Ninety-nine mogul pull the boat

Before the arrival of trains and cars, bulk cargo is best transported by water, so where there are rivers, there must be ships. The Yellow River connects thousands of miles and is a golden waterway. Before the 1960s, ships on the river were moving as if cars were running on the highway. There is a ferry ten miles and eight miles along the river, a large market town of thirty and fifty miles. Although the water in the Shanxi-Shaanxi Gorge is high and the moorings are rapid, but still cannot stop one fleet after another. In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, there were more than 30 ferry crossings up and down the Shantianqiao Gorge. In the villages and towns along the Yellow River, generations of boatmen stretched their boats and fought for life. “Baode County Records” records that by 963, there were 47 large ships in the county, each ship was counted as seven boatmen, and there were more than 300 boatmen in the county. As the folk song sings: “Ninety-nine boats in Ninety-nine Daowan Bay, and ninety-nine mobsters pulled the boat.”

Baode County is close to the Yellow River, and it is common for the Yellow River to rise and flood the streets. In the prosperous period of the Yellow River shipping, in the evening, centered on the county town, the large and small cargo ships were moored on the upper and lower ten miles of the river, and the masts were standing and lively. The small county seat is also a distribution center for goods. Ships come upstream to unload grain, hay, saline and other goods, and then install large charcoal, porcelain, etc., set sail and set sail downstream.

After the 1970s, roads were successively built along the Yellow River, bridges were erected on the river, hydropower stations were built, and the number of ships gradually decreased. By the time I interviewed some old boatmen in 2005, the ship was completely gone. The last batch of boatmen are seventy and eighty, but when it comes to running boats and rivers, they are still excited. They regard this as the most glorious experience in their lives and tell me a series of thrilling stories.

Above the Tianqiao Gorge, it freezes in winter, the boat launches after the Ching Ming Festival, and goes ashore in light snow. Below the Tianqiao Gorge, the Yellow River is not frozen, and the ship can flow all year round. It only stops for a few days when Qingming and Xiaoxue flow twice, which is called water avoidance.

The streamer is afraid of Hongfeng in summer and ice in winter. Hong Feng was too big and too fierce to overturn the boat. When it was time to hide, he had to hide and stop at the shore. In winter, the ship is tied to the shore, or stranded in the river, and a large chunk of ice drifts upstream, which can crash the ship. Once they saw ice drift drifting, the boatmen had to quickly pick up the pole with the iron tip and wait for it. When Bing Ling approached, he yelled and thrust the pole towards Bing Ling, then pulled the edge of the boat with his hand, pressed the shoulder against the pole, and pushed Bing Ling away. The ice can generally be pushed away. Once it cannot be pushed away, the ship must be damaged.

Kang Wensheng, a boatman, said that in the year of the twelfth lunar month, he had shipped nine kilograms of iron from Baode to Jiaxian, and the ship was stranded in Houchuan. Suddenly found that a few blocks of ice came down the room. It was ice for revetment. It was frozen on the bank of the river and was pushed down by the water after it broke. A boatman was shocked, and if the ice hit him, the boat could not be guaranteed. But the boat can’t go, and people can’t leave. Everyone quickly put all the available boards on the boat into the stern water, trying to resist the impact of the ice. Just as everyone was extremely nervous, and their eyes widened, waiting for the ice to hit, the ice first squeezed a large wave of water, rushed over, and floated the boat. Everyone quickly pulled the struts, put the boat into the mainstream, tried their best to draw a paragraph, and then found a place to lean aside and let the big piece of ice pass.

There are many particularities about sailing, some of which are easy to understand. For example, you can’t say bad words, turn over, etc., you can’t tie up the roof, and you can’t look like you are ready to escape at any time. But some of them are not easy to understand, such as not being able to lift the whip on the ship, not carrying your hands, and don’t know what it means.

