By Lu Hsun
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As his surname was Kung, he was nicknamed "Kung I-chi," the first three char- acters in a children's copy-book. Whenever he came into the shop, everyone would look at him and chuckle. And someone would call out: "Kung I-chi! " Ignoring this remark, Kung would come to the counter to order two bowls of heated wine and a dish of peas flavoured with aniseed. And he would pro- duce nine coppers. " he would ask, opening his eyes wide. 5* STORIES "Pooh, good name indeed! " Then Kung would flush, the veins on his forehead standing out, as he remonstrated: "Taking a book can't be considered stealing.
I knew they were one band, all eaters of human flesh. But I also knew that they did not all think alike by any means. Some of them thought that since it had always been so, men should be eaten. Some of them knew that they should not eat men, but still wanted to; and they were afraid people might discover their secret; thus when they heard me they became angry, but they still smiled their cynical, tight-lipped smile. * It was believed that human blood cured consumption. Thus after the execution of a criminal, the executioner would sell steamed bread dipped in blood.
I understood. They were editing the magazine "New Youth,"** but hitherto there seemed to have been no reaction, favourable or otherwise, and I guessed they must be feeling lonely. However I said: "Imagine an iron house without windows, absolutely indestructible, with many people fast asleep inside * Shaohsing. * * The most influential magazine in the cultural revolution of that time. 34 STORIES who will soon die of suffocation. But you know since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel any of the pain of death.