Once upon a time, in a remote area of inland China,
there was a nomadic tribe. This tribe had been visited by missionaries, and one
of the missionary couples had a son named Everett. He grew up among these
Chinese nomads and learned their dialect. He was loved dearly by everyone in the
One day, another neighboring group of nomads came
seemingly out of nowhere and attacked the settlement, killing a number of
people, including all of the adult missionaries. They took their male children
alive and brought them back to their own settlement as hostages.
After a few weeks in captivity, Everett managed to
escape and to lead the other kidnapped children safely back to their parents.
The nomads were glad to see the children return, but this did not satisfy their
desire for revenge. Everett proved helpful here as well. He had studied the
layout of the other tribe's village, and knew the weak points in their defense.
Soon, the tribe was ready to get revenge on their
enemy. They sent the adults and older children out in several companies. Everett
begged to go along, since he was a teenager and almost as old as the youngest of
their fighters. He, too, wanted revenge for the death of his parents. The
tribe's leaders agreed, and since he knew the layout of the enemy village, he
helped lead one of the companies.
They took the enemy completely by surprise. The
slaughter was great. But, sadly, Everett was mortally wounded in the attack. The
army returned to their village with heavy hearts, because Everett was the last
of the missionary visitors, and had helped them so much. The people wanted to
honor him with Wu Xia, a burial ritual of their tribe. The ceremony involved
mummifying the body and placing it in a tomb with various kinds of colorful
flowers. However, there was a problem.
Because Everett was not a native of the tribe, the
tribal council had to register the request for Wu Xia with the village clerk,
Pad. Pad had critically wounded in the battle, and was resting in his tent. As
long as he was still alive, their tribal law prohibited them from selecting a
replacement for him. Also, Wu Xia had to be started before sundown, and it was
already getting rather late.
The people had gathered in the center of the village
to wait for the council to begin the ceremony, and were getting rather
impatient. So some of the council members went to Pad's tent. He was too weak to
move his hand to sign the registration form. But the council members put the
writing implement in Pad's hand and moved it for him, so that they could say he
had actually signed the form himself.
The council members brought the form to the council
chairman, Wang Wei Gong, who then motioned the tribe to be silent, and
"I'm pleased to tell you today that we have
Pad's registration allowing Wu Xia for Everett. We begin embalming in 5