Ho Chi Minh

Just As In The Mother Country

First Published: La Paria, February 1, 1923
Source: Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh Vol. 1
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House
Transcription/Markup: Christian Liebl
Online Version: Ho Chi Minh Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2003

Tulle is so far the only town in the world which can lay claim to the honour of possessing sensational anonymous letters. Today, Cochin-China, out of a spirit of filial piety and in the hope of proving its indefectible loyalty to the civilizing country, has also just had ‘its’ affair of anonymous letters. But the colony has ‘aped’ badly, because instead of a charming Mademoiselle Laval, it is an old Annamese notable who has just been put in jail; not for having abused anonymity but for having been accused by anonymous letters. Here is the substance of the affair:

One night in December 1922, while the Annamese notable concerned was lost in his dreams, he suddenly heard the sound of a rattle warning the inhabitants that pirates (well, well! where, then, was the security so much boasted of by the officials?) were operating on the big river, opposite Cho Lach. Our notable jumped out of his bed, took hold of his rifle - this notable was also rural constable of a large domain - and immediately boarded his sampan together with two of his servants.

Arriving on the spot, this brave notable and his men were received with rifle fire from the pirates and one of the men received the bandits’ volley right in his chest, and died a few seconds later. Our notable replied with a shot which missed its mark, but, in return, his enemies hit him in the right hand.

On the mere accusation of an anonymous letter, the notable in question was arrested on the charge of having killed his servant.

Though the victim’s father and the other servant gave evidence in favour of the accused, the latter is still in 'the shadow' waiting for the light of justice.