usual, he spotted a piece of news in a deserted newspaper that a seventy-year-old man surrendered himself to the police and confessed that he killed his lover twenty-three years ago. As China’s Criminal Law stipulated that the maximum number of years of criminal responsibility was twenty years, the old man could probably be released without being charged.
Li felt considerably surprised and pleased at the news. He counted the number of years when he was escaping from the police and learnt it was twenty-one. That is to say, he would not face any legal penalty for his murder in the past. Feeling extremely excited, he dashed back to his house and packed his luggage, then arrived at the bus station and bought a ticket back home. Coming back home and seeing his mother, he felt even a mixed feeling of happiness and sorrow, hugging his mother and tearing cats and dogs. He had been away from home for such a long time and become old now. His mother looked at Li, a skeletal man with bushy beards, saying sadly, “My dear son, you have lost contact with us all these years. You’ll never know how much I worried about you.”
“Mum, I know I am wrong!”
“Why did you escape at that time?”
“I killed someone, so I had to go. Otherwise I would be captured and sentenced to death.”
“What if you had gone to the police and confessed the crime! It would be wonderful!” His mother sighed.
“No, of course not! If I had surrendered at that time, I would have lost my life!” Li took out the newspaper from his pocket and showed the news to his mum, saying happily, “Mum, look! The result is different now!”
His mother read the news carefully and said with a puzzled face, “What does it mean? You did not kill anyone.”
“I did not kill anyone?” Li asked with his eyes real open
“No, you did not!” She shook her heads, “You did not stab the fatal point on Feng. After rescue in hospital, he recovered soon.”
“So…….” Li was totally stunned, slumping onto the ground. After quite a while, he came back to his consciousness and said, “My twenty-one years of escaping turns out to be in vain!”