In the early years, there were many Dragon King Temples on both sides of the Yellow River. Whenever encountering the moraine beach, the boatmen had to go ashore to worship. The second day of the seventh month of the seventh lunar month is the Heshen Festival. The old boatmen said that these were left by the ancients, and handed down from generation to generation, and sometimes it is really effective. They told me two stories:

In Heiyukou, there is a boatman named Shushu. Daxiao, every time he runs away from home and runs back to the river, he must buy some delicious food for his mother. Once the boat passed the five-meter moraine and hit the reef, it was about to fall apart. Shushu knelt on the ship’s board and cried, “It doesn’t matter if I die, no matter how poor the old lady is!” A voice whispered in your ear said, you Jump! Shushu closed his eyes and jumped. At that instant, the boat was scattered, and the big boat on the boat floated to the front of the tree. Shushu floated in the river for three or four miles with the big dipper in her arms, and she unknowingly leaned on the shore. Shushu knew that the river god was blessing, and quickly got out of the river, turned to kneel, and kowtowed to the big river, even saying that he knew the grace of river god. Since then, Shushu has paid more and more respect to the old lady.

There are many famous old men in Baode’s history, and Zhang Youfu is one of them. Blessed old man is famous, not only at the helm, but also because of his boldness. The blessed old man had many accidents while driving the boat. The most dangerous one was nine deaths. In July of that year, the cargo arrived at Linjayu, it was already dark, there was no unloading, and the ship was tied to the river. When the water came at night, the boat was off the rope, and everyone could not hold it, shouting that the blessed old man should get out of the boat, but he wouldn’t get off. As a result, everyone couldn’t hold back, let go, and put the blessed old man and the boat into the big river. The black lights were blind, and the ship broke apart not far away. The blessed old man hugged the rudder and drifted down with the water. While drifting across Jiaxian County, he was still awake and made a wish to Baiyun Temple. If he could come back alive, he would go to burn incense and burn his head. He floated to the moraine mouth, swirled into the stream, was picked up by someone, and was already in a coma. It took a lot of effort to separate the hand holding the rudder. Someone who knows said this is Zhang Laohou! Hurry up and go home.

From Baode to Qikoukou, there are 480 miles of waterway, and there are countless swirling reefs. Put a wooden board into it, and you will be covered with holes in Qikou. The boatmen said that if they were not blessed by the gods, the blessed old man would have no more lives. Unconscious day and night, the blessed old man woke up. After walking for seven days to get home, the family thought he was killed and would never come back. He was assuming a mourning hall, crying and wearing filial piety.

There are many stories on the river before the Yellow River. The last voyage of Baode Shipyard was in August of the 1960 lunar calendar, and the “Cultural Revolution” had just begun. I don’t know what happened. The porcelain water pipes fired by Baode Porcelain Factory will be sent to Ji County. The seven large ships of the river transport agency traveled with seven people on each ship, and the porcelain water pipes loaded were about 15,000 kg. The seven boats opened the distance and flowed down the river. The old man of the garden village Lu Zhaocai took the lead. Old Lu was a big man with a tall nose, and the boatmen gave him the nickname “foreigner”. He is a veteran of the Tonghe River, and he can drive directly from Baotou to Yumen’s entrance. All the dangerous moors along the way can be dealt with, and there is no need to ask the local veteran.

The boatmen said that a streamer is more dangerous than a car. The car has brakes and can stop. The boat can’t brake in the river. The distance between the seven ships is because the ship will also rear-end. Sometimes when the boat slipped downstream, the first one was aground and the back one couldn’t hide, so it collided, just like a car rear-end. Stranding is most afraid in the evening, if it is dark and can’t walk away, once the water rises at night, the boat floats, and the black lights are dangerous.

April and August in the lunar calendar are the best seasons for boat trips. There are songs on the river: “The river road in April and August, the lamb in September and October.” “The East Palace and the West Palace are not as good as those in April and August. Pavilion of Water Pavilion.” In August of the lunar calendar, Liqiu had passed, and there were no more big flood peaks, full of river water, and big waves showing good sailing. The voyage was just the right time.

