Part 2, Chapter 6 Summary
LuLing contemplates suicide after her husband, Kai Jing, is killed. However, GaoLing tells LuLing not to bother because the Japanese are about to come and kill them. LuLing also reminds herself that she is now responsible for Kai Jing’s father, Teacher Pan. She is the one who must feed him and take care of his needs. One of the older teachers tells LuLing that she needs to be brave for the children’s sake; she is a role model for them and should not allow them to see her weaken in her sorrows. So LuLing lives.
However, the Japanese soldiers come. Everyone inside the orphanage hears the soldiers’ gunshots. When they peek through the windows, they see that the Japanese are shooting at the American flags the foreign missionaries had tied to the posts. Later Miss Grutoff, one of the older American women, tells everyone that Japanese planes have attacked Pearl Harbor. In retaliation, the U.S. government has declared war on Japan. The next day, the Japanese return to the orphanage and take away Miss Grutoff.
Three months into Miss Grutoff’s imprisonment, Teacher Pan tells the teachers and orphans that it is time they leave for Peking. The trip will be difficult because Japanese soldiers are everywhere now. Teacher Pan knows where Miss Grutoff hid some money for their escape. The woman had also made arrangements with women who had graduated from the school, former orphans who live in Peking. These women have promised to take care of any of the other orphans if they can make it to Peking. The students are placed in various groups, each chaperoned by a teacher. One by one, the groups will individually attempt the escape to Peking. When the first group is safely in the city, they send a message for the next group to attempt the trip. Eventually all of them make successful journeys.
GaoLing arrives in Peking before LuLing. When LuLing finally arrives, GaoLing barely recognizes her sister. To protect herself from the Japanese soldiers, LuLing has smeared her face with rice porridge and allowed it to dry. The cracked appearance of her skin makes LuLing look like an old woman. She also had a...
(The entire section is 550 words.)