Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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4- No Man's Land.
In this way he was able to travel 200 km, as the crow flies from Chefoo to the proximity of Tsingtao Bay, evading quarrels and saying prayers. The adventure turned out to his heart’s desire, and he entered “no man’s land” without any misfortune worthy of mention, always followed by the sprightly young boy. Brother Joche-Albert dismissed the cyclists and was about to get ready against any possible risk… when a silhouette of a soldier stood up elated with pride. The latter bawled out: “Halt!”, and our travellers stopped. It was the shadow of an armed Communist. There was nothing to fear. He requested Brother Albert’s papers, his travelling permit, his personal identification. Facing the disbelief of the Communist, he presented his Communist graduation certificate, and thrust into his hands a handful of vouchers that he had left with him. With such a mountain of proofs the soldier yielded. All three started walking through what they believed was “no man’s land”.
All of sudden, the “policeman” for no reason and addressing himself to the Marist by word of mouth and with his gun pointing to him tells him energetically: “I am a Nationalist soldier! You are arrested! Keep walking in front of me.
Brother Albert appeared in front of many Nationalist officers, before whom he had to remove his disguise, withdraw the little white lies and affirm the truth of his identity. The hidden papers reappeared… But, “this could be an old wives tales well contrived, and already an old one in the bureaux of the counter-espionage…!” was being whispered in the bureaux.
The lad was set free the following day, and without knowing how, he entered the town of Tsingatao. He didn’t stop until he came across the College of the Marists and told them how Brother Albert had fallen into a trap. The religious appealed to their best friends, one of whom was the mandarin of the town, who on the spot picked up the telephone, and explained to the military authorities about the denouement of the adventure.
The Marists were confident that within a few days they would have in their community the shattered Brother Joche Albert. The Brothers were praying for his freedom, when, a few hours later, he entered the college triumphantly. All considered: three days of voluntary confinement, desperate in his attempt to justify or vindicate himself, and all his joys drowned. And at last unexpectedly, he recovers his liberty, with no explanation how. It was certainly not the good offices of the mandarin which reached the military officers too late.

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