From Baode to Heiyukou on the first day. This section of the waterway is ten miles and nine moraine, “The river is difficult to flow, the road is difficult to walk.” Although there are many moraine, Baode old man walks this section all day long, seeing every stone in the river as an acquaintance, and the 150-mile waterway flows smoothly. At night, he lives in Heiyukou, a town in Xing County, a large dock, and a distribution center for goods. In the early years, the bustling and lively, there were many people traveling from south to north, lived in the military and police, and repaired the bunker fort. The outer river beach used to be two miles wide, full of jujube trees, and later disappeared.

Departing the next day, the first fell five meters moraine, also known as soft rice moraine, is a large moraine formed by the Weifen River merged into the Yellow River. In a terrible place, there are shipwrecks every year, and several boatmen in Baode are eaten here by the river. In 1949, when liberating the Northwest of the Great China, a large boat ferry was needed at Yumenkou. Baode County made two. The captain is five feet wide, his belly is two feet wide, and five walls are sandwiched, much larger than the usual boat on the Yellow River. The county sent Lu Zhaocai and another old surname Guo who sent the boat. Guo was 60 years old. When they passed the five-meter moraine, the two men joined together, put Lu Lao’s boat down first, and then turned up to put Guo Lao. When the boat passed the moraine, Guo Laoqi went to suppress the tail stern, and with too much force, the tail swelled back and picked Guo Laoqi into the river. Guo Laoqi is water-based and usually stands up to the waist, but this time he was sucked into the stone eaves and never came out again. The Guo family has been on a boat for several lifetimes, and Guo Lao’s grandfather also happened on the five-meter moraine.

In the early years, before falling into the moraine, we must first go to the West Bund River Temple to burn incense and kowtow. Of course, I didn’t dare to burn incense in 1966, but just got to the shore first. The people on the two ships joined together on one boat and fell together. After the five-meter moraine entered the Cao, the mainstream of the Yellow River was forced by the stones and sand pushed out by the Weifen River. It rolled westwards, and the west was full of stone cliffs. The boat was in the rapids, and everyone pulled it out with its waist. Once it could not be pulled out, it hit the rock cliff, and the ship was rotten. After rushing through the five-meter moraine, he stopped at Huangheiqiang, fastened the boat, and the crowd ran up to put the second one, seven or eight miles away. Although the five-meter moraine was dangerous, the seven large ships passed through without any damage. It flowed about 160 miles throughout the day and lived in Kehu Village on the Shanxi side at night.

In August, the weather is not cold or hot, people do not go ashore, just live on board. Bringing millet, red noodles, yellow noodles, and a little white noodles, reluctant to eat. Sometimes cauldron rice, sometimes do their own, Helu Han will cook. The stove is made of porcelain urn mud and has a wind box. The charcoal was picked from the beach. When it rains heavily, charcoal can be pushed out of the Shenmu River, all floating on the water. When the water recedes, there are always charcoal falling on the beach. One year, a large piece of charcoal with a weight of tens of thousands of catties was launched, and it was dropped at the General Assembly Ground in Jiaxian County. Draught sometimes goes to the wells of the river beach, and most of the time they eat the Yellow River water. There are water urns on the boat. After filling the water, sprinkle with bean noodles or crushed apricots, stir, and clarify faster, but most of the time it is still cloudy. Sometimes the river is too muddy to eat, so I dug a pit on the beach and the water seeping out was clearer.

On the upper reaches of the Yellow River, there is no shortage of water and charcoal. What is lacking is food. Sometimes the grain transport, although guarding the full ship of grain, also has a stove, but dare not eat one. Once the yam was transported, a few of them fell into the water silo, very small, and a boatman ate it while burning. The leader knew it when he came back, and reprimanded, “If you eat some yam, if you plant it in the ground, how many nests can grow? How much loss do you say you caused?”

At that time, there were many fish in the Yellow River, but the river road Han did not usually fish. Only when the flood came and the fish were choked to the surface, people nailed the wooden sticks and fished for fish. There are also taboos in eating fish. The fishy soup cannot be poured into the river, fearing it will cause trouble.

