Chinese Fiction Essay
April 27th, 2012
The “brothers of the green woods” are highway robbers with a Robin Hood type disposition. Ma Joong and Chiao Tai are two highwaymen that gave up their robbing ways and joined Judge Dee as his lieutenants. Once, when Judge Dee was traveling to the capital on some official business, these two men attacked him and his party on the road intending to rob them. Judge Dee at once saw that Ma Joong and Chiao Tai, far from being common thieves, were men of a heroic disposition, while the passes they made at him showed him convincingly that they were well versed in the arts of fencing and boxing. Instead of fighting with these men, it seemed to Judge Dee that he might try to reform these men, and use their service later to assist him in executing the King’s business. He ordered them to desist and gave them a speech that greatly moved them. By hearing Judge Dee speak they realized they were in the presence of a man with very good virtue. They explained that they became highwaymen because they found the Empire in turmoil and wicked ministers in charge at Court. With only their able bodies and knowledge of the martial arts, they had no other course but to take to the highway. But since Judge Dee spoke to them with such kindness they vowed to give up robbery and show their gratitude for his kindness. Judge Dee made them his lieutenants and sends them out to make discreet inquiries; interview witnesses, trail suspects, and find out the hiding place of criminals and arrest them.
Ma Joong is Judge Dee’s second lieutenant. He is extremely loyal to Judge Dee and isn’t afraid to risk his life for his services. When Judge Dee needs to find information about the doctor’s student Hsu Deh-Tai, he makes a plan to have Ma Joong act as a thief and sneak into the room of Hsu Deh-tai. If he was to be caught he would have to keep up his role as a thief for a few days while in custody. “Ma Joong, however, far from being reluctant to...
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