On the third day, he got up from Kehu Village and fell first to Jialu moraine, which is the moraine under Baiyun Temple in Jiaxian. It was also troublesome. There was a big stone crutch in the battle of the Luohan in the east. To the west is a nest, which is much larger than threshing ground. Passing the nest is also dangerous. Sometimes it will be sucked out and finally eat the boat. The seven ships were separated one by one, the first six were smooth, but the last one was somehow caught. After turning round and round, I couldn’t pull it out. The wave head jumped into the boat from the bow, and the boat was filled with porcelain water pipes, so it was difficult to scoop out the water. No matter how long, too much water in the boat is dangerous. Once the ship sinks, people will be attracted and will never be able to get out. The old man Zhang Houhong said that something is different, hurry and pour some rice to the old man! The boatman Kang Wensheng hurriedly lifted up the rice bag and hurled it, pouring about ten kilograms of rice into the river. When Mi entered the bottom of the river, everyone tried to pull the boat out. The boatmen said that there were two possibilities at the time. One was that there was a monster on the river, the rice was tributed, and the monster was released; the second was that there was a big fish in the nest. I went to eat rice. On this day, I only fought more than 30 miles of waterway, and lived in Muyuyu, Jiaxian County, Shaanxi Province at night.

Departing on the fourth day, Xielingzhuang on the east bank, only two families. After passing the Xielingzhuang, you must lean on the stone edge of the east bank to flow smoothly. That night lived in Qikou. Qikou lived for two days in order to find Qigong. Of the seven ships descending from Baode, only Lu Zhaocai’s old man could steer past Datong moraine, and the remaining six men were not sure about it. Stopped for two days before finding six local old men.

Datong moraine was piled up by stones pushed by Qiushui River, and the slope was large. The east bank is lined with rocks, the reefs are high and low, and the west bank is a stone wall. When the boat falls on the moraine, the archery generally rushes down, not familiar with the river. Local veterans fought on this moraine all the year round. The moraine was almost a rice bowl for them. There was a local old man at the helm, and the danger was not in danger. The single-class crew dropped the boat and lived in Zaolinping Town, Suide, Shaanxi Province at night.

On the seventh day, Zaolinping departed, and it was still the old Qiukou helm. This section is also ten miles away. Baode’s boatmen go less and the river is not familiar. Before each drop of the moraine, the old moraine of the moulage had to take the boatman ashore, looked around, and reminded him of some precautions. On the same day at a pier in Ji County, the porcelain tube was unloaded, the empty ship descended, Qiongkou old helm was at the helm, and he stayed in Shijiatan late.

The eighth day to the mouth. There is a special streamer bucket at the bottom of the pot. If the bucket fails to flow, a roller is put on the dry river beach to pull the boat. This time the Caozi could flow, and the seven empty ships fell into a pool and could not get out. An old moraine stripped off his clothes and moved the stones away from the river before the boat went out. Later he paid him more money.

On the ninth day, at the door of Yumen, Henan people are always here waiting to buy a boat. The boat flowed to Yumenkou was worthless and sold to Henan people at a price about half that of Baode. The Henan people bought the boat, put on charcoal, and went back to Henan.

After selling the boat, the boatmen walked by car and returned to Baode via Houma and Taiyuan. Shortly afterwards, the “Cultural Revolution” began. There was nowhere to go but the Baode Fleet never reached below the moraine.

After interviewing all the boatmen, I went back to the Shanxi-Shaanxi Gorge again. What I saw was quite different. The water in the Yellow River is less than half that of that year. There are no ships in the river, only some sand mining ships. In fact, even if there are big ships, the water is so shallow that it is difficult to sail. In the early years, eight out of ten ferries were abandoned, and there were bridges between the two sides of the strait. The ancient towns along the river are declining one by one, and even the population is less than that of the year. Only the dangerous moraine in the river is still there. No one has paid attention to it for decades. The sun is lonely and boring under the sun, and the name has slowly disappeared.

The waves of the Yellow River shipping slowly dissipated, and ninety-nine sterns pulled the big ship, drifting further and further into the depths of history.